Nookie interview (09/2018)

With: Daria Stavrovich
Conducted by: ScreamingSteelUS (e-mail)
Published: 12.09.2018

Band profile:


Daria Stavrovich, a.k.a. Nookie, lead vocalist of Russian metal sensation The SLoT, recently released her third solo album, Исключения / Exceptions. After reviewing the album, I had a few questions for her.

ScreamingSteelUS: Hello, and thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with Metal Storm.

Your new album is entitled "Exceptions." Could you explain the concept behind that name and the attitude of the album?

Nookie: Every track grew out of different life situations; each of those by itself was sort of exception to the rules. That's why every song filled up with contradictions, special energy, nerves and life itself.


SSUS: This is your heaviest and loudest solo album so far. Are you consciously pushing for a harder sound, or did the album just turn out that way?

N: Yes, the album is more chipper. My life's rhythms became faster and these changes reflected in my music as well. I became more open to the world. While I'm a rather introverted person, recently I managed to fight with it, and I think it suits me.

SSUS: When you write for your solo project, be it music or lyrics, does your process differ from when you write for The SLoT? Do you know beforehand which band you're trying to write for, or do you look back later and decide where something fits best?

N: The SLoT is about mutual work, so it is the whole band that takes part in music creation, while Nookie is only from my head, at least on the level of original ideas. So directions are different into these two projects from the beginning.

SSUS: What would you tell fans who know you primarily from The SLoT to expect from this album and from your solo project in general?

N: The album is very diverse, it combines so many styles and atmospheres, loads of it. I call it "the album with unbalanced mind". But actually all the balance is in this imbalance. Everything in this album, like in the world, tends to be chaotic for the good.

SSUS: In 2016, you participated in season 5 of Голос/The Voice and went to the semifinals. What inspired you to audition for the show?

N: The idea that I have to take part in this has long been around Slot fans for quite a while. I've always waved aside this, as I didn't want to be on TV. Besides, I don't like this typical repertoire - dull retro about the poor woman's part ))). I was afraid they would have imposed on me such songs. So I was going there like for a war, with the aim not to surrender. I think, you could see it during blind auditions.

SSUS: This may not be the case in Russia, but in the USA and the UK, at least, the audiences for shows like The Voice generally don't have much contact with or knowledge of heavy metal. How did the coaches, other contestants, viewers, etc. react to you, the singer in a popular metal band, taking part in the show (and getting quite far)?

N: Coaches were not aware of who I am, that's for sure. So their reactions had nothing to do with the fact that they knew me. As for viewers, there was not just one opinion among them. Mostly they respected that I'm sort of pushing rock to the masses in such a way. It was quite a big support, actually; thanks to all of them for that.

SSUS: Did you have anything special planned if you had won? A victory tour, special release, etc.?

N: I don't know what happens in such cases in US or Europe, but in Russia I was supposed to be in tour with other finalists. You know, lip-sync pop songs at local venues. This was in the contract. So I couldn't be in final. I had my Slot tour already scheduled for the fall and Nookie dates as well. So this win wasn't in my plan. So I had to be as tough as I only could, and I hoped to be out with that extreme Bjork cover. But it didn't help, so I asked fans not to vote for me in the next round.

SSUS: How was your overall experience of being on the show?

N: Very positive. I was singing songs that I wanted to. So I did what I liked and enjoyed it. Besides, I've had good relations with Grigoriy Leps (my coach), and he still affords me the use of his great recording studio. I guess this is the main prize.

SSUS: Back in 2011, The SLoT released an English-language album - Break The Code - and there was talk of an international tour, although I recall that those plans fell apart. Have you revisited the idea of touring the world since then? Would you consider doing a solo tour outside Russia/Eastern Europe, if not with The SLoT?

N: We are always open to such offers. Last time (with the Slot) we planned tour to support P.O.D., but the promoter went bankrupt, and the tour was canceled. So not everything depends on us.

SSUS: If you were to tour, for example, the US, what other Russian artists would you like to bring with you?

N: Oh, this is just empty fantasies, far from reality. If I were to talk about my sympathies, there is a cool band called Grizzly Knows No Remorse; we even plant to feature them on one song.

SSUS: You have made guest appearances on a lot of songs by other artists. Are there any musicians you'd like to have work with you on your solo material, or anyone you'd like to do a more involved collaboration with? Who was your favorite artist to work with?

N: To be honest, I'm so full with my two bands, that I don't even have time for any other collaboration.

SSUS: Obviously you know ID from The SLoT, but how did you get together with Andrey and Alexander?

N: After our first album, I called Andrey for the presentation gig, and just as session musician, with no further plans. But after the second LP, it became clear that he is not just a session musician, but a member of the band. The story with Alexander also started with the second album. The drum part was quite complicated in there, so I just had no idea who could do it but him. So I also called him for a session, but he stayed for more.

The band.

SSUS: Do you have any final words for our readers?

N: The brightest impressions come from the events that happen in your life for the first time. So I wish everybody these first times to happen all the time in your life. Broaden your borders, listen to the good music, read the good books, watch cool films and be happy!

Thank you very much to Nookie for doing this interview. Check out her new album, Исключения, and look out as The SLoT prepare to produce their next album.

This interview has been lightly edited to ensure the clarity of the translated responses.


Posted on 12.09.2018 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 327 users
12.09.2018 - 11:38
I Love Nookie! but it sounds ambiguous a lil bit
death to all but science
Iron Maiden | Rate'Em All!
05.11.2018 - 09:59

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