The Re-Stoned – The Revealed Gravitation Interview   Leave a comment

The Re-Stoned is a return to the music I’ve always listened to and loved to play. Times are changing but I think this fact helps me to look at the musical heritage more clearly “Revealed gravitation” (2010) / R.A.I.G. / CD “As a band The Re-Stoned have really recorded a gutsy instrumental album with varying tones and differing approach’s, making each track individual. There’s no mistake where their heart lies on this album, which has allowed them to exercise their vision, creating an album that would appeal to fans of Karma To Burn, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizzard, Phased or any stoner band really. This is an album of quality and class, that doesn’t reinvent the genre, but does participate and contribute well.” – John O’Boyle / DPRP

Here is another great interview from Aleks Evdokimov, this time it is with Ilya Lipkin, guitarist with The Re-Stoned. Without a doubt the band recorded the instrumental album of the year with “Revealed Gravitation,” released on the beyond awesome R.A.I.G Records label. Enjoy this interview and be sure to pick up your exclusive free download of their live album at the end of the interview.

Q: Salute comrade Ilya! How do you do man? Don’t you get tired to read all these positive reviews which The Re-Stoned gets for “Revealed Gravitation” album?

-Hi, right now installing the Worms PC game, use to play it a lot with my daughter. Actually there were not too many reviews, so my answer will be – no, not tired at all. Although the fact that there are no negative reviews as well is worrying me a bit, what’s the catch here?

Q: There’s no catch in it, I guess that those who do not like this kind of music just didn’t listened to it . How do you think who is the potential listeners of The Re-Stoned? As I see – western audience’s gets “Revealed Gravitation” with pleasure and this is also a result of the policy of your label – R.A.I.G.

-It seems to me that The Re-Stoned music can be appreciated by people with different musical tastes – from classic rock to doom, stoner rock, space rock and all other neighboring genres. Once we were very well accepted by the audience at the festival, where all the other bands (except us) were playing death metal! And that one was our only second gig in history. Some people who have discovered our band at that death metal concert are still coming to our gigs and this is very good indeed! I have heard people saying that we play “metal for those who are not into metal at all”. I’m very pleased that people abroad positively accept our album, it’s very nice to read good feedbacks on myspace from people saying – “I like your album” or “I’m going to order your CD”. Of course a great deal of promotion belongs to our label – R.A.I.G. The policy of Igor (the label boss) is really appealing to me and we have been cooperating for quite a long time as well as with my other projects such as Rushus, A Foggy Realm, Waldsonne.

Q: What is this album for you and the other band’s members? Do you see it as a important mile stone or is it just another release for you? You played in Neutral, Yarche 1000 Solntc, Waldsonne, Rushus and NLP trio, therefore the question of how The Re-Stoned is important for you is actual.

-This album means a lot to me. I have put in it many of my own emotions, feelings and thoughts. There were even visual ideas with some of the songs in the process of recording. I’d prefer not to mention all the difficulties on our way to create the album, but I have to say that it wasn’t an easy task for us to make it. When it was done I felt really relieved, because I finally was able to let go all the thoughts and ideas that I was carrying around in my head. They have been released and the new ones take their place. It happened the way that among my other projects The Re-Stoned was not the most important one, but everything has changed and now I cannot imagine my life without it. This is a part of me; I like to play this kind of music. Recently I’m trying not to diffuse myself towards other stuff as it was in the past, but couldn’t withstand the temptation to create one more project – A Foggy Realm. It’s a one-man band where I create drone-ambient and electro acoustic stuff. It doesn’t stand in the way of my main band and gives me a possibility to realize some ideas coming to my head. By the way, this summer I started to compose new stuff for The Re-Stoned. I think new album will be different from this one, but anyway it will be broad-ranging as well.

Q: So you are the mastermind of the band and all songs are written only by you?

-It appears so. Usually when I compose a piece, I do a demo, sometimes with sample drums. Sometimes the drummer takes these parts of he compose his own. Some arrangements I did with the help of bass player – we usually find it very productive together, he has his own composed riffs on the album. So, about 85% is my job, other – collective labor. Sometimes something decent appears during jam sessions.

