Landskap | Interview with Frederic Caure

London’s Landskap, a new psychedelic doom project formed by members of Serpent Cult, Pantheist, Fen and Dead Existence will release their debut album I this May via Iron Bonehead Productions.
Bassist and rhythm guitarist Frederic Caure recently took a moment out of his busy agenda (Caure is also a sound engineer and producer) to answer a few questions about the band’s origins, the new record and their upcoming plans.

Landskap is new UK project made of members of Serpent Cult, Pantheist, Fen and Dead Existence. How did you meet and decided to work together?

“In 2012 George and I both moved from our native countries to London. We didn’t know each other but wanted to start our own bands and we got in touch via adverts. We eventually met up in a pub to talk music and a week later we were in the studio trying out some jams. Soon Paul joined on drums who I happened to know from the time I was jamming with Fen, we later asked Kostas to join us who I know from playing in Pantheist 10 years earlier and when we got to the final stages of the writing/recording process we asked Jake to join us which we knew from the local scene.”

Each member comes from a different sub-genre within heavy music, but the album features a dominant doom influence as well as elements of psychedelic rock. Would you say this was intentional, or did it come naturally when you all started jamming together?

“To be fair, I don’t understand why everyone labels us by the doom tag, and I believe the only reason this happens is because we opened our album with a slow song that has a “Sabbathy” feel to it. When we started the band, our vision was to create psychedelic rock mixed with progressive and krautrock elements taken from our favourite albums from a certain era. Doom obviously has the same basic ingredients, but when you listen to our music, you will reckon it’s a hard rock album. When we started the band, we jammed the first 6 months without writing a single song, just to get the vibe going between all of us. Once we got it right after that, we decided to compile some ideas and write the album you have in front of you.”

Have you written these songs collectively or there was someone in the band who took a more prominent role in the songwriting?

“I” was written as a band and everything comes out of jam sessions. This is the essence of the band, we like things to happen by accident during a jam, they usually turn out to be the best tunes. It also keeps things fresh and ever-changing; our songs are dynamic and not set in stone, a tune that takes 6 minutes today could last 15 minutes tomorrow. It will prove to be interesting during our gigs, haha…”

"To be fair, I don’t understand why everyone labels us by the doom tag, and I believe the only reason this happens is because we opened our album with a slow song that has a “Sabbathy” feel to it."

Can you talk a little bit more about the recording of I? What studio did you use? Was there anything in particular you wanted to do differently from other studio experiences that you had in the past?

“We recorded our base tracks live in the studio which was essential; our music is not the kind of music where you can just record all the instruments separately, our song structure does not permit it but it would also complete the wrong atmosphere for the songs. We did the whole live recording in one afternoon in the studio. Once that was done, we recorded some guitar overdubs and the vocals at my home studio, mixed the lot and that was it. This is the cheapest album I ever recorded in my life, but also the one that I had the most control over.”

How do you feel the songs and sound of I turned out compared to what you envisioned in your mind before going into the studio?

“We’re really happy with the way the songs turned out; we intentionally left some things open for interpretation when we recorded so that we could steer the songs in any direction when we were recording and it turned out great. We did no more than 2-3 takes of each song and chose the best take to complete. I would definitely work this way again.”

Is there any particular theme to the record, lyrically?

“There is no particular theme for the lyrics but Jake wrote the lyrics in no time and they all seem to be dealing with misery. We hope he’s all right now and that his next lyrics will deal with shopping sprees in London and driving his car in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.”

I understand you first released this album independently on digital format back in January. So how did you end up releasing it now on the Iron Bonehead label?

“We wanted our album to be out there and available for everyone, so we offered it as a free download on BandCamp. I’m a big supporter of the free electronic sharing and distribution of music and I believe it’s the only way forward for musicians. I don’t care or believe in making money out of music anyway, nor in the ‘ownership’ of music. We did think it would be nice to have a nice special vinyl edition of the album though, so we got in touch with a few labels we knew were doing quality releases. Iron Bonehead offered to do a 500 copies run of the album with special artwork which sounded great and we went for it. The album is scheduled to be released on 16th May but is still available on BandCamp at the same time.”

What can we expect from Landskap for the rest of the year? You’ll play your first show in June right?

“That’s correct, we’re playing our first gig in Camden’s Underworld on 14th June followed by another gig in London in July. Once these 2 gigs are done, we’ll be going back to the studio to record a new EP with 2 or 3 new songs.”

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Read John Skibeat's review of I here.