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Progressive Rock Interviews

Half Past Four

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Half Past Four from 2010
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of the group and your involvement in music?

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : We started back in 1999. Constantin and I started to collaborate on songs and began to perform them for groups of friends. We started gathering some momentum as a band within the local community. After a few years Igor joined and the band started becoming more sophisticated musically and we started to undertake more challenging directions. Eventually we became more specific to the progressive rock genre. At one point we decided to switch direction to prog rock entirely and take the project more seriously and began looking for a vocalist.

Kyree Vibrant: I joined after answering an ad online. I had been in many projects both jazz and rock influenced and was veering toward progressive rock as that was my musical taste. After hearing them play I knew that I wanted to be part of the project. We began writing songs together and it really started coming together. Gigs became more regular and we became more polished as a group.

MSJ:

Where does the name Half Past Four come from? Is there some significance to it?

Constantin Necrasov: We came up with the name “Half Past Four” after a late night session trying to come up with an appropriate name that would not suggest any boundaries or genre constrictions. At 4:30am the unfruitful session broke up and someone asked what time it was. Someone else answered “it’s Half Past Four”. We looked at each other and yelled “That’s it!”

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : It also refers to our self description: Music beyond four quarters.

MSJ:

If you weren’t involved in music what do you think you’d be doing?

Igor Kurtzman: I can’t conceive that situation. I would always be involved in music somehow - perhaps a composer for film and TV.

Ann Brody: I would submit to my calling as an indigo child.

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : I would be doing whatever I could to pay the bills.

Constantin Necrasov: I would probably be doing electronic engineering in the audio field professionally. It is currently a hobby of mine.

Kyree Vibrant: I would be an editor, a filmmaker and a flash programmer. These are things I do for money and for hobbies currently.

MSJ:

How would you describe the sound of Half Past four?

Constantin Necrasov: We are trying to learn from the best while maintaining our individuality. As musicians we come from different backgrounds and that significantly contributes to our sonic diversity. We are intricate, heavy, dynamic and free.

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : We sound like good soup.

Kyree Vibrant: I think Dmitry is just hungry.

MSJ:

What’s ahead for you?

Constantin Necrasov: World domination. Among other things….

Igor Kurtzman: Taking a hold over the world…going once…

MSJ:

Who are the musicians you would like to play with in the future?

Igor Kurtzman: King Crimson

Kyree Vibrant: Dweezil Zappa

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : Yes

Constantin Necrasov: Tom Waits

Ann Brody: Mr. Bungle

MSJ:

Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?

Kyree Vibrant: We realize that downloading hinders sales in some respects, but knowing this and that there is no other way to go, there is no point to clinging a lot of the old model standards. The music industry has to change with the times and find more original ways to make money and distribute music. One of the ways has to be going back to nurturing bands again. Instead of throwing out one hit wonders and saturating the world with disposable music, reduce the supply and increase quality.
MSJ:

How do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

Constantin Necrasov: It’s good promotion. We don’t feel that people should be prevented from sharing their impressions of our live performance, be it even in a form of recording it and lending/sharing with others. So long as it is not positioned as our official release – we are fine with it.
MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?

Constantin Necrasov: Barry Manilow

Kyree Vibrant: hey! I like Barry Manilow!

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it and why?

Igor Kurtzman: Us, we are the ultimate band.
MSJ:

If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?

Kyree Vibrant: Todd Rundgren, Harmonium, Gentle Giant, Orco Muto, Flower Kings

Constantin Necrasov: The Doors, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd

MSJ:

What was the last CD you bought or what have you been listening to lately?

Ann Brody: Vital Tech Tones: VTT

Kyree Vibrant: Art Brut – and I also listen to lounge and Latin music on old vinyl from the 60’s and 70’s pretty much every day. Today I listened to Tito Puente. O Pato!

Constantin Necrasov: Frida soundtrack

Dmitry “Les” Lesov : Thelonious Monk

Igor Kurtzman: Emerson Lake and Palmer

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Ann Brody: We had band field trips to see Zappa plays Zappa, and Adrian Belew.

Kyree Vibrant: I met Belew and gave him our CD

Igor Kurtzman: and Dweezil emailed us because we asked him if we could open at his next show and gave us a great review of our video!

MSJ:

What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Kyree Vibrant: We lost 5 drummers in five years. There were rumours flying….
MSJ:

Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Kyree Vibrant: The world is ready for more challenging, better quality music and progressive rock/art rock naturally takes on this role.  The music that kids are listening to today compared to what they were listening to 20/30 years ago is so completely different in nature because today’s music is largely cookie cutter, factory produced imitations of one concept that worked once. It is also completely focused on cross promotion of sexuality and gross stereotypes of today’s fashion magazines and pornography. That gets really tired and assumes people are dim and only have an appetite for one kind of thing.  We are here to show people that there is an alternative – and that alternative is imaginative and exciting.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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