Interview with Dominik Goncalves dos Reis from the band Downfall of Gaia!
By Rene Botello
February 8th sees Downfall Of Gaia release their new album, Ethic Of Radical Finitude! Rock All Photography Music Magazine had an opportunity to speak with Downfall Of Gaia’s vocalist/guitarist Dominik Goncalves dos Reis about the band and the upcoming album. Be sure to check below for links and tour dates!
RAPMM-You have a new single out We Pursue The Serpent Of Time, can you give some insight about the song and how the concept of the video came about?
Dominik – For the video we worked together with Andreas Borsodi from Austria.
He already did videos for bands like Harakiri for the sky, Karg… and we are really into his aesthetics. So I got in contact with him and he was directly into it. We exchanged ideas about the direction we want to go, talked the album, just the regular process.
The video shows – I guess for some people in an offending way – the radicalism of finitude but with an open end, which is some kind of the special “gimmick” of the video.
Recently I was reading some comments on YouTube by a few people misinterpreting the material. It’s is definitely not a video to worship suicide in any way it’s more about the theme of rethinking. But I also do get that some people might see this video in a completely different light. In the end the good thing about art is that you are free to do everything even if it might offend some people to some point.
RAPMM-This is the second single off your new album Ethic of Radical Finitude, how was the writing process this time around compared to your previous release Atrophy?
Dominik – Overall this record took way more time to get finished as any of our previous ones. But that’s alright, that’s something we kinda knew before. It’s not getting easier with every album you write. You try to not repeat yourself too often, you try to grow and you try to include new elements to your sound. I think all of this is very important to keep things interesting, at least for yourself.
So in the end the process itself wasn’t any different but the amount of time we needed to get this one done was a big difference.
RAPMM-Is there an overall theme running along the album or did you try to give variation with the lyrical topics?
Dominik – Even if the album is not a concept record per se there is definitely a common theme combining the lyrics.
“Ethic…” is telling a story about discontented minds and the never-ending pursuit for more. I guess everyone in life is trying to find this special ‘warm’ and safe place, their special place. To feel ‘home’, to feel ‘safe’, to feel satisfied. But maybe at some point you need to accept that it may never come, that you will never ‘arrive’. The time we have is limited, limited by death. But even if it death itself has a bad reputation, it’s the only thing that makes the time you have worthy since without it everything would be forever and absolutely nothing would have any value. No one would try to use their given time, no one would ever be on the hunt for their special place. It simply would be meaningless.
RAPMM-Did you come into the studio with demos songs or was the writing process all done in the studio?
Dominik – We entered the studio with a 90% finished product. That’s how we usually do this.
We don’t have the money to spend four weeks of just writing in a studio, to be honest.
RAPMM-How happy is the band with the final product?
Dominik – We’re really happy with how all of this came out.
We went a few new ways production wise since we wanted to have a more detailed but still forceful sound and I think it was completely worth it and the right path to choose.
Really satisfied with the result and glad to be able to release this record.
RAPMM-Which song are you most excited to play live from your new album?
Dominik – Tough question. Right now i would say “We Pursue The Serpent Of Time”.
It’s a very diverse and dynamic song with lots of ups and downs. Really excited about how this one feels to play live. I’m also into “As Our Bones Break To The Dance” because it’s one of the “shorter” songs written and this will be something completely different to play compared to the longer ones.
“Of Withering Violet Leaves” is another one. It’s the first time using clean vocals.
So in the end it’s kinda hard to pick because in this moment of the albums release you are still very excited and super connected to all of the new songs written.
RAPMM-Your songs are pretty long compared to most bands, do you think that adds to the difficulty when writing and is there ever a point when you feel that the song may be too long?
Dominik – I wouldn’t say that it adds any difficulty to the writing but of course it’s important to include a lot of ups and downs to your music otherwise it would get a bit boring to repeat yourself for almost 10 minutes or so. In the end it’s just the way of writing I’ve been doing for the past 12 years or so. So to be honest I don’t really think about it that much when I start to write, it’s just happening. It’s a pretty natural process. To answer the second question: Sometimes it’s truly a bit tricky to feel the exact ending of a song when you are composing the demos at home but this is something you figure out really fast when you are playing the songs live and all together in a rehearsal room. You get a “real feeling” for all of this and if these ideas will work out live.
RAPMM-You also have a tour coming up, will you also be playing any festivals this summer that you can talk about?
Dominik – We’ve never been a big festival band but so far we are confirmed for Wacken Open Air and Summe Breeze. Both taking place in August. Definitely looking forward to play these two.
RAPMM-What is your favorite part of touring and how do you manage your down time between shows?
Dominik – Favorite part of the day is definitely playing the show. Usually touring includes a lot of waiting and most of the time you are sitting in a van or inside the venue.
But whenever there is any time left we really like to explore a bit more as just the club we are playing. Even if it’s just for a coffee in the city or a walk through some streets. Seeing something else besides the venue is always a welcome change.
RAPMM-Any last parting words for fans?
Dominik – Thank you very much for having us! We will be on the road in the upcoming months, so really hope to see some of you out there!
Ethic Of Radical Finitude track-listing:
1. Seduced By…
2. The Grotesque Illusion Of Being
3. We Pursue The Serpent Of Time
4. Guided Through A Starless Night
5. As Our Bones Break To The Dance
6. Of Withering Violet Leaves
Downfall Of Gaia tour dates
w/ The Ocean Collective
Mar. 13 – Stuttgart, Germany – Im Wizemann
Mar. 14 – Geneva, Switzerland – PTR/ L’Usine
Mar. 15 – Lyon, France – CCO
Mar. 16 – Toulouse, France – Rex
Mar. 17 – Marseilles, France – Les Pennes Mirabeau
Mar. 18 – Colmar, France – Le Grillen
Mar. 19 – Bethune, France – Le Poche
Mar. 20 – Birmingham, UK – Mama Roux
Mar. 21 – Limerick, Ireland – Dolan’s Warehouse
Mar. 22 – Dublin, Ireland – Voodoo Lounge
Mar. 23 – Glasgow, UK – Audio
Mar. 24 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Mar. 25 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
Mar. 26 – Den Haag, Netherlands – Paard
Mar. 27 – Cologne, Germany – Club Volta*
Mar. 28 – Leipzig, Germany – Werk 2
Mar. 29 – Poznan, Poland – U Bazyla
Mar. 30 – Bremen, Germany – Tower
Mar. 31 – Hamburg, Germany – Logo
Apr. 2 – Stockholm, Sweden – Fryhuset, Klubben*
Apr. 3 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn*
Apr. 6 – Stavangar, Norway – Folken*
Apr. 7 – Hamar, Norway – Gregers*
Apr. 8 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega*
* without Downfall of Gaia
Downfall Of Gaia tour dates
Apr. 5 – Marburg, Germany – KFZ
Apr. 12 – Dortmund, Germany – Junkyard – Dortmund
Apr. 13 – Kiel, Germany – Pumpe
Apr. 20 – Koln, Germany – Essigfabrik
Apr. 21 – Rostock, Germany – Zwischenbau
Apr. 27 – Karlsruhe, Germany – Dudefest @ Jubez
Apr. 28 – Saarbrucken, Germany – Garage
Apr. 29 – Aschaffenburg, Germany – Colos-Saal
Apr. 30 – Jena, Germany – F-Haus
Downfall Of Gaia is also confirmed to play Wacken Open Air in 2019!
Downfall Of Gaia is:
Dominik Goncalves dos Reis – vocals/guitars
Anton Lisovoj – vocals/bass
Marco Mazzola – guitars
Michael Kadnar – drums