Join us as we hunker down with COSMICA and delve into their latest release “Castle of Dark Illusions”
Hailing from Brisbane, COSMICA, born in 2021, is making waves in the alternative rock scene, blending celestial energy with a nostalgic nod to the alt-rock vibes of the late ’90s and early 2000s.
In a laid-back chat with Teah, Jay, and Jack, the trio spills on their upcoming project, “EXHIBITION ACT 1,” promising an emotional rollercoaster that’s the polar opposite of its counterpart, ACT 2.
The conversation weaves through Brisbane’s music scene, growth spurts, and the band’s commitment to forging their path in the stone of alt-rock.
As COSMICA cements its presence, they share a sneak peek into the band’s philosophy of living life through art, emphasizing the importance of making music that lasts. So, whether you’re into punk-like, straight-to-the-point vibes or craving emotionally demanding tracks, COSMICA’s got you covered.
Get ready for a band that plans to leave a crater, not burn out, in the ever-evolving world of alternative rock. And what makes them happy? Living through art, decent car speakers, drinking, and the sheer joy of having a song named after a Yu-Gi-Oh! card. Because why not?
Happy: What are you up to today?
Teah: Just the usual grind, work, sleep and planning COSMICA’s world domination one day at a time.
Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like ?
Teah: Always been a Brisbane girlie from day dot. The scene, if I were to describe it concisely…..is accessible, tight knit, but yet, really expansive in its opportunities and talent within it.
So much more than meets the eye. Brisbane is in a really unique spot at the moment, I have an inkling something huge is on the way for the creative scene.
JAY: Being born in NZ, there’s always been a strong sense of identity with our country’s music, most clearly evidenced by the fact that if I get passed the aux over here, I can play any of my favourite songs from when I was a kid and get blank stares all around.
What do you mean nobody here knows The Mint Chicks? The Exponents? Zedd? All good guys, I’ll just be over here in the corner, cry-singing ‘Walkie Talkie Man’ to myself.
Happy: Describe an average day?
Teah: No matter what my day looks like, Lots and lots of music being blasted through the car speakers where possible. Being a constantly inspired musical hermit is what my average day consists of.
JAY: Try to wake up. Fail. Meander through an existence that, by some miracle, is keeping itself together. Try to sleep. Fail. Macca’s run.
Happy: “Castle of Dark Illusions” represents a renewed sound for COSMICA. How did the band approach the evolution of its trademark celestial energy on this album?
Teah: After the release of “EXHIBITION ACT 2”, this track was a fabulous opportunity to look inwards and ask ourselves, “How can we push the envelope more?”
With this came a desire to mean what we say through not only our lyrics, but the instrumentation. All in the name of wanting to “Exhibit” ourselves. So to the celestial energy I say, it’ll be present in our discography no matter what for that reason alone.
Jack: I feel the change was inevitable since the lineup change between the two EP’s. We worked our way into a groove and ACT 1 is the result.
JAY: We definitely knew we had to switch things up with fewer members, but if anything, it’s truly helped us solidify our style and sound moving forward.
Happy: You draw influence from a variety of sources, creating a nostalgic yet modern sonic landscape. Can you elaborate on the specific influences that shaped the sound of Castle of Dark Illusions?
Teah: This single was visually, and sonically inspired by late 90’s and early 2000’s alt rock. There is a whole essay worth of influences to give for this one, to name a few off the top of my head: Gorillaz, The Strokes, Radiohead, Incubus, Panic! At the Disco, Fall out Boy, Little Birdy even.
JAY: Wanting the song to walk the line between energetic and emotionally charged, we pulled a lot of our influences for the track from the post-hardcore genre; from the massive chorus that you can scream along with to the full-on metal breakdown leading into the ending, it’s hard to deny that inspiration.
Happy: The band was born in 2021, and yet, Castle of Dark Illusions feels like a culmination of a seasoned musical journey. How has COSMICA grown and evolved since its inception?
Teah: To tell you the truth. We’ve come lightyears from where we started.
From changing musician lineups, tedious practises, writing sessions, studio sessions, to just, getting out there and gigging where we could.
All of which, definitely “seasoned” us as people and musicians in our craft.
And to be a bit cheesy about it, just flat out not giving up was the key to it all. I felt likethere was a period of time we felt we needed to fight our own corner and prove to OURSELVES we were worth it.
No word of a lie, a fair percentage came from my OWN personal ability to be the front woman I WANTED to be, then shaping COSMICA into the band it is. The energy you give is the energy you receive after all.
Jack: We’re no strangers to the stage but our real growth came from experimentation and reflection off stage. This fuels our ever evolving sound.
