Read on for some questions, answers and Grains of Sand approved music.
Sanya: I’ve started label early this year with idea of releasing and distributing music i really love in Russia and ex-USSR area. I had this idea in my mind for a long time, but i was so busy with my own music that never got enough time to start it.
But at the end of 2013 when my old friends PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND told me they recording a new album, i decided that is the best time to do it.
2. Are you a musician yourself?
Sanya: Yes, i have some musical projects. Currently I’m member of EUGLENA - blackened chaotic hardcore band i started 5 years ago. For that period we played a shows in the most of European countries and recorded 2 EP’s and 2 split releases (first with AS WE DRAW + HEXIS, second is with GENERAL LEE). Second one is ПРИЧАЛ - screamo / punk-rock band we created with my long time friends, members of состояние птиц, КОЛЧАК, REKA and many others. We have a demo released about year ago and for now we close to finish our first full-length. Also i have some drone / ambient projects like Sadon and Aveparthe.
3. Can you tell us a bit about what it's like to operate a metal/-core label in Russia? When people outside Russia think about Russia they tend to think about totalitarian regimes and oppression, is this something you feel is justified and is it something that affects your day to day operation with the label?
Sanya: Yes, i have a lot of friends outside Russia and everyone thinks like this about the life in my country. I’m not feel oppression, but i can’t say I’m really love politics here. Yes, i think the life in Russia is harder than in the most of Europe countries, but i don’t know another life and this kind of things is ok for me. I love my country, but i don’t love the state. Anyway, i think you can be those whom you want in any country if your volition is high and noone can prevent you.
About label - only problem is shipping costs and regular problems with customs and post-offices here. Yes, i think this kind of state service here one of the worst you can ever see in the world. Also euro is growing up and now its gained unbelievable level, its causes some inconvenience too..
4. How about metal/hardcore shows? Do they get to remain in peace or do you have to deal with prejudice, government intervening etc.?
Sanya: Yes, metal / hardcore shows is live here. I’m happy to see growing amount of people on the events. Government intervening? I guess everyone is heard about the situation with Behemoth and some other bands… It’s a shame, things i can’t understand and don’t want to see here.. For the moment it’s not a lot situations like this with the small hardcore shows, but sometimes its happens.. not only in Russia, in Belarus also.
Sanya: I have no any principle - just personal preference. Also i can’t say that GOS is just a hardcore / metal label. I really can be in for any genre of music if i love it. For example i work with drone / ambient duo SAÅAD, screamo / rock band SED NON SATIATA, MORT MORT MORT.. in plans to work with some math-rock projects.
From day to day I’m receiving more and more suggestions about releasing / co-releasing, and it helps me to discover a lot of awesome music. I want to say a BIG THANKS for all people who contacting me, this kind of things makes happy. And i really sad that i can’t release every band i love.
6. When looking at the Russian rock/metal/-core scene in comparison to the rest of the world do you feel there is an aspect in particular that separates you or has the internet completely homogenized music?
Sanya: I think hardcore / metal music is more developed in Europe than in Russia. Bands there shows a better level of sound, possession of their instruments… Everyone have their own full back line, when in Russia its something special. As musician I’m shared a stage with a lots of bands from Europe, and if i didn’t enjoy the music a lot mostly i was wondered how band played live. But of course we have great bands here who performs awesome music and live shows like КОЛЧАК, REKA, FOR YOU.EARTH and lots of other.
7. I've noticed that a lot of your label's albums have fantastic artwork, is this a coincidence or is the idea of eye catching art part of the label's modus operandi?
Sanya: Hah, yes. Of course, graphic art is really important for me, but I’m lucky because for all this time if i enjoyed the music - graphic was incredible too. Beautiful people is beautiful in everything.
Sanya: Every of my upcoming releases deserves to be mentioned. For the moment some of great releases is sent to plant and i can’t wait to get a physical copies. It’s the first album of young french doomers - MUDBATH called ‘Corrado Zeller’ (we releasing with Lost Pilgrims Records and Desordre Ordonne) and debut EP of my french buddies PLEVRE (co-release w/ Basement Apes, Division Records and Dingleberry Records). For the future releases - really excited to work with KEHVIN, SAÅAD and DARK CIRCLES.
9. Is there something you'd like to accomplish with the label that you haven't so far? A long time goal perhaps?
Sanya: Nope, i have no any goals. Just happy how things is going on.
10. Finally if you have something to add feel free:
Sanya: We are grains of sand.
Go for it not only to supply yourself with some new music and aesthetically pleasing pieces of art but to thank Sanya and everyone at Grains of Sand for doing their part in keeping the scene alive over there.