Monday 20 June 2016

Interview with Kannabinõid

What will you expect from the band with a name such as Kannabinõid? It doesn’t matter indeed… This band from Tallinn, Estonia already perform under the banner of heavy, dirty and more or less psychedelic stoner doom. Their debut full-length album “Troon” (“Throne”) was released on vinyl in April 29th, 2016 by Golem label.

They have low-tuned guitars, some fuzz, Estonian lyrics and three songs with the album running for almost 46 minutes. Be prepared for crude and dark doom!

Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to get the answers from all three members of Kannabinõid. It was fun.

Hi men! How are you there? What's new in Tallinn?

Jerl: Hey. We're doing good, a lot of new super-heavy riffs emerging on all fronts.

Rol: Savisaar (our city head) has lost his leg and might go to jail, so I think things are getting better. Drugs are still expensive though...

Taniel: Tere! I’m good. Tallinn got a lot greener while we were touring.

Kannabinõid was born in about 2009, but since then you have only one self-titled EP and now a full-length album “Troon”. What obstacles have you met on your way to this album? Why did it take so long to finish it?

Taniel: The human resource management was poorly organized.

Jerl: Good things take time. The obstacles range from financing to collectively agreeing on the composition of the songs and the physical side of the record. Teamwork is key, understanding that saves a lot of time and effort.

Rol: With this album we had all the obstacles you can basically imagine. It was like a teenage boy struggling through love and sex life. The only thing that was keeping us going was that we knew it will come out fucking epic. When the old drummer left, I joined the band and I managed to do 2-3 gigs with old songs, then our guitarist and concept god left from the band, so Taniel had to learn to play guitar, first 3 months were weird. Then I asked Jerl if he wanted to join us and he did but first steps and getting everybody into the same vibe was hard, every song was a struggle.

We didn’t want to create “just another doom song” . With that we decided, fuck it, lets book some recording time and we had about 4-5 months to create all the songs. So time flew, and finally here we are after some struggle and difficulties at the studio. To be honest, we still didn’t know the songs by heart. We recorded I think at April last year (2015).

We recorded 4 songs live and made two of them into one (Matus). There was also a song called MONOLIIT, that didn’t make it on the record. The vocals we recorded at our rehearsal space. We needed one more song and we had some riffs. We added riffs after riffs and there was no end. So we thought how long are we going on and thought that fuck it lets make it 20 mins. why the fuck not?

During the process of making “TROON”, our bass player had to quit the band but we didn’t let that get to us. So both guitarist added two bass cabs, tuned amps lower and after some time we were at the recording studio again. The first day we tried to play it in, at the end of the day the song was recorded but I didn’t feel that its good enough (22 minutes in a row without mistakes is not easy, especially if you’re high as fuck).

In the morning when I went to pack stuff and Jerl was playing in his solos we decided, fuck it, let’s try one more time, after 2 takes it was wrapped and that’s what you hear on the record. Then began the money collecting issue, then the problem with this shitty vinyl company… After loads of shit and issues we managed to make the vinyls ready with the packaging a few hours before the presentation gig.

As you can see we can basically make a book about how this album was born because a lot of stuff is still missing in this text. A short version of all of this would be: Lots of weed, lots of drama and brain-work, sweat and blood.

Metal-archives show that there are five musicians in the band, but there are only three on the photo. What is Kannabinõid lineup?

Jerl: The line-up has changed a lot since the EP, Taniel is the sole founding member, Roland joined the rhythm section shortly after the first release and I boarded after the hiatus when Siim, the founding guitarist, left.

Rol: Taniel –vocals/guitars, Jerl – guitars / back vocals, Rol – drums.

The band has a pretty clear name, what's your relationship with mind changing substances? I remember that Mart Kalvt of Taak band fights for legalization of marijuana in Estonia…

Jerl: My opinion in this matter serves no purpose in relation to the music.

Rol: Every drug should be legalized

Taniel: I have heard it from somewhere too that people in this subculture are prone to substance (ab)use.

Kannabinõid - Troon

Your first release, self-titled EP has a bunch of songs with average duration as there are just three really massive tracks. How slowly did the band develop to this state?

Rol: 66.6.

Jerl: We simply did not hit the breaks until the song felt ready; it was a very organic process of conception.

Taniel: It has never been about length, it’s only about the vibe – if the riff is good and it grasps its tentacles around us, we culd play it forever.

How long did it take you to composed the “Troon” album? What kind of feelings did you want to transfer through it?

Taniel: If we summarize the time taken for composing-processes, the songs were created in about a minute. I’m not too happy about how we manage our time.

Jerl: There was no clear sense of form to aim for as we begun, personally a lot of automatic channeling happened, I didn't come up with the riffs before playing, most of it manifested when I released the controls and didn't think about anything, sort of a silence between the thoughts situation. The core composition took roughly two years, but naturally it was an ongoing process until we entered the studio.

Rol: We started when Siim left the band May 2013 and I think we fully finished composing it at the end of our Europe tour. We didn’t want to transfer any feelings, everything you hear or feel is how it should be, its a pure emotional mix and it doesn’t matter if the listener feels something totally different. I think you’ll get the full feeling of the song if you see us live because its just honest. And for me doom is kind of like blues, easy to play but hard to feel and without the feel there is no real music.

Do I get it right that your lyrics are in Estonian? Why did you choose your mother tongue to express Kannabinõid message?

Rol: Taniel knows best why its so.

Taniel: Unless you are Sleep people just don’t give a fuck about lyrics. Estonian sounds weird and unique and I like the way we are doing it.

Jerl: I guess it once again just felt natural.

What is the song “Matus” about?

Taniel: About a man on acid.

Rol: I’ll leave this part for Jerl 

Jerl: There's a deep and detailed narrative in my mind about the whole album, but it's an ambiance. The mind state during creation that doesn't always transfer verbatim so I feel it's better for everyone to allow themselves to reach that meditative fulcrum subjectively

How do you promote the band? Do you care about promotion at all?

Taniel: The best promotion is our music. If people like it, they will share it. We haven't really tried hard to get the word out there, just press-releases of our album, regular posting on social media etc.

Jerl: I have this naive point of view where I feel things should happen naturally, so they'd retain the core essence and not get lost from sight in the fog and dust of trying to reach everyone everywhere so, aside from being true to the sonic worship and believing in yourself, touring and playing good shows is the best promotion.

Rol: We do have Facebook and Instagram but we don’t really put any effort in promoting on these sites with the hashtags and what not.

Golem Records released the album on vinyl; do you plan to see it also on CD?

Taniel: No, not really.

Jerl: No.

Rol: NEVER !!!

It took almost four years to record three songs; will you make your listeners wait for the next record a few more years?

Rol: No idea how long it will take this time, or how we are going to do it. We’re just going with the flow. You need lots of different emotions and shit in your life for it to be real and honest, because if you play it on stage you have to feel the emotion that’s inside the song.

Taniel: Quality over quantity. But really, no. I’m sure the next one will be out sooner.

Jerl: We definitely won't delay anything intentionally. New material is already in the works.

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Kannabinõid