This is the news...
The summer solace has set in this, the foul year of our lord two thousand und funfzehn. The Comfort of Loss & Dust has settled into the cracks of your heart and crows feet. Augustine rises and we will hibernate until the fall. Dopamine will revive us you will feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Until the darkness finds us. Cold in Berlin
Cold in Berlin announce their new album The Comfort of Loss and Dust will be released on 4th May by Candlelight Records. 10 tracks of unprecedented scope and power, recorded at Gun Factory Studios, London and Mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Sunn O))) and Electric Wizard).
A black mass of punk rock doom-gaze awaits the listener, fired by the Gothic imaginings of vocalist/lyricist Maya. With its dark soundscapes spun in haunting imagery and a feeling of the uncanny, The Comfort of Loss and Dust plays like the aural accompaniment to a Hermann Hesse nightmare. The down-tuned guitars and powerful drums create a tide of sound; carrying Maya's vocals as she twists and writhes through the murky waters of love, loss and bone-shaking lust.
“The album travels. We draw from diverse, supernatural landscapes." says Maya. "From the Yorkshire Moors to the barren beauty of Iceland, from India to the Catacombs beneath Paris. All share a similar mystery - and for me, are tied up with some form of loss. I think the listener will travel with us.”
The record’s centrepiece is the seven-minute Mysterious Spells - a post-mortem of youthful abandonment and a terrifying journey into today's exotic hell. Electricity crackles, Tibetan singing bowls ring and prayers are offered as the band completes its metamorphosis into a new kind of audible beast, Cold in Berlin at their darkest, heaviest and shin-shattering best.
“With this album, definition is difficult but pain resonates throughout; the powerful sound of survival,” says Maya.
Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album Give Me Walls (2010, Cargo) and the 2012 follow up And Yet, this release will be the bands’ second on pioneering independent label Candlelight Records.
Since forming in 2010, London-based Cold in Berlin has played throughout Europe alongside some of the most revered alternative acts, graced major festival stages and won praise from influential publications including Q, Mojo, Metal Hammer, Rock Sound and Clash. Last year saw Cold in Berlin cement their position in the UK’s underground scene with a lauded appearance at Whitby Goth Weekend and a presence in the Terror and Wonder exhibition at the British Library.
This summer I experienced my first Twitter Storm (in a teacup). We read a bloggers live review that was not only lazy but derivative. In response we posted a piece about the nature and quality of online music journalism. The results were staggering.
"A few days ago, I wrote a post on the Cold in Berlin Facebook page. That post went on to receive hundreds of interactions and while it is the most ‘liked’ thing we have ever posted, it also caused a good amount of outrage among those that disagreed with the sentiments I expressed. At this moment, people somewhere on the internet are still discussing how best to murder me (probably).
Many saw it as an angry off-the-cuff rant; an ill-considered attack on internet music writers. It wasn’t.
Yes, my jibes and comments were exaggerated for effect, but the truth is that I dearly love journalism. I have given most of my adult years to it and I really want the kind of brilliant writing I was able to read when I was learning the trade to continue in the future.
The internet has made it possible for anyone to publish their work online. Some bloggers write brilliantly. Most can barely string a sentence together. Often, their views are ill-informed and demonstrate none of the basic standards that the print world developed.
The amount of noise on the internet means that the cream is failing to rise to the top. Great writers are not being read, and many aren’t able to sustain careers in writing at all. I have seen some of the best minds of my generation become marketing assistants, to borrow from Ginsberg.
I think the sea of bad music writing benefits no-one. The reader fails to get a true picture of the band or event. The band fails to get a fair trial. The journalism industry fails to make enough money to pay people or sustain important publications.
Bloggers will say they do it not for the money, but for the love.
I believe them when they say that. But the long-term affect is that they are putting professional writing out of business - and replacing it with an inferior offering.
Bloggers will say that they can only learn by doing it for free for years first.
This is one way to learn. But it would not help the world of surgeons if they gave everyone keen to be a surgeon the knife and sent them into the operating theatre. The skills should be acquired first.
Many who read the original post felt that using the prism of my own band was an ungrateful and insensitive move. The truth is, it is the only prism I have to look through.
I see many very well written pieces about our band, some of those people like us, some of those very firmly don’t. I also see constantly poor work that has no value to anyone - a mere vanity project for the writer.
I expect it is the same for every band.
I feel that if you are going to become a critic of someone’s art, whatever it be, you should take it seriously. The creator has probably spent countless hours working on it, and if you are going to give your view out on a platform, you should make very sure you know what you are talking about.
Maybe we are biting the hand that feeds us, but I prefer to think of it as a gentle nibble. More than anything, I am proud to be in a band that has something to say - it seems rare these days.
