Chain D.L.K.: Hello Ivan, let’s start this interview as usual: We like to read about you with some introduction content regarding Distorted World. How, when and why did you decide to establish your music-project?
Distorted World: Hi there, I’ve started composing music with a computer about 10 years ago and since that I have stored a lot of music-drafts in my PC. A bit later I’ve been playing keys in some Metal bands, but keys are usually not a very important part in this style. Also and at the same time I’ve discovered Dark Electro. So I joined Anthracitic Moths as a keyboardist and 2nd composer. The important point when you are playing in a band is that you have to find a compromise between that stuff you are composing and how the other members rate that. If you try to express something with your music, it may get altered by the other members. So, I was always thinking to produce more mystically and symphonic music along with electronics. I would say that DW is a very personal project, showing the way in which I would like to compose music. In 2010 I’ve started DW already having some tracks in stock which I rearranged. Also I composed some new tracks so by the end of 2012 I managed to release “Between the Strophes” CD.
Chain D.L.K.: As been said you are also one part of Anthracitic Moths, an Electro/Industrial project signed to the famous Gravitator Records. Please try to describe the main differences between both of your projects musically and lyrically. How is the current status of Anthracitic Moths?
Distorted World: Sure, AM was planned to be a more dancefloor-oriented project, more dark-electric. Most of the music was composed by Alexey, the founder. There were 3 – 4 of my tracks on the album, which I think have been noticeable by lower bpm and a darker mood. All lyrics were composed by Sephia; themes have been about social, war, crime, etc.
But in DW I rather try to use melodies, symphonic elements to create a dark atmosphere, closer to Dark Wave styles. The idea for future tracks is to combine the expression of symphonic elements (like we may know in Sympho-Black Metal) with cold and weird synthesizer-sounds and of course a rhythmical foundation. Concerning the lyrics, they aren’t a very important part for me, because especially with the use of harsh vocals lyrics are hard to recognize. So the main themes of the lyrics are surrealism (“Mysterious World”), sometimes I describe my dreams (“March of the Rotting Flesh”), extramundane worlds (“Ruined Kingdoms”), ominous rituals (“Devil Worship”) and dark corners of a human mind (“Cursed Hero”). A good slogan to describe my lyrics is taken from the title song: “The Darkness is between the strophes…”
One of the possible interpretations for this is: our world is extremely complicated and every small detail may hide the hugest mystery. And a few more words about Anthracitic Moths, which I have to tell you: The project is now unfortunately on hold because of an accident happened to its leader Alexey, just a few months ago.
Chain D.L.K.: Distorted World is currently signed to the new Russian label Artificial Sun. How did you get in contact with the label chief Evgeny Fesslav? Does it disturb you in any way that most label colleagues are rather based into Industrial/Metal-music styles instead of Electro?
Distorted World: Evgeny Fesslav just wrote and suggested me to sign. He does a lot of promo and Artificial Sun has a kind of community of its musicians with an own forum, wide range of remix possibilities etc. So it is very musician-friendly. And it is at first an Industrial label, releasing Electro/Industrial as well as Industrial-Metal, so I don’t see any contradiction here.
Chain D.L.K.: Please fill in some internal content about the production/composing process of Distorted World. I guess Angelina becomes more and more a vital band-member, so could you try to explain the responsibilities and internal concept of the composition process?
Distorted World: I start composing usually by improvising on a synth with a melody or a rhythmical pattern. I have a few hardware synths, I love hardware and I’m always trying to get more gear, he-he. So most of the tracks are written with it, except for the earliest ones. As for an example, nowadays I’m waiting for a new modular synth to arrive from Europe. Everything I compose, record and mix I do in my own home-studio being probably hated by my neighbours. And yes, you are right about Angelina. She joined DW about a year ago when the album was almost finished, but I hope she will take a more significant part in DW soon. She is playing a huge role on the upcoming “Personal Necropolis” CD single, and of course we are playing live together.
Chain D.L.K.: Your debut album “Between The Strophes” impresses with unexpected programming details and a layered sound-design. It deals a lot with mystic, dark and paranormal themes. What can be rated as being the most important influences to compose your tracks?
Distorted World: Glad to hear this. The most important influence is music by other bands and composers. My personal favorite list includes Hollenthon, Heimataerde, Dimmu Borgir, Hocico, Opeth, Haggard, Arcturus, Das Ich, In Extremo, Behemoth, Stravinsky, Radigost, Rob Zombie, Fear Factory, Tanzwut, Septic Flesh, Emperor, Dance or Die, Shostakovich, Dark Lunacy, Therion, X-Fusion, Wynardtage, Diary of Dreams, Mortiis, some movie- soundtracks, etc. The real music causes horrification – this is really inspiring. And it is not only about contemporary music as for example Stravinsky “The Rite of Spring”, which was composed about 100 years ago, but now it sounds very menacing and ominous. It also known for causing a riot, when it was performed for the first time. Some ideas for lyrics may be inspired by literature like Stephen King or Glen Cook with his novel “Black Company”.
