• United Mind Club est un groupe originaire de la ville de Tver en Russie qui mélange du rock industriel, du thrash métal et de la musique électronique avec une saveur progressive. Le groupe a sorti son premier album studio «World Blood History» en 2012. Même si l’album ne dure que trente-cinq minutes, le quatuor y utilise plus d’idées courageuses que certains groupes pendant toute une carrière. Après avoir signé avec une maison de disques anglaise au début de leur carrière, le groupe a changé pour un label originaire de l’Ukraine qui a réussi à publier cet album en forme physique en accompagnant une publication du magazine allemand «Legacy» en automne dernier.

                Le Griffonnier a contacté deux membres du groupe pour parler avec eux de l’«esprit métal», du long chemin périlleux avant d’atteindre des sommets de la créativité pour les artistes contemporains tout en abordant aussi des sujets qui touchent la société russe contemporaine comme les incidents contournant le groupe de punk féminin Pussy Riot, les vagues de contestation contre le président Vladimir Poutine et les Jeux olympiques d’hiver de 2014 à Sotchi.

    Griffonier: Bonjour à vous deux. Introduisez-vous. Comment va la vie à Tver en Russie?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Bonjour! Mon vrai nom est Dmitry, mais mes amis m’appellent «Train» ou «Freeman». Je suis le chanteur et guitariste du groupe. Tver est une petite ville en proximité de Moscou. Les gens n’y travaillent pas beaucoup ici et il n’y a que peu de guitaristes. Il y a beaucoup de neige sale. J’ai hâte au printemps!

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Mon nom est Roman, mais dans le groupe, je m’appelle «Del Torro». Je suis le batteur et je fais également quelques chants. Il fait assez frais à Tver, mais les gens sont toujours positifs.

    Griffonnier: Quelle est l’histoire derrière votre groupe?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Notre groupe produit un mélange de différents sous-genres du métal. Notre histoire a commencé en 2008 avec l’enregistrement d’un maxi.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Faire partie de ce groupe était pour moi un nouveau départ. Cet engagement a établi de nouvelles tendances au niveau de la musique et au niveau de ma vie aussi.

    Griffonnier: Que signifie votre nom de groupe et quelles sont vos aspirations artistiques?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Pour moi, notre nom de groupe signifie une sorte d’émotion mentale. Nous faisons ce que nous voulons sans stéréotypes et sans limites.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Nous jouons du «métal mental», c’est tout!

    Griffonnier: Que faites-vous dans vos vies de tous les jours?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Tous les membres du groupe ont des emplois en dehors de leurs carrières artistiques. Pourtant, nous avons une agence de réservation en Russie qui nous aide à organiser nos concerts. Ma famille me soutient beaucoup aussi.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Pour moi, être musicien est déjà un emploi à temps plein. Ma musique est mon expression personnelle et elle est très importante pour moi.

    Griffonnier: Votre logo m’intrigue beaucoup car il diffère de ceux de bien d’autres groupes. Est-ce qu’il y a un concept derrière cela?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Oui, j’ai même un slogan pour le logo: Fonce dans ta vie et décides ce que tu veux en faire!

    Griffonnier: Quelle est l’histoire derrière votre belle pochette d’album détaillée?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: La pochette a été faite par le studio MoonRising. Je voulais que chaque chanson y soit représentée de façon visuelle.

    Griffonnier: Après la publication de votre maxi, cela vous a pris quatre ans avant de sortir un album. Le personnel du groupe a également beaucoup changé, même encore après la publication de votre album. Comment expliqueriez-vous ces facteurs?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: À l’époque, c’était notre premier pas dans l’industrie musicale et nous avons sorti notre maxi sur une maison de disques anglaise. Je ne voulais pas mettre ces trois chansons sur le nouvel album car elles se sont très différentes du style que nous jouons aujourd’hui. Au début, nous avons joué du métal moderne, aujourd’hui, nous nous servons d’un son beaucoup plus industriel en utilisant beaucoup d’échantillons de son. Je ne pense pas que le temps a été tellement long entre nos deux publications. J’essayais juste de trouver mon chemin et la route a été longue.

    Griffonnier: Vos chansons sont très complexes. Comment les écrivez-vous? D’où viennent vos inspirations? Est-ce que vous êtes capables de les reproduire en spectacle?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Pour moi, des chansons sont comme des bloques de Lego. Nos chansons traitent de la vie sociale en Russie et de la folie qui plane dans le monde. L’écris la plupart des chansons dans ma tête. J’arrive avec une idée en studio et ensuite les autres gars ajoutent leurs idées et ça devient de plus en plus complexe.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Je préfère les concerts. Notre musique sonne beaucoup plus nuancée. Nous avons joué un peu partout en Russie et en Europe. Il est temps de découvrir un nouveau continent!

    Griffonnier: Quels groupes sont les plus influents pour vous?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: Mes groupes préférés sont Metallica, Judas Priest, Queen, Rammstein et System Of A Down. Ces temps-ci, j’écoute même des musicaux français. J’écoute pratiquement tout de Frank Sinatra à Katy Perry. Mes artistes russes préférés sont Valery Kipelov, l’ancien chanteur du groupe de heavy metal russe Aria et le chansonnier Michail Krug.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Pour moi, ce sont Korn, Slipknot et System Of A Down également. En Russie, j’aime le groupe de speed et de thrash métal Korrozia Metalla et le groupe de ska Leningrad.

    Griffonnier: Est-ce que vous avez une petite scène musicale dans votre ville?

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Il faut mentionner le groupe de death metal progressif Funeral Speech. Ce sont un peu les frères astraux de Chuck Schuldiner, le chanteur et guitariste du groupe de death metal progressif américain Death. Ce sont aussi nos amis.

    Griffonnier: Votre pays traverse beaucoup de changements: les incidents avec Pussy Riot, les manifestations contre le régime politique et l’avènement des Jeux olympiques d’hiver. Est-ce que ces événements ont un impact sur vos vies et votre musique?

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Concernant Pussy Riot, c’est une question assez difficile qui a tracé les politiques de Poutine. Je pense qu’il ne s’agit que d’un projet politique et non musical. Je ne trouve pas que la musique et la politique font bon ménage. En ce qui concerne les jeux olympiques, j’ai vraiment hâte qu’ils arrivent!

    Griffonnier: En terminant, quels sont vos projets pour l’année 2013?

    Dmitry «Train Freeman» Zimin: C’est le vingtième anniversaire de notre maison de disques. Nous allons contribuer à une compilation spéciale avec une chanson.

    Roman «Del Torro» Nazimov: Nous avons du pain sur la planche. Nous allons bientôt écrire de nouvelles chansons qui seront du pur rock ‘n roll.

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  • 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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