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What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.

Artem: Well, “I was a teenage anarchist” ©, or to be exact a young metalhead, and I thought that it’s a shame that I have long hear and listen to all these “Iron Slayer” and “Manowar Guardian” bands and can’t play a single chord on a guitar! So these thoughts highly motivated me back then, and I started playing guitar. But as I grew up as a person, as a listener and as a musician, I constantly discovered new music, genres, styles and whatsoever (meaning new for me, since plenty of this bands and genres were not new at all). So once me and my friend decided to play some blues rock and 60s kind of music, and my friend found an announcement of Marina, we met for a rehearsal, drank couple of Tequila shots right after, and this is how Straytones has started. While we’ve been playing all this years we discovered a lot of new music, and we never stopped sharing it. This “common music taste”, basically, established what Straytones are playing now.

Marina: I played piano all my childhood, and that was lovely. Then I grew up and all I wanted is to play garage rock. Then I grew up further and strarted loving more complicated and melodical psychedelic music and bunch of other stuff.

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

This is an EP which we released in the beginning of the year, and it’s called “Beware, Dark Lord! Here comes Bell-Man!”
It’s a garage-rock opera in two and a half acts, and it has the story behind it about evil and neutral-chaotic-good (yeah, almost D&D) characters. First song, “Dark Lord” has a cartoon-video which we would highly recommend to watch!

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

Artem: music-wise, just to name a few, it’s Converge and Kurt Balou in particular, Anton Newcombe and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, super prolific John Dwyer (Oh Sees) and Ty Segall, and of course The Beatles and all those hippies and folk-rockers out of ‘60s. Non-music-wise… hmm, my parents, friends and Siddhartha Gautama.

Marina: my main influencer in both senses is The Endless Universe and also juicy apples.

In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?

A lot of psychedelic rock bands bear meditative, doomy vibes with undeniable blues roots and groove. Our music has specific, warm and joyful “summer” energy, which feels even better on our live shows. We tend to use “different” harmonies and also two vocals are complimenting each other, so this creates different feel and bring up the listener to a certain mood.

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

Artem: Its’ always a tough choice, but let it be these: Allah-Las – Allah-Las, Black Sabbath – Paranoid, The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Take It From The Man!

Movies: „Into the wild”, „The Lord of The Rings”, „Up In Smoke”

Books: „Terror” by Dan Simmons, „Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts – simply cause I’ve started to read those, but can’t finish (I bet I’ll have time on a desert island), and „How to Survive on a Desert Island”

Marina: I wouldn’t take any music, movies and books on Desert Island, really. I’d listen to the songs of birds and ocean and watching beatutiful life on the island and under the sea (i sure hope we’re talking about some exotic kind of island:)

Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

Artem: Performing live for sure. You’re exchanging energy with the audience, don’t screw up too noticeble (or nobody really gives a fuck), and after the show you have an endorphine increasment and feel a little bit happier than before. On the other hand, in studio you’re feeling miserable because you have to play perfectly, but you’re just  human, so after the session your self esteem is way below zero. However, I like studio experience too, tweaking all the knobs and placing all the mics to get THE SOUND – yeah, that could be rediculosly interesting and fun.

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

Not to say it is hilarious, but just a funny moment. So, we’ve been on tour with Stoned Jesus, and after our bands performed, Marina and Dima (drummer of Stoned Jesus) went for a smoko. Suddenly a guy appears near them, comes to Marina and says loud and proud “Oh what a show, you are THE BEST drummer!” Then, in a second, he sees Dima and immediately says “Oh, no! Sorry! It’s you – you are THE BEST drummer!”

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

Artem: I guess it’s our new song “The Key” from the upcoming album. We never composed something similar, and I believe this song may surprise folks who got used to our previous releases. We played it couple of times here and there, but just wait ‘till it’ll be released next year.

Marina: I feel that I like “The Key” the most too. And aslo there will be a song about a bird, we still not sure how to call it. Also there will be funny song about swimming in the river and  jumping off a tarzanka – this is cool ukrainian-russian word and we put it in the name of the upcoming album. When I sang it, I tried to imagine that I’m a mermaid. And to make some noise in the song before the guitar solo we recorded my throat gurgling in a musical way. That was fun.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

Release already recorded album next year and tour as much as possible in the places we’ve never been before!

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

Curated by: Christos Doukakis

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