1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
A very successful year lies behind us. Currently there are some shows scheduled for spring this year, and for the summer we have a break to finish the upcoming record. I am also preparing a lot of handcrafted items and also organizing a small event (SAMHAIN CELEBRATION) at the end of autumn…so I am busy as usual.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material?
The upcoming full-length "SECRET AMBROSIAN FIRE" is a true Mosaic; there are just two real “black metal” tracks on it, the other ones are based on ritual percussion, post-punkish and neo-folkish influences – so I think it is consistent further development of the known style.
Lyrical it deals with regional tales around the “Hoerselberg” Mountain, a place where you hear the tortured souls deep down in the burning purgatory, the devil walks the earth and mother Hulda leads the wild hunt during the twelve nights. Next to this plant mysticism plays an important role on it, as well as the tria principia.
3. Your lyrics cover a lot of mysticism, occult and heathen topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the esoteric arts?
Mhhh not sure if “esoteric” is the right word for Mosaic. First of all, I think my music is a very narrating one – I tell stories, and the music is written very close to the atmosphere I want to evoke with my lyrics. It is right that we deal a lot with mysticism, occult and heathen topics – but more in a really personal view of mine. The lyrics of Mosaic are my studies of ancient mythology, alchemy, regional tales and history – abstract, metaphoric and bound together to create something personal, unique and new… like old poets did it in the past. I am highly inspired by the german lyrics of the 18th and 19th century - like the austrian poet Georg Trakl, who creates a surreal melancholy with a bittersweet morbidity - and next to him I love the blooming lyric of Joseph Eichendorff - which stands in total contrast to Trakl. His lyrics are more positive but also feature a lot of melancholy and romanticism.
Mosaic is also highly referred to nature mysticism. I play a lot with the aesthetics of bones, plants and archaic customs and rites over the year. Mosaic is bound to the seasons; those are the main influences of the lyrics and music. They affect everyday life even if you do not recognize it and that is where Mosaic starts. I want to mediate a spree of nostalgic reminiscences and eerie feelings. That is what I want to create with Mosaic.
4. I know that the band name came from a 'Wovenhand' album, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
The album of Wovenhand gave me the impulse to use this name. I love the atmosphere of this album; it is overall purely dark – but totally dedicated and reverent to God – that contrast is total fascinating. Back in time, I had a lot of ideas, concepts, and projects. But the day I founded Mosaic everything was melted together because I did not want to start over and over at point zero again – and so all ideas and concepts were bundled as MOSAIC. That name is just perfect, I do not have any musical boundaries with this name, and every creative matter can be a part of it – and that is why I love this name and why Mosaic sounds like it sounds.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Our stage performance is truly powerful and impulsive. I love to have real stage scenery like plants, candles, side and backdrops, incense and skulls. Often I pick up some plants around the venue and drape them around some microphone stands – to create my own world on stage. Then when we play - my bandmates are static to my left and my right, I am the dancer in between, the pulsating heart of MOSAIC.
All shows of MMXVI were really special for us. The first one was near a ruin somewhere in the woods on a mountain. That was very DIY, but the atmosphere was just splendid. Afterward, we played the Funkenflug – Summer Solstice Celebration – which was an event which is just unbeatable – that is pure dedicated nature mysticism – somewhere in the Alps.
At Party San Open Air we played on the tent stage, and a very short set, but the responses afterward was just incredible.
In autumn we played Phantoms of Pilsen, which was a quite successful too, I really enjoyed the audience there.
After this, we held our first organized event called Samhain Celebration, here in central Germany, in our hometown Gotha. This was pure magick too – a night to remember – and I am really looking forward to the second edition this year!
6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, we are planning a 10 date European tour with our mates GRIFT in early October. We hope to announce the dates soon and visit a lot of places. I am still thinking about a more minimal line-up for a kind of more ritualistic shows, based on loops, ambient, neofolk – really personal and so on – I hope that I will find some time to prepare such kinds of shows too.
7.Your 2014 ep recently got re-issue this time as a full-length, can you tell us a little bit more about the extended the recording into a full length?
This decision was made because the first pressing is nearly sold out. Because we play more shows now, the decision was made to keep the Mosaic releases available, and the idea was born to re-release it as an A5 Book because I like the format a lot.
