Omnipresence Groove – A Interview With The Grand Astoria   Leave a comment

Please enjoy this great interview with Kamille Sharapodinov aka Flower Punk from The Grand Astoria.

Q: Hi Kamille! Let’s start with you’re an epic tour of The Grand Astoria which you organized last Autumn. Which places did you visit during your “Tour De Force” 2010 and where did you play after it?

-Hello mate!We divided our first big european tour in two parts and I think we played almost 50 shows during September-December 2010. We started from Estonia and moved to Portugal, playing all countries in between.We also visited Sweden in December with two shows in Stockholm. As for current “Omnipresence Tour” we played 5 dates in Russia in January 2011 and then headed to Baltic States, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, France, The Netherlands. The route is quite the same always as we speak about european tours. In a few days the second part of tour starts and we gonna visit Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and some other countries in eastern Europe.

Q: Kamille, I owe you a beer – you owe me new CD “Omnipresence” of The Grand Astoria, that’s a deal! But please feed my curiosity – how did you fulfill such brave plans in reality?

-It’s all due to the internet. Nothing special. I’ve spent so many days just sending hundreds of mails to different venues, promoters, booking agencies etc. And you know, it seems that you have to send 50 mails to get one reply hahaha. And it’s not a fact that it will be positive. We are still at DIY level, so this is how it goes. But I am trying to find a good manager that will help us with booking. Cos I am very tired of all this web stuff. I prefer playing guitar!

Q: Let’s make a resume – can Russian bands organize their gigs and promote their CDs successfully enough with only fanaticism, talent and enthusiasm?

-Absolutely! But it’s a hellish job. We also have all these visa problems which are not common for europeans or americans. It’s not that easy for russians to get visas to travel to Europe especialy if they don’t have regular jobs,credit cards and insurances. For example we in The Grand Astoria don’t have all this, so for the society we are just nothing, zero, empty space. There is no such an occupation in Russia like “rock musician”. If you are in the classical music it’s ok, but not rock. Please, not rock hahaha ) So yes, it’s all possible but it causes so many complications. If the band is ready for these difficulties it’s worth trying!

Q: Hey, man, where did you live during the tours? How did you catch all of these bands for gigs?

-It’s all via the web once again.We shared the rooms and stages with many good people during the tours. We played in different venues from cellars to big halls and the sleeping places were the same, from rehearsal spaces and hostels to very nice houses and big hotels. I want to thank everyone who helped us! We really appreciate it!

Q: With what kind of bands did you play there? Were there only stoner / psychedelic rock bands or something else?

-There were many bands in different genres. I want to advise you Nevesis (Estonia), Talbot (Estonia), Glowsun (France), Doc Idiot (Germany), Panamero Sundown (Sweden), Sendelica (UK), The Shooters (Spain), Sahara Surfers (Austria). You have to check them!! Sorry if I forgot someone but these guys are very cool for my taste!

Q: Okay, and now I need to ask you about the new album. The CD was released in January, and right after that you did a good tour with British comrades Sendelica! How did you incline these gentlemen to such a shady enterprise?

-During summer 2010 we decided to make a so called gig-change with them. We will bring them to Russia and then they will bring us to UK. So the first part happened in January 2011 and we played 5 good shows together in Russia in support of our new CD “Omnipresence”.

Q: Did the gentlemen take acclimatization well?

-I think so. They were very happy to play here (I don’t know why hahah) and we even recorded together some pieces of music in one studio in St.Petersburg.

Q: I remember well-known to you Sons of Alpha Cenaturi – these comrades recorded 2 or 3 albums in collaboration with other musicians, therefore they had CDs with a wide range of musical styles – from desert rock to progressive and stoner. I bet you sometimes think about similar projects too. Am I right?

-Yes, you are right. Many guests were involved into all this “Omnipresence” process. You can read the names inside the CD. I have plans to continue such collaborations

Q: Kamille, I’ve read that you “planned to start Omnipresence-tour in January in Russia and going to end it in December in Mexico”! Man, is it true?! Do other members of The Grand Astoria know about your grand plans?

– Sure. All Hell can’t stop us now! After Mexico we wanna visit the USA in January 2012, guys from Wo Fat promised to help us in Texas, we also have good contacts in North Carolina. So our plan is to start from Texas and then move to New York. And if YOU, the reader, can help us with shows in Alabama, Georgia, Mississipi, Virginia please feel free to contact us via thegrandastoria@gmail.com

It’s all hardcore so we will be very grateful for any help!

