It’s hard to believe (for me, at least) that God Is An Astronaut is already into its second decade as a band. In fact, the Irish post-rockers just dropped their seventh full-length, Origins, earlier this month. The record marks a return to Rocket Girl, which also happened to license the first album I heard from these guys, 2005’s All Is Violent, All Is Bright. Pat O’Donnell (The Fountainhead) not only produced the band’s latest effort, but joined the newly-minted quintet on vocals, guitar and keyboards for the recording while co-writing many of its songs with GIAA guitarist/co-founder Torsten Kinsella. So O’Donnell was in prime position to fill us in on some tracks that he and his cohorts were listening to and inspired by during the recording of Origins. While we hope to see them back in the States soon, you can still feel free to listen along here.
Can’s “Future Days” (from 1973’s Future Days)
40 years old and still sounds so fresh! I’ve always loved Can for their innovative approach to making music. This track constantly twists and turns with its hypnotic rhythms, woven melodies and clever use of sounds. Truly a seminal work for its time, still relevant and still one of the tracks I always go back to.
Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” (from 2001’s Amnesiac)
I could have chosen any track off the Radiohead album In Rainbows but instead chose this track from the much maligned album Amnesiac. From the piano intro, the soundscapes become apparent and the mood moves along with such a cool groove. When we were recording “Reverse World”, I kept thinking about this track and how it evolved and resolved.
Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” (from 1975’s Physical Graffiti)
Yes, an obvious choice, but obvious for many good reasons. During the recording of Origins, we always talked about riffs and we also spoke about our fusion of styles. On the track “Calistoga”, you can hear Torsten’s rock background fused with my more atmospheric leanings. “Kashmir” has all of this and more. Also, really love the orchestration, it’s a monster of a track!
The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “If 6 Was 9” (from 1967’s Axis: Bold As Love)
When I was a kid I saw the film Easy Rider and always loved the scene with this track in it, so atmospheric. I’ve always loved music that has a cinematic quality to it and the guitar intro of this track really puts you into a space and then blossoms into full blown psychedelia.
Nine Inch Nails’ “Something I Can Never Have” (from 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine)
This one’s for Torsten! He’s always been influenced by Trent Reznor’s work, especially his unsettling sounds and use of dynamics. NIN takes you on a real roller coaster ride. On Origins we sometimes felt like we were sculpting sound rather than just playing guitars and keyboards.
Tinariwen’s “Tenhert” (from 2009’s Imidiwan: Companions)
A beguiling and intriguing track with a haunting quality. I’m fascinated by their mix of North African rhythm, traditional vocals and blues guitar. It flows and develops in a way that makes it impossible to stay still. If your body doesn’t sway to this mesmeric fusion of styles, then you have no soul!
*Photo by Derval Freeman
**Order a copy of Origins here.
***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.
Past entries include:
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)