INTERVIEW: Katalepsy

KatalepsyWith the release “Autopsychosis” shaking up the BDM underground, Marc Chambers has a chat with Russian band KATALEPSY about Aliens, Gypsies, Bears and poems of Lenin (WTF?)

Firstly… Let me say hello and thank you for doing this interview for us and the fans out there. To start us off, for the people that might not of heard of you, please tell us who you are and where your from?

Hi! KATALEPSY was formed in 2004 in Moscow. All the first line-up musicians had played in local death metal bands i.e. they were not novices in this kind of music. I’d like to tell that the aliens abducted us and that we released a split with the gypsies and bears on the poems of Lenin but unfortunately all of this didn’t take place. There were first concerts in Moscow and nearby cities then in the other cities (you know Russia is a huge country) until we reached the border with China and Japan and fell off the edge of the Earth. Then with help of Swiss Mountains of Death festival, we went to Europe and nowadays we regularly perform concerts there. Ah, yes, the band plays brutal death metal and has released two full-length albums, split (without bears) and EP.


How did KATALEPSY start? And what influenced you to play BDM?

KATALEPSY was created by Sergey (guitar) who is an extraordinary and gifted person. 75% of the music was written by him. Although he is no longer on the stage with us he continues to write music at home. Why BDM? So, heavy is too gay, thrash is too beer, black metal is too funny, hardcore is too simple, grindcore … just too much! And in general BDM is fast, technical, gloomy, with attractive sick melodies, painful and destructive atmosphere. KATALEPSY doesn’t just play music at shows, the group also moves very active on the stage. Well, you know,  jumping, headbanging and the other movements. We try to do 1000% super performance at every show where we play. After the concerts we feel cosmic devastation. I don’t think we would feel the same if we played heavy metal in leather pants with rivets, *laughter*! Influences? I don’t know… Any music, any movies, books and life situations – everything affects.

Can you tell us about the time spent with Soulflesh Collector Records? Did they approach you or did you approach them? Your first full length album “Musick Brings Injuries” was released through them, what was it like recording the album and did things run smoothly?

It was not cooperation with Soulflesh Collector Records but kind of symbiosis: the band helped to develop the label and the label did everything to promote the band. Great Chief of SFC, Mirus, was our frontman during 4 years. It turned out that the activities of the band were good advertisement for the label, by-turn label’s acquaintances and business contacts work as protection for the band. But the time to move forward had come and we decided to make a deal with a major label, with a large firm. Mirus did not object, moreover he worked with promotional packages. So, we are on the Unique Leader Records now.

The first album record session was very interesting, effective and quick. Songs was composed and prepared within a few months and we immediately went to the studio. We started to record  the album on the best Russian metal studio Navaho Hut, but we did not have enough studio time and couple of the songs were recorded in a jazz studio. General mixing and mastering was performed in Navaho Hut and the album was ready.

Is the Russian BDM scene becoming more widely available? There are a ton of bands coming from that part of the world and also labels such as Coyote, Inherited Suffering and UngodlyRuins. Are you happy with the scene there and what other bands from Russia are you fans of? And what bands are youinfluenced by?

I think, that there is no brutal scene in Russia, it’s doesn’t exist.  What we have are single bands, labels and persons – not collaborations, and relations are very weak. Guys from different bands talking shit to each other, you can’t find brotherhood or mutual assistance. Everywhere are only hypocrisy, envy and meanness. Even death metal fans can’t unite. Nobody wants to listen to music, everyone only buy rare merch and first-press CDs. They think, when the pile of old CDs are bigger, then their penis became bigger too. *laughter* If you have a chance to visit a death metal gig in Russia, you’ll think that you mixed up the doors and have come to a zoo or a circus show – no one support bands, people are only looking for your merch and standing like pathos sculptures. In Russia, there are a little amount of good bands and musicians. My favourites are FETAL DECAY, CEPHALIC IMPURITY, SCRAMBLED DEFUNCTS, OSSUARY ANEX, PERVERSE DEPENDENCE, 7H TARGET, CREMATED LIVES.

You have had a few line-up changes since your first split release in 2004, specially the vocals. How hard has it been to find new vocalists for the band? 

Yes, unfortunately you are right, band line-up has changed quite often. Especially it took place at the beginning of our career. We have had 5 drummers, 5 vocalists … But it is a thing of the past. The present time line-up is stable and perhaps the strongest in the history of the band. We sought a vocalist for about nine months, but it was worth it! Listen to our new album “Autopsychosis” and you’ll see what I mean! Individually I’d like to note that in difficult times we were rescued by an outstanding vocalist Sergey Gordeev (EPICARDIECTOMY, FLESHBOMB) – one of the best brutal vocalists there is.

