“Moksha” is the brilliant new album from My Sleeping Karma, an instrumental quartet from Germany who blend prog, stoner and psychedelic elements into their music to create a truly mind blowing audio landscape which just keeps on giving. After suitably having my mind blown by this album, I managed to pick up the pieces of it which had been scattered and somehow come up with a few things to ask them about the album, the band itself, future plans and music itself. Take a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes in the path to Enlightenment.
AN: As always, it’s time to start off with talk about the current release. Congratulations on the album (Moksha), it really blew me away and has now made me curious to hear some of your older material. Did putting this album together cause any problems at all or was it straight forward in terms of how the songs were created and then how they fell into place?
Matte: Hello Fraggle. First of all, thanks for the chance of doing this interview. Putting the album together didn´t cause any real problems. It just took us a bit of more time than expected, for different reasons. We played many shows in the last 2 years and all band members are quite busy in private lives as well. It´s not always easy to combine family, jobs and a band. We started writing new songs already in 2013 but back then, we felt a lack of creativity and took a pause. We need the right “spirit and feeling” to create our new songs and we had both again in the fall/winter last year.
AN: I noticed a very Middle-East and Eastern vibe on the album with some of the riffs and arrangements. Is this a common theme of your music on the whole or was it more isolated to just this album?
Matte: Our music surely has an “eastern-vibe” but already since the very first album we have that own “My Sleeping Karma” Sound.
AN: What makes “Moksha” stand out compared to your other releases?
Matte: The main point might be that we changed the way of our songwriting. For example the title track “Moksha” is written and arranged over a piano lick and got in addition some cello parts. We also have some small brass parts and we included other musicians to arrange the interludes for us. We wanted to be more open minded and also avoid repeating ourselves.
AN: Having read that you were initially another band before your vocalist left and you decided to continue on as an instrumental act, I have to ask, would you ever consider having a vocalist again or does the music do all the ‘singing’ you would need?
Matte: Well, the story is not really 100 % correct. Our guitar player Seppi and myself had started My Sleeping Karma already when the other band (where Steffen our drummer and myself were playing in) parted from the singer. Seppi and me continued our project and asked Steffen to join us on drums. We were also thinking of adding some sounds to our music and so Norman, a friend of Seppi joined the band, playing keyboards. That´s just the exact story of our beginning J
To answer the question: Our music is free, open minded. It is a soundtrack for the individual. We like to be instrumental as we don´t want to give our songs a certain direction, which they automatically would get, by adding vocals. On the “Satya” album is already a song with female vocals. For now I would not say that we will ever have some vocals again but honestly, we are not missing them…
AN: Let’s talk influences. On the album I heard a lot of riffs and progressions which sounded a lot like Tool and Kyuss. Are these two of your big influences? Who or what else would you say has influenced your sound?
Matte: Well, we all grew up with Kyuss and Tool. “Blues for the Red Sun” or “Aenima” are milestones in their genres. 35007 from The Netherlands created some great music as well, which was surely an inspiration for our musical direction. Nevertheless we always wanted to create our own special “My Sleeping Karma” Sound and didn´t focus too much on other bands.
AN: Personally, “Moksha” is my favourite track off the album. In my review I made the bold statement that it is the most perfect instrumental track you will hear in 2015, everything about it just flows perfectly and fits nicely into place. What about you? What was your favourite track on the album and why?
Matte: We all like Moksha very much as well. It´s the longest track of the album and it became the title track. Like mentioned earlier it is also the song which was written over the piano lick your hear right in the beginning. There are a lot of small details to be discovered by listening to the song more often.
AN: Have there been any releases this year which have caught your attention? How about upcoming ones?
Matte: Honestly, we were so busy with recording, mixing and releasing the album, creating music videos, rehearsing, booking shows that I would need to update myself on latest releases or upcoming ones. Sorry – no idea.
AN: Having recently played Desertfest, are there any plans for further festivals this year or tours?
Matte: We are booked for some nice summer festivals all over Europe. That involves Metal Festivals, Hippie Meetings and Genre-Festivals, which is quite a nice mix J
We are planning a European tour in fall.
AN: Who would you most like to tour with/share the stage with?
Matte: We are just thankful for every concert we can play, with known or unknown band, it doesn´t really matter. But I still want to mention that the chance we got in late 2012 to tour with Monster Magnet all over Europe was already “a dream come true for us”. We will always be thankful to Dave Wyndorf who made this possible.
AN: I know this may be jumping the gun, but any plans or ideas drawn up for the next release? left over material or riff ideas which might make more sense in a fresh light and things like that… Or are you just going to take a break and recharge the musical batteries for a while before picking it back up again?
Matte: Regarding new material:
In the 10 years My Sleeping Karma we learned for ourselves that pauses are as important as rehearsals. We all have very different private lives, jobs and residences. Sometimes we don´t see each other for weeks. After a while, that strong feeling is coming up, that something is missing. Then it´s time to meet again and when the energy feels right, we are getting creative. That can be in 6 months or in 3 years J – we don´t know this by now.
We are now looking forward to play the live shows in 2015 and to promote our new album and we want to thank everybody for supporting us in the last 10 years.
Keep your good Karma.