What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?/ Have you had other previous members?
Hello! There are five members in the band at the moment.
Me…))) – Aleksandr Savinykh (ADAMS), 36 / bass, backing vocals.
Valentin Samokhin (MAU), 34 / vocals, keyboards.
Nikolai Vykhodtsev (DOMOVOY), 33 / drums.
Vladislav Ustinov (VLAD), 38 / lead guitar.
Vladimir Aldushkin (VADER), 32 / guitar.
The FAUSTTОPHEL band in its present format have not had other members. The project was created back in 1999 in the city of Poltava, Ukraine. At that time there were three of us forming a classic black metal band – drums, guitar and bass/vocals. But the band lasted for just a couple years and ceased to exist without any, even bootleg (or how would I call it?))…), record left behind. In 2009, a spontaneous attempt was made to resume the work on the long-gone project. This time, these were two key band members (ADAMS and MAU) plus two session musicians (Olga Kargopolova and Valeriy Sarkisov). As a result, a debut album “Thirst of Oblivion” was released in 2013 by “Metal Scrap Records” Ukrainian label. A year later, three more musicians joined the project, thus turning FAUSTTОPHEL into a full-sized band. And our cooperative effort resulted in the second release “…Sancta Simplicitas…” (2016).
Where are you from? I was born and grew up in Ukraine, in Poltava city. Since 2004, I've been living in Russia, city of Obninsk.
What's your style of genre?/ What are your songs about?/ What language do you sing in/ Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?
In 1999 we tried to play black metal… Why do I say “tried”? Because, generally speaking, we had no clear understanding of the concept at that moment. As any other youths, we were overfilled with indifference and hatred of all and everything…))) And the black metal style was very appealing for us in this respect. Obviously enough: we were 18-19-year dreamers, with revolution in our minds, plus specific living environment and permanent lack of EVERYTHING…))) Naturally, our lyrics were at the same level, and our music resembled everything we listened to at that time. Now I’m not ashamed to talk about it, since there’s no sense in denying the obvious. Sometimes it’s just ridiculous to read an interview of some mature brand musician where he tells about his conceptual view of life at his age of 7 or 10 years. Bullshit…)))
Of course, a lot of people and things are changing as time goes by, and we are no exception. Having understood myself, reconsidered my perception of music and style, and assessed the possibilities, I can make the following conclusion: at the moment, FAUSTTОPHEL is Eclectic Black Death Metal with symphonic elements. While using the elements of various music styles, we have a certain inclination towards Black Death Metal. In terms of concepts and lyrics, we exploit only a part of the Black Metal idea. This is its antireligious component – not radical in its classical sense, but enlightening. Most of our lyrics are based on the questions, searching (same as the path), and possible answers in the atmosphere of bursts and lulls. We live in the 21st century, and along with innovative scientific achievements we have a global problem, a religious one. The tools for ideological manipulations in this field have been constantly improved, thus giving people no way for intellectual and creative development. Religions impose hundreds of complexes and cause psychological injuries turning people into obedient stooges which spend out their days like livestock in a stall. Sometimes they blow up and commit horrible actions inconsistent with common sense. Needless to say about ethno-religious warmongerings… So I must upset true fans of Black Metal – we are not satanists…))) Yes, we use the names of the fallen in our lyrics, but we didn’t invent them, these are religious apocrypha! Well, FAUSTTОPHEL has a dark and gloomy look on its covers and pictures, as befits this music style, but both Lucifer and Prometheus brought light.))))) Music and lyrics for FAUSTTОPHEL are mostly written by me in Russian. Our friends often offer their lyrics also, in particular in Ukrainian. Sometimes, as on our first release, we use classical golden age poetry, such as Aleksandr Blok or Nikolay Gumilyov, and also some
poems by foreign authors (John Myers Myers, Kail Itorr). And we always complete and assemble our lyrics so as to leave a feeling of mental fullness and a will to create after listening to it.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?/ Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?/ Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
All of us have regular jobs not related to music. You know, being into music and making music, especially in heavy styles, brings no money. Quite to the contrary, one has to spend money on it. At least such is the situation in the former CIS countries. Well, there certainly are quite famous bands which have performed in half of the world and are known to many people. But, as many hard-boiled metalheads from our region have already mentioned, making music today is a kind of activity for rich kids. In other words, for those who have a “financial cushion” in addition to their will, skill and competence. (Although there are some bands which have only will and money.) Such are our realia: there are hundreds of new and pretty good bands, but very few of them are able to pay for their promotion. I myself work with my hands and respect those who also do their work and find a possibility to invest in their creative activities.
