Smolnikov, Yuri, Mikhail Voronov, Evgeniy Gorelov, and Dmitriy Shelemetev (Romislokus) (June 2002)

Romislokus - From Russia With Love

Romislokus (© Romislokus)This interview ( sans the (corny) title) comes to us courtesy Romislokus and Mark Deren of the "Mark From Holland" show on Radio Heemskerk in the Netherlands (104.5 cable and 107.4 ether). Romislokus are a Russian progressive rock band that first got together in 1998 in Kirov, Russia (about 800 km NE of Moscow). The musicians from Romislokus that took part in the interview were Yuri Smolnikov (lyrics, vocals, guitar), Mikhail Voronov (solo guitar), Evgeniy Gorelov (keyboards) and Dmitriy Shelemetev (drums).

Mark: Hi Romislokus!

Romislokus: Hi, Mark!

Mark: We're going to speak English because you can understand it better than Dutch.

Romislokus: O.K.

Mark: We've just been today in [a] recording studio in Moscow and I recorded your music on minidisk. It was very, very impressive, very nice music!

Romislokus: Thank you.

Mark: And I want to thank you for hosting me here in Moscow and showing me such a very good time. The food is just delicious here. Moscow is really [a] beautiful city. And yesterday was 9, May - Victory Day, and we saw fireworks and it was great to see the Parade. I want to congratulate you with your Victory.

Romislokus: Thank you very much.

Romislokus - Between Two Mirrors (2001)Mark: I've got your CD in [the] mail and I listened to it. And [I] just loved that new sound of Russia! It is something new for [the] whole world.

Romislokus: We try to bring classic rock into the new background. We like progressive rock and art rock, a lot of bands ... our idea is to blend organic and inorganic influences. We mix cello, violin with computer effects and in the middle of it are guitars and synthesizers.

Mark: It is unique music. And what are your songs about?

Yuri. About today, about [the] future, [the] future of this world maybe. We dream about the things we have in our music.

Mark: I know it, because it is amazing to me to be here interviewing you, guys! We all agree that music is our common ground. We've [been] eating dinner here. Yuri is also the cook. And he cooks really good food. Then he plays on guitar for us after dinner. That is very beautiful. He can play also a lot of the classic rock songs. What is some of your favorite bands?

Romislokus: We like Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, etc. We try to continue the best from the music that were before us.

Mark: You tried to market your music, but actually you send it like a gift to the world.

Mikhail: Yes, we've sent for free about 150 CDs to different parts of the world. We have some difficulties to distribute CDs from Russia. We can't accept credit cards payments because of some economical barriers in Russia.

Mark: It is the same in many other countries too. When somebody sends you a check from another country for your CD it costs more for the banking transfer. Have you got a lot of response for your CD?

Evgeniy: Yes, it is available to read on our web-site

Mikhail: A lot of reviews from all over the world.

Evgeniy: From independent experts of music.

Mark: So, when you use [a] computer in your music ... the most people are using it [for is] to make dance music and house music, but you are actually creating melodic sounds.

Mikhail: We try to make melodic atmosphere with computer.

Evgeniy: You can hear our dramatic [quality].

Mikhail: Listen [to] our CD and you will know.

Mark: Today we've actually heard the drums and everything in [the] music. Your drummer is really quite good. He is a drums teacher, right?

Dmitriy: Hello!

Mark: Hello, Dmitriy!

Mikhail: He is a really good in drums. He is a big fan of music.

Mark: Your favorite drummer is Bill Bruford, right?

Dmitriy: Bill Bruford, John Bonham, Stewart Copeland from the Police.

Mark: Evgeniy, you are really [a] good keyboardist, not only playing Romislokus' music but you can also play classical music, Beatles and everything else, right?

Evgeniy: Our music is different. So, my parties [parts, I think he means -ed.] are also different, as you heard.

Mark: And Mikhail, your guitar style is really nice. It is incredible. How did you develop that?

Mikhail: I try to be honest in music, to play something new, sometimes something melodic, beautiful. My guitar isn't to be [a] destroying factor for the atmosphere of Romislokus.

Mark: Besides the music, what do you all do? It is amazing you are highly trained musicians.

Romislokus: Yuri is hydrology engineer. Dmitriy is a manager of big trade firm. Irina, specializing in playing cello, studies classical music in [a] high musical school. Evgeniy is an accountant. He has to work every day in his office with his papers. Mikhail is student of Moscow State University - biggest in Russia. He studies economic law.

Mark: It is incredible. You guys work so hard. And you still have time to make such great music... It is fantastic, really. So, what is the philosophy of your music?

Yuri: The world can be changed due to what musicians do. And if musician makes good melodic music the world become more beautiful. Smart music is [a] smart world. Most of [the] people in [their] usual life don't scream, don't shout, don't cry, usually. In modern music most of the singers in most cases make a lot of negative emotions, forcing their screams, cries. I wants to sing in the way I speak in life: at home, on the streets, at my work. A bit to scream, a bit to cry. Actually I never cry.

Evgeniy: We like your country - Holland. The country of flowers. Holland exports flowers all over the world. It means there we can find peaceful people. It is much better to produce flowers than to produce military machines.

Romislokus - Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn (2002)Yuri: We like the works of Dutch painters of XV [15th] century. Hieronymus Bosch's painting is on the cover of our CD Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn. Also my other favorite painter is Pieter Bruegel.

Mark: We had so many interesting conversations in the last few days. And we had such a great time. We were laughing a lot. It was real. You guys are so funny!

Evgeniy: We hope it is so. Feel free in Russia!

Mark: Feel free in Russia! That's right, I do! It really touches my heart, for sure!

[In 2004, Romislokus ended, the members splitting off to join other groups -ed.]

Between Two Mirrors (2001)
Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn (2002)
All Day Home (2002)
Trans Aviation Pilots (2004)

Added: June 20th 2002
Interviewer: Mark Deren

Artist website:
Hits: 1060
Language: english

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