Odradek Room interview with Doommantia.com [April 2012]

Posted by Nick Skog on Friday, September 14, 2012 Under: Interviews
Odradek Room interview with Doommantia.com from April 2012
Original Link:  http://www.doommantia.com/2012/04/funerary-text-of-doom-interview-with.html 
Ukrainian avant-garde doom band Odradek Room (Ukraine, Mariupol) stuck in my memory after I had listened to “Doom-art compilation – 2009”, which I should say exceeded all my expectations. I’ve remembered the band not only for it’s strange name but also for really qualitative and nearly extraordinary stuff. Typical doom atmosphere was combined with fresh notes of avant-garde and a scent of madness and in the end this mix sounded very effective for me. Music these guys create is really hard to define with certain common genres, it stands beyond doom metal stereotypes. That’s why as soon as I had found out that the band has released their first long-play “Bardo. Relative Reality” I hurried to get in touch with them. Artem Krihtenko (vocals, guitars) has heeded my call.

Salute comrade! Who is on behalf of Odradek Room facing progressively thinking  doom-audience today ?

-Artem. Guitarist, vocalist, Odradek room’s composer and lyric writer.

Artem who belongs to Odradek Room besides you? How old is your band?

-There is Sergey Kuznetsov, the bassist and at the same time the guy I have been playing with since the origin of the band, Roman Borovikov – the drummer. These fellows are my bosom friends and close associates. We have been creating music for a long time together. One more guitarist Ilia Zernizkiy joined us lately. He is likely to play with us as a session musician. I hope he will benefit some new stuff in Odradek’s sound. The exact date of origin is no use trying to recollect. Approximately in 2007 or so.
Both non relative to music Kafka, Hesse, Sartre, Lynch and a good deal of great profound music, such as Pink Floyd, Silver Mt.Zion and up to various jazz music. We all have been brought up by something and absorb something to some extent.

Is Odradek Room a studio project or the band in the true sense of the word giving live performances every once in a while?  Is there a need for (and reason) live performances as your music is some kind of a chamber one ?

-We are a fully valid band). We just suspended our live performances till time our album recording is finished. To my mind, live performance is the most powerful way of interaction between musicians and audience. We like live concerts very much. They enable us to reveal ourselves to the audience more closely. Our stuff is some kind of a chamber one indeed. Besides, we have been planning playing acoustic stuff.

You didn’t give performances in Russia, did you? Whom did you share the stage during the performances in Ukraine?

-Hardly had we set out travelling about other cities and giving live performances when it was decided to start off recording the album. We didn’t happen to play at conceptual doom concerts in Ukraine. We just shared the stage with black metal and death-doom bands playing more aggressive stuff. No, didn’t make any enquiries in terms of giving performances abroad yet. But we are about to do it soon). There is a great will to go through this, hope it comes true in the nearest future. You are welcome to invite us abroad )

Odradek Room’s first album “Bardo. The relative reality” has come out lately. What label released it?

-Currently, it has a status of self-released album. There were interested labels, but it was either a financial difficulties (no money to release copies) or something else that knocked the bottom out of it. We have some preliminary agreements concerning distribution, but still it just a verbal agreements.

How much a band is supposed to spend to release СD on its own? How much did you spend recording the album?

It’s quite pricey I should say. We recorded it completely by our own efforts. Made our studio right in our rehearsal room. On the one hand, it appeared to be more expensive rather than on professional studio, but on the other hand, there was absolute creative latitude. There were no time limits and much time to think over some details. That was our first experience of more or less serious recording. I hope our next album will sound better.

How would you define “Bardo. The relative reality”? What differs it from other doom bands? IMHO some songs bring back to middle-aged Katatonia in terms of structure of its compositions. The fragile, quite insane atmosphere slightly feels like Finnish band Aarni…

-I don’t like describing our music. The music comments itself. We didn’t take cue from anybody during composing and just tried to express every emotion and every bit of a feeling as clearly as it was possible with appropriate artistic devices. Our music bears a lot of stylistic influences and artistic devices.

Do you consider Odradek room’s songs to be technically difficult? What things are you proud of in the album best of all?

-It’s some sort of bottom line of the past years. Music which runs a story about not only a single person, but everyone in a way. It’s a sinking deep into unconsciousness. It’s the effort to realize and perceive things exactly the way they are. It’s hard to put into words for me.

Are you going to stick to the style and atmosphere of your first album in future or your music will develop and transform into something else? In what direction?

-I don’t see the point of repeating ourselves. Everything changes and flows. And so do we. Still there will be both aggressive and melodious harmony contrasts. What direction?  – I am at loss to answer. Everything flows intuitively. It might be some drone pieces or trip-hop… there are plenty of other variants.

How long the album was being recorded? Was the sophisticated atmosphere which features Bardo - The relative reality created deliberately?

-Recording lasted a year and a half or so. It had been completed from the musical point of view but different technical details obstructed the process. As for the deliberateness in creating the atmosphere…sure, we did our best to transmit the feeling and vibe of our music. 

What comments and reviews did the album get? As for me, it was a great pleasure listening to it, but it is difficult to please everybody…. And do you care reviews and feedback from the audience?