I am also thrilled to have friends, fans and followers that have their own view on this. It is great to be thinking while so many are lost on Buzzfeed.
No doubt the conversation will continue. Who knows, perhaps in the world of the internet, where everyone is a critic, there is no need for music critics at all.
But for now, we must get back to doing what we have done for years and years and years. We are finishing our third album and it sounds wonderful. Fans of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure are going to love it.
A few minor points to clear up:
- Yes our bio had some weird quotes in about The Cure. Maybe that’s why journalists weren’t able to use their own minds and come up with a more useful description of our music.
- Yes we had to delete some comments on the post. Sorry about that - moderation isn’t an easy thing to get right. As a general rule I tried to remove only offensive stuff and comments I felt were only designed to attack us. Sorry if your view wasn’t heard because of this.
- Yes, we probably did deserve all the lazy comparisons.
- No, we aren’t ungrateful to all those who have written about us in the past. Thank you for doing that. If you don't write about us again, it doesn't change that you got us here and despite appearances, we haven't forgotten that.
- No, it wasn’t a PR stunt."
Then the singer waded in
"What I love most about the internet is it seems that anyone can just share their opinion on anything. For example I could go and see a band and then blog about it. The band should then never ever ever ever have any opinion at all about this except unending gratitude towards the bloggers for deigning to write about them, no matter how poorly written or incorrect it is.
If people want to know our influences, they could ask I suppose? Or I could just post a list of books and poems?"
As usual she summed up the situation perfectly. Are bands allowed to criticise the critics? Once a piece of music is released, is that the end of involvement by the artists who created it? We like to think not. We fall out and back in love again with our songs for example, and reserve the right to contradict ourselves, attempt to move away from those we had previously aligned ourselves with and proceed in a discursive manner.
My favourite journalist/filmmaker Adam Curtis recently wrote about the stagnation in culture and politics due to the rise of "digital trackers" in the US. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/NO-FUTURE
'Their aim is to discover patterns, coincidences and correlations, and from that find ways of stopping change. Keeping things the same.
We can't properly see what is happening because these systems are operating in very different areas - from consumerism, to the management of your own body, to predicting future crimes, and even trying to stabilise the global financial system - as well as in politics.
But taken together the cumulative effect is that of a giant refrigerator that freezes us, and those who govern us, into a state of immobility, perpetually repeating the past and terrified of change and the future.'
We have just recorded our 2nd album (working title And Yet).
So, it took us an awfully long time to get to Super Normal Festival despite being told it would take only 2 hours, 3 at max. Quite simply we got lost. We were lost for hours basically and the outward journey, which for me started at 1.30, finished at 7.30 as we arrived at the small and rather cute festival site.
I like Super Normal. It was tiny, as far as festival sites go, but that works for me. The masses that descend on festival sites seem rather like commuters to me and sometimes I feel uncomfortable. Because of so mnay reasons however, I only saw ManFlu play before us and then we dived back into the car. I would have stayed and seen more, I really like watching ManFlu ive and thoroughly enjoyed their new songs.
I have been trying to sum up the feelings of the journey for my notebooks and failed. It wasn't that we were beaten, just more like down hearted. I have spent hours in the car with these men- and they are fun and we often make wrong turns and have to get back on track. Perhaps that is it though? We were not on any track at all- certainly not towards our desired destination. Lots of work goes into sourcing a destination, booking emails go back and forth, phone calls need to be made, money discussed, journeys planned, cars borrowed, money spent and time taken so it seems like it is important to finally get there and play. It seemed like it was important. But then, as scratching notes into my diary I realised I had lost something, when I was sat in that car, behind a massive traffic jam, going in the wrong direction and it wasn't until this morning that it camey back to me as I was reading Hastings, and there it was for me to reconnect with:
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead climb more moutains, eat more ice cream, go bare foot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
This is where I begin again...and yet.
In the midst of the all the violence and noise,
in the wake of burning streets and broken glass...
in the end, although I wish it was not true; my heart is not enough.
Ever been censored by a worldwide institution before?
No? Neither had we until we drove 7 hours to play a gig at Liverpool's Sound City festival at Liverpool's Catholic cathedral, only to be excommunicated by God's Scouse rottweiler.
The Dean of the cathedral had agreed to host an evening of live music for a large fee, the stage being curated by Clash magazine.
At the last minute the Dean and his staff decided they better check out exactly what they were letting lose in their walls. Turns out they didn't like the look or sound of Cold in Berlin.
It started with our album opener God I Love You. One of Maya's straighter set of lyrics, about levels of destruction present in relationships, was some how misconstrued as an anthem about fucking god!
