Originally from Moldova in Eastern Europe, Konstantin Masik was a member of many rock and metal bands in Moldova and Russia both as session and full time member. That gave him enough studio and touring experience to start developing his own style and slowly making a stand after moving to St. Petersburg, RU.
His instrumental solo project KOTR combines ambient atmospheric sounds based on downtempo trance beats with heavy and melodic guitar lines. After releasing several singles his debut concept album “Living In Denial” is finally done and ready to surprise fans of electronic and rock music!
“The music is not for the background, the music is like an audio movie.
Seven stories united in one difficult plot. From the first track we are going deep into her world of anxiety and fears:
“It’s dark. Lonely. The frozen silence weighs down with its stiffness and tension. Instead of the light rustle of the morning wind and the noise of the awakening morning city, each time comes a storm and a flurry of tense sounds. Huge desire to scream, but no one will hear it. Among all the voices, you hope to find your inner true voice. Feel the confidence to go through it all. Turn away from this dark ambient way. After all, it will be so nice to finally breathe a sigh of relief and move beyond the frequencies. As a result, to the accompaniment of a cool, fresh evening wind, it will be possible to rejeсt all emotions. At least for a while.”
“During the listening we move on to a new chapter of the story and live through the events of each of them. The track names will help to complement the plot and the picture of what is happening.
Listen, imagine, feel and you will understand everything.
Welcome to her life. A life in denial.”
Lisa: Hey Konstantin! Define the mission of KOTR.
Konstantin: Good day, Lisa! Thank you for inviting me to the interview! «KOTR» is one man band managing by me. The nickname Kotr comes from my family. My father and older brother gave it to me as a result of metamorphosis of my native name Konstantin. It was pretty fun) I liked it and decided to name my music project the same – Kotr. My brother still calls me that way) The musical mission is bringing to listeners new musical experience. To give them something new, unexpected and unusual by showing experimental ways of combining different genres and feelings. I hope that my music will help people to immerse themselves in another world like during meditation. To make listening to music a pleasant experience, same as watching a good movie or reading a book.
Lisa: Describe the musical frameworks your “Living In Denial” album explores.
Konstantin: I from childhood like variety of music genres and styles. Thanks for my older brothers who gave me and showed huge musical palette. My main liked genre is metal, but I also like a lot of sub-genres of electronic music, pop, rock. In my album are two main musical frameworks: metal and electronic genres. Specifically rock melodic guitar licks with combination with ambient, trance, chill-out vibes. But I always take inspiration from variety of styles and try specific elements from them in my music.
Lisa: I loved the “Dark Ambient Way” track. What inspired this particular track?
Konstantin: Glad to hear that you like this composition! It is one of my favorite track from the album too.
I think during working on this album, “Dark Ambient Way” was the most difficult song to compose. Because the album is conceptual this track was supposed to reflect the wanderings of the main character. At this point in time, the heroine is trying to decide on her thoughts and actions. She doesn’t know what to do next, where to go. Every thought is like a scale swinging from side to side. But in second part of the track we understand that she found her way and went through “dark ambient way”.
Is there a theme that connects the tracks on the album, or is it something else?
Konstantin: You are quite right. There is a common theme which connects all tracks. This is a short story about main character that goes through life struggles. I think a lot of listeners were in such situation when unexpected nightmare comes in ordinary life and you should deal with it. You understand that life after that moment never will be the same and you should deal with it. Hide your feelings and emotions from the others and move on.
The theme structure is typically for movies and the album is based on this concept: exposition, point of no return and the consequences. I tried to reflect the plot in track names, to compose concept album like movie and to left space for imagination with open final. Everyone will have their own thoughts of this story.
Lisa: What types of change do you feel your music can initiate?
Konstantin: It not clearly shown in the album but the main feeling and thought is to live consciously. To don’t waste your time, to be pleasant for every moment, for every day. Every situation, meeting with a person is unique and maybe will not be repeated. If you want to say something, to show and express your sincere emotion – do it in that particular moment. Do not think about how you will look from the outside and what people will think about you. If your words are sincere and positive – say them. Say what you want to say to your dear people. Who knows what will be next.
It sounds corny, but it’s still relevant.
Lisa: Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a song?
Konstantin: During composing I base on idea or emotion. It is hard to me to start working from pattern. When I have an emotion, idea I start to develop it musically. It can be in future chorus or verse, but at the beginning it is just emotional flow without any rules. I understand, it is necessary to stay in familiar pattern like sonata form or verse-chorus form. I’m not great composer so I need to make my music pleasant for listening not just for me but for others too. So when I have the main melody, I try to bring it to a suitable pattern. But every new idea, new musical draft is started spontaneously depends from inspiration. I can create outro first or solo section first, start from drum beat or bass groove and after that bring other parts to arrangement.
Musical flow at first place – musical pattern at second.
Lisa: Do you have any collaborations?
Konstantin: Yes. Collaboration always attracted me. When musicians unite their forces with each other they can create interesting things. In this album I suggested my childhood friend Jay katana to record guest guitar solo part in “Till Your Last Breath Is All Mine” track. He added very attractive melodic solo. I didn’t expect such great result! He is very talented musician. The main interesting thing is that I would never have written such a solo, and Jay never thought of such an arrangement. Only after uniting our musical views we created this composition. We wouldn’t have made it up individually.
It was very an inspiring experience. In my next album I will definitely make new collaborations.
Lisa: Describe your approach to recording.
Konstantin: After creating the main idea of the song, I start to build rhythm section. The main goal on this step is build a carcass with minimal instruments. When song sounds good with minimal instruments I begin to add more layers for highlighting features and idea of the composition. This step takes a lot of time, because I don’t have already settled presets. Every song requires individual approach in instruments and settings for transmit my vision, my feelings.
I record only guitar alive. All other instruments I compose with midi controller. Guitar parts are recorded at the final step. This is my main instrument and it is most pleasant part in recording sessions.
Lisa: What non-musical entities and ideas have impacted your music?
Konstantin: The good example is “Living In Denial” album. I didn’t though to write full length album. But when I saw the artwork of my artist friend Miranda Wolf, in that moment I decided it will be my album artwork! The portrait very much inspired and influenced me. The concept of the album was born and after some time the album was created.
Old movies with Mickey Rourke impacted me a lot. He plays usually dramatic roles and very naturally. I often take example from him roles in my music composing.
Generally I like very much 80’s culture movies, music style and fashion. It had a big affection on me.
Lisa: What are some newer projects that you are currently working on?
Konstantin: Now I started working on new album. I have a lot of musical ideas also I gained new knowledge’s in music production and composing during working on my album. Before publishing the album I want to release a single with a very unexpected collaboration!
So I very excited, motivated to create new music in more high level of quality and originality. Often it prevents me from getting enough sleep)
Lisa: At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Konstantin: I hope people will found inspiration in my current and future music. Music will inspire and will help people in their work, passion. Maybe someone will pick the musical instrument in first time and will start learning playing on it. Or will start painting for example. Create they own inspiring things in different aspects of our life. It would be great. The art, beauty and kindness will be more and more in people hearts and souls.