-Labels’ reaction was the worst)… Just joking). Jokes aside, the album was highly  appreciated. But to make things clear, our business is to play music and it’s up to the listeners to judge. It is natural that certain kind of music awakes an echo in someone’s heart and in someone’s it doesn’t awake anything.

The name of the album has drawn my attention at once. The matter is that Odradek Room is not the first band to apply to Tibetan notion “Bardo”, which stands for transient process while the soul of the deceased departs. IMHO none of the bands which claimed to develop this particular theme happened to find any appropriate embodiment of this conception. In your case, notion “the relative reality” goes apart from emotional expression of the music. What do you think about that?

-Afterworld or while dreaming ( no matter as there is fractal self-similarity of transient states of mind ) psycho-emotional mental forms expose, it is the psycho-emotional experience which frames person’s perception of the reality. The environment is a reflection of an individual. For example, in “The Picture” lyrics the reality is described as being originally seemed unanimated. But after a while, protagonist watches the picture of the world and the worldview break to pieces. Everything he had observed as existent happened to be just gore, bandages, wounds and imprints of his life projected on his worldview. When everything fell down to pieces he faced the reality as a mirror. He is reality. It’s a metaphor, though an obvious one. The album runs about of this transient process from the point of view of human being. As a rule, he is still absorbed with emotional perception of the environment, he still experiences depression, fear, anger, affection. He doesn’t have a clue that he is the only author of this performance. Excuse my complicated explanation but this phenomenon is rather a sophisticated one.

Everything is quite clear to me, mate. It’s a partial summary of the most fundamental principles of Bardo. But doesn’t it seem to be misleading to you to load intensively the “illusionary side of reality”, does it? You capture emotions and sounds consequently creating stronger affection to this world.

-Music doesn’t create any affection itself. Music is clear and objective in this respect. People suffer from affection trying to hold stream in their hands. Besides, music is a great mental and spiritual tool.

The name of the band derives from one of Kafka’s writing. Do western philosophy or eastern spiritual tradition prevail in “Bardo. The relative reality”?

-The band’s name taken from Kafka’s “The Cares of a Family Man”. There was surrealistic creature Odradek, the bogie, looking like an animated spool of threads. I think in terms of European culture as I was brought in this environment and this fact is reflected on hero’s perception of the reality expressed in the album). But all the while both our music and album is based more on eastern philosophy traditions. Even such an artistic device as constant contrasts in music (aggressive/melodious, mad/mild) originally meant as creative and destructive potentials interchanging. The album depicts life and death, their dualism and unity at large.

Where did you get the samples used in “the river” from? “Self –realisation comes as soon as a person conceives that he himself is a hero of another person’s dream”. Sounds quite far-fetched…

-It’s from “Waking Life” by Richard Linklater. Great film. Our album has much in common with the plot and conceptions of this film. Transient state of mind after death, alternation of dreams in a dream and mental forms embodied in individuals and their stories. In the sample there is a monologue of a hero, who conceives that he was dreamed by another individual and was created by his imagination.

Your song “The picture (sticking oil colors into a canvas )” was also included in the latest “Doom-art.ru compilation”. I consider the idea of releasing the compilation to be great, but the list of the bands doesn’t provide objective glimpse of our stage. Is there any sense of self-organization of doom bands for joining efforts in doom music promotion?

-Yes, the idea of compilations itself is very good. We intended to take part in them since the first compilation had been released. Unfortunately, the 2009 compilation was released on the quiet without any promotion and consequently without proper feedback. Of course, there is a sense in self-organization.

By the way, I got to know about Odradek room thanks to this compilation, and it means that the idea proves to be working. How would you review post-Soviet territory doom-stage?

-To my mind there are some really interesting bands. I don’t very much like what is being played by doom-death bands, although things get better in other doom developments and directions. Both post and experimental doom directions are quite on the high level. There are some great funeral bands. To say the truth I am glad gothic stuff is left behind in the past of the Noughties.

Currently, sludge and stoner trends are emerging. And a great many of bands representing these genres are rather predictable in their using hackneyed music patterns which were borrowed from western bands. We are short of really original unique bands. Is there a need for copycats on the doom-stage? Even if nobody has played anything of the kind before over there in post-Soviet territory….

-No stoner can be played without clichés in a proper way). I suppose there will always be lack of original distinctive bands, otherwise the notion of the word “originality” will be doubtful. In any kind of art copycats are useless. The value of “retranslation” is not worthwhile.

What native bands would you point out and consider worthwhile?

-Autumn (or Men of the Autumn ), latest sludgy stuff of Evoke Thy Lords, Inter Arbores, don’t know weather НИМФ is alive or not ….. these are the first to come into my mind. There are some others.

What have you been planning in terms of the nearest future?

-Giving concerts, working at new compositions. Might be recording acoustic EP in half a year.

Thanks for the interview Artem. Let me know when you go to Russia and when you have a new music material. That’s all for today. Wish you good luck and successes in new achievements.

-Thank you. Let the music reign). Best wishes.

Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

In : Interviews 

Tags: odradek room doomantia hypnotic dirge death-doom atmopheric progressive doom post-rock