1. How did you get your initial start in music?
There are two elements to the matter. First there came my initial faith in myself as performer of music. This happened long before I had discovered any of my musical inclinations. I would spend hours in front of a mirror trying to picture myself onstage. Then the second element was the actual step of faith to go in front of an audience with my acoustic guitar and harmonica. I had to earn my right to be there for bar visitors. I didn’t play aggressive rock in my early stages, those were more melodic imitations of great songs fashioned to my personal liking. I did some covers too, which people seemed to like more, but I always felt I had something of my own to share. And I firmly decided to “play from heart alone”. Not all people enjoyed this type of performance, most bar visitors had some expectations of what I had to have on my playlist. So some told me right away that that was the most disturbing music they heard. But others, overjoyed were missing words to express their gratitude for my contribution to the party. So I got into the habit of scoring my performance by negative/positive feedback ratio at the end of every working night. Usually final result was +1 to my advantage, and it could go up to 3 negative comments and 4 positive. I ultimately found that both amusing and educational, though it hurt my feelings in the first six months.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
This is a very good question to think about. But I must confess that I don’t see music as industry. Music to me is a way to get to people’s hearts, not so much their wallets. I had wonderful performance experiences in my life and they make me hungry for more. What I most appreciate about being in music is a good sound matching a good message in lyrics. I want to channel to people more love, more hope and more sincerity and openness. I am not sure I satisfied your question but this is as far as I can take you with it.
3. How long have you been writing your own music?
My first song came about in 1989. My school friends, musicians were very impressed with it. And their support of my lyric writing made me work on mostly words to their music. So, as to pure music writing, it started later, in 1992, in my university years, when I actually began practicing scales and arpeggios on my guitar. I have now total 24 years of songwriting experience.
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
My strongest influences are Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and The Queen. There are surely many others but I bring those in this context because I can rationalize what kind of influence took place.
Led Zeppelin and more specifically Jimmy Page inspired me to play the guitar. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin opened to me the world of harmonica in blues.
The Beatles have taught me to make simple melodies to simple lyrics. I think the Beatles invented a new love language for the human race. Their fame is unmatched. I still struggle to cover some of their songs. But I keep trying because it helps me grow in my performance and songwriting skills.
The Queen have made a very theatrical music. And I liked that they were able to crossover from classical music to pop rock. That I found very tasty. But more than that Freddie Mercury inspired me to sing and to work on my vocal skills.
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
The album ‘Turn Faith to Love’ is my invitation to people of different backgrounds in religion and faith to come together under the banner of Love. Our differences should not be obstacles to our cooperation in one social body. Instead our weaknesses may be covered by strengths of others and we altogether may experience what a strong united nation is. This isn’t a local national call but rather a call to unity of people in every country around the globe.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I am based in Cheboksary, Russia. I wasn’t capable to live on music alone (because I didn’t have initial music training), so there were times when I worked as technical translator (I am professionally trained translator of English-Russian-French), or tutor and teacher of English at various local public and private institutions. I even taught Russian to foreigners. So this is the bread-winning side of my life…
This year, 2013 there was a dramatic change in music performance policies in our community. All the clubs where I had opportunity to play decided to stop live band shows because their revenues during performance evenings were relatively low. In other words live music would affect the visitors’ food and beverage consuming capacity. So they found a “good” solution to use DJ’s everywhere instead of bands. They cost less than a music band and they don’t distract masses from drinking and eating. My favourite venue was a place called Che-Bar in Cheboksary. They had great sound gear and not too many people, allowing for more relaxed conversation or interaction with the audience. But I noticed that truly some people sat at empty tables because they came to only to consume music having just paid entrance fee. So I have little chances to perform live now.
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
There are a couple bands and individual performers. They have Russian names and I don’t know how they promote themselves in the English speaking realm. I will just give you a couple youtube links for each band and you decide how you name/categorize it.
The other band’s name is «Шаг вдох» (sounds Shag Vdokh and translates: Step and Inhale) they do some more of their own stuff. I like how they build their stage sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4sKdRmqUDs ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0JhLZXi-a8
8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.
At the present stage my best work is the album “Turn Faith to Love” recorded in Nashville in January of 2013. All preceding work I consider to be of inferior quality in both performance and recording. I have a site which is not yet informative enough to tell more about me. All site materials are underway at the present moment.
There at this site is a link to my Facebook page for individual contacts. I welcome Facebook users to find me there
Apple users may find my album on iTunes
Also at Amazon
There is an opportunity to have a free full length listening and download of my album in mp3 at Noisetrade.com
My YouTube channel is not up to date. It shows more of my past club and home work. But I also welcome you to sample where I’ve been.