JAY: Yeah, we’re constantly looking for different ways to evolve and tailor our sound to create an unforgettable experience.
Happy: The title suggests a darker theme, but Castle of Dark Illusions surprises with an illuminated portrayal of COSMICA. Can you share the inspiration behind the album’s title and the contrast it presents?
Teah: Admittedly, I had no hand in the song name or initial conception. JAY is the man responsible for this brilliant tune. Take it away matey!
JAY: We were just going to call the song “House of Cards”, but after the release of the first EP and an epiphany about search engine optimization, we decided to rename it. Being a massive nerd, I suggested
“Castle of Dark Illusions” based on a Yu-Gi-Oh! card of the same name, since it’s both a literal house on a card while still conveying the song’s central theme of self-doubt.
Happy: Castle of Dark Illusions has a distinctive alt-rock vibe from the 2000s. What motivated the band to channel this era, and how did you infuse it with your own unique flair?
Teah: Honestly, it’s simple. That era in music really hit the musical “sweet spot” for me. I found that era to be particularly ICONIC aesthetically speaking too.
And not to mention, I really insist the music from that era has aged like fine wine. I go back constantly and relive particular eras of my life via the music from that time.
COSMICA serves this exact purpose for us, making songs that LAST.
Songs you can always come back to and won’t lose their charm.
Most importantly, music that the listener can infuse themselves within, find their OWN place within a track.
To us that’s what matters. Essentially, mixing an aesthetic I’m passionate about, and a COSMICA related purpose…it just works!
Jack: The alt-rock sound resonated with us as individuals so put together it came out naturally. This sound isn’t the end of the line for COSMICA, however.
JAY: Far from it! Although it’ll likely always permeate through to some extent, the diversity on the tracks of ACT I alone shows just how far we can take this sound.
Happy: The new single serves as a precursor to your upcoming project, EXHIBITION ACT 1. Can you provide a sneak peek into what listeners can expect from this next chapter in the band’s musical journey?
Teah: :To not spoil too much, “EXHIBITION ACT 1” is the polar OPPOSITE to its counter part, ACT 2.
As a body of work, exhibition was created based on the idea that, we, as people, exhibit ourselves infinitely as per the human condition.
One moment in time won’t be the same as another. Every feeling, scenario is all so unique within of itself.
From the punk-like “in your face”, “straight to the point” nature of ACT 2, listeners are due for a complete table turner. These tracks will be scratching way deeper than the surface and WILL BE emotionally demanding.
Lyrics that challenge the listener to think further. That’s just a taste test of what to expect next year.
Jack: ACT 1 reveals all to the listener and makes a personal connection, despite the dark illusions one would expect.
JAY: A tense, dramatic expression of emotion painted across an ever-shifting soundscape of ethereal guitars and thrashing drums.
Happy: COSMICA emphasizes living life through art and musical collaboration. How does this philosophy translate into the band’s creative process and the themes explored in your music?
Teah: This philosophy truly underpins the core of why we even make the music in the first place. It gives us the reason to commit to a track, to see what place inside ourselves this is coming from.
To capture a moment in time. So whilst we conceive a track, we definitely quality control in the sense that, we really evaluate its place in the body of work. We ask “does this track REALLY have something to say?”
And of course “is this loud enough.” That’s usually how the philosophy navigates the creative process for us!
Jack: Our themes deal with real issues and holds back enough to let the listener become protagonist in the story.
JAY: Honestly, I think the thing that has really brought us together as a band is that the best coping mechanism we all have is music. It certainly expresses itself most prominently through our lyrics, but I can guarantee almost every riff, every chord, every melody we’ve written would’ve come from a place of vulnerability.
Happy: COSMICA is solidifying its presence in the Australian alternative rock scene. How does the band view its role within this musical landscape, and what does the future hold for COSMICA in this ever-evolving genre
Teah: COSMICA will never stop forging itself in the stone of Alt-rock music. We will keep going as the budget and capabilities get bigger overtime. Continue to plan as we intended. No matter where the genre goes, we will still make our statement, and make it LOUD!
JAY: We’re just trying to make sure that, if you come to see COSMICA perform, you’re gonna remember that night for the rest of your life. There’s no way we’re burning out without leaving one hell of a crater.
Jack: COSMICA proves you can do whatever the fuck you want on stage. Be creative, adventurous, emphatic. COSMICA plans to project this spirit with a bang very soon!
Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?
Teah: Living through art. Oh and having decent car speakers.
JAY: The fact we have a song named after a Yu-Gi-Oh! card that you can stream right now on all platforms.