In the music world, it’s pretty common for fans to say they worship a band. However, how many bands can actually brag about being their own religion? The members of Santa Cruz’s prog-surf-psych brethren Cosmic Reef Temple can, as they spread the word of Cod to anyone who will listen.
“It started as a joke, but it’s gotten more serious,” says guitarist “Friar” Sam Boodt with a smile. “There’s even a website that archives different churches and [lists] us. They basically took our info from Facebook and pasted it. Not sure if they noticed that.”
Founded by Boodt and drummer Chris Patzke in 2014, Cosmic Reef Temple was birthed from the ashes of their blackened-doom group, Folivore.
“At that time, I was out of projects,” Patzke remembers. “So I had to do something to keep playing.”
“Chris and I wanted to originally do a surf metal band when we started jamming,” Boodt says. “Then we kept adding more and more people to the band.”
In April, CRT released their first “sacrament,” Age of the Spaceborn, a beast of a debut that was recorded in three days with only three songs, but clocks in at over 38 minutes. While the members have been fluid throughout the years, the recording consisted of the core members: Boodt, Patzke, Kevin Reyes on bass, Daniel Sleeper on synths and Jonathan Weidel on saxophone. As if the recording itself isn’t impressive enough, CRT was able to get the Italian master of heavy metal cover art, Paolo Girardi, to do their album cover.
“We’re all fans of his work,” Boodt explains. “I just messaged him and he responded within an hour. Super friendly!”
Temple’s live shows blend the constant flux of their influences, and are often played with minimal lighting on the floor or around Patzke’s kit, creating a calming atmosphere while their music sonically assaults the ears. Through this, Cosmic Reef Temple create a progressive, psychedelic sound that flows through an ocean of space, surf rock, doom metal and more. Fans of the Mermen, Hawkwind, King Crimson, black metal, krautrock and everything in-between can congregate in unity at the feet of Cod in the Cosmic Reef Temple.
“Usually we discuss what type of atmosphere we’re going for and write down the composition,” Weidel remarks. “But ‘happy accidents’ happen and are allowed.”
For those who can’t make Cosmic Reef Temple’s SubRosa show on June 30 with Oort Cloud and Barrows, the wizard-priests will be throwing another sermon on July 29, in the great outdoors of the Davenport Ditch.
“Those are always fun, because we’re not on a timeline. We just do it as we go, and that makes it more memorable,” Patzke says.
INFO: Friday, June 30. 6 p.m. SubRosa Community Space, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 426-5242.