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God Is An Astronaut. Niels Kinsella

God Is An Astronaut. Niels Kinsella

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT is an epic post-rock band (with progressive rock, space rock and math rock influences) formed in Glen of the Downs, Wicklow/Ireland in 2002. They are known for their heavily layered melodies, ambient vocals, and dynamic songs, as well as their extensive use of lights and visuals for their live shows.

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We were watching television and the Clive Barker Movie Nightbreed was on. One of the characters, Peloquin, used the phrase God is an astronaut, Oz lies over the rainbow, and Midian ... is where the monsters live.

We really liked God is an Astronaut, it was kind of modern concept but with an Apocalyptic feel. We felt we could make music we wanted with this as the band name.

- Niels Kinsella / GIAA

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RiCo for CZB.ro: Torsten and Niels are not specific Irish names. Could you give me some input on your family roots?

Niels Kinsella (bass, guitars, visuals): Sure, Torsten and I are half German/Irish, the names come from my mother’s side, she is originally from Hamburg in Germany.

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CZB: How did you meet Lloyd Hanney and decide to start a band? In several interviews I researched on the net, I saw several band member names mentioned: Michael Fenton, Jamie Dean, Torsten Kinsella, Neils Kinsella, Zachary Dutton-Hanney, Edgey Edgeworth but on Wiki you are mentioned as being a trio …with four members… is this a loose collective of musicians?

Niels Kinsella (bass, guitars, visuals, God Is An Astronaut): No not at all. Torsten and I started the band in 2002 and still are the main driving force behind GIAA.

Lloyd joined the band in 2004 which allowed us to capture the live intensity of the live shows and help shape some of the grooves and rhythms on the following records. Jamie joined the band in late 2010 as part of the live setup but he is also contributing to the new record due out in 2013. Zack is our very talented sound engineer but he also contributed to some the writing in the last 2 records and Edgey is the "miracle worker" stage tech.

The core of the group both live and record has been myself, Torsten and Lloyd.

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CZB: How have you gotten involved in the kind of math-, post-rock music you make? What kind of music did you start out listening to and how did your music tastes evolve?

Niels Kinsella (God Is An Astronaut): No not really, we never set out to be a post-rock band or listened to post-rock or math rock which were all new terms to us when we started God Is An Astronaut, in fact we had been playing music in bands for nearly 10 years before GIAA. GIAA was initially intended to be a farewell to the music industry. We just wanted to make something we liked and not be influenced by what other people wanted to hear or wanted us to make.

Most of our music routes would have been metal/rock/electronic related; today it would be very varied and we are open to any music and are not confined to listening to music of a certain style, we would listen to anything from pop to death metal.

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CZB: What does God is an Astronaut mean for you (other than just the Nightbreed citation)?

Niels Kinsella (God Is An Astronaut): For us it was a great name to make music under, we liked that people thought it was outlandish and it allowed us to make music without boundaries.

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CZB: How influential is Britain's music scene on Ireland's music scene and is the same for other arts as well?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): Well the U.K. music scene is not just influential in Ireland but throughout the world - and Ireland is no different. 

We were never influenced by scenes; we just wanted to make music we liked whether it is popular or not.

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CZB: How do you feel about all your gear being stolen on your first US Tour and how did this happen?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): It was a big blow and a shock at first. All I can say is that you should trust no one when it comes to your equipment; we have numerous security precautions in place now!

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CZB: What was it like celebrating St. Patricks Day in the US on your debut American tour - what city were you in at the time?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): Unfortunately it was spent driving in the tour van for 10 hours.

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CZB: Who works on the projected, self-edited footage for the songs? WIll you be using the exact same footage for each song during a certain tour as there might be fans coming to see more than just one show?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): We change the visual show for each tour; we are currently using 2 hours of footage in a 90 minute show.

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CZB: Have you chosen to be DIY or have you been pushed into controlling your own business yourselves?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): It was a necessity, no one was interested in signing us back in the day, they didn't believe it would work and no one would like it. For us, we just wanted to create a platform to record, release and tour and to reach as many people as we could throughout the world.

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CZB: As a DIY band, in what ways are you afraid of the Google monopoly on Internet music?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): No, we'll just find a way to make it work with them or without them.

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CZB: Why have you chosen the Noise concept for your new album and have you been inspired to do this by listening to other artists, such as John Cale or Throbbing Gristle?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): We are not aware of the above mentioned artists and are not listening to any music while recording the new album.

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CZB: I understand that one of the messages you are trying to get across to people is to stop wars, to stop the killing… there are problems now in Egypt, Libya, Spain, Romania, Italy, Greece, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran and I'm  

sure there are several other places I don't know about … how do you explain all the violence in our current society 

…and what do you think people can do to change the corruption in the system?

Niels Kinsella (GIAA): Easy! watch the Zeitgeist documentaries. The system is designed to fail.

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The CZB Interview, conceived by RiCo

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We got the chance to do this e-mail interview a few weeks before the show, and our sincere thanks goes out to God Is An Astronaut and to the organizer who made this possible, Edmond Lenarth from The Independent Music Resistance Booking Agency in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

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God Is An Astronaut will be playing two dates in Romania this month as part of their 10 Year Anniversary Tour. Here is their schedule for March 2012

  • Thu 01 Mar 2012 - ARENA - Madrid, Spain
  • Fri 02 Mar 2012 - MUSIC HALL - Barcelona, Spain
  • Sun 04 Mar 2012 - SALZHAUS - Winterthur, Switzerland
  • Mon 05 Mar 2012 - ROCKHOUSE - Salzburg, Austria
  • Tue 06 Mar 2012 - TUNNEL - Milano, Italy
  • Wed 07 Mar 2012 - CIRCOLO DEGLI ARTISTI - Rome, Italy
  • Fri 09 Mar 2012 - POGON JEDINSTVO - Zagreb Croatia 
  • Sat 10 Mar 2012 - KLUB FEST - Zemun (Belgrade), Serbia
  • Sun 11 Mar 2012 - MIXTAPE 5 - Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Mon 12 Mar 2012 - SILVER CHURCH - Bucharest, Romania
  • Tue 13 Mar 2012 - BOILER CLUB - Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Wed 14 Mar 2012 - DURER KERT - Budapest, Hungary
  • Thu 15 Mar 2012 - KC DUNAJ - Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Fri 16 Mar 2012 - KINO SINSKA - Ljubljana, Slovenia

www.facebook.com/events/147567268681104

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Line-up

  • Torsten Kinsella (vocals, guitars, keyboards)
  • Niels Kinsella (bass, guitars, visuals)
  • Lloyd Hanney (drums), from 2004
  • Jamie Dean (keyboards, synthesiser), from 2011
  • Zachary Dutton-Hanney (sound engineer)
  • Edgey Edgeworth (stage technician)

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Albums

  • The End of the Beginning (2002)
  • All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2005)
  • A Moment of Stillness (EP, 2006)
  • Far from Refuge (2007)
  • God Is An Astronaut (2008)
  • Age of the Fifth Sun (2010)

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http://www.superadmusic.com/god/

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www.facebook.com/godiaa

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www.myspace.com/godisanastronaut


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