Russian rockers The GrandMa are back with a new release–a full-length album “Cure for Fear,” which as the band members agree is “another door to the unknown.” About what it took to bring the release to life and more, the band speaks in the interview below.
You have recently launched an album with The GrandMa entitled “Cure for Fear.” How do you feel about the release?
Alexander: We’re absolutely excited about the release. It took us quite a long time to get there. I mean this is what we do. Music, rock music is our life and our passion, and now we feel like we just opened another door to the unknown. Speaking of music and generally of arts… Russia is still… mmm… let’s say “not open enough” and when your rock band releases an album worldwide it’s like you broke some shell and found out there’s a whole world outside.
We are so inspired and up to more and more music, hell-bent to rock. So, it feels great.
Sergey: Yes, and moreover, this is our first album together, and we got a lot of pleasant moments. I hope that it will be positively appreciated. The album was released worldwide through the new music label Djooky records (USA), and we are very excited about this collaboration.
What was it like working on the album? How much of a challenge was it to work on it?
Alexander: It was actually a real challenge. First of all, we kinda chose extremely “not a good” time to do it. I mean, pandemic had a huge impact on musicians’ lives and the money issues were inevitable during the whole album making process. I literally had to sell pretty much all I got to have studio time and so on. Besides, in the place we live, in this country, to be a rock musician is kinda like to be a strange “out of common sense” weirdo. A sort of social outcast. If they ask you : “what do you do?” and you’ll say : ” I am a rock musician. I play rock”, then they’ll ask you with total confusion : “but why? What for?!”…. Yes, it’s still here. Not as much as it was in soviet times, but still here. I mean, there’s a huge and great metalheads/rock fans community in Russia, but the music itself still “has to be” somewhere from far away, from another world. And in this circumstances, sometimes, it is hard to carry your creative mood and inspiration through this. And it’s very important after all.
Luckily, inside the band, we have common preferences, and common “beliefs” about how to make our music. We all like analog sound, amps, and searching for new guitar sounds and so on… So generally we had an incredibly great time making “Cure for Fear”. It was so fun.
Kate: Yeah! It was such a beautiful challenge and I enjoyed the process very much, staying up for several nights and thinking about nothing but the lyrics for this project during a very long time. I can also say that guys worked so hard to release this album.
Sergey: While we were recoding the album, we did not think about the album concept itself. We just recorded song after song. And only after some time we saw the outlines of the whole album and its concept.
All that was going on around us had an impact our music.
Speaking of challenges, have you set any in the early phase of what has become the final result?
Sergey: Probably not. In my opinion, the main goal for the band was to record a high-quality material. I think we made it.
Mikhail: I believe, we just let the music come out from the inside. And the goal was not to interrupt this process!
Alexander: Well, this is our first record together and despite the fact we all are into rock music, we are still very different. Different as musicians, as listeners and so on… So, I guess, maybe the first challenge was like : “What is it gonna be like if we mix it up?”
Tell me about the topics you explore on these songs.
Alexander: These songs, in general are about freedom, I guess, about the will to be free and happy, challenges and struggles we all have as human beings. The questions that never get old. Luckily we have our indispensable lyricist Kate, maybe she can say more about this.
Kate: To be honest, you have already told everything that I would say. I can only add that it was a pleasure to speak through these songs and share some observations of mine about life, people and different experiences. Like Sasha said, these songs are about relevant topics that are as old as humanity itself. Sometimes, though, I was really surprised about the final lines that I came up with, because my main inspiration was a wonderful music that guys showed me. All I needed to do is just “to catch” the images that came to my mind and develop the stories while I was listening to the demos.
What is your opinion about the rock/metal scene in 2021?
Alexander : As for me, first what just came to my mind is “Mudvayne” reunion. It’s just… wow! I am super excited.
Sergey: I am impressed with the latest work of Dead Daisies with Glenn Hughes!!! It’s super cool!!! And they’re already on tour… I’d like to meet them one day.
Mikhail: I guess, rock music in general became more popular in the last few years. I think it’s the most emotional genre of modern music. After 2020 lockdown, after all those things, 2021 felt so special. Concerts, festivals, new releases, it’s like a silver lining we’ve been waiting for so long.
Let me know about your influences—the artists that in a way shaped your work.
Alexander : This is definitely gonna be a huge list. I mean if gonna talk about what shaped each one of us as musicians, it would be an endless list. For me it’s a wide range of styles and artists. Like, from Slipknot to Stravinsky and more… But if we are talking about what shaped this work, the album, I think it’s more like: you wandering around, living your life and you hear and see something. Sometimes it’s little things. And it becomes an idea, musical idea, which grows into a song or your Instrumental part. And it can come from anywhere.
Sergey: I have always been and still am a huge fan of 60-70s rock music. Therefore, in my list Doors, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes, Pink Floyd and many others from this era.
What are your top 5 records of all time?
Alexander: It’s definitely “Black album” by “Metallica”
Radzh: Yeah! “Black album” by “Metallica” and also
“Industrial Zen” by John McLaughlin,
“Full Circle” by Ravi Shankar
“Toto IV” by Toto
“10,000 Days” by Tool
Sergey: I would say, Deep Purple «In rock»… Forever.
If it is necessary to highlight the top five, then I will add more «L.A. Woman» by Doors, “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd, “Presence” by Led Zeppelin and “Sabbath bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
Mikhail: “Machine Head” and “Purpendicular” by Deep Purple, “Load” by Metallica, “Revolver” by Beatles, “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?
Alexander: Yeah, of course. Live shows mostly.
Sergey: Yes, spring – summer of 2022.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Sergey: Follow the news from The GrandMa. Something very impressive is coming soon
Kate: Let yourself dive into this amazing music flow, share our songs everywhere you can and sing along with the band on their live shows.
Keep your eye on The Grandma.