An End is A Beginning. Cardinal {Interview}

Cardinal is a young project based in Constanța, Romania; some extremely passionate boys and in love with music and broken-like genres from times they weren’t born yet. I’m saying this because, after they successfully managed to rise up in music they sadly decided to withdraw. After they screw our brains out, they considered school is a pretty serious thing. That’s why we decided to ask them; they just can’t play with our hearts and ears and leave us this way. Therefore,…

Baldo: Hi, guys! How’s like to be that good and to make such a good impression since your first live appearances, but then to abandon the whole project?

Victor: It is a bit bittersweet, of course, but we hope we’ve created something of value, something worth listening to. I’m not so keen on “abandoning” the project yet, though. Sure, we will be physically separated from one another, at least for a few years, but we have the internet and holidays to help keep the band alive. Who knows what the future will hold?

Daniel: Well we’re just playing music that sounds right to us and play it according to our taste, it’s great to hear other people appreciate it so much. But somehow there’s also the youth factor, it has helped us get set a bit apart from the rest of the bands around, you know, being so young.

Marko: It really is a bummer, but there is no way around it, at least not for now.

Vlad: I think that the phrase “it sucks” sums it up pretty well. But the name “Disappearer” wouldn’t make so much sense otherwise.

How did you succeed to create a sound that was fashionable in times when maybe your parents were teenagers?

Marko: Well, I guess it’s just that we grew up listening to older rock bands when we were younger, and they are still pretty big influences now.

Vlad: I used to listen to the same music as my parents and it took quite a toll on me, but I became a modern man with modern tastes… There are many great 21st century bands that I have yet to discover. Anyway, I see our music as a bag of Star Mix snacks with three flavours: 70s, 2017, and probably Queens of The Stone Age. (thanks, Vic!)

Victor: Part of it comes from what they played to us when we were children. I grew up listening to pop and rock music, stuff from Led Zeppelin to U2. From that starting point, we all eventually found each other and we were all listening to the same genres of heavy, groovy, psychedelic music. Now we just channel those ideas through a modern filter and produce what we think sounds interesting in the contemporary context. 

Daniel: I find that our parents should be jealous of the bands that are contemporary with their kids. Have you heard some of the stuff out there? It’s crazy and inspires us immensely. But we do look a lot onto older bands as well. 

How do you feel now knowing your project ends? Are there any dreams, plans…in fact where there’s no future?

Daniel: We will all continue to make music in our separate ways and keep corresponding with one another, sharing ideas and putting them together, if not for ourselves but for anyone curious of what’s going on post-Cardinal.

Vlad: If we were to ever make money out of our music, I would have opened my own Dabo Döner restaurant. Now my dream is shattered, and I feel awful about it. I’ll probably miss the guys too. It would have been amazing if we could keep this going forever. We have a special connection, but I can’t say that out loud.

Victor: Like I said before, no project really ends. To me, I see the immediate future as a sort of forced hiatus where we have the opportunity to hone our skills and become better musicians for what will come after, whatever that may be.

Marko: As Victor said, I really believe that this is more of a forced hiatus, and we would like to still collaborate even if we are apart, and maybe even play some gigs during our holidays if it’s possible.

(c) Vladimir Gheorghiu

First things first! Let’s remember a couple of things! When did Cardinal first appeared? Who or what influenced your so “convoluted” music?

Vlad: Our final form was unleashed back in 2015, when we welcomed Marko among us. We were influenced by a LOT of bands. I wouldn’t know which one to start with.

Daniel: Cardinal’s been going on since late 2014. At first it was just me on bass, Victor on guitar and vocals and our original drummer, Radu. After a while Vlad filled the drummer’s seat and later in 2015 Marko joined on second guitar. We’re all old friends and highschool colleagues and all. It’s a small city.

Victor: Cardinal has taken many various forms in the past, but the current lineup has existed since autumn 2015, when Marko entered the band. We then recorded our EP in spring 2016.
As for what inspires our music, it’s a tough question to answer. We listen to all sorts of stuff. From heavy psychedelic stoner rock, to repetitive electronic dance music, to jazzy, soul-influenced hip-hop. We, of course, each have our favorites, but we generally pick and choose from the same pool of possibilities and ideas to create our original work.

Marko: Well, back in October 2015, I was sitting at home doing nothing when I got a phone call from Daniel asking me if I wanted to join the band, and the rest is history. As for our influences, my taste in music has varied a lot through the years, so I’d like to say that there are too many to say here. 

You’ve once mentioned on Facebook that things are going to stop mainly because Marko and Victor won’t live in Romania anymore. That tells me there’s something more than passion, you have a one of a kind friendship. Have you not considered to look for substitutes at all? 

Victor: I don’t know about the others, but in my opinion, I couldn’t replace any of them.
It just feels like we understand each other musically and we all know what we want to achieve with our sound. It certainly doesn’t hurt that we basically grew up together and have been influencing each other in every way.

Marko: Our friendship, is a huge factor in the band because it really makes every good moment with the band far more enjoyable. I don’t believe that the band could go on with this attitude if any of the members is replaced.

Vlad: I do think that our friendship is what got us where we are now. In a band what matters most is how well you understand each other, so you can all give the same vibe to the public. We were pretty lucky that we all met. Changing one of the members means a different vibe, a different sound altogether. And changing two would make an entirely different band.

Daniel: We could never go on with an altered line-up. It wouldn’t be Cardinal.

You’re about to release “Disappearer” and already have a tour planned. Is that thrill living inside you anymore or it’s already something that must be done?

Victor: Of course it’s a thrill! I can hardly wait to show people what we make. It’s never forced, neither the music nor the shows.

Marko: Of course it’s still there, we do what we do because we love it.

Daniel: We’re more thrilled now than ever in our short lifespan as a band.

Vlad: I have lots of things to do and I’m also lazy. If the feeling was gone, I probably wouldn’t do it.

Is there any chance we can see in other fields once you start college? Do you have other hobbies?

Victor: Of course. I’m going into Computer Science in college and will surely dabble in political activism in some form or another.

Marko: I will still be doing music during college. As for my hobbies, I really like snowboarding, but I don’t get to do it often. I also enjoy watching movies.

Vlad: I really like chemistry. Watching Animal Planet is fun.

Daniel: I sometimes do posters for shows and for short-movies.

What do you dream to be when you’ll grow up?

Vlad: I want to become a chemist, work as a researcher or something. But to do that, I probably should give up music, so I don’t really know… Most likely I’ll find a way to do them both.

Victor: Stable. As long as I have the time and the money to be able to enjoy my friends’ company and to play music with them, I’m completely satisfied.

Daniel: Hell, anything as long as I can live a decent life and have enough time for music.

Marko: Ideally, I’d still like to be working with music in a way or another.

How was the first moment you interact with rock music? The first album that made you think this is how good music should sound like.

Vlad: When I was 2 years old, I became a big fan of Pink Floyd, especially “One of these days”. That bass riff was absolutely hypnotising. It was strange for me to find out later that I had actually danced on that song…

Victor: My first rock experience was listening to “Kashmir” blaring through my dad’s car radio. There was something so eerie and captivating about it. Rage Against the Machine’s “Evil Empire” really sealed the deal for me.

Marko: The first album that really started my interest with music was probably “Origin of Symmetry” by Muse. It was really something new for me, and it’s been a journey of finding cool new music since then.

Daniel: Some tapes my brother had of Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” and “Master Of Puppets” which I would listen to on repeat in the car everyday. Also, the first Iron Maiden albums got me hooked on everything music-related.

How are rockers seen nowadays in school?

Marko: Other than some occasional insults, it’s actually really ok, there aren’t any actual problems.

Vlad: I wouldn’t say bad, but not that good either. But, you know, I’m not interested in people who judge others based on their music tastes.

Daniel: It’s all convoluted. Nobody’s getting shanked anymore because of what they listen to. Just don’t be a loser.

Victor: Other than the occasional “Satanist crackheads” remarks, people pretty much accept us as just another group of people and move on with their lives. 

Let’s go back to “Disappearer”, your very first and last LP. When exactly it will be released and what does it represent? Is there a message you want to convey? Are you keeping the same style?

Marko: We don’t have a set release date yet, but we are aiming to release it sometime mid-summer. The style will be different from our EP, as we have become more comfortable playing with each other and we are bringing in more influences.

Victor: If it represents anything, it’s a metaphor for all the inspiration we have in our heads trying to all escape at once. In terms of style and music, I feel and hope we have changed our sound for this LP.

Vlad: Our style has somewhat changed. We discovered new influences. I rediscovered rap music, and I feel that changed me a bit, both as a person and as a drummer. My perspective on music is a little different.

Daniel: We find it’s a pretty good representation of our day to day lives, with literally everything happening all the time in all sorts of different ways. This fast, feverish, young life. With all sorts of shades and tastes and always ever changing. Not finding something definite to hold on to. The songs are all different but flow in a way that paint a picture of a very hectic person, a very familiar one to say the least.
Style-wise, we’re always trying to up the songwriting factor and always do a song in a different manner as the one before it. So we hope it will be very different to what is on the EP.

Tell us the coolest thing you’ve experience since Cardinal!

Vlad: The coolest friends!

Victor: Recording your ideas and sharing them with the world is for me the most amazing and fulfilling part of being in Cardinal. Having great band mates makes it the one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Marko: It’s not necessarily a single experience, but seeing that people actually enjoy the music that you made is truly an incredible feeling.

Daniel: The coolest thing was probably getting to play Bucharest already a couple of times and finding out that we’re not just appreciated in our hometown.

And the most uncool?

Daniel: Having to play at least one show with 10 people tops in the audience because the club insisted on putting a jacked entrance fee.

Victor: See Daniel’s response…..

Marko: Daniel summed it up.

Vlad: Having to let all of this go. Splitting up because of school is the textbook definition of “uncool”.

Who would you like to collaborate with for a farewell concert?

Vlad: Ooh la la. Totorro.

Daniel: I don’t know. Satan’s Satyrs would be amazing. Maybe Kadavar? (laugh)

Victor: The Haywire Festival at the end of august seems like it’s going to be our last for a long while. Playing it alongside Mars Red Sky is absolutely legendary. I couldn’t have asked for more.

Marko: Well, we are playing with Mars Red Sky in August, and that’s pretty much a dream come true for us, since they are one of our favourite bands.

So why do you give up music for school?

Vlad: I’m not planning of giving anything up yet. But, to answer the question, for me it’s the, let’s say, “civic spirit”. I feel that I could help humanity more if I pursue a career in chemistry, like researching medicinal uses of different substances.

Victor: We don’t. It’s a pragmatic regretful decision we must take in order to be able to continue pursuing our musical dreams.

Marko: I’ll still be doing music during college, so I’m not giving it up.

Daniel: We aren’t. We will continue putting out music, if not together, then definitely on our own.

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