Imagine you are introducing yourself to a room full of children. How would you explain who you are and what you do?
Haha, well, dear children, The Re-Stoned are guys, who play cool music on guitars and drums. They are rock stars. Haha. Children like rhythmical music actually, so I think we could succeed with this audience. Besides small children visited our concerts – everybody liked everything, but it was loud of course.
How did the group initially come together? What led you to choose the name The Re-Stoned?
The idea to make a band came to me in 2008. Since then the members of the band has changed more than once. It brought a lot of trouble of course but gave me an opportunity to work with different amazing musicians. Everyone of them added something unique to my group. But despite those changes the concept of the band didn’t change, only the musical palette became wider, I lost my fear of experiments with the sound.
One can translate our name in different ways – it’s a play on words in a way and I think there’s no use in translating it literally. We wanted to show that we returned to the roots of the 60’s – 70’s. To the age, when that music was born and then continued its formation during the 90’s.
Tell us what influence do you have over your audience as a band and individuals
We have a very close contact with our fans, both from Russia and from other countries. I remember many of them by name – they often buy our discs, write about their feelings and thoughts about our music. They come to our gigs. It’s great. And as a band I hope we bring joy to people, everybody can find something special for oneself. Probably, some listeners use some of our tracks as a sleeping pill.
While composing music do you keep the live setting in mind or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
It’s difficult to say unambiguously. I think both versions fit.
On the same line, are you are you tech savvy when it comes to composing a song, or do you prefer the traditional approach of getting together in a room and co-writing it?
The compositions come to life differently and from many sources. Ideas can arise from live jams, sometimes from deep thinking, demo recordings and only after that there comes an attempt to play it with a band. But we are live- sound oriented. It’s very important for us, we are changing some of the compositions during the gigs – we add more improvisations and some things we play as they are on the recordings.
You’ve nine Albums and two EPs since inception, how do you keep the ideas flowing for each release?
I had no lack of ideas almost from the beginning of The Re-Stoned, I just had to record them in time on my dictaphone or sampler. I had so many ideas that they often outdistanced reality. Having released an album, I understood that I had ideas for two more. But I couldn’t realise everything. Now we’ve released a new album – “Reptiles Return” at Clostridium Records, and we have a next double LP almost finished, still I have some compositions in mind for one more album… But everything is good in its season.
There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?
We try to stay closer to a unique packaging, physical presentation and so on. Yes, we sell our music as MP3’s and it’s ok. But the main thing for us is vinyl or a CD with an interesting and unique packing. We often make small limited editions of a box set with T-shirts, CDs, and other merchandise. All of that is handmade, one of a kind, the discs have unique numbers, postcards are signed… MP3’s and other digital formats can’t give you same feelings – they have no personal touch so to speak.
With the instrumental style being so saturated with bands today, what do you think makes The Re-Stoned stand out so significantly?
Being an instrumental band is a difficult thing indeed… But I think yes, we succeeded in achieving recognizability in this style. It means a creation of your own style and sound. It’s a long and difficult search. I have repeatedly said in many interviews that I feel more comfortable in the instrumental genre. I’m well disposed towards singing, but I do not really know how to write songs, in particular, I find it easier ” to sing” with a guitar. While I understand that the groups with the vocals have a much wider format.
Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active,rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
It’s very important for us to have a contact with the audience. When you see and hear the reaction of the public, all the energy you give to the audience returns back to you. From all our gigs outside Russia, the warmest welcome was probably in Greece, in Athens. After such concerts, I want to come back there again and again. Very different audiences come to our concerts and the response to our shows are different, people often just stand and listen. Sometimes slam and head banging begins (depending on who comes to us). But just standing there and listening can be different. You can stand arrogantly sipping beer, or you can stand being captured by what is happening by 100%.
Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
Of course, a lot of things happened at concerts and in the studio. Maybe in old age, I will write memoirs about different adventures and not only about The Re-Stoned. For example, during the recording of the album Analog, there were Christmas garlands blinking in the room where the recording took place. At first, we thought it was funny – Wow! psychedelic. But an hour later they enraged us. I decided to turn them off and pulled out the wrong outlet… As a result, we burned the sound card in the middle of our recording! Fortunately, there was a music store net door, and they have helped us out with another sound card. Not a very funny story, I agree. In general, the whole recording process of Analog was terribly nervous. Then we were asked to turn down the volume and if we’d refuse we had to get the hell out. You probably cannot say it regarding the music, but the atmosphere in the studio was red-hot. It is surprising that everybody survived that recording.
Music for music’s sake or music for life’s sake?
Rather, life for the sake of music.
How do you want your fans to remember you and your music after having listened to you?
I hope that our music makes people happy. Some compositions give strength, some inspire dreams and visions. All our music is a creation of a parallel reality where we and those, who listen to it and understand it, feel good.
What should we look forward to in the coming year from you?
We have a lot of plans for the next year. I hope we’ll finish and release a double album. The work on the recording is almost completed, but then the tedious stage of mixing will come. I’m doing this for myself during the last 5 years. Then we’ve planned a tour in Europe in spring 2017. Probably it will be the largest tour in the history of the band. I hope that we’ll appear on a couple of summer festivals, too.
You can find more information about The Re-Stoned at the following links: