Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Messer Chups........WITH OLEG GITARKIN !

Only available as a download.
Now, this is a bit of a scoop as I managed to get hold of the main man himself for this post, none other than one of St Petersburgs finest and a third of the fabulous Messer Chups..Mr Oleg Gitarkin ! I would imagine (and hope) that most of you would be familiar with this long standing and ever so prolific Russian based combo, not to mention the seriously rockin' side projects of The Gitaraculas and The Bonecollectors....if not, you are in for a treat and a half ! Messer Chups started out originally as a formation called Messer Fur Frau Muller way back in the late 90's, 98 or there abouts, eventually morphing over the years into what we now know as the classic core line up of Oleg Gitarkin and Svetlana Zombierella.

Attack of the 50ft babe !
The major turning point in direction for the group came in 2005 when Zombie Girl (Svetlana) joined Oleg, together slowly steering the sound away from the more experimental side of things and adopting a solid guitar based approach, blending this with a heavy Surf influence and more than a generous helping of Rockabilly, throw in imagery from their love of classic Universal and Hammer horror movies, 50's & 60's Sci-Fi, a bit of Tiki Exotica, some campy, kitsch trash and you've a mix which can't go wrong !
Amazingly productive, Oleg has released 15 albums with Messer Chups, some 14 albums or so with Messer Fur Frau Muller plus albums with The Gitaraculas & Bonecollectors, not forgetting credits to film scores. And just check out the dozens of groovy videos they've produced, most of which can be found on youtube and various sites, all well worth seeing !
Zombierella is no slouch either when it comes to filling her time, when not touring or recording she's a pretty mean DJ and can be found filling the dancefloors in clubs around Europe spinning sounds from her own vinyl collection.

We asked Oleg a few questions about the influences and plans for the band and here's what he had to say !

Go Go Gorilla !
Musically, what were your influences in getting started before Messer for Frau Muller? what were you listening to as a teenager growing up in St Petersburg ?

I listened to a lot of teen music by Elvis Presley, Ministry, Front 242, Marlene Dietrich, the Cramps, Sisters of Mercy, Coil and so on. 

Back in the mid 90's, Bomp released a compilation of Surf & Instrumentals called 'Surfbeat behind the Iron Curtain' were you aware that underground groups played these styles in Russia and the Eastern European states during the 60's and later ? and did they influence you in anyway ?

I'm not particularly interested in the youth that played in the 60's Russian groups or what was on the plates of something in the 60's because any music sounded good then.

Prometheus anyone ?
You're obviously a big fan of film 'Noir', the Universal horror movies, 50's and 60's Trash film culture, but could you tell us a little more about the cinematic influences on your music from the Russian movie scene ?

Russia didn't film any horror in the 60's but shot a lot of comedy and science fiction, which even Stanley Kubrick gets excited about, like the movie --- Planet of Storms !

You are a very busy guy, between making music with your bands, touring, working as a commercial composer, producing the videos for your music and running your label Gitaracula Records, how do you find the time for all of this, we assume you must sleep sometimes..............unless !

I sing a lot but I have enough time to do it all.  I just do not do too much of anything, but just the fact that I like to play concerts and record music is fun and it doesn't take up a lot of time, I spend weeks not knowing what to do !

Ahhh, Mr Gitarkin......we've been expecting you !
Can you tell me a little about how you come up with the ideas for your vast number of videos ? obviously a lot of work goes into these (I've spent way too many hours on Youtube with them).
Miscellaneous video was filmed at different times, usually the clips are very simple ideas when I'm on track to finish a script, although not always thought out completely when putting them together but it's always very fast and primitive because I'm too lazy to make something complex.
Get it on vinyl folks !

You've been around recording now for over 20 years and there has been a slow evolution towards a much more surf orientated sound (even though there are heavy rockabilly influences) especially in the last few albums......why the slow move away from using the theremin, the exotica/loungey sound and less of all the sampling and mixing ?
I do at the moment what I like the most, it's that just like that and try to come up with a classic approach, I think all musicians move forward.

