Aestrid, all the way from Soest, Netherlands are kicking off their Canadian tour, stopping in at Call The Office this Friday. For those aware, you know what you’re in for. For those new to the group, they’re an incredibly talented band rich with sound and steeped in atmosphere.
These gents, albeit pretty busy, offered to answer a few questions to give us some insight into the band, their history and what makes them who they are. Given their schedule, and just having touched down in Kingston after a long flight, Ray Murphy offers the collective insight on behalf of the band.
Without further ado, take it away, Ray!
LDN_REVERB: Aestrid is a very mystical name and works well to represent your music. It would be cool to know the history behind the name. Can you please enlighten us?
Ray: Bo’s (lead singer/guitarist) dad was engaged to a woman named Astrid, she died in a tragic accident. Eventually he married her best friend, Bo’s mom. It’s weird to realize you’re here because somebody else died.
LDN_REVERB: In your last visit to London, you met with the awesome folks at CHRW Radio Western. Here, an interesting anecdote was revealed how you joined the band. Would you care to give us a recap?
Ray: I met Bo at first when he came to the coffee bar I was working at. We became friends and colleagues later on there. We were both playing in bands and ever since I saw Aestrid play I wanted to be a part of it. At a certain point he had a few shows coming up but didn’t have a drummer, Jurriaan was already in Aestrid at that time. I offered to sit in and never left, this is almost 8 years ago.
LDN_REVERB: Your sound is both captivating, dense, relatable yet unique. What inspired Aestrid’s methodology for its songwriting process and delivery?
Ray: The past couple of records all songs were written in the ‘studio’ and in the moment. We love working together with other people and with whatever we have and the space that is available. That will always influence your sound and a recording. Nevertheless, coming from a town where there’s absolutely nothing, the only way to create is having a DIY mentality. Recording yourself means there are limits. These will force you to think, play and create in a different way. We use the same methodology in our live performance.
LDN_REVERB: “It’s all been done before” is too common a figure of speech today. What do you do, collectively, to push past what can be considered tedium and monotony to reach for, as you described, “the outer edge”?
Ray: No moment is ever the same. Trying to go back to a certain moment over and over will eventually make you fake it, or go nuts. Our music is very personal and emotional. Personally I don’t even want to go back to certain moments songs were written. Collectively the moment is always here and now. We never play a song the same way twice, simply because the space, the people in it and the moment is never the same. This means you will have to search for the outer edge to see what’s possible in that moment.
LDN_REVERB: As you collectively to move forward with your music, what is the impact you’d like to leave behind?
Ray: We have certain goals when playing. Giving it all doesn’t mean just sweating a lot or being energetic. To us it means playing to what you feel at that time. Now you can’t collectively feel the same thing at the same time, but there is something like chemistry. Making music and being dynamic, instead of just playing a song front to back is another goal. We always want to go forward or sideways, never going back. So the impact we want to leave behind is to know it will never have the same impact each time.