Q: What are your new compositions about? Do you figure out songs’ conception before their creation or do you just give them names after recording?

-It’s difficult to say what they will be about. I think I’ll continue my journey through macro- and micro space. There will be grim doom riffs and space-psychedelic stuff. Sometimes the piece concept appears before I sit down to record it, sometimes it happens in the process of recording. For example, one piece even has two names based on different associations with its music.

Q: How did your experience of playing in these bands help you to compose songs for The Re-Stoned? As I understand you played in another style avoiding stoner rock music and old-school progressive or space rock.

-Without doubt it helped. All the bands I was in have taught me something and given me priceless experience. I always envied those musicians who played within the framework of one genre or style and never thought about playing something different. I play in the bands more or less seriously since 1995. I used to drift (and still do but not as much as before) between different styles from acoustic folk and hardcore metal to fusion and death metal. But I have always liked good old rock and space rock. It’s funny but my short-timed participation in techno-death project Fatal Band has become the ultima ratio in order to change musical direction. In summer 2007 I recorded a demo piece, which was Return, released later on our EP. It was beyond my expectations that people so liked it. I’d like to thank all my friends who have supported me those days and convinced me to start with a band. I understood that I was pretty tired of all that progressive aesthetically overplayed stuff and all I want was low, heavy riffs and psychedelics. It was of a coincidence that those days I met Oleg Vorokha – a great Moscow boutique effects pedals engineer (U-Sound Company) who has really got me on a fuzz pedal. The moment I plugged my Les Paul into fuzz – there was no way back for me. And all the music I have listened to while in a high-school – Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, King Crimson – seem to be like the first love for me, which the one can never forget. There was and is a certain feel of magic in that music which many contemporary bands have simply lost.

Q: What kind of equipment beside fuzz do you like to use during recording of your songs? Which components are necessary for you when you write music ?

-As soon as I play instrumental music I pay a lot of attention to my setup. The number of my pedals is constantly changing – usually towards increasing). I look for some rare effects or something I need to reach any particular goal. It can be compared with artist’s palette. My most common setup is fuzz, booster, delay, wah-pedal, phaser and chorus. And Orange amps of course. To my mind they perfectly fit my guitar sound in The Re-Stoned. The abovementioned U-Sound has made a signature pedal for me – The Re-Stoned fuzz (unfortunately due to some delays in the production process I got it later and used another fuzz by U-Sound on the album). I’m going to use it on the new album. To compose music I actually need a guitar, fuzz and Boss RC-2 loop pedal – I find it very useful. Usually anything you have composed but not recorded right away you forget quickly, so I use to record my riffs immediately. Of course you can use a computer for these goals, but it is not such a convenient thing. Later you turn on your recordings thinking – “well, this one is good!” or “oh, no, this one I copied from Black Sabbath and need to erase it before anyone could hear it!!”)))

And of course I need a portable recorder to capture the rehearsals and jam sessions which is very important part of our activities.

Q: Which conception of The Re-Stoned did you see then you decided to start the band? And did you know which musicians must play in such band?

-In the beginning I realized (saw) the concept fuzzy enough. The basic question which disturbed me – whether a vocal is necessary or not. Everybody whom I asked about it told me different things in this respect. I realized that I should decide it on my own. I wanted to make a project where there were no usual vocal and song form, but there could be some impregnations of samples, a voice or voices perhaps. Initially I thought about Pavel Voloshin as a drummer (with whom we played in Yarche 1000 Solntc). But to our mutual regret we couldn’t play together. At that moment he took part in 3 or 4 other projects which demanded a lot of time. Therefore cooperation with him was reduced to only three rehearsals, and his place was occupied with another drummer. The bass guitarist came from absolutely unexpected side. It was Volodja Nikulin with whom we played in Rushus (ethno-fusion with percussion). I let him listen to a demo – and he told me “This is cool! I’d like to play it!” I was very surprised, because he usually plays funk, jazz, fusion. And I couldn’t imagine him playing in a group with dirty fuzz and low tuned guitars! In my opinion his funky-styled manner of playing adds color to the general sound of group. He is an excellent bass guitarist. It’s a pleasure to play with him. Andrey Pankratov became the drummer, our bass guitarist played with him in another group together.

