Tesla Boy is a Russian synth-pop/new-wave band created in 2008 by audio producer and musician Anton Sevidov. The band, which consists of four members; Sevidov, Leo Zatagin, Stan “Pioneerball” Astakhov, and Mike Studnitsyn, recently released their second long-play ‘The Universe Made Of Darkness’.
The Russian four-piece are one of the few acts to break out of the usually insular Russian scene, and are currently on tour promoting the new album in their homeland where they recently played to 12,000 fans in Moscow to a rapturous reception.
‘The Universe Made Of Darkness’ is one of those albums that engages the listener straight away through its epic choruses and optimistic lyrics. They manage to combine modern song making styles with retro grooves to create satisfying funk inspired pop that gets better with each listen.
So naturally we had to ask main creative force Anton Sevidov about making the album, his influences and what he’d save in a dreaded studio fire.
HBF: So the new album “Universe Made Of Darkness ‘ has just been released what is your overriding emotion now its finished and out there in the world?
Recording an album can be compared to the conquest of Everest. I am standing at the very peak and at the same time I can see a higher one in the distance. I am full of satisfaction and sense of light euphoria.
HBF: The second album has seen a development of the Tesla Boy sound was this a conscious decision or a natural growth from touring the first album?
Since the sound of first album and its touring differed a lot, it was a natural desire to add some of the feel of the live concert into it. I also wanted to broaden the Tesla Boy sound range.
HBF: You feature two guests on the new album, Tyson & Fritz Helder (of Azari III ), did you write the songs with them in mind or was it a collaborative process?
It occurred to me long ago that I really wanted to do together something with Fritz with who we have been friends for a long time. It was long before the release. And it was more of a collaborative effort with him. Thanks to Tyson I met Martin Dubka, my sound producer. The idea to do something with Tyson was obvious, although I had not been aware which of the songs to choose for this collaboration. Listening to the tracks in Martin’s studio in London we decided that the Broken Doll is number one choice. Initially the falsetto part was performed by me and it is great for Tyson with his shrill voice.
HBF: Will there be a tour of the new album, have you got anything special lined up for the gigs if so?
Yes we are planning USA and European tours for this fall.
HBF: You have recently played to 12,000 fans in Russia how emotional was that for you?
I have never been as nervous as I was before that concert. An hour before the concert different people visited us at backstage; they asked questions; tried to cheer us up and as far as I am concerned I can’t remember anything – so we just focused on what and how we would perform. Two or three hours after I was not in reality. It was like a dream. Never in my life had I performed for such a mass of people in Moscow.
HBF: You are one of the few breakout electronic/nu-wave Russian acts of the last few years, has much changed in the Russian Music scene since you first broke out?
The most important change is that the Russian artists start to believe that they can shift from Russian into the international music scene.
HBF: Can you recommend any Russian artists, DJs or producers that may not be as well known outside your home country?
Pioneerball, Motorama, DZA, 7he Myriads, Pompeya, On-The-Go, Sportlotto, Simple Symetry. Stoned Boys.
HBF: Who was the first artist or DJ you saw that made you want to be in a group?
I think it was my Dad’s friend. He was a jazz saxophonist. We attended his concert when I was eight.
HBF: What artists currently are influencing you?
Stevie Wonder, The Police, Space, Zodiac, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones.
HBF: If your studio was on fire and you could go in and save one thing – what would it be and why?
I think that it would be a box with vinyls which belonged to my Dad and a small figure of an angel which stands on the monitors.