Okapi Busdriver – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

OB: We want to tell stories through our songs, and we use all kinds of tools, styles and music instruments we can to make these stories more believable.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

OB: We are all from science city Zhukovsky. I wanted to be a musician since i was a child, but i seriously started to work on my dream at age of 17. I taught myself guitar, got in band called Sharkhan where i meet all of our present band members. Then after our band broke up i started to practice vocals and here we are.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

OB: The biggest influence on me is probably Devin Townsend. I have always been impressed by his unique perspective on music making, his incredible imagination, productivity and talent.

As for non-musical influences, I just love interesting stories, be it books, movies, games or real stories from all over the planet. Therefore, creating a lore for our band based on an immortal being who collects stories from all corners of the universe was an obvious choice for me. It allows me to write songs about any story that I like.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

OB: Of course I want to reach a large audience from all over the world, and thereby help as many people as possible to cope with the difficulties of life with our songs, just as my favorite songs helped me and help me now.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

OB: I am most proud of winning the Arkhangelsk music search competition, a competition that selects musical talents from all over Russia, regardless of genre. It was a shock that we were chosen from almost five hundred participants, considering how much underground metal is in Russia. We were the only metal band among the finalists.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

OB: Incredibly difficult, especially given the current political climate. All we can do now is to make materials and production as high quality as possible for us. And hope that people will support us despite our nationality.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

OB: Usually we book concerts by sending applications for festivals that are interesting to us, and we also write to other bands with an offer to play a joint gig in Moscow or in Zhukovsky in the DIY format. As for tours to other cities, we write directly to club owners or their art directors for availability of dates and bands with similar genre to perform together.

We have a show with a cool band The Fiery Gods of Marrans coming up on the 23rd of September!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

OB: I grew up when music was only available on cassette and later on CD. It was a joy for me to buy a disc with a new album of my favorite band, especially since local stores very rarely brought in something heavier than indie rock.

With the advent of the Internet, I literally rediscovered the world of music, so I’m quite happy with online music downloads and streaming services.

I, like no one else, understand that this is the only opportunity to hear us for a huge number of people from all over the world.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

OB: It must be Hearts Alive by Mastodon. This song is a masterpiece. While listening to it you imagine the obliteration of Pequod by Moby Dick, the horror, dread and doom of the crew and the epic nature of everything that happens in all its glory.

This is the ideal of storytelling through song that we aspire to.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

OB: I don’t know much about the world, but I would definitely completely change the Russian music industry.

It is an abomination in current state.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

OB: Right now we are working on a lot of things. We make a video visualizer for Drowning Sun, finish recording and work on the concept of the video

for the next single, as well as writing songs for the next album.

It’s tough especially because each of us has a full-time job.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?


Okapi Busdriver links:
Band/Artist location – Russia, Zhukovsky
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – 
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Band/Link
Check our page for Okapi Busdriver