KOSM is a Female Fronted Progressive Metal band based out of Vancouver, British Columbia that consists of Jessie Grace (Vocals), Erik Leonhard (Guitar), Mike Slater (Guitar), Michael ‘Pastrami’ Mastracci (Bass) and Sterling Paterson (Drums). Drawing influence from bands such as Mastodon, Tool and Gojira gives Kosm their dynamic and lethal sound. Since their start in 2016, they have been making waves in the metal scene. Now with their newest album "Cosmonaut" gaining them some more well-deserved recognition since being released back in mid-November, Screams Media was happy to have the opportunity for a little interview with drummer, Sterling Paterson. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about this fantastic emerging band and their process as much as we did.
Watch the newest released official music video below.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Tell us about yourselves, how did Kosm develop and how did you come up with the name?
Kosm (S.P): The name Kosm comes from the Bloodborne Universe - there’s a character named Kos/Kosm, and we took inspiration from that as well as the stories written by H.P Lovecraft, which then laid the groundwork thematically for our first album!
We always kid around with this, but Kosm is a Prog Metal supergroup created in North Vancouver consisting of members from three different Progressive Metal bands that you’ll have never heard of.
The bands we were all respectively in at the time had either broken up, were on indefinite hiatus or were struggling to get off the ground - so at the time I reached out to Jessie to see if she wanted to start a new band, since she was a singer I had wanted to work with since hearing her in her band Maya. On her end, Mike and Erik had asked Jessie to sing for the material they had started to write, which eventually came to be what Cosmonaut is now; so after a brief light bulb moment she connected the dots that a drummer wanted a band, and a band wanted a drummer!
Then we took to Craigslist and found Michael through there funny enough. After one audition we knew he fit, but seeing as we already had a Mike in our band, I dubbed him ‘Pastrami’ because it sounded Italian enough and his last name was impossible to pronounce.
Now the nickname has taken over his life and people refer to him as that more than his real name!! Initially, we all had the goal to make the album and play a few shows, but collectively we all realized there was something really special and unique with what we were doing - All we want to do is see how far this band can take us and have a fun time doing it together.
SCREAMS MEDIA: You label Kosm as Progressive Metal; What influenced you to create this genre?
Kosm (S.P): Progressive Metal has always been my favourite genre of music because there isn’t any limitations to what you can do. Objectively, it’s one of the most challenging types of genres to undertake, but the true beauty in it lies with how boundless it can be. If we want to be heavier, we can, if we want to take people on a journey with something more slower and melodic, we can do that too. It’s such a colourful, expressive style of music and as a whole we found it to be the best medium to allow everyone to play what comes naturally to them.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Live performances: Which one was the best and which one was the messiest to date? Why?
Kosm (S.P): The best one I’d have to say would be a tie between album release parties! We were very kindly invited by our wonderful friends in Obsidian to play their album release show, which started with Jessie and I feeling sick from stage fright before hand, but turned into an insane show where once the adrenaline took over, we were flying. The album release for Cosmonaut on the other hand resulted in us breaking capacity at the venue we were at, and playing two encores. Everyone had a great time and it was such a memorable night. One of our personal messiest shows, which we still rib our bassist for, was our second gig as a band - we were playing the Smiling Buddha Cabaret, which has a half pipe with a stage on the end of it. Pastrami decided to run up the half pipe, took an insanely bad fall and hit his knee so hard on the way down he tore something. So he was driven off to Emergency for medical attention, and we were left having to think on our feet. So we cranked the bass on Erik’s and Mike’s Mesa’s, re-balanced the mix and trucked through the set! At the time we unveiled two new songs that we hadn’t played before and also did a tribute to Chris Cornell and played Show Me How To Live - we played really well through it all but it was such a hilarious shit show!
SCREAMS MEDIA: Continuing from the previous question, what song is the most fun to perform live and why?
Kosm (S.P): For me personally, I love ripping through ‘The Esoteric Order’, since I’m a prick and force my drum solos on the rest of the band. You can argue that Prog Metal is a genre that’s based around wanking as hard as you can on your instrument, but for this song I REALLY go to town on it, since what I play for it live isn’t even on the recorded version.
