War on Music Artist -ASTRAKHAN Interview is up

Interview by Robert Scott

1. So tell us about the Prog Post Metal force that is ASTRAKHAN? This seems to be your 1st proper full length album?

Yea, we waited a long time to release a full length because we wanted to make sure that it really sizzled.  We all really appreciate the “album as a whole” concept so we worked for a long time to make sure every song could not only stand on its own but also sat nicely within the album.

2. Here elements of Russian Circles, Isis ,Voivod, , Alice in Chains, System of a down, Anathema, Volbeat and Melvins  to name a few did any of these bands influence your style?

It’s always awesome to hear people’s associations to our music.  It’s actually been a great way to discover new music for me.  So after this interview perhaps a few of those bands will influence the new songs! Russian Circles and Isis are definitely heavy on my playlist though.

3. You're from Vancouver correct? That is a hotbed of thrash and experimental extreme  music styles. Has that influenced the band as well? How is the live scene there?

We are from Vancouver. The music community here has been absolutely unreal for many years and luckily some of our fellow riffers are getting the attention they deserve. Bands like Bison, Baptists, and Black Wizard were big inspirations for me when I was younger and just starting to play in bands in Vancouver.  There’s a huge amount of love for heavy, ballsy riffs in this town and it’s a beautiful thing.

4. I see you made a proper video for "Turgid Waters" how did that come about?

Quite proper. Rob (our guitar player and singer) is a man of many talents. He took a few stupid ideas that I came up with and turned them into a video that really captures the mood of the song.  The whole things was filmed and edited on a $50 budget.

5. Your label War on Music how did you come to  work with them . This is not a label I heard a lot from before?

War on Music is a smaller Canadian label but they really have their shit together. They do distro for us and a bunch of other Vancouver bands. They also have a wicked catalogue of rare and underground metal records that’s worth checking out.

6. If you only had 4 words how would you explain the bands sound?

Pairs well with drugs.

7. What music is impressing the band members of ASTRAKHAN?

I’ve been listening to Ancestors almost non stop for the last few weeks. I know Rob has been really into the new King Gizzard album. We are all pretty pumped on Inter Arma’s new record.  We are all new music gluttons so there’s a steady flow of fresh jams in our tour van.

8. What is the theme behind " Reward on purpose"?

To us the album is an observation of the way we all place so much importance, and use so much of our time and effort, on things that don’t really matter. Or maybe just focusing on the wrong aspects of the things we experience. I’d rather keep it vague though.

9.Does Social Media , Digital music channels like Bandcamp, Reverbnation etc help bands or are we just flooded with too many bedroom bands in 2016?

I think it’s amazing that so many people have the ability to create, record and share their music today. Sure, there’s more music so there will inevitably be more to sift through to find the gems but having that option means the freedom to not be told what to listen to by radio or TV. A well written song is a well written song no matter how it’s promoted.

10. If a Major label can to us and offered a major label deal but had final say on product release would you do it as weve seen bands like Mastadon, Shadows Fall and Lamb of God do it with very mix results ?

I’d like to think that our music gets a response because it’s genuine and organic. Having someone come and tell us to change it to fit a certain format doesn’t sound very appealing.

11. How does the live show differ from album and is that done on purpose?

The music on the album is calculated and painstakingly recorded. Playing live is the release. That’s when the emotion of the songs can really be poured over the people listening to us. These songs really mean something to me and I want to make damn sure that if you come to an Astrakhan show you get your money’s worth.

12. Can you make a living in music in 2016 starting out ?

I think if you are smart and don’t mind sleeping on floors and eating nothing but apples and bread then yea you can swing it. I like beds and burgers though so I still keep my day job.

13.If you could rework any song and make it ASTRAKHAN styled what would it be and why?

We talk about doing lots of covers but never really end up playing them.  The process of writing something original is exponentially more rewarding than learning someone else’s song for me.

14. If the members of the band where not making music what other creative outlets do you have?

We are all avid Lite-Brite artists and we perform at synchronized drinking events. Adam also ties a mean balloon animal.

15. Do the members of ASTRAKHAN have other music projects they work on and would like to talk about?

A few of us have dabbled in other projects but Astrakhan is a full time job so the side projects seem to dwindle.

16. The vocals on " Reward on Purpose" go from Melodic Hardcore, To Bluesy to full on Sludge/ Doom metal? What it hard to be all over the board like that?

It’s definitely been a challenge to develop the style of vocals that we use because Rob and I have pretty dissimilar voices. We try to find a place in the middle where our tonality can sit nicely together while still pushing the intent or emotion of the song. It’s like a 2 man metal choir.

17. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here

Thanks for listening!