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Tamerlan: Hypnotizing the Crowd

img  Tobias

You moved to Serbia in 1994. In which way are your experiences from your time in Uzbekistan still an influence on your music today?
Well, since I was just a kid back in the day we moved to Serbia, leaving both Russia and Uzbekistan behind, most of the things I remember is somehow more connected to tales and childhood fantasies which create really unique experience even today. Especially when I remember those wonderful landscapes and atmospheres. However, I must say that experiences from Russia and Siberia influence me more than those from Uzbekistan, because I was born there. Anyway, when searching for inspiration for my compositions, those places are among the first that I mentally visit…

How do you see the music scene of Belgrade today in terms of its tolerance of more experimental material?
I have to say that in last couple of years some really good artists and bands have started to appear. And for most of them, you just wouldn’t believe the quality they deliver. The only problem is that the scene we are talking about is not commercially viable, so those artists work mostly for themselves without getting the credibility or acknowledgement they deserve. As for the genre variability, you will find a lot of different and experimental material. So for those who are interested, here is the blogspot dedicated to all musical projects around Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia where anyone who is interested can find information and listen to some of those projects for free: However, I must warn you that you will be very surprised by the huge amount of quality names…


At the beginning of your solo activities, you decided that Black Metal was too limiting for your musical activities. In which way?
The thing with black metal is that as much as you are free to do what you want within it, there are still some defining factors that you must keep in order to make it “black metal”…Like, for example , distorted guitars, appropriate rhythms, and of course, genre defining vocals. What I wanted to do, is to be free from all responsibility towards any factor in music. I wanted something that is flexible enough to paint an aural picture of my current feelings, visions and inspirations. The emotions are far more visible when you use them to produce natural sound on the natural instrument. And I’ve always felt an inclination towards natural instruments. The atmosphere you're able to create with them is far more powerful and overwhelming than something you could make with standard metal oriented instruments.

Did you ever contemplate the idea of becoming a Classical Guitarist?
Of course! Back when I was in music school, it was one of my main plans. You know, finish the academy for classical guitar, and have the title of “Classical Guitarist” and all… But later, I started thinking that spending my life playing compositions of other people was not that charming. You see, it just turns the whole concept into business rather than into art. And, I wanted to develop my knowledge more into art. I wanted to do something of my own, so I just cut myself free from all those classical expectations, and started playing with lots of different sounds and instruments so it just helped me develop my own style.  I’m keener to create my own tradition while sometimes finding an inspiration in civilizations and cultures of different periods of the world.

Why did you decide on keeping the identity of your percussionist secret for the time being?
(laughs) This was actually a kind of internal joke. It was Stanko, my producer that also helped me out as a session percussionist for the last couple of gigs I had. He was a member of Dark Revolution (the promotional organization that supports the “darker side” of music around Serbia and beyond). They have also organized some festivities in which we performed, and I told them that they will be surprised by some of my session members. In the end we all had a good laugh, and later I forgot to update that little part of information on my “myspace” profile. However, at the moment I search for another session percussionist because Stanko is a bit too busy with his own projects.

Your music seems perfect for the stage. How, then did your first live gigs go?
I must admit that there weren’t many live gigs until today, because I just don’t find them to be that important for what I am trying to express. You see, what I do is mostly oriented for a meditative kind of listening, like communication between the source of music and the listener. While live performances are more for having some fun in front of the crowd, but still show the best characteristics of the music. Before the first gig, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the concept of the performance, because it was the time before the “Full Moon Festival” EP came out, and my music was far more minimalistic and keyboard oriented than today, so it was more difficult to present it right. And still, we managed to capture the crowd’s attention. The next gig was much different, because there I even used some theatrical performances, like dancers that were falling in trance on stage, and similar stuff. Later, I just found the ideal balance between a small amount of musicians on stage, and the energy of sound. The last performances were with a line up of the main string instruments, keyboards, and percussions. So, just three of us, but we still manage to create an incredible amount of energy on stage. As much as the gigs are not my primary mission, I still tend to get them seriously, and whenever there is a nice opportunity to play live, Tamerlan will be there to hypnotize the crowd. (laughs)

The first official Tamerlan album is out now and can be ordered with Timur Iskandarov directly at:

Homepage: Tamerlan at MySpace

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