written by Marko Jakob
Pix666: Hello guys. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the others in the band?
Anna: Thank you, we‘re fine, many of us have been ill, but at the moment everything is ok. Everything is going well in the band, now we are preparing new material and covers.
Vladimir: I don’t know which of us got infected with Covid, but we re-infected each other, it seems only our bass player Ruslan didn’t get a dose of this shit) But my relatives were less fortunate and I buried 3 people…
Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music does Be Under Arms make?
Anna & Vladimir: Now Be Under Arms is 5 people, at the moment we are playing with one guitarist. In short, we play groove metal with elements of various styles. We don’t follow rules, and don’t confine ourselves, so each song has its own features.
Pix666: What was your inspiration to become musicians and what are your current favourite bands?
Anna: I began to be interested in music and try to sing when I was 12. I remember one of the first records I heard were Abba, Arabesque, Tina Turner, Queen… When I watched old videos and live shows, I thought how cool it is! And from that moment I always wanted to get on stage. Now I’m still an old-school child, I love rock and heavy metal, but some of the modern styles also attract me, not only metal. But I must say that now I rarely listen to music. If we talk about the biggest influences, I think this is Doro, I really respect her as one of the pioneers in female metal, and she’s still very cool! Also I love W.A.S.P, Rob Zombie, Pantera, King 810, and some russian bands (Arkona, Ariya, Moray Eel, Melnitsa, Shortparis).
Vladimir: I started to get into heavy music at the age of 14 and in the beginning it was Slipknot, Spineshank, Chimaira, Ill Nino, as well as the rest of the bands of that wave, and now I’m in search of new bands that will hook me. But considering how many releases are out every day, this becomes a problem for me, because the music becomes indistinguishable.
In general, lately I practically don’t listen to music, but if it sounds in my ears, then it is Shortparis, Me And That Man and old band releases.
Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Be Under Arms for a few years now. What have been the best experiences and milestones so far?
Anna & Vladimir: We have been touring since 2016, and during this time we have been in many European countries. We love tours very much, these are always new places, new people, beautiful nature. We shared the stage with many bands, but our first big tour with Infected Rain in 2016 was the most memorable. It was a great time, the guys shared many useful secrets with us, and we’re very grateful to them for everything.
Pix666: Two months ago your Machine Head Cover ‚Locust‘ was released – What is the significance of cover versions in the band history of Be Under Arms?
Anna: We started doing covers not so long ago, before that I had a couple of covers, but it was only posted in VK. But last year we had a lot of time during quarantine, and we wanted to do something interesting, somehow diversify the content. We do both individual covers, and together (2 vocals), and as a whole band. You will see a lot of new things in the near future!
Vladimir: This cover was planned as a duet version with vocalist Mara Lisenko and it should have been released 2 years ago, but something went wrong and we re-recorded it. Our next covers will be more interesting musically, it will be our own versions of the songs.
Pix666: In February, your new video ‘The Blood Oath’ was released. The video already has over 50,000 views on YouTube – more than any of your videos before. It seems you are absolutely on the right path. Where did you shoot the clip, what is the message of the song and how were the fans’ reactions?
Anna: At the moment, this is our most difficult and expensive video, since there were many actors, and it was necessary to keep within one shooting day. We filmed it at a real abandoned army test site in the Moscow region. We love the postapocalyptic and war themes, and here decided to continue. If we talk about the concept of new release, we continue the theme of the collapsed world, where people are trying to build a new civilization on the remains of the previous one. We’ve already shown something in the previous video No-Go Zone, but the events get a new development here.
There is a confrontation between ordinary people who have become Resistance, and android soldiers. Modern war is never fair, and we wanted to capture that in the video. The android looks like a human outwardly, and a group of people have no idea what awaits them. Shooting begins, but after the bullet touches the android’s power supply, the system crashes, and he realizes that he has killed those who were kind to him. The cross is the symbol of the last hope and love here, he takes it to remember. In the end, he shot down a drone, and this becomes a kind of sign of protest. This is his blood oath.
Vladimir: We invested in advertising this video, and we find the agency who also helped us, so in the end the feedback was good, a lot of people liked it, and we know that the song was played on the radio.
Pix666: Did you use the difficult time with all the Corona restrictions to write more of your own songs? When will your next album be released?
Anna: Yes, at the moment we have 7 songs ready, and several are in the process now. It is difficult to say specifically about the release date of the new album, but in any case, we plan to release a few more singles in the near future.
Vladimir: We have more than 20 demo versions of songs, we carefully select the best ones so that they sound cool not only on the album, but also live.
Pix666: You had some concerts planned last year as support for the German band Null Positiv. How did the contact with the band come about and do you already know whether these concerts will be made up at some time?
Anna: We were very pleased with this news, and Null Positiv too, but unfortunately everything had to be postponed indefinitely due to the Corona restrictions.
Vladimir: But we really hope that this concert will take place!
Pix666: I have the feeling that the Russian metal scene is on its way up. How do you perceive this development and what is the status of metal in Russia?
Anna: There are many good bands here, but not many people go to concerts. Unfortunately, support for the underground metal scene is not very developed in Russia, only well-known bands have full concert halls. But it’s cool that most band are trying to develop and trying to do their stuff well, go on tours and try to get into foreign festivals.
Pix666: I think that much of bands’ main income comes from live concerts. How do you keep your head above water at the moment? Are fans buying more shirts and other merch at the moment?
Anna: We all have regular jobs, so we are not as dependent on concerts and tours as other bands. We usually sell merch on tours, but there are not many online purchases now.
Vladimir: No concerts – no income, but the income comes from the security business where we work:)
Pix666: How much does it hurt when you can’t do what you love most – being live on stage? Despite all the difficulties, do you already have some plans for upcoming concerts?
Anna: We all miss the stage and tours very much, we had several concerts in Moscow, but we are waiting for the moment when we can go somewhere. There are plans for a new European tour, and also 2 festivals (Masters of Rock and Metalfest) that have already been postponed to 2022.
Vladimir: We recently performed in front of a seated audience – it was difficult, but fun at the same time, but I really missed this movement.
Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue?
Anna: In our free time from work, we do music, this is our outlet and a way to escape from reality. We also love movies, TV shows, books. We try to learn something new and find new impressions for inspiration.
Vladimir: I collect figures by Underverse (this is Ashley Wood company, robots, soldiers, etc…)
Pix666: Where do you see Be Under Arms in about 5 years – what are your dreams as a band and on which stages would you most like to play?
Anna: We would like to visit as many European festivals as possible, and see those countries and cities where we have not yet been, and also would love to visit the USA and Great Britain. We are open to the whole world and hope that these plans would be realized!
Vladimir: If fate allows, then I hope that many people will learn about us and we will contribute our part to the history of music.
Pix666: Do you have any other news about Be Under Arms, that you would like to share with the fans?
Anna & Vladimir: Yes, of course! In the near future we will have 2 new covers, and it will be a very unexpected choice of the artist:) Also, we will soon start filming the video for the new single, which we plan to release in the fall. So stay with us and follow the news!
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new songs and stay healthy!!!
photos © Be Under Arms