Feb 6, 2012

Evocative Doom: Interview With Reido ...

If you’ll go and check early releases of Solitude Productions then you find that one of the first ones was Reido “F:\\all”. It was first album of duet from Belorussia and comrades performed hard, solid and fresh funeral stuff with a bit of experimentations. Oh, it was 5 years ago… I couldn’t believe it! A year ago Reido crew awoke from their slumber and new CD “Minus Eleven” was officially released exactly in 11:11 of 11.11.2011. But another fact was most important indeed: Reido casted away all funeral shrouds and broken up the old coffin with violent and merciless sludge attack. And once again their sound is fresh and anew, it’s fierce and darkness incarnate, so (hey, Mari, I bet you’ll get it!) all sludge-worshipers beware and heed the call! For something wicked this way comes! Alexander Kachar, the man who growls and strike the strings, answers the questions today.

Hi, Alexander! What’s up? Receive my belated congratulations on the release of the second Reido album “Minus Eleven”. How do you feel about this great event?

 - Hi! Thank you, my emotions have almost calmed down, though it’s really cool to release an album. It happens to us not so often.

Let me guess… You’ve still been sitting with your guitar and roaring in microphone! Who plays in Reido with you? You know, so much time has passed since “F:\all”, things could have changed!

 - You’re right, I regularly do it, though usually separately, either scream, or play the guitar. I’m used to doing it in such way. And you know, my neighbours are rather nervous creeps, they heard both albums, they heard them being created. But I guess they are not yet aware of their luck.
 There are  two members in Reido, nothing has changed since “F:\all” times. Though we have improved the process due to a more certain division of labour. I make all the music, and Anton deals with all that concerns sound engineering. Each of us does what he’s good at.

Perhaps I should ask this question – why did it take you so long?..

 - Recording of “F:\all” took us about three years, we wanted to make the second album quicker, but... I composed the stuff as I felt the inspiration, about a half of it was thrown away, the album contains not all tunes that we recorded. We re-recorded them many times, changed the sound, some details, the drum parts. Anton was improving his sound engineering skills during all this time, so it took us really long. We created this album completely by ourselves, without any help, without sound producers, studios and so on.
 But I think we should work quicker,  because we are more experienced now.

Anton works with sound at home, doesn’t he? How does it feel? And where did you record your screaming vocals for the album?

 - Yes, he has made a little studio at home. He lives with his wife and daughter in one room. There is a common kitchen in their flat, and there are neighbours living in the other rooms. They’re gonna move house soon. Of course it’s impossible to keep studio with tube amps, cabinets and other kinds of analogue equipment at home. But digital technologies are developed enough to let us own a small set of equipment. The main element of this set is a PC. And we don’t need to make terrible noise.
 We  recorded my vocals in the same studio-room. We had to choose a suitable time for our record sessions. We have a folding workplace for a vocalist, and it takes several minutes to set it up and to take it away after recording. I had to make some noise but not too much, I think.

The band’s name means “below zero”, if nothing has changed during 4 years since our last talk. Is the album title “Minus Eleven” somehow linked to it?

 - The band’s name means not “below zero”, but “zero temperature”. This Japanese word usually means “zero degrees Kelvin”, and this temperature is the lowest possible.
 The title “Minus Eleven” is not linked to it . We prefer not to explain the meaning of it, to let the listeners think about this number, if they want to.

To be honest, I doubt that listeners will ponder over the title :-) The album was released on 11/11/2011 at 11:11 by the Moscow label Slow Burn Records – everything looks extremely serious! Is that true? Where were you staying at that moment, in Moscow or in Belarus?

 - At that moment I was sitting at my computer, and at 11:11 the news about the album appeared on the label’s website. We didn’t intend any of these tricks with the date and time while giving the title to the album. But then we noticed that there would be year 2011, and even month 11, and thought “why not to make the date 11/11/11, and why not to make time 11:11?”. And we did it all together with Slow Burn Records.

What do you usually answer to those people, who find out that you play in some band, and ask you about the kind of music you play?

 - I usually answer that I play in a metal-band, and this information is often enough for those people who are not into metal. But sometimes they ask “and what is it about?”, then I say that we play dark, slow and angry music. Sometimes I hear “Metal, hmm, metal is not only dark and angry music. Isn’t there a positive kind of it?”. Then I answer “Yes, there is, but our metal is angry. And negative”. Some people try to dig deeper but they are afraid of negativity and search for kinda “gleam of hope”. I prefer to disappoint them immediately.
 I don’t like  telling about my music activities to those people who are not into such kind of music.

And who do you tell about you music? Do you and Anton participate in the album promotion activities or the guys from Solitude Productions do everything themselves? And what is this process like?

