ROMISLOKUS' MUSIC INTERVIEWS PAGE
Interview with Yuri Smolnikov from Romislokus by TV Channel 33 (Kirov, Russia), January, 3, 2003.
Download video version (7:54, MPEG4, 10Mb).
3rd of January Romislokus have took part in big New Year musical Festival in Kirov city. Channel 33 of Kirov TV asked listeners of this performance and made interview with leader of Romislokus Yuri Smolnikov.
Channel 33: What does it mean Romislokus?
Yuri: Romislokus is the word which doesn't exist in any language. It turns for me to something Latin or Spanish. You can read "Rom_is_lokus" as "Rome became crazy". Or maybe you can find another versions. Actually it is an invented word. And there is the song with title "Romislokus" telling about an essential. It sounds like something from maya's faith. The song will be reliased on our fourth album.
Channel 33: Please tell us how did the band get together?
Yuri: Our drummer came from the group "Kazhdoe Voskresenie Dozhd" where I also played before. Other five members of Romislokus came to Rock Laboratory here in Kirov in time period when I was the host of Rock Laboratory. And in few years we found each other playing together this music.
Channel 33: Why did you leave for Moscow?
Yuri: We play some kind of music that Russian people hardly need - it is regretful. And for today Romislokus is more an internet project. In December we reached 5000 visitors of our web-site.
And more than 80% of visitors came from the West. The way we think: people are very interested in such kind of music but not in Russia. Because here music which a bit more serious than on TV sometimes calls negative emotions. As for me, time to make childish music had gone away. I try more or less to make comprehended everything I do.
Channel 33: How would you determine your place in music?
Yuri: For today there are about 70 reviews for our music. 5-7 from Russia, other are western. Reviewers determines the style of the band. Some said art-rock, others - art-wave, progressive, ambient/progressive and so on. In our music there are a lot of synth sounds and computer.
We've got in the band professional computer programmer who creates all such sounds. In live performance it all sounds using sampler. It's rather complex system of playing live with computer's programs. Romislokus are appreciated by people carefully listening to electronic music. It is a relation between synthesis and different layers. The things are going that people from around the world find us. They are interested in what we do. And because of the fact that Vyatka (Kirov) is the place where the band was born sometimes we visit this place. Here our people are.We play for them just because of fun.
Channel 33: What are the Kirov's bands you like?
Yuri: Most of the bands I know were from Rock Laboratory. It takes time to recount all, about 150 musicians. There were "the waves" of good musicians here in Kirov. For example, the band "Muzory" where Iliya Rychkov played and Kremlev - very good bass player and others.
Nice musicians. But a lot of them left Kirov because of different reasons. And... if I would begin to count... there are very many of them. I also play with the nice bands today.
Channel 33: And what about world famous bands? What are closer to you?
Yuri: Most of all, of course, Beatles. Then Genesis and Pink Floyd. Three bands. Our music can be associated with these bands. From some sides we continue this direction in music.
Channel 33: And what about our "russian rock"?
Yuri: Nothing. It doesn't exist. "Moscow rock", "piterskiy rock" - I'm not impressed. Not serious things. This music (rock'n'roll) was born not in Russia. That's why we have to try to make it not worse. And till now we haven't got even one band in rock genre broadcasting in radio air of USA, England... the countries rock'n'roll came from. It is very bad. And if we (Romislokus) are on independent air of these countries and other countries of Western Europe,.. Australia, Canada - it is right, we make right. This is the way I think. Our way probably like boomerang will bring us back in Russia. In any case it is important for us to be with Russia, and Russian language is the basis. Stravinsky left Russia for Paris, then USA but he always was russian in mind.
We are in different worlds and there's a need to make not worse but better to get worldwide listener interested in russian music. In this case it won't be shame for us.
Channel 33: Your wishes to viewers of 33 channel and all kirov's people in New Year?
Yuri: Well... Search good music! It is really difficult to find because it doesn't sound often.
It is like to find mushrooms in the forest. You're entering into the forest but the mushroom doesn't sit waiting for you. You need to work to find it. Good music requires searching.
