Being a Moscow-based band, ZATMENIE are ones who break the captain Wrungel’s infamous thesis, ‘What would be a vessel’s title, ’. As the story tells, they had started with name SUFFERINGS and their first song was ‘A Pathway To Death’, hence band’s future could emerge less bright and shiny than it is. Today ZATMENIE are frequent frames in Moscow’s “R-Club” and dear guests at every metal rock party. Their debut album – released through major label Misteria Zvuka - has sold out in few months. At the moment band is finishing work on a new CD. So, we have contacted them via e-mail to ask about the present and the past, about future hopes and the essential, of course – spam, sex and mp3 music…
So, the new CD is drawing closer. What have you find, whom have you lost by the road?
Pavel: Hi! We have learned much during recording of our debut album and playing gigs to support that release, so we have come to record our second CD with a greater knowledge – being advanced users already! Jaroslav Krek, who has been a drummer on the first longplay – ‘Nenavist’ [‘Hate’ (rus.) – ed.] – has left the band due to personal reasons. There was no any conflict. He has been helping us during we held audition. But it was tough to find a replacement for him because we had been searching for somebody more than just a musician. We needed a man who could struggle by our side and grow in all aspects together as well. So, we had been each day for several months. When it became clear that there was a show booked in two weeks and no drummer still found, our manager Tatjana Kushakova had proposed Alexei Platkov’s (ex-AGONIA) talent. His style and mastership had appeared to be completely satisfactory for us therefore we added him to group’s rank. He joined the line-up easily and had shown his best in songwriting and recording for our new album.
Dima: Hi! I think that we found really cool sound for our new songs. And our growth as musicians I hope also is clear.
Sasha: I think the most important thing is that we come to our own style. Especially it comes to Pavel who has developed his manner of playing into something unique.
There are bands who enter studio with absolutely completed material, while others lay finishing touches to album during recording already. What type does you band belong to?
Pavel: We enter studio with absolutely completed material, because any re-arranging in studio really hits our recording budget.
Dima: Well… Young bands have to fund themselves, That’s why we finish everything before enter the studio.
Sasha: It is pre-said that as we begin working in studio everyone is 100% ready and knows his very task. We have enough rehearsal time to finish all new songs.
Guitar maestro May Lian has been helping you with debut album. Is any further collaboration with him possible? Would there be any guests on a new CD?
Pavel: Yeah. May Lian has helped us greatly! He tought us many things. But this time we decided to carry all work ourselves. Do we succeed or not would be clear as the album is released. The new longplay will obviously feature some named guests. At the moment violinist Edgar is preparing to play solo for one of our songs.
Dima: May Lian is a MAN! His help – as both guitarist and musician - is priceless for us. He gave us a foundation. We say him the sincerest “thanks”.
Sasha: May Lian’s authority is incredible! We thank him for everything he has done for us. What comes to further collaborations, we always welcome a musician if he is talented. Hence, guest appearances on the forthcoming release and future works as well are more than just possible.
What is the most complicated part for you in a studio work? Is producer’s point of view important for you?
Pavel: We produce ourselves this time, so the point of view… yes, it is important (smile). The most complex part for me is recording guitar.
Dima: Agree with Pasha. The most comlex part is to find necessary equipment. We succeded in it rather quickly.
Sasha: Studio work is complex in its whole. Everything that deals with recording must be paid primary attention. Mistakes are too expensive.
What’s with a title of new album? Could you tell where the previous CD’s title – ‘Nenavist’ – did come from?
Pavel: There is no title for new album yet. What comes to ‘Nenavist’ – this title was amalgamating our songs’ context at that moment. People ask me if I get an inspiration from hate. I say no. Hate deals not with inspiration, but with context primarily.
Dima: I guess it nicely suits style we play.
Sasha: New songs are more divergent than that from debut album. We have largely extended our creative scope. Therefore, it’s not that easy to name it this time.
As bio at your website says, “…When musicians had got exhausted of performing their own material they decided to plumb into cover songs area…” It leads us to that ‘Nenavist’ was quite a bit reconnaissance piece having own material as non-primary aspect, doesn’t it?
Pavel: Yeah, you are right! It was like a first attempt on writing. We had no other songs at that moment apart of that we put on our debut CD. We forged our sound with May Lian and spilled much blood before come to sound that was satisfactory. There was a period we did not play our own things because we got tired of them. I think we did right – you cannot create according to whatever schedule you know.
