INTERVIEW FOR INDIE. RU, AN INDEPENDENT MUSIC PORTAL
on the seventh of march 2001 aztec gave their first interview to indie. ru — a web-site of independent culture, which flourished at that time. dmitry gerboldt was the drummer in the band then. in the interview we may seem a bit lofty (which we are not), but it’s even funnier that way…
they came out of the haze. hazy was their form. hazy were their movements and the words they spoke. but soon the haze lifted and one could see bright eyes that showed certainty in the power of their smiles. one could even see the features of their faces. but that’s not important because we’re not going to look at them — we are going to listen to them.
indie: — how would you define yourself?
— although we’ve known each other for a quite long time, we never thought of
— of becoming a band!
— no. of discussing the fact that we are a band. we knew that we are a band the very moment we started, and that’s all. we can never know, whether we are going the right way or we should change direction. these questions arise, and then we start acting, according to some scale, which is suggested, but never spoken out. maybe, we’ll meet some other musicians, who we can work with. if someone wants to join the band, he’s welcome. we may even take a second bass-player.
— instead of the first one! very funny.
indie: — are you trying to say something with your «movements» and with your lyrics?
— actually, we try to say everything with instruments, rather than with words. well, we try words, but we always find ourselves in a dead end. and then we go down and wait for the next emotional outburst.
— i think no one will understand the rubbish you’ve just said
indie: — is there an ideological leader in the band?
— we’ve never had the question of leadership, because we are all personalities. it may seem elevated, but it is so. there is nothing like: someone takes a decision and the others just follow him. every step is at least discussed. and then we act together.
— as you can see, music can’t be explained with words, unfortunately.
— we don’t speculate about whether we match each other or not. we decided it long ago. and it’s the most important thing, which i can express with words.
indie: — when and under what circumstances was the band started?
— we can’t tell you any precise information because we don’t know anything for sure.
— it was andrey’s idea.
— when the «aztec» perfume appeared. even earlier.
indie: — do you use it?
— we all smell it. even stink, if one may say so.
— we stink like a dirty aztec.
— no way! i take a bath every week
— you are so clean.
— i didn’t say how often i take a shower.
indie: — but still…
— dima, when did we start?
— when you started, i was still in the army. i came to you by accident.
— this «accident» was actually a direct consequence, because you didn’t just come — we dragged you in.
— in this cast we assembled about one and a half year ago. all this time we were rehearsing by the internet.
indie: — how?
— i received several files with music and said: «it’s alright. go on».
— for half a year dmitry and i played drum’n’bass and andrey sang without musical accompaniment.
— we were floating on the waves. the waves in our lives became the waves in our music.
indie: — well, the world is made of waves. we are waves too. and what would you say, if i told you that there is one huge wave which embraces the entire time of the existence of the universe since the big bang until the last point of expansion and that music can turn you on, only if it corresponds with the rhythm of this wave?
— and when you have sex does the frequency of frictions have to correspond to turn you on?
indie: — back to your name again…
— we named the band after the perfume. but we are not advertising it in any way. and now we so got used to this image that…
— the name just matched our thoughts. this name wasn’t just any name — the perfume just gave us the word which reflected out inner attitude.
— it happened that we first called ourselves «aztec» and only then we got interested in what stood behind. at least, that’s how it was with me.
— with me it was the other way round.
indie: — and why in singular?
— it would sound ridiculous. «the aztecs» sounds like «georgians». «aztec» is an image. the group as a whole. otherwise people would come to us and ask: «hey, guys, you are not indians, are you?»
— and it sounds like «otstoi» [russian for «sucks»].
indie: — «tech» is also short from «technology»
— you may hear it as «as tech».
— and, of course, you may add the second «s»… but that would be too much, i think
indie: — did the name of the band make you learn more on the subject?
— we get on with what we already know about that
indie: — then i’ll ask you another way. does your group have an ideology?
— do we have an ideology? let’s first finish the interview. then we’ll read it and find out.
— look, three men get together and start playing their musical instruments as well as they can. they get certain pleasure — primitive, animal pleasure. i think, that’s what happened in different tribes, including the aztecs. modern civilization that we know ends where real music starts. in this sense, we are aztecs. you start playing music and you don’t care, whether you are playing the guitar, the drums or something else. there is rhythm, melody and nothing else.
indie: — what you say reminds me of shamanism.
— real music should have something of shamanism.
— and what is music? and what does it have to do with shamanism?
indie: — i think that shaman music was the first. when man started to beat the drums to cause rain, that was the first song.
— i absolutely agree with you.
— music is shamanism. of course, it has many other things, but this side is closer to me. it’s the most interesting thing. it’s very intriguing when modern music resembles the primitive — when it has a very distinct rhythm and some simple melody. it can make people joyful and happy and even bring them into trance…
indie: — how would you define your style?
— we never know what our next piece will be like.
— style is always determined by something. it may be the same civilization or primitive. we want to be frank in what we do. that’s the style which we are trying to profess. the main thing is to be honest with yourself. we cannot deceive ourselves, can’t say something like: «oh, let’s have another beer and then this piece will sound great». that won’t do.
— i stand for sex in music. the more — the better.
— there goes honesty. and honesty should determine your style. not the name, but the fact that we are playing fair, without cheating.
indie: — but one can play what people expect of him and not call himself «alternative» — he will be honest too.
— look, we’re not intending to explain anything to anyone. «guys! we’re this and that and we’ll tell you how it should be». that always bothered us the least.
indie: — and won’t it end like: «you all didn’t understand me. and i was honest with myself. farewell»?
— no. it’s just a way to understand, what you’re worth. if you are not appreciated, it means that your own attitude was different from what was expected. maybe, one should foresee these expectations.
— anyway, once they called us «neo-funk».
— why, a very good definition.
— but i’m not sure whether the prefix «neo-» is right for us. and i don’t think our music can be merely called «funk» either.
— i think one should break not only the borders of musical styles, but also the borders of music. for example, try yourself in dancing or something else.
indie: — a man, who comes to your concert, doesn’t care about the inner life of the band or the musical style.
— that’s not correct. we express our emotions on the stage. he will hear me.
— if there is magic on the stage, there is magic in the audience.
indie: — and finally: tell us about your demo-recording.
— yes, we wanted to say it in our first interview. we would like to thank those, who were close and played a great role in the life of our band. these are the guys from the «antrop» producing center — sergey, stepan and all the others
indie: — and what did they do?
— they helped with the recording and concerts.
— but that’s not the most important thing. most important is that they supported and inspired us. we’ll drink beer to that sometime.
— and not only beer, we’ll drink vodka!