And I wish you very good music, wonderful music in this 2003!
Channel 33: Thank you very much!
Interview with Romislokus by Sergio Vilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 23, 2002.
1. Could you give us an express summary of your career?
Romislokus is progressive rock band from Russia. For this moment our discography contains two albums in Russian language which are well known in progressive Internet community. Today we suggest to listeners our new album with lyrics in four languages: mostly English, French, Italian, Russian. About 50 radiations from many countries of the world broadcast music of Romislokus. More information about the band you can find at www.romislokus.com
2. What is the reason of choosing the name "Romislokus"?
It is a name of song. It was written by Yuri Smolnikov. The word "Romislokus" means only what is possible to find out from this song. The composition will be released in 2003.
3. What are your direct musical influences?
The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis. We like melodic of these bands, aspiration to mirror diversification of the life. We listened and analyzed a lot of music - rock, pop, classic. We use very seldom only one direction: folk influences. Because we use more electronic and computer components, which express our interconnection with inorganic world. People, in many respects, depend on this world: winds, power & magnetic fields, substance of a planet etc.
4. The music of band contains a very varied mixture and it blends the styles with a surprising balance. How do you establish the elements in your works?
Every composition has its own laws, it lives under its own law. We try to discover these laws during a process of creation of song. Composer can made a song. The song can be created. It is possible not to make a song.
Working on the composition has a sense if you don't know what is waiting for you in the end of the way: real discovery will wait you only in this condition.
5. Where are the inspirations of the songs coming from?
Every song has very complicated and sometimes long-term history. It is possible to speak about each one separately. Each song mirrors any events in our life. We take (choose) the most fascinating and exotic events. Such events happen with everyone. Amazing things are placed in a distance of prolated hand. It is not necessary to walk so far. We just offer to pay attention to what is happening around you.
6. How do you come to "Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn" now?
"Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn" was recorded in Moscow. Each city puts aside its own imprint on music and atmosphere of songs. Now it is life, which can be lived again and again at each next listening. The musical time is different from physical time. It can't be measured in seconds, minutes, hours or days. Music is a weapon to destroy the time. Probably we have managed to change a reality slightly.
7. At artistic level, did the album fill its expectations?
We never care about perfect result. There were versions of the songs of more or less successful, which were not included into the album. More than 20 compositions were under working. Only 10 of them are placed in the album. Elements of unfinishing are consciously saved in structure of the album. The album could become more hard and more guitar, but we have found interest to release such versions of songs. It is research work.
8. What are biggest differences between first and second disk of Romislokus?
Process of recording of the songs is an important part of Romislokus' creative work. Now we are working on our third album. Like in two previous albums we do recording and mixing by ourselves. It is one of key part of Romislokus' research work. All things are directly linked with using of digital record technologies. We try to get in to unique combination of live and electronic music. There will be amazing discovery for us on this way.
9. How does the progressive scene in Russia live?
It is difficult to say about music in Russia as about progressive art. Because it is unknown for Outside. Exception - Romislokus.
10. Returning to Romislokus, how do you live?
We are in constant interaction - about 15 hours per day. It is linked with working above a new album, construction of our web-site, extensive correspondence with the musicians and listeners from all around the world. There are a great search and idea's exchange in the field of a musical composition, sound recording, art of design, analysis of life events in the musical world and software engineering of the project Romislokus.
11. What is the goal that intends you in a group?
The answer to this question is equivalent to the answer to a question "For what purpose do you live?". Common opinion of musicians of Romislokus: only rock-music has a future in the modern art. In spite of garbage we (Romislokus) find answers for our questions only in rock-music. Simultaneously with creating of rock-music we try to answer the questions, which are unknown for us. The future comes only because the musicians do music for the future. Sound recording is conservation of music for the future. When musician makes a recording he intends to get it heard by listeners in the some moment of future. Otherwise, why do I need to make a record? - Live performances would be enough for the present. So, making a recording musician gives a life to the future generations. Existence of the future is in the hands of musicians. How do they see future? - It is what we get as a result.
