What made you decide to start a band / become an artist?
Mike: We felt an emotional need to start a powerful electronic duo in 2020, because we wanted that sort of feel of masculine energy that must have gone out of us, through new project Phonogramma. I decided to become an artist when I was 5 y.o. – I took teaspoons and drum all over the flat.
Slava: Those moments when I create something are one of the happiest in my life. Starting a band is like a passion to share what you’ve created.
Introduce us all to the members?
Mike: I am Mike Von Gall – producer, composer, drummer.
Slava: I am Slava Voroshnin – producer, composer, guitarist and keyboardist.
So, tell me a little bit about you and what you like doing for fun?
Mike: I like sewing clothes or making shoes design. Also drumming is lots of fun and makes me feel happy.
Slava: Hard to tell because I am trying to do nothing without fun. I like mornings, beginnings, arrivals and do not like departures, late nights and endings.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Mike: Nowadays – questions about the quantity of bands’ subscribers in socials like “Oh, you have 7K subs in 3 years… that’s strange, don’t you think so?!..” that’s really stupid.
Slava: It’s easy – explaining a band’s name.
What is the music scene in Moscow / St. Petersburg like at the minute?
Mike: Lots of really interesting new and upcoming artists here or there. But it feels like everybody is tired of rap and hip-hop btw.
Slava: It depends on a genre. Quite busy in my opinion.
What support is out there for new artists in Moscow / St. Petersburg?
Mike: We have a few events like showcases or festivals for upcoming bands. But it is all low quality and lo-fi stuff. We do everything by ourselves with our manager. God bless her! =)
Slava: There are a few radio stations and TV channels which spread new acts. MTV Russia supported our first video «I Am 21».
What’s it like to be in the creative industry in Russia?
Mike: For me it’s a mix of struggle and joy. Ups and downs. For every upcoming band (with family and kids) the main problems are money and to be heard. Right now, I’m learning music marketing and mixing.
Slava: I think the industry is growing fast at the moment, so you need to be in the right place and time to catch your chance.
What useless talent do you have / party trick?
Mike: Talent to waste time?!
Slava: Having a hangover after two pints of beer.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Mike: The most fun is when part of the crowd come on stage and jump with water with you, when the crowd is singing the main hook in the silence before the track even starts.
Slava: The moment when I realized that to be on stage is so easy and pleasant. Like asking yourself «what if everything in life was as simple as that?»
What was the worst experience on stage?
Mike: When you can’t hear anything at all. At all. And the rain falls on your mic. So on…
Slava: Very drunk guy threw a glass at me once… I did not see the exact moment and dodged dancing.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Mike: I can produce clothes. Total sartorial and handcrafted.
Slava: I run very fast. At least, I think so.
Tell us a funny story from backstage?
Mike: We were in Minsk (Belarus) and one of the artists, who was performing after us, asked us to push playback on his MacBook to start 4 songs one after another. But that was the ‘green concert’ (the last on that tour). We started the party right after our gig. So, that guy, who actually was drunk as well, started his performance and we just forgot the right order of his playlist. So, that was quite funny. For that guy as well!
Slava: Jokes are tough sometimes, but it’s a great way to warm up yourself! When you’ve pissed each other off, it’s the moment to come on stage.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Mike: Think about who you are and what are you going to make. Understanding that helps you a lot.
Slava: Don’t be an amateur. Learn your craft!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Mike: Don’t waste time.
Slava: DO MORE.
What’s your biggest achievement as a band?
Mike: We prepared a solo concert of our previous band for a 1000 pers. within a month with video vfx productions, background singers and dancers. That was really challenging.
Slava: Well, within our new project Phonogramma we’ve just released our second music video, all the exciting things are about to happen, we are moving forward, that is awesome!
What makes you stand out as a band?
Mike: Tracks featuring artists all across the world.
Slava: Our freedom to be different. Mixture of ideas and music genres, energy in the music, our production.
Right now, what’s pissing you of the most? (Can’t say the virus:)
Mike: Situation with tours and gigs.
Slava: I really need a haircut…
What’s the situation like in Russia with live gigs in Russia?
Mike: Right now, everything works but sales are quite low, promoters sell only 1/3 tickets of the halls – so. Not bad but not good. Everyone is waiting NY 2021.
Slava: Finally, it’s happening after corona-crisis.
Tell me about your new single and how it came about?
Mike: Phonogramma’snew single “Mon president est egoiste” is about that everybody has their own own president (real or fake) and this president is an egoist. The idea came from this phrase. Then we felt that a French rapper must be in this track. Our manager Daria found almost in 10 mins a French friend, who was in Moscow and agreed to participate. The music video tells us about quarantine spring times, when everybody sat in online parties. It also tells that everything will disappear, but the president will stay forever. If you lived in a country, where president remains the same since early 00s, you would totally understand the irony.
Slava: It’s a Benny Benassi revival techno-pop song filled up with a French flow by Tony Blaster (rapper from France). The fact is that French is an international language of diplomacy, which makes these lyrics even cooler.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Mike: We are going to make a live video soon. Our third single is already done, and we will shoot a new music video this autumn. Take care and watch us.