I have said it before and I am going to say it many times more, I like discovering bands that are new to me. Like WOE UNTO ME. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
Artyom: Well, in the beginning we started it more like a studio project. We didn’t even think that we are going to perform on some festivals and that we will go on tours in different countries. We just wanted to record our music and show it to the world and maybe find some listeners that will like it. And now we can’t imagine ourselves not playing gigs, not touring. We’ve become a real band and we do not concentrate only on studio recordings, we want to develop in all directions. What concerns your question what is this band really about – this band is about us, about our world, about our feelings, emotions, experiences, tragedies, about all that we feel and what’s going on inside us. We don’t have any supreme goals or ideologies of any kind, we don’t want to implant any ideas in the minds of our listeners, we are just opening our inner world to them and I’m sure that many listeners have much in common with us and feel the same. So I think everything in our band and music is more on a sensual level.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
Artyom: If we speak about listeners I don’t think that most of them care which country are you from. But if you mean the business aspect: labels, agencies, managements, I’m sure that some of them still care about it. Some people still think that if a band is from the Eastern Europe, or from ex-USSR, ex-communist and socialist countries it will be hard to work with them, cause they don’t tour a lot, it’s hard for them to get visas or to promote the band in a proper way. But times have changed. More and more bands from CIS countries travel and perform around the world, they have much more serious approach to what they do than it was before, they have an access to the professional equipment and professional studios. So I hope that the attitude will change completely in the nearest future and people will pay more attention to the bands from other parts of the world and from smaller cities not only metropolises. There are really a lot of talented bands here. But of course if everything will be still tied only to money and everything will depend only on solvency then we will always loose in comparison to the most developed and rich countries, where sometimes simple people earn more than “reach” people here.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
Artyom: We really like to experiment a lot. So I believe that we will never release an album which will be the same as the previous one. We are developing all the time. In “Among The Lightened Skies The Voidness Flashed” we used much more different and unusual instruments like saxophone, duduk, bassoon or even rainstick and tambourine, much more samples and noises than it was in our debut release. There’s much more going on in the music itself. But again it doesn’t mean that our next album will be in the same vein as this one. We don’t even think about it and we don’t expect anything particular from ourselves. Who knows where our inner world will lead us.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
Artyom: For me the biggest challenge is to record and release an album while you are still satisfied with the compositions and arrangements. Hahah. Cause I have such “sickness” which I believe many musicians have, I always what to change or to add something. Ideas keep coming and after a while I’m starting to think that we need to change something in the arrangements of the songs again, or to add any new intervals in the guitars or some new samples. And this process can sometimes become unstoppable and in the end can make the song worse than it was, cause more complicated not always means better. And when you manage to record and release an album on time this crazy process stops and you usually stay satisfied with what you did. At least for some longer period of time. Heheheh. And I don’t know how do we write the really cool songs, cause for us and for the listeners the really cool songs can be absolutely different. And even among the listeners opinions differ. So who knows which songs are really cool and which are not.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
Artyom: I am of the opinion that analogue recording is really something different than digital. You can hear it in the records that were recorded in analogue studios. If you listen carefully you can notice that it really sounds different, there’s a special liveliness in the sound of every instrument and the recording in general. Of course you can achieve amazing sound now thanks to digital recording but you still won’t feel that liveliness. And unfortunately I never had a chance to record anything analogue, simply because it costs a lot more than digital studios and at the present moment me and my bands can’t afford it – we’re not big mainstream bands, so we’re recording and surviving thanks to digital studios. But I hope that someday I will have a chance to record something in analogue.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
Artyom: It’s always exciting to wait for the first opinions and reviews on the new album. We always wait for that and think a lot about what people will say, how and to what they will be comparing our new release. And the most important – will they experience the same emotions as we’ve been experiencing while creating our music, will they understand our feelings and our musical experiments. So of course it’s always a thrill.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
Artyom: For me lyrics are always very important. I think that in an album or in a song, everything is very important, if something will not be good enough then the song in general will be imperfect. I always read lyrics of the bands that I listen to. What concerns us, as I told before we don’t have any special message, you know, there’s no “message from above” in our music, there’s no ideology or politics or religion. There are just feelings and emotions. And I think that the musical painting which we want to convey will be incomplete without lyrics.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
Artyom: This is another integral part of the album in general. Just like I said everything is important and art work pays a significant role in our creations, not only because it may be a main motivator in buying a record, but also because it’s a part of the musical painting which I was talking about. On both our albums we were working with an amazing artist called Lenore Ani (www.aniaartworks.org). She always does a great job, she really feels the emotional aspect of our music and lyrics and we really love to work with her.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
Artyom: Of course, we feel that all the time when we come back to any of the cities where we’ve been playing before. This thing always works, that’s why even very small shows are important for us. When you first time come to some places, and there can be even 15-20 people in the audience, we still try to squeeze out everything we can of ourselves, to give ourselves over to these 15-20 people, so that after the show they will tell their friends that the gig was really awesome and next time we will have 60-70 people, and the third time there can be 150-200 people.
What do you see in the future?
Artyom: Humanity will culturally degrade more and more becoming total imbeciles consuming everything that will be given them by mass media which will be making them obedient marionettes; then it will completely deplete mineral resources and fossil fuels and finally will destroy itself. And we and the other metal bands will continue to perform our music for the remnants of culturally developed and hungry individuals till the very end. Something like that. Hahahah. That’s why I’m trying not to look far into the future but live for today, create music, release albums, go on tours and in general do everything that I love so much in life.