Interview for New Noise mag (USA) 2013


1) How do you decide where to start when you decide your going to write a new record?


I work over my music on my own, therefore specific character of my songs’ creation is special. Most often the certain image comes to me firstly; it combines echoes of a melody and the general semantic concept of a song. Taking into account this concept, I work over the general arrangement. The rhythm of a fragment depends on the mood I need to create – sadness, cosmos or aggressivity. After that I program drums parts and the main parts. At this stage I start writing lyrics. Then I invite musicians, I show them their parts and they record bass and guitars. I add orchestral arrangement, and then I play and record real drums and sing. After that I mix everything in my studio and the track is ready.


2) Are you the kind of person that spends a lot of time in a studio tinkering with instruments and sounds to make progress on a record, or do you spend more time outside thinking about what you want to write and reflecting on things?


Though, there are two cases. I like to go to countryside; I enjoy thinking over something being there. There I think over a lot of time, in what way my album must be. There I think up everything, even the general sounding. Then, spending many hours in my studio I try to embody all these ideas. I work over my albums for a long time, because I pay much time and attention to small details. In one fragment it is obligatory to put a bird’s call, in other – use a vocal effect, in the next it is necessary to play only three notes using an oboe, for example. It’s everything just the details, but without them the mood of my album would be scattered. And such details take a lot of time because usually I have a lot of them!


3) Why did you decide to start doing music on your own?


Because I’m able to do it in a proper way. I play many instruments, therefore I have an idea as this or that instrument plays, I know specific features of their performance. Therefore, my arrangements sound very impressively, being a creative work composed by one person. I can always agree with myself, I am not late for rehearsals, I do not dispute, I do not argue with myself. In my case the process of music creation gives me satisfaction only. It is great, I enjoy creating music on my own.


4) Why do you continue to make music on your own, especially having worked with so many different bands and people?


Well, yes, I’ve already recorded 35 albums featuring in different groups. It is a huge number. Actually, many of those whom I helped to record an album now help me with my works. It is good experience. I’d learnt doing many things during these record sessions. I’ve been learning to arrange in a correct way and work as a sound engineer in a studio. Perhaps, shortly, I will gather a full-fledged line-up and will go to America with concerts. But for the present I don’t have such desire. Recently I became the father of my son Yaromir and I don’t want to be engaged in tour activity.


5) There are many different instruments and vocalists used in this album, what kind of soundscape were you trying to make? What reaction do you want the listener to have to the sound of this album?


Initially I planned to create a new album in the way of Pagan ambient metal opera with a real conceptual libretto, with a role for each singer. My acquaintance, a poet and a translator, Sergey "AR" Pavlov even had written a part of the libretto. But later I estimated the volume of this work and abandon the idea. But my desire to have several voices in one album remained. So, everything turned to be namely in this way. I even recorded a choir. I don’t think that there are many instruments in my project. Of course, more than Venom has! Ha-ha-ha! But far less than in Haggard! I always wanted my music to be taken as simple "good" or "bad", instead of saying “It’s not metal! Oh, there are female voices in the album!!! Guitars are not heavy enough!!!" I hate such “verbal labels” and clichés. I love innovations and I try to create the music using any available ways. And if one day I want to record a whole album playing a xylophone only, just believe me, I will do it!


6) Do all of the guest artists have any creative control over what they play and sing, or do you kind of dictate what each person will do?


I invited very good musicians for recording. They are true professionals of their instruments! I gave them instrumental parts and told where and what is required to play, which notes and riffs. But often they suggested me changing parts and playing something from their own soul – their view upon my music – doing it more interesting and stronger in more energetic way. So, in a sort of way it’s a little bit collective creative work. I’d like to express my huge gratitude to everyone who helped me to record my “CREEDamage” album. Without their help such a beautiful and energetically strong album would never appear. Being alone I wouldn’t be able to ignite such high fire of Pagan Honour!