Dima: Yeah, exactly! It was a first attempt in all aspects: songwriting, sound work, recording. We got much experience from recording our debut album and we use everything of that luggage working on new album.
Sasha: ‘Nenavist’ – as released – was the one you speak of. We paid attention to any “error reports” coming from absolutely various people. What comes to originality, playing cover songs is a good experience despite it leaves a certain trait on your own material. We tried to develop our own unique style on new album. People will tell if we succeed or not.
Please tell how you did get in touch with record label Misteria Zvuka. As I know, they did not deal with metal music before…
Pavel: Okay (smile). I had sent a letter to their manager with demo CD attached, there was five of eight completed tracks on it. In an hour I got a response, ‘We will release you.’ So, it was a short story, you see.
Your debut CD has sold out, hasn’t it? Did you get any proposal of guesting on TV or radio stations?
Pavel: Yeah, ‘Nenavist’ has sold out in a moment. We were late to get our pieces (smile). New copies should be available in a short time. There was no proposal you asked of but at the moment we prepare to film a video for upcoming album. If everything goes well, you would probably see it as a mpeg-bonus on CD.
What about western market? Do you intend to make an extra-cultural expansion abroad? Could we expect from ZATMENIE tracks in English?
Pavel: Oh YES [originally in English – ed.]! Certainly! By the secret, we made two promo tracks in English for even first album – “Last Fight” and “Prayer” – for our fans in the USA, Germany, Japan and Southern Korea could enjoy them as well. There is an upcoming review on ‘Nenavist’ in Korean!!! Full-time album in English we plan for future. Anyway our spoken language is Russian so I scarcely understand making English metal for Russian fans. I like sing in Russian.
Dima: I also like to play Russian (smile)! Transcribe as you wish (smile)!!!
Sasha: Diman means his morning tremolos after a merry hot night (smile)!
First time you came on stage, you played with E.S.T. and Tchernyi Obelisk. Were you scared or embarassed in such authorities’ closure?
Pavel: Yep (smile)!
Dima: Do you mean had we had our arms and legs thrilling? Of course! But we handled a problem in Russian way (do not concern with a previous reply (smile)!)
Sasha: I don’t know if anyone was scared. We all felt pleasant that evening.
A question to Pavel. As a man graduated from a school of one of the biggest guitar masters worldwide, could you give an advice to ones who is still novice to guitar?
Pavel: No! I’m a self-graduate! But Dima is a pupil of May Lian…
Dima: Ah, you’ve been taking lessons too (smile)!
Sasha: This question should be re-addressed directly to May Lian.
Few words about your fan club. How close is your interaction with fans?
Pavel: Our fan club has started functioning just recently and the first convention is scheduled on the last decade of summer.
Dima: It’s cloooose! Very-very cloooose (smile)!
Sasha: We want to give gratitude to all our fans for their support!
On a photo you are standing above a chessboard with the only figure placed on it – the figure of Death. Did you face this one in your life?
Pavel: Yes, I did.
It is a rather common opinion that Internet is the forepost of anarchy in today’s society. Hold your word on spam, sex chatrooms and mp3 music…
Pavel: Spam appears to be a problem! Sex chatrooms make me bored… last time (smile)! Mp3 is a recreation but the fact it is an out-of-control piracy gives birth to some thoughts. I am sure that in upcoming years there would be developed a certain system to preserve copying music to mp3 so this stuff will not be as free as now.
Dima: Let me hold on sex without chats and mp3 only! I think that Internet is a great thing.
Sasha: Apart of spamming individuals, everything in this world has its white side and black side (smile).
Russian metal scene is evolutioning though maybe tempo is too down. And media issues dealing with heavy music are also breeding. Could you mark the current level of metal press? What issues are your preffered reading?
Pavel: I usually spend much time behind computer and on Internet. My preffered resources are Darkside.ru and Metalkings.ru. This is where I learn news from. I like that metal scene is evolving into something greater but the lack of funds is still too apparent.
Dima: Yeah, we need more people who would fund us and other bands without indemnity!
Sasha: I read everything that flows in my hands and deals with heavy music.
If you had a chance to affiliate rights for a single song from a rock history, what song would it be?
Pavel: «Master Of Puppets».
Dima: «Enter Sandman», «Keeper Of The Seven Keys».
Sasha: «Nothing Else Matters».
Something you ever wanted to say but no-one asked you about…
Dima: Kirkorov has only two remakes – the rest is plagiarism.