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Интервью на DOOMMANTIA!

Escape to the Doomland - Interview with EVOKE THY LORDS ...

Evoke Thy Lords was born in amidst of Siberia as they gathered ten years ago under an old banner of Russian Doom/Death Metal. The band is known for their appearance in three Doom-Art.Ru Compilations. Moreover, you may listen to their release, Escape to the Dreamlands, or split EP Twofaced with Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. If Evoke Thy Lords had worked further in the field of Doom/Death Metal, this interview wouldn’t have happened. But their music has changed greatly. Now the band may be fairly proud of their nontrivial, smart and heavy Sludge Doom with some Death Doom Metal impact, but the main features are the renewed, progressive sound and the remaining flute. Unfortunately, only one new track is available on the Evoke Thy Lords band camp page yet you won’t waste your time if you listen to it! Is it the breakthrough? I guess, at least, it has good chances to win the audience. Alexey Kozlov (vocal, bass) is our guest today so I give him a word.

Hi Alex. What’s new in the life of the band and its musicians? How is it going?

Hi! We’ve just finished our new record Drunken Tales; it’s the main event in our band life, I think. As for musicians, everything is going its course; most of us have settled down and started a family.

Your band exists since 2002 but the first album Escape to the Dreamlands was released only in 2008. If I’m not mistaken, the CD has brought together all the band’s Death/Doom stuff recorded by that time. But you seem to be not very happy with this release. That stuff was too overstayed and irrelevant to you at that moment, wasn't it?

You got the point. Our debut recording process was too long. By the moment of Escape…’s release, we had completely finished the stuff for Twofaced and, I think, even for Cause Follows Effect. Finally, when the album was out, we completely turned away from the sound represented on the record; our key points and musical values had changed. At that moment, we started to realize what we wanted from our music.

How did the ‘enlightenment’ happen? Did the idea 'damn, everyone plays Death/Doom here' come to all band members simultaneously or anyone tried to stand against the changes?

It was not so radical. We simply came to the idea that we needed to keep moving. We didn’t intend to choose specific musical framework. Deep down, everybody thought that playing as we have been doing was not interesting for us at all.

For a long time Evoke Thy Lords was a part of the Russian Doom-scene, which in the world of music community, was considered as purely oriented to Doom/Death at that time. Indeed, at the beginning of 2000’s that genre just appeared in our country and very few bands played that kind of music. Why do you think it happened and how much the scene has changed since then?

It’s, basically, clear why it has happened: for the same reason as why only few people in our country understood what the traditional Doom Metal genre actually was. Anyway, I think the scene has changed a lot. On the one hand, a lot of Doom/Death bands are now out of sight, and on the other hand, there appeared some new bands playing Traditional Doom, Stoner and Sludge Doom. As for me, the current situation is much better than before.

Why do you think, with such strong and mass wish to play Death/Doom, there is no new My Dying Bride or Mourning Beloveth?

Maybe because there are no new Peaceville Records. I don’t hold these bands as some pillars or mastodons of the genre, and I have come across some very interesting bands in our country. Perhaps, the main challenge that those bands are facing is their further existence and progress after their first albums and the first few years of their work. But I find it difficult to provide a universal explanation.

Are those bands that you started with alive? As far as I know, very few of Doom-Art.Ru compilations participants are active, most of them have disappeared.

You know, we really are quite distant from this scene, so it's hard to comment. Yes, I’ve heard almost nothing about the bands from any of these compilations. And vice versa, if you ask this question to any of these bands about us, I think, the answer will be the same.

Your last official release called Twofaced came out three years ago; it was a split-album with the Voronezh Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. There, the band's sound had already changed. It had become more aggressive and, at the same time, it was clear that Evoke Thy Lords followed the early Amorphis, and it was expressed not only with the cover of Black Winter Day. What do you think about this stuff today?

I like it better than our first release. We had much less problems recording this EP as compared to our debut; the main reason why I can take it adequately. My point is: that the more you stick with the material, the worse you hear the music taking it to pieces.

This EP for us is a kind of farewell to the past. It includes all the unreleased stuff that had been composed before we changed our sound. In fact, by that time, we had already written some groovy themes and started playing in lower tune, which we eventually used for the recording Twofaced, the guitars there were lower than in the Escape .... This stuff is not close to us today, but I think we’ve done a good job.

What do you think of Lefthander work? He appears to be a rather interesting phenomenon of Russian underground stage. Although he regularly produces lots of inventive ideas, I’m not sure if his projects are popular.

I’m not well informed about his other projects and I can’t tell much about his popularity, as well. When we were looking for another project for our split album, Riders on the Bones seemed to be a good choice. In my opinion, Twofaced came out as a solid match both in music and visual appearance.

And how did you promote your band? Evoke Thy Lords is from Novosibirsk. How do you get to your audience? Do you use only the Internet or maybe mail?

Our main problem is that we release our records with a considerable delay. Therefore, it’s hard to talk about any promotion strategy. For example, how can we position our band as Sludge Doom band when, at the same time, we release the records in a completely different genre? I’m not sure if this situation is unique, but it’s not typical. As a result, the labels distribute our records in their own way. People digitize our records and upload them to the Internet, such a word-of-mouth marketing. Of course, we have made some obvious steps, for example, we have created the site and some other profiles on the Internet, but mostly, our audience finds us on their own . Moreover, we’re biased against spam and other methods of aggressive marketing. All in all, the things are the way they should be.

The latest records of Evoke Thy Lords (represented, for example, with the song on the last Doom-Art compilation) make a good impression with multiversity and substantiality. Now it's powerful groovy Sludge Doom with elements of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock. You managed to keep the flute which sounds particularly smooth in the systematic chaos of growl and guitars. How have you come to such a combination of genres?

Thank you for such a response. We have the flute in our music from the very beginning, and it has come through all our changes along with other instruments. We didn’t plan such a mixture of genres in advance; it was an evolution. When, after first two releases, we decided to step off the road and make something new, we were not sure what we would get as an outcome.

Ok, but why did you keep the flute? It’s a great finding, although, such an instrument seems to be hardly compatible with the Sludge music.

We were not aimed particularly at Sludge music. We composed the new pieces for all our instruments at once. That's why the flute didn't fall out of the sound.

Did your lyrics change simultaneously with genre?

Yes, of course. But the reason may be not the change of the genre itself, rather the personality development; the main idea evolves with each album. Actually, we have some recordings between Twofaced and Drunken Tales. We are still working on it, although the pieces have been composed and recorded earlier. There was the most radical change in our lyrics. If you look for the parallels in literature, they will be moving from Lovecraft ideas to Ray Bradbury and Philip Dick. Drunken Tales are mostly instrumental work. The role of the vocal has changed as well, as its standing in our music. Here we don’t express any literary ideas but mostly everyday life experience. Such a midlife crisis of the common man in meditative way.

The new material hasn’t been released yet. What are your plans? Are there any interesting labels? How soon are you going to release the album?

The plans are to publish it. There are some labels that are interested. Right now we are discussing some details. I can't definitely tell you the date, it depends on the label. I just hope that the release is not too far off.

Then, I wish you good luck to make all your plans come true. I hope when the new album comes out, it will be a timely one, both for you and for your audience. Take care!

Thank you for the questions and your interest in our band. Listen to our new stuff while our music hasn’t changed again.

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