Fred Laird, front-man, guitar-player and leader of the English psychedelic rock group Earthling Society, releases his (very) particular side-project: Moon Of Ostara, which he defines “a proto-druidic hallucinogenic journey into the realms of the star child”, that is the true album protagonist. Four meditations influenced by typical krautrock bands such as Ash Ra Tempel, Harmonia and Walter Wegmullers’ mystical Tarot album.
Ostara is the first day of spring. The energies of nature shift from the death knell of winter and expand themselves in this first chapter. Just a 200-copies limited edition cd.
Astral guitars and esoteric energies. This is the Fred Laird’s secret universe. He explained us some curious particulars about his attitude and his music during a long interview.
Fred, can you please explain to our readers this particular project and its secret meanings?
The album originally started life as a kind of musical concept based around William Blake's 'The marriage of heaven and hell'. That was when Part 4 was written. However, the album took on a life of it's own as the other tracks were laid down. it was all very spontaneous. Nothing was pre-written, it was practically press record and go. I think the music can mean something different to each individual listener. I have had correspondence from painters/illustrators that say the music inspires them in their creations. That makes me happy. For me, it is a very hymnal thing, I have things going around in my head 24/7 that I cant explain in words. This music is the essence of those things!
What are the main differences with Earthling Society, more famous band than Moon Of Ostara?
Not a lot really. E-S is a band thing even though I write the majority of the music. However, apart from original member Jon Blacow (drummer) the other band members don’t really know where I'm trying to come from. So, they add their own style to the proceedings and the music sometimes completely changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse! Moon Of Ostara is the music how I want it to be played. I'm a krautrock head first and foremost and that's what I wanted the album to be.
You look attracted from esoteric and ancient subjects…
Yes I read a lot of esoteric texts. Gurdjieff, Crowley, the pagan horror writings of Arthur Machen and Gustav Meyrink, the free thinking antiquarian/parapsychologist T.C Lethbridge and my idol William Blake.
What do you mean when you define the music played in this album as a “proto-druidic hallucinogenic journey”?
I think the album has an almost ritual quality to the music. I was up at Castlerigg stone circle last year when the idea came to me. It was a cold clear day with Blakean clouds and the energy there was very strong. When I hear StarChild Part 2, I see that day and that epic sky drifting over me. That's when I can see the druids.
Is Moon Of Ostara just an extemporary side-project or is it an out-and-out band?
At the moment it's a side project but who knows where it will lead. It's early days yet...
You released a 200 limited edition cd. Why?
Just to make it that more special and intimate. I don’t want the whole world to hear it haha!
Will there be other albums, in the next future?
The next idea I have is an acoustic album for M.O.O. A kind of Krautrock communal thing. Amon Duul 1 meets Tyranosaurus Rex kind of idea.
Have you ever thought to a sort of a concept which “ties” the different releases?
It will be easier to marry the Moon Of Ostara albums because of the same style of music (krautrock). The Star Child being a kind of cosmic electronic space music. The second album will be more of a 'Heathern on the Heath' album. The pagans directing their primitive sounds up to the gods as opposed to the Star child directing his music down from the spheres.
Do you think there are specific musical references in your new project?
Definitely. Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Klaus Schulze and Harmonia have all been a reference in the making of The star child.
...And in the Earthling Society one?
E-S is just a cauldron of psychedelia and prog. Who-ever we try to emulate we fail miserably and in the end it just sounds like us... which is a good thing.
Are there other projects or are you going to “create” other so particular ensemble?
No no other projects just yet...
Are you planning a Moon Of Ostara tour?
It depends if people want me to play it live. It would make great festival music.
How is the UK psychedelic scene, at the moment?
It's quite healthy I think. I'm so off the radar with it all you wouldn't believe.
Punch line for our Italian readers.
Treat yourself to some MOO wave!! Peace and love.