PRC Media Artist Stalwart Interview

<br />Stalwart - Manifest of Refusal

  1. Tell us a bit about Stalwart this is the 1st album Ive heard from the band thanks to getting Promo from Clawhammer Pr. Tell us about the style and sound of the other 4 before you came to work with PRC Music. I know you had some lineup changes..

Yes, “Manifest Of Refusal” is our 5th album, we tried to combine all the best we had on previous releases – massive and brutal sound with atmospheric insertions, polyrhythmical groove,, blastbeats. Through the years our music made evolution from almost classic thrash with some keyboards to such a complex sound we have now. With each CD, we tried to make something different and go further in our musical research, but anyway each time it is a portion of good “strong” metal – that what we call Stalwart. Yes, Stalwart exists more that 12 years and we had some lineup changes during that time, so now there are 2 original members in the band. On Manifest Of Refusal we have new drummer Alex.

2.How did you come to work PRC Music they seem to really promoting you release in North America congrads on that.

After finished recording of “Manifest..” we started searching for a label, and we got various offers from Europe and  America. Finally we choose contract with PRC Music, one of factors was they made us their priority release for 2012. Nowadays it is too early to conclude, because album is not yet released, but we feel good support from them so far. 

  1. 3. Your music is a mix of Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad and Thrash metal from the 90's all mix in with some symphonic elements. Its very complex and powerful in nature , Is it hard to get this sound to come across live?

Yes, you right, it is not easy job to perform our music live, especially taking in mind that we have to play in various venues, there equipment is not always makes us happy.  Anyway, while playing live we make accent on drive and energy and try to metal up the metalheads asses. 

4. Will Stalwart be coming to North America to perform at all now that your on a Canadian label?

Of cause we want it very much, but you know nowadays reality, so for underground bands like us it is not so easy to go and perform overseas. Anyway it fully depends on how “Manifest Of Refusal” will be accepted by metalheads in Canada or US. 

5. Will we see a dvd or some videos off Manifest of Refusal??

So far we don't have any official videos, but we are going to make one soon after release.

6. Is there a story behind the songs of Manifest of Refusal or just a collection of Massively epic metal songs?

Manifest Of Refusal is not a conceptual album, so songs lyrics is not directly connected to each other. However all lyrics, so as songs itself are projection of mental images   

7. What is the Underground metal scene in Russia can you make a living doing this kind of music there or is it much like USA were music is more a part time love?

Of cause we can not. We suppose, the situation here is even much worse than in US. In Russia there are just very few metal bands, playing new/alternative metal in Russian language, who can make a living doing this. All the rest are in deep underground. So, all of us have a regular job besides music. For example, in our band we have radio news-maker, software engineer, and even PhD in physics\mathematics.

8. Your website is impressive most bands live on social media these days do you feel its better to have your own site then live on facebook or Reverbnation in 2012?

Yes, we currently renovating our website, and not everything is in place yet, but you can image how it will look. We think it is good to have official site in addition to resources like Myspace, Facebook, and other social media.

9. Were do the members of Stalwart see Underground music heading is it a rebirth as the major labels fall and truly independent music shines or do think music is losing its way as they only way to success and live off music is merch and touring you can no longer live on Cds or music sales?

It is difficult question. Everyone knows that now making metal music became really hard.  We cannot say how music business will function in the future – it is just beyond our competence. From the other hand, positive thing is that making music became a business for real enthusiasts who doing it not for money but because they really loves what they do.

10. Do the members of Stalwart make music outside of metal or is metal the only musical focus ?

Actually we haven't enough time to play music besides Stalwart (taking in mind we have regular jobs)  May be it would be interesting experiment to play something like jazz-rock or fusion, but all of us are mainly metal musicians.  

11. Not knowing much of Russian music scene are there a few bands from your area that you would like to give some heads up to my readers?

When you see some metalhead in the street of St Petersburg he is most probably plays guitar or drums in some local metal band. There are many underground bands in Russia, but guys who play really crazy are rare thing. In our local scene we should mention the Psilocybe Larvae, playing  atmospheric death-doom (they next CD will be released by Italian Label Nadir Music so you probably will hear about these guys soon), Undeon who plays progressive metal, Misanthrope Count Merciful with they crazy groove/thrash metal. Now we are on tour with Ukrainian guys Sidus Mortuorum, they play old school death in the veins of Obituary and their live shows make crazy all the metalheads around including ourselves!      

12. The Artwork for your albums is very conceptual always do the covers play into the overall meaning of the Albums themselves?

Artist who make the cover design of cause listens the music, reads the lyrics and creates the projection of the mental images inspired by the music. For example, the “Manifest of Refusal” artwork contains illustration for each song lyrics.  We think that artwork is very important since it is visual extension of our music, so we work on that with the best guys around. 

13. What are the members of Stalwart listening (this tell a lot about the band where they are and where the music heading)?

This question seems to be quite simple, but in reality it's not true. Each band member has different music priorities, and sometimes we can waste hours arguing about some bands or albums.  Among our main influences we can mention the following names by that you can imaging who we are – Testament, Pantera, Sepultura, Slayer, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Dimmu Borgir, Morbid Angel. Yes, not so original list, but we do not copy those band, just create our music inspiring by their drive and sound.

14. Do you like recording in studio or is live performing where you wish to me most times?

This is two very different kinds of activities,but we like both of them. When in studio you feel like you're building a house, step by step, layer by layer. When you're on the stage you come on stage and destroy metalhead's asses.  

15. Any closing thoughts place here...

Thank you
Clint/ Absolute Zero Media
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