MICHAEL NIGHT is atypical rock band for Russian rock stage, named after its leader and mastermind. Atypical because not many bands in Russia can boast of such sound and band consist, also because of brilliant English-language texts, which are uncommon in our country. Michael Night looks like mysterious person: you will not see him in some dubious company, but you can always find some new pictures of him with fans or from studio sessions in band’s Instagram. Smiling young man with magnetic eyes, picturesquely beautiful appearance and propensity to dark moods magnetises girls. And male half of MICHAEL NIGHT’s fans adores its music because of European sound and drive, atypical for Russian metal generally. Just before the begining of new concert season we talked with Michael about debut EP Echoes In The Dark, about future plans and perception of Western-oriented music in Russia.
Read Russian version here.
EM: Hello, Michael! You position yourself as «the founder of modern sympho-progressive». Is it good work of your PR-maneger, or you really feel a potential to say something new in modern music?
MICHAEL NIGHT: Hello, Eatmusic! In reality, that was just a joke written a long time ago by me and people I worked with, which I later regretted as it ended up being repeated by everyone. We laugh about it often with the band. We are not a progressive rock band, nor do we play symphonic rock, although some tracks, such as “In Your Eyes” from our debut “Echoes in the Dark” do contain symphonic elements. I don’t really have a specific name for our direction, so I just call it alternative rock.
ЕМ: How do you evaluate ЕР Echoes in the Dark after its done? And when will your fans hear some new material?
MICHAEL: Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially in a country where rock, in the international sense, isn’t particularly popular. I’m very grateful for the reaction that I have seen so far. Every written track is a part of it’s authors spirit. It means the world as a songwriter, performer, and as a band when there are those who have been touched by your music and have sound something in it to relate to. I am already working on the follow up to our debut. Naturally, I am always looking to expand my horizons and add new dimensions to the material I write. The new music will feature a more contemporary rock sound, and contains a lot of elements of electronic music while respecting all the elements heard in “Echoes in the Dark.” After listening to the finished title song of the album, I noticed that it accidentally ended up being a combination of the spirits of EDM and rock. This became the main inspiration for the new tracks I am recording. I guess if you combine rock with EDM, we can just call the new album ‘RDM.’ I am not sure when it will be out, but hopefully by Valentine’s Day!
Michael Night – Echoes In The Dark (Official Video)
EM: Your band has international consist, which is atypical for Russia. Have you had difficulties in getting along?
MICHAEL: No, the band members are very educated, and cosmopolitan individuals, always looking to expand their horizons. This has made them very easy to work with and befriend. Also, they speak English, so we have traded our knowledge of English with our knowledge of Russian!
EM: How do you see Russia’s alternative scene: what does it need and how does it take your music?
MICHAEL: I noticed that dedicated fans of international rock bands, such as Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars, HIM, and many others seem to be somewhat of an international diaspora. They dress similarly, have similar interests in life, and many speak English. In Russia, there is already an alternative rock scene, and it is full of young, interesting, beautiful people. I have heard people here say “Russians don’t like rock,” yet I have seen the kind of bands which fill Moscow’s Olympiyskiy Stadium and the epic Stadium Live with those same young, interesting, beautiful people. It is hard for me to pinpoint what exactly needs change here. What is inconvenient for me is that rock, at least in the international sense of the world, has never been hugely popular in Russia. I wish that quality rock music would be as popular in Russia as it is in countries like Finland and Germany.
ЕМ: You often travel to different cities and towns. Is it difficult to bring English-language material to your listeners in small Russian towns?
Michael: Difficult people can be found everywhere, no matter what country you live in. People love blaming what is new for the scars caused by the past. However, every city we have traveled to, there has been an audience listening to the type of music that we perform. My goal is to create the quality of a certain level, instead of trying to please everyone, and creating something with clipped wings.
ЕМ: You played on one stage with Bullet For My Valentine, in October you will support The 69 Eyes. Do you listen these bands? And what music can we find in your playlist?
Michael: I have listened to these bands especially in my teenage years, however, with age and time I have begun to view these bands as ordinary guys like me who do what they love, and have found their audience in many countries. Growing up I loved new age, as well as all forms of rock and metal, listening to everything from The Rasmus to Dimmu Borgir. I have two playlists, one for inspiration, which contains all these bands, as well as dub step and trance, and another for life, containing indie music. Indie helps create this atmosphere of calm and light-heartedness. I am in a time in my life when that is invaluable.
ЕМ: Let’s get back to the question of being support band. What did you get from this experience, and is it hard to open concerts of such giants of rock?
Michael: It was actually, surprisingly, very easy for me to find contact with the crowds in front of us. I think it is because I grew up going to rock and metal shows, and am aware of how to keep that energy going as much as I can. It’s very fun for us, and I think having fun is the most important part of being on stage… besides being able to perform, of course.
EM: You have diverse experience in the music business. What advice can you give now for aspiring musicians?
Michael: Be patient with yourself. It takes time to find your voice, and to realize what you want to say with your music and how. You will encounter many people who will tell you that nobody will understand you or that your music is worthless. Never take this to heart. As Ville Valo once said, “[t]here will always be someone who can sing better than you, but nobody who can sing from your heart.” You know what is in your heart better than anyone else. Be wise enough to learn something from constructive criticism, but if there is something which you love and believe in, never stop believing no matter how tough it gets, and never stop working on yourself!
EM: We always ask musicians about how they get their inspiration. What inspires you? Your songs are so sensual and dark?
Michael: I believe that there’s a healthy level of the drama which can be present in all forms of music. I love creating music with a deeply sentimental atmosphere, and this is commonly mistaken for something dark. I can’t say this particularly bothers me, as darkness is attractive in its own way. With the lyrics, as in with the music, the main inspirations are the state of being in love, and desire. The desire for finding oneself. The desire to be loved and to have someone to love. The desire to be understood. We all experience this, and I believe that love is the guiding light in our lives through our process of self-development. I just want my listener to know what they are not alone in what they feel, and to remind them that love coupled with serenity, courage, wisdom can change the world.
EM: What do you wish to our readers and your listeners to do before the end of the year?
MICHAEL NIGHT: Just to remember that if you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.
Read Russian version here.