April 17, 2024

Click Interview with Cerulean Veins:  ‘Humanity Is Our Biggest Source Of Inspiration’

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(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries) When you ask Cerulean Veins about the origins of the band Amanda Ashley Toombs and Dustin Frelich answer ‘Cerulean Veins has yet to see actual daylight. We are what happens when juxtaposing forces come together at a certain time and place and create. This union is similar to the moments just before sunrise or sunset.’ Hailing from San Diego (USA) the duo this year released its fourth full length album by Cold Transmission Music. “Black” stands for good-old Dark-Wave / Post-Punk music driven by dynamic rhythms, elevating choruses and captivating vocal parts. The work features ten songs which could be nearly all potential singles. “Black” is a great production and I even dare to affirm one of the best albums from the last years in Dark-Wave music. Amanda and Dustin bring us an introduction to their band while giving us an insight to “Black”.

Q: I noticed you set up Cerulean Veins now ten years ago. Can you draw up the balance sheet from this first decade of Cerulean Veins?

CV: Reflecting on ten years of existence, we’ve definitely found our way through the ups and downs and ins and outs of time. By creating and releasing four full-length albums (“Cerulean Veins” in 2016, “Ado” in 2017, “Blue” in 2020 and “Black” in 2023) and 23 singles, we’ve grown as musicians, artists, and humans.

Q: Your previous album was called “Blue” while the new one is entitled “Black”. Do you have something special with colors and what do you try to express by these titles and the lyrical content of “Black”?

CV: We cannot separate color from symbolism across cultures, so by using color we acknowledge blue isn’t just blue and black isn’t just black. In a way, we are providing a lens through which others can approach our music. Cerulean is a dark sky blue. One of the earliest starting points for this album was the line, ‘Out of the Blue and into the Black.’ “Black” was the natural progression after 2020’s “Blue”, and from here we’ll see where “Black” takes us next.

Q: How did the “Black” album take shape and what’s the input of each other? What have been the sources of inspiration?  

CV: Humanity is our biggest source of inspiration, especially during the creation of “Black”. We typically start with a musical fragment or idea, and build that into more complete statements before going back through and vetting the best ideas. Most often, we find that the words reveal themselves in the music.

Q: I honestly consider “Black” as one of the most accomplished Dark-Wave/Post-Punk productions from the past years. Do you’ve any favorite and/or referential album/artist in mind? And how do you perceive the evolution from the early stuff till “Black”?

CV: As a companion and successor to “Blue”, we see “Black” as the culmination of our time spent creating. While we do draw upon certain touchstones from music history, our references or influences aren’t necessarily artists or albums. Instead, we pull from moods, both real and imagined, as influences for what we create.

Q: How do you transpose the songs from the studio to the stage and what have been your live experiences so far? Any chance to see you playing in Europe?

CV: Performing our songs live on stage with a full band definitely brings a different energy to our music. Live, the experience is frenetic with less production than what may feel right in the studio or on playback. We would love to play in Europe!

Q: How self-critical are you? Are there specific aspects in writing and/or production you would like to change and/or improve at further songs/albums?

CV: Being critical can make the music better, but it can also hinder creativity. There is definitely a time and place for self-criticism, and that’s not early in the creative process. We’ve found giving ourselves permission to create means silencing the critical voices and allowing ourselves to explore different ideas. But then later embracing a critical approach in our vetting process.

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Inferno Sound Diaries
I have been working for over 30 years with Side-line as the main reviewer. My taste is eclectic, uncoventional and I prefer to look for the pearls, even if the bands are completely unknown, thus staying loyal to the Side-Line philosophy of nurturing new talents.

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