Video Premiere & Interview with REMARK

Remark

Moscow’s alternative rock quintet Remark released an EP titled ‘Keep Running‘ earlier this month. We have teamed up with the band to premiere a studio performance video of the song ‘Purple Haze’; watch it below. Remark‘s guitarist Denis Novikov tells us about the EP, the artwork, gear, and more.

Describe the musical vision propelling your new EP Keep Running.

We tried to make something new but understood that we must to be in our genre. To be honest we think that musical industry is in stagnation and it is provoked us to create our personal sound which includes the classic rock features and ideas. I will say, Keep Running sounds like I want. I hear the echoes of my musical tastes in it, and I think the rest of the band will agree with me.

What made this the right time to pursue that vision?

Previous self-titled album was mostly heavier. So, we decided to make more diversity in our new work, but it is not mean that we follow new music tendencies.

Tell me about what you’re communicating with the album cover.

Our friend and excellent designer Denis Rekun suggested us his view of the cover, which based on the contain of the first song and the name of the EP Keep Running. The main idea is moving on and searching yourself in music and life.

How do you think the music interacts or reflects on the themes you’re touching on in this EP?

Firstly, music was more important than texts for us and we focused on it. It mirrors our feelings better than words and it is the main idea of our creativity. Therefore, our texts based on our musical mood. Songs “Too Close” and “Shout” are known by all, so we decided to arrange the songs by our vision and sound, hope that our covers will find feedbacks of our listeners!

What was the creative process for Keep Running like?

To be honest, there was nothing out of the ordinary, we had a lot of material and it was just the right time we wanted to release our songs. We chose the worthy songs and released only that songs which reflect our feelings at the moment. We hope that we got it.

Remark - Keep Running

Speaking of the EP’s creative process, provide some insight into it. How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Keep Running for me, and for the other guys is the new level. This is expressed both in the musical component, and in the technical. We’ve done a lot of work on the overall sound, ranging from arranging, working through the parts, to directly searching for the sound. I also want to note that we used new ways of organizing our own work, which turned out to be quite effective.

Did the environment in any way influence the vibe the album transcends?

We try to exclude the impact of political or social problems on our lyrics and music, we are an apolitical band. But our personal moods sometimes effect on various events in our lives and experiences, it indirectly affecting on moods of our songs. So, we can say that we honest with our listeners.

How does Keep Running compare to your self-titled debut album, in your opinion?

Remark was our first studio work. First of all, we need to say a few words about the format of EP. Nowadays is quite difficult for a young artist to release a full album, because he’s limited in money and time, so he cannot afford to release new material often. Mini-album of a few songs you can release more often without losing quality of the work.

There are a couple of surprises on our new EP, but in general I would name it the logical continuation and growth of idea what we have on the first album. We worked again with our friend, coolest sound producer and sound engineer we’ve ever had Andrew Konoplev. Naturally, we took our mistakes into consideration, and the experience gained over this time, helped us to make a high-quality release. We tried to make the most honest sound with a minimum of production and only live instruments, I hope our fans and new listeners will appreciate it!

Tell me about the gear you used for creating Keep Running. How did you achieve all these tones?

Firstly, we wanted to achieve the most honest sound – the minimum production, only live instruments, microphones and other old-school stuff. Therefore, everything that you hear is the result of the sound searching, which includes the arrangement and setting the drums setup and ending with competent work with plugins. We had a great vintage Yamaha drums and best microphones. For the guitar sound big thanks goes to Fortress Amps, it is a small Moscow company that makes gorgeous sounding amplifiers, cabinets and pedals. But the most important element is our sound producer and sound engineer Andrew Konoplev, he helped us to sound exactly as we want, he organizes the recording process as comfortable and professional as possible.

Remark

Speaking of gear, what is your view on technology in music?

We are a disappointed that in our time even professionals record music using only computer, digital processing and plugins. Truly “live” remains only vocals (with reservations). Yes, this is an expensive process and we can talk about the financial component for a long time – that sometimes musicians have not an opportunity to pay for the record and generally that the music is difficult way to earn money. But in the pursuit of money we forget about the main thing – the honest dialogue between the musician and the fans.

How do you usually go about creating a new song? Is there something like “usual” when it comes to writing new music or, to paraphrase Hans Zimmer, do you have to break rules in order to move forward?

This is a different process every time. Sometimes Yanas or me bring an idea and together we develop it and make an arrangement, sometimes we jam and in the process, a new song is born. Often it is a painful process, when the idea seems to be there and it is good, but we cannot make the final version that would suit everyone. Many ideas are still only ideas I have on my computer and they wait to be the songs. Isn’t your original musical ideas a step forward? They are individual and unique, and the process of denouncing them in songs and arrangements – this is more technical point.

Which bands or artists influence your work?

It is very complicated issue. There are no one particular source of inspiration, moreover, we (members of the band) like different music, oddly enough. All in all, I think there are the grunge bands of the 90s and post grunge bands of the 2000s mixed up with our desires and strangeness, which poured to this EP.

With the EP out, what else do you have in the pipeline?

We prepared live videos for each of new songs from the EP and plan to release them soon. This is a great reason to watch us in action, of course you will see that we are good not only on recording but also live!

For more information about Remark visit their website, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and stream / download Keep Running EP from Bandcamp.

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