12. Are some of you involved in other projects outside of Romislokus?
Before Romislokus each of musicians of our band has took part in different projects. Future members of Romislokus played music of different genres: classic rock, art-rock, funk, post-punk and many other. Now each of us has no necessity to play in other projects, besides Romislokus.
13. What should we expect from the future works?
We have a plan of creation of monumental rock-composition by duration about 40 minutes. The name of this composition is "And This Wind". Material is already on working. Most likely, the song will be recorded in 2003 after finish the third album. Releasing of the third album is planned for October 2002.
Interview with Russian progressive rock band Romislokus by Mark Deren, May, 10, 2002, Moscow, Russia.
May 2002. The Russian -prog rock- band ROMISLOKUS was interviewed for popular Dutch Radio Program on Radio Heemskerk, Netherlands.
Presenter Mark Deren traveled to Moscow to meet the band, and to record their music live for the one hour radio broadcast.
Deren has made interview specials with such artists as Peter Bardens & Colin Bass (Camel), Hugh Hopper & John Etheridge (Soft Machine), Anthony Phillips & Steve Hackett (Genesis), John Wetton (King Crimson, UK, Asia), Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson), Carl Palmer (ELP), Peter Hammill (Van der Graaf Generator), Phil Shulman (Gentle Giant), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), and many, many more.
This musicians from Romislokus took part in interview: Yuri Smolnikov (lyrics, vocals, guitar), Mikhail Voronov (solo guitar), Evgeniy Gorelov (keyboards) and Dmitriy Shelemetev (drums).
Mark: Hi Romislokus!
Romislokus: Hi, Mark!
Mark: We're going to speak English because you can understand it better than Dutch.
Mark: We've just been today in recording studio in Moscow and I recorded your music on minidisk. It was very, very impressive, very nice music!
Romislokus: Thank you.
Mark: And I want to thank you for hosting me here in Moscow and showing me such a very good time. The food is just delicious here. Moscow is really beautiful city. And yesterday was 9, May - Victory Day and we saw fireworks and it was great to see the Parade. I want to congratulate you with your Victory.
Romislokus: Thank you very much.
Mark: I've got your CD in mail and I listened to it. And just loved that new sound of Russia! It is something new for a whole world.
Romislokus: We try to bring classic rock into the new background. We like progressive rock and art rock, a lot of bands:our idea is to blend organic and inorganic influences. We mix cello, violin with computer' effects and in the middle of it are guitars and synthesizers.
Mark: It is unique music. And what are your songs about?
Yuri: About today, about future, future of this world maybe. We dream about the things we have in our music.
Mark: I know it, because it is amazing to me to be here interviewing you, guys! We all agree that music is our common ground. We've eating dinner here. Yuri is also the cook. And he cooks really good food. Then he plays on guitar for us after diner. That is very beautiful. He can play also a lot of the classic rock songs. What is some of your favorites bands?
Romislokus: We like Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Beatles etc. We try to continue the best from the music that were before us.
Mark: You tried to market your music, but actually you send it like a gift to the world.
Mikhail: Yes, we've send for free about 150 CDs to different parts of the world. We have some difficulties to distribute CDs from Russia. We can't accept credit cards payments because of some economical barriers in Russia.
Mark: It is the same in many other countries too. When somebody send you a check from another country for your CD it costs more for the banking transfer. Have you got a lot of response for your CD?
Evgeniy: Yes, it is available to read on our web-site www.romislokus.com
Mikhail: A lot of reviews from all over the world.
Evgeniy: From independent experts of music.
Mark: So, when you use computer in your music : the most people are using it to make dance music and house music but you are actually creating melodic sounds.
Mikhail: We try to make melodic atmosphere with computer.
Evgeniy: You can hear our dramatic.
Mikhail: Listen our CD and you will know.
Mark: Today we've actually heard the drums and everything in music. Your drummer is really quite good. Is he a drums teacher, right?
Mark: Hello, Dmitriy!
Mikhail: He is a really good in drums. He is a big fan of music.
