Kultika Interview by Andruta Ilie/ Dark Art Conspiracy
Hi, guys! How’s it going? When was Kultika born and how did it all start? I’d like you to go back in time and describe that particular moment when you decided to start the band and how it all went from there.
Fulmineos: Hello, nice to meet you! Well, these days we are preparing the second full-length, it’s a process that takes time, but we like to be involved in the creative process and to exchange musical and lyrical ideas to fulfil our goal to release another great album.
It all started in 2008, we were more black sludge experimental than nowadays, but the credo remained the same: no boundaries, no limitations, express only what you feel! The rest is like every other band, but despite numerous lineup changes we went forward driven by our will to release good and credible music.
Throughout the years, you had some line-up changes. What are the things that remained constant despite these changes? What’s the band’s vision?
Jack: I don’t think there’s a “band vision” so much as there is a will to make our brand of music and that’s it. Fulmineos and I have always tried to push ourselves into making something more polished, more intricate and now that Marcel and Sergiu have joined us, it’s like this new organism that can finally sprint as opposed to just crawling around.
What is it like to make post-metal music in a country intoxicated by dance and pop? What unknown side of the culture does Romanian post-metal bring forward?
Jack: Personally, I don’t feel there is an “unknown side” to the metal fanbase in Romania. All of the shows I go to, everywhere I look it’s the same people. We try our best to make it look like there’s a “scene” (or whatever you want to call it) going on, but there isn’t, not really. Most TV artists gather what, 5 – 10K people at their concerts? The biggest underground artists – if they get 600 people they think they’re “huge”. You see bands that have three albums, going to Radio stations and trying to get on TV for what? Extra 20 people on Social media? For me, all that is just bullshit. Make authentic music (I have to emphasise this, not original – authentic). As Noel Gallagher would say, “Dig out your soul” – play you, don’t try to be “post-metal” or “this-metal” or “that-rock”. Don’t make music to “get listeners”, make music to get listened to.
How does an ordinary listener transition into a creator of music? Does the shift first occur in the mind or the heart? How easy or how hard is it to step into the new role?
Fulmineos: I actually like this duality very much, it is in mind and heart equally as much I would say but at an unconscious level. I cannot compose music if I have to, I only write music when I have a vision, it can take years or hours to compose a song/album, I need a trigger in my heart and a landscape in my mind.
Your first album, “The Strange Innerdweller” sounds incredibly well and has received lots of positive reviews. What did you want to express with it and how long did it take you to put all the pieces together?
Jack: Thank you for the kind words. The entire process, I think, came in at around close to 2 years. The recording of the album took almost one year, and that’s mainly because we had a lot of layers we wanted to add, and we really tried to justify each nuance; every little detail that you hear on that album had to be there since we never really liked the idea of “fillers”. Surprisingly, I was just trying to show off that I can be a screamer haha – as if it’s some sort of uphill struggle for the common vocalist – but in the end, we all just wanted to make something that we could look back on in 10, 20 years and still be proud of.
Regarding the theme, I can go on for days about the story behind the album, but it’s mostly about sleeping haha. The strange innerdweller is the need of the heart that becomes the want of the mind.
I can’t make up my mind which one of the songs I like the most between “Devouring Vibe” and “Water”. So if you were to recommend one song from “The Strange Innerdweller” as a first listen, what would that be?
Fulmineos: Well that’s hard because all the songs are representative in an equal manner for us otherwise they wouldn’t be on the album…I would say that “Insects” was another song that was really well received by the audience.
Congratulations on your earlier release, “Pursuance”! In what ways has the band grown and developed in the past four years? Tell us more about this new stage of your career.
Jack: Thank you, I truly hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did recording it, especially Unburden Me. For me personally, I guess I just wanted to incorporate different elements and pursue (hint) new directions that have been somehow neglected on our first material. I love acoustic guitars, clean vocals and bass solos, so I just tried to push that into the band. Lucky for me, they went with it, and it turned out to be awesome.
You claim that your newest single is inspired by the works of an American journalist and a Spanish painter (Hunter S. Thompson and Francisco Goya). I find that quite an audacious combination given both of them come from different fields of art and have unique cultural entities. What elements from their works caught your attention? How are they reflected in “Do you want to see the splendor”?
Jack: I’ve always said to Fulmineos – we need to start introducing footnotes to the lyrics. I’ve always dreamt of having an album that has, in addition to playlists and thank-you notes and whatever everyone else includes, a small bibliography. As I probably mentioned before, there’s a lot of feedback going on between Fulmineos and me, especially with regards to the lyrics. I honestly can’t say any song is 100% just one of us, but “DYWTSTS” is definitely our most collaborative effort – maybe that’s why it seems an audacious combination – most of the times we find common ground, but we come from totally different places.
Fulmineos is a big fan of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, and that was the kind of feeling he wanted to give off with the song – mostly a drug-induced escape from an urban setting that asphyxiates you. He wrote most of the lyrics, but I wanted to give the song a little twist, and I love Goya’s work and have been lucky enough to see it here in Timisoara. One of my favourites is obviously “The sleep of reason” which ties in with my favourite lyrical theme (Dreamscapes), so I twisted it to my needs haha. Fulmineos is very outgoing; I’m very much a city person, so that’s what the song came to be about. The city that tries to drown you out but you are undeniably bound by it, in just a few words. The description of the video explains the concept a bit more at length.
Where do you find inspiration for the lyrics and the songwriting?
Jack: White Walls mostly. They have so many riffs I don’t think they actually notice when someone rips them off.
Fulmineos: There are many bands that I like, and maybe there are in the background when we write, but of course, I constantly try to compose something credible, and that stands out from the rest of the crowd. There is so much music nowadays and so accessible that you have to create something valuable and not be a copycat. Because people will prefer the original version in most cases and as a band, you will lose focus and be diluted in the obscurity.
The upcoming full-length album is set to be released at the beginning of next year. What can new and existing fans expect from it?
Jack: More prog. Fulmineos and I have been working our asses off trying to challenge each other with regards to song dynamics. And regarding our newest members, and my longtime friends – Marcel is the best bass player I’ve ever come across, he practically renders the solo guitar useless, so you’ll definitely hear that on the record. On drums, Sergiu knows most Opeth and Tool albums by heart, he has a degree from Berklee, so I think we’re safe (humblebrag).
Continue this possible scenario in a funny way: “One early July morning found me with the worst hangover of my life. I left my friends’ place with sunglasses on trying to avoid all suspicious and criticising looks headed my way. But just as I was doing my best to keep it cool, I lost my balance and almost fell over a homeless laid down on the pavement. Visibly irritated, the man looked at me and…”
Fulmineos: yelled with all his voice a sincere: “Fuck you, bastard…give me a buck, and I will forget this. Otherwise, you will be sorry!” (laughs)