Monday, July 25, 2016

Dissector Interview

Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album? – Well, the release of “Planetary Cancer” took place in June 2016, it’s not long ago, so I hope it is still fresh for the listeners. Dissector is not a live band, so we don’t make tour or big pr-actions to support the release. But we run active promo-work in social-web and continue working on new songs. We have already booked two studios for this autumn to record a couple of new songs and cover-version and to finish some leftovers we have after “Planetary Cancer” sessions. We also plan to release another album with new and unreleased songs next year, dedicated to our 25-anniversary. We try to raise money for it via crowdfunding-plattform, but it looks so hopelessness. I think we will paddle our own canoe as usual. Or at the best case find a label for this release.   

In June you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past? – Yes, the Russian label Mazzar records has released 6.6.2016 our new studio album “Planetary Cancer”. It’s thrash-metal album with some melo-death-metal, doom and rock infusions, which combines modern and big old-school sound. We spent almost half a year recording it in different studios in different cities in Russia and mixed it in Germany. I’m sure we got achievement-oriented, commercially viable album, which marks another level for Dissector. Not because every band talks about its new album as about best one, but because of some objective reasons. We have for the first time on the album a lot of great guest-musicians from all around the world, the production of “Planetary Cancer” is biggest in our history, we mixed it in a very good studio Music Factory, which is making albums for Nuclear Blast and Massacre Records, artwork of “Planetary Cancer” by Russian designer Pablo Antonov is one of his best work, first digi-pack edition by Mazzar Records is blameless. Well, so far nothing is wrong with the album, it is really one step forward for us.

In  the beginning the band was in more of a thrash metal direction but have added more melodic death metal elements over the years, can you tell us a little bit more about the decision behind going into this musical direction? – I would say Dissector creates for every new album another combination of music influences. Sure we have our technical and production borders, but at the end of a day we play music we like very much and use by composing our favorite riffing or structures from all metal styles we have grown up with. In one combination / proportion or another there are Amo/German thrash, Swedish melo-death and Teutonic power metal in our songs. Material on “Planetary Cancer” is more thrashy, unreleased songs after recording of two last albums are more groovy and heavy-metalish. We already make new demos, and I have to say that next stuff follows in a greater degree fast melo-death direction.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music? – Almost all lyric for this album was written by Randy Gerritse from The Netherlands. The title of the album writes itself – here in different contexts we are talking about very serious disease of our planet called human-being. This disease comes out in many ugly forms of human ego, cruelty, greed, stupidity, obscenity, ignorance and many other symptoms. Human-being is just a god damned moron with all his complex excitatory system and high or religious motives. Of course, it is not the most original theme for one thrash-metal album since 80-s, but still actual and getting more global and fatal. 

What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dissector' – Dissector is out second name. Our first name was Distimiya, we kept it about one year since autumn 1992, and in autumn 1993 have change it to Dissector. This name has nothing special for us personally, those days it was just a cool name for a death-metal band. In 1993 after first Russian-language demo we start to play melo-death metal with Swedish influences in English, experimenting with melodies and song structures. Well, members of Dissector were fans of different bands, from AC/DC and WASP to Sepultura and Slayer. Of course we were influenced together by big wave of Swedish melodic death-metal in 90-93 and also classical American and German thrash-metal bands too. But music by Dissector was changing on every demo, becoming more song oriented, balancing between pop melodies and international thrash/death-metal heritage. We didn’t follow one fixed music formula and could play during one concert fast stuff in vein of Benediction, power-metal song with catchy chorus and something like a soft ballad.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance? – During its first decade Dissector played live often in its home town. We had lots of good concerts in local clubs and open-air. Most of the time we played solo concerts 2-2,5 hours long with our own stuff and several cover-versions. Enough good and bad memories and lots of experiences. After I moved from Magadan (Dissector is from Magadan, small city in North-East of Russia) to Saint-Petersburg in 2002 I played several times live with bands Tartharia and The Lust. Last ten years I make only studio music.

Do you have any touring or show plans for the future? – No, we exist as independent studio project and don’t plan any live activities for the future. All members of Dissector live in different cities and have no resources for constant rehearsing or touring together. Instead of this we compose many songs, try to do best possible records and promote our material.

The new album was released on 'Mazzar Records' can you tell us a little bit more about this label? – Regardless unfortunate financial situation in our country and current state of music business in general, we still have several labels in Russia, which bring good quality music on CD on the market and support local scene. As far as I understand they only exist nowadays thanks to unquenchable enthusiasm and big love to rock music of their owners and teams. One of the most active and noticeable labels is Mazzar Records. We are totally satisfied with quality of our release, it looks very solid. Besides selected Russian bands the label also releases some new and interesting European CD’s under license.     

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal? – I have to say that our last studio albums “Grey Anguish” and “Planetary Cancer” got more positive feedback by reviewer and listeners, than negative. Reviews are getting better and better. Well, big magazine will always compare your indie-band with big names, they don’t give a shit about difficulties you had during creating you album in your country or with your conditions. Some of them have also prepossession to bands from Russia, even if the quality of reviewed record is on a very good level. Fine. However our name is getting more recognizable. Frankly speaking, Dissector as recording band wasn’t very active internationally with previous self-released albums. We still keep promoting and releasing our stuff and merch at our own cost and expense. That’s why it’s hard to support the promotion all the time on high professional level. Now we invest much more time and money in quality of recording/sound, design of albums and merchandise, production and, of course, in communicating with fans and media worldwide. New album “Planetary Cancer” is kind of exception, it was officially released by a label and is getting big support by FB community Metalheads Foundation, but we run parallel our own promo campaign so to say. For another thing, “Planetary Cancer” was released only for Russia and CIS, so we’d like to find a publisher in Europe and do the album also on vinyl. We have some great bonus-tracks for it!

Are any of the band members involved in with any other bands or musical projects these days? – Just a little. Bass-player Oleg Aleshin and drummer Andrey Glukhov were involved in recording of new album by another studio project called The Lust. It’s kind of gothic-metal project with female voice, very melodic and sensual but with hard hitting drums and guitars. I hope we will finish the new album “Black Dahlia Poem” this year. It’s the biggest production by The Lust so far and the first conceptual album. Besides The Lust I also record music with bands Tartharia and Satanation from time to time. All mentioned projects already have their long stories and back-catalogues, so every one of them is worth to be discussed separately. So far no other side-projects.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? – I don’t think we will change our style radically. Though Dissector never kept up one specific style and can drift easily from high-speed melo-death to doom thing during one album. We just try to record many songs, as much as possible, practically everything what goes out of our minds and never know in advance which way the next studio album will develop. Maybe we will add some new elements to our music on the next album. Personally I’m satisfied so far with way we record and mix our stuff. Of course, I’d like to work with big budget, to try different producing, to work in big studios etc. We will see. Instead we don’t dip into the future too far. It would be fine if we just continue making music as we do it now.

What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? – As I said before we as a band were influenced by metal music from 80-s/beginning 90-s. Those days we tried to get all albums by all biggest metal heroes from different genres, by Destruction, Overkill, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Sodom, Sepultura, Edge Of Sanity, Entombed, Rage, Cemetery, Paradise Lost, Napalm Death, Gorefest etc., and also many less known death-metal bands. It was time of fare type-trading, ordering CD’s, vinyl and rock-magazines per post. No Internet. We appreciated every record we were getting in our isolated living place and listened to it very closely. So we’ve got very mixed music tastes within a band, but music in general was our passion. As for me, today I don’t listen to the new bands much and prefer bands which stay my favorites for decades. Unfortunately not all of them exist today or bring good and inspiring albums, but their music still brings nostalgic feelings and memories back. I try to follow big records on the market, but spend more time with my CD collection of Paradise Lost, Haunted, Katatonia, Sentenced/Poisonblack, Nightrage and some other band, including non-metal stuff.

What are some of your non musical interests? – Unfortunately I don’t have much time for other interests besides music, promoting Dissector’s stuff and job. The best thing in this situation is the fact that I work as freelancer for many years, so it’s up to me to organize work to get more time for my desires: recording music and traveling. It’s just a question of playing with priorities, you know. Though I work and do many small things concerning music also during trips or recording sessions too, and I don’t know how it looks like to spend two-three days or a week without doing anything. I also like watching movies from time to time but I’m not a big fan of psychological dramas, old classic films or art-house. Prefer modern science fiction, good comedies or blockbusters. 

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? – If you like music – support those who spend his life by creating this music. Drink less stupid coffee or alcohol and buy good music directly by musicians, without feeding majors.

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