Fountainhead is solo project of German guitarist Tom Geldschläger. I was introduced to his music by Vishal J Singh. Last month, Tom released Reverse Engineering, his 3rd album as Fountainhead. The predominately instrumental album has a strong influence of Indian classical music, unlike anything I have heard before.
I spoke to Tom about the album, his work as a producer and also his other projects.
Hi Tom, what have you been up to lately?
Hi Peter, I’ve been super busy, as usual. “Reverse Engineering” just came out, only a few weeks after my second album with the “Pitts/Minnemann Project”, called “The Psychic Planetarium”. Right now, I’m in the process of starting a label together with some amazing people and the physical edition of RE will be the first release on it. Also I’ve been recording guitars for a new project mixing metal, dance music and russian influences, which I’m really excited about. Also, I recorded a ton of guest solos and did some more mixing and production-work.
How does it feel now that your 3rd solo album Reverse Engineering has been released?
I’m really glad to finally have it released since it’s been sitting on the shelf for quite some time while I had other obligations to fulfill – years, actually. I’m also glad it seems to get very positive responses from the fans and the press, which is not always a given when you’re trying to do something unique, something that doesn’t repeat what you’ve done in the past and may go totally against people’s expectations.
There is an influence of Indian classical music on a few of the tracks on the album. How did you get into Indian classical music?
I’ve been fascinated by Indian music for many years. Discovering the richness of Indian music went hand in hand with me developing an interest in meditation and eastern philosophy. Fortunately, these days I’m able to occasionally work with some amazing Indian musicians and I’m sure I’ll explore these influences further in the future.
A couple of the tracks have instrumental and vocal versions. What is the reason behind that?
Most of these tunes were originally written as vocal tunes for a band-project that didn’t end up happening. Re-working them as instrumental versions was the easy part and i just didn’t want to decide on either version. However, working with different singers was a lengthy and difficult process and I didn’t even get to include all of the vocal tracks we recorded, unfortunately.
The album features performances by Derek Roddy, Jacob Schmidt, Linus Klausenitzer and many more. How did they become a part of the album?
By me asking them. Most of these musicians I’ve known for a while and had already worked with in other projects.
With members in different countries, how did you manage the recording of the album?
I recorded most of the basic tracks in my Studio in Berlin, including demo-versions of the remaining instruments/parts, which I then sent to the guest-musicians to “put their own stamp on it”. They then recorded in their own studio of choice and we sent files back and forth until the final result was reached. Sometimes we even worked using skype.
The album has a cover of King Crimson. Which other bands would you like to cover?
No plans for other covers at the moment. “Model Man” was another song we did in the band-project I mentioned earlier, so it made sense to include it on RE. I’m not a big fan of covers, unless you’re able to give the song a unique and fresh perspective. It looks like the next Fountainhead release will be all-instrumental again and will certainly have no cover-versions.
You are also a producer. What projects are you currently working on at the moment?
I just finished producing and mixing an EP of old-school power metal for a band called “Liquid Fire” and mixing an electronic music album. In September I’ll be mixing a jazz-trio’s album. Anybody can hit me up for that sort of work, btw.
What advice do you have for younger musicians who like to become full time musicians?
Keep your ego in check, don’t be an asshole, but also don’t take shit from anybody! Work on your attitude and mindset just as hard as on your music. Don’t take shortcuts, they’ll always come back to bite you in the ass. Look to others for inspiration but never copy them, find your own way to do anything.
What are you plans for promotion of the album? Do you have any live shows planned?
No full-band shows are planned at this point, it would be just too much of a financial burden. But if the right offer comes I certainly wouldn´t say “no”. For now, I’m looking forward to a few select shows where it’ll just be me and a backing track, for example at the “Holy Grail Guitar Show” this October.
Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?
Thank you so much for your support! Keep spreading the word about Fountainhead, there’ll be more to come. Also, keep an eye out for big things happening at vmbrella.com! In the meantime, get your copy of “Reverse Engineering” at thefountainhead.bandcamp.com. Love & Light!
Stream/Download Reverse Engineering below
Comet Control are a psychedelic rock band from Toronto, Canada. The band was formed after Quest for Fire split up in 2013. Earlier this year in June, they released their second album Centre of the Maze via Teepee Records.
I spoke to Chad Ross about the album. recording it and also their shift in sound.
Chad Ross and Andrew Moszynski were in Quest for Fire. How did Nicole Howell (bass), Jay Anderson (drums) and Christopher Sandes (keys) become part of the band?
After quest for fire broke up… nicole, jay, andrew and i immediately started talking about the possibilities of a new band. We’ve all know each other for years in Toronto. It was definitely a natural fit.
Your second album ‘Centre of the Maze’ released a couple months ago. Tell us a bit about the album.
for our self-titled debut, Andrew and I were consciously trying to write tighter, more melodic songs. Center of the maze sticks with that principal… but we took more time to develop sounds and concentrate on production.
It has been 2 years since the release of your self-titled album. What was the writing process for this album?
We got back from a European tour in the winter of 2015 and immediately started to work on the songs that would become the album. Andrew and I would bring in ideas, then we’d sit down with Nicole in our jam space and arrange everything. Jay came in towards the end of the process and we fine-tuned tempos/dynamics and solidified the songs with drums.
What was the recording process for the ‘Centre of the Maze’? How long did it take?
The bed tracks took a couple of days in the spring, at candle recording in Toronto with josh korody. We took the summer to record all of the overdubs at different spots around Toronto, at my home studio and a couple of backyard jam spaces around the city. I recorded all of the guitars with Andrew, my own vocals and the percussion. Chris recorded all of his keyboard wizardry in his home studio.
The band has more psychedelic sound compared to your previous band Quest from Fire. Was that a conscious decision?
It was a conscious decision to focus on tighter song arrangements, whereas qff was more centered around heavy long jams. The addition of chris sandes on keys definitely brought more psych elements to the production. We’re all into classic garage/psych… those influences came out more in our songwriting when we started paying less attention to riffs, and more attention to melody.
‘Centre of the Maze’ is your second release through Tee Pee Records. How has it been working with the label?
This is actually my 5th release on teepee if you include both qff records and the Nordic nomadic record I did with them. It’s a pleasure… and it’s a great group of people working behind the scene.
What have you been listening to lately? Are there any band that have inspired you of late?
Morgan delt has been blowing my mind lately.
Do you have any interests/hobbies outside music?
My day job is a finish carpenter. I find great pleasure in that from time to time. Also camping and nature in Ontario’s north country. It’s quite beautiful to venture north of Toronto through all of the lake systems.
What are bands from the Toronto/Canada that you recommend that our readers check out?
Some Canadian favorites are the shooting guns, radiation flowers, the soupcans, elevator, black walls,….
What are your plans to promote the album? Do you have any other shows planned for the rest of the year?
We have some shows coming up in September in Canada, and a European tour in November.
New interview I did for Nine Circles.
Nathanael Larochette is well known as the guitarist of Canadian bands Musk Ox and The Night Watch. He has also performed on albums by Woods of Ypres and Agalloch. Last month, he released his second solo release, Earth and Sky, a double album. The albums have a distinct sound, Earth consists of solo classical guitar tracks whereas Sky is a single 40 minute ambient track. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to both albums and sent a few questions to Nathanael to find out more about the albums, the writing process and more.
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