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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Grenouer (05.07.2008)

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Logo Grenouer

HH: If I'm right, the history of Grenouer starts back in 1992 where you started as a Death Metal band. Please introduce yourself and tell us some words about the foundation of Grenouer.

IND: Hallo, my name is Andrey "IND", I am lead vocals of Grenouer band starting from the debut album. We come from Russia, Saint Petersburg. At present moment we are five members in the band, let's mention the other guys, "Motor" and "Rt" on guitars, "Slavij" on bass and "Grave" on drums. Yes, it's being true, we've been a death metal band in the 90's which was our initial inspiration. Later on we experienced several developments and line-up changes, which finally resulted in serious musical updates.

HH: In 2004 you switched your style to a more modern approach releasing the Presence With War-record. Try was the next step where you handled strong influences of Fear Factory and Meshuggah. How did this change of style occur?

IND: With Presence With War we wanted to say our farewell to death metal era and we did, since that time are listeners are divided into two categories - the ones who like our modern approach and the ones who stand for our older albums. I should say that the change of style occurred most naturally, we just felt that wanted to become different someday. I might also admit that our searching is not over yet, so the story continues.

HH: What's the meaning of "Grenouer"? What is it?

IND: It's an invented word and originally it was a free interpretation of Grimoire but later on we didn't attach it to anything. So the only correct meaning is our band's name.

HH: On Lifelong Days the influences of the bands mentioned above are still strong. Is it a good or a bad thing for Grenouer to be compared with bands like Fear Factory and Meshuggah?

IND: We tried to be as less FF and Meshuggah like as possible, but if you say it... then we sort of failed. On Lifelong Days we didn't want to be an abrupt riffing machine anymore, we were searching for something of our own, blending metal, hardcore and even rock elements.

HH: How are the reactions on Lifelong Days? Are you happy with them?

IND: Frankly speaking, the album will be released in a couple of days, so it's too early to speak of reaction. We think that we did the best with the new album yet nothing is perfect in this world. We are surely happy that it is being released.

HH: How would you describe your songwriting approach and the sound you are creating on Lifelong Days?

IND: It's more melodic, more song-structural and more mature. We imagined ourselves in listeners' shoes, so as not to abuse their patience, haha! The sound fits the music and it is not that extreme, still thick enough to keep listeners awake in case if they care of course.

HH: How do you write your songs? Is there a single songwriter or do you write songs as a collective?

IND: Sometimes "Motor" brings guitar riffs, sometimes the drummer suggests rhythmical structures, and then we all together make them into a song, the arrangements take place and lots of modifications, brainstorming, elaborations. Writing lyrics is the final stage. Any song is surely a piece of collective work.

HH: Why did you choose Lifelong Days as the title for your new record? Can you please explain the meaning of it?

IND: The meaning is fleetness and temporality of life and that very often a life is a big hardship. This world ("life") is filled with injustice and inequity, and so many people only exist and survive instead of living. We also wanted to note with the title that it was not easy for us to bring the album to life, it took us great pains and sometimes it seemed that fortune didn't favour us at all.

HH: What themes do the lyrics on Lifelong Days deal with?

IND: In general the album deals with three topics - symbolical personal insight, cruel reality and escaping time. These various reflections do not give any actual answers, so don't be searching for katharsis.

HH: How is the connection between the front and back cover, the title and the lyrics?

IND: The front picture shows absolute dissipation, the broken boat in the desert and the back cover shows the city that is only beginning to collapse. The correlation between the title and the lyrics is similar - one predetermines another. And here's no innovation work indeed, we just spend much time developing concept as well as the concept of the artwork.

HH: Lifelong Days was recorded in Finland in the Astia Studios together with Anssi Kippo. Anssi produced bands like Children Of Bodom, Norther or Insomnium and smithed a very good sound for Lifelong Days. It sounds modern but not clinical like many other records nowadays. Are you pleased with his work?

IND: We are absolutely pleased with Anssi's work. He is a real workaholic at studio which results in great level of any of his works. He manages to find exquisite creative approach to any band, so if a band has enough time at studio, then it's no problem, Anssi Kippo will help to record and mix a masterpiece - and with this album Grenouer was deliberately aiming to work at ASTIA and our choice was completely justified afterwards.

HH: Do you have a favourite song on Lifelong Days?

IND: All of them are favourite enough, I dare say. Somehow, I haven't had enough of the whole album yet.

HH: On Lifelong Days I'm missing one or two really fast songs. Do fast songs not fit the concept of Lifelong Days or why are there no fast songs?

IND: It might seem strange but Grenouer has never been too fast even with older death metal albums. Of course it's not because we are sluggish slowpokes, but we haven't yet felt the need to be fast as possible. Everyone to his trade!

HH: Like many other bands Grenouer is part of the MySpace community but you also have your own website on www.grenouer.com. Which website is the more important one to the band?

IND: Both pages are important but at the same time we don't overvalue their meaning. Grenouer is not a big star to afford high budget outstanding design and we just have what we have.

HH: Not many Russian bands are well known over here, so I think it's difficult for Russian bands to be recognized in the rest of the world. How does MySpace help in this case?

IND: MySpace is not a big help actually. It's definitely not the instrument of promotion, popular bands remain famous in abstracto and unpopular bands get lost in the ocean.

HH: The other way round how strong does the "western" metal scene take place in Russia?

IND: Oh, western metal scene takes a big place here. Here are several labels releasing licensed CDs, so the majority of the world metal is available in Russia. Of course here are lots of metalheads, no wonder, the country is so huge. The only problem is that foreign bands normally come to play to Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the other regions are less lucky.

HH: Imagine Lifelong Days is something to eat. What Russian speciality would it be and why?

IND: Please don't expect anything special Russian! If we were a folk band I would definitely invite you to taste borsch, buckwheat porridge, pelmeni and vodka. Since we play modern metal I am afraid this might be trivial hamburger or hot dog, well, properly dressed.

HH: Is there any possibility to see Grenouer live over here in Germany?

IND: We estimate to have a couple of shows in Berlin late autumn this year. We hope that all will come true, since we long to come to play in Germany. I have even started to refresh my poor Deutsch.

HH: Thanks for your time and good speed! Any last words?

IND: I was a big pleasure to answer your questions! Thank you so much! This or that way, welcome to Russia, vodka is definitely good here and Russian soccer team turned out not that bad. Wishing you only the best in life, stay cool and keep it METAL of course!

Lord Obirah

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