Meet Twilight and the Baptist from Russian Hate Machine Sonic Death

Daub some face paint, grow your hair, build a tolerance for vodka, and get ready to shred with Sonic Death.
August 17, 2016, 5:42am

Images: Supplied by band

This article originally appeared on Noisey Australia.

That there is a photo of The Baptist and Twilight, from Saint Petersburg rockers Sonic Death. Yes, they are standing in a basement jam room. Yes, they are surrounded by musical equipment and dressed in denim and trucker hats. And yes, they look like a Russian version of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar from Wayne’s World.

They are fans of the same kind of loud music too.

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Named after a Sonic Youth song, the duo, who until the recent loss of their bassist were a three piece, blast a heavy garage rock with elements of stoner rock and more traditional punk. It’s fun and heavy music filled with Sabbath-like riffs and solos.

Like the name suggests, their most recent record Sonic Death Live was recorded on the roof of Saint Petersburg’s МOD club. The final show of their national tour of Russia, it contains all the fuzz and fun of a typical Sonic Death show.

One of the band’s strongest songs is the title-track from Hate Machine another album that was releaesed earlier this year. Take a listen to the track and read a short interview with the Baptist aka Arsenij Morozov below.

Noisey: Your sound has changed since Gothic Sessions. Is it more fun being a heavy stoner/Sabbath riffs band than a more poppy garage band?
Arsenij Morozov: The sound had changed with the addition of drummer Sam Twilight. He escaped from his former indie-rock band where his boss made him play minimalistic and soft. I told him, “You know, in Sonic Death you can play whatever the fuck you want, no rules at all”. He decided to play so intense that my then-colleague, with whom we started the whole thing and who was playing bass at the time, bid a polite farewell. It left me not only with just Sam but also with Sam needing hell of a lot of space in our sound so I started to play more riffs, shifted to more of a hard rock side. The results turned out to be much more fun to play, especially live. But what genre is that? We’ve agreed upon “garage metal”.

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Part of your tour was by train? That looks cool. What is it like touring by train?
In Russia it’s the most common way to travel between cities. The roads generally suck and flights are just expensive. It’s funny that it seems cool to you. I personally find train rides pretty boring. Outside is all forest, inside is usually hot and stuffy and filled with weird people. Your hair’s always dirty. I’m not a fan of traveling, to say the least.

Have you toured much of Russia? What about Europe?
This was our third and biggest to date. 17 cities in less than a month! I didn’t remember any of them, though. They were all: station, coffee at KFC, soundcheck, show, station again. There’s no serious interest from Europe — they’re either afraid of Russian in songs or of my English in emails. We’ve played in Poland once, it was a festival for Russian culture in Wrocław. We liked the audience and there was a lot of people actually, but they seemed to dig Messer Chups a bit more, ha!

What’s the best bar in Saint Petersburg?
Unfortunately, I’m not the one to judge. My baby and I quit drinking over a year ago. Our drummer works at Pif-Paf. You can get him fix you a drink there easily. But I don’t like that bar, it’s just kicker tables and hipsters. If I was still a drinker, I would hang out at Pochta, not a paradise as well but at least they play John Lee Hooker.

Your live record is awesome. It sounds like a drunk Russian Thee Oh Sees.
Thanks, I wanted it to sound exactly like that. I love Castle Face Records’ Live in San Francisco series. This one was recorded during the last show of the tour, on the roof of Saint Petersburg’s МOD club. It was also the last show with our bassist - Sam brought him once to make our sound even harder. But we parted ways with him when we realized that it was just too ordinary, just another rock band. Now we’re again a power duo and ready to kick amajor ass.

'Sonic Death Live' and 'Hate Machine' are available from the Sonic Death Bandcamp page.