For a band that hails from Moscow, where winters are long and summer heat waves send citizens into daytime revelries of a life beyond their crowded, artificial riverbank beaches, Pompeya's sound is something like diving into a deep blue Caribbean lagoon, where lush green foliage dips into sparkling waters and gently pulsating beats echo from a yacht anchored somewhere nearby.
Maybe they've been dreaming it up all their lives, or perhaps Pompeya have just recently jumped aboard the synth-soaked nostalgia train back to the '80s. Either way, the high, cooing vocals, funky basslines, crisp electric riffs, and chilled-out tropical disco vibes give this Russian rock band an altogether fresh sound, perfect for melting into a new wave of summer heat.
Since releasing its Foursome full-length in 2012, Pompeya has broken onto the U.S. scene, bolstered by a set of high-profile remixes for the single "Power" put out by Tiger on a Leash Records. With a second LP set to be released in the fall through New York's No Shame Records, the band has been traveling across the country on its first-ever full U.S. tour, making a final stop here in Miami.
To help get us even more psyched for Pompeya's local debut, drummer Nairi Simonian exchanged a few emails with us about how the group came together, the tour so far, and what he's looking forward to most about the Magic City.
Crossfade: Could you give us a brief intro to the band? Who are the members and how did you come together?
Nairi Simonian: It began in Moscow, Russia in 2006. I met Daniil (vox/guitar) via ICQ. I heard some demo he was singing and wanted to play with him. I invited my old friend Denis (bass) to join us -- we've played together before. A few years later, Sasha (keys) joined us. We were just partying and promoting ourselves and our shows. It was crazy times...
Describe your sound in a few words.
The sound has been changing from the first day of forming the band. It's really hard to describe. As an example, for the new record's drums, I want to mix acoustic and electronic kits, and drum machines.
Who or what are some of your influences?
Every day someone or something influences me. In the beginning, it was lot of U.K. stuff, a lot of classic stuff, like the Police. Nowadays, I'm mostly into electronic music, house, and techno.
What has been your favorite stop on the U.S. tour so far? What has been the wildest or most memorable stop?
On this tour, all the U.S. stops were great. But one non U.S. that was the wildest, funniest, and greatest was the Dominican Republic!
What happened at the show in Dominican Republic? Wild fans? Beautiful girls?
The DR is full of the craziest, most beautiful people! We played two shows, one at the Bacanalia festival in Santo Domingo, and I can't describe the feelings. The second was at the beach -- palms, girls, rum... Siiiiick!
What do you use to create your live show? What should we expect from the show this Thursday at Bardot?
We have few live show options. Standard live is just the four of us -- drums, keys, bass, guitar, and vocals, a "sound system," plus backing tracks for extra vocals and percussion, live drum machines, samplers, and a computer.
Will this be your first time in Miami? What are you looking forward to the most?
First, and I hope not last! I'm looking forward to the great, hot show, new friends, lots of sun, vinyl record stores, and maybe buying some vintage drum machines.
-- Falyn Freyman
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Pompeya. Friday, June 7. FDR at the Delano, 1685 Collins Ave. Miami Beach. Call 305-674-5752 or visit delano-hotel.com.