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A brief catch-up with Russian Sludge/Doom band Crust following the release of their debut full-length as Matt talks to bassist/vocalist Artur.

Interview with Crust.
Far from the best-known of bands, Veliky Novgorod's Crust started out about five years ago, self-released a trio of digital EPs, then one on CD through indie label Stoned Steel Records, and finally this year a full-length album, 'The Promised End', as a CD through RUMF Productions. Reviewer Matt stumbled across them through Bandcamp in 2017, and was impressed enough to write up the 'True Shades...' EP, which certainly went down well with the doom-metal staff. He's kept in touch since, so here's a brief chat with bassist/vocalist Artur about the roots and goals of Crust.

Crust: Vlad (Guitars), Artur (Bass, Vocals), Igor (Drums, FX).

So, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. To begin with can you introduce yourselves for our readers. Who are Crust?

Crust has three permanent members. They are Igor (drums and fx), Vlad (guitars) and me - Artur (bass and voice). Igor is some kind of an engineer and works as a turner at a factory, Vlad is a graphic designer and I'm a school teacher. Some how life brought us together a few years ago maybe due to a strong desire to create music. Previously we played in a bunch of other local bands such as Swale, GRITH, Mortuary, Sumrak. After disbanding, Vlad together with me decided not to waste time and create something new. So we started looking for a drummer who are in huge deficit in our town. One of friends acquainted us with Igor and we started to jam. Things were really rough in the beginning but we didn't give up.

Glad you didn't! Crust's music draws on a number of different styles and influences. Do you feel you feel you fit into any particular genre or genres?

First we had no idea what to play. We tried a good number of genres from post rock to black metal. After four months of rehearsals we found our track which is a fusion of doom, sludge and black metal. Years come and go and our music changes shape sometimes but we have always tried to stick to old school. That's because we were brought up on old school stuff as Death, Obituary, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Satyricon, Burzum, Immortal, Sepultura and many many more. Also we are fond of classic rock bands that our fathers listened to in our long forgotten childhood.

Crust - 'Broken Lines Of Destiny' (2019):

Which was basically going to be my next question. What are some of the bands that have influenced the different members of Crust?

In terms of influences, I guess that probably it was Primitive Man and 7.5 Tonnes of Beard. We were hooked by their music pretty much back in 2013. Satyricon and Mgla have also affected us in recent years. So, as I've already mentioned, our music includes quite a number of styles and we are not looking for any boundaries. Everything I can say is that it 's sludgy, blackened, raw and low tuned.

I would definitely have to agree with that last sentence! Beginning with the first two releases, your subject matter back then seemed to be shining a light on the effects civilisation has on human beings. What are your thoughts now looking back on those early recordings?

Our first album was a spontaneous one. Composed for two weeks and recorded for one hundred bucks. To be frank there is no lyrics on it only phonetics. I just screamed like a beast. Later we chose hardships and misfortunes of life as the keynote of our lyrics. And we also touch the topic of corrupted human nature.

Interesting. What other motivations and inspirtions went into those earlier EP's, for example, your last two proper releases appear to deal more with the human condition, or conditioning...?

Contemporary world and society poisons the souls of people and turns them into animals driven by nothing but carnal pleasures and thirst for easy money. Also many people live in fears and others live in sins and lose themselves and their personalities. They become something like empty shells as both fears and sins have tendencies to grow with time. So, to some extent, that's what we sing about. We just try to send a message that life isn't easy and troubles will definitely knock on your door but you mustn't stay inside trembling with fear. Life is just testing you and there is no other way but to open the door and look those troubles in the eyes. So that's basically it.

Do Crust play live? If so, how vibrant a scene is there where you are in Russia?

We play live but we had a two-year break. The latest two gigs were in may this year. One in Veliky Novgorod and the other in St. Petersburg. Both turned out rather successful and we got a lot of incredible emotions, fun and new friends. In Novgorod,where we live, the local scene is in pitiful conditions. We've got some good bands here but nearly no places for gigs and it makes everything tough. another problem that we've faced is that people in our town are not acquainted with sludge music. Most of them prefer hip hop music especially youngsters. So that's why we mostly play for our friends and a small group of those who still believe in metal music.

Four months on from the release of 'The Promised End' what's happening for Crust at the moment?

After releasing "The Promised End" we had some gigs and now we are working on a new LP. There will be about eight songs on it and maybe more black metal riffs. The drum parts are already recorded and Vlad has been working on guitars for a short while. So we are in the very beginning and it will take some effort.

Great! Thank you for talking to us. Any last words...?

No, everything is fine. I do not know what to add...

No worries, thanks again!

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Visit the Crust bandpage.

Interviewed on 2019-11-05 by Matt Halsey.
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