Interview by Vard AmanCold Sight are a young band, who have just released their debut album. But Cold Sight are no ordinary band and their debut album was no ordinary album, as I had the pleasure of discovering for myself. Indeed! This young band produces a monumentally beautiful sound: complex, mature, powerful, dynamic, and unique – with an outstanding vocalist and a fresh and highly effective approach to vocals. Their debut album, “A/H1N1”, was for me the best release of 2013 and certainly one of the best ever from a Symphonic Metal band. I had the honour of having a chat with the brains behind this outstanding outfit: vocalist, Natalia Zolotova, and bassist/composer Alex Quitty. Why did you choose the name the band Cold Sight?
Alex: The name’s birth was some sort of agony =) What we needed is a simple name, and short as possible, and relevant to genre and style, and the most important – not used for the moment. So, it was like, “Let’s try this!” tr-r-r-r to web search engine. “Damn! It’s used!” And brainstorm again. Sooner or later the name came to my mind. Maybe it was good that I didn’t check on the Internet version without blank interval. “Coldsight” is a French metalcore band. Anyway, we have differences in writing, genre, vocals and lyrics. So it’s hard to got us wrong.
This was the answer to “how”. “Why” is more complicated question. But the answer is a bit more simple. The name is short. Memorable. And it’s corresponding to lyrics and the main theme and idea – cold, unprejudiced view on the current world and native events, and maybe history of the other fictive worlds. We’ll see.When did you move to St. Petersburg? And why did you decide to move to St. Petersburg rather than Moscow?
Alex: We moved last year. It was the Event! It marked in my calendar. Cause it was scary and exciting. Our native folks truly said, “Moscow is not rubber”. So tell me what can you do in Moscow that you cannot do in the another rather big city? And, by the way, I think, Moscow is overloaded with the bands.
Natalia: Well, I was born here. And St.Petersburg itself is a big incredible museum, full of architecture and views – a great source of inspiration)Natalia, when did you first start singing?
Natalia: In the kindergarten. And I was a part of school choirs and voice bands after.Your musical style is very complex and diverse. How would you describe your sound?
Alex: The combination of everything I love =) It’s the first album. We did not have any label company, any restrictions or instructions. We wanted to do what we like. Even if our music didn’t find a listener we do the thing we can listen by ourselves, and can be proud of. Yet, I admit it has its unfinished moments. Hey, it’s the first thing we’ve created! Be positive, as we are! For example, I was shocked by some things I heard from the album. “So it sounds like this? Damn! We need to do something about it..”
Regarding to technical side of the question, we used the same guitar model that definitely famous guitar player called Emppu used once, or twice, or multiple times (you really have to know him if you do not yet) – ESP Horizon FR-II. We recorded this beauty in the FireLight Records. Choir was recorded at the same studio. Other instruments and vox we recorded here-there-and-over-there. So it’s not really hard to say very huge “thanks” to our sound engineer.I was totally blown away by your debut album “A/H1N1”. How do you usually go about composing your songs and your lyrics? And how long did it take you to write the material for this album and get it to this level?
Alex: Thank you for appreciating our work! Composing is pretty similar to writing a novel or painting a drawing (last one I can only imagine, anyway) – and instantly not even the same. From the writer a man waits for the plan of a novel, plot and main characters description as much as their development trough the writing. With some songs similar plan works with others – does not. You see, sometimes all you have just some riffs or melodies. You write them down and sit, waiting for the muse. But she’s definitely late. And you ask yourself, “So what? Where I can put this sh..eet?” And you drop it to the folder named “Maybe_someday”. Eventually in a moment comes a phrase or more lines of lyrics. And you think – probably it’s gonna well fit on the last one… Slowly, but faithfully, the tablature develops to the song.
Otherwise, some songs come just as they are. Whoop! And you wrote this whole thing to tablature program. About fifteen minutes you sit and think how awesome you are. Then the work continues. So, speaking about this first little thingy – our debut album – about two years. I think. But you have to know we put some songs from other planning releases. And when I speak “two years” I mean starting with zero. To reach the “level” was pretty hard and we have little time to do it. We righted our wrongs very quickly. It was like, “Do it or go cry and don’t come back to the music, dude”.Why did you call the album “A/H1N1”, and what inspires your lyrics?
Alex: The situation in our country and world events were definitely inspiring. Confrontations, misunderstanding, intrigues, awful `I-stand-only-for-myself` life position, terrible amount of lies coming from mass media, rotten human nature and many more. As for the name, it must be intimidating. And non-standard. You know all these names used by symphonic bands, like “dark waters”, “black wings” etc. We needed social and rude in some kind stuff. Something to contrast with the angelic voice and the mutant on our album.Tell us about the recording process for “A/H1N1”?
Alex: Almost all the time if was like “Rrrrarrrgh! I hate it” Really. I guarantee it.
Natalia: The half of album, such as guitars and female choir parts, was recorded in Krasnodar, the other half – in Bryansk. Also, I had to re-record some vocal lines, when we were already in St.Petersburg. The recording process wasn’t new for us – we had recorded some demo and singles before. But this time we tried to do it more professional. And it was the first time, when we had to record so many songs at once. Certainly a new experience.
How has the response been to Cold Sight and “A/H1N1” so far?
Natalia: Really, we didn’t expect so many responses so far. The album is in Russian language, so it was kind of surprise how many foreign metalheads enjoyed it. Also,“A/H1N1” was high-rated by music portals and webzines around the world. It’s a great pleasure for us to share our music and to get so many positive comments.Are you planning on getting some more permanent members involved in Cold Sight?
Alex: We’re already doing it =) Not everything depends on our plans, you know. Periodically we met people our album is written about. If you know what I mean. But we’re not gonna stop searching.Do you have any plans for a music video?
Alex: Definitely. Sadly just plans for now. But sooner or later..
Natalia: We already have some ideas. But no clearly stated plans yet.How often do you play live and how would you describe your shows?
Natalia: Not very often yet, because we are still searching for line-up. It’s really a pain in the back for us to find good enthusiastic musicians. However, I like to play live. It’s always a lot of fun and energy… and surprises, as good as bad.What music do you like to listen to?
Alex: Recently I like more groovy things. All that I love I instantly show to our the-voice-of-the-band girl so that she knows where are we going musically and won’t be so shocked in result.
Natalia: Oh. Different!) From classical music to metalcore. My favourite bands are Within Temptation, Evanescence, Kamelot, Disturbed, Nightwish, Five Fingers Death Punch etc. And not so long ago I opened for myself Florence and the Machine and Dead by April. Also, I like Katie Melua and brilliant opera soprano Anna Netrebko. From classical music I like Mozart, Verdi and some Russian classical music masterpieces.Are there any more bands that you know about in or from Bryansk?
Alex: Two deserve your attention. Both for specific taste, I think. They are definitely not sympho. But I like the most part of the material and the way they organize their work. Regain the Legacy and Sarah Where Is My Tea. The last you probably heard of. They made two euro-tours as far as I remember.
Natalia: I agree with Alex. SWIMT are great. It’s not my favourite genre, but I like some songs. And you should check their shop – they have amazing T-shirts!)What do you do / like to do when you’re not making music?
Alex: Walking. Making myself healthy as much as I can. Listening to the music of course =) A bit of inspiration definitely hides in books and films. So, I often after it. And surely the rehearsals! Even at home. Even when I’m alone. It’s very hard not to play some music coming through my mind.
Natalia: Sing favourite songs, read, watch movies, play with my cats, walk around the city (still many corners to explore), take part in photoshoots and catwalks, chat with fans, try new food)What is next for Cold Sight? I read that you’re already working on new material.
Natalia: Yes, we are! We write lyrics as well as different pieces of music in different genres and we’d like to try some new things. So we just write everything that comes to our mind in every genre. Also, we are searching for line-up. And I’m looking forward for the live shows.