The festival venue managers had the uneasy task of telling us 30 minutes before our stage that if we played "that song", swore excessively or mentioned the word "god" in the cathedral then not only would our set be cut but all music due to take place in the cathedral for the rest of the festival would be cut also. A threat we knew they wouldn't fulfil but still quite a burden to bare after hours on the road and minutes before a gig.
We were told that the Dean's staff would be present to make sure we behaved. We decided to be the bigger man (than God) and not jeopardise anyone else's gigs and alter our set. A minute before set time our manager spotted that the Dean was present.
We still swore less than usual and played an altered Oh I Love You, only to have our set cut short for what turned out to be time constraints. The Young Knives it seems need 40 minutes to warm up for their luke warm performances of their estate agent bland indie suit rock.
We did a post gig interview about the debacle, the journalist found the next day church staff denying that any censorship took place. We have the emails proving it!!!
So the Dean took his money, censored free expression and then denied it ever took place. Cunt!
How has the Lord smited thee? Watch the gigs intro here
We unleash our debut album this month.
Give Me Walls will be released across the UK via Cargo distribution and will also be available on all major download sites from 29/11/10
Our launch party is at the Old Blue Last on the 26th with Neurotic Mass Movement and Wild Palms (d.j set)
Give Me Walls to lean against
To build up and break down
Give Me Walls to annihilate
To scrawl upon
Some useless message to the dawn
A monument to remain much louder on the horizon
Than we could ever be
We are back on the London live scene as a band of 4 lead instruments.
This what they used to say about us...
''A mighty explosion of noise, something fast and powerful and vibrantly alive. Within the assault, a strong female voice fiercely declaiming. A whirling, howling maelstrom of non-stop action.
This was my first exposure to Cold in Berlin (formerly known as Death Cigarettes) and it was love at first sight. I’ve seen literally hundreds of acts – big things, next big things and things that shouldn’t have ever been. Then this band struck me like a bolt of lightning and blew everything else away.
Some bands play. Some bands perform. Apart from and above them all is Cold in Berlin, who break the third wall between band and audience, who literally and viscerally engage with a crowd, playing with them as a kitten toys with a mouse before sinking its teeth in for the kill. You want to stand about, nursing your pint, texting a friend? Not while this lot are on, matey.
Typically beginning a show within the crowd itself, the dainty demi-dervish that is singer Maya belies her innocent looks with powerfully compelling vocals and a literally in-your-face attitude that fascinates and terrifies in equal measure. Whether on stage or off, Maya is She Who Cannot Be Contained, a feminine fury who commands all before her. There is no hiding place.
And no respite elsewhere. Even if Maya is lost in the crowd, the rest of the band often only barely constrain themselves to remain on stage, attacking their instruments as though their lives depended on thrashing them to pieces. It isn’t a random racket; it is a structured, apocalyptic demolition as precise as that which ensures that a detonated chimney stack collapses straight down rather than through the roof of the school next door.
They’ve got tunes too. You’re tapping your foot as you’re running for cover. The guitars churn and buzz, drums pound. It’s not a song likely to be covered on X Factor anytime soon. More’s the pity.
If this seems over the top, then it reflects the power and presence of the band. Are Cold in Berlin the best band around? Hell, right now, they are the ONLY band around.'' WILDMAN
Against all odd we have just finished recording our debut album Give Me Walls.
We spent 9 days in Pete Baker's studio in Bushey during which time we grew beards, topped up our studio tans, painted skulls at an art cafe owned by a certain PiL bassist and smoked and drank to excess.
We hear we have managed to transpose every moment of truth, pain, joy, love, hate, madness, despair, fun and punk rock energy from our years together onto the medium of binary computer language.
Soon you will hear for yourself when we turn all that into a cd and mp3s.
A massive thank you to Adam, Pete, Jon and Milts, without whom we would have nothing.
When you are young you do all kinds of things
You run through shopping centers
Dance in the aisles of supermarkets
You swim naked in lakes
Climb hills carrying boxes of wine
Scale castle walls on New Year's Eve
Stand barefoot on a beach at 4am dreaming of love
You make phone calls like they are the most important
words you will ever waste on another
And then suddenly you are not like that anymore
You don't even know when you changed
or if you have finished changing
you don't stop doing those things
but something feels different
maybe things feel more important
perhaps something devastating has happened
but it doesn't make any difference
it is too late anyway
but this isn't about aging
it's about knowing changing is underway
Death Cigarettes have done all kinds of things
and now things feel a little different
something has changed
things are more important
we are devastated
we are clawing
we are screaming on rooftops
questioning the stars
we are Cold in Berlin