THIS must be another first…
in terms of my interviews and geographical exposure. I do not think I have ever featured a Russian band on my site! As it is; I have been finding out about Hospital and their stunning single, In the Evening. They talk about moving on from their past material and why they have changed their sound; whether there is a healthy music scene in Russia – and whether we might see them come over to the U.K. and play here.
I ask about their upcoming third album (Memory Waves); what it is about the 1980s that inspires a lot of their music; what it is like supporting huge artists like Lana Del Rey; if the band has ambitions for the rest of this year – how Hospital came together and started making music.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I just came back from short vacation in Helsinki. It was kinda a ‘buy-as-many-vinyl-records-as-you-can’ tour. But, a pretty nice city, though.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Of course. We are a four-piece Russian Indie-Rock band. Crazy about 1980s synths and guitars - and songs with melodies. Because; there must be something you can do while taking a shower...
In the Evening is your latest single. What is the story behind the song?
Well. In the Evening is the first song we started to record for the Memory Waves album. It was (recorded) back in 2016. Not the best time for the band, because we were not sure if we should record anything at all. We were at the edge of a split, to be honest...but after the first half of the song was done, we decided that it might be the right sound for us.
A little bit noir kind of stuff.
It is taken from your third album, Memory Waves. Can you reveal the stories and ideas that go into the album? Is there a song from the album you would highlight?
It’s all about escapism, I guess. Of course, there are a lot of ‘typical’ love songs. But, love could be the best way to escape your fears, you know? For us, this album is about being strong whatever road you take in life. It’s about the value of friendship and fighting your demons. It’s a kind of escape from the modern world which, we know, is rubbish.
How did ‘Hospital’ come to be? When did you meet one another?
The three of us knew each other from a very long time ago.
Me and Aleksey met when we were about fourteen. I first met him at the bus-stop in our hometown, Komsomolsk-on-Amur. He was standing there with a pile of books and we just started talking about these books and, then, about bands. So, that was it: we became friends. We then met Andrey while we were studying at uni. and Vova joined us when we moved to Moscow.
That was in 2007 - and we started playing together in 2011.
I hear the 1980s in your music and ethos. Is it a decade you all relate to?
Well. It’s not because we were born in the 1980s: we are actually (more) children of the 1990s. I think it all started from our love of The Cure and 1980s Space-Rock. We are all pretty tired of some of the faceless bands of the ’00s; you know I mean? To be honest, on our first two albums, we were one of them...
It’s like when you press 'play' and have no idea who the hell is playing in your headphones. So, we decided that it does not matter if someone thinks our music is sh*t – we just want them to know that this is OUR music (smiles).
What sort of music did you all grow up around? When did you decide music is what you wanted to do?
I grew up listening to my father’s huge vinyl collection. There was a lot of Hard-Rock in there: stuff like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple but, also, a lot of things like Ray Charles and Elton John. Then, after I watched the T.V. version of The Beatles Anthology, I became a fan of their music, too.
But, what really change my mind was The Doors…my heroes! From the first seconds of Break on Through (to the Other Side), I decided that I wanna be a musician. Then, when I was a teenager, I discovered all this Britpop and New-Wave bands and Grunge and so on.
Now; I prefer to listen to something like Chet Baker singing. Ha-ha.
Is Moscow quite up-and-coming in terms of music? What is the scene like there?
Oh, you know; I feel a little bit out of modern Russian scene but, as I see it: Garage-Punk-Rock and Lil-Peep-kind-of-Rap is very now.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We have planned only one small gig in Moscow - just to test the new material. We don’t have any concrete plans beyond that, for the moment.
Will you play the U.K. at all? Do you get out this way a lot?
We hope so! Maybe someday. Hope our politics will not fu*k everything up. We don’t want another Iron Curtain situation: we wanna tour all over the world and play our music. This is all we want, actually: to love and play music.
You have supported huge artists like Lana Del Rey! Do those big shows give confidence and teach you things as a band?!
It was such a great experience!
The main thing is how much energy you can get while playing in front of 7000 people. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
What do you hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
Me, personally: I want to present a vinyl version of our new album to my parents - and see The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Those three gigs with The Neighbourhood. Oh, man; it was terrific!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Prepare to be refused!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not as much as we want to - because we all work in our day jobs. Me, personally; I love to read and ride my Kick scooter. PS4 is good stuff, too. Haha.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Let it be Leaves - Catch