Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grace Disgraced Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

After we recorded the second album, we were invited to take part in compilation “Russian Death Metal” and we agreed with pleasure. Our new composition “She Smells Death” was included in this compilation and Grace Disgraced played as headliners on the presentation of this compilation in Krasnodar.
The most significant change is our drummer. We had to say Good-bye to Andrey Ischenko due to his merciless occupation with other projects and Arkona in particular. So we invited Vladimir Lyashkov, who is our current drummer. We had some rehearsals with him and he turned out to be a very skillful guy, which was later confirmed on our live shows. Nowadays we are working on our third album altogether, but it is yet another story.

2.Your new album was released at the end of April, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction the band has taken with the newer music and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

As you might have already noticed, the style and the mood of our new album is a bit different from “Enthrallment Traced”. Although you could see the same structure of the album, the same way of expression and the same approach to conception, but the compositions on the new album have become more complex and more monumental. They have become longer. Now there are more melodic and detached moments, more philosophy and more sadness. The music have become more severe. Not brutal, but cruel, cold, yet sophisticated. This album really expresses the state of our feelings now.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

I always tried to express something human and touching with my lyrics – to explore human sufferings, the depths of our souls and minds. The second album is stick to some general female image, to different women’s hypostasis so to say. But you’re wrong if you think that’s it is some sort of soap opera. Vice versa, you will see quite usual things and phenomena, but from another angle. For example, what could be more common than natural ageing? But what could be more scarring at the same time, especially for women who are crazy about their beauty. I also give some freedom to my philosophical thoughts here in regards to creation and creativity, human motivation and fears, social disparity. So here are the main subjects, I suppose.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grace Disgraced'?

This strange combination means that to become disgraced you need first to be a grace. And what made me love these words is the endless variety of their literal interpretation. These were the main reasons why I chose this very name for my band in distant 2004.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The most remarkable live show was in August 2010 at Metal Heads’ Mission Festival in Crimea. And what makes me recall this gig with shivers is the unbearable heat on stage. The sun was shining right at our faces and we thought we were going to be burnt alive with it. But, fortunately, all went well and we managed to represent a decent performance. And what pleasure it was to be welcomed by our new fans near the stage after the show, who brought cool beer to us! Actually, I could say that that shows bring more impressions namely which are held out of our native city. As for our performance, there are nothing supernatural. We are metalheads just like you and we just try to give our music some energetic impulse during live shows, to put our souls into it while playing.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

The presentation for this album took place on 7 June in Moscow, then we afforded to go to 2 weeks holiday and now we are busy booking some dates in September in Europe in order to support our new album there.

7.The last 3 releases where released on More Hate Productions, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

More Hate Productions is an iconic underground metal label in Russia. It is active for 15 years and it pleases metal fans with new releases on a regular base. The main course of More Hate is promotion of young and talented bands. They release only good stuff, what they would listen to as metal-lovers. So they do not chase commercial profit. I could say that this label is the true one. Moreover, Aleksandr Kantemirov, the label manager is very pleasant to work with!

8.Recently the band was a part of a compilation released by Darknagar Records, do you feel being a part of this album helped you gain more fans?

It was a real pleasure for us to take part in RUSSIAN DEATH METAL Compilation, the artwork and the management were at a very high level there. Yes, it helped us to find new fans and to promote our new work, as all the material, represented in the compilation was fresh at the time, i.e, it hadn’t been released somewhere else. The exclusiveness of material was the main demand to the bands. Some reviewers noted that Grace Disgraced was a pearl in this compilation and we are happy to realize this. What is more, we are happy to be a part of such a splendid release. The interest for this release was very high! By the way Grace Disgraced played as headliners on the compilation presentation in January 2014 in Krasnodar.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?

Right now we can feel the growing interest to our new material from all over the world. A lot of reviews have already appeared and the majority of them are positive. The greatest amount of reviews comes from Europe and we have received some orders from USA and from Japan. That’s really great  - that increasing popularity in the underground, particularly taking into account, that our music is somehow difficult for perception, like some critics say. I think that it is the result of our work, that such a modest formation as ours could achieve this level of popularity. And I hope, that the level will be higher and higher!

10.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that some of the band members are involved with?

Personally I am involved only in FLASH OF AGGRESSION – a project, created by Andrey Smirnov (UDO, EVERLOST) and other guys from EVERLOST. We recorded an album which was released last autumn by CD-Maximum and filmed a video-clip for “Paper God” – a song from this album. Now we are all occupied with our main bands, so the project is not the priority for each of us. And our bass player – Andrey Andreev is a member of 2 active bands – GUNSHOT BRIDE, who released their album recently, and PIG BOYZ BRU, who have regular rehearsals.  

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Let’s wait and see. What is going on with GRACE DISGRACED now is the result of our natural progress and development. We do not hinder it, or artificially procrastinate it, do not try to make a dirty sound in the name of old school or something. We nurture our talents in freedom and what we play is what we are. I can tell you that the third album is already being created and it will be what we want, but not what the rules or the trends dictate.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Band which influenced us most of all are from 1980 – 90-s. And we still love to listen to them. I like some modern bands too and I like to find some new names in the underground scene, but as we all know first impressions are the strongest ones, so if we speak about real influence, we speak about bands we listened to in our childhood.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

I love sporting activities – I go to gym and to swimming pool and I try to use each opportunity to play some active games with my friends. Aleksandr has even closer relations with sport because he is a professional wrestler. Besides, we are fond of reading and partying with friends – everything in moderation.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yes. We would like to thank all our fans for their support and for believing in us. Metal is something that unites people and we are happy that we could share our passion with all of you. Stay true!

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