What modern bands do you guys listen to at the moment, if any ? Are you aware of The Space Agency (former Vibrasonic) and the music of Simon Jones ?
No, I do not know many of these modern surf bands I like the Fathoms but we listen to a lot of music.
Just like a 1940's movie poster.

This is a subject very dear to my heart, we love all the albums that you have put out over the years even though they can be very hard to get hold of but why are only 4 LPs on vinyl ? (including one Frau Messer LP) 
Seriously Oleg, you design beautiful covers which would look so much better on a vinyl LP sleeve ! any plans to release the back catalogue on vinyl ?
We have three vinyl and two 45's soon we will be releasing a new album, 'THE INCREDIBLE CROCOTIGER'...regarding reissuing old albums, I'm not interested, I like to do something new !

With your label Gitaracula Records, did you set it up for just your own projects or will you use it to release other bands material ?

Gitaracula records is only for our own projects,  I don't plan to publish other people's music.
You guys are always well received when playing in Europe, what about America, how do you think you go down over there ?
The last time we had a problem with America, we've been denied visas twice now, it's a problem for Messer Chups probably because we're unknown Russians ? but we really want to play in America !

Easy Tiger !
Question specifically for Zombierella, How do you feel about being the pin-up for the band ? part Betty Page, part Morticia Addams and part Vampira, your look is great, is this how you are in your daily life ?
Zombierella is........ Zombierella
Grab the album 'Bone To Bone'

Do you find that writing music comes easily to you ? Does the group write songs collectively ? Who comes up with the ideas and themes ?
I compose myself and come up with all of the music, for me it's very easy and simple, Zombierella writes all the text with our friend Voxter,  ideas always come quickly and easily.

Can you tell us a bit about The Bonecollectors and The Gitaraculas, both albums are fantastic but again no vinyl releases and both of these albums would be perfect for LP releases ! Zombierella's vocals work really well for this type of rockabilly (The Bonecollectors).......did you know she could sing before this ?
Yes, and at a future date, we plan to record a new Bonecollectors album.

Who designs your posters (Tour, promotional etc), there are some fantastic pieces of art......short of stealing them off of the walls in the venues, is there anywhere where we can buy them ?
A lot of people come up with the designs and  lazy list,  but I've also began to make designs too.

Do you have any plans for a dedicated Messer Chups / Gitaracula Records website ? Some of us (me included) don't use facebook and would probably find it a lot easier keeping up if all the info, releases, tour dates, merchandise etc were in one place.
May do in the future, at the moment we haven't a lot of time to do this, just have to use face book for the time being.

Can you tell us about any news for upcoming releases ?
New release from Messer Chups....  very soon in March 2015 spring nazyvatsya is 'The Incredible Crocotiger' we plan to release it on cd vinyl mp3.

One last question.......What is Zombierella's phone number ?
666-66-66 calls after midnight.....

  • Miss Libido (2000) MC, CD
  • Bride Of The Atom (2000) MC, CD
  • Vamp Babes (2000) MC, CD
  • Black Black Magic (2002) CD
  • The Best Of Messer Chups: Cocktail Draculina (2002) CD
  • Crazy Price (2003) CD
  • Vamp Babes Upgrade Version 2004 (2004) CD
  • Crazy Price (new version) (2005) CD
  • Hyena Safari (2005) CD
  • Hyena Safari (2nd version)(2006) CD
  • Zombie Shopping (2007) CD
  • Best of The Best (2008) CD/LP
  • Heretic Channel (2009) CD/LP
  • Bermuda 66 (2010) CD
  • Surf Riders from The Swamp Lagoon (2011) CD
  • –°hurch of Reverb (2012) CD/LP
  • Jokermobile (2014) 7"
  • Rockin' Zombie (2015) 7"

Big Thanks to Oleg Gitarkin and Can't wait for the album.

Cheers !

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