“We write our own compositions trying to be as creative as possible”
(March 2011, text by Pedro Bekkers, edited by Peter Willemsen, picture taken from From.Uz website)
I have listened to From.Uz since the first album they recorded and since then I wondered how they create this dynamic music. Now I finally get the chance to ask some questions to From.Uz, a band from Uzbekistan that really deserves your attention. My partner in conversation is the band's content manager Alex, who went through the questions with the band and answered me in their name.
I think it would be interesting to give our readers some information about the band members of From.Uz. Would you please tell me a bit about the band's history?Alex: “Of course, I would like to do that. From.Uz, formerly written as Fromuz, was founded in 2004 in Tashkent in Uzbekistan by guitarist Vitaly Popeloff, bass player Andrew Mara-Novik, keyboard player Albert Khalmurzaev and drummer Vladimir Badirov. They adopted the name from one of our first songs and off course it means 'from Uzbekistan'. We gave our first concert in April, 2005 in the hall of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan. The band's debut album Audio Diplomacy was released in 2007.
What is the band's main inspiration and what are the personal musical preferences?Alex: “It's rather difficult to describe the music we play. There are several artists like King Crimson, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa that inspired us to create the band we are now. We have even recorded a cover of Starless And Bible Black by King Crimson for a 10T Undercover compilation. However, most of the time we write our own compositions trying to be as creative as possible. All band members have a large range of musical preferences. For example, Igor Elizov's favourite bands are Queen, The Beatles and Metallica. Vitaly Popellof prefers fusion music like Miles Davis and classic seventies art rock as Genesis, Gentle Giant and Yes. Albert Khalmurzaev usually listens to prog and classical music.”
What does Vitaly Popellof do to create his specific guitar sound that is the vibrato that gives him the recognizable sound?Vitaly Popeloff: “For the music of From.Uz I use some specific equipment for example a Roland guitar synthesizer, but in general it's my way of playing guitar to create my own sound. As far as the vibrato is concerned: it doesn't sound that way thanks to a special tool or something, but it's due to my own style of playing.”
Most of our readers aren't familiar with your home country. So how is the musical scene in Uzbekistan?Alex: “The rock culture in our country is in progress now. From.Uz is one of the few bands that professionally play progressive rock music. It's a big honour for us to represent Uzbekistan in the world's progressive rock community.”
Are there any plans or chances to take the new album on the road outside of Uzbekistan?Alex: “Unfortunately, in a geographical sense we are quite far away from the world's progressive rock stage, but we are doing our best to keep in touch with the interests of progressive music listeners. We keep an open mind to cooperate and looking for interesting offers of concert tours in America or Europe.”
From.Uz has worked with two great drummers: Vladimir Badirov and Ali Izmailov. I found both drummers impressive. What happened to them?Alex: “In 2008 Vladimir Badirov and Andrew Mara-Novik left Uzbekistan and so it became impossible to play together. Ali Izmailov left From.Uz for personal reasons. For the time being we're playing on live concerts with a session drummer, but at the moment we don't intend to add another drummer to the line-up.”
Thank you for answering my questions on behalf of the band. We all hope that From.Uz get a chance to play for a wider audience, but until then we're looking forward to the acoustic anthology of this interesting and progressive band.Alex: “It's my pleasure. We want to thank all our listeners and a special thank to our producer Igor Iosis for his professionalism and support.”
More info about From.Uz on the Internet:
review CD 'Seventh Story'
review DVD 'Inside Seventh Story'
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