Musicscan: For some time now, the heavy underground seems to go even more extreme than ever before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. What are your thoughts on this, and where do you see Steak Number Eight in the grand scheme as you strive on contrasts, organic heavy sounds and are heading towards real songwriting?
Steak Number Eight: People want to make a ‘new’ sound which is great but also hard or forced these times. 'Underground bands' or just honest good music. We don’t think ‘will the crowd love this?’ or ‘is this riff good enoough?' I love that attitude. As a band, you must like it first, not the people . That’s what happens with Steak in a way. But where is the border for being an underground band… no one knows, What is underground? We just want to make music we like ourselves. Underground can be the new mainstream. Look what happened with Nirvana in the nineties.
Musicscan: What exactly does Steak Number Eight sound like from your point of view? Is it any kind of departure to what people might expect from you if you think of reviews and fan reactions. Do you feel "understood" to say so?
Steak Number Eight: A lot of magazines and fans describe our music in cool ways. We think Atmospheric Sludgerock is the closest, shortest version to describe our sound.
Musicscan: Personally I sometimes think that Steak Number Eight is about musical education of listeners in some ways. What do you think about my impression?
Steak Number Eight: That’s a cool thing to say.. It might be a compliment! It has this easy comfort aspect that makes people want to listen to it but at the same time it makes people think. If this can be considered as educational, then yes!
Musicscan: For Kosmokoma you chose to work on/with a concept again from what I understood: how do you handle the songwriting process once the concept is agreed? And how do you handle the question of the inherent quality of a conceptual album as a whole?
Steak Number Eight: Kosmokoma isn’t a planned concept album. We didn’t say: ‘let’s make a spacy album’. I think Kosmokoma and it’s spacy aspect came along the years that we were making this album. Every bandmember had new aspects in their lives which eventually got translated in the new album for example. All songs that were written by Brent had an outer space edge on it. So the ‘concept’ grow along with the songs. I call this album a story, not a concept. Kosmokoma reflects our personalities.
Musicscan: Regarding the songwriting: do you still have to deal with limitations, or are you in a position to realize all the ideas you have? What have been the main challenges if you think of the creation process of Kosmokoma?
Steak Number Eight: As I said before, Brent wrote the songs. As far as I know only a few songs were ready to go but we had a lot of work to make the other ones as good as we wanted them to be. The very good thing in this band is that when one of us has reached his limits, the other one comes with something that fulfills the song.
Musicscan: And what do you remember best about the recording process and about the chemistry within the band while working on the new songs?
Steak Number Eight: I remember it was fucking hot outside and we stayed hours and hours inside to rehearse. The band came out for smokes and food only. There was a lot of stress at that point if we’d reach the deadline or not. I also remember that we helpend out each other more if something went difficult or were in trouble. We made this album on a lot of locations. If I think back on this, Kosmokoma takes you to different locations too..
Musicscan: I always had the feeling that your songs are open for interpretation. There are so many surprises, nuances and atmospheres to find within your songs. But: is this something you are heading for by choice or accident?
Steak Number Eight: Both. Sometimes we need something extra to make a riff come out amazing. Most of the times those suprises (or whatever you call it) were made by choice but now and then you get those cool sounds by mixing up melodies or riffs that shouldn't be mixed up.
Musicscan: Right at the moment I would expect Steak Number Eight to show an even more atmospheric and emotional side with Kosmokoma. I wish for universal heavy music with a good dramaturgy and existential impressions. Is this the direction you are heading for with the new album? Tell me something about your hidden agenda, please.
Steak Number Eight: What you expect is for a part true but we have some songs like ‘The Return of The Kolomon’ which is fast though this song is one of the more spacey songs on the album. I think our album is , as you say, more universal.
Musicscan: What were bands goals for this new record, and were they reached, or perhaps altered along the way? How would you characterize the band’s evolution musically from The Hutch to this current album?
Steak Number Eight: Our goal was making an album we really love. This is probably a cheesy line but we mean it. It had to be perfect. I think we accomplished this. I think the band is musically more developed than with the previous albums and we are at our best game at the moment.
Musicscan: Regarding all the influences that are to find within the songs: how difficult is it to choose between all of them, and are there any styles that you would never consider to include into your songs? From my perspective atmospheric sludge is way to small to describe you style of play…
Steak Number Eight: If it sounds cool we do it. That’s a mentality everybody should have. If you keep thinking that your music should sound like the other sludge bands or your album cover has to be in Art-nouveau with a deerhead and skulls then that would be pretty much boring… every choice, whether is musically or regarding artwork has to come from the heart. We don’t “choose” … we just create. Influences come from all aspects of life (not just musically), but we don’t “choose” them. They’re just there, and find their way into our work.
Musicscan: Steak Number Eight for sure consists of well-skilled musicians: but do you sometimes have to prevent yourselves from getting too technical to stay memorable, heavy and slow? It’s obvious, that it is an important thing for you to write sluggish songs, but never get to fast or technical…
Steak Number Eight: I think we all aren’t very technical musicians in a fast way. Most of the fast songs are written by messing around. Spontanity is our key.
Musicscan: Lastly: what do you want people to take away from Kosmokoma?
Steak Number Eight: This album must take people to a trip where they won’t come back from.
I hope they put it on a lot, wherever they are.
It needs to nest in their ears and eyes.