As Russian modern nu-metallers NU-NATION are hitting the road today with their new European tour, AlteRock has called  the band’s guitarist, Alexander ‘Maiden’ Korsak and drummer Alexei ‘Kisych’ Kiyski, and interrupted their packing routines to talk about the upcoming shows and their expectations, and share funny memories from their previous tour. The guys also told us about their new single, ‘No Way Out’, which was released on April 10, and pondered on the band’s evolvement after the changes in the line-up.

April 28, 2015

Tell us a bit about your new track ‘No Way Out’.
Kisych: It is actually one of the first tracks we have made with the new line-up, from beginning to end. In a way, it defines the modern metal sound of the upcoming album.

How soon can we expect more new tracks from the band?
Kisych: As soon as we are done with the tour, we’ll start thinking about it. Most of the material for the new album is ready. We just need to go to the studio and record it.

What are the main recurring topics in your lyrics?
Maiden: Evil, Satan… (laughs). In fact, all the earlier lyrics were written by our former vocalist. When he left, many people contributed to writing the lyrics, including me and our new singer. The lyrics for the couple of news songs are already written, but we can’t talk about the concept yet. We’ll see when we start work on the new album. In this tour we’ll play the songs from the previous album and a couple of new things.

On the road from your debut EP to the latest track, your sound has gone quite far from original nu-metal, which gave the band its name, Nu-Nation. Is it the result of music experiments or just the natural development over the years?
Maiden: I’ve always thought that first of all music has to be interesting, and it’s not really good to be obsessed with one type of sound. The previous band members had rigid frames and didn’t really want to move on, while I wanted to mix different styles that I listened to, take the best of them and sound more modern.
Kisych: Besides, it’s a natural process. The band cannot keep playing the same stuff over and over.
Maiden: Some bands do that, but it’s not what we want. Our goal is to play what we like playing. And since all of us listen to different music, we end up having a lot of different elements in one song.

nu-nationHow have your own tastes in music changed over these years?
Maiden: They haven’t, basically. We keep listening to good music, just like before (laughs). Well, of course, tastes change. For example, what I used to listen to 10 years ago, I may only listen to occasionally now, when I feel nostalgic. And some of the bands you used to like, when you turn them on later, you think: “Oh God, how could I ever listen to that?!”

On the upcoming tour, are you playing in some new countries or cities?
Maiden: Sure, we do our best to extend our geography. This time we’ll have a lot of gigs in Western Europe, just like we wanted. In addition, it turned out that we’ll play a lot of shows in the Czech Republic.

Which of the shows on the forthcoming tour are you most excited about and why?
Maiden: In Russia, we’re especially excited about performing in Kaliningrad. Last time we played there, it was really cool. Besides, it’s the only Russian city on the upcoming tour. In Europe, based on our previous touring experience we can’t wait to return to Liege [Belgium] and to Geneva [Switzerland], which surprised us so much last time – it was really wild! Also Bratislava, where we always have a great crowd. And we’re looking forward to coming to Paris, of course: not just to play there, but to have some time off. In fact, all shows are equally important for us.

At a recent European music conference one of the discussions ran under the heading “Hope For Russia”. From your point of view, is there hope for Russian rock bands to become internationally acclaimed?
Kisych: Of course, if the band is working on that.
Maiden: A lot depends on the political situation. The more isolated we get as a country, the harder it will be for the bands to integrate into the music industry. Many American and European labels are still suspicious when it comes to Russian bands, because Russian bands have some visa issues, for example, bad English language skills on the part of most bands. Taking into account all those conditions Russian bands have to work in, I am sure that a lot of European bands would just give it up. It shows that our people are assertive, they want to keep doing their thing. If the band is trying hard and finds people to invest into them, like it works in the U.S., then of course there might pop up the names of new Russian bands on the world arena. In fact, there are some internationally famous Russian bands, like Arkona, for instance, who successfully do big festivals and go on headlining tours with Korpiklaani in the States. Bands which make their own music, bands which are not copying existing American bands attract European audiences.

Which countries do the crowds give you an especially warm welcome?
Maiden: I believe, in Russia. Our people are more simple, more open. But it doesn’t really depend on the country. There haven’t been any cases that the crowd would boo us and throw bottles at us.
Kisych: In some places the audience is calmer, in others they are more active.
Maiden: And of course, our hometown St. Petersburg welcomes us very warmly. And Baltic countries, like Poland and Estonia always rock.

What show or the time before/after the show do you think you will remember for a long time?
Maiden: In Europe, we remember Geneva has struck us to our core. We arrived to the right address and saw an ancient 4-5-storey mansion where punks lived. They don’t use electricity except at nights, because it’s too expensive. We looked around us, got scared and thought it was time to get the hell out of there – it didn’t look good. But then they organized the club in the cellar, which attracted loads of people, who supported us very much during the show. It was really amazing.

If you could have any musician from the whole world as a band member in Nu-Nation, who would you choose?
Maiden: We would be happy to have a good soundmaker (laughs). Otherwise, we don’t really need anyone else. Well, of course, we could collaborate with some musicians and we do get a lot of offers from different samplers but there work hasn’t impressed us yet.
Kisych: For example, if a sampler from Linkin Park told us: “Hey, let’s record something together!”, we would definitely do it, but we don’t need more permanent members in our band. We do need a good producer, though.

How will your new shows be different for those fans who came to check you out live on the previous tour?
Maiden: We wanted to buy superhero costumes but we didn’t have enough money for that and bought some new stage equipment instead.
Kisych: Now that we have new music equipment, we will use only our own stuff wherever we go. We hope to make our fans happy with our improved sound quality on stage. See you all soon!

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