Bandcamp of the Day: CB3

Exploding out of Malmö Sweden, the Charlottas Burning Trio (CB3) are a human fireball of concentrated ambition with the massive chops to shatter every star they encounter in their wake.

Comprised of guitarist Charlotta, drummer Natanael, and bassist Pelle, CB3 combines the free-floating power of Earthless with the tortuous, transportive maneuvers of the guitar-jazz greats like the Mahavishnu Orchestra to embed themselves in a cosmic chasing style of rock ‘n’ roll which feels about the closest a human being alive today will ever come to experience the warp-tunnel scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey in person.

In early 2020, the band released their latest LP, Aeons which they followed up with a short EP of live improvisations based on several tracks off their studio album titled, Aeons Live Session. As expansive as the original songs were, the improvised pieces are even more so, feeding each song through the wormhole of their collective consciousness until it comes out the other side thoroughly voluminous and dauntingly refined.

You can check out the full stream of CB3’s new EP Aeons Live Session below, and keep scrolling for an exclusive interview with the band themselves.

Interview conducted over email on February 2. It has been edited slightly for the purpose of clarity.

How did you all meet?
Charlotta: Me and Natanael (the drummer) met at Malmö Academy of Music in 2013. I remember asking him in the cafeteria if he wanted to play, and so it began. Pelle joined after subbing for a gig. I remember playing the show, without rehearsing, and it feeling like we had been playing together forever.

What are your musical backgrounds?
Charlotta: I started playing violin, folk music. Later, I was introduced to the electric guitar, metal/rock music, and jazz/fusion like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Allan Holdsworth.
Pelle: I started playing bass out of boredom. Then I got really into disco music. Then, when I was around 16 years old, I got into old classical and improvisational music. That influences me a lot.

Your most recent album is an EP, Aeons Live Session, which follows your most recent LP Aeons, which was also recorded live. What separates these two experiences? How is the “live” setting of one different from the other?
Charlotta: We are a live band, meant to be experienced live. When playing our tunes live, they always become different and evolve. This is because a big part of our music is improvised, like solos, ambient sections, and so on. We wanted to capture that musical experience (the difference, evolution, and energy) and share that moment, live experience with an album and
videos this time.

You’ve followed just about every LP you’ve released with a live recording of yourselves playing the songs off that LP. What is the purpose of this release schedule, and what was your inspiration for making albums this way?
Charlotta: As I said, we are a live band meant to be experienced live. So it comes naturally to us to release a live version of our album. Another point of view is that we have a jazz/improvisation background. In that kind of music, it is common to release several recordings of the same tune. Like jazz musicians, as we continue to explore the music, the music continues to evolve, and so on.

How did you select which songs from Aeons would end up on the Live Session EP?
Charlotta: We selected those songs which we enjoy playing together the most as well as those songs that have the most improvisational parts, and which have the most potential to become something different and fun to listen to and watch.

What was it like recording live under the current conditions of the pandemic? What precautions did you have to take?
Charlotta: Actually, we recorded this just before the pandemic. So, at the time, we had no clue. The main idea was to just release it as videos, but our label thought it would be cool to do an actual album as well. We were very pleased with how it sounded and thought it was a great idea. And then the pandemic was all over the world, so it was also kind of natural at the time.

You have a very cool visual style, and I like the ’70s feel of your record covers. What are some of the images, sounds, and/or artists who inspire your look?
Charlotta: Robin Gnista does all our artwork. He has been with us since the beginning and is an important part of our music. We feel that Robin has made some timeless artwork, with a ’70s twist to it. When we need artwork for an album, we give Robin the music and explain what the music means to us; then he is free to do what he wants. So, it’s an improvisation from his part too, within the frames of our music.

Who are you excited to play with again once tours resume? What do you expect touring to look like in Sweden and Europe during 2021 (if it’s allowed at all)?
Charlotta: It would be cool to actually do a two-to-three-week tour with a band. We’ve never done it before. To play with the Swedish artist Slowgold, Bror Gunnar Jansson, or our fellow Malmöband Arre! Arre! would be supercool. To share the stage with Earthless or perhaps Courtney Barnett is kind of a big dream too.

It is real hard to say what touring will look like and if it’s even possible to tour in 2021. Anyway, I think we need live concert/art experiences for our well-being, so I think people will find solutions to make it possible in some way.

Get a copy of Aeons Live Session from The Sign Records.

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