Musicscan: First of all: Does it frighten you somehow that many people praise Gorod for being innovative, progressive, and “different”? How do you feel about what you are doing with the band, and how o you deal with expectations?
Gorod: I'm not really frightened, but I'm aware of that. It just pushes us to be always more surprising and still give something fresh and unexpected to our audience. I don't know exactly what are the expectations of the listeners, of course, but I know there are some ingredients they expect, so I tried to deal with both these ingredients and our personal tastes.
Musicscan: What exactly does Gorod sound like from your point of view? Is it any kind of departure to what people might expect from you if you think of reviews and fan reactions. Do you feel "understood" to say so?
Gorod: Most of the time, yes. We had a really few negative reviews or fan reactions so far, I hope this album will get the same welcoming. From my point of view there isn't any big departure from the previous material but maybe I'm not the good person to judge that! I'm too much involved in the band and songwriting to see how and when things slide, but my band mates told me the new songs are more intricate than the "perfect absolution" ones. I agree they are maybe harder to perform!! But I'm not sure they "sound" more complicated.
Musicscan: Personally I sometimes think that Gorod is about musical education of listeners in some ways. What do you think about my impression, and is there any truth to this?
Gorod: Oh sorry about this, didn't realize at all! I guess this is some professional deformation as we are 3 music teachers in the band (Nico, Karol and I). But I understand your impression, we are so much focused on the music rightness, that maybe sometimes we loose emotions and just make music for musicians, what is obviously not our first goal. On the contrary, we're trying to bring some smartness to a style that is mostly dominated by brutality or flatness or sameness. If we can drive people to other musics, enlarge their perspectives and culture, that's a good thing and well, I would be happy with that!
Musicscan: From what I understood there is an underlying theme to A Maze Of Recycled Creeds: how do you handle the songwriting process once such a “concept” or an underlying idea is agreed? And how do you handle the question of the inherent quality of an album as a whole?
Gorod: Actually, as always, the theme in "AMORC" has been defined after the music was written. It's mostly the vocals that support the theme and story developped in this album. Julien, our singer, did his best to turn the lyrics into a play, to dramatize his vocals and find the best story to tell for each song, supporting the music. The artwork also is entirely derived from the theme. It's based on a true story talking about an old French sect, that pretend to manage every aspect of human lives, science, love, religion, etc..., even art! But it also talks more generally about people endoctrination and manipulation, and how a few group of clever gurus can make swallow anything to poor and blind spirits. We like the idea of a unique theme for each album, which gives more identity to it, while we try to put heterogeneous songs inside, with different ambiances. Music and theme are not as linked as it seems, to say shortly..
Musicscan: Regarding the songwriting: do you still have to deal with limitations, or are you in a position to realize all the ideas you have?
Gorod: Not all the ideas, but the ones that fit with the band. I mean, there are some restraints I have to deal with, like number of guitar layers (I wish we were 4 or 6 guitars but we are actually only 2 on stage) for example, or speed (there are sometimes awesome riffs that appears to be unplayable once you try to perform it with the whole band, because it's too fast and it becomes impossible to make it hearable). Shortly, the only limitations I respect are: It must sound Metal – It must sound great live with only the 5 of us. However, there's always a song in the album that is not dedicated to be perform live, like "Varangian Paradise" in the previous album, or "Watershed" from Process of a new Decline. Those songs are hardly playable live, too many arrangements, too many guitar layers, a very few or no vocals at all, etc...but are actually good songs in our opinion and fit well the album so we record them anyway!
Musicscan: Looking back on A Perfect Absolution it fairly could be said that with this album Gorod found a new identity from my point of view. How do you feel about this statement, and how did the band evolve into A Maze Of Recycled Creeds?
Gorod: Yes, APA was full bright and flashy coloured while AMORC is sad and dark... Our band logo became more edgy too. Actually the band didn't change that much, but as we have worked with different people, on a different theme, we think normal to change the image of the band to make this album more unique. Eric Liberge, who did the artwork, is an excellent comic book designer, and has a very dark but funny universe, and we think he was the right choice for the band. Moreover, as he lives near Bordeaux, we could meet him and speak for real. That's maybe another thing that moved between APA and AMORC. With this new album, we decided to do everething by ourselves, and when it was not possible, to entrust the job to someone around us, friends, or at least someone we can talk with face to face, no sterile email dialogs, no money waste, only local skills working together!
Musicscan: I always had the feeling that your songs are open for interpretation. There are so many surprises to find on your albums. But: is this something you are heading for by choice or accident?
