Within the Industrial genre, it has become a bit quiet lately, we had revivals from all sorts of metal, new genres were popping up and boundaries between genres were often crossed creating new, and I must say exiting, styles of metal music. Now I ask myself, did I sleep or was there not much happening on the industrial front for the last few years? I did listen to some industrial stuff and one of the highlights became Conflict for me with their Take Cover! album. The band showed it was capable to re-create songs from existing ones like Type O Negative and Depeche Mode and giving them an industrial twist without losing the heart of the song and where Anna also expanded her vocal range from roaring, screaming to beautiful singing. After hearing Take Cover! I knew Conflict could be a band at the front of a new industrial wave with Anna as the frontwoman.
How has the overall response been so far from music critics and fans on the album? And on the Blade Runner and the Red Line song which are released separately?
The responses are good so far. We are still receiving lots of warm and thankful responses from people all over the world: from Russia, France, England, Brazil, Australia, USA, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and South Africa at a minimum. There’s no need to explain how we treasure and appreciate the interest, the attention, the support of our fans. Of course, there are negative responses, but they can’t stop us from what we do. As for the songs “Red line” and the “Blade runner blues” – we like experimenting with music styles, somebody likes it, somebody says that this is totally different from what expected. I appreciate it when people do not blame a band for experiments or trying different styles besides the main chosen one. Paying respect is important to me. By the way, recently I recorded vocals for a retro wave version of “Red Line”, and I enjoy how the vocal melodies sound, it will be released very soon.
Were there any memorable moments during the recording of the album or the writing process?
I must admit the fact that the recording was the easiest part of all the preparation and the work is done. I enjoyed the process of recording, I feel very comfortable during the process. Somebody might think that the process is a serious thing, but not for me in particular. We always have fun in the studio, joking and laughing. This is a stress relief practice, ‘cause when you’re under the pressure it grabs you in a position of crazy responsibility and you can’t relax letting the voice work properly. There should be tons of record fails somewhere stored. Maybe someday you’ll hear them as a bonus to an album J
How do you feel the new album compares to previous material?
“Transform into a human’ completely differs from Conflict’s previous material. I don’t think it’s the right position to compare both albums. “Transform into a human album” is a milestone for all of us. It has great artwork and the sound – all in harmony with its intent. The opportunity to create something that will leave its own life in the people minds. The band had some shuffling in the line-up that caused changes to the character of music, lyrics, atmosphere. I find it very critical at the same time amazing for the whole process of creating music.
Which song on the album is your favorite when playing live?
My favorites are “Elements of a new era”, “Invisible thread”, “Infinite travel”… I remember the moment when I heard “Elements of a new Era” mixed and mastered and later on found out that I hooked to it for the whole day.
How did the name of the band come about?
There’s no particular story behind the scenes. It sounds good as in English and in Russian as well. The name itself has a wide meaning and gives many opportunities for interpretation. Conflict pierces through our lives.
What’s been going on for the band during the time between releases?
Three years passed from the “Transform into a human” release, though this time is marked with the other releases. Recently we pushed out “Take cover” summarizing all the cover-songs in one virtual CD. I had a great chance to experiment with my vocal skills in different genres. We‘ve been in the line of review and reevaluation of the music approach as well. Now we’re working on the third album. Hope to see it this autumn if everything goes as planned. We’re thinking of some collaborations with other singers and musicians. I feel very excited about this.
You started in 2010 with the band, are you happy with the way things are going for the band or is there something that could be better?
The things go nice so far, of course, I would love to have my music life and career to be more dynamic: unfortunately, I can’t spend all the time dedicating it to music for certain reasons. I’d like to make the creative process faster, like all musicians I believe. I’m a very impatient person and want everything right now, ha-ha. Conflict plays live gigs, we are fully functional in this aspect, rather than a studio project. We try to visit Russian cities, ‘cause the Moscow public is very fastidious and picky people who mostly prefer famous artists to domestic bands. Unfortunately, due to the deteriorating economic situation, it is difficult for us to afford international tours, although we receive invitations, for example to South America. Hope, the situation will somehow change and we’ll be able to play gigs in different countries of the world. Development and approach in many cases in Russia go with some delay in comparison with the majority of countries in the world. It is hard for us to find a vast audience here among bands who play death, heavy or folk metal. Sometimes it seems we have more fans abroad than in our home country, and their warm support grows every day. Lack of support at home is a bit disappointing, but we continue to do our job and keep up a good pace. Fans attention and support give us inspiration and strength to go further! I endlessly appreciate the responses and the attention to our music.
Over the years in different bands, you’ve put your name as a singer on a record. Is there any record or song that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m definitely proud of the whole “Transform into a human”. It gave me so much freedom, I created all the lyrics and vocals melodies by myself. Such extreme responsibility. This was the moment where I used clean vocals on the same level as the widest range of extreme vocals. The album is the point showing what I achieved as a singer in mastering my voice. I’m so endlessly grateful to the guys for such wonderful music. If to choose a particular song, it would be “Elements of a new era”, definitely.
When did you start singing and why did you want to sing?
Somewhere about 14 years old I played a guitar singing some popular songs of that time just for fun and I was not thinking of singing as of something serious. Later somewhere about 2002-2003, I took some steps towards voice discovery. Once I was invited to a rehearsal with my friend, at that time her buddies were looking for a vocalist. We had fun between rehearsals and I growled so loud in a mic, so everyone was extremely surprised. I think it was the point of no return, ha-ha. I became a vocalist for their band for a while and later formed my own metal band Stentorian Voice. So, I found an instrument, my voice, allowing to express emotions in so drastically amazing way, so I decided to move further and to see where it will take me.
How did you discover your own style of singing and do you have advice for other singers looking to develop their own sound?
I’m still developing and strengthening my voice and believe that I haven’t revealed even half of its potential. I may assume that my voice does and will sound a bit different with every song or an album. Not the tone, but technique. My advice will be to keep faith in yourself. The art of singing takes time, sometimes lots of efforts and start-overs, a million tries. You need to look for information and practice with a good teacher. I’m a self-taught singer and it led me to the longer path than everybody goes now. There are millions of resources helping with nuances of voice techniques even home music production. Keep your eyes open and don’t give up.
Do you have any practices to keep your voice in good condition?
I won’t say anything new. I pay much attention to stamina and have my own little gym in the apartment. If a body is trained and in a good condition you will definitely feel and sing better. I do lots of exercises for breath control including warm-ups. I’m always trying to develop my vocal technique for healthier singing. And, of course, I try to find time for a good sleep.
Who influenced you the most at the beginning of your career and who are your current favorites? Is there another type of music you would like to sing?
Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) was the most. Her charisma and strength I believe touched many hearts. I was a total death metal headbanger and pretty straight with death music styles. Since then I listen to lots of different styles from classical music to synthwave to grindcore. Sometimes I receive a certain inspiration and it energizes me to sing in this/that kinda style. That’s why I love to make cover songs. My current faves are Floor Jansen, Butcher Babies, and Maria Brink.
What is the highlight of your career so far? And the funniest moment?
We recorded the great album, lots of cover-songs, filmed the great music video for the song “Mechanism of Life”, which received a good number of international awards. Our fans are extremely craving for the next album. Recently Dino Cazares positively commented on our latest release, I felt very excited about his response! At this moment, we are the only well-known industrial metal band with a frontwoman in the line-up. As a band, we continue developing our sound and have numerous ideas for future releases. It fills me with energy and inspiration to move on. I’m satisfied with the work done and very glad to have the opportunity to invest my own vision and voice to metal music.
Thank you very much for this interview! Wish you and the blog all the best!
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