It's a real fact - each of us would prefer to hold a good decorated CD or vinyl in hands, to watch it's art-work and inlay with all of these photos, pictures and lyrics. It's a little bit strange for me but I couldn't remember concrete artists who work with doom or stoner bands. That's why I've took my chance to do an interview with Russian illustrator Mila Kiseleva who worked with stoner and doom rock bands from Moscow. Evil Cosmonaut, Stone Cold Boys, Sound of Ground and The Moon Mistress - some of you know these names. I want to perform you this interview with Mila and I hope that you'll like her works and we'll see more hairy faces at your pictures in forthcoming future.
Hi. I have no ideas on what to talk about on an interview.So, let's have a look how it goes! :-)
Talking about the music, now I spread my attention over two topics - Stoner Train's album cover and a album folder for my friend's band Kshetra. At the same time I work on the first sketches for a project with Ian from Sound of Ground. Speaking of the work in general - I have plenty nowadays. A lot.
I've had a look on the portfolio on one of your pages and it seems to be fairly big. Obviously, as an artist you perform for quite a while. But, why have you decided to start to work with rock bands?
I work as an illustrator for about 2 years and my portfolio has only the projects completed the last year.There is no single reason I've started to work with rock bands. For a long time a was trying to show the appreciation to my favorite bands in a form of some art. For, so to say, the sparks of inspiration))). And also to be able to print a T-shirt with the that thing afterwards.;)
Eventually, I've decided to bring that idea into existence in the December of the last year. Thus I've got works with Stone Cold Boys, DETIYETI, Sound of Ground and Moon Mistress.
Remembering the gig I went to in 2009, I didn't have any intention to draw for them. Mainly because I cannot say I've really liked them those days. But, I was literally hypnotized by the album folder and the following interview. ;) So I have gone to the presentation and had quite a drive.
Wouldn't you like to redo their album cover or the genuine fellow's work is more then self-sufficient? :)
Are you kidding?! That cover has thrown me into the pits of the creative depression. No jokes, that album has the best cover I've seen in last few years. I'm trying my best to think about the possibility of that all musicians to be that creative. ;D Cause then I'd fall into troubles trying to work with them).
It's hard to tell what's exactly attracts in a works of one band or another. I don't really tend to dig into the reasons, it (music) either touches something inside there or not. There isn't other options. On the other hand, when you start to work closer with the people, got to know how they approach the process of creation... When you get to the kitchen, you draw the inspiration not only from the music, but also from the process itself - how it's being made and how particular people particularly make it ;)) And the Sound of Ground draw me in by their ways of doing things. They are very young for such a mature approach) It was the first project with the musicians I didn't know before. In the first head you've got to hit the notion the guys had about how THEIR OWN album will look like. And at the same time don't make a piece of shit that I'm as an artist will be ashamed of (the very same story with the Stoner Train). And it was tough task.Denis Mahnev has sent me an album and a text file where against the every tracks title were written not more then few words about it ;D. Everywhere else the folks granted me a full freedom to act. The thing I wanted to put in I've put. The artist's business is to draw, not to explain. And the audience isn't fools, they can think for their own and decide on what do they see there. During the work I've realized that we found each other. Or at least we were talking about anything else but the folder itself. ;D More and more moving towards German philosophy, books by Irvin Yalom and all kinds of music.
(but at the end everyone was satisfied with the results, hah.)
With the pile of pictures. Usually gathering all necessary info takes longer then painting itself. With the guys from Stone Cold Boys it went easier - I visit their gigs since 2008, so remember their faces quite good.) And talking about activity, some of the bands mentioned above surely won't be able to pose in vitro.
What mental images The Moon Mistresses album "Silent Voice Inside" creates in your imagination? How did you meet those guys?
Absolutely accidentally. I've met Igor (vocal, guitar) on some party at my friends place. The next party with the same crowd took place at my home. I don't remember how the conversation came to that point, but eventually I've told them about the very idea of the collaboration between artist and musicians, about how we with the Kshetra have tried to make this thing come true. And about this project with the pictures, which I'll probably never give a bash to because it won't work anyway. For some reason he got interested in that and gave me few good advices, which have convinced me to try... Actually, he has also introduced me to the folks from Sound of Ground. The album in bloody awesome. Sorry, I cannot find a better word. Guys have made their best, including the decoration. And you can see that without any effort. The best compliment you can give to any album is a feeling of itching while listening ;D The same you feel on live. Speaking for myself, all the album goes with the label "Cremation Meditation" on it, deep meditation, trance which also you to break free from the daily tremor and dive deep inside yourself. Dig under the skin. And from out there cast a gaze on the surrounding and internal mess. It's waking up. Gives you a chance to forget and turn off the routine mechanicality in the head, about all this existing and imaginary "I Am" and other crap. After the Moon Mistress gigs I draw and work much better, good way to wind up brains.
Heh. There is a mistake to get on the talk on styles. Have no clue about 'em at all. Not interested either. And I usually listen to a very different music. And the hardness level I define by the influence upon me. So, the hardness for me are the last albums by Coltrane or the Lateralus by Tool. Regarding the Moon Mistress, I doubt I listen something similar to their style. And probably won't ever start. What's the reason of looking for something similar, hoping that it will yield even bigger impression? And, word hollow here goes better then viscous.
What do Chubaka of Star Wars does on the DETIYETI's album cover?
Hheh. Apparently there is a nature-born yeti painter there. Character from the saga of Harry the Yeti. ;D
To be honest, the version with Chubaka also exists. I don't usually screw people with the explanations. Chubaka is fine too. This pic was created with lots of craic.
Haven't you ever wanted to spend more time working with the albums? Or otherwise, try yourself with the gig posters?
You know, for living I normally paint absolutely everything but associated with the music and between themselves. Starting from stormtroopers to wedding guests and game backgrounds. Ideally I'd like to work on two things - musicians and graphics for magazines. Hence "otherwise" doesn't really go well here. It's all the same - posters, albums, merchandise...
And also to wish is one thing and to have an opportunity is another. I don't know if there is anyone in this country who can make a living out of such a specific market - that's one. And two, I doubt I'm good enough for the other musicians to work with me.
So, you are saying that it's not an option to become a pro-artist for local psychedelic / stoner / doom bands?
The fact that I don't see an option doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I believe in future.
If Josh Homme asks me - I'll do whatever he wants ;D And, I'd definitely work with every band I like, just gimme a chance)))) Maybe something crazy for Primus and Brant Bjork. Mindblowing for Triosk or Autechre... But, there ain't no time for a dream of this kind) Have no illusions here.Talking on more or less real dreams, if someone from Moscow promoters will organize the Redburmn - I'd love to decorate it. But, these are all dreams. Or, a chance to work with the Moon Mistress. It got to be really cool. No precedents so far though. I hope I won't have such a torments.
Can you imagine a heavy metal/rock band with which you'll refuse to work?
If I'd have to paint dead children or massacre scenes - I'll refuse to any band.
Say, local or foreign band, doesn't really matter, needs to get your approval to create a portrait or make an album cover. What do they need to do?
Contact me first.
Mila, thank you for your patience and all the answers. I hope to see in your works more well-known hairy, full of music ideas faces. Have a good luck.
Thanks. I think it will come true)
My portfolio - HERE
Contacts)) - email - firstname.lastname@example.org , skype - Hopeless_ya
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov