““Forever Knowing” is a glimpse of our literal Untold Futures and an emotional look at the world through a kaleidoscope.”
Welcome back, my friends to your favorite musical blog! Today I’m feeling grateful and blessed for running into today’s brand new single. All those faint of heart, beware! This song will take you for a ride, twist and expand; it will make your soul shiver, and your thoughts compress into a single set of emotions. Remarkable work from the British/Venezuelan musician and producer, Demian Castellanos.
I’m talking about “Forever Knowing” the new single from London’s musical scientists “The Oscillation“, which will be part of their upcoming new full-length album “Untold Futures”. Word of advise: Hang on.
This song can either be a delight or a challenge for the mind. Maybe even both. In any case, the listener will enter through a door and step out through another feeling anew. A song that steps up to the band’s legendary compositions, filled with hypnotic beats, psychedelic passages, chaotic drums and a hint of shoe-gaze and post-rock.
“Redefining the possibilities of altered states through audio stimulation, Untold Futures finds The Oscillation at their most daring and breathtaking.”
Breathtaking to say the least. “Forever Knowing” feels like stepping into one’s past, present and future at the same time, reality itself converging into a single spot of time, ever flowing, ever growing and expanding, only to retract to zero and start once again… I told you to hang on!
With Demian Castellanos at the main controls, the mastermind of The Oscillation once again seek help from legendary musicians Tim Weller (drums) and Jem Doulton (who we also covered recently with his latest single “My Brain’s In My Skin”). I had the privilege to speak to Demian himself and you will be the only one’s reading what he had to say, only on Less Than 1K!
But before we start with the interview, I have to say, as if the song wasn’t “astral” enough, “Forever Knowing” comes with a music video that’s … very interesting to say the least. Are you still hanging on?
My interview with Demian went from interesting to emotional and I feel grateful to have shared the next words with him:
MadZen: First of all, wow man, what a ride! Both musically and visually. I think you guys made an outstanding work. Please, tell us more about yourself, how long have you’ve been playing music, who are your influences, which are your main goals, etc. Whatever you want to say.
Demian: My name’s Demian Castellanos, I am half Venezuelan, half English. Grew up in a small village in Cornwall, quite remote and moved to London where I currently live. I’ve been releasing music as The Oscillation since 2006 without any particular goal other than to do music and try and get it out there. I feel as if I have some kind of message going on but it’s not really consciously thought out at the time. Looking back over the albums I see themes that make more sense to me now that seems to have something to do with timeline splits and consciousness, like the reality we live in, what we can do within it, if we have any control over our destiny and who are we as souls in our bodies on this planet (or physical realm-whatever you want to believe). I guess I’m just trying to make sense of being human like everyone else… I think it’s something to do with quantum physics but I haven’t really figured it out yet… it’s just when I look at the album titles and the themes that change a bit from album to album there seems to be something going on.. but I really don’t plan it like that..
The Cure, The Stranglers, Jimi Hendrix, Tangerine Dream, Suicide, Loop, Spacemen 3, Bartok, Miles Davis, Indian ragas, flamenco guitar (not that you’d hear it ha ha).”
MadZen: Would you say that this trying of making sense of being human has been within you all your life? Or is it something that arose with the passing of time?
Demian: “I think I can honestly say ever since I was capable of thought I’ve been trying to work out what I am doing here… It’s a pretty confusing thing… and the longer I’m alive the more I wonder about it… I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of people. Like this feeling that we are more than who we are in this lifetime with our current name/body/set of beliefs we inherit…”
MadZen: With all those years creating music, have you come up with a special process for writing songs? Or is it just something you feel/hear inside that pulls you towards the beginning of a song? Is there a preparation or is it more spontaneous?
Demian: “I don’t have any kind of formula or process.. if I’m lucky then occasionally I will hear an idea or some chord changes and know what I’m doing, like writing a song that’s sort of appeared and you know where it’s going. But especially for this album I didn’t have any idea at all really. Would just be a riff or a sound… and I was writing it at the same time as recording it, rather than having a complete idea where I knew where it was going.
I just allowed it to happen, but it took a lot of time. Most of the lyrics would come by me trying not to think , and just allow any words to come out. But of course I had the freedom to not decide afterwards what to use. The album and all of them really is a lot about layering a lot of sounds and effects to create a bigger thing that what is really happening almost.”
MadZen: Would you say your process of composition is more intuitive rather than “organized” or “thought”? Or is it a mix of both?
Demian: “It’s def a mix of both because otherwise I wouldn’t take so long to mix. I do put a lot of thought and care into the sound and how I think the tracks might come across sonically and the words… Occasionally I can do something quickly if it’s simple but I feel that I need to put the time in to get it how I want. Every sound is really important to me, so I guess it’s not very punk rock approach because I put effects on everything, even if it’s a heavy song. I’m very into affecting one sound in multiple ways… re-amping, or playing the same part but very simple and blending it so it creates something that might not be apparent.
The more I try and think about the process the further away I get from understanding it ha ha.. let’s just say it’s a mix of both.“
MadZen: How many hours approximately do you put into a mix?
Demian: “Think weeks, ha ha. because the mix ends up influencing the track so then I change things. The sound affects where the track goes as well. This album took 2 years to make. I wasn’t working on it all the time as I had a job as well but easily I might spend 2 days just mixing the drums. It could be because I’m not good at mixing, or its the way I work. I put things through external effects. So there’s a lot of time spent playing with phasers, flangers delays etc...“
(By this point, Demian opened up about his late friend and long time bandmate, Tom Relleen, who sadly passed away.)
“I guess I should also say that half way through making this album my bandmate Tom Relleen passed away last August which had a big effect on me. He didn’t play on the album but we played live for 15 years so it was quite a big trauma. He basically showed me and helped me learn how to self release, and organised the tours we did. I’m not really sure whether or when to talk about this kind of stuff in interviews though“
MadZen: I’m really sad to hear that Demian. Sounds like he was a great friend and mentor.
Demian: “Yes absolutely. So a lot of it was with him in my mind. It’s the kind of thing that really changes your life. But we all go through these things inevitably. Part of existence and growing.”
MadZen: Do you think of this album as a way of honoring Tom’s life and teachings?
Demian: “I don’t know man because nearly all the tracks and lyrics were nearly complete before he passed. But then they take on a different meaning afterwards. When he died I couldn’t stand listening to the tracks for a few months as it all felt weird. But I forced myself to complete mixing it and some more overdubs towards the end of last year. But I have dedicated the album to him and so I feel it was for him in many ways…“
MadZen: I understand. I think this can lead me to my last question: Would you like to share with us the lessons Tom left you that you value the most?
Demian: “I think maybe just how important it is to be honest with yourself and others, to be open, authentic… One thing I really learned from him was that he really went for it… he didn’t do anything by half or let insecurity stand in the way and was always pushing me to not hide behind something.“
Demian was kind enough to let us share these words with you and I hope you enjoy the song and the interview as much as we did.
Photographies and music video by Julian Hand.
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