Yoga Interview

Yoga are a mysterious musical creature who appeared out of a murky fog to blow people's minds earlier this year,based solely on a cassette limited to 50 copies.Combining black metal's darkened vibes with new age mysticism,Yoga create a sound like you've never experienced before.So it is our great pleasure to conduct the first ever interview with this fascinating act.Read on to hear the thoughts of Vatten Hast,one half of Yoga (colleague Eld Anka does not do interviews).

Hammer Smashed Jazz:First off, your music really threw me for a loop when I first heard it. Very original. What was the idea or intent behind the project? It sounds black metal informed, but it's not really black metal, is it?

Vatten Häst:My friend Eld Anka; the second half of Yoga was the one who first conceptualized the beginnings of this project with wanting to combine both of our interests in new age music and bedroom black metal. What we took from bedroom black metal was the rawness of their recording techniques. The dirtier and desperate the sound, the more otherworldly and distant the sounds became.

We also relied heavily on the beauty and sadness of the soundscapes that new age music provides. Very spirtual. It was a melting of the dark and the light into a singular sound.So to answer your question: it's a black metal hybrid. (the name green metal was thrown around briefly)

HSJ: Any particular reason you chose Yoga as the band name? Were there any other names you thought about using?

VH: Once the name of the project was said out loud we both became very excited. Yoga ' the name' in bodied the heart of this project completely.the first name we had for the project was Eld Anka in Vatten (a Swedish translation). That name lasted about two days until Yoga replaced it. We decided to split the original name into two. Eld Anka given to my friend and i took Vatten. Later i added Häst so we both shared a 'element' and a 'animal' with-in our names.

HSJ:Were you in any other bands before Yoga? Any other projects now?

VH:Eld Anka was a street performer for many years. He incorporated music into his act that he wrote and recorded onto cassettes. This is the closest thing I know about that comes close to a music project that he was involved with prior to Yoga. My musical pass is not worth mentioning. As far as 'other projects': I run a small cassette label; while Eld Anka archives his solo music projects onto cassettes. (he very rarely shares his music)Like Henry Darger; Eld Anka suffers from hoarding issues.

HSJ:Despite listening to your debut numerous times, I'm still not sure what instruments you are using. Who plays what on the songs?

VH:This is a funny question because we get it quite often. The songs have a very strange process. They always begin with one of us wanting to pay tribute to a beast of interest. We are both passionate about Cryptozoology and the Occult; most of what we write is inspired by these creatures and stories.

We both have very different ways of making music and to make sure our personal creativity is not compromised; we send the music files back and forth to each other until we both agree the song is done. When we wrote the songs for the cassette and cd release Eld Anka was living in Berlin. We never saw each other once. Most of the time i don't know what he is adding to the songs and vise versa. It makes the songs more interesting because the outcome is always a mystery. I know he uses more live instruments and i tend to use controllers and manipulated samples.

HSJ:The songs from your debut cassette ended up on a split CD with the doom band Ghäst. How did you hook up with those guys?

VH:T.D.S. Records contacted us saying they were a fan of our music and wanted to put us out on a limited split with Ghäst.Ian who runs the label plays in Ghäst so he must have really liked us to pair us up with his own project. Later Choking Hazard Records attached themselves to the release.

HSJ:Have you guys performed live.?Is that part of the plan?

VH: No. We are very rarely in the same state/country at the same time.Possibly. If we do it will be a equal split of music balanced with theatre. A very visual experiance.

HSJ:Your music has quite a soundtrack/cinematic feel to it. Did any movies play a part in inspiring your sound?

VH:I think new age music played the biggest part as far as inspiration is concerned. Though our passion is towards the sounds that were being made in the 70's by pioneers like Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream with their love of science fiction and the weird. We like the over all idea that new age musictries to accomplish, namely writing soundscapes that in-body nature, weather and sometimes aliens. We try to image what music would be playing as Bigfoot walked lonely though a dense forrest calling for others like itself or Chultu waking from his long underwater sleep to devour all human life bite by horrible bite or even the mighty Thunderbird flying high among the clouds, hot wind keeping its massive body a float. We provide a soundtrack for these beasts.

HSJ: How has the feedback been for your music so far? Seems to me there's been nothing but positive reviews thus far.

VH:Believe me, no one is more surprised than us. This project was never meant to get to the level it is now. It was going to be a cassettes only project andthat was it. Without even trying, people started contacting us to get their hands on the music we were making. We had a lot of offers from labels right away.We went with T.D.S. records because of how limited the release was going to be and the fact that the first 50 were hand silk-screened. It is great that people are being so receptive. We thank everyone that has given this project a listen.

HSJ:What are your plans concerning the future of Yoga? Upcoming releases,etc?

VH: We are currently recording a full length vinyl release for Holy Mountain records.

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