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Moscow duo Here Come The Philistines (HCTP)

We are pleased to announce that the Moscow duo Here Come The Philistines (HCTP) will be part of Noisy Forecast. We listened to their debut album, invited them to Noisorama II, and there was no longer any doubt that we needed to unite our forces. For those who are not yet familiar with their music, read below the interview with Pasha (vocals / bass) about the creation of the band and what the band puts into their music.

When was the project started and what was its original idea?

We met Roman (drums) in the magistracy and for some time gathered at the rehearsal points, where we improvised everything that came to hand: folk, country, jazz stuff, blues and much more. We already had experience of playing in musical groups: Roman previously played the bass guitar, I – the brass and electric guitar. The project was started in the summer of 2018 after a series of jams that lasted for several months, and the band itself was originally named Ostranenie (hello to Shklovsky!). From the very beginning, we outlined for ourselves a number of principles that we adhere to this day: minimalism in sound, as well as a course for the collision of elements of dance music with the most abrasive and noisy varieties of rock. And even at that time, we did not miss a single release of a new wave of music from Foggy Albion (IDLES, Shame, Fontaines D.C., etc.) and we wanted to do something similar on the Russian stage, but with a minimal set of instruments.

You have recently released an album, which is also called the same as the group. What is the sacred meaning of the name and why is it important to you?

From the very beginning, the project carries with it an anti-conceptual charge, the pathos of deconstruction and refusal to construct meanings. We deliberately slap ourselves on the hands so (God forbid) not to let ourselves slip into the sermon and this very “sacred meaning” and not to encourage our listeners to seek it out. In the era of noisy information baroque, when someone tries to sell or preach something to a layman every day and from every microwave oven, we minimize attempts to impose on the public any clear interpretation of what we are doing. We are rather interested in interesting images, performance and carnival, ecstatic charge. The name of the band itself is borrowed from the title of the track T-Bone Burnett and is an image of an impending and not entirely understood threat. A sort of waiting for Godot. An abstract sense of anxiety and impending decay.

The album was recorded during a general isolation, did this somehow affect its content?

We try not to work with any clear themes, but if we still try to somehow summarize, what can be very roughly called the general theme of the album, then it will be depersonalization, the dissociation of the personality into nothing or into what Buddhism calls Shunyata (emptiness). Simply put, this is a disintegration album. Looking back, the feeling of general helplessness and disorientation hanging in the air, which covered society in the first months of the pandemic, somehow contributed to the overall mood of the album, first of all – it affected the apocalyptic opening and closing compositions of the album.

What topics become the source of the texts? How important is the lyrics to the project?

We are extremely annoyed by the fixation on the text, the ballad beginning, which still dominate the Russian rock scene. In our duet, the voice is only one of the instruments, along with the other two, sounding in the compositions, while the emphasis is on the overall sound of the track. That is why we abandoned the Russian language in the texts, that is why the lyrics are deliberately illegible: we do not want the text to steal the listener’s attention from the melody and rhythm.

Is the bass / drum duo a deliberate choice or an accident?

Our duo was born as a conscious challenge to ourselves: to pick up instruments that we both have never played before, and to extract from them extremely dynamic and assertive sounds. Something like a very aggressive abstract painting with bass and drums.

Which band do you dream of performing with the most and which music festival to attend as a member?

I would have dreamed of sharing the stage with Black midi or Girl Band, Roma – with A Place To Bury Strangers, Health, Drenge, Viagra Boys. As for the festivals, since almost all of our favorite bands performed on the basis of the annual Pitchfork’a, we would also like to get there. Iceland Airwaves are also great.