On your new album “Autopsychosis”, which is fuckin amazing, Igor Filimontsev (BIG END BOLT) does the vocals. How did this happen? Will this be your vocalist for all future releases? Will he still be working with BIG END BOLT?

We had seen a BIG END BOLT video clip and liked Igor’s vocals, image and behavior on the stage. Then we had a conversation with him and he was interested in our offer. Yes, Igor is full-fledged member of the band (not a session one) and you will be able to hear his voice on the band’s next recordings. In fact BIG END BOLT and KATALEPSY are such different bands, both in the song writing approach and in the behavior on stage. BIG END BOLT is 100% Igor’s brainchild where he makes all decisions, writes the music and lyrics. But the band can’t tour due to the other members employment. KATALEPSY is the collective work, playing shows in different cities and different countries, so, I think Igor is quite happy to work with the two bands.

The artwork for the album is awesome? Who designed and what was the reason for this choice?

Thank you, I also like it very much! It was drawn by Vladimir Smerdulak who is an excellent painter and decorator of different bands releases. First of all we wanted to have original and recognizable art. Sure we like covers by Par Olofsson, Jon Zig and Toshi Egava but there are a lot of bands who order their art every year and as a result we can see a lot of similar works, with similar scenes and elements. That is why after long discussions we determined on Vladimir. We like that he has an individual approach to each work and that he isn’t well known in the brutal death metal community. And now, with confidence, we can say that is was right choice. Vladimir is a very good man, it was easy and interesting to work with him and as result we’ve got superb cover art.

How did the song writing go on the album? Was it an easy process or were there many struggles? Were the lyrics an easy part of the process? And what messages do they hold?

That is difficult to explain because there is no universal formula. One part of the songs was written in a few days, the other was created in troubles during a half a year. Many songs were changed during rehearsals, others weren’t changed at all. So, everything is individually. Generally all songs were made in 2010 -2011 but unfortunately the album recording process and release was extended due to mystical queue of events.

Lyrics were casted over Lovecraft’s visions, Barker’s hallucinations, William Blake dreams, Giger’s drug ecstasy, Bosch’s imagination. We’re trying to break through the shadowy veil of our reality and we don’t know what things are waiting for us there in the darkness. This is liturgy for our world, requiem, shroud and sorrow.

KatalepsyThe album has been released on Unique Leader Record who have released some fantastic albums whilst they have been around. Are you fans of their earlier releases? What’s it like working with them and how different is it from the previous labels you have worked with? Did you approach them?

Yes, sure I have got almost all releases of this label and 75% of them very often listened and very well known. DECREPIT BIRTH, DISGORGE, PYAEMIA, DISAVOWED, DEEDS OF FLESH, GORGASM – can enumerate the names and admire these fundamental works infinitely. Of course, when Eric wrote us an offer with the deal we were overjoyed. I couldn’t even dream of this 5 years ago!

To have a deal with such a big label as Unique Leader is more difficult than for example with SFC. We could see Mirus on every rehearsal, could use the metro and meet him at any time and discuss everything. Eric lives on another continent and he has a lot of work and is always busy. He seems to work in the president administration – a lot of job with the label and with his own band DEEDS OF FLESH. You know, big business is a pain in the ass (good that is isn’t ours) *laughter* But finally I can say that to get the album released on such a distinguished label is a great credit to us and doesn’t matter that everything has not turned out like in Fairyland, we will do our best in order to be deserving members of ULR, side by side with our idols.

Will you be playing any overseas gigs in the future and will you please come to the UK so I can attend?

We are always ready to play everywhere and whenever! Just buy airplane tickets for us and we will make you headbang, showing horns in the air and jumping as high as possible! Believe me we know how to do that, for sure!

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything you want to say to the fans and the underground scene in general?

Thank you very much for the interview and for the interest in KATALEPSY! Listen to our newest album! We spent a lot of time and strength to make it original and interesting. Every song has its own way but together they are strong monolith. There was a lot of work with the sound and I hope for now after you listen to the album you can say: ”Yeah! That sounds like KATALEPSY!”

Visit the concerts, buy the band merchandise, listen to the music via different carriers, support the band any ways you like! Don’t forget to show horns up when we play in your town!

Thanks again guys!!!  Your new album truly is a work of fuckin art!!!

Written by Marc Chambers

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