For the band as a whole it’s definitely one of the more challenging songs that uses a wide skill set to really nail the dynamics of it successfully! It’s very gratifying to pull it off.
SCREAMS MEDIA: So far, what has been the biggest accomplishment of Kosm? Alternatively, what has been the hardest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Kosm (S.P): Flat out, having Cosmonaut come to fruition. Having a debut album as ambitiously long as it is, and pulling it off all by ourselves is a serious milestone for all of us. The most assistance we received was from our stellar PR guy Jon Asher from Asher Media - the rest of it was us putting in the time and making personal and financial sacrifices to make everything happen.
The hardest challenge I’d say was after our first show - Jessie needed to have an operation for a deviated septum, which heavily impacted her ability to breathe, as well as her ability to sing. Right out of the gate, it knocked us back four months. So in between when Jessie was recovering, she pushed through to record a few covers, and I made all the investments necessary to allow us to record in our Jamspace to make cover videos and so on to throw them on youtube. Since we had a temporary setback, I really made an effort to keep the momentum going and give everyone realistic, tangible goals to keep spirits high and keep us active in any way possible. Stagnation is any bands worst enemy, so we all came together as a team and pushed through while giving Jessie the time she needed to recover before we could take on more gigs.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Your most recent album “Cosmonaut” was released through Rosenbridge Records November of this year; what songs and lyrical content do you hope stand out to fans?
Kosm (S.P): We really hope that fans can take a Journey into the world that ‘Cosmonaut’ creates. The album itself is a concept loosely based around the workings of H.P Lovecraft, so we hope people can really dig into it and treat it as a story. That being said, if there was a particular song that I hope sticks out, it’d be one of the Ballads actually. Monarch and Colossus both are such a journey and I’ve always been a fan of songs that require you to really listen and get into the atmosphere of what it creates, rather than something you can bob your head to for 3 to 5 minutes. I’d love to reach out to fans like that.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Can we briefly talk about a fan, mentor, friend or family who has really inspired you guys in the past? What did this person do or say that had such an impact?
Kosm (S.P): For me, it’s my, Friend, Mentor and basically father figure, Jay Deachman. I never really had a strong male role model, let alone a music teacher prior to meeting him, but who would have thought that going for Drum Lessons at Tom Lee all those years ago would have resulted in being such a game changing point in my life. He gives me a goal to shoot for, the tools to do it, and lets me figure out how I’m going to there - I wouldn’t be a part of Kosm, or there may not even have been a Kosm, if he didn’t give me the kick to go out looking for a new band. Plus he was the one to really instill into me to find drummers that inspire me and listen to what they do - which is definitely why Kosm sounds the way it does, because I take an insane amount of inspiration from Danny Carey in Tool.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Let’s do a quickfire round!
a) New Metal VS Old Metal? - A BIT OF BOTH b) Slow Metal VS Fast Metal? - RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE BETWEEN SLOW AND FAST. c) Solos VS Breakdowns? - Breakdowns are for people who play ‘Core’ Genres and I hate playing crash cymbals for more than a couple of bars!!! d) Complexity VS Simplicity? - I’d say ‘Play the song’ but while there is a time to play simple, I love to push myself on the drumset so complex all the way e) Clean vocals VS Harsh? - DO BOTH
SCREAMS MEDIA: What is something that we can look forward to seeing from you next? Any little Teasers?
Kosm (S.P): We’re actually working on an EP specifically inspired by Bloodborne. We’ve taken the feedback from the metal community in Vancouver and are working on five new songs with that in mind while still retaining what makes us ‘Us’. If you ask me nicely I may share some shittily recorded cellphone audio though, but I’d probably get in trouble hahaha.
SCREAMS MEDIA: Anything else you would like to mention before we wrap up? Thank you so much for your time!
Kosm (S.P): 2019 plans! Currently it’s up in the air if we can pull off tour for this upcoming year, but at the very least we’ve applied to festivals all over Canada so the contingency plan is if we aren’t tour ready for next year, we’ll still be doing a festival run depending and maybe a few shows on the way depending on where we get in.
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