Gorod: Ahah no I'm heading for that, most of the time. I like to create this particular surprise effect. Like in the previous albums, the songs inside are very heterogenous and as I hate doing the same shit twice, there's always a lot of new things I never did before!
Musicscan: I would say that with the new album your taste in music has become wider while the songwriting became more focused. True?
Gorod: Yes, there are maybe some new influences and new sounds in this album, but the mold or matrix remains the same I think.
Musicscan: And right at the moment I like to think that A Maze Of Recycled Creeds shows an even more atmospheric and emotional side of Gorod, beside it still is an aggressive and technical album of course. Pretty universal brutal music can be discovered on your new album. How do you feel about this short description?
Gorod: Atmospheric and emotional parts are really hard for me to write. It's not as natural as making groovy or frantic speedy parts. I'm still jealous of bands that figure out how to make such hypnotic vibes. Since the song "transcendance", which was my first attempt of writing a true progressive song, I've never had the opportunity to try again with such stretched and aerial parts. I hope these will work with the audience and the new material as I expect.
Musicscan: Regarding all the influences that are to find within the songs of Gorod: how difficult is it to choose between all of them, and are there any styles that you would never consider to include into your songs?
Gorod: I acually dont't choose anything in first place. When an idea comes, and tend to sound like thrashmetal for example, I just rush into this trying to develop this idea until it sounds like genuine thrashmetal, or at least my personal vision and knowledge of this genre. But thanksfully I don't like all the music genres in the world, there's even a few that I hate. I can say there's some influences you'll never hear in gorod. You'll never hear bagpipes or accordion for example, neither celtic like beer music, neither of course techno/dance or be-bop jazz style... Those things are not Gorod, but everything else can match I think, with imagination and taste obviously!
Musicscan: Has it been harder for you guys to come up with new songs this time as you have written so many tracks already? A Maze Of Recycled Creeds is your 5th album since forming the band and there also have been some demos and splits…
Gorod: Oh yes, harder and harder...We are so busy now with our jobs etc, it's already hard to find time enough to write songs. Moreover, as you said, it's our 5th album, and I really don't want to stagnate, I want to give something fresh and new.. That's funny because our first early songs, from "neurotripsicks" for example, swarm of ideas and riffs and tempo changes and stop etc..,- too much I now think -, and I wonder now how I figured out all these ideas in the past. I admit I get less good ideas now, or maybe I'm more selective, but I can now make an actual song with two or three well elaborated ideas, thing I was not able to do in the past. The writing process started in 2012 with "Celestial Nature" and "Dig into Yourself" which were finished in a couple of days, and the next songs came only from March to July 2014, just a few weeks before entering the studio. I built my own studio during 2013-2014, and I have neither time nor energy to work on new songs. Once this studio job is done I could revive the song machine, in a perfect environment for working, that's why I could achieve the writing almost right in time. I remember Karol, the drummer, and I, finishing to set the flooring in the live room, and right after setting the drumset for recording, perfect timing ahah!
Musicscan: I got the impression that you had the chance to experiment with the intensity and the melodies on the new album. The record offers partly different sounds and textures. Would you agree to this? What did you do differently to achieve this result?
Gorod: We did everything ourselves, so we had the opportunity to take time for experiment. For the previous album, it was totally different :we already had a release date for the album before the songwriting process was finished, everything went and followed without any recoil or feedback. We just recorded the songs that were written, almost unchanged compared to demos. This time we have no time restrains, we just wanted to make a solid album, entirely completed from writing to production. This allowed us to try more angles, especially for vocals, and decide after playing and listening back to it if an idea is right or wrong. It 's fantastic for a band to have such comfort.
Musicscan: Gorod consists of well-skilled musicians with lots of crazy ideas: Do you sometimes have to prevent yourselves from getting too technical to stay memorable? It’s obvious, that it is an important thing for you to write catchy songs with a good dramaturgy and contrasts…
Gorod: Honestly we are yet restricted enough because of our intrumental technique, we don't need to prevent ourselves from being too fast!! We just can't play faster, ahah!! Joking aside, There is enough bands who make ultra technical or ultra fast music, better than what we could do in this way, so...But yes, the important for us is the efficiency in the structure of the song, and the story (lyrical AND musical) it tells. Five minutes of 250BPM blastbeats or non stop up and down guitar arpeggios can't tell anything...
Musicscan: Lastly: what do you want people to take away from A Maze Of Recycled Creeds?
Gorod: I would like they take this album as a whole piece, a particular era for the band. I wish they enjoy it, make them smile or think, I wish they can't help but coming to see and hear these songs live!