I was lucky to catch this brilliant musician and composer in the virtual world. As a die hard fan of the genre and the band, I immediately started to harass him regarding an interview for Metal On Loud Magazine. To my pleasure, Igor Sidorenko, the founder, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of the fantastic Stoner Rock/Metal band Stoned Jesus, agreed to reply to my questions!
Thank you very much, Igor, for agreeing to talk with Metal On Loud Magazine! I am a huge fan of Stoned Jesus, your personal talent as a musician and composer, and I want the whole world to know more about you and fall in love with your music! Hehe.
So to the point?
Whoa, thanks a real lot. Of course. Let's hit it!
All the songs are written by you. What is the attitude to Sidorenko's "personality cult" in the band?
Well, you probably know I'm not just 'the author', there's more to it. What I bring to rehearsals usually is a rough carcass of a song-to-be, sometimes no structure, no arrangements, so the final result is one borne out of teamwork. Any idea is discussed when the guys bring it to the table.
I am curious how you yourself define your music style; what are your specific features that make you different from other bands in the genre?
They say we belong to Stoner Rock, but we try to move away from the genre's clichés with each and every release. We were tagged as "Post-Stoner" though, which is probably... flattering? I guess it's the combination of proggy tricks, good songs, and live Punk-ish drive that makes us stand out, with the guys like Greenleaf, Elder, Mars Red Sky and Mastodon being somewhat related to what we're trying to achieve with our music.
I think that this question is being often asked, but tell Metal On Loud Magazine readers, what is the idea behind your band name? Why Stoned Jesus?
There's no "idea", definitely, just messing around with this inside joke of a name, hah, but there's a bright side to it. Like, there are loads of "came because of the name, stayed because of the music" type YouTube comments, too.
You released the new album "The Harvest" last year. Why, in your opinion, is it interesting to listeners? What songs from this album are your favourites and why?
"The Harvest" is the most mature and energetic material from us so far. We're satisfied with our own progress on this record; this process is very natural and inspiring. I'd mention "YFS" as our live staple, "Silkworm Confessions" as the most elaborate and epic, and "Wound" as the most underrated one, from where I stand.
Are you a fan of studio work or live shows? Where do you perform more often?
Even though experimenting in the studio is the whole different experience, nothing is cooler than the live setting. For this precious hour of energies' exchange we go through the whole day of driving in the van, sleeping on promoters' floors, eating in fast-food restaurants, and some heavy lifting of both merchandise and backline. I wish those who consider touring as just being paid to have fun tried it themselves for once! It takes its toll on you.
What musicians and artists influenced you as a composer?
Jimmy Page [Led Zeppelin], Kurt Cobain [Nirvana] and Steve Rothery [Marillion] are the perfect examples of great authors/guitarists from my favourite bands. Then of course Tool, Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Sleep, The Cure, Swans, Black Sabbath, Joy Division, Discipline, My Dying Bride, Neurosis, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Oceansize, Mastodon, Drive Like Jehu, Pearl Jam, Morphine—it's really hard to tell where "just listening" ends and "inspiring to write my own stuff" begins.
Describe your ideal fan in a few words.
I'd like to believe his/her taste is broad enough to appreciate the vast array of different genres without falling into elitism and snobbery. The perfect fan enjoys music and buys merch at the show, but doesn't harrass us with "lets take them pictures!" and "check my band out!" after one. Or before, for that matter.
Stoned Jesus is a unique band. Give an advice to musicians-starters; how do you create a unique team and make unique music?
There's no universal receipt for it is there? Otherwise there wouldn't be so much forgettable music around. The best way is to borrow from the greats to make it your own. The perfect balance of influences and unique ideas is the key to being recognized, I guess.
What music is the must to listen if you are a metalhead/rocker, in your opinion?
Well, it's all of the above and a lot more! Our bass player is a huge Death Grips and Liars fan, and our drummer is heavily into Electronica. These days we can't get enough of Bowie's "Blackstar" masterpiece, what a way to go!
What do Stoned Jesus dream about? What dreams are you planning to fulfill this year?
New territories, new songs, new horizons, even the sky is not a limit! But on tour we mostly need a hot shower and a warm cosy place to sleep after the show, hah.
Thank you, Igor, for your time and interesting responds! Metal On Loud Magazine wishes you incredible success and permanent growth of your fan club!
Thanks for having us! Check our FB page for updates, eat your greens and don't catch cold. Yours truly, StJ!