Cosmic Roots Collective Interivew

SWEATER FEST (12/17) INTERVIEW: Cosmic Roots Collective

by • December 3, 2016

Sweater Fest is an Orlando holiday tradition of epically tacky proportions. Saturday, December 17 marks the 10th itchy celebration as The Milk District is transformed into a celebration of Central Florida music. Encompassing three stages (Spacebar, Sandwich Bar, and an outdoor stage), DJs will share the sleigh with psychedelic space bands; noise duos will toast eggnog with surf rock trios. SIGT is previewing Sweater Fest in the form holiday-themed interviews leading to a Ticket Giveaway the week of the event. The first to take a seat on our lap is psych prog trio Cosmic Roots Collective. Enjoy. 


What’s new with you all? What’s in the works? Are you excited for the album release?

Our main focus has been finishing the album, which we are very excited about! We will wrap recording this month. We’re very happy with the quality of everything thus far and hope the rest of Orlando (and world) will be too.

Why do I feel like we’ve done this interview before?

Because the philosophical construct of “eternal recurrence” (propagated by Nietzsche, among others) that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self- similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space is actually true. So, this interview has taken place an infinite number of times already and will take place again an infinite number of times. And yes, this past election will recur infinitely as well, unfortunately.

What has your experience in Orlando been like as a band thus far?

We love the local scene! There are so many talented bands and artists spanning multiple genres and sub-genres who support each other, and we’re psyched and honored to be among them and considered peers.

What is the songwriting process like for you all? How has that and your overall sound evolved over time?

Some songs, like our new single “You Manic,” were completed by Wheeler before the band started working on them. Others happened more collaboratively. Typically, Wheeler or I (Ronnie) will come in with a riff, and we jam on it a bit. If it feels good, we’ll lay down a demo recording and continue writing from there. That’s what happened with our first single, “Big Hand.” I stumbled on the main riff by accident before a rehearsal, and it snowballed from there. Wheeler takes care of the vocal melodies and lyrics before we start to work out a live arrangement. But ultimately, as much as we want to push the creative envelope, and our own (Cosmic Roots?) collective comfort zone, the focus remains on creating the best songs we can.

What do you hope people get out of a Cosmic Roots show?

A nagging sense of unease and disorientation, with sporadic bursts of ecstasy and an occasional glimpse into the void.

What are some of your favorite Florida/local/bigger bands and why?

Someday River, Timothy Eerie, Transcendental Telecom, Bill Silver (Sterling Schroeder), PLEASURES, Locus of Chiron, Slumberjack, Obliterati, and aileron27 (Nasar Ahmad) out of Lakeland, to name just a few. Their sounds inspire us to let loose creatively and try new things. The full list of Florida bands is very long … too long for this piece … but I (Wheeler) will say that I have really enjoyed the new Zap Dragon album a lot. There is this raw, sometimes humorous but at the same time heavy, sincerity to their songwriting that gets me. As previously mentioned, the variety here in the Orlando scene is pretty vast and we’re excited to be a part of it.

What advice do you have for people that want to start a band up?

Go for it! But remember, a career in air conditioning and refrigeration will most likely provide a steadier income.

Any strange holiday traditions?

We wear animal masks. Ronnie wears a donkey head; Wheeler puts on a zebra head, and Paul dons an elephant head. It’s a pagan thing and entails worshiping megaliths, dressing in Druid robes, and ingesting candle wax. However, no animals are ever harmed as the aforementioned masks are made out of papier-mâché.

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

Possible guest appearances by President Obama or Neil deGrasse Tyson. Also, opening the outside portion of Sweater Fest’s 10th anniversary!


SWEATER FEST (12/17) INTERVIEW: Cosmic Roots Collective by Matthew Weller.

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