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Everything by Electricity

[Yulia Bizyukova]


From Siberia’s Barnaul to London in Europe and through the jumble called "internet”, to our ears. Like always happens with the really authentic artists, Yulia Bizyukova left her hometown and the life she had there and for the sake of music she moved to England, forever. She is fronting ‘Everything by Electricity’ whose name, indeed, reminds us that this invention is perhaps the most valuable thing humanity has ever owned.

Yulia writes the music, the lyrics and collaborates with the Brazilian drummer Manoela Alencastro and the Australian bassist James Christian to form the band on live gigs and not only. They came to light four years ago from various blogs around the world when their first singles were posted. This year, on February 25, their first complete work was released, including recordings collected during all these years that Yulia musical inspirations were evolving. With the addition of "Death Like A Dream" and "Not A Day Goes By" to the pre-existing tracks, the Russian artist delivered a truly melodic dream pop album that manages to immerse you in melancholy but at the same time to give you the pleasure of quality music listening that will and can not be forgotten.

This bittersweet feeling that ‘Everything by Electricity’ music manages to create, is not an easy task at all. Taking into consideration the hundreds of music mediocrities of the same style being released daily, we can realize how special Bizyukova's achievement is. The rich sound from the notes of the synthesizer, the electric guitars and the muddy distorted drums, will pierce your speakers with the characteristic gentleness that distinguishes every important musical creation. With two wonderful and radio friendly highlights as "Violet Haze" and "Last Day Of The Sun" and also with tracks like "Holding Back (Is Never a Good Thing)” that for some minutes changes the rhythmic consistency till then, the album becomes a 42-minute synth pop treat. Ending with "Death Like A Dream" written in collaboration with Finn Jukka Rintamaki, proves that the Siberian cold can not only be overcome but can also become the power to produce warm and radiant sounds like these.

Below, you can read our conversation with Yulia…


Time Without Time LP (out 25/2/21)

 

 

The Basement: Hello Yulia! Thank you for talking with us, it's our honour. Magical 1st album "Time Without Time". Please, introduce yourself to us.

Hey Michael, thank you so much for inviting me and thank you for listening to the album. My name is Yulia and I make music under the name “Everything by Electricity”.  



The Basement: We'd like to know where you and Manoela and James come from. 'Yulia' is a Russian name, right ? How did you meet with the other members of the band? 

Yeah, it’s a Russian name, I was born and grew up in a place called Barnaul in Siberia. It gets really cold there in winter and quite hot in summer. Everything by Electricity is not really a proper band, it's me writing and recording all the music except for the drums and there's three of us playing live. Manoela (who plays drums is from Brazil and James (bass guitar) is from Australia, we all are from totally different parts of the world. 

 

The Basement: Childhood and music. Speak to us for this chapter of your life.

My earliest childhood memories go way back to when I was just 3, which is a bit weird, I cannot always remember what I’ve been up to a week ago but I remember some moments from my early childhood so clearly and the things that had such huge impact on me, like my dad’s boombox and his music tapes for instance, or seeing an electric guitar for the very first time, it was totally mind-blowing. There was a band in my school and I saw them rehearsing once and just thought, this is it. I formed my own band with friends when I was 10 but we had no instruments and had to borrow guitars from someone so we could learn to play. My parents sent me to a music school to learn accordion instead and I hated it, the sound was funny plus the thing was heavier than me and I had to practice it for 4 hours every day, this was such a waste of time when I just wanted to play guitar. I carried on quietly learning to play guitar in my room and started writing songs around the same time too. Also being in a school band was not a good thing, my teachers complained to my parents about it all the time as they were convinced that only "bad" kids play in bands, I was always in trouble because of music but I didn’t ever consider doing something else, that band was my everything and music was the only thing that was giving me purpose. I think eventually I got the first real approval with music from my parents when they first heard my songs on a radio, everything changed then.

 

The Basement: Let's get back to when you decided to get to London, where you're now based. What is the story behind? 

I was sent on a school trip to London when I was 15 and I actually didn’t want to go but my dad promised he would give me enough cash for the trip so I could buy my first electric guitar which was all I ever wanted, so I agreed to go. The idea of going so far away with a bunch of kids I barely knew seemed terrifying plus they were not into music and we didn’t have much in common. We stayed in a hotel on Norfolk Square in Paddington, the other kids were running around desperately buying clothes and makeup and I bought my first Stratocaster guitar and a Boss Overdrive pedal and they all thought I was out of my mind because I should’ve spent my cash on tons of lipsticks and other crap instead. I’d sneak out from the hotel at night, which was totally against the rules, and walk up and down the streets alone in Paddington, it was so magical, I was completely blown away by this city, people were into good music, everything seemed normal and it just felt like home to me. Then I said to myself that one day when I grow up, finish school and university, I will find a way to move to London and that’s exactly what I did, finished studies and two months later, filled up a suitcase with guitar pedals and cables, got on a flight to London and never lived anywhere else since.  

