Phil “Jetphil” Lemay

Bryn Schurman: Hey this is Bryn Schurman from the Eleventh Hour on I’m here with Phil from Kosmos.

Phil Lemay: Hi!

BS: How’s it going out there in Montréal?

PL: It’s summer — really hot summer. The temperature is super hot.

BS: Coming to the album, where do you see it: as a tribute to Krautrock or an extension of it?

PL: Actually, it was more like a challenge. We were wondering if we could write like old school prog rock and it was more like a challenge: “can we do it?” And we start to write slowly and things happen to do good and we liked the songs and we just continued. But we’re big lovers of old school Krautrock (German) and old prog rock and rock and punk. We listen to everything, actually.

It’s a tribute, but it’s also what we felt at the time. Pretty much, we said “Ok, let’s go with it and do it.” We had fun to do it, and that was the main goal.

BS: How has the response been overseas?

PL: We don’t know yet. We are going to meet with The End Records soon so we might talk about that with The End, but probably we’re going to go overseas. Actually, it’s on our future plans for sure.

BS: Any tour plans in the states possibly?

PL: We spoke about that, but the thing is, like I said, we should meet with the label very soon to discuss about all these details, but we should tour, yes. How often, I don’t know. If the offers cool, then we’ll be there for sure.

BS: Ideally, if you could pick two bands to tour with, who are your choices?

PL: That’s a good question… I’m a big fan of Estradasphere on The End Records. It’s a really great, fantastic, explosive, prog, very special band. And also Oliver that I really like, so I don’t know. There are so many good bands out there.

BS: Do you guys go for all analog gear to get that vintage sound, or is it made with plug-ins and that type of stuff?

PL: (laughs) Yes, yes. It’s a lot of gear but especially for the keyboard player, because for Vincent and I, it’s mostly rock average gear, but for our keyboard player…

BS: You’ve got to get the vintage Moogs and Mellotron and all that.

PL: Oh yeah, yeah. Voyager Moog. That’s why it sounds great. I think so, I’m not saying there’s no good digital processor anymore, but the fact that we want to reproduce almost what we used to hear that we don’t hear any more, so we got the old gear.

BS: These being mostly instrumentals, I’m curious as to how the song titles get put on what song.

PL: It all happened by itself almost because it was a big challenge. It’s my first band with instrumental songs and it’s the first time I was confronted to find twelve or fourteen titles for things that don’t have actual subjects, so we just let it go and we took it how it happened. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell (laughs) but it was hard. Until the end of the process of the album we didn’t have all the titles. It was a big challenge.

BS: You can’t exactly lift a line from the verse or chorus.

PL: Let’s see… there was one that we did that was kind of an avant-garde song so we twisted “away” backwards so it’s called Yawa. It’s all little things like this that we came up with in the process.

BS: People today might hear your band before they’ve heard Amon Düül II or some of the other [Krautrock] bands. Do you have any advice for people that are getting into this genre?

PL: Actually, to me it’s such a big melting pot of all kinds of things we can relate to. That’s why, I guess, people are going to have an easy time to relate to Kosmos because it’s so wide open — like prog and metal and avant-garde and space rock and Judas Priest. It’s all together, so I guess we can all enjoy it. That’s the way we see it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *