Image credit: Oksana Dolga
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My parents' families are working class, so as a child I was far from music, although everyone in the family sang well, especially my grandmother. I also had good hearing, but it was only when I joined the school choir that the world of sound impressed me so much that it completely changed my life. Otherwise I could be a designer - my mother is a professional sewing master and in childhood I had a lot of colorful fabrics all around. I remember at 5 years old I sewed lots of original clothes with a needle for my dolls. And I was sure that I would be creating stylish clothes. Also I could become a writer - that was a very strong passion since I learned to write, I created many handmade child books. One way or another I would create different worlds - if not with the help of sound, then with the help of other arts
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like traveling to different countries, traveling Ukraine, bicycling outside my city and the most I like is trekking mountains. All these refreshes me, fills with new energy changes, gives new ideas and thoughts, and develops my views, gives emotional material to create new pieces
How long has your band been around?
I started performing electronic music in autumn 2014 and very soon I got many other invitations to perform concerts. But composing electronics I began a year earlier. I remember the moment when I was ready to perform and wanted it so much, but my laptop was stolen and I needed to wait again some time
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I`m based in Ukraine. Periodic political and economic crises and difficult financial conditions in the country did not allow me to have many instruments that I would like to have at the time I started writing music. This limitation greatly affected my sound in a good sense - it made me squeeze as much as possible out of the laptop, experiment, look for something of my own to differ from other musicians who use only laptop and keys
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It's actually a joke from where my stage name comes from. My friends were attending English lessons and were learning the grammar topic `Neither….nor…`. So once they came and told me the story of how they were practicing this grammar structure, telling the teacher about their friends, they were talking about me, who is a musician, composing electronics but is neither famous nor rich. It was good humor, so I decided to take it, but later abbreviated it to NFNR. One fan told he perceived it as a statement that music is done not for fame and money, and I would say it relates to my perception
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
One of them was in a small but cult club LoopHole in Berlin. The audience was so open and inspired that they asked me to play more and this happens rarely when you play electronic live sets. Another thrill of the performance was at a huge stadium on an island in Japan, where I played electronics with a folk band Mokosho. It's amazing to hear your music spread all over the stadium on a huge volume. And the most special was hidden rave in a sewer hatch underground space 4 by 4 meters - project I created in a cooperation with visual artist K.Berlova
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
In Kyiv, among my most favorite venues to play now is Otel` club - it has an amazing sound system constructed according to the space. Earlier these were such cult places as PLIVKA and MetaCulture . As I already told I like big wide spaces - so stages of really big festivals would be great to try
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Maybe it would be too strange mixture - Hiromi Uehara, Four Tet, Valentin Stip, Fennesz, Fatima Al Qadiri, Pj Harvey and many of my friends Ukrainian musicians
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
When you are starting a band never try to copy someone's style - nobody needs second Radiohead. It makes no sense at all trying to be someone else, copying you'll always stay secondary. And you miss your chance to meet with yourself via music practice
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Just don't waste time doubting, better spend this time practicing music, and when you have moments of doubt never evaluate your creation, practice composing & playing instead, forget your desire to be appreciated.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
If to talk about the last album `Dog Rose` released on Corridor Audio now I would name `Cards against humanity` maybe because it has for me a strong inspiring spring mood, it was composed in spring. This track is very positive, about overcoming and playing with obstacles
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I like to play songs that technically have more opportunities to add many improvisations during the performance. For the track `Dice 2`, as well from the last album, I created a special preset with modulations and I can play with these modulations unstoppable, all the time the preset bursts in some interesting combinations of sound depending on the knobs I turn. And another one new not released track `Eve` - it explodes in a series of modulations, which are layered one after another rolling as a snowball
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The need to articulate some feelings, emotions, states motivates me to write music. But it is also a desire to create my own worlds, with their own aesthetics and beauty. Traveling, adventures, impressions inspire me a lot to create music, but also the performances and audience themselves are needed much
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I often work with the theme of finding own inner strength or coming back to forgotten inner strength. It is about appealing to the depths of one's essence, where exactly this power is located, it is only necessary to go deeper. There, deep down, you find something like a sense of inner truth or some true knowledge that keeps you going in everything you do. Finding this feeling is very beautiful and filling. I like to express this feeling in an atmosphere of sound
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
As NFNR is my solo project I never face this trouble now, but I had it in other collaborative projects. Discussing, trying to feel each other's desires and ideas, listening attentively to what other musicians play helps to find agreement. Behaving solo in a group makes trouble, when you really acting as a part of a group, for you is much easier to transform own visions and be flexible, not perceive it as a catastrophe
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The nearest plan is a single release on Corridor Audio in anniversary compilation `Five Years` dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the label. Compilation will be represented by 22 tracks from Ukrainian artists, among them Diser Tape, Hatroneli, Noisynth, Voin Oruwu, Louwave, Splinter (UA), Kiritchenko, Burning Woman, Recid, Vaxoid, Friedensreich and others. All other plans are connected with the biggest hope to continue finally performances which were interrupted due to lockdown restrictions