(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Sergey Naydenov from the Russian old school death metal band Disadaptive, whose new album Apocryphal was released just last month by Svanrenne Music.)
Here we have an old school death metal act from Russia – Disadaptive. It’s just two men – Sergey Naydenov (guitars, bass) and Dmitry Sokolov (vocals). The band’s story is brief yet the guys demonstrate some determination regarding their favorite genre, as they have recorded two EPs and a full-length album in the course of two years.
That album, entitled Apocryphal, was released during early September by Svanrenne Music and song names like “Mentor from Beyond the Grave”, “Crafted Abomination”, and “No Light from God” will give you a hint regarding the nature of their message. Also you’ll find an Autopsy cover here, and Disadaptive’s inspiration is clearer and sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel.
Sergey answered a few questions from our side and revealed some views on the local death metal scene.
Hi Disadaptive! How are you? What’s going on in your camp?
Hi, we’re still fine, thanks! The times we’re in are dark, but we’re still struggling through.
The band was started as a duo two years ago or so. Why did you decide to work in this format with no other musicians involved?
The band was actually set up in 2019 as a 3-piece involving a drummer. For 2-3 months we had rehearsals, but then we split up due to different views on how to move on and what music to play. Me and Dmitry deeply wanted to play that good old death metal as we know it today, you know, in the veins of Death, Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, early Entombed, and stuff like this, but our drummer wanted to keep up with Entombed’s Wolverine Blues death’n’roll style, which is a true classic, no doubt, but not the kind of stuff we wanted to produce.
This is all fine, we kept friends, and everyone has their own path to go, you know. Actually when we split up we had concerns about whether we would go further or just wrap everything up, but we chose the first option and released the EP To Walk the Path of the Damned as a result. In 2021 we found new members for the band, a bassist and a new drummer following a short period of rehearsals as a 4-piece, but it was not that stable and it was quite tough to get everyone on the same surface. Ultimately the lineup split up again. Even after this we spent some efforts to find other members for the band, but ultimately we gave up and decided to move on as a duo.
As you say, the first Disadaptive release was To Walk the Path of the Damned. What was your plan back then? What did you want to achieve with this recording?
That was a start, In the very beginning we wanted to make stuff the Swedish way, like Dismember, Entombed and other classic HM-2 acts, you know. We actually used HM-2 during the studio sessions for the first EP, and probably it can be heard on the record.
All four tracks from this EP were included in Disadaptive’s first full-length, With Worms to Feast / To Walk the Path of the Damned. Were you satisfied releasing the album this way? Did you re-record older tracks?
Many people consider it a first album and we’re happy about this, but in fact With Worms to Feast / To Walk the Path of the Damned was just a compilation of two EPs released in one CD by Svanrenne Music. We never re-recorded them. If you take a listen, the sound of To Walk the Path of the Damned is quite different and has more of a Swedish accent compared to With Worms to Feast, which we wanted to sound more English or American. We try to experiment with the sound.
Well, Metal-Archives mark it as a full-length, so where else can one find more info about it? By the way how do you deal with the questions of promotion?
Well, I agree there is not much info about it, but the label’s Bandcamp according to the link https://svanrenne.bandcamp.com/album/with-worms-to-feast says the first CD is two EPs combined.
As a band we promote the releases on social networks like VK, but almost no Facebook activities since it is officially banned in Russia. You can subscribe to us and follow on Instagram as well. As I mentioned, the promotion is almost 100% on the label’s side.
Did the album help you to attract some attention to the band? How did you spend this quarantine period as a band?
Yes, I hope so. I can’t say we attracted many listeners, but on the other hand we had some warm welcome in the underground metal scene giving us the inspiration to move on. Regarding the pandemic, actually it changed nothing or almost nothing from the perspective of the band. Back then we still could play live rehearsals with new band members and make new tracks during the pandemic.
How long did you work over the Apocryphal material? What kind of sound did you want to get when you entered the studio?
Since we are a duo it all takes more time than expected, so, we were working on the new stuff throughout 2021, and in February 2022 we started the recording. I was thinking about the sound and ultimately came to the conclusion that there is no need to sound like it’s 1992 to play old school death metal. The idea was to keep up with the iconic riffs and style, but make the sound more advanced as much as it does not break the stylish concept, you know.
How do you see the strong sides of Apocryphal? Fans of which bands would dig it?
Compared to the first CD we wanted to make it a bit more complex yet listenable. I would recommend to give it a try if you like Death (well, who doesn’t?), Asphyx, Autopsy, Possessed, Grave, and other classic old school death metal acts.
The drums were recorded by Andrey Andrianov. How did you work with him? Did he just improvise in the studio or did you explain to him all his parts?
Yes, but Andrey played on one track only, “Ridden with Disease”, an Autopsy cover. This was a remote cooperation. We asked Andrey to record the drum track and then we recorded the remaining parts on our side. Andrey is a professional so it all was simple and effective.
Okay, this time the information regarding the drummer is the same in both Metal-Archives and Disadaptive’s Bandcamp. Who recorded drums in this case?
It is mostly digital though done as much live as possible with the help of the sound engineer we worked with, Konstantin Dolganov.
The drums for the first EP To Walk the Path of the Damned were digital; the second EP With Worms to Feast had live drums recorded on it, thanks to our fellow drummer Pavel Kakatsanov. After this for some reasons we had to look into the electronic drums again, so, as I mentioned, Konstantin helped us to render really nice drums that you can hear on Apocryphal. As mentioned before, the Autopsy cover drum track was recorded by Andrey.
How do you promote the album? Do you keep in touch with Russian or foreign bands or distributors who could help you?
Well, I must say we’re too lazy to do this, haha. That’s why we work with Svanrenne – it’s all their play, but we do communicate with local bands and ask them to support the album in social media.
Which local death metal bands would you recommend to listen? And why do you think there was no band here of the same size as those Swedish or American bands you mentioned earlier? Honestly, I can’t remember any successful death metal band from the ’90s which would keep on playing nowadays and stay popular.
There were plenty of good solid death metal (and not only) bands from Russia, back in ’90s and still of now. Unfortunately most of the old bands split and don’t exist anymore, say, Graveside with their masterpiece album Sinful Accession, Merlin, Necrocannibal, Hieronymus Bosch, Tales of Darknord, Mortem, Melissa. There were more of course, but this is my personal list. As of now there are bands quite well known in the rest of the world,
I would say my opinion, but the reasons why there are no bands the same size as those Swedish or American bands are simple – there has never been an industry for this, no strong producers, and Russia has been quite isolated from the rest of the world in terms of how easy you can get to Europe or USA to play your stuff. This has always been an underground local community and scene which is still alive on its own.
Disadaptive’s lyrics deal with death, some violence, and decay. Well, and you even based some of your songs on books — Orwell is included. Now we have more of Orwell in our lives than ever. So how do you see your lyrics through the prism of reality?
Well said, now we really have more of Orwell’s scenarios in our lives, unfortunately. The lyrics are sometimes reality and sometimes not. When you get tired of reality’s ugly face you may need to take a look at something else for the inspiration for the lyrics.
What did inspire you when you were writing Apocryphal’s lyrics?
It can be anything, books, short articles, movies, magic grimoires (why not?).
Do you have any plans for Disadaptive now after all this shit happening here in Russia?
The only thing we really want for now is to stay alive and keep our families safe, this is my wish for all the people out there as well. In this situation everything related to the music has moved to the background, you know, but sooner or later all wars end and I hope the time of peace will be the perfect period to make a new step for the band.