I will chose BLAZING RUST for a good time of good old melodic metal. Answers by Igor Arbuzov (vocals) and Roman Dovzhenko (guitar). Anders Ekdahl ©2017
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Roman: The band’s creation idea was mine and the main purpose was self-realization, to unleash the beast that seats inside, as is usually the case. Me and my brother Dmitry, who have been and are playing together in diferrent bands for many long years, used to play mostly black and death metal, but nonetheless, first of all in early childhood it was heavy metal that blew our brains out. Maidens and Sabbaths are still bringing neverending inspirations. In my modest home record collection as well as at some beer party with my friends you can always find some good old metal and rock, those classics which you never get enough spinning. So apparently the time has come to touch that golden era and try my hand at it.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Igor: If you’ve listened to our music you probably noticed that we try to sound as 80s as possible. So obviously our basis is traditional heavy metal from that era. We are much into Maiden, Sabbath, Priest, Rainbow and Saxon so we keep their music in mind while doing our own stuff. We might borrow some their tricks but avoiding copying and plagiarism. In addition all of us come from different music background, different bands in the past. So our tastes may vary each individual in Blazing Rust comes with his own ideas to songwriting and arrangement. So I guess our personalities is what really makes OUR sound.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Roman: Since we are a small band and nobody of us receives millions of royalties, all the band members have to work hard at dayly jobs for not only supporting families and pay the bills, but also pay huge amounts for all music-related things such as equipment, rehearsals, studio servises, artist services and many more, you know, so it takes great strength and much time. Also you have to manage some things with band’s promotion yourselves, otherwise neither people nor labels will notice you in a swamp of billion bands. All these issues prevent us from calm songwriting and make creative process quite hard in general. But I’m telling nothing new here and not complaining. It’s always a pleasure to enter the studio or rehearsal room again and again, so we love all this shit, haha
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
Roman: Recording at home shouldn’t mean bad nowadays, but sometimes it still turns out so. Yeah, today you can have an equipment at your place which could be enough for a decent record. In our case, “Armed To Exist was recorded partly in different places. We rented a professional studio for recording drums only and all the rest instruments including vocal were recorded and mixed at the home/rehearsal studio, using our own skills and experience. As for releases, here we are devotees of old school way – we love albums! I think, releasing only digital singles it’s most likely a good way to stay atop for a pop star but it’s a crappy way for a heavy metal band existence!
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
Igor: I was really shocked when it all started. I mean all those free album downloads that started to emerge in mid 00s. Some albums could leak a month before the release date and it still happens today. I was shocked about the record companies… They seemed not to give a shit about it. They just literally did nothing. And what we have now is a generation of kids who never bought a record. That streaming thing is a good idea I guess… but musicians remain almost unpaid for it. So I can’t say it’s good. Ressurrection of vinyl that takes place the last few years is a great thing. What it can do is bring back the culture of buying records and paying for music. But in my opinion the industry should come up with some new formats (both physical and digital) in future. I hope the things will change someday and music will become more valuable again. I hope we’ll be witnessing this.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Roman: Hm, we are now releasing our first full-length album and there weren’t many responses received yet, but amongst ones we have already gotten, most are good and positive. Quite expected things are mentioned: people like the production, some notice that the album sounds both 80’s and fresh, not boring or just some copying of Old Grands and it is encouraging. Another interesting thing so far is that Germans give the highest grades. So time will show!
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Igor: And here’s the positive side of the Internet. The channels of promotion on the web seem to work quite good. All these social networks really help too. Because of that we’ve got so many friends in Europe and United States. The first and the most surprising result of these things was the reaction from Zakk of Skull Fist who play traditional metal in Canada. Right after the release of our first 2-track demo he sent us a message that he liked our songs very much. We’ve never been acquainted with Zakk and that was a surprise to us. Somehow he found us in that infomation labyrinth!
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
Igor: Of course being on stage and recording as a band helps a lot with finding new contacts in the industry. It’s always great to learn something new from professionals. Making lots of new friends and fans all over the globe is what we were dreaming of in our childhood. Releasing music and playing gigs everywhere obviously helps to make this dream come true. How far will it go with us… we’ll see. We’re only on the starting point of that journey. More to come obviously!
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Roman: Certainly playing live shows is the best promotion for the band! Yeah, there are bands that don’t play live and quite popular at the same time but it is rather an exception or those are not full-member-bands usually. But, you know, everybody would be delightfully surprised if Darkthrone appears onstage someday, haha! We’re trying to play more gigs and participate in festivals but things don’t always work out mainly because of daily work shedules and it’s more difficult to arrange it abroad for a Russian band unfortunately.
What plans do you have for the future?
Roman: We have some new stuff to work on and also we have just equipped and entered a new rehearsal
place, so we’re going to start writing new songs soon! But now after a huge and long work which has been done with the first full-length we’d like to support the album and tour as much as possible. So hey promoters, don’t slow down, speed up! Contact us right now!