It all began in one of the shabby rehearsal rooms behind a car repair shop where the five of us met for the first time. We all had already gained some experience in making music but mostly it did not go beyond having a couple of gigs. So, through individual incidents and experiences, each of us came to the conclusion that he needed a new project. The result was the five of us standing in that rehearsal room and playing songs from Kyuss to make the first tentative steps. Since every one of us had already had plenty of ideas, it didn’t take long until we were working on our first songs.
They were rather simple, with little depth, but powerful and vibrating to the bones. The rehearsals were vivid and soon we had a pile of material which needed to be released. But, understandably, every band needs a name. So, numerous ideas were ditched until we were almost fed up with the rummaging. So we thought: do we actually want a name that confines our music to the stoner rock genre? No, we’re actually no pure stoner rockers. We just want to create powerful, eccentric music, no matter which genre it will eventually turn out to be. None of the previous names had seemed satisfying. None of them had been able to describe what we’re looking for.
And then it occurred to us. The searching itself bared the name: it was a decision of last resort, the ultima ratio. We are Ultima Radio (pun intended).
So in 2015, we released our self-titled debut EP. Afterwards we quickly noticed that our music seemed to digress from stoner rock into the unknown. We started to develop a more diverse sound along with more complex songwriting, so this was why we preferred an EP over an album at that time since we didn’t feel as if our music was already at a stage where we could create a coherent album. We picked five of our most stoner rock-like songs that would form a complete unit to finally have something tangible that we could publish, and perhaps also to already set sail for new waters and discover other genres.
Anyway, the EP was well received but nonetheless, we knew we had to work on an album. Indeed, the work already started with the release of the EP. We kept working on new songs, finalising old ones that we hadn’t used for the EP and we even sorted out songs we decided not to use for this album...
In the following year, we also released two Split-Singles. The first one, Mapale Split, emerged from the collaboration with the Austrian band Colours of Monochrome. The second one, Reciprocity Split, was recorded with the local band Witchrider. It was released and also distributed on Fuzzorama Records. We also had the pleasure to contribute a song to the soundtrack of an Austrian play by Zdravko Haderlap called 'Das Lächeln Gottes'. In summer 2017, we will finally release our debut-album on Panta R&E Record Label, our current label with which we started working together in winter 2016. The album was produced and partly recorded in the GAB Music Factory in Vienna with the support of Georg Gabler, who has collaborated with many renowned bands such as the Austrian Rock band Mother's Cake. It also features several guest musicians who are all friends from other Austrian bands.
We also enjoy participating in active shaping of our own creative works including artworks, videos and images. Julian Jauk is particularly responsible for the conceptional and technical implementations within the band. So far, we’ve produced most parts of our music at Tonstudio Grelle Musik, founded by Werner Jauk. We benefit a lot from the studio’s equipment which ranges from vintage to newest digital tools, which we believe is also reflected in our music.
As we’ve mentioned before, our style has changed over the years, developing into a rather diverse, sometimes bizarre sound, moving away from our beginnings as a pure Stoner Rock-band. However, heavy guitar riffs and powerful beats have always been a core element of our band and we’re eager to keep it that way.
But apart from all that work that’s happening behind the curtains, playing probably more than 50 concerts by now afforded us the possibility to meet lots of people, other bands, make new friends, see new places and most importantly, gain experience. We’ve been to lots of cities - the farthest one so far was Berlin - , have met many other musicians, of which many really impressed us, and have been lucky enough to always enjoy a great audience, even though our performance hasn’t always been shipshape. Some concerts were quite decent, some were just fantastic, and others were not.
Strings snapped, beers were spilt, we stepped on our own jack cables and unplugged our guitars, our drummer fell off his drum throne, we started a song in the wrong tuning and to this day our singer still keeps bumping into his bandmates. We also had rough nights, little sleep, long drives and headaches from the... occasional consumption of alcohol. But most importantly, we’ve learned a lot through these concerts which enables us to reflect on our live performances and to improve (we think so).
With the creation of our debut album we have finally been able to bring together songs that form a coherent and satisfying unit. It was difficult to find the right moment to actually fix the songs for this album because we were not sure if our music was still developing into something we could not foresee. Of course it always keeps developing, but we had to find the right time to say, ‘this is it, these songs go together really well.’ We cannot really predict the direction our music is going to take and the last 3 years have already shown how quickly it can change. It probably won’t be Radio Pop, that’s for sure. But we can say with certainty that there is going to be more.
The creation of this artwork was based on the same method – a psychedelic motive, digitally processed. The goal was the implementation of Stoner Rock and vintage elements by the use of contemporary tools to create something new. The hand stands for our motivation to reach out for something greater and is composed of by itself shapeless and random items that form a discernible entity through the deliberate combination of its parts, similar to our music that builds on various influences to generate a new mix.
The starting point for this artwork was a photomontage of three different facial expressions that should remind of numerous psychedelic covers of the 70s. The photos were computationally processed using a self-made script that transfers them into vector graphics. This is also representative of the shape of our own music: Originating somewhere in the 70s but interpreted in a contemporary and digital fashion.
Both songs on this Split are characterized by their very rough sounds and heavy riffs, so again we were looking for a good idea to transfer this into an appropriate image. On this artwork you can see both of the songs depicted as powerful and very massive blocks that are created by a self-made script that translates the songs’ wave-format into a correspondent 3D tower. The perspective also contributes to the heaviness of the model. The cover is kept rather straight and less psychedelic to mesh with the style of the two songs.
In Stoner Rock, noise and feedback is a very frequently used element that contributes to the characterization of the music. We thought about a way to illustrate this phenomenon in order to create an artwork for our EP that is also connected to the music. The visual feedback is the result of a loop that is established between a projector and a camera that captures the projection in an endless cycle. Accordingly, we added a rather psychedelic touch to the photos.
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