CIRCLE STORY (for Rock Hard #47)

2018 08 21 023100Interview was prepared by KREMATOR (Rock Hard #47)

This is my first touch with CIRCLE STORY band, can you shortly describe the history of band from its beginnings until today, something about the band members, etc?
Igor Arbuzov: Me and Anton were a guitar duo in a band called REVERSE ANGEL. It was in mid 00s in Omsk, Western Siberia. I was the founder of the band and was looking for a great lead guitarist. Anton joined and became not only a good collaborator, but also a big friend of mine. So it was the first time we worked together. Our band soon broke up and we both later moved to Saint Petersburg to continue our musical journey. Anton played in a quite famous Russian alternative band called СЛЁЗЫ for 5 or 6 years I guess. I joined another band so we were quite busy all the time. At some point those projects came to an end too, so we decided to reunite and work together again. Obviously we needed a bass player and Dmitry Pronin came in. He previously played with legendary KRUIZ guitarist Valery Gaina and also in a hard rock band REDS’COOL.
Dmitry Pronin: I joined the Circle Story in 2014, or in 2015 … No, exactly in 2014 I received an email written in such a way that only after reading it, I was ready to agree to everything! (laughs) Yes, Igor is able to build good relationships! In general, the guys were invited to participate in recording of the album. I listened to the demo, and I was very encouraged! These demos stuck in my playlist for a while so I naturally agreed to participate and later became a part of the CS.

What was your main motivation to establish a band?
Igor Arbuzov: Creating music of our own without being told what to do and without following any fashion trends has always been our motivation. Actually the band itself motivated me to start singing and writing lyrics, because previously I would just play guitar and compile some riffs together. I guess this fact brought even more sincerity to the whole project.

What music styles and band contributed to that?
Igor Arbuzov: Lately I found myself being very open-minded listener. I can listen to brutal death metal one day and next day I’ll be sitting in my room cranking up some jazz-rock. So I guess everything that I listened to could contribute. While writing songs for the upcoming album we were much into Alter Bridge, Alice In Chains, Gojira as well as into Young Guns, Carpark North and others. But I won’t say that we copied or tried to imitate any of them.
Dmitry Pronin: Yeah, we have a lot of music in common. They are not limited to certain bands or genres. You never know what will affect you, what will hook.


Your trio comes from the Russia, specifically from Petersburg. What is rock and metal scene there in present and how the fans are perceive it?
Dmitry Pronin: In Russia rock and metal scene is not as developed as in the whole world. I do not want to say that in Russia such music can not be done. No, there are lots of really talented, good bands here. The problem is in the Russian public's perception of this music. Unfortunately, many people do not understand and accept this music. And even if your band is successful, you have many admirers, then you are still in the underground. Your song will unlikely be spinned on the radio, and your mother won’t ever see you on TV. But, this is a story about you, if you are an artist from Russia. If you’re a foreign artist - you’re a star! At the exit from the plane you will be greeted with bread and salt, and your drunk bear with a balalaika leads you to your hotel room! Welcome to Russia!


Right now, I have in front of me a two track album (single) „Mind Your Words“. Can you tell me something about this album?
Dmitry Pronin: This is not an album, it's a single. So to speak - peeking into the keyhole before seing a real monster!
Igor Arbuzov: Those two tracks were released almost a year ago whilie we were deem into the mixing process and they were the first to be recorded and mixed. We threw them into the web because we just wanted to give a hint to the listeners on what our album will sound like. Both two songs as well as nine others will be featured on our new album. Nothing will be changed completely. Just a little more polish.

Where you record it, how long you were recording it, and who is behind the technical part of this album (mix, mastering, etc)?
Igor Arbuzov: We started with recording drums at The Form Studio in Italy. The rest of the album was recorded at our home recording studios. Artem Kornilovsky of NRQ’s Studio (Kharkiv, Ukraine) was responsible for mixing and mastering. But the last song on the album was mixed by our guitar player Anton himself. It worked extremely well too.


How are individual band members participating on composing of the tracks? Who is in charge of the musical part of the tracks and who the lyrics?
Igor Arbuzov: As for the writing, I guess 70% of music is me. Two tracks were written by Anton and we collaborated on a couple. Also I wrote all the lyrics and vocal melodies. However, Anton’s participation is huge in arrangement and production. Without him it wouldn’t sound as good as it does. So the album is a 100% collective effort.

