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It's rare to see Russian Stoner/Doom bands, but the duo comprising Old Sea and Mother Serpent are just that, and with their sophomore album just out, Comrade Aleks had a quick reunion chat with multi-instrumentalist Anthony.

Interview with Old Sea And Mother Serpent.
"Old Sea and Mother Serpent, from Egoryevsk in Russia, first showed their ugly faces in around 2012 when the band's debut album 'Chthonic' saw the light of day. That massive and truly chthonic Doom/Stoner sonic mammoth - with tracks lasting up to 28 minutes - was difficult to ignore, and the band got its portion of praise. Actually, it was just the duo of Eugene (bass, guitars) and Anthony (vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards), and I remember that they had huge problems with finding a real drummer which slowed them down and down to almost zero levels of activity. A mere nine years have passed, and new album 'Plutonian' is finally complete. I need to ask Anthony if the lack of a drummer was the reason again."

Hi Anthony! We did speak with you nine (seven!) years ago when Old Sea and Mother Serpent's first album 'Chthonic' was released. What's the band's status now? Is it back to life finally?

Hey! Wow, how much time has passed! Actually, the status of the band is always active, but dwells in some kind of hibernation, like a crocodile at the river's bottom, hatching a plan for the next hunt. Now with the release of the new album the chthonic whirlpools have swirled again!

What happened back then after the release of 'Chthonic'? Didn't you get enough positive feedback to continue creating low vibes in the same vein?

We got it of course, and it really encouraged us, but we weren't going to stop there. There were still unrealized ideas, new ones were already emerging, and we felt that someday our duo will definitely ripen for another album.

So 'Chthonic' was released in 2012 and 'Plutonian' saw the light of day on first January 2021, how did you spend this period? Was Old Sea and Mother Serpent active in some way?

In 2012 we posted a couple of tracks at the Bandcamp for preview (in fact, half of the album, ha-ha), but Chthonic was officially released on CDs only a year later. Almost simultaneously with the CD release, we played at the TLPS fest, after a year and a half we rocked only one small gig and then our concert activity faded away because the everlasting absence of a permanent drummer from the locals seemed a hard damnation for us. But we did have nothing to do with crestfallen spirits and focused on the writing of the new music stuff.

Old Sea and Mother Serpent - 'Plutonian' (Full, 2021):

Does the band consist of you and Eugene now, as before? I've seen you played with Crypt Jaintor's drummer for a year or something like that?

Yes, the band is still two of us. All the drummers we had were session members. We only made several rehearsals and played once at the aforementioned TLPS fest as trio with Dmitry from Crypt Jaintor.

I remember there was a rise in the Moscow Doom/Stoner scene, but the aforementioned Crypt Jaintor, related Phantomass, and even Without God aren't that active anymore - even allowing for Covid quarantines. I guess Old Sea and Mother Serpent is close to this subject, so how do you see this situation from inside?

As I said we played very rare concerts, about once a year. The bands you mentioned are full-fledged gig ones and can play much more often. I think we all have completely different concepts about live performances. It is difficult for me to reflect why this or that group reduces its high concert activity. Maybe the reason is that for some period of time you get bored, satiated, or want to change something in your life and begin to do other things? I can only guess.

It seems that Doom and Stoner by themselves, or Doom/Stoner as a mix, were never popular in Russia. I see this like a result of combined cultural and social circumstances… I'll write about it one day for sure. What's your point of view on this phenomenon?

Sure, all these genres, including Traditional Doom metal as "not metallic but more psychedelic doom-rock", are less popular in Russia than in Europe and America, so it probably happened historically. The styles like Metal itself, Punk-rock and especially mainstream Rock music feel more comfortable here. I propose to guilt our mentality and there is nothing you can do. And is it really necessary?

And now 'Plutonian'. How long did you work on this material? What was your vision for these songs?

In fact, the work was carried out for 3 years. Some outlines were ready in the days of Chthonic, and the instrumental track was composed almost in its final form six months later after the recording of the first album. The main idea remains the same: to create mostly dark, deviant, complex-structured music in the chosen subgenre of Doom metal, trying to avoid the stylistic clichés. We can't take 1-2 riffs and stretch them across the whole track, this approach is not for us. But this time we decided to try this turn partially, as an experiment, and you can find it in Subterranean Solstice.

'Plutonian' reminds me of 'Chthonic' in many ways, it's like a heavy-set evolution of the same primordial vibe. How did you work out this sound at the studio? How much time did you spend on this recording?

You are right, Plutonian has inherited the line of Chthonic, even the same album structure. We were working hard for the final studio sound, so there was a different approach than for the first album. We knew what we wanted, because we had our home demos as a kind of reference point. We spent a lot of time, less for the recording itself but mostly for the processing, mixing and mastering in the different time sessions during the half-year almost. As a result, our labors were fully rewarded with a bit oddball but vintage-addicted roaring sound and we think it is great, but of course, you must judge it. Anyway, there is always something to strive for in the music producing.

Which aspects of 'Plutonian' make you proud of this album?

Fat dripping riffs, deep space solo parts, a dragon's roars… Screw it!

The real pride is that we have nevertheless sculped and curbed this "about 80-minute cyclopian stone monolith", which rests now at the uttermost low of the Ancient Sea and is entwined by the Serpent Mother!

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Visit the Old Sea And Mother Serpent bandpage.

Interviewed on 2021-09-14 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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