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Prog-jester View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Extrovert, December 2006
    Posted: January 15 2007 at 08:03
    Thanks God for the Net - I interviewed Max Popoff from EXTROVERT almost a month ago via e-mail, and now the translated version of interview is avalaible here!




Hello, Max! First of all, I’d like to know how did you become a musician? What made you took the bass-guitar, not the most popular instrument?

There has always been music of Beatles, ABBA, Pink Floyd, Smokie playing at our house. My father played guitar and used to be a soul of any company. He often told me how he played bass guitar in a band when he was young. I was not interested until I became 13 and took a guitar by my own arms. When I learned to play the basic chords on guitar, I’ve become interested in bass playing – probably, due to what father was telling me. I tried to play bass and understood that this is my instrument (caught at once!). I don’t play any other instruments except bass (drums and guitars a bit). It’s also interesting to mention that since the very first days of my learning I already tried to write my own stuff. Though some songs I write while playing guitar, because bass is not always enough for expressing some ideas.


Well, pretty clear. What about EXTROVERT? How did you start? What can you say something about the current line-up?

In 1992 I went from Bratsk to Irkutsk to enter the musical college. On entering I got acquainted with a number of musicians – that’s how BIG TROUBLE, a hard’n’heavy band, was formed back in 1993. A year later I left the college in order to wholly concentrate on my music. In 1995 we became an accompaniment band of Irkutsk Pilgrim’s Theatre. We were taking part in “Juno and Avos”, “The Star and the Death of Hoakin Murieta”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” staging, introducing our own ideas and arrangements to the whole plot. We were working for almost 10 years there, progressing as musicians and composers. Due to our theatrical experience we became more interested in larger musical forms and finally we have come to Progressive Rock. Our current line-up is the best one from the whole band’s history (my opinion as a band’s founder). I hope there’ll be no further changes. All the musicians are very talented and – that’s the most important thing – are faithful to what they’re doing and are ready to overcome the possible difficulties.


How do you write your music? Are there any ideas behind the music (like some extreme metal bands have)? How can you characterize what you’re doing?

The music’s creating goes in following way: I prepare some fragments, progressions, riffs, sometimes whole pieces at home and bring them on repetition. Then we arrange and logically conclude or continue the ideas. The same thing with other band members’ ideas. We’re all influenced by the “Greats” of Rock, and I consider this to be a natural fact. Soon we’ll work out our own style – the EXTROVERT’s style (personally I think it’s already done!!! – Prog-Jester’s remark). The idea of our music is to express ourselves, share our thoughts and find our soulmates. For those who never heard our music, I describe it as a complexly-structured rock with instrumental development. That’s how we can be possibly characterized.


What about your instrumental side-project AGARTA? Are there any further plans of cooperating with other Prog bands/artists? With whom of them do you have any relations?

As for AGARTA, it all started when our drummer Denis Popoff (now not playing with the band – Prog-Jester’s remark) invited his friend, MYTH’s guitarist, to jam a duet. By some occasion, I was present during on of their repetitions. Being impressed with their energy, I picked up my bass and started to accompany them. Hence the trio was born. Later we decided to add another one instrument to this music. We tried sax, but it wasn’t good there. Finally we’ve invited EXTROVERT’s guitarist Valera and named our instrumental progect “AGARTA”. It was less heavy and more fusion-based music. We’ve recorded the whole album, then put it aside and continued to work on our main stuff. Only in 2003 AGARTA’s “Under the Same Sky” album was released (by Starless Records). It still gets good reviews and comments in Web (recommended one! – Prog-Jester’s remark).
EXTROVERT’s “Awakening the Ocean” was released by Blacksmith Production, our Irkutsk’s friend label. It’s possible that our next one will be released also by it.
I receive mail from different musicians from our country and abroad. We’ve got acquainted with AZAZELLO’s musicians, when we played on Moscow’s “InProg” festival last spring.   

                                                                                                                                            
Do you have plans to conquer the world with your music? ;-)

We’ve sent a number of demos abroad and we have some offerings. We need our material to be in English to release it worldwide. We plan to re-record our debut with a new singer in order to offer our material to a wider audience.


How do you think is there Prog in Russia and CIS? What is the situation with it?

I think there IS a Progressive Music in Russia and CIS, but it’s an underground because medias are filled with you-know-what. Hence majority of listeners have no access to a serious music or not aware of it’s existence and listen to what they are proposed. Only faithful devotees are always in touch with what’s happening on ProgFront.


Any news about your second album?

I can not say anything definite about our future album, because it’s still in making. Neither title nor majority of lyrics aren’t ready yet. I can say that we plan to release it in 2007, because we can’t make our listeners wait for too long. Besides, we have so many ideas to express!


As long as I know, you’re pretty good “live” band. Do you play on regular basis?

As for our live shows, they are regular because we earn our living with the help of them. We’re not always playing our own stuff (it is played mainly on fests or in clubs), we play a great variety of covers – from Beatles to Dream Theater. It’s very hard to earn your living with such activity in our country, but we’re managing to survive and even to buy an equipment and instruments.


What would you like to wish to all our Prog fans?

I’d like to wish that the quantity of Prog devotees will be always growing. Then the intellect of generations-to-come will be higher and Russia can become a civilized state. It’s not just words, because Music do plays an immense role in human’s life and influences on it’s way of thinking and the whole attitude. All the developed countries have rich musical history with Rock-music occupying an important place in it, while we just had no Rock because of the Iron Curtain. Now we have another curtain inside the country which limits the development of talented young artists and bands. Money rules and musicians have not enough them to promote their music. I hope soon the situation will change to better!
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to all!!!

Thanks for the interview, Max! I wish you luck in conquering the Prog-World and be cool!!!


Prog-Jester (Igor Sidorenko), December 2006
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2007 at 16:45
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