Dear readers, we are pleased to offer you in this article an interview with a Russian band with a progressive sound that incorporates elements of heavy and classical music. We welcome Aton Five.
Hello, how are you?
“Hello, thank you very much for the interview opportunity! With all the stuff happening around — we are certainly not in as bright of a spot as we’ve planned to be, but we are still holding up! That’s life and we got used to it, so we’re fine.“
Your sound incorporates elements of Progressive Rock and Metal and more, where does your passion for these genres come from?
“It all stems from our love to bands like Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Tool, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Swans. On the album, getting closer to the heavier side of such music happened naturally due to our overall mood. We guess we had a lot of things to be angry about. Last but certainly not least, classical music inspired us a lot with its composition and developed musical forms.“
Several line-up changes have characterised the last few years, how has the band evolved?
“All these years we were working on the album. Speaking of the line-up changes affecting the band evolution — Anton Ablov, the keyboardist who came immediately after Daniil’s departure, has brought a lot of ideas from which many sections on the album have sprouted. He helped us create a much more solid keyboard sound with well-composed solos. Roman Makushev is a professional drummer who plays in a lot of bands, so he brought a really fresh vision to the drum parts and encouraged us to improve our performing abilities significantly.
As for the evolution of the band in more general sense, the main thing to change since Solarstalgia is us taking the writing process much more seriously. Same could be said about the sound production.“
The new album of the same name was released in April 2023, how would you describe this work?
“For us, it’s the coming of age. Aton Five is the album this band needed to release to truly establish its identity and, well, you can say to justify its existence. Without just wantonly repeating all the bands we’ve listed, without it being just a rehash of well-known patterns. While we do not deny being inspired by a lot of music and using ideas that came before, we believe that our work can stand on its own. We don’t think that one can say the same about Solarstalgia, our first LP.“
Long instrumental tracks full of technical passages and forays into Prog Metal, how does the creative process of your music take place?
“Usually, Alexander works on the pieces at home on his own, bouncing drafts with Mikhail and the other guys. The pieces themselves, however, usually begin with someone’s idea being brought to the band practice, or it being discovered during it. For this album we really took the musical form seriously, and it took a lot of work to make it fleshed out, to find ideas that really suit together well and can interchange with each other while being developed. That is something we got inspired by classical music to do.“
Your music is both technical and energetic and engaging, will there be a chance to hear you live?
“Come to Russia to have a chance to see us! Unfortunately, there are no feasible plans to tour abroad right now.“
A guest contributor to the album, what did he bring to your sound?
“Matthew wasn’t really a guest contributor, he was a band member. Anton has left the band after three years to pursue his academic career and move to Germany. We found Matthew some time after. Organ and piano solos on “Danse Macabre” were the only parts that Anton hadn’t time to record, so Matthew did. He has also arranged the strings part beautifully at the end of the same piece. He’s a great guy, loves jazz, and his approach to our music was a little unexpected yet welcome.
Unfortunately, we had no chance to learn how far his contribution would lead us— he had to leave the country in 2022 as well, after less than a year with the band. Our current keyboardist is Kirill Frolov. He’s featured in the recent live-in-studio video performance of “Danse Macabre.”
You have been active since 2014, how has your sound evolved over the years?
“While a lot of things have been changing for us over the years, we’ve put out only three studio releases with just the two of them being full-length albums. So it’s easy to hear what was changing just by going through them. The Long Forgotten Tales EP was the first writing attempt. A really genre-confused one, where each of the three tracks could be labeled differently. By the time of Solarstalgia LP we had a definitive turn to classic hard rock, psychedelia and space rock — all with a noticeable prog tendency. That tendency is now full-blown on the recent album, with space themes deliberately avoided and metal being more present in the sound, though not dominant.“
Do you have any other passions or artistic activities outside of music?
“We guess you could say we are all into literature. Aside from that — not really. However, it’s maybe worth mentioning that we play board games from time to time and have used to play Dungeons and Dragons some years ago 🙂“
What advice would you give to young artists approaching music with more elaborate sounds such as Prog?
“Don’t play prog if you can live without it. And if you can’t — practice more.“
Music is constantly evolving, how do you see the Progressive genre in the future?
“Don’t think we can imagine that. To be honest, we’re not sure that we can see what the genre truly is today!“
I thank Aton Five for the interview and wish them all the best for the continuation of their artistic career.
Read our Review of their new album here: [Review] Aton Five – Aton Five
Purchase their new album on Bandcamp: https://atonfive.bandcamp.com/album/aton-five