 

The Basement: Tell us more about the process of making your first album. Does 'Time Without Time' hides a central idea inside of it?

I started working on “Time Without Time” a few years ago when we were still gigging in the UK and I never had enough time or energy to put into this record before the pandemic, there was too much going on. The songs were all written and we’ve pre-recorded all the drum tracks at Andy Ramsay’s studio (of Stereolab), called “Press Play” in London. It was Manoela's first time ever in a recording studio and we had no idea how long the drum recording would take, but she just played the whole album from start to finish in one go, we only did two takes and were done. I kept those drum tracks on my laptop and waited for the right moment to start working on the rest of it, then the pandemic happened and everything slowed down and seemed surreal. This is when I started thinking about time in general and how elusive and yet eternal it is, it seemed like there was no time but it existed in my own memories and these songs I’ve written over the years. Hence the title, Time Without Time. There is a lot of reference to time in the latest songs I wrote for this record, “Death Like A Dream” and “Not A Day Goes By”. I ended up throwing away some of the other songs I've written and recorded for the album and replaced them with these new tracks, they just seemed a lot more relevant to me personally. Last year I turned my living room into a recording studio and have been recording and mixing the album from March to October when it was finally finished.


 

The Basement: Will there be a vinyl release in the near future ? We will be more than happy to play those synth melodies on a turntable.

A few people have been asking me to press vinyl so if enough people ask, I will probably do that later on. I love vinyl and would love to release limited copies of the LP, will see how it goes. 

 

The Basement: I've Googled 'Everything by Electricity' and there are some references on "20.000 Leagues Under The Sea" by Jules Verne. Although 'electricity' is something intangible, it absolutely rules our lives. How did you come up to this name for your band?

Yeas, totally! And I've been reading this book quite a lot, it is so magical. There is a chapter called "Everything by Electricity" where Nemo refers to electricity as "soul", it sounded like a perfect band name, that's where it comes from.

 

The Basement: Why do you make music? 

Haha good question! I ask myself sometimes but I still don’t know the answer. I never planned on becoming a songwriter, it just happened as soon as I’ve learned a few guitar chords, I just started writing. I guess I always had this need of expressing whatever it is that I am feeling through music and it isn’t something I can plan or have some sort of control over, songs just come to me whether I want them to or not and in a way, I just write them down. And I’ve heard some musicians saying: “hey I’m booking a studio, going to be writing songs next Friday at 7pm” or something like that and I’ve always wondered, can songwriting even be “programmed” for a certain time or day at all? I can never write a song this way. I have a few guitars at home, synthesizers and a bunch of cool pedals, all the fun stuff but it’s all just sitting there collecting dust as I never use any of it just for fun or because I’m bored, I only touch instruments when there’s a real need to do so, it’s a tough one for me to explain.

 

The Basement: What would a "dream" collaboration be for you in the future?

Collaborations seem difficult to me, although there are so many artists and bands I adore and would love to try something out one day. It's because of the way I write songs in general, I often "hear" the whole thing in my head before it's even recorded so I know exactly what to play, what to record and how, which I guess leaves very little creative space for someone else's input, I don't think I'm fun to collaborate with. I guess my "dream" collaboration is Jukka Rintamaki, we've been sending each other demos for many years now and I love his music so much. When I wrote "Death Like A Dream", I demoed it and immediately sent it to Jukka, he loved it and wanted to add some instruments and vocals to it and I loved the result, I guess we were both on the same vibe and it just worked so easily.

 

The Basement: I would like to know more about my personal favorite of your LP, 'Place to Call My Own'. This is such a brilliant and warm song!

Thank you so much! This is a very long story. My very last winter in Siberia was absolutely freezing, the temperatures fell down to - 50C. I was coming back home from my university and I hated winter boots so I wore a pair of trainers and it was quite a short walk to my house from the nearest bus stop, I thought I could bear it for 5 minutes or so. When I tried to open the front door with a key, the dog we had back then, got excited, jumped on a lock from the inside and locked me out. I didn’t want to bother any of our neighbours and just ran across the field in the snow to the nearest shop which was a stupid move as it was around -20C inside that shop, I thought I’d freeze myself to death that day. Long story short, I was very ill and stayed home for the next couple of months writing depressing songs in my room and recording loads of acoustic demos. Years later I found my old lyric book with those songs and one of them, 'Place To Call My Own' got really stuck in my head for days and I felt like recording it properly. We released it as a single a couple of years ago and I love playing it live. When I play it onstage, I think of my last winter in Siberia, of that never-ending sadness and my crazy happy dog. 

 

The Basement: Give us five of your favorite albums of all time.

Slowdive - Souvlaki

The Radio Dept. – Pet Grief

Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night

Genesis - Duke 

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Architecture And Morality

 

The Basement: Any plans for the future? (we of course know live gigs are totally abandoned this period of time)

Yeah definitely looks like no gigs this year which leaves me just with potentially writing new music as it comes and it isn't something I can plan, so no plan is the perfect plan. All in good time. 


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