Interview with Alternativ Quartet

"I think our music is exhausting, I have said this many times before."

Hello guys and thank you for doing this! First of all introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself as a band 

Marcel Hosu: Hello, first of all, thanks for taking the time for this interview. We are a post-rock band that formed in 2008 in Cluj. We are called Alternativ Quartet — 4 former high school friends that liked the idea of playing Alternative Rock — quite a descriptive name, without an “e” at the end because we decided early on to always sing in Romanian, which we find both beautiful and challenging. We had over 60 concerts in Romania over the years and some concerts abroad, we released 4 albums from 2008 to 2013, then worked intermittently on a side project called Iglu and are in the process of releasing a relatively new album called Stasis on vinyl, CD and other online platforms.

Because you had a break for a couple of years I am going to ask you how you got back, because of course it’s the best thing that could have happened. Did you miss playing in front of an audience?

Marcel Hosu: I personally missed playing in front of an audience, even though I find it excruciatingly terrifying. It is surely a beautiful thing that we are able to do, hopefully more often in the future. Alex, our drummer, has played with Fluturi pe Asfalt and Nava Mamă during our years of silence, but I think I can speak for all of us in saying that coming back to these things we somewhat left behind is an emotional experience. I am grateful that both the wheel of life and our personal ambitions and efforts have brought us back together.

What can you tell us about this new material? What was the biggest inspiration when you started working on it ?

Marcel Hosu: I think the inspiration for Stasis was mostly the same as for the previous albums we released with Alternativ Quartet: the music we listen to, the people we love, the things that never cease to impress upon us a certain feeling of amazement and a desire to become what we feel forced to become. We started developing some new ideas in 2013, mostly instrumental tracks. Nothing happened with them for a long time. Then, with a few more years on our shoulders a small change in both inspiration and style came about in 2017 when we recorded 4 new songs and started focusing more intensely on vocals and lyrics.

Who is in charge with the lyrics?

Marcel Hosu: I do most of the lyrics myself. I work on all of the lyrics quite exhaustively with Alex, which plays more than the role of the drummer in both Iglu and AQ. In the past few years I have tried to include as many close people I can in this process, I have started writing some lyrics with my wife, I have kept our very close friend and longtime designer Dan Burzo in the loop as much as possible. I think that even though we started out as a band focused primarily on instruments, melody and strange time signatures we gradually started to accommodate my personal desire to express myself vocally with all the plethora of feelings and possibilities that the human voice allows, be it lyrics or just meaningless sounds, vocalizations and screams. Both the lyrics themselves — the meaning that they have and the stories they tell — and the act of using my voice have become very personal for me.

How would you describe your music? What could be the ’main target ’ public ?

Marcel Hosu: I think our music is exhausting, I have said this many times before. It’s quite repetitive with long interludes and peculiar parts, structured in quite atypical ways, a somewhat intense emotional experience throughout, with some exceptions, although not quite enough to relax. I think it reaches mostly melancholic and sensitive people, but I might be completely wrong.

Since next week you’re going to start the tour, what will you tell the public to convince them to come to the shows if they are lucky enough to have you in their town?

Marcel Hosu: I think the shows will be great. We have a great team, Vladimir Ivanov from Pinholes will be joining us as a sound engineer, the visuals will be the ones we used many years ago — we want to give people the opportunity to experience our shows the way they were years ago or to see the visuals again for what I think will be the last time. The setlist will be quite long, so arm yourself with stoicism if you come. We will play old songs but also new songs from Stasis. We will have new vinyl LPs for sale, the first ever vinyl LPs we produced. We are very glad to have To the South, Bluebird join us for every show. We can’t wait.

Thank you again for this interview. I  hope you’ll have a great crowd at every gig you’ll have. Best regards !

 

 

 

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