Interview with Downfall of Gaia

Downfall of Gaia Logo

You know that feeling when you listen to a band’s album and you just know that you’re going to be enjoying and exploring it for years to come? Downfall of Gaia’s latest release Atrophy is exactly one such release. I’m listening to it again as I write this, and it makes me quite excited to think that years from now I’ll still be listening to it, only I’ll know it even better than I do at the moment.

With a desire to find out some more about the band behind this superlative album, how else to get to know Downfall of Gaia even better than to reach out to the vocalist/guitarist of the band, Dominik Goncalves dos Reis, for a chat…?

What are your influences?

We are influenced by a lot of things. Musically I would break it down to black metal, doom and sludge as the main influence.

Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend

1. Coldworld – Autumn
2. Krigsgrav – Waves of Degradation
3. Batushka – Litourgiya
4. Alcest – Kodama
5. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires

Tell us about Atrophy, how do you think it compares with your earlier work?

Atrophy is definitely the straightest piece of music we’ve released so far.

It is less ‘chaotic’ and technical as the previous albums.

The focus on this one is on melodies and atmosphere. Not that it was that much different on the records before but compared to the others they stand out on this one.

Downfall of Gaia

If you were able to do the album over again, is there anything you would change?

Not really. Not now. It is still pretty early after the release and so far we are satisfied. But I’m sure something like this will happen in the upcoming weeks/months. There will be something that we don’t like that much anymore. Definitely! It is always like that. Listening to the record/songs and thinking “ok, that part could be way better if…”.

How were the songs written?

I wrote and prepared the songs at my place and afterwards exchanged ideas for rhythm and drumming with Mike. We were sending files back and forth and that’s how the songs/demos got together. The whole record was written before we even met in ‘real life’. But of course a little bit of ‘detailwork’ happened later in the rehearsal room.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

I would go for Ephemerol. It is a pretty dynamic song with a lot of ups and downs and melodies. Lots of stuff is happening in that one.

How was the cover artwork chosen?

For the artwork we once again worked together with Sascha / WrittenInBlack.

He also took care of our previous releases. It was important for us to create some kind of artwork that is able to capture the mood of Atrophy. Something that is able to let you know what is going on on that record even before you heard a single song.

Is cover artwork still important these days do you think?

I would say so, yes. I prefer releases where everything goes hand in hand. Records where the visual and musical aspects function as one. 

Even if people are buying less and less physical copies, these physical copies (including booklet, artwork etc.) will always beat the digital .mp3! It’s just a great thing to open a vinyl, discover a booklet and appreciate the work an artist has put into the whole thing.

Downfall of Gaia

Where do Downfall of Gaia fit into the global music scene in 2016?

I don’t know and in the end we don’t care that much about. As long as there are people who enjoy what we are doing we are able to feel comfortable almost everywhere.

With music becoming increasingly digital in nature, what’s your take on the digital/physical debate and the current state of the music industry?

It is a gift and a curse.

The internet and digital forms are definitely a great and easy way to get your name out there, to promote your band in a good way without a (bigger) label. It is also great that nowadays it became so easy to listen to amazing music everywhere and all the time. It gives you the chance to discover a lot of bands you probably wouldn’t have heard of in your entire life.

On the other hand people forgot to pay attention because things are so easy to get and because there is just so much out there.

But the truth is – Bands are putting a lot of work into a release and besides that things are expensive as fuck (studio, touring, merch etc. ). So if you really like a band and if you are able to, don’t only like them on Facebook or YouTube. Go to a show, get some merch, buy a record.

Downfall of Gaia Live

Playing live -­ essential or pointless?

Definitely essential. As I said before – we are living in a fast moving time. The best way to grab someone’s attention is to stay busy and play live as much as possible.

What are the next steps for Downfall of Gaia?

Playing some tours, trying to stay busy!

Any final words?

Thanks a lot for having us! Was a pleasure!

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