funeral doom / Novosibirsk "On a course in parallel to Esoteric into the darkness of insanity." ...

Monologues: Station Dysthymia

funeral doom / Novosibirsk
"On a course in parallel to Esoteric into the darkness of insanity."
We play doom metal for non-doom metal fans. It is important for us to convey the idea, the concept, and the spirit of this music, mainly, to a person who has no idea about the genre. Therefore, it is quite difficult to speak of a target audience.

From a musical point of view, we want to play doom in a new way. We want to use doom stereotypes and tools so that the music becomes clear to many people, not only to those people who are inside this scene and listen to My Dying Bride, Evoken, etc on repeat.. Extreme music is more accessible in the modern world, and the audience opens its perception to this kind of audio terrorism.

People experience less difficulty perceiving our music when we describe it using simple words. “Похоронный рок” (trans. note: wordplay, can be read in Russian as “funeral doom” or “funeral rock”), for example, but not “funeral doom”. Still, funeral doom and extreme slow music in general is equally incomprehensible for both metal listeners and for non-metal ones. So we might as well define it as: “Well, we play very slow and very heavy metal”. While you can just say “you don't listen to this thing” or “you won't like it”...

We are trying to adapt to the realities of our personal and professional lives. Station Dysthymia constantly faces geographical problems. The members often travel to many places, to Poland, then to Moscow, then to Mexico. There were such cases in Novosibirsk when bands broke up even due to the fact that a guitarist left for Akademgorodok, or, conversely, from Akademgorodok. In this sense we are very tenacious.

We had three different drummers, if we don’t count the drum machine. There’s a certain difficulty with them, usually we have none amongst our ranks. There is a fundamental problem: drummers don't like playing doom. They need some drumkick slotting, blast-beats and so on. Most of the drummers with whom he had to deal, not only within Station Dysthymia, looked and said, “uuh, why so slow?” We have to explain every time that playing slowly is more difficult because when you miss a little, not only the band notices this but the entire audience. And this very moment you realize you messed up when everyone realized you messed up, this moment lasts for a very long time, forever.

The eternal problem of the first albums is absence of a concept because the first album is composed of impressions, emotions and achievements of the band members for the whole life. But we tried to make conceptual Only Gray Days, it was built upon the visual impressions of winter in Novosibirsk and Akademgorodok. We wanted to capture the atmosphere of the snowy winter nights, when you walk down the Morskoy Avenue at 3 a.m, and everything around is covered with snow, lights are shining and there’s not even a soul except yourself; or when you hear strange mumbling on speakerphone at the “River Station” metro depot rambling about the railways, civil vigilance and terrorist threats. It’s the collision of inexorable nature and urban fuck up.

It really annoys that funeral doom only explores how crappy everything is all around, without rhyme or reason – crappy, and that's all. We want to approach the music and its mood from a place that hasn’t been explored in this genre yet. So we thought it would be interesting to use science fiction concepts on the second album. Actually, the name “Overhead, Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out” – is a quote from Arthur Clarke's short story “The Nine Billion Names of God”. We made an eschatological album dealing with an anthropogenic end of the world. One day, we rushed to the stars, wanted to escape from our cradle on the Earth, but finally got stuck in the false “values” of a consumer society and absolutely forgot to look at the starlit sky.

We’d like to express the spirit of the cold war and the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union on the next album. Each song, as we see it now, will be dedicated to a certain figure, we tried to focus more on science personalities. One of the songs is dedicated to such an interesting dude, as Robert Oppenheimer. In his famous quote he said after testing the nuclear bomb: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”, he implied something completely different from what is believed now. This is not the arrogance of the great scientist, throwing out crazy joullions of destructive energy, but the sense of powerlessness and fatalism before the execution of his role in that ruthless war. Extremely doom feelings. In fact, it’s our crucial flagship song on the album.

Some of our songs are not very thought through. They were rehearsed during several months in the cold garage, that smelled of potatoes and old rags. And we don’t like many things in them because of this very fact: not that they are spiritless, there’s a certain spirit there, but not so much as we would like.

We don't stand still, the technical side progresses too, now we can play a little faster. In fact, what we are talking about acceleration is not due to the fact that we're fed up playing slowly. We would like to have some contrast in our music, as opposed to what is often popular in funeral doom metal: “let's take one tempo and play a track not deviating from it”. While you're playing relatively slowly, you have a huge sound canvas, a large enough space to vary different tempos.

There is the golden rule: if your music is less than a third part original, then you have no soul if it is less than a third stolen, then you have no brain. In our case, it is important to mention Dolorian – a couple of times we had to relisten their entire discography just to make sure that we have written a new idea, not overheard it on an album of theirs.

We have sooo many riffs in one song, often absolutely unnecessary ones, stuck out of place. It was established historically within Station Dysthymia. The fact that it’s more important to write a coherent song we realized much later. It's like when you code: the more code you write, the more bugs you'll make. Less code – less bugs. So the third album will be more holistic and with shorter songs. About ten minutes.

We experiment a lot with structure. When we were making A Concrete Wall, our longest composition would play for almost 35 minutes, we had to unravel a roll of toilet paper along our rehearsal room’s perimeter where we were structuring the whole song. Pink Floyd had at least two architects, and when writing compositions, they assigned everything: here we need to raise the tempo, here to change the mood, there's something else... we do the same thing, actually, but not on a normal drawing paper, but toilet paper on the floor of a garage.
We have sampled bagpipes with five delays on the album. Once we were listening to a track by Neurosis that featured bagpipes. Our then drummer became very excited with this idea and constantly proposed to insert a bagpipe here or there, but there was nothing worthwhile. And when we were in Moscow and recorded our second album with another drummer, we needed some atmospheric synth sound which would put a stressful mood in a fragment. It was the first part of Starlit, the third track on the album. Little by little, we took synthesized bagpipes and imposed five delays on it. Sounds well.

A band doesn’t have to play music about just one thing. Many bands fall into the trap of a spectacular image, mood or theme once found. Look at the bands of the 70s, 80s – they had different songs and albums, but they kept their images and sound. The key point here is the perspective, the point of view. A listener is not just experiencing emotions imposed by the music, but he/she is feeling it through the prism of the band ideas. So the band doesn’t even show, “Look here!” – they want the person to stand among them and look together.

We like to call Station Dysthymia “Вокзал Хандры” (trans. note - humorous literal translation of the name to Russian). Many names were considered, there was topic of trains: “station” – stop, depot, terminus and so on. We thought it would be great to add some doom, just a little sluggish winter sulk from the first album, which we have already discussed. There is a term “dysthymia” – chronic low-key depression. So this turned into Station Dysthymia.

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