BARK is an electronic, alternative soul duo based out of NYC. Featuring Alessio Casalini (guitars, synths and programming) and Alexey Artemov (drums, percussion and programming), the duo came to life in 2014. Their first self-titled EP was released in 2016 with a collection of distinct tracks. Each of the songs were a collaborative effort featuring various singer-songwriters and talented musicians. Their single “The Liar (feat. Aidan Flores-Hall)” was released in 2017 followed by the 2018 release of their single “Cold and Silent (feat. Krystal Hawes).” New EP’s from BARK featuring new singles and remixes are to be expected later this year!
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Alessio: I was listening to a lot of metal when I was a kid. Mainly because my older brother’s friends would pass me a bunch of cassettes were my introduction to music. The first Black Sabbath album was the motivation for me to start playing guitar. I’m guessing everything started from there. Alexey: Coincidentally I’ve been around metal music since childhood, my pool (Russian billiards) teacher showed me an early Slayer album. Thats where the curse started for me - school bands, first recording tapes, etc.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Alessio: Well this project is relatively young but we both come from many years of music with different bands and projects… A lot of crazy thing happened. Waiting for something with BARK! Alexey: I’d say my early metal bands were quite crazy. Around early college years I toured with a few death metal bands and it was still quite a rough time in Eastern Europe. To keep it short - we almost got killed twice during the shows. The second time was the last time I played anything close to that scene. It’s a lot more civilized now…
What has been the high point of your music path?
Alessio: Probably with my old dark/new wave band back in Italy. A promoter invited us to play a show in Belgrade. They flew us out there, picked us up from airport, interviewed us at a big radio station and organized this show in a big backyard inside an abandoned school… Was packed with hundreds of people. The event was very well put together, there were big posters of us around the city. Was early 2000s. Alexey: I play quite a bit of free jazz and improvised music concerts. Selling out sizable theaters filled with people willing to take two hours of sonic assault was a very pleasant surprise. We’re just starting out with Bark and cant wait to tour.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
It’s very random - always starts with a micro idea. Either a guitar riff, a synth line, a percussion pattern, vocal line or even a crooked samples of us playing (Improvisation has always been a big part of what we do). We start developing from there, giving music a shape, recording drums, bass, re-recording multiple times. When the music is presentable we choose the kind of vocals that would fit the idea and start reaching out to singers. We then re-re-record most of the music to fit new ideas we come up with singers. Followed by mixing which is done by us as well, which has become an integral part of the workflow. We love spending hours at our studios on enhancing and exaggerating the concept.
Take a moment to enjoy the music video for the song "Cold and Silent (feat. Krystal Hawes)"
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Most of the Indie scene is very focused on a specific rock melodic sound. We would love to see more boundaries pushed. More contemporary influences, new sound research, intricate harmony, experimentation.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Massive Attack, Portishead, Einsturzende Neuebauten, Radiohead, etc. They are our main influences.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
NYC is fairly complicated logistically. We rent a studio space in Midtown that doubles as storage space as we have way too much gear. Our homes double as music studios as well. Rehearsals are usually very quick as we learn the material during production. Focusing mostly on key accents and experimentation.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
It would have to be “38 feat. Allan Rand”. It was the first song that came out a free-improv jam which somehow defined our sound.
What's coming up in the future?
Touring, new releases, touring, touring, new video production
Tell us where fans can access your music.