First covered in a short featured in July, Swiss emo/indie band COLD READING have recently released their new EP ‘Sojourner’, and we’re finally ready to give you some proper insights. The Lucerne based quintet bring your favourite emo-tinged indie rock / alt rock influences of the 00’s and skillfully introduced it to the current, ever-demanding landscape. We sat down with them to learn more about their work, and get some travel tips to their beautiful geographical surroundings. Scroll down to see the full interview!
The quartet presents a shape-shifting sound through their dynamic arrangements as delicate vocals intertwine with powerful guitars and driving drums. Taking influences from bands such as Brand New, Thrice and From Indian Lakes, ‘Books & Comfort’ is an offering of the vehement kind; showcasing a band with a passion for profound lyrics and an earnest yet unpredictable blend of timbres.
In late 2015 COLD READING released their debut album “Fractures & Fragments” via Flix Records (MxPx, Heartsounds, Bangers etc.). Over the past couple of years the band toured all over Europe and the UK supporting bands like Such Gold, Little You Little Me, The Deadnotes and opening for the likes of Four Year Strong, The Hotelier, The Flatliners and The Get Up Kids. The band’s new EP Sojourner’ is out now via KROD Records.
The following interview was conducted in August 2017.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for joining us here on IDIOTEQ. How are you? How’s everything going? How’s Switzerland doing this fine Summer?
Marc: Hey, thanks for having us, we’re doing fine. The summer here is actually quite good this year. We’ve all been on holidays in Italy or Greece as well, so we got plenty of sun. Now we’re back to preparing everything for our release and we’re playing some shows again, which feels great!
Since we’re in the middle of Summer and we love to tackle various travel-related issues, I’d love to start off with an overview of your area and a recommendation of some cool destinations and spots in your area. Tell us about Lucerne, its surroundings and some cool places to visit in your amazing picturesque Swiss country.
Mike: It’s hard to deny that our region is indeed quite beautiful with the lake and the closeness of the mountains. It is also very touristy, and while Mount Pilatus and Rigi are certainly worth checking out if you haven’t, it’s more rewarding the go off the beaten path. There’s lots of beautiful places around the lake, so it’s best to just hop on your bike or whatever and enjoy the drive until you get to a nice place to rest.
Arthur: What Mike said. But still, if you’re in Lucerne for the first time, I’d say it’s still worthwhile to check out the more mainstream attractions and take a boat trip on the lake or something.
Marc: I moved to Lucerne two years ago and haven’t been on Pilatus or Rigi, shame on me. In summer, I just like hanging out at the lake and generally there’s lots of bars with good local or international bands playing here quite often.
I recently came across the breathtaking ‘Europabruecke’ suspension bridge that was inaugurated on July 29. Have you been there?
Marc: None of us have been there. The bridge itself would be amazing to check out, but you probably have to walk far too long to get there. I think Mike will be the first of us to check it out, he’s the most excitable about outdoor activities haha.
Mike: We could rent a cabin in that region to write new music and then check out the bridge together
Marc: That sounds like a plan.
Ok, so let’s talk about COLD READING. You have been a band for a couple of years now. To get into your story a bit, how long have you been active as musicians and how did COLD READING first get started?
Chris: Mike and me have been in bands for ages now. Before Cold Reading was formed, I was playing in FACE THE FRONT, while Mike had a band called A RIVER CROSSING. Arthur always came out to FACE THE FRONT shows and eventually joined it when our original drummer left. One day we met Marc at a FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND show and when FACE THE FRONT disbanded, we started jamming together. As we were writing songs for what would become COLD READING, we already imagined what they would sound like if Mike provided vocals. Soon he joined us and the band was formed properly. That was in early 2014.
What took you so long to reveal first new music from ‘Sojourner’? How was the creative process?
Marc: We have always taken our time when writing music. We always struggle to write new songs when we have other things on the plate, like booking a tour, rehearsing for shows and whatnot. We need to be in a comfortable headspace when writing songs, it seems. At the same time, we didn’t want to wait three years to release new music, so we decided to do an EP. However, that didn’t really shorten the whole process – we were done with pre-production on the ‘Sojourner’ EP in summer last year. We really hoped to release it on a label we love, so that process of course again caused delays. We just have our own pace, I guess, and new music is ready when it’s ready.
The first single “Books & Comfort” sounds like a one hell of an anthemic hit song. How do you compose a track like that? Also, considering the new record as a whole, what was your working methodology?
Arthur: We’re not that good at writing songs with specific goals in mind. We’d always start off saying “that riff is gonna sound huge, it would be great to write a real heavy song”, and in the end we write a ballad, or the other way around. Same with Books and Comfort, it wasn’t necessarily “anthemic” or anything from the start. There was always the possibility for it to go anywhere. That is kind of our working methodology for all songs. Usually Chris brings some guitar parts and we just mess with the tempo, volume, arrangement and everything and throw it around until we think it fits.
What helped to influence your arrangements and aesthetics this time?
Marc: Mainly the experience from our debut album. We really wanted to work on the songs for as long as they demanded. Some things on the debut were rushed, and we didn’t want that again. We also decided to choose another recording studio, not because we didn’t like the previous, but just to experiment, to try to push ourselves just a bit further. This includes trying different sounds like synths and drum pads.
How did you team up with KROD Records?
Arthur: Our dear friends in THE DEADNOTES released their debut album via KROD Records, and as we only heard good things from them we hit them up. We know ours isn’t the most profitable sound, neither is the format of an EP the most lucrative, so we were just hoping to find someone who is in it because he/she is passionate about our songs. Noone is in it for the money, that would have to be the worst idea ever. Luckily, Jordan from KROD was interested in working with us, and we’re very happy with the whole process so far. He is such a hard-working, enthusiastic and honest dude and we’re just glad to be doing this the way we’re doing it.
Alright, so what’s up next for you guys? Have you already secured some live shows for the coming months?
Marc: Yes, we are playing some shows in Switzerland, including a proper release show on September 22nd in our hometown. We’re also touring Germany in October, really excited about that, we always feel so welcome there and cannot wait to be back. We’re also planning some things for next year, another UK run would be great!
Cool, thanks so much for your time. Good luck with the new record and take care. The last words are yours!
Marc: Well thank you, it was our pleasure! And thanks to everyone for listening.