A special guest helped you with the album – the drummer Antonio Aronne. How did he actually participate on individual songs and how did you get to work together?
Igor Arbuzov: I got acquainted with Antonio in 2012 while on tour with GRENOUER. We were opening for italians FIGURE OF SIX and I really enjoyed watching his playing every night. After a while I found out that he’s also a studio engineer and can record drums at his own studio as good as he could play them. So I texted him on Facebook asking if he could participate in my new project. He agreed and nailed it on every track! You’ll see….

What takes the most of the time on composing, arranging and recording?
Igor Arbuzov: Arranging took most of it. And writing lyrics too. Don’t forget that we’re not native English speakers.
Dmitry Pronin: It's hard to say... it seems to me that the three of us just need to be locked in the studio without a permission to go out. I am sure, we will be able to work much more productively.

There are mostly very personal tracks on the album and describing certain moments and events from life: betrayal, depression and vice versa some positive, motivating moments. According to you, what is the greatest evil, that human is capable of?
Igor Arbuzov: I don’t want to complain. My life is better than life of millions of people in the world. But I have experienced many. I’ve been into deep depression and our song Daily Nightmare is just about what I felt at the time. Most characters of the songs are real… The lyrics may seem allegorical at times. But behind all of that there are real people and real events of my life. Going back to your question… I have no illusions about that. The human race is a bottomless source of evil. Homo sapiens gave life to Hitler and Stalin, thousands of maniacs and serial killers. Evil is an integral part of us. Some of us can fight and suppress it. Some don’t. Here’s the internal strength… To be able to fight your own demons.

Do you have some personal quote or philosophy of life? Was your life, respectively musical activity influenced by some current or historical personality or world event?
Dmitry Pronin: Keep on groovin’ - that’s my slogan!
Igor Arbuzov: There is a song on the album called “I Believe”. It is dedicated to the greatest tragedy that happened between two nations, two countries, Russia and Ukraine. I couldn’t ever imagine in my worst nightmare that someday we’ll start a war against our slavic brothers. This song is a scream of desperation in the darkness…. with a ray of hope though. So yes, we do reflect on real life and what happens around us.

Many of young fans start with a bands, which their parents were listening and to new ones, they get only with some distance. What is your opinion on this?
Igor Arbuzov: That’s really about me. I listen to a lot of music from 70s & 80s that my dad used to listen and still enjoys too. I think is totally okay. There are a lot of gems hidden in the music of the past. You can see how music has evolved, where it all started. But you should never stuck in the past. We should observe and be aware of what happens right now too.
Dmitry Pronin: I received my musical education first of all from my father too. It was he who showed the only correct vector of my musical development. Later I learned some new names, new styles, both close to rock, and diametrically opposite ... If I did not understand any music, I tried to listen to it more often, until I get to its essence. And personally for me, it is very important to understand how it works, how this or that music is arranged. I think this is one of the most important keys in the development of the musician. Music is very interesting.2018 08 21 023442


How did you get to work with the Ukrainian Metal Scrap Records and what are your experiences with Metal Scrap Records? Do you have an agreement with them for more recordings, respectively agreement for next cooperation?
Igor Arbuzov: We’re signed to their sub-label called Another Side Records to be exact. The company just liked our music and decided to promote it. We liked their deal. So it’s as simple as that. No, we don’t have any further agreements yet. We’re just looking how they do their job, they’re looking at us. But the fact that we’re doing this interview means that the labels is doing something right (laughs).

And what about your concert activity? Do you prefer live concerts or you are more studio band?
Igor Arbuzov: Nothing is on the map yet. We still don’t have a permanent drummer and our bass player lives in Moscow, so there can be some issues. But I really hope we can go on tour someday and establish ourselves as a live band. But we’ve got to look how people will react on the studio album first.

Do you have prepared some tracks for a new album, respectively can you disclose some information about new album? When we can expect it, how many tracks will be on it, etc?
Igor Arbuzov: Our debut CD comes out late this summer, so I think it’s too early to speak about the next one. We’ve never stopped writing though. There are several songs that are already demoed and written. So there’s no shortage in music material. I hope the next album won’t take us too long to record and release. The first one was a long overdue.

Russia is currently in football mood and not only for the high-quality results of the Russian representation. Can you describe us current situation in Petersburg and in whole Russia, where the World football championship take place? And you personally, how you stand to this sport?
Dmitry Pronin: In childhood, like any kid, I loved playing football, and now would be happy to go out on the pitch. But I never watched football on TV in my life, did not read football newspapers, and was not interested in football statistics, before this championship. Now I watch almost every match, I’m very involved. It's not because this topic is now so popular because of the championship, it just coincided. As for the good results of the Russian team ... Let's be realistic and will wait for more serious rivals in the playoffs.

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