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05.12.2003 And there will be love from two speakers - Fuzz Magazine, October 2003

Fuzz Magazine, October 2003

And there will be love from two speakers

ANIMAL JAZZ group, thanks to competent management, faultless concert reputation and musical material, vigorously walks in the head of rock bands, acting in principle new way as for our country. Once ''post- underground star without rotation'' already has impressed radio stations and festivals with its music.
Why these people don't bury rock'n'roll, but give it a chance? They release singles, which recently seemed unprofitable in post-Soviet countries. They delicately expand another's formats and change settled rules. AJ's vocalist and producer tell us about it.

Fuzz: You'll have your next single out soon. What advantages in releasing of mini-albums in Russia?
Andrey Zaitsev (producer): The maxi-single with a few new songs from forthcoming album is a good advertising of a new record and reminding about the band. In general, using correct promotion, it's possible to sell singles in the same way as albums. I mean, a single is a transfer phase between the moment when the band has already made music for an album, and the moment when it's ready to be released.
Mihalych (vocal): Our new maxi-single is to be released right now. There's no concrete title yet, but it's known, there'll be a classical work - Ravel's ''Bolero'' which we've made in a heavy way and already successfully played at several gigs. Besides, the single will include a couple of songs from our second studio LP which will be out in the end of November. Also there'll be a cover on very famous, maybe even legendary song. And probably, as surprise, absolutely unexpected thing will appear on it too.

Fuzz: Tell about your previous releases.
Mihalych: I start to be confused in our releases 'cause we had out such a big amount of it. Our debut record was a live album "Oranjazz" appeared in March 2002. In a couple of months we've released maxi-single, the first in a turn of similar releases. It was named "Interval" because it was like a break between live album and our first studio LP "Animalizm" released in November 2002. The maxi-single "15" was out in spring 2003 as a supplement with the FUZZ (the most popular Russian monthly musical magazine) and then with the NME (Russian edition). Later we released it additionally. Well, our last till this moment single "If You Breathe" was released in June 2003. We decided to make some experiments with a sound of the band and with making of music in the whole. There're the remixes which were being made by various electronics musicians and DJs during 2, 5 years of group's existence.
Andrey: Generally, all maxi-singles are independent mini-albums. We release them because the band has a huge quantity of ideas which can't be embodied in one album without damaging its concept. Such releases are really necessary, as the group should show a material which is made, so to speak, on a vacation. Sometimes it's pretty hard to perform that alive. To use only keyboards and vocal on stage, for example.
Mihalych: On the one hand, we quickly do songs. It's not the problem for us to make a composition from the beginning up to the end in one rehearsal; so the material collects quickly enough. And on the other hand, we signed with "KDK Records", a good company which always with pleasure releases our music. Therefore we don't have to delay with the edition of new works.

Fuzz: Tell about recording in studio
Mihalych: Usually the arrangement is already done during rehearsals and concerts. We're concert group, and in studio we try not to lose the power and energy of live performance. We hope it will be especially appreciable on our new album. The main things for us now are drive and power. And these different sound tricks which come up through recording in studio depend on our sound engineer and producer. They together diversify heavy sound. It is possible to tell, that our follow-up album will be filled with heavy melodic guitar music.

Fuzz: ANIMAL JAZZ not by hearsay knows about the use of direct division of labour...
Mihalych: By and large, there're seven persons in the band, not five. Five men which directly hold in hands balalaikas and microphones and two, engaged in "occult sciences " - Andrey Zaitsev completely deals with management and producing, and sound producer Jury Smirnov who on 50 % creates our sound live and in studio. And advantage is obvious - we, musicians, don't think about organization of concerts, details of studio recordings and even about the concept of group as such - about image, for example. We're more like a family, not an office on manufacture of music.

