Photo from Pompeya’s official Facebook page
Moscow-based band Pompeya has a certain appeal not just from the music, but in how they interact with fans. I’ve personally been to several shows in Moscow and after each performance, the band members have always been more than willing to give fans some personal attention–if not for a quick conversation then for a quick photo together.
Their humble attitudes transfer to the online realm as well, where they also make an effort to answer any fans that message them on popular social platforms such as VK and Facebook.
For those of you who don’t know, Pompeya is a four piece indie pop and rock band based in Moscow, Russia. Their music is often described as bright and breezy, a mix of 70s Disco, 80s New Wave, and 90s Pop rock and their lyrics are all in English.
While currently on tour with gigs scheduled around America and also stopping off for a few in-studio performances, singer Daniil Brod was nice enough to take some time and answer a few of my questions about the band through an online chat.
Moskvaer: Daniil, thanks for taking the time to respond.
Daniil Brod: Thank you for the questions.
You’re currently touring around the States. How big is your American audience? How many fans do you think are emigrants from Russia?
Brod: Of course our audience in Russia is way bigger than in the States at the moment. But that’s why we’re here now! Digging the fans. As for the gigs–I would say 10-15% are emigrants. Most of the audiences are local.
Russians usually go to see famous Russian bands like Mumiy Troll, BG etc. They miss some Russian music here. Nostalgia is leading them to the shows. We are not really interesting for them, I guess.
What kind of obstacles are you facing on the road?
Brod: Nothing special: broken tires, missing keys etc. The road is always a lot of fun!
How have you found the music scene different in the US compared to Russia (Moscow, in particular)?
Brod: I’m not comparing and it’s hard to compare: where are the representatives? In the States there are hundreds of bands and labels. While in Russia there are just a few of them. I can compare Russia 2005 to Russia 2015–and the scene has obviously become better and stronger!
What is the craziest thing you’ve done on stage?
Brod: We are not crazy people on stage. But maybe we will work on it this year.
Who in the band has the biggest amount of female fans?
Brod: We all have fans, both males and females. We don’t count them though. People always message us on Facebook and VK. We always respond.
How did it all begin? When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician?
Brod: For me, music has always been a dream job since I was 12. It’s just something that I can’t live without. A week without writing makes me depressed… or without performing. So when there are no gigs – we write.
Briefly, how did the band start? How did you decide to name the band Pompeya?
Brod: We started almost 9 years ago as a trio with the former drummer Nairi (he left the band in 2013) and bassist Denis. Basically, we just had a great jam at a rehearsal space–so we decided to keep playing music together. I didn’t know the guys personally before that jam.
The band name came soon after. Maybe after a few more jams… we were just brainstorming different words, phrases, names–and Pompeya came up, for some reason it stuck in our mind. So we kept it.
Is there any reason for all of your lyrics being in English, other than to perhaps target Western audiences?
Brod: Well, why do you need another reason? We want to be international–a part of the world, not just part of the local scene.
Speaking of lyrics, we haven’t seen any official ones online. Any plans to put them on your website maybe?
Brod: Honestly, I just don’t pay enough attention to this. There were some lyrics on our Facebook page. Are they no longer there? They should be. We will post the lyrics, I promise.
Do you have any other professions? Have you worked using them?
Brod: I don’t.
What is your ultimate goal? Would you do absolutely anything to be famous?
Brod: The success itself is not a goal, but the goal is to deliver our music to as many people in the world as possible. I wouldn’t do absolutely anything to succeed. But we will always improve our writing skills to make better music. That’s a challenge we made to ourselves.
What do you think of author rights? Do you think art/music/movies should cost money for people instead of being accessible for free?
Brod: Music is hard work. Nobody wants to work hard and not get paid. Nowadays brings new challenges of how to make money from it. CD’s sell worse than 20 years ago, but vinyls sell better. Music spreads on the internet for free–but it brings more people to gigs.
There is always a balance. Live shows are still the main things to do. That is what it’s all about!
Thanks again for taking the time to answer!
You can catch Pompeya for a December 5 live show in L.A. or follow their tour page for more dates in Moscow. Meanwhile, check out one of their in-studio sessions at AudioTree.