 -I think telling metalheads about my music is more relevant. But my colleagues and those who know me from non-music field... They often know that I am “some kind of musician” but no details.
 The label send s the CDs for reviews, and I do something in the Internet, social networks, and interviews.

What is your main expectation, to attract Belarusian listeners, russians, or maybe Europeans, americans?

 - I don’t think about it, no priorities. And my information regarding Reido listeners is rather poor and flawed. Only last.fm statistics, some posts in the Internet, reviews, and nothing else... Playing live provides musicians with better feedback with listeners. You can see your real fans at the show. But we don’t play live, so I can’t even tell who Reido listeners are, what they are like...

What do you think about “F:\all” now, after all these years? Do you listen to it? Do you know if the album on CD is sold out?

 -I hadn’t been listening to it for years and I did it again not so long ago . And I liked it mostly) Of course there are some flaws, some moments seem immature now. But the album is rather decent, I think. Yes, the CDs are sold out completely.

I heard something like “Oh my God! Reido are not the same anymore, they’ve changed a lot!”. But even in “F:\all” times you used to tell about longing for such kind of changes – more harshness, avantgarde, and you told about more “electronic” introductions into your music. Were you able to embody all those things in “Minus Eleven”?

 - Hmm, “electronic” introductions are not really embodied in “Minus Eleven”, perhaps you have noticed it. There are some electronic sounds on the album, but even less, than on “F:\all”. Yes, in 2006 I composed not “F:\all”-like stuff, so it was clear, that the second album would be different. But despite all these things I don’t think that we have changed so radically that one can not recognize Reido in “Minus Eleven”. Just listen to the first album attentively, and you will find those elements that are developed on the second one. Funeral, sludge... These are just the cliches, we didn’t crave for corresponding with them, and we don’t do it now. And the information like “the band played funeral, but doesn’t play funeral anymore” is not very exact.
 We re all the things embodied on “Minus Eleven”? Yes, mostly. But I never know in advance the way the ultimate version will sound like. I thought, there would be more electronics... But I wanted to make harsher and angrier stuff, melodically minimalistic and monotonous. I think we have managed to do it.

Anger and monotony, where do these wishes come from? Do you read newspapers and watch TV?

 -I watch TV, almost all kinds of shit. I like  “Nostalgia”channel, particularly all that concerns 1990s. It was an awesome, wild, chaotic, free epoch, I really feel nostalgic.
 It’s hard to say where all these wishes come from, that’s what I feel,  something deep inside me.

Reido sound more dynamically, more aggressively now – these characteristics are good for playing live, if one means metal music. Are you going to play concerts in cities and villages?

 - I would prefer cities rather than villages) I do want to play live, but it’s impossible since there are just two members in the band. So now we are trying to make a full line-up, which will be able to play live shows. If we manage to do it – that will be very cool.

Your vocals have also become more harsh and extreme, so tell me if it was hard to change your vocal style? Or maybe you had enough time and your manner and sound were changing without any suffering?

 - Vocal was probably the only thing really putting me into trouble during long time. Of course I had enough time but it was hard to change my style and to reach the necessary sound. It seems that you have learnt everything, that you understand the technique, and you can do it; then you try to record something, and then you listen to it and understand that it’s absolutely not what you wanted to hear. Sometimes I used to think that I would never be able to do it, and we would have to search for a new vocalist for Reido. I used to be upset, but I was persistent trying to find out my mistakes, to understand what was wrong with my technique. And by the time we began the vocals record session for “Minus Eleven” I’d been prepared for it. We recorded everything rather quickly and there was no need to process the vocals with special soft.

Did you put the lyrics into the album booklet? I don’t have a CD, so I have to ask this obvious question again: what are your lyrics about?

 -We didn’ t. The booklet is minimalistic, it doesn’t contain much info. And the lyrics are more personal and angry on this album. It’s about feeling like an alien in this world, about craving for violence, rejection of human and humanity, awareness of inutility of existence. One can find the lyrics on metal-archives.com (http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Reido/Minus_Eleven/314454).

What do you think about the contemporary virtual doom-society? I don’t want to persuade you to accept my point of view, but I think that the doom-society is most active in downloading releases, not in supporting musicians in more effective ways.

 -I’m not sure if  it’s possible to talk about so-called “doom-society”. There are just people who listen to such kind of music, and the same thing with any other kind. More and more music is being downloaded now; less is being bought on CDs, that’s true... But our music is not a way to make a living, this is underground.

Thank you for answering! I hope that Reido will be playing live soon, and your new stuff will come soon. Good luck to you, send my regards to Anton :-) And now your final words for our readers please.

 - Thank you for the interview, may your words be prophetic! And I wish our readers all the most heavy, droning and dark. In music at least)

Interview By Aleks Evdokimov

 Russian text: Metal Library

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