Fuzz: Do you see any forthcoming changes in musical situation in the country?
Mihalych: I suppose so: there are some old wave bands which have definite settled suggestions about their images and music. It's difficult enough for them to deviate from the frameworks of things and stuff they have already made. But recently a lot of much more interesting music appeared around them. And it gradually began to reach radio stations. And the musical situation has already changed! And there's nothing unusual, simply rock'n'roll in Russia goes on in the normal way. Earlier it developed intensively: there were only several famed groups which were actively touring and releasing records. And now it develops extensively: there are many different young commands with only 1-2 songs played on the radio. I just see that mass-media at last, try to find new ways for attraction of the listeners. The listeners seriously educated in 90s years, now have interest not only in Russian rock, but also in normal modern heavy western music. There's more interest to new trends and styles. There's more demand. There's more supply accordingly. And our musical environment has completely formed. We have many good musicians.

Fuzz: What is your impression from "Nashestvie 2003"? (It's the biggest Russian annual open-air fest held by Nashe Radio)
Mihalych: It was very interesting experience. We, certainly, prepared for festival on the big stage, but by virtue of known circumstances it was transferred to studio, and that wasn't something essentially distinguished from usual gig for us. We went in studio as if we went on stage. We weren't standing straight as many other bands trying to play better than they would play live on stage. We play live: not bad. For us the main thing was the power which we bore. If you restrain yourself, the energy remains inside and it's not felt by audience. There were walls and pair of glasses in studio behind which was a director and not numerous clapping public with headphones on. Well, of course, it' was slightly ridiculous. During our performance the crowd of people dressed in a black uniform with video cameras went in studio. They began to remove from such interesting foreshortenings, that Borja, our keyboard player almost confused his part at the moment he saw the camera between his legs instead of he usually got used to see there. But he made it out then...

Fuzz: Is it pleasant for you to hear your own songs on the radio?
Mihalych: From the very beginning I knew, that soon or later our songs will be played on the radio. Besides, it is very interesting to listen to responses of people. And I accept the fact as due. We give too much, not to receive anything in exchange...
Andrey: By the way, after "Nashestvie" some people asked us: "How many you have paid? " And we completely fairly answered, that didn't pay anything! Simply it seemed strange to the people got used to radio format, that the band which was absolutely out from this format, played on "Nashestvie"...
Mihalych: There're surprising examples at each festival not suiting any formats.

Fuzz: Once you were compared with FAITH NO MORE because of your suits...
Mihalych: It was casual, we got the suits on, but we liked the conflict between a strict appearance and power tearing out. When the audience at a concert hears not that can be expected from people in suits, the conflict of external and internal creates. But as any organism, the group grew and for today has overgrown the things not surprising us any more. We're in the free flight now as for band's image.

Fuzz: Tell about influences. Your quotations look very accurately and intelligent...
Mihalych: Any group cannot avoid the using of experience saved up before. I'm not ashamed of quotations. And sometimes we specially throw such stuff to the listeners. Let them try and compare. On the second, third listening of our music similarity to concrete samples is already lost. And comparisons with FAITH NO MORE disappeared when people got used to suits and started to listen attentively to music. And there was never definite comparison. There is a lot of all mixed in us. Maybe it sounds tritely, but we make the music which goes from our soul.

Fuzz: Tell about your concerts in summer and coming up album.
Mihalych: This summer was very much sated; we have played on abnormal quantity of stages. We played for the third time at "Okna otkroy! ". It's a St.-Petersburg rock fest. Every year more people come in to the fest. This time I spent 40 minutes for giving the autographs! Then was "Nashestvie" and bike-fest where we had to play right and completely in a dirty involved by motorcycles. Now we shall play at two festivals in Kazan and Samara. In general, we have turned to a festival group. For the first time we inform press on the name of the future album. It's named "Stereolove". All songs are heavy and written about love. Not about abstract to all mankind. This is about love to the woman, from the man's point of view. And "Stereolove" 'cause it will be love from two speakers!

ZHAVNEROVICH


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