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After a break of eight years, Reido are back with new album 'Anātman'. Comrade Aleks talks with co-founder Alexander Kachar about the Belarusian Funeral band's slow evolution.

Interview with Reido.
"Reido's debut album 'F:\all' (2006) was one of the first Solitude Productions releases. This duo from Minsk, Belarus, was presented as a Funeral/Sludge Doom band, which was quite original at that time. Slowly they reached sophomore album '-11' in 2011, and only now Reido, having become a trio, return with new material. 'Anātman' takes the band to a new level, as this time they present a kind of slow Death/Doom with the Buddhist concept of "non-self" at its lyrical core. And their music fits well into this concept of exploring both the dark and light sides of one's individuality. But before you reach the understanding that everything is futile and life is merely illusion, pay some attention to this interview with Alexander Kachar."

Reido: Anton Matveev (bass), Dmitry Kochkin (drums), Alexander Kachar (guitar, vocals).

Hello Alexander! How are you? What's going on in your lair?

Hello! We are OK, thanks. We are having a usual post-release period now, reviews, some interviews. However, I think we are more active in the internet now, updating and uploading something new more often than we used to.

We haven't spoken for about eight years, since your sophomore album '-11' was released in 2011...and only now you return with new full-length 'Anātman'. What slowed you down?

It just happened; we didn't mean to have such a break between the albums. But those years were sometimes rather difficult. There were some periods when I thought the third album would never be completed. Long breaks between the record sessions, interpersonal problems in the band. At the same time, we felt that we were recording a good album and it was worth overcoming all those hardships and completing it. So we were able to do it, and now the band feels much better.

You have a new band member: Dmitry from Vnezemie. How did you find him? Did he take part in composing the new songs?

We've known him since 2006. After the release of F:\all he criticised the album on some forum. Definitely, his opinion was not very positive, but we started to communicate and that was the starting point of our friendship. I showed him some tracks for the third album in 2014. He liked them and recorded the drum parts at home. They sounded good, so we decided to continue collaborating with him. He didn't take part in composing the songs but had creative freedom in composing and recording the drum parts.

Reido - 'F:\all' (Official album stream, 2006):

Now that Reido is a trio… do you want to try it live now? Do you feel an interest in performing your music on stage, or are you comfortable to keep it a studio project?

I don't mind playing live but it doesn't matter so much and we feel comfortable being a studio project. At the moment we have no plans to do it. Moreover, the drummer lives in another country so it's not very easy for us to rehearse. We were initially planning to record the drums for the album only.

So, Reido is a studio project, there are long breaks between albums: do you aim to keep the band's flame alive through communications with other bands? Do you have bands with whom you keep in contact?

I wouldn't say so. We know some people who play in other bands and communicate from time to time but not so much. I suppose Anton does it more than me because he is a sound engineer. So some musicians are just his customers and some share common interests with him.

My first impression is that 'Anātman' is a more atmospheric album than '-11'. Was it your goal from the start to change the direction of this new material?

No, there were no plans at all. The second album was really different, and we needed to release those ideas and feel free to do something new. There was a break after "Minus Eleven" and then I started to compose new stuff having no idea of what it would be like. You know, I never have any plans in advance. Even when I try to imagine what our future tracks will sound like, it doesn't happen that way in practice. Feels like the music finds its own way without asking me. I just record what naturally comes to me and if we like it, it becomes our new track.

Reido - 'Liminal' (Official, 2019):

In Buddhism Anātman means "non-self", revealing a broader idea of the illusion of individuality. Do you use this term in its original meaning or is it some abstract image dealing with society and one's place in it?

The term is used in its original meaning. It's about Buddhist spiritual practice and insights on this way. It has always been part of Reido, there were tracks connected with this topic on the first two albums but they were more theoretical or conceptual. "Anātman" is sharing some real experience. I don't pretend to its special depth but it's a very animate and intuitive album for me, both musically and lyrically. However, this name along with the lyrics and artwork within the framework of this music style causes different interpretations. I read them from time to time in some reviews and comments and I like them.

Do you engage some Buddhist practices?

Yes. I was always intuitively attracted by these things and studied them. Their power and relevance were pretty obvious to me. But without practice it's nothing but empty words. And the practice needs much effort, time and devotion. So I needed to come to it and feel ready.

How do you see Reido from a spiritual viewpoint? Metal in itself, and this kind of music in particular, generate low vibrations, and usually Doom has its own down to earth vibe.

I don't know if this is the answer to your question but music feels like a natural stream. And when I can hear it, my task is to take it as it is, without interfering with it or trying to change anything. There should be just music but not me. When my so-called "self" intervenes in the music with its own ideas, the music becomes dead and dull. It works not only with music, though.

Did you record your work in your home studio again? How were these sessions organized?

We recorded everything by ourselves but this time the individual work of each band member was prevalent. I recorded my ideas at home, showed them to the other band members. Dmitry recorded the drums, then I went to Anton, we composed some parts, solos if they were missing, and re-recorded something if it was necessary. Some tracks were completed by Anton, especially the electronic orchestrations. After completing all the tracks which contained the guitars, we recorded the vocals in Anton's home studio. The track "Anātman" was the last one made for the album. Then Anton mixed and mastered them all.

Didn't you want to finally record in a real studio?

Maybe it would have given us some additional technical opportunities but we didn't really need to search for a studio, spend money and time. After all, we were able to do nearly everything we wanted to.

I don't actually remember if I ever asked you, but what are your influences? Which bands helped you to form Reido's concept?

When we started, there were too many different influences. I listened to a large number of bands, from Tiamat to Korn, from Esoteric to Metallica, etc. I didn't have any understanding of what I wanted to play and tried to combine a diversity of features and ideas taken everywhere. Sometimes it worked well, sometimes not so well. Fortunately, it became pretty clear that when we were playing something slow, it sounded better than fast. We liked being very slow and heavy, even when the ideas were inspired by some non-doom bands. It was due to this fact that "F:\all" didn't come apart but sounded quite monolithic. If we had made it with significant changes of tempo, fast and slow parts, it would have been a wild mixture rather than a solid album. Later, I had some ideas inspired by bands like Meshuggah, Celtic Frost, so the second album brought with it a significant style change.

But I can't say who inspired me to write the music for the third album. I didn't listen to music so much in that period. Just took my guitar and played something that came to me. Never before had the process of writing music been so free of influences. Maybe just something minor and occasional.

Reido was usually tagged as a Funeral/Sludge band, but the Sludge influences were minimal, and are now almost completely gone. How do you value the impact of Sludge on your music?

I would say the impact of sludge has never been crucial for Reido. I like some sludge doom but don't listen to much of it. Some of our riffs really sound sludgy but it doesn't mean they are inspired by sludge bands. Anyway, we never think whether it is sludge, or funeral, or doom death, or anything else when we compose something. After the song is completed, we might look at it and try to analyse what it sounds like. But the ideas never come before the music.

'Anātman' was released by Aesthetic Death: do you feel a difference in comparison with Solitude Productions?

There is some difference in the approach to collaboration and we like working with Aesthetic Death. Stu is a real English gentleman, a man of his word. But with Solitude Productions it was also good. We've got nothing to blame them for. Just wanted to try something new after releasing two albums with them.

What's your next step? Will you put Reido on hold after finishing all the necessary promo work, or will you sit and write new material?

I have already started to record some new stuff and I hope everything goes well. At least, this time I don't feel than I need a break before taking on the next album.

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Interviewed on 2019-12-09 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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