This year has been rough for musicians, actors, and entirely media workers. Nevertheless, these events haven’t stopped them from being creative. Since curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back, we here at CVLTARTES had to ask ROADKILLSODA about ‘Pandamonium Sessions Vol.1’, about their bond as musicians or the album’s artwork. You can read below an interview with the band and their manager, Patricia.

ROADKILLSODA has recently released the music video for ‘As Black as My Lungs’ taken from the ‘Pandamonium Sessions Vol.1’ album. The idea initially started as Youtube video covers of their all-time favorite songs. It then progressed into a five video collection of their best ROADKILLSODA songs, interpreted in a psychedelic way.

It’s hard to remember the last time a Romanian band has sound so trippy, space-like and so… good. I can’t tell for sure what I enjoyed the most, whether it was the dreamlike vocal filters or the guitar ambiance that will take your mind in places it never went.

I’m pretty sure that, ‘Pandamonium Sessions Vol.1’ will please and excite even the older fans of this Psychedelic Rock/ Stoner genre, and will draw in new young listeners. There is no doubt that the ROADKILLSODA musicians know how psychedelic touches should work, but it is truly remarkable how much metaphorical their music sounds now. Both lyrically and sonically, the five-songs album is satisfying while also rewarding.

The artworks come as a perfect addition, only to complete this mind-expanding experience. Rarely does a Romanian band share such artistic merit, a vintage look – it all flows like a single expansive statement.

CVLT: As musicians are adjusting to life off the road, you do seem to have adjusted great! A lot of creativity is going on! But let’s take them to step by step. The artwork is striking! Is there a certain art concept behind it?

Byst: Thank you! The artwork was done entirely by our wonderful Patricia Bîea, she came up with the concept and we liked it a lot, so she knows better the idea behind it.

Patricia: I always think of RoadkillSoda’s music as being visceral and raw. Peculiar states of mind that compel you to become introspective, to focus on existential feelings and how certain things truly make you feel. Like that moment when you have great chemistry with someone, and you’re completely drawn into that moment, and everything else just fades. The songs from ‘Pandamonium Sessions’ are dreamy and psychedelic, dark and nostalgic, and make you feel bewitched in exactly that way. 

A track is ready when it speaks its story and you can, somehow, visualize it and feel it. Sometimes the first idea is the best one and has the best vibe for you.

From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses – and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?

Panda: I think everything is interconnected. You might be in nature and the way the wind blows, or the way the air smells triggers a melody inside your head. Or you could listen to a track, and have a profound sense of colors. I think synergy is a wonderful thing that makes the whole picture complete.

As a band, you’ve been in this together for a long number of years. Do you think that the bond you have as musicians is a big part in creating impactful music?

Byst: Definitely. 

Panda: Yes, the trust that you build up between us as human beings has a huge impact on the way we play as musicians. It is a trip that works well when you’re riding with your best friends.

Mishu: Yeah, if no bond, there is no music.

Vava: A band is truly like a relationship. Every mood shows on stage and in the music made in a particular moment. Like every relationship, it has highs and lows. The difference is that highs are high as a kite, while lows are hellish. If you manage to cruise on all moods, you have a working band. Also, these kinds of mood swings are important. You are trying to send something to your audience. Part of you. Raw. True. You’re not doing your average 9 to 5 job, so you need to use all your band feelings to send the real you to your audience.

How do you know when a track is ready? Does it ever become difficult to either refine ideas down or to stop perfecting?

Byst: A track is ready when it speaks its story and you can, somehow, visualize it and feel it. Sometimes the first idea is the best one and has the best vibe for you and sometimes you can discover the song a little bit later. That depends, in my opinion, on what your feelings are in that period and how you connect with the track. Sometimes the more you try to refine a song, you’re going to lose that primordial vibe, that sincerity, and connection you had in the beginning when you first listen to the song.

Panda: What Byst said. For sure the first impression is the best and unaltered interpretation of that track. For me, a track is done when I have the feeling of a sound wave coming through the speakers. And the feeling that the track is carrying me through at that moment.

Mishu: I guess you either feel it’s ready or you can’t push it further. Sometimes refining ideas can leave you stuck when you focus too much on one song that you think is not yet at 100% and as far as perfecting goes, you never stop perfecting.

How would ‘Pandamonium Sessions Vol.1’ be served best? What important messages are we missing as listeners?

Byst: From my point of view, one of the messages is ‘improvise, adapt, overcome.’ It’s been a part of our life, depending on how we are as individuals, either since we were young, either was adopted since this Pandemic started, in any case, the message works and should drive us to move forward and to embrace challenges…

Vava: (smile) Honestly, you don’t need my feelings or messages. Put your phone away, get something to get in the mood, and just listen to the music. Music is selfish. We’re doing it for ourselves, you’re getting your feelings and messages from listening to it.

Finally, with there being such a solid set of tracks on ‘Pandamonium Sessions Vol.1’, is there one you’re most looking forward to playing live for people?

Panda: All of them. It is such a different approach to our tracks than normal, that I would love to have a concept concert to deliver the whole package contained in this album.

Follow ROADKILLSODA on: Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

All photo credits: (c) Ciprian Mihai