Odradek Room interview with doom-metal.com [March 10, 2013]

Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Under: Interviews

March 10, 2013
Original Link

Odradek Room's guitarist and vocalist Artem Krikhtenko explains the origin of the band's moniker and much more in this very interesting interview doom-metal did on the occasion of the release of the band's debut.

(1) Greetings and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Doom-Metal.com. Could I start by asking you to introduce yourself and the other band members to our readers: who are you all and where are you from?
Hello! I’m Artem Krikhtenko, the guitarist, the vocalist and the founder of the band. Other members are Sergey Kuznetsov - the bass-player, and, together with him, we are two permanent members; Roman Borovikov - the drummer, and Ilya Zernitsky – the guitarist, who joined us recently, after the recording of the album. We are from Mariupol, the industrial city of Ukraine. 

(2) I understand that the band has been in existence for about five years now. How did you get started?
Yes, it all started when we were just students. Sergey and I were interested in playing atmospheric heavy music. Then other participants began to come up. Nothing special. We ourselves were getting more mature, our music was constantly changing, as well as the band’s name, and now we are what we are. 

(3) 'Odradek' is an odd, ambiguous, largely-undefined creature from Kafka's writings. What does it signify to you? And what image is 'Odradek Room' meant to project?
Odradek is a boggart, a living spool of thread, something that evokes a feeling of being broken, abandoned, but simultaneously completed. It does not fit into the concept of human perception, like a product of distorted consciousness. This image refers the reader to the categories of metaphysics. And the room is a fictional house for this creature, or some implications of it. 

(4) What other influences, if any, inspire you to make music? Any other bands, literature, art, cinema and so on?
Our music was influenced by literature (in particular, by such authors as Kafka, Hesse, Sartre, Camus, etc.), cinema (Lynch, Kim Ki-Duk) and a lot of interesting music, as art-rock of 70's, jazz, post-bop, a variety of heavy bands. The Tibetan tradition of Buddhism also influenced me... to cut the long story short, there were a lot of influences. 

(5) Your musical style is quite complex, broadly Doom, but taking influences from different post- and progressive- styles. How would you describe it?
It is always difficult to describe music, especially if it’s your own. Everyone perceives it from his own point of view, sees it through the prism of his own consciousness. If we talk about stamps that we get, sometimes we are called avant-garde doom or avant-garde metal. I like this kind of stamp on the one hand, but on the other hand, it’s not really that important. 

(6) And what are the essential qualities of Doom, as far as you are concerned?
I love its artistic appeal, its ability of being very dramatic, its special atmosphere, and its ability to contain a variety of tempo. Even if you take a medium or slow tempo as a basis, you can easily make your music flow both groovy and aggressively fast, and as slow as possible. I see it as some sort of a wonderful basis for various experiments and inclusions. A tremendous variation of artistic means, both in sound and harmony, can be found in the very sub-genres of doom (sludge, drone, traditional, etc.). Although most doom teams certainly prefer to choose only one artistic means of this huge diversity for the basis of their music. 

(7) You've just signed a deal with Hypnotic Dirge Records (preorders/orders at HDR Website) to re-release your debut album 'Bardo. Relative Reality'. Previously, you'd self-released it. When was that, and how was it received? (Just as a personal aside, I'd like to say I'm very impressed with it).
The self-release was at the beginning of 2012, one or two months after finishing of recording and mastering. The album was received well by listeners who actually heard it. There were some pleasant references in mass media, but, naturally, not many people heard it that way. 

(8) And how is it to be finally working with a label? How do you find HDR, in particular?
On recording the album, we sent it to different labels. Some of them weren’t interested one bit, others offered rather bad terms for cooperation. Then, during our search, we came across HDR. We are completely satisfied with our cooperation and the indifference of the label. 

(9) Are you making any changes to the album or packaging for the new release?
We have completely rewritten the drums section, and the guitars, the bass and the vocals were remastered anew. The sound became much cleaner and brighter. Plus the drums section is now more interesting and better delivered. 

