――Hi! thanks for doing this. Firstly, сould you tell us about the history of The Re-stoned?
Hello! The story of the band began in August 2008. In fact, it was a long journey for me to that point. I have played guitar since 1995 in various groups, tried many styles (from hard core to death metal, from dark folk to fusion) :)
In August I recorded a demo track of the composition "Return" and to my surprise all my friends liked it a lot. An idea arose to form a group. I think I could be a low starter if I hadn't an active support of my friends and my loved ones. And then I came to an idea of performing live, so I began to look for a bass-player and a drummer. My old acquaintances Vladimir Nikulin and Andrey Pankratov formed the rhythm section of the first line-up. At that point they were playing together in some other projects. We played our first concert and then we recorded the first EP(※1).
Since 2013 The Re-Stoned has a new rhythm section. Alexander Romanov (on bass-guitar) and Alexey Volnov (on drums). But the drums for the latest album (which is getting ready for the release now) were recorded by Vladimir Muchnov. Earlier he participated in the recording of the "Analog"(※2) album. My wife, Veronika Martynova, helps us with the vocals now and then.
――Could you describe The Re-stoned’s sound to our readers who haven't heard you yet?
The Re-Stoned is a power-trio (guitar, bass and drums) playing psychedelic stoner-rock. I’ve always felt free in such line-up. Sometimes the vocals appear, but mostly the band is an instrumental one. On different albums it sounds differently: harder or more atmospheric; there can be thought out compositions or jams.
――Where are you originally from? And where’s The Re-stoned located at these days?
We are from Russia, Moscow.
――How would you describe Doom/Stoner rock scene in Russia? If there are any bands you like, please give us a few name.
It’s a difficult question. It’s not easy to make music in our country; you should be a fan of what you’re doing to do this permanently almost without any reward. That’s why many groups don’t live long. Every year the situation becomes harder and harder.
There are some excellent bands, we played together with: Brand Band, The Grand Astoria, Without God, Reserve De Marche.
――Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians?
I think there were many influences, but I can mention the most strong and outstanding: Black Sabbath, Jimy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson.
Thanks! Chronologically "Re-session V.2"(※3) was recorded before "Plasma", but was released after it. We have played several gigs with Sendelica from Wales more than once and during their last tour in Russia I suggested to Pete and Glen to record a jam-session in a studio. No material has been prepared beforehand. We just came to the studio and began to play. It was a very interesting experience, because they have their own style, another culture, different from ours.
The music, which you hear on "Re-session V.2", is not quite the same jam, which has been recorded originally. I have edited the record a lot, recorded extra guitars and effects in my home studio. That’s why it’s not a pure jam already. We agreed with Pete on splitting the material in two parts and every group could release them under their names. Unfortunately, despite this agreement Pete tells everybody, that I behaved unfair and stole the whole material from him. But that’s not true!!! This situation is very unpleasant for me, especially the fact that he is spreading false rumors.
An interesting fact by the way: in January 2013 a gig of The Re-Stoned was performed together with the bass-player of Sendelica (and Surf Messengers) ? Glenda Pescado. I think, we will play with him more than once in the future.
――Let’s talk about your latest studio album "Plasma"(※4). Are you satisfied with responses so far?
"Plasma" means a lot for me. It was recorded in a very uneasy period. I played all guitar and bass parts, worked at the mix. In this album I expanded the style frames (up to acid-folk), two cover-versions with vocal appeared.
It’s funny, but the master-disc was ready to my birthday and I considered it a good sign. After all it’s my first album released on vinyl. "Plasma" was released as a CD-version by the Moscow label R.A.I.G., and on colored and black vinyl by the popular German label Nasoni Records.
――"Plasma" has two cover songs, Jefferson Airplane "Today" and Pink Floyd "Julia dream". Why did you choose these songs? And who was singing? IL
My wife Veronika Martynova was singing on these covers. Last year we recorded another one cover with vocals ? on the group The Hollies - which has been released on the vinyl tribute by Fruits De Mer label. And now we’ve taken a step further and prepare a new track of The Re-Stoned (it’s not a cover) with vocals ? but it’s a secret meanwhile!
――What gear did you use and where did you record it?
It so happened, that the drums for this album were recorded in different Moscow studios; the guitars, bass and vocals were recorded in my home studio. I’ve used my Gibson SG Custom 1972. This is my main guitar for recordings in studio and for the gigs. I also used a Telecaster (in one track), 12-strings guitar and a custom bass. The guitar amplifier was Hiwatt Hi Gain 100.
I can’t keep silent about my long-term fruitful cooperation with the Moscow company U-sound and his engineer Oleg Vorokha. U-Sound makes small batch boutique stomp boxes of guitar effects. I think, my friendship with Oleg has deeply influenced my taste of sound and its quality. We are working in two directions: I create the design for pedals and sometimes act as a consultant. I can proudly announce that all fuzzes, which Oleg made, were primarily made for me. There are even two pedals with the cover designs of my albums ("Return to the Reptiles" EP and "Plasma"). I’m also very fond of the Japanese effect pedals by Maxon. They sound very tuneful, that’s why it’s very easy to create new music with them.
――A non-serious question, do you love to be stoned?
You won’t believe me, but you are the first person, who asked me this question, ha-ha. Before the gig ? definitely no. It’s disturbing by playing and reacting, I hope nobody will be disenchanted in our music after these words.
After the gig… usually the music and the energetic exchange with the audience is enough to recover senses for a long while even without stimulants. The main doping in our life is music (it doesn’t mean that we haven’t tried to set up some psychedelic experiences, though). It’s crucial to understand, why you are doing this. I think, most people are not ready for psychedelic trips and it can bring to harsh results.
――How would you describe the live experience of The Re-stoned?
In one interview I’ve already mentioned, that it’s like a shaman ritual both for the musicians and the audience. It’s an instant dip in the condition; it’s difficult to feel the same fully just listening to the disc. Every single live concert is always alternative in some way, with different spirit, material. Again, if we play jam (and it has become a tradition throughout the last year that we have a jam in our set), it’s very difficult to repeat it one more time.
――Do you know any Japanese band?
I know, there are many wonderful musicians and bands in Japan. I’ve listened to Boris, Church of Misery, Zeni Geva.
――Do you have any plans for 2014?
There are many as usual. Nowadays we are finishing our new studio album. Everything is almost ready and the mixing process will begin soon. I hope it will be released before summer 2014. We’ve also plans to play at some festivals in Europe. We would gladly come to Japan, if there would be such a possibility!
An interesting alliance with my friends from Astrakhan kraut-psychedelic band Vespero came into existence. We have been making a project since last year, which is neither mine nor their group regarding the music. It’s some mixture of psychedelic, space, kraut-rock with lots of electronic layers and, of course, it’s instrumental. I hope that we will also finish and release this album this year.
――Finally, Please send a message to Japanese fans.
I’ve seen many DVD concerts from Japan and I think the Japanese fans are the most crazy and freaky! Stay as you are, I hope we will play for you one day. And listen to The Re-Stoned!
Thank you! It was a pleasure for me to answer your questions.