Q: You had a line-up changes during last few months – doesn’t it inflict problems to the band due to such intensive concert activity?

-Probably. We changed bassist and drummer. But it’s more because it’s not the music they like. They prefer popish and rnb crap like Lady Gaga, Rihanna etc. It may sound weird but our previous rhythm section sincerely liked this music. It always disappointed me cos I am 100 pure rock hahaha! So now we have new bass player and he is a monster!! He is exactly the person we needed all this time. And the most pleasant thing is that he knows who is Steve Harris and “Iron Maiden” is not a dirty word for him! It’s very important if you play in The Grand Astoria haha)

We also have a session drummer Denis with us til we find the right guy. So please contact us if you are ready to join the band)

Watch A YouTube Video Here

Q: Your second CD was released by RAIG records, but you produced and released “Omnipresence” by your own hands – why, man? Does a policy of self-promoting live up to your expectations?

-It’s a dark story actually. It was better for the band on this level. I also decided to run my own label “Flower Punk Records” for my projects. The first CD will be released in May 2011. Please welcome “Organic is Orgasmic”,psychedelic space rock band. Check the site here:

Organic Is Orgasmic @ Myspace

Q: How did you get that it’s better to move the band by yourself? Well, there’re a lot of bands here who will not move a finger waiting for others to do their job! Where is a source of your energy and persistence?

-Cosmos is the source) I really have nothing to loose. That’s why I am always moving. I don’t have a house, jobs, bills to pay. I live in a big commune with my girlfriend, guitar and stompboxes. Yes, sometimes it’s a problem even to get some food, but I prefer this much better than to spend all my time sitting in the office. But it’s just the matter of choice. And I want to add that I don’t have rich parents or relatives in the government hahah) Cos such rumors started circulating here in Russia)

Q: Well, “Omnipresence” differs much from The Grand Astoria previous CD “II”. There’s a more of vocal lines, more of drive, more of bloody southern stoner rock’n’roll! I remember that you said in our last interview about the band’s progress, how would you compare new stuff with elder works of yours?

-Of cos all bands say like that about their latest albums. It’s heavier and melodic and blah-blah-blah. For me it’s just another step. And I see it like this. I think our fourth record will be spacier…and of cos heavier and melodic hahah)

Q: You keep a thin balance into “Omnipresence” – it’s a really fine advantage… And well, “Doomsday Party”! I could say that this track is a face of new album, and it opens “Omnipresence” at least. What is it? Just rock-n-roll new clear drive or documentary of forthcoming Armageddon?

– You can see it all in the title. It’s about how some stupid people with big money and huge possibilities spend their time. Getting pleasure from seeing other people suffer. I think it’s our dark hardcore anthem. But basically “Omnipresence” is about God and how different people define the term and the meaning of the word “God”.

Q: Kamille, sorry, man, if it’s too personal but that is your point of view of… What is your conception of God? How do you understand this question for yourself? How does this idea reveals itself in your music?

– The main thing here is to see the difference between faith and religion. And you are quite right, it’s all personal.

Q: I’m listening “Mania Grandiosa” right now and wondering how does The Grand Astoria release albums with such high (for underground) speed and quality! Also I note for myself that you like to work with the band’s sound very much – is it real pleasure for you? Confess!

-Thanx. I am just doing my best! I think if I had my own studio I would spend there the most of my time. I like the process of recording very much. As I told you I am always in a process of writing and recording music.

Q: There is a track “Omniabsence” onto the album – it’s very interesting. What is a secret of that deep psychedelic gurgling which we can hear in that song? 🙂 The same great thing was with Mountain of Judgement and now you got it too. Explain to me as an author what does this gurgling express? 🙂

-It’s a jammy track. All these “bubbles” sounds were recorded for us by Arkadiy Fedotov from Vespero, very cool psychedelic band from Russia. These sounds mean nothing special, just good atmosphere and right vibe.

Q: There was the great gig of The Grand Astoria, Sendelica and The Re-Stoned amidst other gigs in January. So I have a question – can you say that Russian stoner scene go through it’s best times? How did the scene develop through 2010?

