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Infidel Interview #117: R.I.P. (Roppongi Inc. Project)

First of, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?

My name is Sergey, I am the founder and owner of R.I.P.(Roppongi Inc. Project), and I live in Moscow, Russian Federation, same as another guy behind the project – Dmitriy, both of us are 40 + years ;)

How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?

I like living in my city, it’s beautiful and comfortable. Dmitry prefers the States! Unfortunately, the best years for gothic / industrial scene have passed in Russia! The dawn of the Gothic culture was approximately from 2001 to 2008, followed by a very fast recession of interest. All our influences are not from the Russian scene.

What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Industrial music scene?

We have our own style, but, we very much love the trance music from 90’s and we use a lot of trance elements in our compositions. I think that it sounds unlike most of groups in the industrial scene!

What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?

The answer is in our motto, which we place on all our releases and the Internet –we are influenced by-Life, Death, Reality!

Industrial and Attitude seem to go hand in hand. With global war, civil unrest, injustice, and political revolution being primary musical themes that dominate your music, how do you feel nowadays about the current state of world affairs?

All seems bad now, which is different from our previous history. We will wait awhile longer - perhaps everything at last will change for the best. Fortunately, policy and all that is connected with it aren't the main subjects of our creativity

The interview continues after this video and all streaming content hereafter...

What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?

We don't worry about it. There is no reason to hurry to us. Music for us is simply a hobby. The main time is taken by work and private life.

When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself?

In line with the fact that I began my own project alone in 2002, I was influenced by the music of such groups as Wumpscut, VAC and, of course, SKINNY PUPPY! From 1996 to 2000 I was the Radio DJ for one of the weekly music programs about industrial music on a popular FM radio station. In 2001, I attended the DOOMSDAY festival where I saw many groups for the first time in my life, including favorites; VAC & SKINNY PUPPY! The desire to do my own music came then. The Japanese horror movie THE RING -pushed me to start and I took the first sample from it and have rushed to develop my own style.

When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?

Separation, of course, is present - in my music, I separate myself, really, without masks which need to be worn in usual everyday life! Therefore a strange situation – exists for me, but not for the majority around me!

Are you musically self-taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop?

I am absolutely a self-educated person, if we speak about an initial stage of creativity. I had no mentors.

When it comes to composing music, do you approach things with a clear vision in mind, or do you prefer to let songs feel themselves out? Do you have any particular techniques or tricks you use to keep yourself creative and consistent?

Sometimes the initial idea completely disappears in the course of work on a track, and sometimes develops successfully and is embodied! Of course we use a set of creative methods, but it is especially Dmitry's prerogative - he is a professional DJ and the sound engineer!

When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging?

It seems, I have answered your above question. If you want to learn about concrete methods or tricks, I won't tell you. They are a secret

Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What' your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?

I would say that we spend a lot of time working on each track. We don't shoot albums every year. Perhaps only one or two tracks and no more! However, all of them are successful. Usually we use the software in studio. I begin a track in Ableton, I bring it into studio, then, we work with the track before the end, using Protools or Logic.

Do you ever find it difficult to balance the creative and technical aspects of musical creation? How do you strike the balance for the need to craft and tweak your effects and sounds, in contrast to actually just getting the song itself created with structure and melody? What sort of element of creation do you prefer, the sonic shaping or the song creation?

I see nothing difficult! The most difficult thing for us is to find time to work on music. We live far apart (Moscow is a huge city), and we have different schedules. This is a problem! When, at last, we get together in the studio, no questions arise. Once again, I apologize; I won't give any of our technical secrets!

Do you find that when you are working on projects where you ended up learning new techniques during the process?

Yes, sometimes that happens.

Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?

In truth, it is very difficult, how we cope with it is the whole history of music, worthy of a small book, but not an interview. We have not played live since 2008. A pity for us since, we have a lot of invitations for playing and cannot come to Europe for various reasons (visas problems, main business, etc.)

For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?

