ASTRA Interview in INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE - The Shindig! Guide To Spacerock 


Be sure to keep an eye out for the new special edition, one-off issue of Shindig! magazine focusing on the history of cosmic music and featuring an interview with Richard Vaughan of ASTRA!

Here is a write-up of the issue borrowed from the Shindig! website:

INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE
The Shindig! Guide To Spacerock


This special edition of Shindig! explores spacerock’s peculiar mix of heavy riffs and electronics through the age of the space race, the resulting sci-fi explosion and the mind-expanding influences of the acid-fried ‘60s and beyond.
We trace spacerock back to its roots with the soundtracks of the ’50s, including Louis and Bebe Barron’s FORBIDDEN PLANET, through to the incredible work of JOE MEEK on ‘Telstar’. In addition, we will cover the social and cultural context of the moon landings, sci-fi literature and the spaced-out cinema that shaped the end of the ’60s. In this environment came early spacerock efforts from THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE, PINK FLOYD and THE BYRDS.
One band arrived at the close of the decade to define the genre – HAWKWIND. Just as influential in their own idiosyncratic way were GONG with their Radio Gnome trilogy. Several artists pursued the electronic side of spacerock, such as SILVER APPLES and FIFTY FOOT HOSE, whilst the BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP added a distinct Britishness to proceedings. The Germans also produced their own unique contributions to the idiom with AMON DÜÜL II, NEU and ASH RA TEMPEL. At the close of the ’70s several artists such as CHROME utilised the punk spirit to reinvigorate spacerock.
The magazine will take the genre through the ’80s and ’90s with HERE AND NOW and OZRIC TENTACLES and the cross-pollination of the indie scene with SPACEMEN 3 and LOOP. Taking things up to the present day and proving the genre is still in rude health are the likes of ASTRA, THE HEADS and WHITE HILLS. There will also be numerous diversions through key spacerock obscurities as well as articles from the likes of Johnny Truck, Patrick Lundborg, Ian Abrahams and Rich Deakin. 

Drummer David Hurley Leaves ASTRA 


It is with sadness in our hearts that we must say goodbye and announce the departure of drummer David Hurley from ASTRA. He has been with the band from the beginning and is one of the founding members. His unique style of playing helped form and shape the ASTRA sound and he was also an integral part of the writing of both of our albums. Unfortunately for us, the road of life is taking Dave in a new direction away from the band. He is an amazing drummer and a close friend and he will be missed. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors, wherever they may lead.

This is by no means the end for ASTRA. We would like to give a warm welcome to our long time friend and our new drummer, Paul Marrone. Paul is a fantastic drummer and fellow long-haired freak that we have had the pleasure of watching in several great bands (Radio Moscow, JOY, Psicomagia) over the past year and he was our ideal choice. While Dave will be missed, we know that Paul will add his own, new uniqueness to our sound and we are beyond excited to be working with him. Rehearsals are going great! We'll be ready to play shows again shortly and more importantly continue the writing for our third album!

Roadburn has just announced the debut album from Paul's band Psicomagia in which ASTRA's own Brian Ellis plays saxophone. Check out the news and great promo video.

 

A Big Thank You To All Our Fans... 



We'd like to thank all of our wonderful fans that came out to see us play during this short UK/Euro tour. We received such a warm welcome from you all and we couldn't have asked for a more enthusiastic audience. We wouldn't be where we are without you.

It was also great to hang out and spend some time with some of you lovely people after the gigs, you know who you are ;) Until next time!
 

ASTRA To Play First Annual Psycho de Mayo Festival! 



 
Thief presents: Psycho de Mayo 2013 - Orange County's First Annual Psychedelic Music & Arts Festival.

Sunday, May 5th 2013.

Doors open at 2:00 pm and goes till 2:00 am on the Alpha Stage at The Copper Door.

Bands include:

ASTRA
JOY
Psicomagia
Tweak Bird
Harsh Toke
California 666
Plant Tribe
Shiva Trash
Electric Healing Sound
Wild Wild Wets
The Burning of Rome

Freak out visuals by our good friends Operation: Mindblow!
 

ASTRA Tour Europe With Purson in April! 



We will be returning to the UK in April 2013 for a string of headlining UK dates in conjunction with the excellent Prog Magazine. Main support for provincial shows will be the almighty Purson, whilst main support for the London show will be our cosmic brothers and brilliant label mates Diagonal.

Tickets for UK shows go on sale at 9am Tuesday August 28th from Ticketweb (www.ticketweb.co.uk) and the usual outlets. *Tickets for the Wolverhampton show will be available from www.wolvescivic.co.uk

German ticket link here: http://www.ticketmaster.de/artist/astra-tickets/907235

2013 April:

15th - Bristol, England - The Fleece
16th - Wolverhampton, England - Slade Rooms *
17th - Glasgow, Scotland - King Tut's
18th - Manchester, England - Deaf Institute
19th - London, England - The Borderline
21st - Tilburg, Holland - Roadburn Festival
22nd - Aschaffenburg, Germany - Colos-sal
23rd - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
24th - Koln, Germany - Luxor
 
RSS
Video of "Cocoon" from ASTRA by the talented Obleas Photography. A heavy cosmic voyage blazing toward the Heart Of The Sunrise. Filmed @ Bar Pink in San Diego, California on May 26, 2012.

Lighting by Operation: Mindblow
Homemade video made up of clips from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings & Wizards films by the legendary Ralph Bakshi. This is an early demo version of the song The Rising of the Black Sun from our debut album The Weirding.
Promo video for Quake Meat taken from our 2nd album The Black Chord released in 2012. This is an officially released track and video from Metal Blade Records.
 


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