This month’s Fresh Act hails from Russia: Next Door To Heaven have released their debut album “Let’s Dream” in June (download links below) and opened Red’s show on 23rd August:
Who are you – could you introduce yourself and all of the band members?
We are Next Door To Heaven, a band from St.Petersburg, Russia. Daria – voice, lyrics. Eugene – music, guitar, bass guitar, back vox. Serge – guitar. Nikita – drums.
How did you meet each other, and when and why did you form this band?
We all already had some experience in other bands but this band was founded in September, 2014 by Daria and Eugene ( not only singer and musician but also spouses). Serge and Nikita joined us later. Nikita is the youngest band member. The band was formed in order to release all our creative wishes into music and to achieve our goals. We hope we do have enough talent and temper to reach our aims.
How would you describe your musical style, and how did this style develop? What are your musical roots and influences?
We play alternative/Christian metal and post-grunge. With time we started being inspired by progressive metal and it will be heard in our new songs. We are not very much into specific styles only. For instance, Eugene is a former pianist and a choirboy and Daria is a former choirgirl. The most important thing for us is the quality of music so we only try to get influenced by the best ones. There are thousands of musicians and singers we do respect. From Ella Fitzgerald and Frederic Chopin to Creed, from Animals as Leaders to Slayer.
Was it a particular incident or song that inspired you to become a musician?
For me ( Daria) it was Phil Collins’ “In the air tonight” when I was 5. I remember what I felt. That moment I understood that music is magical in some way. For Gene it was Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé’s “Barcelona” at the same age.
In which bands have you played before? Do you all still have other side projects?
Currently, we don’t have side projects. I guess the bands where we played before were just steps to Next Door To Heaven.
How do you write your music and lyrics, is it teamwork?
First, Gene composes a song. Then changes something. A little bit more. And more. Then Daria creates lyrics and vocal parts. Most likely, it’s individual work.
Is there a particular philosophy behind your works, or where do you get your inspiration from?
Daria: Inspiration comes from everything and every person we’re surrounded by. The most important aspect is that I don’t sing about politics in our songs because life’s so much better without it.
How did you come up with the band name – is there a story behind it?
At the beginning, we were Constant Resonance but rapidly understood that this name isn’t suitable and it brings misfortune. We’ve decided the name should be light and positive. That’s how Next Door To Heaven came to Gene’s mind. (it was his idea)
What is it like in your country to be a Rock / Metal band (playing the particular style you are playing)?
Being a rock/metal band with female vox and lyrics in English in Russia isn’t easy at all. It’s not the favourite combination for a local band in Russia. We need to work on it together with Russian audience.
What are your goals, dreams, what do you want to achieve with your music?
As many other musicians we want to be famous but mostly in order to be heard, to have an opportunity to help people who need it more than others, and, of course, to do something we love most.
What are you doing ”in real life”, when you are not making music?
In ordinary life we are ordinary people, we have more or less ordinary jobs, love travelling and music, already as listeners. Everyone has a hobby. For example, Serge loves historical reconstruction and fencing. Daria – making photos. Gene loves everything linked with cars. Nikita – football.
Are you looking for a record company or would you prefer to stay in the DoItYourself mode?
At this stage, we are looking for a record company.
What should an ideal record company do for you?
A perfect record company will surely help us to move forward. For our part, we’ll do our best to prove our music’s worth it.
What are your live shows like? What´s the perfect venue/show for you?
Now our shows are full of energy we can share with audience and they can share their energy in return. A perfect gig is a great sound and great, emotional audience. Then comes our job to make their evening unforgettable.
If you could freely choose a band to tour with, who would it be, and why?
In this moment. We suppose they are really good and it could have been fun to be with them on tour. Additionally, their shows are so exciting. There’s a lot to watch and learn.
The invention/ innovation you would still need in your life, and why?
What is really needed most is something to make people kinder. I don’t know what invention it takes to do so but it would be great to have one. Hopefully, music is the part of such invention.
What are your plans in the (near) future?
For our founder, Gene, the most important plan for the nearest future is to win the fight with thyroid cancer and to feel much better than during these past 8-9 months. And for the rest of us – to complete the songs for the second album and just as it’s said in our song to “Keep on fighting…no matter who is going to take it away from you”.