Q: How long did you wait before the recording of your debut release “Return to the Reptiles”? Which songs were included in this release?

– We have collected four tracks on this EP, recorded at various times. Two of them have been recorded in our house studios – Return and Sleeping World. We have decided to place two tracks from EP on the album – Mountain Giant and Sleeping World. By the way, the arrangement of Sleeping World on EP strongly differs from that on the full-length album – there are no drums, I play there on a tambourine.

Q: I guess that the first aim of any band which records its first release is to be known among new listeners – what did help you most to be heard among other new Russian bands – this EP or gigs which you played that time?

– I think, initially this were concerts, and then it could be the EP. The thought to make an EP – “Return to the Reptiles” – has come to me in the last winter. I wanted to draw a line of our activity before recording of a full-length album.

Q: The Re-Stoned often plays live shows – can you say that you get more fans with each gig?

– I can not tell that the number of fans grows strongly. Alas, people in Moscow don’t attend concerts in Moscow too active. Such situation is typical for many genres. And, as a rule, these are the same people whom we know well. I hope, other listeners will reveal our group, and the release of this album will increase the number of people who will like our music.

Q: So increasing activity of new Russian stoner bands doesn’t bear fruits? Well, and what do you think – can we say that there’s a first wave of Russian stoner bands appeared not so long ago? I see that these bands try to do that and they can to promote their music but I do not sure that they get what they want…

-I think, it bears fruits. But not quickly. There should be a separate conversation about a musical scene in Russia and Moscow in general. It seems to me that people are strongly satiated with music and concerts now. There came more people to the concerts in the 90’s in my opinion. Everything has become too simple and accessible now. Formerly the release of the favorite bands album was a great event! People looked for a desired CD, examined the booklet of it. And now they are downloading everything from the Internet. And only few of them buy a CD. As to, whether the groups get what they want, I think all of them have different goals. Someone is going to have a rest, simply drink some beer after work and play music at the same time. There could be no more other goals to go further than these. Someone wants more. It’s clear enough for me that it’s almost impossible to earn money playing music in our country. Well, there is, of course, a variant that you are a professional musician playing in a group where you’re well paid. Or you are playing every evening cover versions in a bar (at the best, some hits of the 80’s by Yuri Antonov, “Time machine” or it could be a chanson). I earn mostly not by music, only to be free in my choice of what to play. I have a liberal profession which allows me not to sit in an office. If there comes time when my music will feed me – well, I will be really happy. But, I am afraid, it’s an impossible situation in my country.

Q: Where did you record songs for your first full-length CD? Did you spend enough time in a studio or did you record this material in home? Though it sounds too good for home-made release.

– We recorded this album at three different studios. At two of them – drums and bass, at the 3rd – all guitars. I recorded the guitars together with the bass guitarist. So in 70 % we acted as sound-producers and sounds-engineers. We have learned and have understood many nuances on recording. I hope, many errors admitted during the recording of this album, we won’t repeat at the recording of the new one! Drums and bass on this album were written simultaneously. I recorded the guitars separately in all tracks, except Bells – we have decided to leave 50 % of draft guitars there.

-Q: Sorry but how much was the cost of this record?

-I will tell so – more than 1000$. For this purpose I had to sell one of my guitars :-(. The bass guitarist has helped me a little with recording and data payment. Bare enthusiasm in general. It won’t pay off soon, if it will at all.

Q: The first song of “Revealed Gravitation” was named simple “Gravitation” – why does this question excite you so much? And where did you find that sample of lecture about phenomena of gravitation?

– Well, the gravitation theme excites many people, I think. Everybody would like to learn to fly. The track Gravitation consists from very massive riffs which cause in me a feeling of gravity. Gravity which is comparable with Earth’s weight. And how little we know about a planet on which we live. I wanted to reproduce all this in this composition. And the lecture fragment I took from a scientifically-documentary film.