We have held only two live performances during the history of our project. Both occurred in Moscow about 10 years ago. Our first appearance occurred in 2007, we appeared on one stage in the excellent company of HEAD-LESS, MELOTRON and DIORAMA, with only simple things - a table, a synthesizer, a sampler and two MacBooks with effectors… All of which you will be able to see on YouTube. It was a really great evening! The next concert was at a birthday party of the portal and it was very cool. We were accompanied by fine go-go girls and a fine video series. We acted as headliners and you can also see this video on YouTube! We hope act somewhere soon! We will see.

When it comes to performing, what are your favorite sort of venues to play in, and what are your favorite areas to tour? If you could tour with any other band in the world who would it be and why? What are some of your favorite memories of touring?

We are ready to do a live show any place, in any country, at any festival and in the company of any groups!!!

If you could play any anywhere, with anyone, in the world, dead or alive, who and where would it be?

SKINNY PUPPY!!! And…DEAD OR ALIVE (Why not, they’re still alive). But I have answered this question above, have I not?

Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?

Not as yet, thank you!

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?

Lack of time and opportunity to create music, these, unfortunately, are my constant problems in real life.

Outside of Industrial music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by? Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?

Trance, trance and once again trance! Techno too! Even I have initially defined style of the R.I.P. as " dark electronic freestyle "! I never wanted to limit myself to any framework, but, being an admirer of the industrial direction, as a DJ in this culture, I tried to do tracks which I will be able to play for the public as a DJ first of all! I don't have another project at the moment; unfortunately there isn't enough time for production of music at all. All our cooperation with other projects consists in remixes - we do for them or they do for us. All of them are available on the Internet.

If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them? What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?

To us, it does not matter who we cooperate with (dead or alive) ;) ! The status and coolness aren't of great importance. We are also not going to pay for it! There are many new groups that came out in the last decade! Many of them are really good! Ruined Conflict, Eisfabrik, Electro Spectre, Intent:Outtake, Erotic Elk for example. We have already made official remixes for such groups as: DIVERJE, CYNICAL EXISTANCE, NECRO STELLAR and DBS! These groups also did remixes for us: NOISUF-X, AMDUSCIA, KOMOR KOMMANDO, KANT KINO, DE_TOT_COR, VIGILANTE, PEOPLE THEATRE, CUTOFF:SKY, AD INFERNA, SEVERIN 24, DETUNED DESTRUCTION and HALOED GHOST! We are open for cooperation and, perhaps, you will see new results of our collaborations with other musicians soon.

Promotion can be one of the most difficult things in the music industry. Do you have an agent that helps book shows and manage your online presence, or have you decided to trek it out without and mantle the reigns of the social media apparatus yourself? Is it difficult engaging the online world consistently and originally, or do you find it easy?

Yes, you are correct; promotion is possible, the most important part of any musical business presently! Unfortunately, I have no agent, and I deal with advance issues. Yes, it is quite difficult as it takes a lot of time, but without promotion it is impossible to present a new track adequately!

In an industry that is driven by sales, and consumerism, what are your thoughts on digital downloads (legal and illegal)? Do you feel that streaming and digital download stores aid the accessibility of music? How about music piracy? It obviously hurts sales in some regards, but it also boosts the access and distribution of the release which could lead to potential fans who do come to shows, buy physical copies of music, and get merchandise? Do you feel there would be enough turn around in that sort of system or are you firmly against file sharing?

Digital downloads are a reality of our time and we have to be reconciled with it. In some measure it helps to make music more available to listeners. I am against piracy, but it does involve new listeners in the musical culture! People can pay for a famous group, and lesser known will be less popular. So in piracy there are also positive sides... But the quality everywhere suffers - it is very bad! I'm not against file sharing.

Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?

I like to travel very much. For the last 20 years I have visited about 50 countries. I was on all continents (except Antarctica)! Since 2012 I prefer to travel by car, as it is a fine opportunity to see life abroad from within, and also to listen to huge amount of new music on the way. As a DJ, to me it is very important and helpful!

Our parting words for fans and the magazine audience: Stop watching TV and listen to R.I.P.- it will will make you happy:))

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