In our latest entry to our interview series, we speak to LA-based electronic duo Divine Astronaut about lockdown, new projects and how they relax outside of music.
PW – Hey guys! Welcome to Pastel Wasteland. For those who aren’t familiar with your work quite yet, how would you introduce both yourself and your sound?
Thanks so much! We are basically a duo of myself singing and writing, and producer Moonhead taking care of production, instruments and mixing duties. I would say our music is nighttime electronica blending industrial rock guitars with trip hop grooves and ambient soundscapes, sprinkled with a layer of melodic vocals. We are influenced by a lot of really cool bands like NiN, Portishead, Massive Attack, Bjork, Peter Gabriel and Radiohead among many others.
PW – What would you say your goals are moving forward, through 2021 and beyond?
We’ll be releasing our debut album ‘Made Not in Berlin’ in May 2021. We’re extremely excited to get this music out and to perform shows in support of it this summer in Europe. Our ultimate goal is always to play more shows. Nothing can replace the connection we feel to the listener when you’re all in a dark room, you can see and hear everyone, and feed off of each other’s energy. Live streaming will never come close to replacing that experience, although they’re trying very hard!
Aside from the album release and touring, we’ve already started writing the next record, so thankfully we have lots to keep ourselves busy with!
PW – You have a distribution setup with M&O Music in France, to handle your European releases. How did that relationship develop, and what is it about M&O that caught your attention?
We do! And in fact – we caught M&O’s attention! They found us online and reached out to our management to release our 4-track EP “4” digitally in Europe. We only just put out that EP digitally with them last month. I think what caught our attention was their bend towards heavier genres of music. I think we’re one of the fewer electronic acts on their roster.
PW – Talking about Europe, am I right in thinking you played some shows over here last year? How did you manage that with current restrictions, and were the dates pre-planned, or in response to the pandemic?
We did, you are right! It was extremely challenging and consisted of us walking to different venues where we could hear live music pouring onto the streets from their patios to ask if we could play shows there. We must have walked a hundred hours following our ears to the rare spillings of a live band. It was worth it and hopeful to see some of the bar owners’ deep love for music and finding ways to still make it happen safely. One night while in Bulgaria, another musician named ‘Valia’ from the band ‘Stop the Schizo’ overheard us speaking to a venue and contacted us on Facebook saying she could put us in touch with bookers. Those happy accidents in light of all that’s happening really serve as silver linings.
PW – 2020 was tough in several ways. What has the last year taught you in terms of both your career and life as a whole?
I think the big thing it taught was the power of subtraction. And by that I mean – when times are tough, personally I found, what matters and is true pokes through more clearly than in a distracting and race vs marathon driven world. For us that’s always been music, but I think going through this year clarified a lot of things and in a way helped me not sweat the small stuff as much and keep a clear focus.
PW – What is your favourite way to relax away from making music?
Playing guitar really gets me away from the whole music thing and relaxes me… :D. It does though! But side from music as a break from music, I love watching great TV shows or movies. It’s so relaxing and just gets me out of my head and changes my perspective, which I’ve found to be even therapeutic. I’m also a voice actor so developing voices is a fun one too.
PW – In terms of the creative journey, in this kind of industry, it can be tough to feel like we’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way?
I definitely feel that way at times, which I think is probably normal when creating something from the ground up to not always see all the lampposts along the way. I think always fighting to carve space for the creative side of work amid all the marketing and social media [important] crap we can get caught up with is a way to mitigate the anxiety of struggle. It’s there either way, this is all a lot of hard work and requires a stick-to-it attitude, so I think remembering to keep myself as aligned as possible is the only way through.
PW – And finally, where would we find you on social media, and do you have anything else you’d like to add?
I do! I’d like to thank you for your time in sharing these questions and sharing our music and thoughts on Pastel Wasteland. it’s very appreciated.
You can find our music below: