Interview with Andrey
Andrey 'Ind' - Vocals
Alexander 'Motor' - Guitar
Igor 'Buzzy' - Guitar
Tony 'Rock' - Bass
Michael 'Coroner' - Drums
Can you please detail how you came up with the name ‘Grenouer’ and what it was that inspired you to begin your metal journey?
The band name corresponds to Grimoire - a textbook of magic. The letters were deliberately changed into something else that still might touch dark fantasy, horror and the supernatural. Even before I became a teenager I had realised my desire to live a life on stage. With this band or with another, I was destined to begin my metal journey. This year Grenouer celebrates a 20 year anniversary! I guess that’s fairly impressive.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before and how do you think your closest relative might describe your music?
Grenouer has changed a lot since the 90’s, so it depends upon which album you are listening to. These days we are focussed on rock/metal songs with heavy guitars and memorable melodies, while in previous years we performed quite brutal stuff.
Could you please detail what kind of costs went into creating and releasing 'Computer Crime' and how did/does the record label help with the overall recording/distribution process?
The making of ‘Computer Crime’ cost Grenouer half of the line-up. Creative disagreements were not resolved and five songs from the EP was recorded with a different line up. It’s great that the material is released worldwide, yet I have no idea of promotional activities.
What would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
If you mean a gig by Grenouer, then it was supporting Testament in Moscow in 2008. Testament is one of the best metal bands in the world! It was both an honour and a trial to play before them when the audience is too sceptical about the opening act. I believe we managed to put up a good show.
Which would be your most favoured song to play and which do you think your fans prefer and why?
I very much enjoy every song Grenouer performs live. For me it’s hard to imagine a song as an obligation. Still, the set-list depends upon various factors. I guess fans prefer 'A Passage In The Sky' or even our cover of A-ha’s, 'Take On Me'. Sorry to say it, but we perform what we see fit.
You've got quite a few videos up on You Tube. Which one of these music videos do you like the most and why?
Five videos were made for the last full-length album. We also expect a video for the new song quite soon. I think that 'Patience' and 'Indecent Loyalty' are worthy music videos. The first one comes in a conceptual psycho style and the second refers to a nuclear war theme, yet today’s video production standards are very high and we are just a humble underground metal band.
|Computer Crime EP - 2011
Lifelong Days - 2008
Try - 2007
Try EP - 2005
| Presence With War - 2004
| The Odour O’ Folly - 2001
| Gravehead - 1999
Border Of Misty Times - 1996
Can you please detail what you tend to base your lyrics on and could you quote your favourite verse?
Thank you very much for the question! I am not a native English speaker and every time I write something I am not fully aware if I sound clumsy or not. In previous years I was experimenting with topics (social issues, war, time, death) and complicated words. Now I have switched to rather simple phrases and tend to express personal feelings, which is quite easier. Please see if it makes sense:
"You’re a big mistake, I just want to make away, You‘re a restless flood, Why do I come back, To see no sun?"
You were once a part of Locomotive Records. Can you tell us a little bit about your time with them?
Locomotive Music was an established record label and had three offices; Spain, Germany and USA. There were top-seller bands, so their demise remains a big mystery to me. We were signed because we had a completed album made in Finland with Anssi Kippo, a platinum selling producer. Everything started very well with a release party, promo support, fruitful communication etc but it ended very abruptly.
You are now with Copro Records. How are they helping you to improve Grenouer's standing in the metal realm?
C’mon, labels do not help bands today! They just press a release on CDs and launch digital distribution. It’s entirely up to the band to find a promo agent, a booking agent etc and to work hard.
Most bands tell me metal has no money in it, so what do you all do besides playing in the band in order to earn your living?
We have to have ordinary work in order to earn money to spend it… for our music activities. No wonder I cannot afford to have a family, a car or a house!
What brand of instruments are you using and how did any endorsements come about?
Underground bands rarely receive endorsements. There’s only one way – to get job at a music shop. We are grownups now, so we manage to get decent instruments and gear with common brands like Ibanez guitars or Peavey amps, without a third party.
Let’s pretend you were creating a tour survival guide. What would be your top three tips for surviving a long tour with the band?
Frankly speaking, every tour is a big survival! The only place you feel comfortable is the show. You’ve got to go through the hoops just to get on stage. Anyway, three major tips:
- Help each other
- Stay close to sober
- Use a toilet whenever possible as the next one might be in a hundred miles.
What have been some of the more interesting adventures you’ve had with the band? Have there been many, if any, lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way?
Being a band is already an interesting adventure. Rehearsing is fun, studio is fun, working at the studio is fun and playing at big festivals is the biggest fun ever! Arriving at a new city, meeting new people, doing a great show before the crowd… That’s what I call living! Learning is also a big part of building a band. It takes team work and a human element might play either a good or a bad role. Trust and tolerance means a lot, but sometimes unfavourable measures are inevitable.
What kind of barriers or restrictions do you think exist within the global metal scene and how do you think we can improve things overall?
The global metal scene is in stress position. Lots of things have become available/accessible. It is easier to become a musician, yet very hard to hold on. You need incredible passion to be ready to invest all your time, efforts and money and maybe never get the payback.
What is the metal scene like in the area you grew up in and how does Russian politics restrict your progression with the band?
The scene is formally huge in Russia. There are lots of bands playing various kinds of metal and Russia is a large country. Still, metal is deep underground. There are probably not more than five bands that earn money by playing shows and all of them traditionally use Russian lyrics. Metal is just not a part of show biz and that has nothing to do with stupid politicians. No one bans metal today. Restrictions are of an economical character.
Have you ever had any mystical experiences?
It depends upon what you call a mystical experience. Probably not, except once when I was a teenager and half asleep, all of a sudden I lost control over my body - couldn’t even move a finger. You know what, I knew I could break the spell but did not hurry to do so as it was quite an extraordinary feeling. Of course, I got back to life.
End note from Andrey:
Thank you very much for your interest - very good questions!
Great thanks to all the readers and all our fans and friends - your support means a lot and keeps us alive!
‘Interview with Grenouer’ by Déa di Morté © 26 May 2012
Hails! to Andrey for agreeing to participate and taking the time to complete this interview
All pictures courtesy of Grenouer