One day while looking on YouTube, we at Astatine Music came across a band called Trawler. Names will catch our eye sometimes. Trawler “The Strong Man and the Sea” was one that stood out and we decided to check the band out. By the middle of the second song we knew we had found a winner. You can hear the passion and the many influences of the band. We let the album play and found more and more that we liked about the band. I contacted them and asked if they would like to do an interview with us about the album and other topics related to their music. They responded right away and we got the questions put together. See our interview below and find out a few facts about the band before listening to them.
1. Where is the band based at?
We are based on the very north of the European part of Russia in the delta of the Northern Dvina River, in the city of Arkhangelsk.
2. What got you into music (each member)?
–Evgeny (guitar). Since childhood I studied at a music school, and at the age of 11 I’ve got to listen to Metallica’s Garage inc.
Sergey (guitar): When I was 8 years old my parents bought an acoustic guitar. At first, this was of no interest to me, but at the age of 11 I listened to the record Morskaya of the Russian group Mumiy Troll. And then it started… I wanted to learn to play myself something what would give same satisfaction from listening. And old, dusty guitar went into the action.There were other bands like Korol I Shut, Aria and Nirvanaand so forth… and Metallica at last. All of it I wanted to play, not only listen to. Sometime after, I’ve got my first electric guitar. It was the Soviet “Ural”. I had Czechoslovakian “Diamond”, and later an LTD. My current one is the seven-string Schecter Blackjack. In 2007-2011, I experienced a passion for metalcore. Since 2011 I am the member in the band Dead Off which was transformed into Trawler later.That’s how I got into music I play now.
Alexander (drums): I was into rock music since school. I’m interested in the process of creating music, how different bands compose their songs. And then I tried to start my band.Why did I choose drums? Hard to tell, apparently at the beginning of my creative path I was attracted to the drum kit. I like other instruments too, I have a bass at home and I practice it sometimes.
Dmitry (bass): I came to music because of the desire of creativity and self-expression. Since my childhood I have a craving for music, and after the graduating from music school I wanted to continue in my own music band.
Anatoly (vocal): I‘m in the music by a chance. Once I was invited to try singing in a forming band. I was trammeled and now I can’t imagine life without music.
3. What is the music scene like in your home town?
The local scene is represented by a wide variety of groups and musical genres. “Heavy” bands can be counted by the fingers of one hand. Most of the groups work in the “light” genres appropriate for restaurants and public city events. There are a number of cover bands and tributes to Queen, Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. Nevertheless, there are projects (mostly they are organized by friends from our community) aimed for heavy genres: doom, sludge, thrash metal. For example, the dark doom Russian-speaking band Яkорь(reads as yakor’, translates as an anchor) is based on an even more extreme north than we are, in the city of Onega. Another one band Snowborn is formed by our fellas at home place, who mix a thick and slow jelly of heavy riffs.
4. How does a band from northern Russia get influenced by a band from southern Louisiana (Down)?
We really respect their music, as well as the music of Pantera, Hellyeah, Texas Hippie Coalition. In general, the members of our band are influenced by American and English heavy metal. This is an example confirming that music has no boundaries. And Louisiana is much closer to Arkhangelskthan it seems.
5. Tell us a little bit about the “Strong man and the sea” When, how and who of the writing process.
We were approaching the album seriously from the very beginning. We wanted it to fuse in the hearts of listeners, so we were selecting the songs carefully. About half of the songs were composed long time ago, and the composition of the second half took like a whole year.
We recorded of the instruments on our own, but the mixing and mastering of the album was entrusted to a professional from Drygva Studio (Belarus).
The process of creating songs in our case is simple. Someone from us brings to a rehearsal a riff or a whole clip of riffs, together we decide whether prove, reject, modify or combine them, and shaping the idea with drums during the rehearsal. After the approval of the instrumental part the song is getting finalized with vocals and lyrics. Of course the songs are still being worked out for some time. The final version is kind of fixing itself. It’s intuitive.
6. What is the most metal thing you have ever done as a band?
We are the quiet guys. We do not commit any wild things, drunken brawls is not about us. But as something unusual – a performance in the prison colony for minors.
7. With the leaders of our nations fighting like children what is something as a Russian metal head you would like to convey to an American metal head about the band and your country?
“I love my country but hate the State» – words from a song of one popular Russian band. Metal always stands on the side of the common people, stirs people’s hearts in the hope for justice. We are subjected to this influence too, so our music is about to convey to the listeners the idea that it is never too late to believe in yourself, life goes on if you struggle for it.
8. What does the band have planned for the remainder of 2017?
In the beginning of September we organized the presentation of the album in the local music club “Koleso”. In October, an open rehearsal for the students of the Arkhangelsk School of Rock will be held, and on October 8 we will play at the international music rock festival in our city called “Belomor-boogie”.
9. Is there any plans to tour outside of Russia?
In Russia, salaries are incomparably small, so thoughts about the tour remain to be thoughts. Although, there are well-wishers, who are ready to include us in the line-up for European festivals.
10. Tell us where we can find your music and how fans can support you.
New album «The Strong Man & the Sea» is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Google Play, Yandex Music, Spotify, Amazon… and everywhere. The best support for us is to share the album, to give feedback, so we could learn and fix the mistakes, and just to listen and enjoy.
The album has a total stoner feel with the riffs. It showcases Anatoly’s abilities as a vocalist. He will vary from a all out scream to some cleaner samples, again proving they’re some reliant on vocal complacency that is seen in tons of new metal coming out. The guitar work provided by Evgeny and Sergey works like the Kirk/Pepper combo you find in down. Fat riffs for days on this album with a rhythm from Alexander and Dmitry keeping it locked down. This is an album that you are gonna need to make time for on your playlist. One listen is not enough. I promise you will go back and listen over and over. Once the Strong man hooks you it’s all over.
“Strong Man and the Sea” was released in early 2017 independently and has been steadily moving across the continents of Earth. If I was to give my personal opinion of the band I would say this: I love the music on “Strong Man and the Sea”. I think they guys do an amazing job with the resources they have. Sometimes you hear a good album and think it’s done in this huge studio with tons of money thrown behind it with a slick producer. That is not always the case. Hard work, dedication and scraping together all the money you have to get this recorded is generally how early albums get made. This situation is the same here. When I close my eyes and listen I hear all the talent in the world. I hear a band that is hungry. I hear a band that has things to say to the world. I do also hear a band that has not totally found their voice, meaning that they have not yet reached their full potential. “Strong Man and the Sea” is a great album full of great lyrics, riffs and solos, but they have not come close to peaking. After talking to the band and listening to the album these guys are on a path to stardom. Let’s help them reach their potential and give them some love. Give the album a listen below.