We recently reviewed Grenouer’s latest album Blood On The Face – you can read our review here. We caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Andrey in order to find out a bit more.
Could you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
With pleasure! We are Grenouer from Saint Petersburg, Russia. The band has been active since the early 90’s, at that time we played extreme metal and these days some critics tend to say that Grenouer’s music has nothing to do with metal. Well, I am the lead singer in the band and my vocal manner was evolving together with our creative pursuit. I find it enjoyable that Grenouer sounds like a solid rock band now and the new songs have a totally new feeling. Grenouer have travelled a long road, released several full length albums, toured extensively, supported famous bands like Testament, Textures, appeared on festivals and shot music videos. We keep moving, doing the best we can, and hope that listeners appreciate our efforts and artistic development.
So we’re about a month and a half into 2014. What’s in store this year when it comes to Grenouer?
Grenouer are still actively promoting the recent album, playing gigs and preparing for PPM Fest, the big festival event in Belgium in April 2014, where great bands are confirmed – Saxon, PAIN, Amorphis, My Dying Bride, Rage, Masterplan, Therion, In Extremo, Finntroll, Fates Warning and many more!
What went well about 2013?
We saw the album released worldwide, and we highly appreciate support from all the people involved into that, most notably Didier Scohier (Artcore Design), who provided not only the front cover but also a new website appearance.
And what perhaps didn’t go to plan?
Lineup changes took place, yet that is obviously only for the best! If a member loses group-feeling or fails to comprehend important issues, he just has to leave.
Last year you released your seventh album Blood on the Face. What was the writing and recording process like for it?
At first, Blood on the Face seemed a mere extension of our EP Computer Crime, yet its full-length sequel turned into a totally different piece of art. The schedule was tight and we did not know yet what exactly to expect from the new producer but there was anticipation that the band is on the right way. Magic, drive, electricty were in the air and that was really cool. We have to give credits and considerable respect to dysFUNCTION Productions team – Dualized and Eddy Cavazza. Besides mixing, they thoroughly toiled out sound design, additional keyboard and programming parts. And of course we can’t help but express gratitude to all the people at different studios where we recorded tracks. I dare say that the overall sound got its shape and colour as the recording precipitately progressed.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to complete?
Grenouer is focused on writing songs that might be accepted by a wider range of listeners. This is all about pulsing guitars, crafted drums and melodic vocal lines. And it makes any new song a challenge to complete, yet this is a very exciting challenge. Writing a song that sounds simple is a far more complicated task than composing sophisticated songs!
One of my favourite tracks was Fix Your Life/A Few Miles From Paradise – could you tell me a little more about that one?
This song also appears on the Computer Crime EP, yet it has a different arrangement, different tonality and even a bit different lyrics. Thus the track was given two titles. The song is about dreams that might never come true, no matter how hard you try. Musically and emotionally, it might remind you of John Wetton.
If you could go back and change anything, would you?
Initially the album was set for release through USA based label The Metal Den records individually run by Mr Randy ‘Rocket’ Cody, yet that gentleman showed malpractice and incompetence – in particular the album did not see light on the designated date – infringing agreements and even behaving arrogantly; we were just forced to terminate the contact and to exit that label. Cooperation with The Metal Den cost us a large sum of money, jaded nerves and wasted time…Fortunately these days we are signed to Mausoleum, a trustworthy and established record label, but it’s a big shame that we are not the only band cheated by Randy Cody, who just ruins the concept of good faith within underground community.
If you could collaborate with any band or musician, who would you choose?
Collaboration with any artists in various genres is great. Thus we have recently released a remix, the result of collaboration with EcoDelay, a DJ from Finland. Of course it would be more than interesting to work with big stars of music industry, famous musicians and producers – our band has thirst for that!
Similarly, if you could choose an artist to cover one of your songs, who would you choose?
Grenouer covered A-Ha and Stone Temple Pilots, it would be mind-blowing if any of those legends check us out and resolve to cover any of our songs.
And finally – if Grenouer could put their name to any product, what would it be?
Oh, what a great question! It could be a hot sauce (or anything hot), my suggestion could be to call it Re-active, that’s the name the song on Grenouer’s sixth album Lifelong Days.