Karma Rassa is a young progressive metal band. Formed in 2013, they release their debut album Music into the Void, which was greatly accepted by listeners and critiques. In October 2015 Karma Rassa performed at one of the most famous progressive metal fests in Europe – «ProgPower Europe». In September 2016 their second album Talks to Innerself was released.
We talked to Nagual (vocals, bass) about music, European festivals, prog metal fans and Jean Michel Jarre.
Who are Karma Rassa? And what does this name means?
Hi! I see Karma Rassa as a part of infinite global flow, which representatives in different times and ages did the same thing as we do. Those are writers, artists, musicians, movie producers, travelers, etc. And we are, in fact, exploring ourselves and the world around by means of music. And the band’s name – that’s the most popular question indeed, and that means that we’ve reached a goal – it warms up interest in the listeners. The name, as we think, shaped vivid, and the same time deep. So anyone could find in it something personal – as in our music.
How would you yourselves call a genre you play?
At the different resources we are classified as progressive metal or as gothic metal or even as post metal. This possibly speaks of that we – thankfully – don’t have a certain style. I personally lately name our style as “writer Dostoyevsky in space”.
Not so long ago your album Talks To Innerself was released. Tell about it please/ How it was created? How was the recording process.
The work on the second album has begun in fact right after “Music into the Void” was released. I mean, the material was started being written that time. The very recording was initiated in May 2016. And that was really great. We decided to record drums in Moscow, at the Just Studio, created and owned by Orgiya Pravednikov band – and we loved this studio very much. Aside from that, nonetheless I don’t fond of Moscow much, our drummer Albe and I spent there four very nice days under the warm spring sun. Guitars and bass were recorded at my home studio, and that was too quite an experience (and emotion). Vocals were recorded at M.A.R.S. Studio, and keyboards – at her home studio as well by Ioanna, our fellow keyboardist, who even played with us for a while. Afterwards all the recorded material was traditionally sent to Kiev, to our sound producer Max Morton for mixing and mastering.
Are you satisfied with Talks To Innerself as an end-product?
In fact – yes, indeed. You always could adjust and polish something until the end of all times and still won’t be absolutely satisfied. And also exceptional perfectionism is of no good, I suppose. Thus on this stage we’re glad with the result.
Besides “standard kit” (guitars, bass and drums) you also used many other instruments in an album. What sound would be ideal for you?
Yes, there are also present keyboards, saxophone, percussion and lots of noise elements. It’s difficult to talk about the ideal sound. It’s always wiser to base on the singular song and shape the sound according to its meaning and promise using different instruments.
I know that you’ve made a cover for Jean Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene II”. It’s quite nonstandard choice. What made you to record a cover on this song?
It is always exciting to make a cover of something unusual, other-genre, and fill it with your own vision. That is music not devoid of meaning, with beautiful melody and atmosphere of a certain epoch.
In the end of 2015 you performed on Prog Power Europe Festival. Tell us more, please, about it.
That was our first gig in Europe. And that was a great luck to get straight to such a prestigious festival. Obviously, we were completely happy with the fest and with the whole trip. There is exceptionally warm and friendly atmosphere at the ProgPower – everyone glad to see you, you’re glad to see everyone. The trick was that a while before the gig our guitarist and keyboardist left the band, so we had to learn to perform with playback in an urgent regime, and it was a miracle that we found second guitarist Idegen, who plays with us until nowadays – and we’re insanely happy that he does. All in all, we weren’t the most professional (but were the most energetic, I think) band on the festival, to say honestly, but despite that the support of the audience was very good. And after that we spent several days in Netherlands, and that was unforgettable as well.
Do you see any difference between fans in various countries? Also, is there any difference between prog fans and other metalheads?
I suppose, there are any differences. On the one hand, European fans are from the very beginning nice to you, even if you’re a beginner band. On the other hand, on the gigs, I think they are much more calm. In Russia everything is quite opposite. Local beginner bands are of no interest to anyone. But when famous foreign bands arrive, they could expect very warm reception of audience. What of prog music fans, they, in my opinion, are quite similar in any part of the world – calm and discreet, even if they like the music so much. For them the point is the accurateness, precision and the complication level of material. For other metalheads, I think, the energy is more important, so you could just feel that it rocks. What of us, the second type is closer for us as well.
Where would you like to go with a tour or concert?
Anywhere absolutely, even on Jupiter if someone wets a gig there. Europe we’d like to visit, and Asia, and both Americas.
In your opinion, what is the main problem of music nowadays?
Quite a lot of problems. First of all, most of the bands just do not realize why and what for are they doing this. Secondly, lots of band play just a certain style – not the music – without their own search of ideas. Thirdly, modern production is a problem as well. Speaking of metal, everything sounds in maybe very high quality, but absolutely similar aside from the style and country of the band. Summarizing, the problem is in lack of personal search. Well, there are band that are doing it, but they are mostly deep underground.
Who or what inspires you as musicians?
The life itself with all its mysteries, possibilities and horizons.
What are you doing in your free time? (if you have any)
We live, work, travel, dive into books and movies, communicate. All the same things as the other people.
Share your future plans, please
Lots of plans – and will to realize them as soon as it’s possible.
Few words to our readers
The new horizons of yourself and world around are waiting for you!