NRCSSST started out as a small project by Almantas (guitar) in 2012. After releasing a few songs alone, Almantas invited his friends Gražvydas (vocals) and Mantas (guitar) to join the band. That‘s when it started to get serious and a search for a drummer and a bass player was announced. In 2013, Tomas (bass) and Artūras (drums) got through the auditions and NRCSSST finally came to its current lineup.
It didn‘t take a lot of time for their atmospheric black shoegaze metal to reach the ears of Lithuanian heavy music lovers. And now, in 2015, their debut album „Schizophrenic Art“ is being released by the Japanese record label „MAA Production and Zero Dimensional Records“
In a recent Q&A with Music Export Fund, the band’s guitarist, Almantas and vocalist Gražvydas, revealed NRCSSST’s plans for the of summer 2015, how the band has evolved since its formation in 2013, and its overall objectives for the future.Tell us a little about your current creative life. How is it going?
For now the creative life of the band is on hold, because we are concentrating more on the quality of our upcoming shows than on creating new material. We will probably not create anything new up until the next year, and then we will focus on our next album.
Your band is called NRCSSST, which stands for narcissist. Does this name have any connections with the character traits of your band members?
The meaning behind this name is not so much associated with the band members themselves, as it is more about how we want to appear to the audience during our live shows. At the same time, our lyrics are mainly about personal feelings and struggles, which can be kind of narcissistic.
How long have you all known each other?
The three original band members had known each other for quite a long time already, when two years ago we met Tomas and Artūras during our auditioning for a bass player and a drummer.
How did you get an idea to create a band?
(Almantas) There was a time, when I had a lot of dark emotions inside me. All the personal struggles led me to a desire to somehow pour out all of the feelings. And the easiest way for me to do that was music.
What do you do in your free time?
(Almantas) We are all really busy with our jobs right now, so there is not much free time to do something. Gražvydas is a graphic designer, I am a sports engineering project manager, Mantas is a programmer and Artūras is unemployed for now. Right now, music for all of the band members is more of a hobby, so you could say that all of our free time revolves around it.How was the collaboration with the Japanese label MAA Prod.? How were you discovered by them?
Before we started doing our live shows, we released a few demo songs. Since shoegaze black metal is really popular nowadays, it didn‘t take long for us to form an audience in Lithuania. With the help of social media, we were noticed abroad as well. There was an Austrian record label that noticed us first. They asked us to record a full song as soon as possible, but we didn‘t have enough time and had to decline the offer. There were even some offers from record labels that are stationed in South America. During this period of time, we ourselves started sending out our demos to some bigger companies and one of them was the Japanese label MAA Prod. So far, the experience has been great and everything went smoothly without any disruptions.
What do you think about the export potential of Lithuanian music?
There are many bands in Lithuania, which play quality music. We have a lot of original, promising musicians, who will without a doubt expand their work into foreign countries. Of course there could be more companies focused on helping them and financing their projects.
What are the pros and cons of creating music in Lithuania?
One of the advantages here is the lack of musicians who are serious about making it to the foreign market. Therefore, it is easier to get recognized. On the other side, since Lithuania is a small country, the audience is not that big here, which makes it harder to get recognized. Another disadvantage here is the lack of musical venues to play your shows at. Basically, you can play only in Vilnius or Kaunas. All the other cities are off limits.
Who writes your songs? What are they about? What is your song writing process?
(Almantas) Everybody has something to say and we try to put all the different thoughts into one place. Although the instrumental part is mostly written by me, we try to arrange it so it suits all of the players.
Like most of the musicians, we write about our individual struggles and experiences. Some might say that our songs are dark, but we see it as having more of a nostalgic vibe.Do you feel like you have evolved as a band since its creation?
The style of our music hasn’t changed that much, but it formed its own distinctive shape. Also, it is easier to notice the influence of the music we listen, because we write our own songs. You could say that there is more “flavour” in it. At the same time, most of the aggression that we used to put in our songs is now a lot more subtle or has vanished completely.
What was the biggest challenge for the band so far?
So far, the biggest challenge was the search of a drummer and a bass player. It took a lot of time to find the suitable candidates. The next challenge was of course finding the record label. And now it is all about making it to the international market.
Are fame and fortune big factors in making music for you?
We play for the sake of self-realisation. And you can feel it every time while creating something or while playing at live shows. Of course there are times when we think about fame or money, but our music and our creative process are not influenced by these thoughts at all.
Can you give some advices for all the musicians that are starting out?
(Almantas) I have a friend who told me these words: “If you can live without playing, then live.”
(Gražvydas) My advice would be to do something you like. Just keep in mind that in Lithuania being a musician will probably won’t be enough to support you financially. But if that’s what you want to do, don’t let that demotivate you and do it for the sake of having fun.
Where is it possible to listen and/or buy your songs?
In you check our Facebook page, you can see that we have just publicized our Bandcamp account, where it is possible to pre-order our album. And after July the 6th it will be possible to buy it in almost every place they sell our music.