Q: There’s a track “Orient of Doom” on this CD, why did you choose that “oriental” theme for this doom-based melody? “Doom” and “orient” are words that look strange together.

– Perhaps, it looks strange, but these both concepts get well together within me. In my opinion, many east melodies sound very much like doom. What a grief and sadness is there. Involuntarily you feel all these sand and broiling sun. Who was at our concerts, could observe belly dance along the track. Usually man’s half of the audience livens up, they ask for a phone number of the beautiful dancer then.

Q: One of most notable tracks of album is “Moriarty’s Blues”, but, man, you how you come to the conclusion to record catchy a blues-rock track in the name of genius professor who stubbornly oppose to Sherlock Holms?

– This riff was thought up by our bass guitarist Volodja (he told that while he has thought it up, there was a film about Sherlock Holmes running on TV, and it seemed to him that the name of the ominous professor went very well with the compositions name). He has invented it long time ago, before I have created The Re-Stoned. We tried to play this thing with Rushus, then with The Re-Stoned and it seemed to us that it perfectly sounded with fuzz. And we wanted to add some blues-rock to the album. We also called it “The Lame Blues”, as there was an unusual blues size of 4/4. Probably, it was most difficult to me to think up a solo for this piece. I’m used that the blues is always counted on 4, but here everything was different. The malicious thinker Moriarti really had his hand in it.

Q: Oh, and one of my favorite tracks is “Electric Storm”, so dare I ask: don’t you ever think about seriously playing some psychedelic space rock tunes denying straight stoner melodies and riffs?

– I think, no. I like such symbiosis – straightforward melodies and riffs in stoner and space-rock style. I don’t really like to drive myself within certain limits.

Q: Is there a song on the album which represents The Re-Stoned best? About which you could say: “It is bloody Re-Stoned and nothing more!”?

-Gosh…, it’s difficult to say. All pieces are favourite. But if to take it as such, probably it is Space – it combines all that I love – heavy riffs, fast tempo and slow, psychedelic themes and melody.

It’s very conditional though.

Q: Do you have a song which was most difficult for you to record? I’m sure that a record’s quality is bloody important for The Re-Stoned, so which one gave you more troubles?

– A lot of time has been spent on all tracks, I think. I can’t single out just one of them. There were many doubles in solo of “Moriarty’s Blues”. It was the last solo on the album and a terrible size, atypical for a blues. I remember that during the guitar recording (that day it went since morning, and by the evening we could hardly think) there was an amusing episode: I have confused parts of a piece and recorded a riff from one part on absolutely another. The bass player and me, we couldn’t understand – what happened!!! Why such a rubbish came out – I played precisely as it was necessary! We had very much fun, when we had understood, why it all happened. And during the recording of drums my tooth has terribly ached and it should be removed. That day I felt so badly that when I rose up with a guitar from a chair and went somewhere, I had a sensation that I went uphill. I very vaguely remember that day at all. Next day I have walked the same way, and have understood that there was no hill on this place! “So you had a toothache!” the sound producer told me, “and I thought you were taking something constantly”.

Q: This question could sound typical and even trivial but what is music for you? I’m not a musician and I maybe asked that once doing a interview with some band but right now I’m wandering – is it something inside you that you really can’t resist?

-Probably, it is self-knowledge and, of course, self-expression. Yes … it is something that you can’t resist. It will all the same get out of you. If not now, so it will in 10 years. But it is better to do all in time. I saw such people who were fond of music in youth, then plunged into business, and, only having earned a heap of money and having lived half-lives, have remembered that their children’s dream remained non-realized!

Q: Well, thank you for this interview man! I wish you and you comrades of The Re-Stoned all the best! Good luck man!

– Thank you! I am happy that what I do, finds a response among people! Rock ON!
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov
The Re-Stoned @ Myspace
Free Download Link Of New Live Album – Click Here

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Posted December 12, 2010 by doommantia in The Re-Stoned

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