Photo: Sonic Mine at TRI poloski Utrecht 15-06-19 (Click on the image to check out the DJ liveset)
How did you come up with the name Sonic Mine?
"This question is often asked :). There is nothing that would somehow characterize me. It all started with the fact that I wrote about 10 tracks and the question arose of how to call myself. At first I tried to write a variety of music - Schranz, Hardcore, Speedcore and ofcourse Pumping House and Progressive House. First was the name Clubformer. I even recorded CD-R disc, and a friend from a Hardcore party made a design. I printed it out and just showed it to everyone. Ofcourse, even in 2000, the name seemed to me a little different from what I wanted to see and what I wanted.
After a while, I discovered Google and started looking for a new name for myself so that it would not be repeated in the world. I had no ideas about this, I just aimlessly entered search queries and searched ...
After unsuccessful attempts, I opened the mp3 folder with Hardcore and began to search among the names of the records for something that I might like. And I stumbled upon The Speedfreak - Sonic Mine EP. This release was not my favorite, but I liked the name. Then I checked this name in Google and everything turned out to be in order. So I took this name for myself :)"
THUNDERDOME 1 CD - TRACK 7: The Speed Freak - Sonic Mine EP. (Click on the image to listen the track)
Where are you from?
"Russia, Saint-Petersburg. Its a near (200 kilometers) Finland and Estonia."
How did you get in touch with electronic music?
"I met electronic music through the radio of course. It was the beginning of the 90s, a ruined country, a country in a deep ass, it was going full fucked up (polnyy pizdets).
But, this did not concern me, because I was a child. I had a dual-cassette recorder and radio. There were only two radio stations. With several hours of dance music. These programs played everything: Trance, Hardcore, House."
Why did you start producing music?
"Probably like many at that time: in the existing music, It lacked what I want and love. And of course, simple interest, I wanted to write what I listen to daily, but add something of my own."
What did your parents think about you creating electronic music?
"They did not bother me. I was at home, I didn’t disappear somewhere at night, I sat in the room and rhythms pounded behind the wall. I think they were not opposed to such a situation :)."
What is the first party you went as a visitor? And which party was the first you played on as an artist?
"These were evening discos in a rather famous club - Candyman. There sounded a real Dutch House and Trance, all this was then called Progressive House. Around 1997-1998.
The first party I attended as an artist for the first time: it was the PROSVET club. 2002, autumn. It was a big club (1000+) and one of the most famous at that time."
You’ve been in the scene since the beginning of Hard Bass. Could you tell me something about your contributuon to the music?
"I wrote some iconic and famous tracks for this culture: Hard Bass Power (Part 1, 2 and 3) and Hard Bass Attack. In general, my tracks are inextricably linked with the Hardbass culture of the city of St. Petersburg and the influence of these tracks has nothing to do with the world famous Hardbass. All this came later. But the foundation was laid by the Hardbass scene of St. Petersburg. Like for example: Rotterdam and the gabber culture."
When we booked you the first time you told us your whole life is somehow connected tot the Netherlands. Could you explain that to us?
"As I mentioned a little earlier: all the music that I listened to was music from the Netherlands or repeated it. I remember my first cassettes: Thunderdome (dance or die 96 live), other compilations from ID&T. Later I bought the first pirated cassettes with Klubbheads and started looking for compilations with names like "200% progressive house", "Klubb attack" and so on with these words. They mainly recorded dance music (138 BPM +) from Holland and Benelux countries. In all clubs of St. Petersburg this music sounded - Klubbheads, their side names, and those who copied or were in their trend. In general, then it was the most popular club music. That was what people needed. But, for example, Darude - Sandstorm or ATB - Till I Come were a bit of a pop thing, and some other lesser-known tracks were in use. The main rule - it was wrong to play what sounds on the radio, otherwise you are a bad, cheap DJ. If you play tracks that sound on the radio on daytime broadcast, then you are an asshole. God, how everything has changed ...
To summarize, all that I listened to and that I liked was from Holland."
Can we expect some new music in the future?
"Of course, this is inevitable :)"
Are there any international producers you would like to collab with?
"I never liked collabs. Everyone sees the future track in their own way. Especially me, and I'm very picky about the sound (not about quality) This does not mean that I do not like tracks from other producers. But in each I would change something a bit, this is normal :)
Now I see collabs in this form: the music is from me, and the text and voice of my friends are on stage."
Do you have any idols in music?
"Unfortunately, no. And that's bad. Someone certainly does something interesting, but it’s only partially interesting for me. Some pieces, sounds. But so that I completely like a certain track - this is not there, there are always nuances. Other producers think about the same way about my tracks, I'm sure."
What is inspring you to create music?
"Some kind of new cool sound, trick, cool vocal. If the vocal is cool recorded, interesting, I like the content - then I can write a track for the evening in 3-4 hours when you write music after the voice. So it was with 2FACE."
Sonic Mine Ft. BLYATSQUAD - 2FACE. (Click on the image to listen the track)
Which of your own albums is your personal favorite?