-Definetely! There are so many good bands here (not only in stoner genre) in Russia. I think soon the world will hear about them. I can mention The Re-Stoned, Vespero, Stone Cold Boys, Evil Cosmonaut, Stoned Jesus (from Ukraine), Without God, Sound Of Ground, Sex Type Thing, Cactus Jumper and others. I have plans to release compilation CD with tracks of Russian bands on my label. So stay tuned!

Q: There’s another great track “Rat Race In Moscow” in “Omnipresence”. How did you decide to record that song?

-I don’t like modern Moscow and this song is about this feeling. You better read the lyrics. It’s all “in your face” there. Just like a spit haha. No tenderness and remorse. I have my reasons.

Q: Kamile, I would like to ask you about track “Something Wicked This Way Comes”: who did prevail in this song – Iron Maiden or Ray Bradbury?

-I think both Maiden and Bradbury influenced me very much. So it’s my tribute to their genius.

Q: What’s about “The Song of Hope”? It’s strange for me to see that mix of funk and progressive rock in your music. If this song is about hope then what is this hope to?

-You can find elements of funk in other songs from prevoius albums. For example in “All The Same” and “Salvation Is Near”. As you can see we are genreless band, I just care about good riff and melody in our music. About hope..well it’s all about better days) In a better place!

Q: Final composition of the album is “Stonewall” and though it’s intro is similar to “Song of Hope”, we hear a really different tune this time! How did you record an album with totally different songs? There’re no two similar tracks yet “Omnipresence” is unbroken and whole!

-Thanx once again. I don’t know. It’s just the way I feel the music. Maybe because of this we are not so popular. People are afraid of this mix. Most of them prefer pure stoner or pure metal but it’s not my way. I think only while mixing styles and genres you can find your own unique face and sound.

Q: And man – why do you share the album which you produced and released with your own hands for free download?! True to say – I understand… but I do not understand!!! 🙂

-It’s mine and I want to share it with everyone. I have nothing to hide. We didn’t spend a lot of money for recording so I think it is honest to give it to people as a free gift. Those who want to buy this beautiful CD in digipak can order the copy via thegrandastoria@gmail.com

Thanx for supporting underground!

Q: I bet that you have a couple of new tracks for a new album, just tell me that I’m right! And share some information about it of course!

-Haha,right! It’s almost written. We have plans to release 7’ inch vinyl single in September-October 2011. Hope we will be able to find money for this. After that we will start recording a new album.

Q: Thank you Kamille for the interview! Don’t forget to let me know about a progress of The Grand Astoria invasion into western regions of Europe and USA – let God-Emperor watch over you!

-Thank you so much!

Sincerely yours,

Kamille
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

The Grand Astoria @ Myspace

Download The Grand Astoria “Omnipresence”: Here

*Biography:*
They are The Grand Astoria. They were born and raised under the scorching
sun of Russia’s South and their music first saw the light of day in the
blistering cold of St. Petersburg. They don’t want to call their music any
names but for the lack of better words are often labeled as psychedelic
stoner punk band.
Even though punk rock and metal are two major influences they enjoy rock
music in all its diversity, so when you listen to TGA’s new record you never
know what’s coming up next. It could be a metal hymn, or a psychedelic vibe
or a skillful bluesy number. It may sound crazy but somehow all these styles
and grooves come together in really a beautiful way in TGA’s music. With
their love to old-school and willingness to experiment the band wins the
hearts of fans and critics alike all over the world. They write music, tour
with it and repeat the cycle again, succeeding in surprising their audience
with the never heard before blend of rhythms and cultures.

The members mention Iron Maiden,Mudhoney, Megadeth, Faith No More and Jimi
Hendrix among their major influences. DIY ethic is the usual way the band
arranges their tours and record deals.You can easily find their records for
free across the internet. During the fall of 2010 The Grand Astoria played
40 shows across Europe in support of their second album. Their third album
named “*Omnipresence*” was released at January 1, 2011. A World Tour has
been announced for the whole year as well via the band’s myspace.
*
Discography:*
-“*The Grand Astoria*”-2009 (CD)
-“*II*”-2010 (CD)
-“*Omnipresence*”-2011(CD)

Advertisements

Posted March 14, 2011 by doommantia in The Grand Astoria

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: