INTERVIEW! "It's more a feeling instead of a well structured masterplan" - Downfall of Gaia discuss their new album - Ethic Of Radical Finitude

February 20, 2019

Germany’s Downfall of Gaia have been operational for a little over a decade and in that time have released five albums, the latest of which, Ethic of Radical Finitude, is perhaps their most accomplished. They hype surrounding this latest record over the past couple of weeks has been real and very much deserved. With what can only be described as a masterpieces (and certainly an early contender for album of the year) we sat down with one of the brilliant minds behind the music Dominik Goncalves dos Reis to tall all things 'Ethic of Radical Finitude' Its not been too long since we last caught up with you. Fresh off the back of ‘Atrophy’ Actually, yet here we are again, another new album under your belt and what a stunner it is!

DG: Thank you very much. Flattering to hear this!
 And thanks a lot for having us again! How have things been in camp? You’ve been working hard it seems on Ethic Of Radical Finitude.

DG: Definitely. I would say that this is the album we put the most energy and time into. Everyone was really focused and we tried to pay a lot of attention to the details what we maybe didn't do before with such an intensity. Tell us a little about the new album, I know we keep saying it but its an absolute masterpiece. For those who may not have checked it out yet, in your own words, whats it all about? Where are its influences drawn from.


DG: That's always tough to tell. To be honest – whenever we start with a songwriting process there is not really a straight path we want to go. 
The songs and atmosphere just need to feel right in the end, I can't even really describe it. It's more a feeling instead of a well structured masterplan.
 I guess that's the way I learned to write songs over the years. The more things grow the more you get an idea of where it could end. A lot of stuff is happening on a gut level. We are particularly keen to get our hands on some of the cool vinyl versions you guys release, How much thought went into deciding those formats? It must be an interesting discussion when releasing new music given the media format shifts we are seeing. Vinyl seems to be going strong though!



I have to admit that it was an easy thing for this release because we had the option to release 7 different versions. So in the end we were free to choose our favourite ones and even more.
 But for example whenever there are just two different versions getting released it's a completely different thing. There are so many cool formats you could add but in the end it's just two. 
But most important of course it needs to suit the visual aspect of the record.  How did you approach this album differently to ‘Atrophy’. Whilst there are similarities between the two, Ethic Of Radical Finitude sounds like the band very much maturing.


DG: I would say that this record  has a lot of elements of our previous releases to offer combined with the path we took on “Atrophy”. An important thing for us was definitely to give all of these songs the time they need, to let them grow and unfold but without losing the path of “harsh aggression”.
The sound is definitely a natural development. It just made sense to combine these two worlds even more as we ever did before. It was always important for us to have these kinds of “ups and downs” in our music but I would say that “Ethic...” is way more “balanced” when it comes to this. Way more balanced as any of our previous records. The reception you have received with the new release must be quite validating. How did you feel when the good reviews started to pour in?


It's always flattering to read a good review. Really don't want to lie right here.
 In the end we are doing this for us and the most important thing is of course that we are satisfied with what we are doing but on the other hand there is always so much work, energy and heart put into a release that's it's for sure a nice feeling when you are getting good press or a positive feedback in general. It's not that we are on the hunt for a 10 out of 10 but if people see and appreciate the work, energy and time spent for a release ( in what way ever ) than yes – it's a good feeling. The video for ‘We pursue the serpent of time’ was dark, tell us about its influences.



For the video we worked together with Andreas Borsodi from Austria. 
He already did videos for bands like Harakiri for the sky, Karg... and we are really into his aesthetics. I got in contact with him and he was directly into it. After we exchanged ideas about the direction we want to go, talked the album we came up with this storyboard.
The video shows, i guess for some people in an offending way, the radicalism of finitude but with an open end, which is some kind of the special “gimmick” of the video.
I don't want to say that we wanted to „provoke“ but definitely wanted to take a more „harsh“ visual direction as we did before. Where do you go from here, with such a success, I imagine you’re all somewhat eager to both play this new stuff live and start writing more?


DG: For now we will focus on playing live and touring, simply enjoying the new record. 
We are definitely looking forward to finally play these new songs live and to start this new chapter. You’re one of a few bands out there at the moment that feels like they are pushing the boundaries of modern Black Metal. The genre is moving away from all of those genre cliche’s we read so much about and it is becoming more about the music, how does it feel knowing you’re one of the few paving the way?


DG: I never really thought about this to be honest. Maybe it's not that clear to me because we never did anything different and this was always our "way“ of creating music. But it's definitely good to see that people in general became more open minded. Of course there are still the more "conservative“ ones with a completely different opinion when it comes to this topic but in my eyes it's a good thing when art is free to do whatever it wants.
 In the end it should be about good music and not about stamps. You have quite an extensive tour coming up with a small set of UK shows. Will we be seeing you guys back soon for any more dates?


DG: There is nothing confirmed yet but we will definitely be back some other day with another tour. Whats next for the band?

DG: We will prepare for the upcoming tours and finally enjoy being on the road again. 

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