instrumental, progressive metal, progressive rock / Novosibirsk "Everything is clear, balanced, of great i...

Dog Drama

instrumental, progressive metal, progressive rock / Novosibirsk
"Everything is clear, balanced, of great intellect –
it's definitely the musical prose."

We write on the posters that we play an instrumental progressive-post-rock to lure someone to our concerts. Not so spicy you can write on a poster, but at least we honestly admit that our music is instrumental. Damn it, it's just a quartet of guys playing music without vox, performing once a year, where the hell is some spicy staff here?

Once we were surprised to be asked at one of the gig: "You must rehearse a lot?" Dude, we rehearse at best once a week! And not always.

Instrumental music of Dog Drama is self-sufficient. It doesn't look defective without vocalist. It’s not the idea that vocals aren't needed, but in fact it's fine without. Though, we thought about vox and even considered some possible variants. The problem is that there are people who want to sing and can sing, but they don't know what to sing, and we can't give them any explanations. Cause one sings notes but not words. And you need to understand what notes are and where they should be, what kind of phrasing and tone should be. We want a person who comes to us to invent this system, and previously everyone tended to sing only what he was told. So the quartet remains a quartet.

We tried to find some other instrument: kept in touch with violinist, thought of flute, saxophone, trumpet, but there was no substantial conversation with brass players. And this topic didn't fade, it may be alive, but it isn't carried out. And it's really very difficult: as if you'd called the guitarist in some of the string quartet, and he would have even liked to listen, and said, "What if we had an electric guitar, but we have no idea how our music may be played by electric guitar. Come on, think it out, play awesome for everyone to like it". Still you can screw it up.

There's a song like noodle from the stuff we play now. We can't... or just don't want to tell stories directly by using texts, so we try to make some images by music itself. And as it turns out that we don't cope with, we use the names of the songs to help listeners in perceiving these images. In fact, these are texts but kinda short. Noodles came to us from the outside: we had a guest at the rehearsal, who said that one of our songs reminds him of boiling noodles. And we understood – that's it! So the new album certainly can get a name somehow related to the noodles.

We just thought yesterday of how we had settled down in the garage and started to play. What had we played?.. We had brought a guitar, which had some aluminum shields, screwed to the instrument by bolts. The head of the fretboard was broken and tightened by aluminum plates. There were so many sort of doltish guitars then...

The conversation about influences is stupid. They can be listed, but when people read or hear definite names, some music of these bands appears in their heads. And then one will listen to our music and just shrug their shoulders: "Oh, come on! It's so far". And this guy will be absolutely right.

Disappointment comes from the resistance of the material. By material we mean everything – the writing process, rehearsals, technical facilities at the rehearsals, musicians themselves – all resists against the idea of final result. And it is very difficult to overcome: hormones are already at a low level, old age is closer, laziness seizes. It's frustrating, but we do not lose heart.

We were always surprised that there are soundtracks composers. This idea haunts. They say: "We've got a movie here, it is necessary to come up with a soundtrack". They give some description, and a composer creates awesome soundtrack, just brilliant at times. How do they make it? It always strikes.

It is not clear, in fact, what can stand for music if it's not music for a film, game or text. Music is an experience, experience in the broad sense – not when you're worrying for someone, but you experience a feeling which music sets in you. When the composition is created, it is very important not to destroy that experience, not to turn it into a collage, a collection of beautiful melodies and rhythms. It's important to save the integrity, and it is not created by some technical stuff like harmonic development, but by a special mood and yess... experience. Of course, it is, on the one hand, a set of riffs, but on the other hand it stands for a kind of wholeness – the unity of sentiments and feelings which creates this very set of riffs inside a listener and inside of us as well.

Perhaps our greatest achievement is the studio recording. As it's the materialized thing it will remain. So when we die, and someone will want to listen to our music, he will be able to do it. Moreover, it is difficult, very difficult to bring the music from the moment when it's just starting to be born to the moment when people can listen to it. Well, can we call easy things a great achievement? You came on stage and played the music that you had played hundred times at your garage, is this really hard?

"Sleep" is the key word here. Don't you know any places where people come to sleep? Maybe we need to play in hostels? There are bands that play for those who eat, and we are the group that could play for those who sleep. Falling asleep. For insomniacs wanting to sleep. Can't sleep – come to our concerts. Diphenhydramine does not help – invite Dog Drama home.
Our jams are all pretty primitive. You get pleasure from what is happening on the run. Writing at home something worthwhile is possible, but creating it on the run is practically unreal for our type of people. There’s only a lucky chance, once a year. This is not something that can be put on stream; at least it's not that very form of homemade music which can be put on stream. Music composed at home is much better for the listener who needs what is usually needed in music in general: a variety of mood, contrast to manage your emotional state and so and so, and all at the same time. To achieve this immediately you need to be a great man, a great and rare person.

What is to enjoy listening to music from the point of view of a listener? That's when it surprises you but not too much. On the one hand, you don't perceive it as commonplace. That is it keeps you surprised by its unpredictability at each moment of time. On the other hand, this isn't music, which is unpredictable at every moment of time, but it is perceived as chaos, white noise, well, the majority of people see it as chaos, white noise. By the way, this state when music "is surprising but not too much" is not a property of music, it's a property of the listener. One is surprised but not too much by this music, another one is far from being surprised and is quite bored, and the third says "This is a piece of chaos, kinda cacophony, I can't understand it at all". Here the wrong listener takes place. It is important that the music and the listener juxtapose each other.

Usually we jam at rehearsals not in a chaotic way, but contrary, in some orthodox à la blues-rock way. It's not avant-garde jams in general, but basically joint style jams. We start playing and don't know at all how it will be developing. For now the jams don’t affect our written music because we started jamming not long ago. But jams are cool not only because they bring pleasure from what is happening around, self-involvement and fun, they develop ear for music, ideas and technique. We feel that due to the jams we got certain technical skills, and the way of thinking changed in a way. Maybe no one will notice this stuff except the person himself, but it just he who feels it. This is a practical benefit besides the pleasure you get from jams.
Usually we jam a bit and then think: "It's all worth of recording, it's a cool stuff anyway, and there were awesome moments sometimes." As a rule the deal ends here, but yesterday we managed to press the "record" button. In general, jams are cool, but we still haven't risen enough to show this to the audience.

Once we threw away the half-finished song. Andrei said: "...and from this place everything will go another way". Usually the high guitar voice (let's call it so) is being born last. Let's just say, there is a repetitive rhythmic basis, but there is a melodic top level voice. Even this had been ready, and then we just threw out half of the song. We remade it again from the middle up to the end. Apparently, that very wholeness of the experience failed to live up, so we had to disassemble and rebuild it again to make it finally appear. It occurred with Frangistan, there was some hard part. And then we washed all these sufferings away. Actually, we replaced them by some new sufferings. Kinda buddhist subject – the transformation of sufferings. Such is the cycle of sufferings in the work of Novosibirsk musicians.

We gonna hurry up and have a concert probably in the fall... or winter... You see, there's such a fuss. In the early summer we started to fuss and probably in the fall-winter something will appear. A buddhist fussy stuff as well.

Is it in general possible to write about music? Now we are just talking about music but nothing is being told about music for real. So I wonder, is it true that talking about music is meaningless? You listen to a track, and all the rest is just an addition to it, a review. Talking about music is great, but it's quite unclear how to do it, but it's more or less clear within everything else, though there's no wish for this. Therefore, it's not very clear what you're squeezing out of us.

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