Gothenburg space rockers Yuri Gagarin have unleashed their new studio album ‘The Outskirts of Reality‘ in January via Kommun 2 Records and Sound-Effect Records. About the new release, its concept, complexities and more, guitarist Christian Lindberg speaks for Prog Sphere.
Tell me about the ideas that inform The Outskirts of Reality.
We have gotten some great response for the album so far, but everybody seems to misinterpret the meaning of the title. It’s not about the outskirts of our known universe, but rather about the borderland between what’s real or not. Our music is supposed to be like a journey and instead of going into space it is supposed to go beyond the borders of reality. We avoided using titles for the songs that were about space (except QSO) since we wanted a different theme for this album than the previous ones.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and lessons learned during the creative process for The Outskirts of Reality?
The biggest challenge was to write new songs that sounded like “Yuri Gagarin”, but not too much like the older records. We didn’t want to make a third album that was too alike the first two ones. This one’s a little more experimental and less “rockish” than our previous albums, and especially At The Center Of All Infinity, which has a lot of shorter songs with more of the typical frequent changing from verse to chorus and so on.
To someone who hasn’t heard the album, what can he or she expect from TOOR?
Hopefully something that they haven’t heard before. Although it isn’t that different from our previous records, I still feel like we are pushing the envelope a little more on this one. Making it our heaviest and most psychedelic album to date.
Have you managed to make any new discoveries as the time passed during the creative process? Do you think that at some point of that process your writing approach changed drastically?
Well kind of. We came to the realization that we needed to do things a little different after we had written three of the five songs for the album. For example the song Oneironaut is the first song that we have written and recorded that isn’t based on a guitar riff and still includes all five of us on our respective instruments. We also decided to make the songs a little longer in general in order to make them a little “trippier” this time.
Tell me about the complexities of creating this album.
The most complex moment of the recording was when we recorded “Oneironaut.” It is a lot more improvised than the other songs and it required that both guitars, the bass and the drums were recorded at the same time. And since it is almost 14 minutes long it is very difficult to make it sound great from beginning to end without doing a couple of mistakes on the way, but luckily we all were in a strong musical form on the day we recorded it and we got it right in about 3-4 takes. Actually all of the songs were recorded live (except for Laboratory 1), but on the other songs it was much easier to make smaller “repairs” that needed to be done after the basics were recorded.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
Like I mentioned earlier most of our songs have been based on a guitar riff and then everything else have been mounted on top of that up until recently, but we will probably do things a little different from here on in order for our music to go in a slightly different direction. We will probably still do riff-based songs, but also more songs that are more open an improvised.
What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?
Quite a lot! Movies, art, reading, travelling and life experiences. Also living a life with many “highs and lows” will definitely spark your creativity.
What advice or philosophy might you impart to other musicians, be it in forms of creativity, technical stuff, the business side of it, or anything else?
Well I think that it is always best to let the puzzle pieces fall in their place on their own. If you decide too much in advance what your music is going to sound like, you might end up feeling like you have to squeeze it out of your butt, and then you usually just end up with something very strained and boring. Don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t worry too much about what people expect from you. Make the music on your own terms and no one else’s.