A journey into cosmic rock music with Bogdan Cretu
Noua ani lumina (Nine light years) is a new music project coming from Iasi (Romania). They have released their first self titled album this year in March. Impressed by the atmosphere and by their carefully crafted lyrics we invited Bogdan Cretu, guitarist and lead vocal of the band, for a conversation that follows the band's musical journey. Sound wise, I believe the best way to describe Noua ani lumina's sound is by saying it is a space rock journey. Imagine yourself being in a space shuttle and travelling through the vast infinity of the cosmic space. Put your headphones on and push play on the Noua ani lumina's album.
You have a very interesting photo project, called The Outsider, can you please introduce it to the audience?
The Outsider is a different path in my journey and it has two parts, a musical one and a visual one, the musical part is a collage of musical sketches that will never reach inside the band, leaving them in their raw stages as compositions. I go and mix them in my home studio and post them on YouTube, on my personal channel, hoping to inspire someone. On the visual part, photography was something I always wanted to do, but couldn’t find the resources to do it. It didn’t feel like it was the right time to approach it, but once I did, that was it. I could say that it is a different side of me. I don’t intend to make it big, I just experiment and post a few shots on social media, who knows, maybe I’ll publish a collection of these photos one day, maybe.
The other part of your journey is strongly connected with the band Noua ani lumina, a project, as your bio describes it, exploring the sci-fi, romance and drama. Three directions, three members. How does it work this trio?
It works really well in my case, my guitar sounds are a bit over the top, I don’t think there’s any room left in the mix for something else than bass and drums. I only played in one other project before and things where a bit simpler, we were two guitarists, the genre was more on the alternative side of things, so I could say we approached things differently, but the style I’m doing now it’s the style i feel comfortable with. My experiences with making music is all about the journey.
The city of Iasi is starting to produce more and more music, with band and artists exploring different types of music. What are your goals and expectations regarding your musical journey? Besides the galaxy domination that is?
Good one : ), I think Iasi has produced some fine bands, it’s a special place for music in my opinion and I think it still has some aces up it's sleeve. As far as my goals go, I don’t have a plan, I never did, it was all about the journey and the mystery from the start. This should always be about the music, because I could say I would like to bring more of my journey in front of the people when I am performing on stage or record inside the studio.
Space has been the final frontier inspiration for rock bands since the fifties. From the sixties when Pink Floyd and Hawkwind have started, it has been a long way to the bands of today like Rosetta, or even the pop mainstream conspiracy theorists Muse. What are your inspirations inside this genre?
It’s hard to talk about my inspirations. I can say I’m not the avid listener of other rock bands from this genre or something adjacent, but i do like electronic music a lot, not so much the rhythmic part, but the weird sounds. I find myself searching for strange electronic mixes of music online quite often. I can’t specifically name artists or musical projects that inspire me firsthand, but what I can tell is I like big sounds that move people in a certain way. You can say I’m into that!
Listening to your album I really appreciated the sounds you are creating with your guitar. Could you describe you technical rig for us? What do you use and why have you picked them?
Since the moment I picked up the electric guitar I felt like i needed more effects, so naturally I searched and found ways to augment it, and less-is-more is definitely not my philosophy. I pushed the limits of the traditional electric guitar as an instrument and I do own one intricate rig. I have a lot of Strymon delay and reverb pedals, I consider them the best and two guitars that I modified myself. They’re far off from being traditional guitars because I like to invest in new innovative gear. I do own a guitar synth, it’s a bit old, but it does the job for now. I intend to invest in a newer and more up to date models in the nearby future.
Talking about sound and how they are crafted and then reproduced on the recordings, there is one name that comes across many of the interviews we had lately. It is Marius Costache and his 148 studio. How was your cooperation with him? Planning to work again together?
Marius is a special dude, he understood from the start what we wanted, he is very professional and attentive and he has a special way of making everyone in the studio feeling otherwise than pressured. It took only 3 days for us to record our debut album in his studio. He’s a machine, I guess that says it all. We would definitely work with him again in the future.
What do you think of the music industry? Do you guys approach things and aim for total freedom? Independent self-management?
The music industry...yeah, we don’t really care about that, we just want to play our stuff, go on our moods, not on what’s the trend of the moment, we self-manage ourselves for now, try not to corrupt the process of creation, and if we’re lucky, at the end of the day we get the chance to perform for people and that’s what matters the most.
Are you or have you worked with a Booking Agency? Do you think a band knows best when to perform or the many the better?
We never worked with a booking agency so far. On the subject of ‘a band knows best’, I don’t know what to say, we self-manage ourselves as we’re just starting out. But we’re not excluding collaborating with a booking agency or an agent/manager in the future. As for ‘the many the better’ goes, exposure is important but it depends...
How do you feel about Black Rhino Music community you are now part of with your live show coming up?
Well, we’re glad that there are still people helping the underground bands and newcomers, we’ll be watching you with interest and we think this is a great initiative. \m/
You may be interested
Social Sundays 012: Serious DubBlack Rhino Music - Jan 16, 2019
We started 2019 in full force with a heavy selection of dub music from our friends at Serious Dub. Born in 2011 as a group of dub/reggae promoters, Serious Dub co-organised Subsonic Festival 2012, the largest bass music and sound system festival in Romania. From the commitment and passion for dub music and it’s vast and complex universe, Serious Dub productions have emerged.
A mix of reggae and punk with Hornsman CoyoteAndrei Bucureci - Dec 05, 2018
The militant lyrics and the attitude towards the Big Brother oppression have formed a strong connection between punk and reggae. From the UK punk attitude of rejecting the establishment, to the squats of Berlin and the rasta hooligans in the Netherlands, the punk and reggae have formed an alliance in fighting the extreme right groups and promoting the...
A conversation about dub music with Nils Petter MolvaerAndrei Bucureci - Nov 22, 2018
I had the pleasure to meet and talk with the Norwegian trumpet player Nils Petter Molvaer at the 22nd edition of Garana Jazz Festival, where he performed alongside the reggae legends Sly & Robbie, and his Scandinavian collaborators Eivind Aarset & Vladislav Delay.