Long Standing Death Metallers, Katalepsy, hail from Russia, a country which is perhaps more well known for its Power, Folk and Heavy Metal bands, The band plays an amalgamation of Technical/ Brutal Death Metal and Groove elements. The guys had released their sophomore full-length ‘Gravenous Hour‘ last year via Unique Leader Records. We are speaking with the guitarist Anton here about a lot of things pertaining to the band and life. Excerpts:
MJM. Katalepsy is one of the biggest Death Metal exports from Russia which is more or less a hub for more Power, Folk and Heavy bands, how does it feel for you guys as the torch-bearers in the Russian extreme metal scene?
Anton: Well, it feels pretty nice, although I think its not that we are so cool, but the genre in Russia is pretty narrow, and not many death metal bands are represented in Russia for you to choose from. We don’t do anything special, just practice a lot and never fall apart.
MJM. What are your views on the current Extreme Metal Scene in Russia and how has it evolved over the years?
Anton: Russian Metal scene is always balancing at the edge of extinction. This culture is evolving very very slowly, and differs a lot from city to city and depends fully on personalities. There are some cities where live people who organize shows, publish news, promote local bands and extreme metal is developing there. So I think this culture and movement has not reached the level from which it can develop by itself. Now it can live only when being promoted from outside
Katalepsy, from a show in Switzerland.
MJM. The band is one of the few which does not have any original members left and is still going strong which is no small feat. What are your views?
Anton: Although Katalepsy has really passed through numerous lineup changes, they never were sudden or abrupt: all band members, current and previous, are a big Katalepsy family, we all are still friends. And the band founder, CannX, Sergey Levochkin, is still composer for the band, you can find his name on our CD’s. That’s why I think the stylistic changes the band has come through are gradual and smooth.
MJM. Your latest album titled ‘Gravenous Hour’ saw the band slightly change its style from a more slam oriented Death Metal to some more Technical Death tinged style of Death Metal. What prompted this stylistic change?
Anton: I don’t really know, the album has been composed and performed by exactly those people who made the previous album, ‘Autopsychosis‘. So its our vision of what the extreme music should sound and look like in 2016 in comparison with 2013.
MJM. We did see the new official video for ‘Gravenous Hour’ album, which by the way was solid! How was the reaction by the fans?
Anton: The reaction was astonishing, because the video is a ‘fan-friendly’ throughout: it’s been filmed by our good friend and fan at the Presentation of ‘Gravenous Hour‘ album in Moscow. It’s a fan-made video and we know personally most of the people presented in the video, and they also like recognizing themselves.
MJM. Usually when a band tries to change the style of playing, quite a few fans tend to turn their backs; did this ever cross your minds while recording this album?
Anton: Yes, we worried about that, but what can we do? We don’t make music on demand, we are not a big band, and we are not obliged to preserve the SLAM legacy. We create music that seems good for us at the current moment. And we try to develop as the musicians and push the limits. If someone else likes this style that is a big honour to us. If someone hates it we understand them, too.
BPM’s have raised, we started playing solo’s, the crushing and definite bass parties….
MJM. Did the string of lineup changes ever affect the band’s growth? How did it add to the band’s output?
Anton: I wouldn’t say the previous members were worse. Each of them was best to the band at that moment of time. But surely everything changes, speeds grow, composition becomes more and more complicated.
MJM. How do you think has the band evolved over the years musically?
Anton: Well, when I came to the band 9 years ago, we played straightforward slamming brutal death. Of course the music has changed significantly, although it’s being created 80% by the same people as in the beginning. BPM’s have raised, we started playing solo’s, the crushing and definite bass parties have also become the curious part of Katalepsy sound; the vocals have changed from brutal pigs to dark growls.
MJM. What do the guys do on a full time basis?
Anton: Only our drummer Evgeny Novikov works as a full time drummer; Anatoly is an engineer, me and Dmitry are sales managers for a medical company, Igor is a programmer or like that.
Credits: Gorka Photography
MJM. Have the financial aspects affected the band’s touring scenario?
Anton: We make tours in a way not to pay for anything, that’s the only goal we are not commercial band and not earn money with touring, at the same time we have an ability to ride a tour and spend zero euro; if the financial balance after the tour is positive, it all will be invested back into the band: buying gear, or ordering new merch, or saving money for the album recording.
MJM. How is the new upcoming festivals looking?
Anton: Summer European festivals are what we constantly dream of; this year we took a tour pause. Our frontman Igor has become a father for the second time couple of weeks ago, and this year we shall dedicate to our families, only few shows in Europe are booked for 2017 and we don’t promise we can take any obligations more.
Connect with the band-