Tuesday 24 July 2018

Aleks Evdokimov Interviews Chris from SATORI JUNK

Some things happen faster, some things happen slower. Due technical issues, this interview started in May is done only now, but does it change anything? Satori Junk was born in Milan six years ago, their first full-length is full of driving and appealing mix of doom and stoner, so I have watched the band since its release.

To my surprise their second record ‘The Golden Dwarf’ was done on Russian label Endless Winter which has quite another specialization. However Satori Junk surpasses themselves with this new work: more driving tunes, some jazz elements and kind of retro vibe. That’s a great reason to remind our readers about the band, Satori Junk’s guitarist Chris will help us with that task.

Hi Chris! My congratulations - new Satori Junk album The Golden Dwarf is released, and I'm surprised with the band's progress. But first of all, how did you get on Russian label Endless Winter?

Hi Aleksey! The credit for this partnership goes to our friend Marco (SuuM, Bretus). We were looking for a label and SuuM recently signed with Endless Winter. We asked Marco for a suggestion and in a short time we were ready to sign with the Russian label and start work together.

Three years that lie between Satori Junk two albums isn't a big date, but what have happened in the band's life during this period?

In three years we never stopped to play live. That gave us the opportunity to grow, making experience and learn to achieve the best results from every kind of venue. Last year was a bit stressful: we were getting anxious to release new stuff, most of the songs were ready, but it was hard to stay focused on The Golden Dwarf recordings. When last summer we went to the studio, it was like a relief for everyone.

The very first track All Gods Die demonstrates how careful and effectively you incorporate elements of jazz music in your sound. What did drive you to enrich the band's musical arsenal?

We are always opened to many musical influences. Introducing our work with that tune could sound like a weird joke, but since the beginning we felt that such kind of idea could fit to our music. I think we were just looking to express ourselves best, find our distinctive trait, our trademark.

There's also a strong Hammond line in this song, and it works well with driving riffs, thus you keep proper balance of vintage and modern sounds. What was your vision of new stuff when you enter the studio?

Pushing more keyboard was a decision we took early in the writing process. In studio there’s no time to improvise, you could find better solution for your sound, but your schedule is tight. Being aware of that could be a really save you some time, so we decided to practice a lot, thinking very clearly on what our final sound should be.

I wouldn't tell that it's a radical change, but Satori Junk seems to be more Electric Wizard oriented band with new album even though you keep your own individuality as well. Can you tell that this new hypnotic riffs were partly influenced by that dirty stoned doom? 

It's undeniable that I always wanted that kind of sound from my guitar. It’s a matter of choices: there are lots of bands using Big Muff like a state of art fuzz, I choose the underrated Boss FZ-2. This is making my sound different, dirtier, and obviously more recognizable. Anyway, it's just one ingredient of our recipe.

Electric Wizard too get lots of inspiration from the 60s/70s music, we all drink from the same cup, but everyone is keeping his own identity.

Satori Junk – All Gods Die 

How do you see necessary elements of Satori Junk? Which core elements did you transfer from the debut self-titled album to Golden Dwarf?

Preserving the wall of sound was our main goal. I think we reached a nice balance between heaviness and psychedelia, where the main heavy riffing was exalted by the contrast with the softer parts. Also the effort made by Max, caring over his sounds of his drums during all the mixing sessions served our cause: on the first album we were without drummer from the end of the recording session.

What's about lyrics this time? Can you tell more about them and Luca rises in his texts?

Luca always enjoys telling simple, horror stories. His characters are often doomed to a terrible ending with no possibility of return. In this new album, I think that every story is channeling to the title track, where the anguished protagonist seeks for a quick solution and founds himself trapped in a bargain that will bring him back to the starting point after a short moment of relief.

You've covered Doors' immortal hit Light My Fire for the album. Are you fascinated with the spirit of that passed epoch or is it just because of the song's own charm?

No, nothing like that. Luca is a big fan of Ray Manzarek keyboard style, it’s a fact. One night we got the idea: “we could play a cover from The Doors!”. Almost instantly, we found that Light My Fire is a song that could be easily bended to our sound. So, without telling this to the other members, we started to rearrange the song. It was relatively easy to do that.

You played just few gigs in support of the release including one in Romania, how was it? And do you plan to play few more shows to promote Golden Dwarf?

Playing at Revolution Fest was a total blast! Playing in eastern Europe is different: the crowd is really engaged, regardless of the genre. That’s a great thing, especially for a band like us. When you see so many people following your songs headbanging, something happens. You could feel all the energy flowing and you can return it back boosted. By the way, our touring is not over: we are planning a tour this autumn with The Ossuary, ten days all around Europe.

Well, here's a philosophical question or something like that. What are virtues of doom metal? What's good does the genre offer to its fans and artists who play this way?

I think that one of the greatest virtues of Doom is own sincerity. It’s a genre that allows you lots of experimentation, but you must play it in a right way, with attitude, enjoying every single note. These are the blues roots, the roots from which rock was born. There’s something rough and primordial into this, and think every Doom supporter is able to notice it.

World football cup is almost in hand, do you feel anything consider this? Can you tell that you're football fan?

I’m a FC Inter supporter, and Max too. Probably Luke and Lory hate this sport, cause in so many years we never talked about soccer. A World Cup without the Italian team sounds unthinkable, but it could be a nice occasion to follow all the matches without any heartache or headache. 

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and SATORI JUNK