Interview with Russian death metal band GRACE DISGRACED.
- answered Polina.
translated by Markéta, thank you!
Ave GRACE DISGRACED! Your new album „Lasting Afterdeaths“ has been released since June. How do you feel about it now? What is the fans´ respond? And how about music critics?
- Hi! Yes, the time goes too fast! Actually I am in love with this album because it reflects my latest ideas. So I am glad they found realisation in that way. The fans were happy too to get this long-awaited release. They knew that we recorded it in 2015 and, as usual, had to wait in order to receive a first-class official release. As for the critics… It seems that they did not see much difference between “Lasting Afterdeaths” and “Womanumental”, though there is some, in my opinion. Take the fretless bass, in particular.
How do you composed new songs for “Lasting Afterdeaths”? How does GRACE DISGRACED compose?
- Composing is Alexandr’s responsibility. He sometimes asks us for advice, but mainly everything remains as he created. Certainly each of us is in charge of his or her part depending on the instrument. And that brings some diversity to the main music stream.
The lyrics in thrash metal are sometimes underestimated. You sing about humanity, philosophy and misery. What are the new album´s lyrics about and who is the author? Do you want to share some message with your songs?
- And that is my kingdom. I am absolutely mad about the lyrics. I just feel that I should include as much to them as I could – the common idea, interesting subject, my personal feelings, hints and all these “reed-between-the-lines” things. “Lasting Afterdeaths” consists of 7 stories which tell us about death and its consequences, i.e. what is left behind. And here meet the pathfinders – first astronauts; the crazy racer; the silent suicide; the mysterious beast in the woods and the group of Soviet tourists tortured in the distant mountains..
Who is the author of the new album´s “Lasting Afterdeaths” cover? I really like this work. How did you choose this motive?
- That’s an Italian artist – Velio Josto. When I first saw his works I fell in love with them. So, he had not only to paint the double main cover, but also to give us 7 illustrations each corresponding to the tracks. The creature that we put at the main cover, the “Lasting Afterdeaths”’ mascot is a bat with the spider’s legs. This creatures is cradling the hosts of souls. I think it was Aleksandr’s idea first. The symbiosis of the two creature who are most commonly associated with the fear, the dark side and the death. But here there is no need to fear it, it expresses the sympathy and the sadness.
I love the sound of this album. It is dark, cold and sharp at the same time. In what studio did you recorded your album? Did you talked about the final sound and mastering?
- As usual we went to Navahohut studio in Moscow, to a good old friend of ours – Arkady Navaho. But this time we were more precise in our wishes. First of all, we were more experienced in the studio work comparing to our previous recording. And second, but not the least, Aleksandr had graduated from the school of sound engineers.
You released your album by American Razed Soul Productions. Why did you choose this label and how are you satisfied with their work?
- Our previous work was also re-released on that label. We found it in order to expand worldwide – for better presence at the other shore of the Atlantic Ocean. All in all they are quite good. It is one of that rare kind of labels nowadays that don’t make the bands invest funds in their releases.
Nowadays, people like to download new album on the internet and they use only its digital form. How do you see this problem? I would like to know your opinion as a musician.
- The air is overloaded with music. Everything has become so reachable. Bad musicians got access to the public. And the public choose among the myriads of records downloading them from the cyberspace. No exclusiveness, just this cyber litter, where you can find as much as you wish the music of your favourite style. That depraves. And for us it makes impossible to learn how much people really listens to our music. Not to mention the losses on sales. Yes, sometimes it makes me feel sad when I calculate how much we put into the rehearsals, recording, mastering, gear, and artwork and realise there is no chance to pay back due to these free downloads. But how not to get lost in this ocean of digital musical shit?
Polina, how is it to be the only girl in the band, don´t the guys trample you? And have you ever had any problems during the concerts? You know, there is a lot of people under the stage, drunk and you are nice and young lady…
- No, I don’t let them trample me! What about the concerts, Aleksandr is my bodyguard there. And nobody dares to say across because in his other life he is a professional wrestler.
In the Czech Republic there is not so many people on death metal concerts. How about in Russia? Do fans support you? Buying CDs, merchandise, etc.?
- Russia is not better that the other world in that sense. Yes, we have got our fan base. These people buy our stuff and go to the concerts. Sometimes it seems they are the only persons for whom we do all this.)) In Moscow, there is an Underground metal community called “515”. Aleksandr and I are its members. They really support us and we try to help them when we can.
If I remember it correctly you played one time in the Czech Republic. Do you remember the concert? Did you like it? Do you want to do a tour for your new album? And if so, will you come to the Czech Republic?
- Yes, we played in one little tiny town. It was a real pleasant place to play. The club was overcrowded, the beer – tasty and cheap and the fans – cheerful and mad! The police car patrolled the territory near the club. As for another tour, there is one obstacle which does not let me go touring this year. Actually I gave birth to my daughter in August and I need to stay with her until she becomes more independent.
Are there any new albums which you liked recently?
- Unfortunately we don't often listen to the news.) Recently we have been buying a lot of vinyl with the classic metal 80's-90's of the twentieth. What has hooked us recently we can highlight Fallujah, the latest album from Paradox (like all previous one), and new wave retro-wave Perturbator and Carpenter Brut.
Do you know and listen any Czech bands?
- Personally, I would name one group that produced a strong impression on me and dramatically influenced my perception of the classic Death Metal. It is Scabbard, especially their album “Beginning of Extinction”. It sounds very originally and unusually. For me this is exemplary Death Metal the mid-nineties, the dawn. Also I can highlight the Avenger, whose album “Feast of Anger / Joy of Despair” we have on CD and enjoy listening to. What else… From Beyond, Demiurg, and very unusual Forgotten Silence. And of course Fleshless and Krabathor.
What are GRACE DISGRACED´s plans for the next few months?
- As there is a dead season for the concerts, we have begun to create some material for the new album. Aleksandr and I have some definite ideas and vivid images for our next album. It will be something like a death metal opera with a distinct storyline in futuristic anti-utopian style.
Thank you so much for the interview and I wish a lot of sold out concerts and fans who are crazy about your merchandise and CDs. And also I wish you a tons of brilliant ideas.