Root Of It All: Cosmonauts
Formed in 2009 by guitarists Derek Cowart and Alexander Ahmadi, California four-piece Cosmonauts have been going at it for about eight years now, and all these years have blessed us with some of our favourite music. From their early cassette releases on Burger Records to the classic LP If You Die Then I Wanna Die, the band's latest record comes in the shape of A-OK, three years later after Persona Non Grata.
Released on Burger Records last year, we see the band delving into a heavier psych and dream-pop driven sound on this record, with standouts such as Doom Generation, Party At Sunday, Discophilia, Short Wave Communication and A-Ok.
Currently on tour supporting the new LP, Bad Vibrations bring them to Moth Club next week on the February 24th. Ahead of the show, we got to sneak in their busy tour schedule to catch up with singer/guitarist Derek Cowart about how they got the ball rolling with A-OK and the influences that have shaped the album.
A-OK is available to purchase here
The Cars' Self-Titled Album
The artwork on the cover always left an impression on me. The beautiful girl, the way she’s looking up into the sun and holding the glass steering wheel is such a perfect pop art image. Originally we were going to try and have a photo in that vein, but it never really came together. So, after loving and using some of Felipe Flores previous pieces and designs, we decided to work with him to create the kind of album cover we had in mind. I sent him some album covers we liked and a surplus of peoples’ Instagram photos, as creepy as that sounds… Ha. So the A-OK! album art turned out to be an image of a girl taking a selfie. What’s more modern than that?
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
Having grown up with internet access means we’ve always had access to any kind of music… or anything really. There’s been a constant overload of different music that we’ve loved, hated, or both. We probably ended up misunderstanding and projecting ourselves on everything we listened to. Paul’s Boutique is an album that took all kinds of samples, styles, etc and mashed them together in a cohesive, energetic, and totally new record. That was obviously even a decade before anyone was downloading top 40 hits on Kazaa Lite. We grew up with that record and the Beastie Boys ability to pull from the all directions and make it their own was a definite influence on us in general. Maybe not literally, like with samples, but with different influences. Hopefully that comes across with us. We’ve never been afraid to wear what we love on our sleeves, but also want to make something that reflects RIGHT NOW.
Spacemen 3 - Playing With Fire
I guess actually that one and Sound of Confusion… or all of their stuff really haha. Especially in the early Cosmonauts songs and recordings. The cascading sounds from every direction on their albums accompanied by drony hypnotism and beautiful lullaby melodies. Those are the things that brought Alex and I together, originally.
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Psycho Candy
The songs and walls of feedback on that record are amazing. To me, it’s a perfect album. All that aside, I think it’s their bratty and unapologetic nature that put the final hooks in us. Super cool sad guys causing riots and getting beat up, while playing the loudest bummer pop songs. That’s the stuff rock n’ roll romance is made of.
Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
Our Band Could Be Your Life is essentially the bible for anyone trying to make independent music. If you haven’t read it, you should. Reading about the radical art and music that losers just like us made is really inspiring.
Blade Runner is an awesome sci fi movie we all watched growing up. The dystopian Los Angeles and futuristic tonal soundtrack had to have left some impressions on us haha.