Russian intrumental post-rock 5-piece Jet Plane have returned with another album’s worth of beautifully vivid soundscapes! Tomatrax caught up with Dima (drums), Sergey (guitar), and Igor (violin, bagpipes, nyckelharpa) to talk about their latest work!
It’s been two years since the last interview, what has changed since then?
Dima: Well, we released the new album Pipe Dream. It took us a year to do that. It was October 2015 when we visited a studio to record the first track, and on the 10th of November 2016 the album was released by Fluttery Records.
Igor: I think we’ve become much more attentive to each other and to what we do. It seems to me that we are getting closer: five musicians are turning to the unified form called “Jet Plane”.
Segrey: We thoroughly changed the way we composed the music before and started to pay more attention to details. I think you can easily notice that while listening to Pipe Dream.
Where did the title Pipe dream come from?
Dima: I was looking for the title which would integrate a theme of flight used in the album’s art and all of those events going on around us: all the everyday news from different parts of the world when it seems to you that neither peace nor harmony can ever be reached… And suddenly I faced the idiom «a pipe dream» which fit ideally and also described what I had told about peace and harmony before. This phrase first popped up in 1890 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune, in this case referring to aerial navigation: «It has been regarded as a pipe-dream for a good many years». Moreover it can be associated with a bagpipe which is one of the instruments we use.
What was the inspiration behind the album’s front cover?
Segrey: We have a friend, Vladimir Ryskin, who is fond of making music and art. One day I saw some watercolor paintings by him, which inspired me a lot. So I decided to engage him in making our new album’s cover. What inspired Vladimir? I think those guys who guessed in different reviews about the The Little Prince, Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are right.
Dima: Besides that, as I know one should be searching for the origin of the subject in books by Russian writers: «The Legend of Uraulf» by Marina Aromshtam and also books by Vladislav Krapivin.
You said that the album was inspired by events going on around you, what events were the main inspirations?
Dima: Speaking about events going on around us, I mean mostly negative events. There is too much hatred and intolerance to different opinions. Politicians go on their wars to hold and increase their authorities and don’t even notice the problems of usual people. I think Vladimir Ryskin reflected all my anxiety in the album’s cover greatly and we tried to put our emotions into music.
The album features a large range of instruments from guitars to a bagpipe and a violin, what inspired you to include these various instruments?
Igor: I understand that some of the instruments I play seem to be kind of exotic to many people. These instruments have been a part of my everyday life for many years and now I don’t consider them something special. And if I think that a certain sound or timbre would fit the tune, I usually try it there. Why not if the tunes inspire you to do that? The compositions themselves inspire us to do that.
Is there any instrument you’d like to include but haven’t yet?
Segrey: In my opinion it would be nice to use more piano in our tunes. But you know we don’t think beforehand about what instruments to use in our tunes: it depends mostly on Igor and what instruments he wants to play at the moment. Using some exotic instruments in compositions is not the end in itself.
Igor: I agree with Sergey about the piano. By the way, I’ve been thinking a lot about using the thereminvox. It seems to me it can successfully merge with our new repertoire.
Is there any instrument you’d never use?
Igor: I don’t think that’s a good idea to limit your own creative arsenal. Moreover, who knows what music Jet Plane will compose and play in a year?
Japanese musicians and sound producers Takahiro Kido and Kashiwa Daisuke helped with the album, how did this collaboration come about?
Dima: When we started thinking about how those new tracks would sound and who could make such a sound, I suggested Takahiro Kido as the sound producer. Takahiro owns Ricco Label which released our previous album. But I also know him as a high-class musician and, moreover, as a very experienced sound director able to make an interesting sound of top quality. Takahiro was glad to collaborate with us in this field. He was also the one to mix all the tracks and undoubtedly he added a part of his personality into each one. For mastering the tracks he suggested his old friend KASHIWA Daisuke.
You’ve been receiving a fair amount of critical acclaim for your latest album, does this make you feel any pressure going forward?
Igor: Of course, this motivates us greatly, although it seems to me that we absolutely cannot stop moving forward.
What have Jet Plane planned for 2017?
Dima: We are planning to get together having no ready ideas at all, improvise a little, see how the melody, structure and composition appear unexpectedly. I suppose that’s why we are engaged in music. That’s what we love. After having made an album that’s really pleasant to go back to that.
Check out Jet Plane’s Bandcamp page to find out more!