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Interview: Next Door To Heaven
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today? It has been my heart’s desire since childhood. In my case there wasn’t a person who told me “you have to start singing/playing an instrument”. I’d even say vice versa. Most of the time I did it despite of people saying “music can’t be a serious career choice” back then. I’ve studied International Relations, Business and Logistics, have learned to be a translator so I could’ve worked in any of these fields and I did for some time but then, luckily, music has transformed from a hobby into a profession.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity? I love poetry, mushroom hunting. It always helps me to relax and find inspiration.
How long has your band been around? Gene and I have started this band in 2014 but our active work has begun in 2016.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? We are based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most Russian metal/rock bands come from St Pete because of the spirit of the city. In previous centuries many Russian poets/musicians/composers and artists were born or lived here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you. It’s a popular question but I don’t have anything interesting to tell you about that. Gene just came up with the name once and we decided that it sounds good and easy to memorize.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played. One of the best shows we’ve played was in December 2019. The audience was very welcoming and communicative. The worst - I guess back in 2014 when we’ve only started playing together. Audience was too drunk and we were too stressed out.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already? We’re not that kind of a band that loves playing at the same place all the time. We love having new experience. I’d say we’d love to play anywhere we’re welcomed by the audience and hosts.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket? I would prefer to make a collab, not to change the lineup of the band now. For instance, I would love to sing a song with Lajon Witherspoon.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? Reconsider Seriously, if you’re not ready to put all effort,time and money into it, sacrifice a lot, especially in the beginning, don’t do that. Or make it your hobby.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? Don’t give up even when something seems impossible.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why? I’d say two: “Let’s Dream” and “Dance with me”. It’s too personal to explain why. I can only say that “Let’s Dream” is also important because it was one of the first songs we’ve created and I still feel good if I hear it somewhere.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most? The most requested are “Exit Station”, “Revoke”, “Razors”, “Illusion”. I, personally, love playing “Exit Station” live because it sounds special to me.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music? Normally Gene writes music then I come up with a name of the song and write lyrics. Rarely it’s vice versa. Inspiration is a complicated feeling, no one knows when it may appear and what makes it appear.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music? I love it when our music helps people to fight their own demons or finalize a tough period in their lives.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them? Everyone does. That’s normal. Time is a best solution here. Also it’s important to switch attention.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up? Our new EP “Inside” is coming out on March,25th. Pre-sale starts on March,18th already. I’m also up to give a few radio interviews about it in the nearest 2 weeks. Don’t miss it out!