• Interview with the Russian band United Mind Club - The essence of “Mind Metal”: “Just beat it, this is my life - you have to decide about yours!”

    UNITED MIND CLUB is a quite intriguing band from the small town of Tver in Russia that mixes Industrial, Progressive and Thrash Metal with modern electronic influences. After a first EP from 2008 that is ironically entitled “The Last Performance”, the band released its full length debut record “World Blood History” in 2012. The band’s label Metal Scrap Records managed to get a deal with the famous German “Legacy” magazine that offered this release as a special gift in a cardboard sleeve that came with the 06-2012 issue or the magazine number 81.

    This stunning album immediately became one of my favourite releases of the year 2012 and was without a doubt one of the best debut records I had listened to in quite a while. In order to get some more information about this band, I decided to contact two members by e-mail. I’ve chatted with Dmitry “Train Freeman” Zimin as well as with Roman “Del Torro” Nazimov in early February 2013. We talked about the definition of “Mind Metal”, about hard and long ways to creative heights for modern artists and even about Pussy Riot and the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sotschi.

    Here comes the full length version of this interview but before you get started, be sure to check out the following video at the band’s personal request to get a better idea of the kind of music they are playing:


    SEBASTIAN KLUTH: “Hello from Chicoutimi, Canada and thanks a lot for taking your precious time for this interview! How is life in Tver, Russia?”

    DMITRY ZIMIN / TRAIN FREEMAN: “Hi everyone! Russia is a big country. Tver is a small city about hundred miles away far from Moscow. People don’t work much around here, there are only guitarist around, haha! There is a lot of dirty snow these days! I can’t wait for the spring time to begin!”

    ROMAN NAZIMOV / DEL TORRO: “It's very cool around here and people in Yver are always positive. We are glad that we got some interest from fans coming as far as from Canada!”

    SEBASTIAN: “First of all, might you introduce yourselves? Who are you and what's the story behind UNITED MIND CLUB?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “My real name is Dmitry but my friends call me Train or Freeman. UNITED MIND CLUB is a mix of different metal genres and styles. Our story began in spring 2008 when we recorded our first EP “The Last Performance”.”

    DEL TORRO: “My name is Roman, but my artist name in the band is “Del Torro”. Being a part of UNITED MIND CLUB means to live a completely new way of life for me and to set new trends in music and in life as well.”

    SEBASTIAN: “What inspired you to call your band UNITED MIND CLUB? I think that's a quite intriguing name as it evokes many ideas but what is your initial meaning behind it?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “For me, the band name is just some sort of a mental emotion. In this band we can do whatever we want, without stereotypes, without borders.”

    DEL TORRO: “We just play “Mind Metal” and that is it.”

    SEBASTIAN: “That sounds interesting. What are you guys doing in your everyday life apart of being musicians? Do you get much support from your jobs and families or is it rather hard to conciliate those two worlds?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Right now, all of us band members have other jobs apart of being musicians. We also have a booking agency in Russia that helps us to spread our name. In real life, my family supports me as well.”

    DEL TORRO: For me, being a musician is already a full time job. My music is my personal expression and is very important to me.”

    SEBASTIAN: “I somewhat like your band logo because it's different from the usual stuff. Is there any main idea or intention behind it?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Concerning the concept behind our logo, I even have a slogan for it: Just beat it, this is my life - you have to decide about yours!”

    SEBASTIAN: “Not much is known about your first EP "The Last Performance" that came out in 2008. Tell us about the three songs on this release. Why did you call your first release "The Last Performance"? How comes it took almost four years for you to come along with a full length release? Why didn't you include these songs on your full length album?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “For me, it was the first step into music industry. We released our EP on BRM Records from United Kingdom. I didn’t want to include these songs on our full length debut album because they are very different in style. I don’t think it has been a long time between our two releases. I was just seeking my way and it has been a long road.”

    SEBASTIAN: “I have discovered your band because your first full length release "World Blood History" was included in some edition of the German "Legacy" magazine which is probably my favourite metal magazine. How comes that you got the opportunity to release your record via this magazine in German speaking countries?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Our label Metal Scrap did this for us.”

    DEL TORRO: “When we received the proposal, it was the kind of offer we couldn’t refuse.”

    SEBASTIAN: “Is there any other possibility to purchase your record and your merchandise if one has missed the Legacy magazine?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Yeah! Why not? You can order it at the Metal Scrap Store but also on i-tunes and in other digital shops.”

    SEBASTIAN: “Your record is one of my top three records of the year 2012. I have been surprised by the wild potpourri of diversified ideas from all kind of genres such as Industrial, Progressive or Thrash Metal. Which bands, which genres and which influences actually inspire you the most?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Thank you! My favorite bands are METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST, QUEEN, RAMMSTEIN and SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Nowadays, I even listen to French musicals. Honestly, I can listen to almost everything from FRANK SINATRA to KATY PERRY.”

