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Re-Stoned interview

Re-Stoned are coming from Moscow. They formed back in 2008 and during the past few years they managed to release six albums. Their latest has been recently issued on Headspin Records from Holland. Totems as they named the newest one is quite different from their previous albums.
Ilya Lipkin, who is the main man behind the band played in various of bands. From hardcore stuff to dark folk, but in 2008 decided to invest more time into a project called Re-Stoned. Return to the Reptiles was their first recording and soon they managed to release Revealed Gravitation and Analog, which remains highly regarded among the fans of this genre. In 2012 two parts of Re-session came out (the second one after their next album Plasma, but it was recorded before that) and after Plasma they started working on their brand new above mentioned release Totems, which is kind of a different and unlike their previous offering, it includes only instrumental compositions ranging stylistically from the classic '70s heavy-acid-rock to psychedelic repetition.

What can you tell us about recording Totems?

This album of The Re-Stoned is probably the first one, on which I’ve done everything like it was intended to be from the beginning. It has been recorded for many years and I had time to think every detail over by easy stages. This album consists of different compositions, some of them are quite old (Fire Bear for example – it was planned to be on the Analog album, but we were late to prepare it for the recording). "Hypnosis" is an even older track, but we had no time to make it earlier. Every track has its own story. So I’ve composed "Barbarian Hymn" during our tour in Wales. More details had been added later and a good friend of ours, Nikolay Fedorov, recorded a didgeridoo for it. The track "Chakras" was based on the drum groove and the whole melodic part was composed during the jam.

How does the process look like and what kind of equipment are you using?

In the first place several drum tracks along with the cover version of The Hollies for Fruit De Mer label have been recorded and after a year – drums in other compositions and all the rest of it. We did the recording in two studios – Moscow Sound and in my home studio. 90% of the parts I’ve recorded playing my favorite guitar - Gibson SG Custom 72, I also used 12-strings guitar Seagull, Gibson The Paul and a mandola (it’s a baritone mandolin) in some tracks. With every new album the quantity and quality of the equipment is raising. I hope the sound will be even better on the next album. As long as I produce our albums by myself it’s very interesting for me to develop and to try new equipment and work methods. It takes tons of time, but I know exactly how our music should sound so I can micromanage the process.

You had some guest musicians including Kent Stump of Wo Fat (interview here). What can you say about that?

Oh yes, it was very interesting! I like WO FAT very much and it was a great pleasure for me that Kent took part in the recording of our new album. I simply asked him if he would like to record a guest solo for us and he agreed. I like the result a lot! I have a second version of this track ("Old Times") with my own solo. Probably we’ll release it as a bonus or on a compilation. By the way I’ve recorded a guest solo for WO FAT too, but unfortunately this track hasn’t appeared on a split yet. And I was asked not to reveal what it would be.

Russia is slowly opening as far as rock music goes and you have quite some bands there, however I guess it's still very hard as far as concert goes?

Now we have a situation that it’s difficult to say if Russia is opening or closing regarding rock music. General decrease in music industry has begun long before, very few people come to concerts. As far as I know the situation in Europe with the concerts in the clubs is quite the same. People attend either the concerts of well-known musicians or big festivals.

What are some other bands from your country you would like to mention?

We have lots of great musicians here. But not all of them have enough strength to make music continuously. There are bands that we have appeared and will appear on stage with: Vespero, Without God, Human Factor, Grand Astoria, Reserve de Marche, Brand Band.
Not long ago I’ve discovered a very interesting band from Tver’ (a town not far from Moscow) – Snakecharm. In my opinion it is Miles Davis jamming with Casua Sui.

Are you planning to go on a tour?

Oh, this is a sore point. I’m often asked on Facebook: when you’ll come here or there. I’m dreaming about a tour of The Re-Stoned. I eagerly want to play music, which I love for everybody who really likes it. But it’s not so simple. All of us have families and we don’t work in offices… We can’t travel at own expenses, we need an agency or people who could organize it. We had lots of conversations about it but nobody grasped the nettle. I hope it will happen one day.

Future plans?

We are already thinking about the new recording. I’ve always had lots of material in demos. There can be draft compositions or simply separate riffs. Now I have enough music for two albums or probably even more. By established tradition The Re-Stoned’s new album won’t be like the previous one. So it will be more psychedelic, acoustic and airy, not like Totems. But it doesn’t mean that I have given up heavy riffs. This will not do! I think there will be some new exotic instruments, interesting guests. I have an artwork already (usually we had recorded music and the artwork came later). It is a painting of a fabulous artist, Alexander Zhelonkin aka "Arzamas", who made the cover art for our latest album Totems.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2014
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