A few weeks ago Amphibian Man released his 4th LP in the span of a year called "Pyramids". In 2016 he has released something nearly every month, and surprisingly they even seem to improve. During that span of time, he has gone from somebody that piqued my interest to "who the hell is this guy???". So I figured maybe I should just send him an email.
Storm Surge of Reverb: First question is the simplest. Who are you and where are you from?
Amphibian Man: I am from Kyiv, Ukraine. Now i am finishing university and working as guitar teacher.
SSOR: Is Amphibian Man a man or a band? How are your releases recorded?
AM: Amphibian Man is man=) Its my internet-project. All releases were recorded and mixed in my home, can be said, "studio".
SSOR: Is Amphibian Man your main project or do you perform in other bands? If the right members came along, would you expand Amphibian Man to a full band? Perhaps even do some live shows? Not that I know what the music scene is like in Kyiv...
AM: No, it is more "free-time" project, because I am playing in 3 bands besides. In 2 of them as drummer and in 1 as guitar player. If all goes well, in the summer we will start to rehearse with my friends. Let's see what happens.
SSOR: Wow, you keep busy. Speaking of that, what got my attention here was your release schedule. Since December you've had almost one release per month-- and they're all good! Was this some sort of challenge? Did you plan it or do they just come to you?
AM: No, it's not a challenge. I record them so often because I always have a lot of ideas and I can't not to record them. Actually, i just choose a theme of album, tune in to it's atmosphere, and start compose and then record songs. And I try not to delay it in order not to lose the original mood. For example Tsunami was fully completed in 2 days, Speed Power Turbo Racer - about 4. In general, Amphibian Man is a transfer of certain images out of my head to the music.
SSOR: That's cool! Do you have any themes on the backburner that you haven't been able to work into a songs yet? Did doing songs from Contra make you think "damn, I love the music from another video game too..."?
AM: Yes, of course, now I am starting work on EP about summer time. It will be sunny, major tune, maybe a bit romantic recording. Then maybe it will be album of surf covers of non surf songs, maybe some mystical stuff, I don't know =) While doing Contra Surf i often ask myself about it, really, a lot of great soundtracks are in old games. For example Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden and others.
SSOR: Have you beaten Contra without cheat codes? :)
AM: In childhood i did it once or twice, but now I'm not too sure I can do it :)
SSOR: How did you get interested in surf instrumentals? Do you know many others in Ukraine that like it?
AM: I liked the surf music a long time ago, but it grew into a larger after I listened The Fathoms band. After listening i decided: "It's time to play surf!". Ukraine has a relatively large psychobilly scene, but only a couple of bands plays surf.
SSOR: Cool! The Fathoms are kind of surprising. They're great, but your songs are much more aggressive than anything they do. Are there any other artists in particular that you really like?
AM: Among surf bands I really like The Nebulas, Man or Astro-Man?, The Secret Samurai. Also I was inspired by such bands as Polvo, Sonic Youth, Hot Snakes.
SSOR: Have you heard that Swami John Reis and the Blink Shake record from last year? Never considered the affinity that surf instro fans might have for Hot Snakes until I heard that
AM: Cool, I did not know that he also plays surf. I will definitely listen this album.
SSOR: I bet you'll love it. Anyway, what equipment do you use? Instruments, recording, whatever you'd care to share
AM: Let me tell about guitars and basses that i used. Guitars - in Tsunami - Musima Eterna Deluxe 25 made in early 80's, in Hellas - Musima Eterna Deluxe 25 and Squier Jagmaster Vista 1997, in others - Peavey Predator 1992. Bass - Peavey Foundation made in late 80's.
SSOR: Cool. Well that's all I have on my mind right now, any questions you were hoping I might ask? Any other comments?
AM: Actually, I have not nothing else interesting to tell :) I think we can finish.
Thanks so much to Amphibian Man for the interview! Looking forward to hearing more from him and I bet I won't have to wait long.