Chain D.L.K: You are surprising your listeners with the fact, that you use from time to time German lyrics (“Hexentanz”) and you are also active under the pseudonym “Unbekannter”. What kind of affiliation do you have to Germany and the language? And has this pseudonym the intention to tarnish a bit your identity and your private life?
Distorted World: Ich habe deutsch an der Uni gelernt. Also I worked for a German company and I visit Germany and Austria from time to time for a job or vacation. And you are partly right about me trying to tarnish my life, but this pseudonym also occurred because I was undecided what pseudonym to choose. “Unknown” pseudonym sounds stupid so I decided to take “Unbekannter”. But this happened more during the Anthracitic Moths time; nowadays I usually use just Ivan M.
Chain D.L.K.: “Between The Strophes” got mastered by Jan L. (X-Fusion) in his famous X-M-P studios. How did you get in contact with him and what are the reasons that you preferred his abilities?
Distorted World: A mastering engineer is someone whom you have to trust to, because it is up to him to do his best in order to correct what you missed. So firstly, he must be experienced in mastering and secondly, he has to be found of the style of your music to let it sound properly. So, I think Jan L. is the right person for this job. We contacted him when we needed the mastering for the first album by Anthracitic Moths.
Chain D.L.K.: While we are doing this interview you are releasing a new EP-CD called “Personal Necropolis”. Please fill in the important details regarding this release. When do we have the chance to explore another new studio album from you?
Distorted World: The “Personal Necropolis” Single is now being replicated on a press plant, so I hope to get the CDs in July. There’s one main track and 5 remix works by Nordika (MEX), Rabbit at War (DE), Terminal State (SLO), Ultimate Soldier (RU), and ShadowKill (Australia). This time I included some orchestral elements along with Angelina’s vocals and mine in a chorus. It may sounds closer to the “Dream…” track. So this track took the longest time I’ve ever worked on a track. Here’s some info from the press-release: “Personal Necropolis” is devoted to escapism. A new revelation about the dark depths of a human mind in which the character of the story hides, looking for another meaning to life. His own meaning that is incomprehensible for most people and damnable by humanity. “Personal Necropolis” – this is the place he hides…
Also I have already started to compose tracks for the second full-length CD. There are 2 – 3 tracks ready done and I hope to release it in 2014.
Chain D.L.K.: Lately it seems that you have also decided to perform your music live on stage. Tell us a bit about your live actions. How have the reactions of the audience been? Any plans for a bigger tour, maybe through Russia or other European countries?
Distorted World: We have already played many live shows in Moscow and some nearest cities. The reaction is usually intermediate, but is the same with most of the bands except for super-large-headliners. People are having now plenty of shows, 2 or 3 every Friday and Saturday. It is good one on side but also bad because there are lesser guests on larger gigs. Surely I’d like to have a tour through Russia or Europe, we are free for suggestions. Personally I’m very poor in managing any events, so I have to work with a proper manager or agency to handle this.
Chain D.L.K.: Any projects else you guys are involved, which we haven’t discussed here so far? Any plans for a new release already able to confirm here? Any news in the pipeline of remix works, collaborations etc.?
Distorted World: I’m constantly working on some remixes, and I usually release one or two in a month. So, anyone, you are welcome to ask for a remix or suggest any collaboration . Music for DW takes much time, but I’m looking forward to participate with my vocals in another band, maybe an international internet-only project. What else? Artificial Sun is preparing a “Russian Industrial Tribute to Die Krupps”, where DW takes a part with a cover for “Tod und Teufel” track and partly in that ”Risikofaktor” cover by performing the vocals. There are 2 more remixes ready done for European bands, but they asked not to publicize it before the official release.
Chain D.L.K.: Finally some words about the private life of Ivan M… Please give us some insight about hobbies, relations, scandals, and other things of interest…
Distorted World: No problem. Music takes much time, it’s a main occupation, except asides a regular job (I’m a networking engineer). I used to be a caver, visited a lot of underground, natural vertical caves, accessible only with mountaineering techniques. But it was a long time ago. What else? Mountain skiing, hunting, photo (nature, nudity). Ah, yes, Beer (I should have written this in the question about inspiration maybe…) Scandals – none of them yet, or maybe I just don’t remember them after taking too much beer…
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words you feel important to say to the world outside…?
Distorted World: First off, thanks for the interview! And to everyone, keep on your interest to the music you like.
visit the artist on the web at: http://distorted-world.com
Interview: Marc Tater Proofreader: Jean Mason