Molchat Doma (Houses are Silent) is a post-punk/synthpop trio from Minsk, Belarus composed of Egor Shkutko (vox), Roman “Roma” Komogortsev (guitar, synths, drum machine), and Pavel “Pasha” Kozlov (bass, synths). Their sound captures Slavic yearning in a haze of synths, wistful melodies, and disembodied vocals. Molchat Doma was putting out music on SoundCloud before getting the attention of Berlin-based label Detriti Records, catapulting the band’s following; their second LP Etazhi (Floors) has over one million views on YouTube. Last week the band premiered their new single “Zvezdy” (“Stars”).
Below are some highlights from my email exchange with Molchat Doma. The band shared the story of their formation, their reaction to Etazhi’s success, and some of their favorite underground bands.
How did the band form?
The group was founded in 2017. Roma and Egor studied together in college, where they met. Later [we] created the band and began to record [our] songs. The first serious tour began last year when we went on a mini-tour around Europe (the Kalabalik festival and a gig in Berlin), and later we left for a bigger tour [this spring].
Were you in bands before this project?
Roma and Egor had been playing together before and it was various music from trip-hop to funk. Pasha was playing in various groups […] from punk rock to art-rock. But all these groups were so-called a local phenomenon and did not have popularity.
Your second LP Etazhi was released a year ago. Since then, it has gained over 1.4M views on YouTube. How do you feel about this record now and its growing popularity?
Yes, we are still shocked!!! A year ago, we could not even imagine that someone would like our music and that’s what it is. It’s very nice that it happened, but still, I can’t believe that this is happening to us…Some songs still give [us] goosebumps. Probably because a lot of both emotions and good bright feelings were invested in this album.
You released a new single “Zvezdy” last week. Can fans expect a new album soon?
Yes, we are working on new material and maybe on this tour, listeners will be able to hear some new songs. But because of the busy schedule, it doesn’t work out as fast as we would love it to be. Therefore, the date of the album release is still unknown. But it will be interesting because we want to use a couple of new chips and are very worried about whether they will come to the people.
What is the band’s creative process?
In 80% of cases, Roma is involved in the creative process, and he does all the mixing and mastering of our songs. He writes music at home, then shows it to the rest of the band. Then, one of us brings the text and all together we collect all the material in a heap, finalizing some points. Sometimes, we write the lyrics together. Sometimes songs are born in spontaneous jams.
What new bands are you listening to?
We all listen to very different music. Recently we enjoy listening to Idles, Viagra Boys, Body Of Light, She Past Away, Buzz Kull, many Russian underground bands such as Ploho, IC3PEAK, ШТАДТ, Утро, Жарок, etc.
What are the band’s influences outside of the post-punk genre?
Very important for us are Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine and John Frusciante.
Does the band have plans to tour the US?
We got some plans already…Who knows how soon it will be, but [we] want to tour around the states.