One of the more impressive debut albums to emerge in recent months has been Change of Scenery from Russian metal band Rosa Infra. The band and release treated the senses to an impressive and impassioned blend of gothic metal/electronic /darkwave brought with outstanding craft and expressive delivery. The band has over recent times shared stages with the likes of Paradise Lost, To/Die/For, Embraze, and For Selena & Sin whilst building a might reputation and devoted following in their homeland. We had the pleasurable opportunity to send a series of questions over to Rosa Infra founder vocalist, bassist and composer Nikolay Karpushin to find out more about the band, their music and of course their excellent album.
Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Thank you for talking with us.
Could you firstly just introduce the band?
Hello! With a great pleasure I’ll tell of my band whose name Rosa Infra
How did Rosa Infra start?
We began our way at 2006.Then I dreamed to play qualitative and powerful gothic-metal and actively composed songs in this style.
Was there a clear intention before the band about the kind of sound it was to create before its formation?
The basic representation about a sound I had before the creation of band. First of all it consists in low tuning of guitars and bass and common low frequency sounding. All rest was formed gradually from concert and rehearsal of practice, and at the present time we are addicted to this idea and we continue to experiment on this way.
What were the inspirations that brought you to the desire to be a musician and the band you are?
Aspiration to play qualitative and too in time sincere music! Probably sounds arrogant, but not only in Russia, and all over the world is not enough of such music now. Here I shall allow myself to quote of David Bowie: “Music became ordinary, as a water conduit and electricity “. The Qualitative releases are thousands. But is there a lot of them deserve to play in your playlist almost daily within many years?
Before we move on to your recently released album, please give us some back ground of the band up to this point, highlights and how it has grown?
The basic conception of music of the Rosa Infra always will be a low and deep sound. It’s our mania, our point of view on metal and music at all. It was very difficult to me to find people who understood my idea, and I thanks to my friends and musicians Evgeniy, Zinaida and Vsevolod.
Power, low, growling, groove, atmospheric. Sometimes colder like cosmic vacuum, sometimes deep like a сoffin underground. Anyway it’s will force you to distract from daily problems and to listen! And much more important- to think about your life, may be about your soul, and may be to learn the Russian language.
As mentioned your excellent new album Change of Scenery has recently been released, how has the response to it been so far?
Our fans in Russia were very pleased with an album. A lot people came on presentation and very warmly have supported us. It is always pleasant to see happiness in eyes, which look at you!
What were your hopes for it as it was unleashed on the world?
We are always played our music for all people-Russians, Europeans, Americans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese etc. We from the very beginning tried to work at a level of the global standards of metal-music. And we are happy, that our creativity has deserved attention in the world.
How long was Change of Scenery in its creation?
Little more than one year. Some problems happened about search of guitar sound and then were big problems with search of studio for record of a vocal. One familiar composer promised us free-of-charge record at his studio. In Russia there are not enough of good studios for record of vocal and we very much counted on him. But then this man likely has decided not, as he had more favorable pop-projects. Urgently it was necessary to search for alternative variant for the acceptable price. And we find it! There was “Ross Studio”-The professionals of the business, with them it was very pleasant to work and we are very pleased with result!
Different to many bands from your and surrounding countries you have kept to your own language not singing in English, something we like for sure. But do you think it might limit how far and how many people you can spread the album to by doing so?
I very much respect bands which sing on the native language, is special if it is made beautifully, it is competent. Russian literary language is very beautiful and is melodious sounds and it is a pity, that many our bands ignore this fact. Still it is a very pity that our language is strong degradated for last 15 years. It is connected to historical problems, with politics and society, but I do not want to go deep in to it now. I only want to inform beauty of Russian language to the people. Including in other countries there is Finnish band Kursk (KYPCK), even the Finns sing in Russian! But unfortunately texts in their songs is not always competently built and sometimes that sounds funny. But when there was no mistakes, Russian sounds not worse than English. And it is true proof that Metal may to sing in Russian! But probably we’ll record some our songs on English if we have that opportunity.
Was there any pressure to revert to English from anyone?
Yes, of course but I don’t listen that councils. I sang many covers in English and it is not a problem for me but our basic language is Russian.
Despite being unable to know the lyrical content of songs we could feel the passion and emotions behind songs very openly, this is an aspect you take great care with as much as creating great sounds?
Certainly the emotional message is a very important in vocal. Sometimes even Russian public don’t understand the true sense of words simply because vocalist does not have this emotional submission. We care a lot in our music and important part of it is an expressive vocal lines.
The writing of song works pass differently. Basically I write the musical theme on piano then create all lines for two hands. So there is a prototype of arrangement of the future song. Then I distribute the voices on different instruments which will be played in potential song and rewrite the notes for these (guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, samples etc).The words for music more often I write much later.
What inspires your lyrics and ideas within songs?
Mmm! Excellent question! Certainly experience of my life is partially reflected in the texts; partially it is reasonings on a theme of essence of the people, their qualities of soul (both light, and dark). In these reasonings I express also my sensation of the world, hope and believe in the people.
Going in to its recording how much were the songs finished and how much did they further evolve as you worked in the studio?
The musical parties were authorized even before record. We only needed them to record in alive. We have spent much time for search of a suitable sound (especially it concerns guitars). By result we are pleased.
The album also features many guests, could you tell us about them?
I shall begin with remarkable string trio: Evgeniya Kasatkina (alto), Anjelika Vinogradova (cello), Grigory X (double bass). We have invited all of the guys to record a fragment of song Pis’ma Niotkuda (” the Letters from Nowhere “). All of them the students of a conservatory, and Evgeniya still participates in folk-metal band Bear Beer.
As in recording of the album guitarist Iliya Mamontov (“Epidemiya” band) took part. He has played solo in songs Proschenniy (“Forgiven”), Krilya (“Wings”), Sonata di Dolorum and Smena Dekoratziy (” Change of Scenery “).
Change of Scenery was very varied making a release which was unpredictable and persistently engaging, is this ability to make things distinctly diverse a natural thing or an aspect you work specifically on?
I always aspired to a variety and riches of used receptions in a composition and in time it was not end in itself. So получалост by a natural image, since I always concerned unbiasedly to various musical genres and never hesitated to mix them in the songs most by unexpected image.
Vivid example – song Snejniy Angel (Snow Angel) .Common atmosphere is more similar on dark wave, gothic rock but in middle of a composition mine unexpectedly enters a bass – solo typical more for funk. Other example is a song Kriliya. In her are combined gothic metal, industrial, synth-rock, and even much psychedelic elements.
In general, I consider that all life to play strictly within the framework of one style is self-restriction.
The two instrumentals on the release in the stunning Sonata Di Dolorum and Rassvet are very powerful tracks which inspire many thoughts and reactions. When bands put instrumentals in a release it is interesting to know why they are not given lyrics, how was it with your two tracks, what made you keep them as just music pieces?
Guitarist of our band Evgeniy offered to think up words and vocal line for Sonata. But I am primary it planned as instrumental, since wanted to express some tragical experiences of my life by language of music, instead of words. Is glad, that it was possible to me, especially guys so it is magnificent it have played. Rassvet is original intro for a song Krilya, on that it is obvious, that she should be without words.
A few times we were reminded of Finnish bands in the album, Stam1na in particular. Has Finnish metal been a sure influence on you?
This influence was faster reflected in the early compositions, such as ” Nadejda na Utro ” (Hope on Morning), ” Edinstvo v Grehe ” (Unity in Sin), ” Lozh vo Spaseniye ” (Lie to Helpness). In other creativity the influence of many other directions is felt, not only metal, but also electronic music.
What is next for Rosa Infra?
The following step will be the further creativity. We do not stand on a place and we do not limit ourselves to frameworks of one genre, and for us is to surprise you! Closer by winter 2012 we plan to begin record a new single which will be the announcement to the second full-album. This album will be conceptual. It is a uniform history divided into parts, i.e. songs. While I can say one: above idea of this album and history I already reflect about 10 years. Partly it is fiction, partly vital experience transformed into structure of a design of product. Now we prepare the concert program with songs from the future album.
What are the chances that the rest of Europe and the UK might have a close up of you live?
I think that same, as well as at other Russian bands. Per century of information technologies it is much easier to inform the creativity up to the masses. But on the other hand at the sated information flow a high probability to miss main. In the world (including in Russia) there are a lot of same bands and not looking on high quality, in a result the attention dissipates because of similarity all against each other. We make the rate on sincerity in creativity and individual sight.
A big thank you for talking with us, would you like to leave a last comment for people?
Thanks to you!
I already have stated much. I can add the following: aspire to individuality but not as to end in itself. In all the golden mean is necessary. Try more often message dialogue with the heart, reason, soul. Be able to set correct questions to find the answers. You see we call for this in the music!
Read the Change of Scenery review@ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/rosa-infra-change-of-scenery-%D1%81%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BA%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B9/
The RingMaster Review 17/06/2012