(10) What about the underlying concept of 'Bardo', from the Tibetan 'intermediate state of consciousness'. Which states are you portraying? Are they linked conceptually to an individual, or separate examples of such relative realities?
The concept of "Bardo" describes the feelings and emotions of a man on the brink. What exactly happens to the protagonist is not specified on purpose, to get inside of what is going on with him, right to the bottom of it. It's not very important whether this is a dream, death agony, or something else. The main idea is that we follow this path together with the protagonist of the album through all verges of his consciousness. Together with him, we are trying to understand the deep essence of the nature of things and get out of this state. But our character stays emotionally involved in the projections of his mind, and nevertheless stays there.
Is it personal or not? All human emotions and feelings are absolutely universal, as is the mechanism of consciousness. Some of the ideas really originate from personal experience, some of them are the results of retreat and meditation, and some of them are just the general conception of the Buddhist tradition. 

(11) The HDR release is being issued with lyrics in both English and Russian. How important are the lyrics to you - do you consider them essential to properly appreciate the music?
Lyrics are highly important, as far as I’m concerned. Music speaks for itself, it appeals to the senses of a man, creates images. But if the lyrics can also attract, the effect and depth of the impact increases. So, I tried not only to attract a listener emotionally, but intellectually also. I tried to offer listeners to regard the emotional component of their lives, think about the world, which is a projection of their owns. 

(12) And how well, or easily, do the concepts involved translate between the two languages?
Naturally, it’s rather complicated. Some nuances and details are lost in a translation anyway, but the translation of the lyrics album was accomplished by two excellent interpreters, so I hope we’ve managed to maintain the idea, the concept and subtlety of lyrics and symbols. 

(13) You're credited as both lyricist and composer. Which idea comes first - words or music? Do any of the rest of the band contribute to the development of either?
There’s no algorithm for this, it’s done differently each time. Sometimes the music itself brings the lyrics, provokes a stream of consciousness. In this case I have to only analyze written images later. Sometimes there is an idea for the lyrics or a concept, and then the according music is created.
As for the contribution of other band-members, I’m in charge of the concept, music-writing, lyrics and mastering. I think when there's a “tug of war” within the group, and when each member lobbies his own songs, it’s impossible to create such an album as Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', because tremendous work concerning the concept cannot be done by several people simultaneously. It is as if a book about one’s life (for example) would be written not only by him, but also by other five writers. In this case, music becomes less personal. That is why I am an adherent for those bands which have the explicit intellectual centre that defines the band.
By the way, our bass player and a close friend of mine Sergei Kuznetsov is a great composer, but he has a wonderful post-rock project “A Walk to Eveningside” for expressing himself. 

(14) Have you been working on any other material since completing 'Bardo'? If so, is it following a similar direction, or do you see it developing in other ways?
I would like to release metal and non-metal albums in turn. The next album is planned to be at the junction of something like jazz and possibly post-rock and trip-hop. It’s hard to say what will become of it, ‘cause it’s nearly impossible to predict what will come to my mind. Then there will be a heavy album again. More likely, the new material will be more aggressive than “Bardo”. But then, again, it’s too early to talk about it. 

(15) What about other plans? Do you play live shows? If so, do you have any touring or festival plans?
Yes, we play live shows. In a short time we’ll be sharing the stage with Shape of Despair and Mourning Beloveth in Kyiv. As for the festivals, we would love to participate there if we receive an offer or get the opportunity. 

(16) Like many bands, I guess you're not all full-time musicians? Aside from music, what else do you do with your time?
It’s different with everyone. I work in the economic sphere of internet developments, the bass-player works at the confectionery factory, the drummer works at the metallurgical plant, the guitarist is a specialist in engineering industries. 

(17) What would you consider the highest point of the band's existence so far?
Each of our steps I consider the highest point. 

(18) ...And the lowest? Has there ever been a point when you felt like giving it up?
The very birth of the band was the lowest point. We have come a long way so far, in my opinion. However, this is still just the beginning. And no, I have never felt like giving this up. 

(19) That's covered all of my questions: is there anything more that hasn't been addressed, or that you'd like to add?
No, there’s nothing more to add. 

(20) Then it only remains for me to thank you again for your time, and to wish you success with the forthcoming release of 'Bardo'.
Thank you and good luck! 

In : Interviews 

Tags: odradek room bardo relative reality doom metal death-doom atmospheric progressive psychedelic post-metal