Interview: Church of the Cosmic Skull
There will be a spectacle of sound and light. All comers are welcome! The Church takes no responsibility for physical or psychological damage incurred during attendance.
Already a devotee, Chris Ball caught up with Bill Fisher of Nottingham’s cult-come-classic rock exponents, Church of the Cosmic Skull, to find out more about their origins, the upcoming tour and, of course, just what the ‘Cosmic Rainbow’ told them…
(((o))): Hi Bill, so how did COTCS come about? Was there a Yul Brynner in The Magnificent
Seven type figure, assembling a crack team?
Bill: The voice of the Cosmic Rainbow said seven humans would come to unite all living beings with the power of rock music. Hopefully it will be magnificent, but no bandits will be killed.
(((o))): Was the concept of the Cult always in place or was that later after some sort of vision, or even (god forbid) as a promotional gimmick?
Bill: All of mankind have been part of the Church since the dawn of time. We are but exponents of the 7 objects, which you can study at our website churchofthecosmicskull.com. There are also CDs, vinyl, t-shirts, white jumpers and more available there, the purchase of which will bring you one step closer to being free from the chains of material obsession.
(((o))): How did the sound of the band emerge, as there are lots of musicians, with lots of influences and from different backgrounds?
Bill: We do indeed come from different musical spheres. Sam Lloyd has a background in math-rock and psych. Michael Wetherburn and Amy Nicholson played in the baroque-infused Hellset Orchestra. Laurence Stone plays in the sludge outfit Iron Swan and many varied projects before that. Jo Joyce has has some wonderful solo material which is coming soon. Caroline Cawley and I play in the post-doom group Dystopian Future Movies. I was also in the doom-blues-psych trio Mammothwing before forming the Church. Together we aim for a balance of darkness and light.
(((o))): What are the favourite bands in the COTCS camp, and were there any particular albums you were listening to when you recorded Is Satan Real?
Bill: There is a shared love of classic 60’s and 70’s rock and pop, but of course there is a wide range of musical tastes, unified only in “that which moves you”. Some of the songs were written many years ago, so each one has myriad influences. The musicians have freedom to improvise, hopefully this gives the material coherence across the album.
(((o))): Is COTCS the main focus of all involved, or are you all running several projects simultaneously?
Bill: Most members have other artistic endeavors, for me the Cosmic Skull is of paramount importance.
(((o))): You only played your first show together, officially, last autumn after the album was released.Has it been difficult getting everyone’s diaries cleared for the upcoming dates and how did that first show together go? The review I read was very positive.
Bill: Thank you, the debut show went very well, we are both honoured and humbled by the support we received on the night and ever since. So far preparations have been going smoothly, with so many fantastic people involved. We are being selective with the shows we do, sometimes for practical reasons, but it’s important for us to keep each show special. Not every day aligns with the cosmos. However there are some more exciting announcements to be made soon!
(((o))): There is obviously a theatrical element to what you do – what can the lucky punters expect at a COTCS show?
Bill: There will be a spectacle of sound and light. All comers are welcome! The Church takes no responsibility for physical or psychological damage incurred during attendance.
(((o))): You have some very good acts going out with you, are you fans of Ex People, they sound very promising?
Bill: Indeed Ex People are most excellent, very unique and moving. The promoters for all the shows have done an amazing job putting together bands for the tour, Vodun join us for three dates, others include Boss Keloid, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Crumbling Ghost, You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons, Trevor’s Head, Under and more to be announced!
(((o))): Will you be playing all of Is Satan Real? And do you have any other material up your white sleeves?
Bill: The current set includes all but one track from ‘Is Satan Real?’. We will also be playing at least one new number from the upcoming second album, which we’re recording currently, and it’s sounding joyous. You can keep up to date with tour-dates and releases at our website. Join us. We love you.
13th Apr – Trinity Centre, Bristol
14th Apr – Boston Music Room, London
15th Apr – Ruby Lounge, Manchester
16th Apr – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham