I wrote a review for Horned Necrocannibals’s album a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed fitting that such an interesting band had an interview with Global Domination. So I ended up working out one with Necrozaurus, the band’s vocalist. He sent back the questions very quickly, and we really appreciate that. And just for the record, I wore a sombrero while being sober once, and even though I got drunk in a matter of minutes, I still think it counts. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the interview!
Aztec: First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this. You guys, Aria and Master were the first Russian bands I heard. And I must say that I liked you all. Tell us, how you see the national scene nowadays? Which other Russian bands would you think may be interesting for Global Domination’s captive audience?
Necrozaurus: Thank you, my friend, the pleasure is all mine! Well, being in the same group as these monsters of Russian metal is nothing but flattering I must say, although some people may of course disagree. As for the national scene - it is, sadly enough, quite obscure. I mean, take Northern Europe for instance - area-wise it's probably 10 times smaller than Russia, but look at the number of excellent bands hailing out of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and probably even Iceland (although, I personally don’t remember anyone from there aside from Bjork ;). The number of metal bands in Russia on the other hand is not even close to any of these countries, and - I must admit - the majority of them are too secondary, or too unprofessional, or too whatever else it may be. Then again, there still are a number of pretty decent bands, such as Arida Vortex (power/speed metal), Seducer’s Embrace (originally SMDM, although lately they are mixing it with lot of techno-thrash elements in the vein of Megadeth), Crystal Abyss (black metal in the key of Emperor), Hieronymus Bosch (techno death thrash - somewhere between Atheist, Voivod, early Destruction and Opeth), Morrah (a cross between Cannibal Corpse and early Entombed) - just to name a few. Coming back to the scene itself, I guess the main problem about it is that it is still in the forming - there’s very little professionalism and knowledge, but (on the brighter side) I do see some enthusiasm and a wish to do things right. It just takes time I guess, the underground scene here is still in the making.
Aztec: Russia, along with China, my very own Mexico and others, is sadly known as a paradise for all kinds of pirate and illegal products. Has this phenomenon affected metal in your country, or yourselves as a band? Ever seen a pirate copy of your album?
Necrozaurus: Funnily enough, metal is probably the only trend in modern-day music on which piracy had a positive effect in Russia, because it all ended up creating a handful of music labels, which started doing licensing deals with western labels to combat piracy themselves, protecting their sales. Of course piracy is still a huge problem, and I don’t see it solved any time soon, but it is slowly getting there. As for us - no, we have not been affected by piracy, although - in all honesty - I wish we were. Pirates are not stupid. They won’t pirate a CD which won’t sell. So if I ever saw a pirate Horned NecroCannibals CD I would know we are going popular big time and selling well. So go figure... ;)
Aztec: From both a metal fan and musician's perspective, which differences do you see comparing the old USSR days with the current situation? Is it easier to be involved in metal?
Necrozaurus: Most obviously it is a lot easier to be involved in metal - or at that - any other underground music today, than it was during the USSR times. I mean back in the times when we lived behind the so-called Iron Curtain - underground music was simply outlawed. There were no gigs, no clubs, it was impossible to buy quality instruments, etc, etc. Those were the days when you could literally get stopped by a cop and get into major trouble with the law just because you had long hair. Easy as that. On the other hand - back in those days, being involved in something like that, I mean like being a metal fan or knowing some metal musicians, it was really something magical, like being a part of some clandestine order, it was very special.
Aztec: We all know you are the band’s vocalist, but did you ever consider playing instruments or something? Why did you choose to sing?
Necrozaurus: I did consider it. And then I thought... NAH! Too much trouble... I am a lazy-arsed bastard, besides - vocalists are the most popular guys amongst the female part of the audience, so... And - Aztec - I CAN'T sing, anyone with a deal of sanity and common sense, would never refer to that as singing.
Aztec: If you had to choose, which bands/musicians would you mention as your main influences?
Necrozaurus: Well, me personally, I am pretty much influenced by everything I hear. I am lucky enough not be centered on metal music only, and I’d listen to anything from Tom Waits and Real McKenzies to Queen and traditional Irish folk music to Japanese Ritual Drums and Indian and Nordic shamans. If we speak about my personal vocal influences - I’d say David Vincent of Morbid Angel would be my vocal god and Tom Waits would be the Spiritu Sancti ;) As a band we are influenced by Carcass (at least our guitarist, Exhumator, who writes all the music, really wants us to, and who am I to disillusion him), Napalm Death and all things Rock.
Aztec: You mentioned that most of the band-related names were chosen by fans in some polls. I think that’s pretty cool, but a bit unusual. Why give so much power to the fans? How’s your relationship with them?
Necrozaurus: Why not? I mean initially we were meant to be a joke band, death metal’s Spinal Tap, if you please. Seriously, I started this thing when I was 26 years old and there was no way in hell I could sing about ripped entrails, blood and gore, and keep a straight face, so instead of trying to become Alfred Hitchcock (and inevitably failing) we became the "Dawn of the Dead", "House of a 1000 Corpses" and "Army of Darkness". And then this joke simply went too far, and we were forced to become a real band. Oh, fuck, well... ;) As for our fans - they are the coolest bunch of sick motherfuckers I ever met. And the coolest thing about them is that they totally embraced the tongue-in-cheek attitude that we have about this whole thing, they do have a sense of humor –- well most of them do. ;)
Aztec: Did you choose your own names as band members, or did fans also pick them? If you chose them, what do they mean?
Necrozaurus: Once again it was decided in an online poll on MetalKings.ru - we just gave them a list and then they picked the names from this list. As to what they mean... I don’t think there is any special meaning to these, aside from being so corny, that they are actually fun.
Aztec: The album art is very neat, but where did the concept came from? I found it visually similar to a Nunslaugther record, but what’s the truth behind it?
Necrozaurus:You got that right about Nunslaughter - it was the same guy, a really cool dude from Ohio (?) named Scott "Wizardfool" Stearns (Hey, Scott!). As for the concept, I just translated some of our lyrics to him, and he tried to depict all of the characters from our songs on the artwork. So we have a nurse, a horned necrocannibal, a lady-mutant, some demons jumping all over the cemetery, some tanks that represent Warkraft and suchlike...
Aztec: Why do you have the titles in Russian and English? I found it very interesting, because all the Russian albums I own have only Cyrillic letters. Is it because you want your concept to be oriented to more diverse audiences?
Necrozaurus: Exactly, we just wanted to be open to a broader audience. This is also the reason why we have some lyrics in English and some in Russian. You see, here in Russia, the majority of folks are unilingual, so to make it on the Russian market it is generally advised to use your own language, then again, if you want to sell abroad, you have to get the people over there understand what the fuck you are talking about.
Aztec: Have you considered getting an English section for your site? Because even though it looks nice, if one doesn’t speak Russian it’s hard to get some info.
Necrozaurus: Yes, I have been considering it for a really long time... will do... eventually... hopefully...
Aztec: And as we speak of concepts... why do a medley of cover songs? How did you choose the bands and songs?
Necrozaurus: This is a good one. The truth behind this whole medley thing is - our guitar player does not play solos. So when we were doing the cover of Maiden’s "Number of the Beast", as soon as we got to the solo part, we understood he was not going to make it. So we started jamming on our favorite riffs instead and that’s how it all came out.
Aztec: And where did you find all those penguins? Hehehe. What’s the deal with that idea? I found it extremely amusing and different.
Necrozaurus: You just answered your own question. To be amusing and different. I mean - let’s face it - it’s not even a live recording, we ripped the "stadium" off somebody else, although there is no way in hell I am going to tell you whose stadium it is originally ;) he-he-he
Aztec: Do you play live a lot? I mean, in front of people, not tuxedo-wearing birds. And who made your stage clothes? They look pretty neat.
Necrozaurus: Yes, we do. Not a whole lot, but we try to play every four or six weeks, in Moscow, and we play any other town/city that would be interested in bringing us over. As for the stage clothes - both old and new - the idea was Rag Doll’s (president and leader of MetalKings.com/MetalKings.ru) - God bless her! In fact she was the one to come up with a good half of the ideas about this band, including the inception of the band itself and using online polls for that.
Aztec: Which are your best memories from a show? Who have you played with so far?
Necrozaurus: Best show so far for me personally, was in the Ukrainian town of Vinnitsa last fall when we opened for Austria’s Pungent Stench. The sound was decent, the promoter was excellent, and the audience was fucking killer! As for other bands we played with (aside from all the local bands) it would be Children of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene and we are also going on a mini-tour with Dark Funeral in two weeks.
Aztec: I understand you are already working on new material, do you think it will be different from the previous album? How is the writing process for the Necrocannibals?
Necrozaurus: Correct. Yes it will. Slow. (He-he) Yes we got two thirds of the material written for the next album, and it is in many ways different from what you heard on the debut record. It’s faster, more technical and melodic (although not overly melodic - thank you very much), and generally we all like it better than the debut. But then again every musician says that, so I guess you just have to wait till it comes out and see for yourself.
Aztec: It’s easy to distribute your records in Russia and CIS countries? And what about those people from abroad that might be interested in checking out your music?
Necrozaurus: Sales/distribution is a question for our label, not us, so you should talk to them. (Pssst, and then don’t forget to let us know what they tell you, we would very much like to know ourselves! ;) As for foreign distribution, our label doesn’t have much of it, but I did see our CD on sale in some online stores. RedStream.org and Rockmarket.ru should definitely have it.
Aztec: It’s time for yes or no questions, elaborate as much as you want. Have you ever:
...been to Lenin’s mausoleum?
Necrozaurus: No, this carcass would be unhealthy even for a horned necrocannibal to eat.
...traveled to Siberia?
Necrozaurus: Yes, on a business trip. Sucked arse. Too cold. Then again we played a show in Yekaterinburg this summer and it was killer.
...done that funky Cossack squat-dance?
Necrozaurus: Even if I ever had been drunk enough to do that, I would be too drunk to remember. As a return question - have you ever worn a sombrero when being stone-sober?
...lost your voice on stage/while recording?
Necrozaurus: On stage yes, if the monitors were fucked-up.
...thought that Russia has the best-looking female tennis players on Earth?
Necrozaurus: Ugh. Kournikova is not that pretty, is she? I’ve had much better... ;)
...practiced a sport while it was snowing?
Necrozaurus: If you consider consumption of unnaturally large amounts of alcohol a sport, then yes we do practice that regularly.
...dived off stage?
Necrozaurus: Fuck no!
...drunk enough vodka to knock out a bear?
Necrozaurus: I think I have. Only that there was no bear around to knock out.
...and what did you do after that?
Aztec: The last comments are yours. Thanks once again and keep the good work. I can’t wait to hear what you’ll deliver next.
Necrozaurus: Thank you, my friend and send our regards to everyone at Global Domination, hope you had as much fun reading this, as I had fun typing it. And to anyone who reads this - may the slickly maggots be with you! Stay metal and hope to see you on tour some day!
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