FAUSTTОPHEL haven’t had any pre-booked tours so far, except for local gigs and participation in a couple international festivals: “Black Sea Metal Fest” and “Autumn Souls of Sofia”. We attended the latter with support of our label “Metal Scrap Records”. Actually, we plan to work with it as with a booking agency in the near future. This autumn we are going to participate in the Romanian “Rites of the Black Mass” fest. We’ve been working with the label for 5 years now, 2 albums were released, and the 3rd one is on its way. What can I say? I have nothing to compare it with by now, but at this point our label is of great help for us in terms of promotion.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?/ What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days?/ How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?
I’ll start with music downloading. People of my age, including myself, as well as older metalheads, grew up in shortage of the music we liked. Maybe that’s why there was a demand for it, and rising generations felt an increasing interest in such music for a while. Unfortunately, when the worldwide web rapidly covered all the life industries, in particular in the former CIS countries, it started destroying the demand for and interest in music as such. And this pertained not only to metal genres and styles… Here is how it worked: piracy records appeared, prices gradually went down, and finally the product became available literally for free. In earlier times, audiotapes and CDs were sold in every corner. Digital formats ousted almost everything else! Nowadays one can find a CD outlet only in specialty shops selling informal (i.e. subculture) outfits and attributes. It would be ok in principle, if only there were no free access to download in our social network. (We take our merch, CDs and t-shirts to international fests and sell them there.) The product has lost its value, but all of us still take heroic efforts to produce it.))) The overall availability (on the web) has led to satiation. And new generations tend to degrade to a disco level with no trace of intelligent mental load at all. Many of them do not even see the problem, which indicates their total indifference towards the arts on the whole. They just know: anytime they can enter a hashtag in the search engine and get what they want at no cost. This factor has distorted the need for product quality. As a result, hundreds of bands appear which accommodate with inferior quality, record tons of shit and discharge it into the network. The problem of downloading is not a matter of one day, month, or year. This problem has been developed for decades, that’s why I won’t blame people for downloading. The only satisfying thing is that people belonging to the informal metal community try to maintain the traditional support of musicians and buy merch.
What do you think of my work?/ How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? You know, I do respect any work. And I’d like to express gratitude to you on behalf of all our band members for your consideration and attention. Thank you!) If the bands continue to be interviewed, it means that certain audience is still interested. That’s good. It’s unlikely that the interview will somehow help us. It will only give a broader understanding of who we are.
Do you have any role models or idols?/ Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?/ What advice would you give other bands or artists?
In my view, neither music style or performer has come from outer space or appeared out of the blue…))) Everybody imitated someone or something at all times, adding of course some fresh ideas (otherwise you won’t capture the audience). Our band includes 5 members now, and believe me, every one of us has his own music preferences. But we all are eager to experiment. Many of us were established as metalheads in the 90s, when the world metal music industry was formed and iconic bands, albums and clips appeared. As for me, I get inspiration more often from music of the past decades. But, to avoid falling into oblivion as a fogy, I also listen to what modern musicians do.))) I’d prefer not to name the bands so that not to focus the audience’s attention on them…))) I believe everyone should personally find something for him- or herself.
I'm a self-taught musician, so I won’t advise anyone anything! But I’ll tell my own story. Every person being part of the music community sooner or later faces serious questions. I don’t know if it’s also true for musicians and music fans in Europe, the US or elsewhere, but in the former CIS countries people ask themselves, “Why?”. You may find time and money and get support and understanding from your family, but you have to find out for yourself “WHY?” you do this… This is highly important! I’ve understood myself at the age of 27 when I cut my hair for the second time in my life. Maybe I did it in order to cut short everything that connected me with this sphere. A feeling of loss of almost 10 years of my life had been burning my mind until I was able to tie my hair back in a ponytail again! And I realized that I did everything right and would hardly back out ever. Somebody comes to such understanding at age 20, somebody at 40… Such spurts are 90% delusive and often just confuse you without changing anything in your inner world. This means you should learn to force them into the right direction, so as not to skip from side to side and be stung with remorse for the rest of your life. I was born and grew up in the generation which witnessed the establishment of metal culture. We listen, create and keep it rolling. And there will never be someone like us! Let every metalhead keep this in mind!)))
Do you have any new material?/ How can people reach you?/ What are your plans for the future?
We will work on recording of our new material throughout 2018. The album tends to be a conceptual one, as usual…) Full length, quality sound and ideological components are guaranteed. I’ll not unveil all the details though...)
We have no web sites, only band pages on Facebook and VKontakte. Our emails are: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
and anyone can send us a message with constructive proposals.
The future is always vague…) In the first place is our new album and a video to one of the tracks. The we’ll see what the possibilities will be. We plan to perform at the international festivals once or twice a year, but again it depends on the available possibilities.
Thanks again for your attention! Good luck!
Aleksandr (ADAMS) Savinykh