INTERVIEW! Krobak discuss new album 'Nightbound'

January 9, 2017

One of the great discoveries of last year included ‘Nightbound’, an album that was released by Ukranian post-rockers Krobak.  Its an album full of great music which we reviewed in a little more detail on our website. Having been super impressed with the quality of music and excited to learn more about the band, we couldn’t help but snap up the opportunity to chat with them where we discussed the new album a little more. Firstly, great job on your new album. It's definitely a gem, and one that will make a few of our ‘end of year’ lists I’m sure! It's beautiful.


All: Thank you, looking forward to find it on them lists! Your music has always been written by Igor alone before. What brought upon the decision to write collectively and what was it like?


Natasha (drums): There was no "now we're going to write an album as a band" decision. It was a natural and organic process, we were bringing our ideas and arrangements to Krobak's music during the "Little Victories" period, though initially these tracks had been composed by Igor prior to full band mode. So, when say Mark brought in some melodies which were beautifully combined with Igor's ones, we just jammed around them thinking of possible climaxes and transitions. It didn't seem to be something extraordinary, a point where we started writing_as_a_band. It's a natural chemistry, and we love it.


Igor (guitars): Exactly. Looking forward to more of this in the future! Do you think you'll continue to write collectively?


Asya (bass): We’re already having few ideas for future songs, so… I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t! Of course, if someone’s bringing a complete track, then there’s not much space for collective writing. But we’re open to each other’s vision and all our recent rehearsals show this collaborative thinking.. The album feels a little darker and natural sounding. Can you describe the theme/s you wanted to explore with this album?


A: We actually would like to avoid forcing our own vision to the listener, so the doors of perception will stay open.


N: Totally agree with Asya. Instrumental music does not have to be explained. It can arouse emotions we could never think of when writing the music, and it's wonderful. We'd like to know what our listener feels, what images "Nightbound" makes them see instead of telling them to stick to the "main theme of the album". You brought in some saxophone to your songs with this release too. Are there other instruments or sounds you would like to bring in on the next one?


A: Well, in “Nightbound” there’s not only saxophone: our violin player Mark is great at adding some extra sounds and toying with pedals. As for me - it’ll be really awesome to add sitar or something of that kind to our sound in the future. (I’m not saying anything, can’t promise we’ll have them!)


I: Speaking of Mark, he could play guitar and a bit of keys too, so next time - why not.


N: I've been thinking of a trumpet or a cello. Though I guess it's music that orchestrates the sound. If some tracks feel like having extra instruments, we’re ready to experiment. For example, once we invited Banek, the sax player, to perform live on "Marching for the Freedom We have Lost" with us. Then we played the track for the second time and asked him to join us again. We performed the track only twice, and when we decided to include "Marching..." into "Nightbound", Banek's feature went without saying. Do you think there would ever be plans to include vocals? Would any of you be comfortable doing this yourselves?


N: Everyone knows Igor as Stoned Jesus vocalist, Mark has got great voice, Asya does some backing vocals in her band Small Depo, but I think there's no chance to hear any vocals in Krobak, nor ours neither anyone's. Sorry.

I: Yeah, it’s not like we’ll add something to our music, but rather turn it into this song-oriented conventional cliche. “And now everybody - let’s finally hear some meaningful words we’re singing amidst this instrumental noodling!”. Nope, not in this band. Post rock usually has a wide range of influences. We could hear folk influences; maybe we're wrong! What bands and music have been inspiring you lately?


I: Folk, huh? See, it’s always virtually impossible to predict how a person would understand your music, hah! Me, I mostly listen to oldschool hip-hop and even more oldschool prog this year. 2016 has been quite a tame year in terms of amazingly good finds, but from the fresh names I would recommend checking Ryley Walker, Oranssi Pazuzu, Anderson .Paak, The Amazing, Sianvar and especially 40 Watt Sun and Black Peaks (these are British lads!)


A: My personal post-rock favourite is Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. And lately I’ve been listening to Scott Walker, Pixies, The Roots, early Massive Attack and this latest release of Roisin Murphy a lot.


N: Lately I've been listening to Puscifer, Talk Talk, David Bowie and Matt Elliott. I also get inspiration from the gigs I attend to or concert videos I love to watch. The most powerful live experience for me was Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Istanbul (2015), Swans in Kiev (2015), and the most recent one was about a month ago in Kiev - it was Ukrainian band My Personal Murderer. I can still feel the goosebumps when I think of that show. We imagine it's tough being a band from the Ukraine. Does it present many difficulties?


N: It's difficult to tour. Ukraine being the largest country in Europe has got the worst roads and the poorest transport connection. Living in Ukraine makes it also difficult to tour Europe because we need visas and getting them is pain in the ass. I had to apply for Schengen visa two times within three month to be able to go on tour with my other band H.Soror. Transportation and borders are tough issues for us. At The Revival Music, we still believe artwork contributes to albums and love the artwork for Nightbound. How did you find your artist?


N: We've known Abra for quite a long time, she's a well-known tattoo artist, illustrator and our good friend. After she did a great artwork for our split with Sasha Boole last year, we had no doubts her art for “Nightbound” would be awesome. Weren't we right? We'd love to see you playing love in the UK. What would interest you about playing here? We promise we're very welcoming!


A: We’d totally love to do it! Is there any chance you’re great at booking shows?


I: ...And issuing visas, too! On a serious note - we definitely want to, but it takes a lot of work to book and play shows these days. Having insane personal schedules doesn’t help much, either, but we’ll do our best! The holidays are nearing, so we're already looking into 2017. Do you have much planned as a band?


I: 2017 marks Krobak’s 10th anniversary as a music unit and 5th anniversary of us four playing together as a band, so it’s a big deal for us. We’ll play some shows with the connection to this particular fact, but I guess it’s a bit too early to start working on the next record - let’s see how “Nightbound” performs first!




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