Vital Vinyl: Christopher de Cinque Talks Closure In Moscow’s ‘Pink Lemonade’
In 2006, Closure In Moscow hit the ground running in Australia, prepping material for their 2009 debut studio album, ‘First Temple.’ Thanks to the support of their homeland radio station, Triple J -- and the all around energy from ‘First Temple’ -- Closure In Moscow quickly gained international acclaim.
Now, the progressive-art-rock five-piece are celebrating the release of their sophomore effort, ‘Pink Lemonade.’ It’s a complex album, full of melodies and sounds that perfectly show the band’s maturation over the years.
And the best way to hear it? You guessed it: on your turntable, spinning nonstop with a slight break to flip the records. Beyond the music, Closure In Moscow have put together a mesmerizing package around the vinyl edition of 'Pink Lemonade,' featuring imagery that will require a second and third look (just like the music requires a second and third spin).
We recently caught up with frontman Christopher de Cinque to talk about the writing process for the new LP and everything surrounding the vinyl experience of 'Pink Lemonade.' Check out the interview -- and photos of the double-LP -- below:
How did you approach the writing of 'Pink Lemonade' differently than that of your 2009 debut?
Writing vocals was a more collaborative process this time and we spent more time reshaping songs around those vocals. There was a desire for more groove and cheeky, pentatonic steez this time around too.
Did things like Spotify or the "cloud" affect the way you wrote and recorded?
Absolutely not, we're still trying to create an album experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. So even if things are becoming more geared toward single song consumption via online streaming services, people that choose to embark on the journey of the whole hairy, beastly thing can still get that experience.
And even with those online streaming services, it's refreshing to see you release your music on vinyl. Why is vinyl still important to you as a band?
Because I think it's from an era where the medium itself had the psychological effect of adding intrinsic value to the music. It's something you can hold in both hands, you can't just skip tracks willy-nilly, this goes hand-in-hand with the attention span of the time it was born in, as opposed to flitting from track-to-track on your MP3 player or streaming service, fostering a "McDonalds" attitude toward music now. The artwork can be viewed in great detail and pored over as it was intended. The music is a physical entity, not just a disposable packet of vibrations coming out of your laptop speakers.
How important is vinyl to you personally?
I think it's the best way to listen to music that was originally released in this format. It was recorded, mixed and mastered with this medium in mind, so I think you are going to get the most out of hearing it as close to as it was when it was released as possible. You are getting the overtones of that zeitgeist with your experience! I recently started collecting Frank Zappa LPs and as I stated earlier, it's added this intrinsic value and depth to the songs that I hadn't felt before ... I can hold 'Chunga's Revenge' in my hands and look at the vacuum cleaner dancing around the campfire erotically as I listen -- it's wonderful!
One of the best parts about vinyl is the 12-inch jacket; the artwork always looks amazing. With 'Pink Lemonade,' the cover art -- and packaging -- is definitely striking. Can you talk about the art?
Well for starters, this art was screaming to be on a 12-inch jacket as soon as it was conceived. The photography was done by Ben Clement here in Melbourne and it was all put together along with the pastiche of retro-kitsch by Stephane Casier, a brilliant artist from Paris. Casier did the poster art for our first show there and as soon as we saw that we knew he would be the go to go for visuals. It was based on old Kaiju film posters from the '70s and was right up our ally aesthetically. What he did for 'Pink Lemonade' went above and beyond all expectations and we think it's an important component of its experience, as much as the music. Tonally it could not match the album any better.
Is there a strong demand for vinyl in Australia?
I honestly don't know, I don't have any friends let alone vinyl purchasing ones. There are definitely a bunch of sweet little record stores popping up and I think, from my limited knowledge, it's experiencing the same resurgence as it is in other places.
Do you feel like you fit into the music scene in Australia?
In some ways, very much so and in others, not at all. I think the band exudes an atypically Australian attitude both onstage and in the overall attitude of our music. On the flip side, I feel a bit peerless as far as where we fit into the scheme of things. I hope that changes and more people channel some of that sardonic, dadaesque steez ... Lord knows we need it.
We live in a very fast-paced society where everyone wants the "new" thing ... have you already started thinking about what you plan to do to follow-up the release of 'Pink Lemonade'?
We are in the throes of putting together more releases now. One is a spiffy little collaboration between ourselves and Melbourne chip tune artist and composer extraordinaire Nathan Antony (a.k.a. Derris Kharlan). The other of course being the next LP, perhaps it will be called 'Shangri-La-Di-Da' or maybe 'Brown Lemonade' -- we haven't decided yet.
Closure In Moscow -- 'Pink Lemonade'