interview with izzumm

Have any of you played in other bands? Yes... All along my path in music I am playing with different bands and side projects. In the beginning it was a rock band "Redkie Zemli" (Rare Lands) .. I was playing guitar and singing there .. .. than there was a kind of dub band called "Sheveleniya" (Movements) and "Moskovsky Dub Project"  where I did electronics and SFXing... After that appeared an ethno-electronic band "Waveshapes", in which I was playing on freetless bass, percussions like dejembe and tabla, tibetan singing bowls and also did some electronics ... After some time I began to make music myself and perform alone as "Izzumm", but still was participating in side projects, that I'm doing now days also. I can't tell exactly how many projects I participated in, but there was a lot ... 

How is it that you started playing music? I began to play the guitar in summer 1995. It was a kind of school traveling along the great russian river Volga. I was very much exited with the elders playing the guitar and singing songs, sitting around the fire, so when i came back home, i found a cheap guitar, got the chords tab and began to practice. Though it was quiet painfull in the beginning, i was playing 8 - 12 hours a day, so after a couple years i was playing fine enough to go out at the street and play and sing there. That time i met those guyes with whom we made our firs band "Redkie Zemli" 

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?

My name is Boris. 

I am a multi instrumental musician playing different guitars, bass,keys and synths, ethnic percussions like Afrikan Djembe, Turkish Darbuka, Uzbekistan Doira, Indian Tabla, Nepali Kanjira, Northen Shaman drum and vargans, Tibetan singing bowls and bells ...  and also making different kind of electronics and effecting.

I am 34.

Have you had other previous members? No .. Izzumm - that project we are talking about, is a solo project that I'm doing myself.

Did you make music even when you were young? As i told, I began to make music when in the age of 12 - 14 ... before that I was only just kidding with keys. 

Where are you from? I'm from Moscow, Russia

What year did the band form? Project "Izzumm" started around 2002 

What's your style of genre? I'm making a kind of psychedelic chillout with some ethno stuff in it

What inspires you? I think that most inspiration comes from music process it self ... especially when it happens to release some of my music ... also big part of inspiration comes from performing on the stage, especially festivals. .. I like travelling and when it is connected with the performance it is a very big thing for me.

How often and where do you reherse? Well ... I would say that rehersals is a part of life. No matter is there a band or not ... I mean that even DJ sets that I'm going to play on the party - I am rehersing. When collaborating with other musicians we all the time rehersing ... That time when i was in the band - we were all the time rehersing.... even we understand each other without any words and playing a kind of improvisation, still we are rehersing it. Where? Anywhere that it is possible and do not disturb others. But honestly it was many times in the past when there is a full band rehersing in the one room in the flat ... full with a cigarte smoke .. and bringing huge disturbance for the neighbours. I love that time it was, you know?

How have you developed since you started with the music?

The main thing, I think, is that I know exactly what I want to get in the result, though many times the result is surprising me in a better way... I am a kind of critical to what I am hearing. 

Than I got a big experience in performing and in preparation for it and also I got quite wide knowledge in sound equipment, sound engineering and working with other musicians and a music software.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Actually not... though many times I had to work a job not connected to the music at all .. just to get some money ....but it's not about the interest .... still I was always looking for a music job and spent a lot of time working as a stage technic or a sound engineer or even a kind of expert in audio eqipment in the music shop.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Actually - yes, I do. It's hard to make music, to perform and at the same time to manage the performances.... it was like many times the deals on the next performance were made during the performance and it's a better way when it's done by a manager. Also it's not easy to manage the tours, especially when there is no connection in that area, so booking agency should have be connected with the very wide number of stages worldwide.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? I'm always interested in connection with new record labels, though I'm allready working with Spaceradio Records, and before i worked with Vertigo Records and Polarlight Recordings.  I think at the present time main thing for a label is to have a good studio and an ability to sell music worldwide and to spread it over the Internet. 

What are your songs about? Just because usually I'm not making songs, than music that I'm making is a kind of mood that I'm trying to share with the listeners.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Actually my music doesn't contain lyrics so much. There are some voice samples appearing in the music, theese I'm recording during the journeys. Sometimes, when inspired I'm also writing some lyrics but I don't use them for music. ... honestly, I think that if there are lyrics, mostly there is more attention on it, what makes music to move on a second plan... to become just an arrangement. All the music in this project i'm doing myself.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? That time, 15 years back, when we were singing songs and playing in a band - first thing we did was lyrics and after that music. Now,  after I shifted for the music creation rather than song making, I start with music first. 

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Usually it's my home studio or some other music studio .. but at the same tme I like to make music while in the journey.

Have you done any covers live? The first band that I was playing with, we were singing mostly covers and sometimes our own songs. Today, I perform only my own music when playing on a chillout stage, and when I'm playing as a DJ on the dancefloor, than of course this is the music of different artists.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? From nobody to three - four hundred. The bigger crowd comes on the festivals.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? 23 - 45 

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? I'm trying to play mostly fresh made tracks but some old tracks I'm playing also.

What was your first gig like? My very first gig was on the street in the center of Moscow .... but if to talk about "Izzumm" project ... i think it was a perfrmance on one very local, but very friendly party in the forest, somewhere not so far from Moscow.

What was your latest gig? Last time I was playing in a night club... and one more performance i had with another musician in an Indian restaurant. We were playing a kind of ambient music with synthesizers and Indian instrument - sitar.

Have you had to cancel a gig? Yes ... unfortunately it happened several times because of my incondition. Still filling shame about it.

Where have you played live this year? Just because the year only had started I played mostly on a New Year gigs... also last couple years I was out of the stream a bit, so I didn't perform a lot ... but usually I play at different kind of parties and sometimes festivals.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Well . .. hard to say ... I don't have touring dates fixed ... I sent a several requests for participation in festivals but these aren't proved yet. Gigs are just appearing and I'm just playing. I wish very much to visit Europe.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Mmmm ...  from the one side I think that downloading gives a more wide way to spread the music for the beginners ... from the other side - it brings much less profit that it could give. 

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? I think it become much more labels that give a possibility to spread the music. And there is much less requirements needed to do that. But I don't think that it affected music production industry in general like equpment and all ...  only the way of distribution. 

What do you think of my work? I'm very appreciate your work and wish to say big thanks to you. 

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Anyway this intrview is good for promotion outside of my own country. Maybe someone could have an interest to invite my project for a party or a festival.   

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I can be inspired from both ... i like old music as much as modern.

What have been your biggest obstacles? I think the biggest obstacle was and that still exists is a lack of finasation of the project.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? I want to wish that you hold and work on, don't give up and share you did.

Do you have any new material?  Yeah ... there is an upcomming EP "Izzumm - Spiritual Metamorphing" gonna be released hopefully in February.

What are your web sites?

There is my artist kind of blog on the Facebook 

And recently restored page with the music on Soundcloud

How can people reach you? The most easy way to reach me is by the e-mail : [email protected]

What are your plans for the future? Plans are the same as the wishes - just to go on with the music ... 

Do you have something to add? After so many friends have died and so much pain have been experienced - I just want to wish ...  if you can ... than .. stay away from the drugs ... and alcohol.