INTERVIEW: Cosmic Trip Machine

Psychedelia from Belgium

Interview by John Wisniewski

When was Cosmic Trip Machine formed and what brought the members of the group together?

Will Z.: It was in early 2008. Majnun and I played together in a band.We planned to record an album at NoHype Studio, but the group split up. The day it happened, we made two decisions, we decided to carry on alone because the studio was booked and we found the Cosmic Trip Machine name, rummaging through my records.

Could you name some of your influences in music and film?

Majnun: We are horror, exploitation and B-movies fans. We love movies like Wicker Man, Suspiria, More and The Holy Mountain to name a very few, including their soundtrack. Morricone 70's giallo music is another inspiration.

Could you tell us about Vampyros Roussos. Was it intended to be a concept album like Lord Space Devil?

Will Z.: The funny thing is Lord Space Devil wasn’t intended to be a concept album first. The first idea was to record two separate EP. Majnun had some musical concepts and I had Lord Space Devil, a never-completed project started in December 2000. Quickly, we discovered the songs sound great melted into and make a good LP: the concept came after. It was the opposite for Vampyros Roussos. Since the beginning, this album was an imaginary soundtrack to an unmade film.

Are the members of the group inspired by occult subjects?

Will Z.: It intrigues me how the brain is fascinated with the mysterious and the unknown. It’s pure philosophy and poetry.

Majnun: I'm interested by the way people try to reach different states of consciousness and by the strength of the will.

Do you improvise during your performances and do you enjoy playing live, giving the audience and light show-visuals?

Majnun: We improvise a lot during our shows : that's a good way to find new ideas for others future projects and something very natural to do, trying to connect with others and yourself.

What future projects are planned?

Will Z.: Two versions (CD & LP) of our third album, The Curse of Lord Space Devil, will be released, during December, on the great Nasoni Records label, so we’re very excited. We’re touring with a formula we called Kosmische Kraut Maschine, devoted to the experimental rock scene appeared in Germany during the sixties, with vintage drum machine sounds (the Harmonia and Kraftwerk one), Moog, organ, mellotron and glissando guitar. We have recorded a new version of Mantra song (on Lord Space Devil album) for a psychedelic compilation with only Belgian bands. We’ll begin to record our fourth album during December.

Is there currently an interest in psychedelia from the 60's, and what makes this music so popular, that it survives to this day?

Majnun: Well, personally, I'm not involved enough into today musical scene to tell you if there's a big interest in psychedelia, but I can tell you this music pass the test of time. Curious and music lovers will always find something in there. It has such a unique vibe and attitude.

Why do you combine an interest in film and music?

Will Z.: We have a cinematographic approach. Our music evokes images to our listeners.

Majnun: It seems natural to us. All the things you are come to light when you play music.

Do you enjoy the films of such directors as Alejandro Jodorowsky and what you may call «trip» film that provides the audience with a trip-like feeling?

Will Z.: Yes, and that’s why our music is heavily influenced by this kind of movies. Lord Space Devil had strong references to giallo, western and horror B movies. Vampyros Roussos was an imaginary 70's psychedelic erotic horror soundtrack inspired by Vampyros Lesbos, Psych-Out, Suspiria, Carnival of Souls, The Holy Mountain and many more.

Majnun: Jodorowsky is a great inspiration to us, with also El Topo. A true master in visual arts.

Could you give us a list of your favorite albums of all-time?

Will Z.: It’s a difficult question because there are so many albums I love… Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn / Beatles, Abbey Road / Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath / Love, Forever Changes / Zombies,
Odessey and Oracle / Magma, Mekanik Destruktiw Kommando / Led Zeppelin, IV / Pretty Things, SF Sorrow / Beach Boys, Smile / Gong, Camembert Électrique / Doors, Waiting for the Sun / Can Am Des Puig,
Book of AM / Analogy, Analogy / Ramases, Space Hymns / Frank Zappa, Läther / Miles Davis, In a Silent Way … and hundreds more !

Majnun: Mahavishnu Orchestra, Inner Mounting Flame & Birds Of Fire / Led Zeppelin, I & IV / Miles Davis, Bitches brew / Deep Purple, In Rock /Jethro Tull, Thick As A Brick / Cream, Disreali Gears / Magma, MDK / Frank Zappa, Overnight Sensation

All the best Guys and Thank you for your time. 


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