Mark: Your favorite drummer is Bill Bruford, right?
Dmitriy: Bill Bruford, John Bonham, Stewart Copeland from the Police.
Mark: Evgeniy, you are really good keyboardist, not only playing Romislokus' music but you can also play classical music, Beatles and everything else, right?
Evgeniy: Our music is different. So, my parties are also different, as you heard.
Mark: And Mikhail, you guitar style is really nice. It is incredible. How did you develop that?
Mikhail: I try to be honest in music, to play something new, sometimes something melodic, beautiful. My guitar isn't to be destroying factor for the atmosphere of Romislokus.
Mark: Besides the music what do you all do? It is amazing you are highly trained musicians.
Romislokus: Yuri is hydrology engineer. Dmitriy is a manager of big trade firm. Irina, specializing on playing cello, studies classical music in high musical school. Evgeniy is an accountant. He has to work every day in his office with his papers. Mikhail is student of Moscow State University - biggest in Russia. He studies economic law.
Mark: It is incredible. You guys work so hard. And you still have time to make such great music... It is fantastic, really. So, what is the philosophy of your music?
Yuri: The world can be changed due to what musicians do. And if musician makes good melodic music the world become more beautiful. Smart music is smart world. Most of people in usual life don't scream, don't shout, don't cry, usually. In modern music most of the singers in most cases make a lot of negative emotions, forcing their screams, cries. I wants to sing in the way I speak in life: at home, on the streets, at my work. A bit to scream, a bit to cry. Actually I never cry.
Evgeniy: We like your country - Holland. The country of flowers. Holland exports flowers all over the world. It means there we can find peaceful people. It is much better to produce flowers than to produce military machines.
Yuri: We like the works of Dutch painters of XV century. Hieronymus Bosch's painting is on the cover of our CD "Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn". Also my other favorite painter is Pieter Bruegel.
Mark: We had so many interesting conversations in the last few days. And we had such a great time. We were laughing a lot. It was real. You guys are so funny!
Evgeniy: We hope it is so. Feel free in Russia!
Mark: Feel free in Russia! That's right, I do! It really touches my heart, for sure!
Mark from Holland Show is broadcast every Sunday evening between 10:00 PM and 12:00 PM to a listener range containing roughly 500,000 people in the Randstad (North Holland).
Contact: Mark Deren, Radio Heemskerk, Netherlands, Phone/Fax ++31-251-246497, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: http://www.angelfire.com/pa/progholland/)
Romislokus (Moscow, Russia, Phone (095) 121-66-55, Email: email@example.com, Web: http://www.romislokus.com
INTERVIEW with Mihail Voronov from Russian Progressive Rock band ROMISLOKUS
by Sergio Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Sergio Motta: It seems to me that before you give life to the Romislokus project,
all of you were fulfilling a previous musical research or investigation as you
have thus said. Have you still been in search of new musical experiences, or
have you definitely found what you looked for?
Mihail Voronov: The conception of the album "Between Two Mirrors" satisfies our requirements to ourselves. This is the result of the long search of the genre and it contains the elements which can be used in the future. From the other side the big amount of the findings were left outside of the frame of the album. The works will be continued.
Sergio Motta: The computer technologies have furthered in fact the electronic-acoustic music
where a lot of one-man bands have often peered. Have you though sometime
about accomplishing your project by yourself, as it has happened to other
musicians who also made up their minds about performing this kind of music?
Mihail Voronov: We think today one author is uninterested and this fact doesn't depend on the kind of music we speak about. The computer technologies expand the opportunities for the co-operation of musicians with different views about music. The future technologies are able to get them together. Our band-mates are : "pure" computer programmer, video designer, artist of symphonic orchestra and vocalist from the russian orthodox church although the key figures are rock musicians anyway.
Feeling the computer as one of the band-mates let us constantly look at ourselves with "other" eyes and to give PC the elements which we haven't got. We call it - to fill spaces. The computer can also make its move to the art with gluk's help.
Sergio Motta: For the description of your words shown on the Romislokus` homepage is really
possible to perceive how painstaking you are toward your work. In your
opinion, what kind of mistake have you committed in this current production,
which you intend not to commit again in the future woks?
Mihail Voronov: The mistakes are the only things that can't be fabricated, staged. We don't correct some of the mistakes consciously. When everything is very right it looks unatural. Strongly normalized, the mistakes are one of the elements of Romislokus' style.
Sergio Motta: You have created an unexampled biography for your band where the listeners
themselves will freely idealize it according to their conception towards your
band`s musicality. Don`t you think this way each one of you will be depicted
differently by each listener?
Mihail Voronov: We want the listener to get determined representation of us in his mind. Nevertheless the listener forms the image of musicians in any cases (of course if a record company hadn't formed it before). We are not the actors of Hollywood and we don't need fabricated biographies. We want to move over all the barriers between the listener and the music. The music is a biography of special kind.
Sergio Motta: Still towards the computer and the technology linked to the music. How have
you seen the future for those who still share today their music with a band?
Do you think most of musicians will substitute their band-mates for the computer itself?
Mihail Voronov: Our conception of interaction in the band is different from others. Everyone of us is the author. The influence of our band-mates determines and forms musical world of Romislokus. We transmit the influences of each other through ourselves. Everyone of us supplies his own conception. That's why we can embrace our music as it is, such as the music of another band. The computer is inorganic, co-author for us. The computer has its own volition and we respect its volition equaling to our mind. It is rather difficult to explain it to people who didn't see how we worked. Maybe it is original and mystic. Nevertheless we are ration.
Sergio Motta: "It is a matter of great importance for us, that you should receive not a
half-finished product, as it frequently happens but a composition of full value,
that satisfies your requirement". Don`t you think that`s hard to happen to those
who play alternative music as progressive rock for instance, whereas it is
entirely free from any pressure imposed by the record companies?
Mihail Voronov: Actually, every progressive band knows when to make the point. We were not right if we'd said about college's music as about unfinished product. We speak about requirements to ourselves. And we knows exactly the range of preparing of each from our compositions. In some cases it is good to know the listener's opinion before we make the point with song. There are versions of compositions, which are less open to people's minds. First of all, we interest in consulting with evolution of perception. In our opinion soon we'll get to the extending of prog fans auditorium. The Internet is not the last in it. We must consult the properties of the "concert-hall", physical properties of the room, in which we listen to the music. The Internet-space is a very special "room" for prog rock bands. It isn't a stadium or a theatre ... it is something absolutely other, new. The sound of Romislokus is being made with consult to the specialty of this space:
Sergio Motta: In former times when USSR was an only country, bands like Kaseke and In Spe
among others...belonged until then to the same land, however they now have
their own nationality. Do you particularly think the progressive rock scene in
your country became poorer after that transition or, am I therein misinformed
toward the greatness of current Russian musical scene?
Mihail Voronov: Modern music in Russia is directly linked with the West. Most of musicians resound western musical ideas and even do not try to make something new. It is not wondering because Rock 'n' Roll was forbidden until 90`s. Russia was closed for other countries` music. But even at that time there was the layer of musicians specializing on rock music. Their songs had been played on small stages for the few interested people. We are from this kind of musicians. "Perestroyka" - democratic changes - makes new conditions. But there isn't the substantial changes in music. Mass media gives nothing besides an absurd. New demander - Business are not intellectual in any kind. And the demand of public is primal sound. Only the Internet in our opinion is able to change the situation. Today Rock 'n' Roll exists into two parallel worlds: the first is "live" performance, the second is conservation of musical ideas with help of digital technologies. Composer in studio is not rock musician because his music is
Sergio Motta: I have particularly seen that a large number of people in your country have
lately been more into playing heavy-styled music as heavy metal for instance
than progressive rock music. Is there by the way a reason obviously accountable
Mihail Voronov: We can equal art-rock with heavy-styled music only in absolute. Both of that are high-technique music. But art-rock gives us positive energy when "metal" shows the negative extent in the world's accumulations. We feel Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple closer to art-rock. It is the positive part of the "hard".
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