Their yearning, Nordic-style electrofolk has made Fiordmoss one of the most acclaimed up-and-comers to emerge from the Czech independent music scene. The
duo’s trio’s most recent album Ink Bitten was first released digitally in February 2012, and recently re-released on June 4th (complete with remixes) in a snazzy vinyl edition. “The title draws inspiration from the phenomenon of late 19th century ‘tattoo ladies’” they told us in a previous interview. “Most of the songs tell stories that fascinated us last year, taken either from the past or from our inner selves.”
Since the members of the project are also active as artists, the first video off the new record was self-produced together with Katrína Mogensen from the Icelandic band MAMMÚT. The track was inspired by the story of Stephan Rehorek, a Czech sailor who photographed the iceberg that the Titanic crashed into only a few days after the fateful accident. Meanwhile, Fiordmoss are planning to move to Germany in autumn, so watch this space to hear more from them.
“The Czech Republic has lacked a representative music prize, which would reflect and reward important creations in Czech music, for a long time”, state the organizers of the newly established music award with the rather peculiar name ‘Vinyla’.
Eschewing the local “music business”, Vinyla aims to praise the few local quality independent creators who inject some originality and ideas into their music. Nevertheless, another similar prize – Apollo – was awarded in January, which might signify an increasing effort to highlight and nurture musicians who are not affiliated with major labels here. Among the nominees for the first Vinyla Awards are alt rapper Bonus, ironic/iconic duo Cokovoko, Floex, newcomers Fiordmoss as well as events like Creepy Teepee.
The winners of each category – Record of the Year, Discovery of the Year, Event of the Year – will be announced this Saturday, 10 March at the Fléda club in Brno with a live show by WWW, Gurun Gurun or Kittchen.
Fiordmoss was founded in 2008 after Roman’s record collection and Petra’s guitar disappeared in a blaze of fire in their shared flat. Both original members of the band – currently there is also a third member Jan Boroš – art students Petra Hermanová and Roman P?ikryl had previous experiences in music. In Fiordmoss, they merged these two seemingly antithetical worlds – the folk of Petra and electronic of Roman. Their debut EP Gliese appeared in 2010 and last year they were the only Czech participants at the RBMA in Madrid. Here they talk about their new record Ink Bitten which is out at the end of the month.
Can you tell us about your new record?
We have just started recording. The album is called Ink Bitten and it’s title draws inspiration from the phenomenon of tattoo ladies of the late 19th century. Most of the songs tell stories that have fascinated us last year, taken either from the past or from our inner selves. We’ve set the release date at the 29th of February.
You have been playing out a lot last year, how has this influenced your new record? And how will it be different from your debut EP Gliese?
We played around thirty concerts with Jan last year, which created quite a bond between us. Also, we’ve been playing new tracks lately, growing close to them, getting their vibes under our skin. Meaning that we know what we want to do with them and what we want to avoid which will be a very different experience from when we were recording Gliese. Also, the fact that we are three now changed completely the way we work. We have more instruments and songs with a new, more lively feeling to them. Recording Gliese felt rather stiff compared to this.
How do you compose your music? How does it come to life?
Usually it comes from writing lyrics and maybe some little tune to it, saying what kind of imagery comes to our mind considering the story. And then we just play around with it at home and layer instrumentals and beats on it, sometimes we search for sounds that might sound like something from the lyrics, like crashing ice, swoosh of a knife or a siren.
How are your roles divided in your band?
Our roles are set on stage but when we work in our rehearsal space or in studio, it’s not really strict. Yes, it’s Roman who creates the beats, synths and bass, and Jan who does guitars and Petra who comes up with vocal melodies, but it’s more like everyone has a say at anything, production-wise. It’s just the lyrics that aren’t created together.
You study at art school. How has this influenced your sound and what you do musically
Very much so. Artists with bands have naturally a different mindset compared to pure, schooled musicians or theatre actors who play music, accentuating different things in their work. And of course we care very much what goes on around us visually of which we want full control. But even though we could do all the visuals on our own, we really love to ask friends to do them for us.
And the visual stimuli is crucial in the process of writing lyrics that usually originate from studying imagery related to them. We have extensive collections of material related to songs on Gliese. The lyrics in Ink Bitten are also backed by a thorough research. Making art often requires research and this might be one of the artsy approaches that we apply to doing music.
What do you generally try to express through your music?
Our vision of what we think is nice?
What are your plans for this year?
Hitting the road with the album in April along with Floex. We’d like to get signed to a label and we’re thinking of moving abroad for a while.