Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
Katya Gritskova (bass): Currently, this album is the most serious work for us. From the musical point of view, it's the most complex material we've ever played, from the semantic side - this is the first concept album. We are happy with the result. Hopefully, our fans and friends will enjoy it as well.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
Anna Ganina (vocals): I think “Soul Transfer” is very versatile. We mixed so many styles, combining jazz and opera with heavy metal sound. I think every person can find something in this record. It may sound very self-confident, but I have never heard something like that before. And for me as a singer, to write all vocal lines and perform it was one of the biggest challenges in my music life. I can say that this album made me a better singer for sure.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
Katya Gritskova (bass): We worked on "Soul Transfer" very hard and it took almost 3 years. Actually, most of the songs were done before we released our debut LP "Revival". All the guitar and bass parts were recorded in Autumn 2015 in Stone Oil Studio (Kivioli, Estonia) headed by our guitarist and songwriter Mr. Pavel Korotaev. Stas joined the band at the beginning of 2016 and got a real challenge. He had to play whole old material, including „Revival” and some older tracks of us, and work on new songs as well. He did an excellent job, keeping within a few months. Additional instruments (trumpet, saxophone, violin, cello) were recorded later, while the whole album was almost done.
Anna Ganina (vocals): All vocal demos were recorded at my home studio in Tallinn. I remember how difficult it was to write the vocal lines, because the music is rhythmically difficult. Every time when I needed to finish next song, drowning in panic I called Katya and screamed: how it’s possible to sing all this stuff? But now I enjoy every moment and every note of “Soul transfer”. This album opened a new chapter in my music life. Final versions of the vocals were recorded in Stone Oil Studio later. And it also was a real challenge - I had no time, but I was well prepared. That’s why the vocal sessions in studio took only 8 hours. Well thought out pre-production can save you a lot of time!
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
Katya Gritskova (bass): Soul Transfer is concept album. The order of the tracks corresponds to the logical sequence of events occurring with the main character. This is a story of a man, his fate and desire to live forever. It's about the future and global digitalization. You probably noticed that the numbers of our tracks are replaced by percents. In short, this story is about a rich man who decided to extend his life, transferring his soul into virtual space. As the percent rate increases, the end of the story is getting closer. Basically, the author of the story and our solo-guitarist Max Spiridonov can say much more about this.
The artwork was brought to life by Tallinn based photographer Terje Talts. She is a well-known Estonian professional freelance artist and fantasy photographer. We are extremely happy about our co-operation. In addition to the cover, she also made fantastic illustrations for a 12-page booklet. The "face" of the album is Mr. Jan Talts, Terje's husband. He is also a bassist! His charisma masterfully transmitted through the lens of Terje’s camera perfectly complemented the album from a graphical point of view.
The photoset was held in extreme conditions. Initially, it was planned to use the work of another designer. When we got the graphics, we realized that this is not exactly what we need for „Soul Transfer“. We had a catastrophically little time. Basically, we lost a couple of months. We met with Terje and Jan, discussed the concept, sketched out ideas, compiled a list of necessary things and set the day of shooting. It was the first day of winter in Estonia. Probably, it looked quite funny from the outside: a man in an expensive suit is standing in the sea, wet snow is pounding with a shaft, me and Max are running around with an old clock in human growth ... We monstrously froze and got wet, one of the cars broke down ... In a word, the memories are very colorful! But the result surpassed all the expectations. And yes... we got these fantastic illustrations from Terje within a couple of days.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
Anna Ganina (vocals): In our homeland I don’t expect unfortunately nothing. Estonia is very small country and it’s very difficult to find the audience here. Every second person here is a musician and has his own taste in music. People are too lazy to go to the concerts and support local scene. With this release we got so much experience as musicians. I’m pretty sure, now we are technically able to play whatever we want. But our plans are to get on the big festivals, so now we are working on it.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
Katya Gritskova (bass): Well, we did it in a very regular way. Our label Red Rivet Records pressed 500 copies of the CD. And digital release was organized by band itself.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Katya Gritskova (bass): We don’t have PR manager as well as big budgets for advertising. That’s why we use every single chance to promote our music just …. somewhere. We’re trying to be active in social media. We’re quite talkative and open minded, that’s why it’s quite easy to interview us. We’re also happy to get any reviews to our music. Every action means something and works well for the band.
Where can we order it from?
Katya Gritskova (bass): You have many options. You can order “Soul Transfer” from our label. You can download it from all music streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Amazon, Google Play etc. And also, you can support the band and check our Bandcamp page -> https://emphasisestonia.bandcamp.com/. There's a chance to get something special, a band T-SHIRT or CD copy signed by us for you exclusively!
(photo of Katya and Anna by Julia Vichmann)