This gave me the possibility to include a lot more artwork, translations, and an in-depth interview. I love how this turned out in the end. It is a jewel in my eyes – also because of the 32 minutes of additional material on it. The chapters represent three totally different sides of winter; the first one is the beautiful side – the second one is the harsh side and the third one is the mystic side of winter. But these aspects are not bound to one of the single chapters – you will see that every aspect is present in all chapters – they are omnipresent within each other – you will find it out when you have soaked up the record.
8. On the new album you also had a few guests, can you tell us who they are and their contributions to the recording?
Yes, I finally wanted to create some songs that are real mosaics, based on many different musicians, so we have a lot of nationalities on it. From Sweden to Austria and the US as well as some German guys and ladies have contributed a lot to the new chapter on the re-issue.
On the closing track “Silver Nights” I had a lot of guests with me. Due to the song is a very long one (22.24 min) and tells a story of mother Hulda, a secret stranger, the wild hunt, old man winter and at lastly, his daughter the snowflake - it was more or less necessary. In the beginning, the snowflake is chanting; those vocals were performed by Maya - a young lady, with a warm but also fragile voice – perfect for this scenery.
Overall the song is telling about the rise of the wild hunt, and at the end, the wild hunt finally storms in. For this I needed a lot of screams, howls, laughs and shrieks which were performed by E.H. of Wolfhetan, Erik of Grift, Barth of Our Survival Depends on Us and Leshiyas of Vivus Humare. It was truly necessary to reach the intended atmosphere I wanted to create on that track and for me personally, it turned out how I wanted it.
Another depth was created by Scorpios Androctonus (Acherontas, Crimson Moon, Ex-Melechesh, Ex-Zemial aso) (is also part of the band name? Not sure what this is) who performed bass guitar on two of the tracks. He is a true master of various instruments; I really look forward to working with him again on the upcoming MOSAIC full-length.
Also next to these gentlemen I had the neoclassic duo Nachtreich on the track “Vom ersten Schnee” doing some string performances at the end of the song.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
It is difficult to say what “Black Metal” fans think about Mosaic. Mosaic is not a typical Black Metal sounding band. I refer to it as “Black Metal” yes, but I guess, the listeners has to be a bit open-minded when they are listening to my music. But I can tell you that our fans give us so much great and personal feedback, and that is something that I really enjoy. It is like a boost to go ahead and craft more music, more unique artworks, and handcrafted items and so on. I do not want to create a kind of sell-out – I want goods that catch the interest of you listeners and were done with a lot of lifeblood – and I promise that every single thing is done with that and I guess everybody recognizes this – the dedication, the passion – my heart on fire.
10. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that the band members are a part of?
There is a lot going on those days. Some new music of my side projects is finished and sent to the press and there are also some new tunes which will be captured quite soon.
My drummer’s main band WOLFHETAN recently finished their third full-length, which is currently in the artwork state. My bassist's main band INFAUST has also finished their new full-length, and the yet unannounced band of my guitar player has also a record nearly finished.
Next to this, my old bandmates of VIVUS HUMARE have started the songwriting for their second full-length record, and FARSOT has also finished a new full-length which should be out in late spring.
11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I hope that the music will be more unique, with a lot of influences – also some electronic elements, or feature special and more unique instruments. That is something I really want to do within the next years.
12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The main influences of Mosaic are surely ABSU, ZEMIAL, AGATUS, PRIMORDIAL, EMPYRIUM and KATATONIA. Next to this, I listen to a lot of Neofolk, Ambient and Soundscape stuff like ROME, APOPTOSE, INNERES GEBIRGE, STURMPERCHT, and SOL INVICTUS to name just a few. But I also enjoyed some of the female fronted stuff like CHELSEA WOLFE, ANNA VON HAUSWOLFF, ZOLA JESUS and DARKHER. I also love bands that are totally out of everything or wove different genres into the extreme metal like TRIBULATION and CHAOS ECHOES or the stunning new EP of ZEMIAL (what the hell is going on with the greek masters?! – a real journey).
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for your questions. I hope I was able to give an insight behind the MOSAIC.
MIRA BILITAS NATURAE
Inkantator Koura on behalf of the elements