Being the home of some of my very favorite bands, Russia never disappoints me when it comes to post-rock; and for someone who was always a bit skeptical about the exaggerated use of electronic elements in instrumental music, I had to wait for I Am Waiting For You Last Summer to change my mind. They not only balance the use of their electronic sounds, but manage to fully integrate them at the core of their music, making listening to them a worthwhile experience.
Hailing from Ryazan, Russia, these three guys have released a considerable amount of music, despite being active for only four years. They continue their journey with Mirrors which was released last October.
We got the chance to chat with the guys about their latest album, Indian food, movie trailers and their future plans.
Can you tell us the story behind the band’s formation and what you used to do before that?
Leo: Before we started our band we had lived ordinary lives. I was a dj, Alex made furniture and Evgenii was studying at a university.
Alex: We met with Evgenii at a concert, discussing the stompboxes of This Will Destroy You.
From the first rehearsal it was clear, that we will get on well with each other, we made our first track (Solar wind) really quick. Later it became one of the most popular tracks. So it was like a cosmic providence!
Leo: I wanted to try something new, so that’s why I agreed to join the band with pleasure and the rest is history.
Evgenii: We took this project seriously from the start and dived in. From my experience I know it’s hard to find the right people to be productive with. I’m still amazed at how lucky we are.
One of the aspects that grabbed my attention in your music is its foundation and how the electronic elements play a fundamental role in the backbone of the tracks. I’m interested to know how you usually compose your tracks, and what influences you during this process?
Evgenii: It’s hard to say what exactly plays the fundamental role, one track may be based on rock elements, another can take influence from synth sound from ambient stuff, even from synthpop. I think if there is something constant in our tracks -for now– it’s the guitar and melodies. But we often try to explore new ways to make music.
Leo: At the beginning each of us created demos on their own, and then we finalized it together. Recently we have started jamming, and our jams became the starting point.
Electronic is a huge part of modern music, we believe it’s where the most interesting stuff happens.
So let’s get into Mirrors, which has been a very interesting listening experience for me, and represents a lot of singularities in comparison with In Eternal Lines for example. I can feel a lighter and even happier atmosphere surrounding it and traces of oriental elements here and there. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Mirrors and its compositional journey?
Leo: Mirrors was created under the influence of our first Asian/European tour therefore you can naturally sense the mixture of Eastern and Western vibes.
Alex: The Asian tour left its imprint, but I wouldn’t say it was intentional. The thing is that we have broadened our views on music.
Evgenii: I can’t remember the starting point of making the record, because we always make music.
We came to this approach when each track is being created for 6 months minimum, some tracks may even take one year. Technically the goal of this album is to impress our audience and ourselves, so we started making things we haven’t done before. We tried to provide a new listening experience, with a wide range of moods and instruments.
You just finished an extensive tour through Russia in support of Mirrors’ release. How did the audience receive the new album and what was special for you playing it live?
Leo: Playing new tracks is always a new experience, you learn, you take notes.
As always we were warmly welcomed by the crowd.
Actually I’ve noticed that in the past you did more touring in relatively newer territories to this music such as Indonesia or India, compared with the regular playgrounds for bands like Western Europe or the US. What was unique about touring in such countries and are there any places in particular you hope to play in the future?
Leo: The whole experience of being in a foreign country was unique. Every country has different perception of music, different food, etc. I wouldn’t say it was better or worse somewhere, it’s simply different. If we were to pick out anything I’d say great sound systems in China and tasty masala in India.
Alex: We’d like to play more gigs in Europe and USA and to explore South America, Africa, some countries of the Middle East and maybe the arctic deserts, why not? The gigs are a great opportunity to travel, and we try to see as much as possible.
You seem to incorporate a wide variety of influences among your tracks, from trip-hop to ambient and orchestral sounds. So aside from the post-rock ones, what bands have influenced you to generate this unique mixture of sounds?
Leo: We try not to get locked in particular genres, so we listen to a big variety of bands. The most significant musicians for me: Noisia, prodigy, pink Floyd, aphex twin, and others who work hard.
Alex: In the last two years I’ve got into techno, abstract experimental stuff, trailer, epic music and sound design for trailers (I use it in my other project). Now I’m looking more into the past: Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and pioneers of the electronic music like Tangerine Dream and others.
Alex has been known to compose music pieces for some of Marvels’ best blockbuster movies, Captain America for example. How does your composing differ when you compose soundtracks from your regular process, and do you plan to do any soundtracks or similar projects as a band in the future?
Alex: Unfortunately, I make music only for trailers, not for movies. The whole process of making a soundtrack doesn’t differ much from the band’s way of doing it, except that I do it alone. We wish to create a soundtrack for a movie (except comedy), it’s a new experience, and we are always looking for it.
Some of my personal favorite new comers in the post-rock field happen to be from Russia, so I am intrigued to know how is the scene like for similar bands like you there?
Alex: Frankly speaking we are not in this scene. And we also can’t say that we are playing post-rock, it’s a too narrow term for describing what we do.
So what comes next after Mirrors? Are you planning any new tours in the moment, or any musical projects that we may hear about soon?
Evgenii: We continue to travel around the world with the presentation of Mirrors. The next big stop is Dunk Festival. And we will keep on making new material and make big plans for the future.