. with Ukrainian experimental band 5R6
. Ukrainian experimental band 5R6 released their debut full-length album "Islands" on September 25th, and guitarist and singer Igor Zubko talks to Progressive Rock BR about it and future plans.

“Islands” is ready to be launched on September 25th. How do you feel about this album?

I feel that it is our best effort so far. And I’m very excited about the release.
When did you start writing the album?
When we recorded the “+6.5 and Brighter” EP and went on tour supporting Stoned Jesus in 2012, we already had a couple of new songs in work, and I had plenty of the song drafts and ideas to select from. However, it took some time for some of these songs to grow into what they become, and for others to be put away. So, the album was finally formed by mid-2014.
What was it like when you entered the studio?
We were full of optimism, excitement and desire to experiment. We recorded everything at our friends’ studio. It is also our rehearsal room. So we felt almost like home and we had plenty of time and equipment to play with to find the right sound for each song. The level of optimism somewhat decreased over time though, because the recording process was taking much longer than we expected. It was mostly due to our other obligations in life, but it was also partially caused by our experiments with sound, trying new arrangements, etc. However, each hour in the studio was very inspiring. It was great to see, or actually, hear how the album is forming.
Do you have any expectations in terms of reception for “Islands”?
I like to think that it will become a true discovery to some. However, it is also very diverse and, probably, it would be difficult to label it with a certain subgenre. So, I do not expect that it will fly to success immediately. I guess it will need some time to become appreciated by the general public. But I love it ?.
Where did the album title “Islands” come from? Tell me about the lyrical topics on the album.
The name was inspired by Aldous Huxley’s essay The Doors of Perception. There is a piece in it where Huxley compares a group of people to “island universes”. It is better to read it for better understanding of the idea. We experience both the joy and suffering on our own, we can communicate about our feelings, sometimes evoking sympathy or compassion, or no response at all, but we cannot communicate feelings directly. ?So, people are islands and each song on the album is an island. Each song is related in one way or the other to the concept that Huxley described. I write about things that touch me, about something that I experienced. I guess that some of them are harder to decipher than others, but they easily can invoke an emotional response. And in my opinion, it is good to leave some freedom of interpretation to the listener, to let him or her to find their own meaning in it, to feel connected to it. Because words limit the message putting it into author’s frame of reference, whereas music is much broader, its message is transcendental. 

It could be said that 5R6 are a progressive band as there are quite a few different styles that you mix in your music. Was the original idea to create a blend of all these, rather different takes on rock/metal or was it all natural?

It was rather natural. We just never wanted to limit ourselves with any sub-genre sticking with its trademark tricks. Of course, we were influenced by many different bands and scenes, and have something from their music in ours. But we always wanted to find our own sound, and I guess partially we found it through this diversity. But it was never an intention to just mindlessly mix all the stuff that usually doesn’t fit together in one piece. Otherwise we would be playing something like ska-black metal, or dub-grind, or something. Hm, that’s an interesting idea though  ?.

What are your plans after “Islands” is released?
The plan is to promote the album, go on tour next year, and finally start working on new songs.
Are you planning any tours in regards with album’s promotion?
Yes, definitely. There will be some gigs in Ukraine where we will present this autumn, and probably a European tour in spring.  But it is all far from a strict plan, no final dates or venues for the tour yet. Bookers and promoters are welcome to contact us.
Is there any message you would love to relay to people and potential new fans?
“Think for yourself and question authority”. Stay free, stay open-minded, leave in peace, buy our new album, like us on Facebook ?.

5R6 are:

Igor Zubko – vocals, guitars
Kirill Brener – guitars
Eugene Zinchenko – bass
Dmitry Zinchenko - drums

5R6 Home Page
Facebook Page

During the course of its existence quartet’s music progressed from ferocious alternative metal of the first “Knots & Spirals” EP (2010) to intricate mannerisms of more focused “+6.5 and Brighter” EP (2012). Pushing the envelope once again, they’ve dressed up their signature approach with 90’s Seattle flannel and 70’s prog bootcut jeans, leaving both audiences and colleagues amazed. Upon returning from European tour with Stoned Jesus, 5R6 began to work over on a new material, trying to keep the balance between the experimental side and the song-oriented one in their recognizable sound. The result, taking almost three years to complete, is nothing short of a stunner: 7-songs, 44-minutes long “Islands” is an impressive work of art on every level, from moody artwork and flawless mastering done by Chris Common ( The Mars Volta, Isis the band, Chelsea Wolfe, Helms Alee, These Arms Are Snakes, Tera Melos) to the music and musicianship itself. But if you’re already a long-time fan, you won’t be surprised that much to discover how high the bar was raised this time.

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