    DEL TORRO: “Muchas gracias, amigos! My favourite bands are KORN, SLIPKNOT and SYSTEM OF A DOWN as well.”

    SEBASTIAN: “My favourite song on the record is probably "Jaguar". Tell us a little bit more about this track? What are the lyrics about, how did you compose the riffs and how did you make the transitions between the different parts? What would be your favourite band song?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “For me, songs are like Lego blocks. Our lyrics are about our social life in Russia and some kind of shit from all around the world. It’s about men who try to find themselves. My favorite songs would be “B.B.B.P.”, “Dreams of Luther” and “Interview with the Beast” as well.”

    DEL TORRO: “Our song “Jaguar” was born spontaneously and quickly fired. Our song is now one of the soundtracks of Jaguar motorcycles, if you want to see it that way. We wrote the track rather quickly and easily.”

    SEBASTIAN: “Just by looking at the artwork or cover of your first full length record, I see many different associations and intriguing ideas. What's the story behind this cover and who has done it?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “The cover design had been done by MoonRing studio. I wanted that each one of our songs was represented visually with a very own image on the cover. The concept works like some sort of a history book of stories.”

    United Mind Club - World Blood of History (2012)

     

    A look at the cover and booklet artwork made by Moon Ring Design

    SEBASTIAN: “As your music is quite complex, I ask myself how your song writing process is actually working? Are you jamming all together or does every musician work on his own parts? Is there a creative force in the band or rather a collective effort? How do you put the different pieces of your musical puzzle together?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “I write songs in my head and then each party does its work. Some people are adding their ideas to the best songs I came up with. Sometimes, we are also just sitting on the couch and jamming all together.”

    DEL TORRO: “The point is this: TRAIN FREEMAN comes in and says that he has a new hit in mind and we immediately start to play.”

    SEBASTIAN: “I guess it's rather hard if not impossible for you to exactly reproduce your progressive tracks in concert. How do your live versions actually differ from the studio songs?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Well, I think you need to assist to some of our concerts. I really can’t explain this.”

    DEL TORRO: “I prefer the concerts because I have much more fun there than in the studio and there are also more nuances in our music.”

    SEBASTIAN: “Let's get a little bit more into detail concerning your concerts. In which countries did you already play? Where would you still like to play? Do you have any stunning tour anecdotes? What has been your best and what has been your worst concert experience?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “We played a lot in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. My best concert was at the Rock Line Festival. My worst concert was in Poland, in Kalych City. We have loads of anecdotes. If someone asks us how we are going to play tonight, I always answer that we would play as we did in Kalych but of course it’s a joke.”

    DEL TORRO: “We played everywhere in Russia and Europe. We really want to come to another continent. So just invite us and we will come!”

    SEBASTIAN: “Tell us a little bit more about Tver. Is there a big rock and metal scene or is the whole scene rather concentrated on Moscow? Please tell us also about your favourite Russian artists and bands!”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “In Tver we have great bands such as FUNERAL SPEECH, the astral brothers of Chuck Schuldiner of DEATH fame but there are also others. My favourite Russian artists are KIPELOV of ARIA fame and MICHAIL KRUG.”

    DEL TORRO: “My favourite Russian bands are KORROZIA METALLA and LENINGRAD. In Tver, my favourite band would of course be FUNERAL SPEECH. These guys are also our friends.”

    SEBASTIAN: “What are your plans for the year 2013? Do you play any concerts or do you have already a few ideas for a second record?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “This year marks the twentieth anniversary of our label Metal Scrap Records. We are going to make a song for a compilation that honours this event.”

    DEL TORRO: “We will soon write some new material. There’s more rock and roll to come!”

    SEBASTIAN: “Pussy Riot, the Olympic Winter Games in Sotschi and loads of demonstrations in the streets - there are a lot of things going on in Russia in times like these. Do some of these things have an impact on your personal life and what do you think about these trends?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “I think Pussy Riot is just a political project. The Olympic Winter Games are going to be cool, I’m waiting for it to come!”

    DEL TORRO: “As for this Pussy Riot group, it’s indeed a quite difficult question that traced Putin's policies. In general, music has nothing to do with all of this. I think that music and politics can’t be together. Apart of that, Sotschi is going to be a great event. I don’t really get your point about the demonstrations. What demonstrations do you mean?”

    SEBASTIAN: “Well, my question was about the rising number of demonstrations against the government these last years but you kind of answered in form of commenting this famous Pussy Riot incident. Now, the last words are always yours. Is there anything you would like to tell the international rock and metal community?”

    TRAIN FREEMAN: “Thanks a lot for your questions, stay metal and stay with UNITED MIND CLUB!”

    DEL TORRO: “UNITED MIND CLUB here, we are TRAIN FREEMAN and DEL TORRO. We love you and don’t be cruel!”

    United Mind Club 2012

     

    The band as of 2012

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