"When I finished the track, I was satisfied. A short time passes and I notice a bunch of flaws. This may be sound quality, an unrealized idea and the general incompleteness of the track. Therefore, I do not have any favorite albums. In each, I would change something and do it again. I find this a problem.
But, if I do not finish the tracks and always struggle with what I do not like, then I would not have any new tracks at all. I envy those people who can make a bunch of identical tracks, write, write, write .... Because in quantity the quality is born and one of hundreds of tracks can become a hit. But, this is not my way - I cannot do that. I want every track to shoot like a big Kalashnikov."
What do you listen besides Hardbass?
"UK Hard House, Jump Up, Makina, Hardcore and a little more."
What do you do for a living? Did you finish in any degrees?
"I work on television, several city and federal channels in Russia, sound engineer. I graduated from the Institute of Cinema and Television in Saint-Petersburg, my specialization is sound engineer. Previously, I worked on the set of films, TV shows, but now only on television. It’s more comfortable there :D"
Could you tell us something about your personal life, what are your interrests, hobbies, do you have a wife & children?
"I have a wife, she is very beautiful (hey, hide the gun - this is my head!!!)
I also have a daughter, she’s two years old and if I don’t say that she is smart and beautiful, I’m unlikely to get enough sleep tonight.
My hobby is my music, parties. I love games - METRO, DOOM, MAD MAX, RAGE, WOLFENSTEIN, TOMB RAIDER, GTA and all this same collect-bring bullshit "Far Cry", "Assassins Creed" and so on. What I don’t play is any network games and network variations of the games listed above. Otherwise I’ll drown there."
Could you tell us something about the history of Hardbass?
"The very first track that can be called hardbass: Hi-Per - Gimme More (Hi-Pe Hard Mix). This is a remix from Klubbheads (NL). year 2000.
After that, DJ Nemets in 2002 on the label JUTONISH released a compilation of Klubber vol. 3 and there was a DJ Nemets track - Da Bomb (Hard Bass Mix). This was the first time that the name Hard Bass was applied to such tracks. Then in 2003, DJ Snat, who became the godfather of Hardbass, joined the label JUTONISH. Why godfather, after all, there were several tracks before him? Because he has developed this sound to unimaginable heights and popularized it in a separate city. In St. Petersburg, he began to be associated with this very sound and he laid the foundation for all Hardbass in 2003-2005. And as we already know, St. Petersburg is the birthplace of Hardbass.
All this was born and played in the FERUM club (700+ people) since 2003. It was a cult place, this is the place where Hardbass was born, where dozens of Hardbass producers began their journey and where the first Hardbass tracks sounded. Remember this.
I wrote only the BEGINNING. After that, there was a lot of everything, including HARD BASS SCHOOL in 2009. But I think you know their story from YouTube."
The godfather of Hardbass: DJ Snat. Click the image and check out the most iconical Hardbass track; Choose Your Power.
Wait im having some trouble issues in my mind. So your telling me the first Hardbass track is actually Dutch?!
Hi-Per - Gimme More - Klubbeads Hard Mix (Click on the image to listen the track)
What sounds are fundumental for Hardbass? (Click on the track ID = Hyperlink to YouTube)
``You can understand the difference by the example of three tracks and at the same time understand what I wrote earlier.
Typical Dutch Progressive House according to St. Petersburg:
Typical Pumping House:
Feel the difference, especially the last two tracks :)
I don’t want to speak in musical terms trying to explain the difference, because most likely they will not understand me. But it seems to me that the difference here is very clear.
Or another example:
What we called the progressive house in 98-2004:
And what can technically be called Hardbass:
I think that with the example of these classic tracks the difference is clear :)
This, by the way, is also the product of Klubbheads :D"
What do you think about Hardbass getting more popular in Europe?
"More audience, more music, more partys, more interest – perfect ! :)
I think it's worth saying thanks to the HARD BASS SCHOOL, XS Project and the many followers on YouTube who have spread this to the whole world through YouTube, Spotify and so on."
What is your opinion about the meme around Hardbass?
"The guys from HARD BASS SCHOOL in 2009 and later XS PROJECT really helped get Hardbass music out of the underground. Indeed, until 2009, this music was known only in Russia, in Spain and in some very local places. But it was up to that moment that a huge number of tracks were written, the foundations were laid, a bunch of interesting powerfull and hard sounds were invented, which are used today.
Through their videos, through jokes, through memes, they told about this music to the whole world. This is cool, without them this would not have happened.
But, I believe that a joke told twice is no longer a joke.
And some of the projects are now trying for the thousandth time to joke about “semechki”.
This is not funny for several years. Fuck it."
Is there anything you would like to mention/share?
"Do not get hung up on just one thing. Look, dig, most of Hardbass hidden from you in the underground. Hardbass loves you ... and watching you."
Author: Engelen, Z
TRI poloski ©
APA: TRI poloski. (2020, 06, May). Interview with: Sonic Mine.
Why do you choose to wear a mask?
"At first it was partly because I wasn't sure if I'm ever going to be successful at music so hiding my identitiy for my first project ever gave me a bit of comfort, I was sure nobody will personally judge my work. Later on I changed the mask to someghing more memorable, the one i use right now. At the moment its not only making me anonymous but also its a trademark and a part of who I am as a DJ and producer."
What kind of guy is behind the mask?
"Depend on person you ask this question really haha. Everyone will tell you a different thing probably. Personally I don't really like to talk too much about myself. But think there's a guy you could sit with, drink a beer and have a laugh. From what I noticed after talking to some of my fans, they think I'm that kind of unnatural, superhuman being and they get really nervous until I start to make a conversation with them just like i would talk to a friend. Then they start to notice I'm not that scary haha."
How did you come up with the name gopnik mcblyat?
"It was first thing that popped in my mind after making my first track (Snakes in Tracksuits). Really random, I didn't think about it too much and I thought its just going to be a funny name to laugh about for a week or two. And now here we are, years later answering the questions for an interview."
What music do you listen to besides hardbass?
"Oof where to start. I listen to pretty much everything that is energetic. There's too much to make a list here but I listen to Hardcore and its subgenres, Hardstyle, Bass House, Fidget house, Dubstep (lately), Moombahton, some Trap and many more. I like artists that mix styles. From non-electronic music i listen to Metal, Hardcore Punk, Punk and of course Tony Hawk's Pro Skater soundtrack playlist haha."
Where are you from?
"I'm from Lublin in eastern Poland"
Could you tell us something about the Hard bass scene in Poland?
"Well I'm not sure if I would call it exactly “Hardbass” scene. There are different kinds of events and crowds. Hardbass now can be heard on multistyle raves with which became really popular in last few years in Poland. Some of them focusing on rave culture in general but also some of them using the gopnik meme to promote. Although I think the main crowd for the pumping music is still in the clubs like Omen and Protector for example. Where you can hear sounds of Hardbass, Fidget house, Bass House, old Klubb Classics etc. playing whole night. Its a different kind of party and a bit different, completely non-meme vibe. So to sum this up, there are different kinds of people coming to Hardbass shows and it depends where is the event and who is organizing it. So I'm not sure if you can call it a “scene” as its not unified in any way."
What kind of sports do you like?
"I love skateboarding, even though I'm pretty bad at it. It was something I loved as a kid and I think it was only 2 years ago when I decided to get back on the board.
I also really like to watch MMA and Kickboxing but I'm not training any fighting sports anymore."
Did you have any education?
"Yes, I finished a degree in National Security. I was planning a career in that field but somewhere along the road to achieving it I doubted if its really worth it. Then I decided to look for the alternative, thats how i found music."
What do you do for a living?
"Wearing a tracksuit, creating music, playing shows, organising shows, wearing a mask, livestreaming, ocasionally partying till the morning"
What is your opinion about the meme around Hard bass?
"Its definately good for the recognition of this music. Nobody can deny that. I've seen a lot of critique from many producers but I think this meme vs anti-meme thing is not needed here. Just like in other music styles, “serious” content can coexist and even benefit from the popularity of something more mainstream or lets say “meme” related. The most important thing is to make sure all the content creators and producers are delivering quality stuff either its meme or not. By creating many different styles you get the diversity of sound so every listener can find something for himself in Hardbass music. Some complaints showed up that the meme is not showing what Hardbass really is. I can agree with that but its our job now to educate the crowd about this music by making content. You want to show people history of Hardbass? Just record a video and make a track about it."
What got you in to Hardbass?
"I was listening to Hardbass already when i was 15-16. The first songs i heard were the old tracks of DJ Snat, XS Project and Hard Bass School a bit later. I always liked this sound a lot but it was really difficult to find new music as if I remember correctly, I didn't even have internet back then so."
Who are your favorrite Hard bass artists?
"Badwor7h, his work is outstanding. Barabass for the agression. Sonic Mine for the musical aspect and flow of the tracks. And Im sure I could think of few more."
What do you think about Hard bass in the Netherlands?
"The scene in NL is building up nicely. I think this first wave of hype went down now and you still see a lot of people on the partys so thats really good sign. The perfect scenario now would be if one of the big festivals gave some time to one or two Hardbass artists in near future, that would promote this music big in NL. I would see Badwor7h there, I think his style can appeal to many different listeners as its powerful and have that modern sound."
Gopnik McBlyat & KrematoV f.t. McGyver - BLASTOFF (TRI poloski Antwerpen Anthem). Click on the image to listen the track.
What is your expectation about the future of Hard bass music?
"Growth. But we need the flow of new content coming. We need content creators, music producers, Djs, podcasters, video editors, party organizers, venues willing to cooperate, vlogers, influencers getting it out to the public and all that hype stuff thats happening around every growing music style in the world."
Are there any upcoming producers we should know about?
"To name few: Ley o'Lantern, Earslav, Demyex, CzechHardbasser, No.Zee. Really promising group of young producers."
Check out Gopnik McBlyat's liveset at TRI poloski Antwerpen below
Author: Engelen, Z
TRI poloski ©
APA: TRI poloski. (2020, 08, March). Interview with: Gopnik McBlyat.