Exclusive Interview: Next Door To Heaven talk “Inside”!

In March, from Russia with love came “Inside“, a self released EP from Progressive Metalcore band Next Door To Heaven. The follow up to the band’s 2020 single “Dance With Me” and the 2019 sophomore album “V Ways To Accept” released on Sliptrick Records it sees the band dive deeper into DJent Metalcore with guitarist Evgenii “Gene” Mazunov leading the charge for a concept record that is stunningly good. Granted an audience with vocalist Daria “Dasha” Mazunova we asked her a few burning questions about the release…

How have you found the reaction to “Inside” so far? “There’s are a lot of positive reviews and messages and, as we can see in the stats, favourite tracks are the ones we thought of : “Unleash the beasts”, “Flare up”, “Inside””

How did you find working with Russian drummer Pavel Lokhnin (God Eat God, Dominia, Perimeter) as a guest on the EP as a whole? What was the dynamic like when you were writing and recording? “We’ve been working with him while creating both “V ways to accept” and “Inside”. He has noticeable technical skills and that helped with the dynamics of the tracks a lot. It’s always complicated for us to find drummers to work with because the drum parts Gene creates aren’t easy at all and only a few drummers can play them well. Pavel is one of them – a confident professional drummer”

Ex-Stuck Mojo vocalist Lord Nelson appears on “Flare Up“. What made you choose that track for a guest appearance and how did you sell it to him to persuade him to get on board? “Lord Nelson loved the track “from the first sight” as I see it. We wanted to find another way of being creative and make an unexpected collab. Lord Nelson is an experienced vocalist and a great person to work with so it was a pleasure! I really think he made this track more harsh and vibrant”

In your biography it mentions guitarist Evgenii “Gene” Mazunov making his recovery from Thyroid Cancer in 2016. Looking back on that now, do you feel that it made you push on with the band and give something extra to it that you might not have otherwise? “I’ve been with him during that tough period of time and I can say, without a doubt, it made us both much stronger, and yes, it made us push on the band right after he recovered. I remember us playing the first show 2 weeks after the treatment. It was hard for him but at the same time, it helped a lot psychologically because that’s what he loves doing”

It has to be said that the guitar tones on the record are incredible, so what made you change up to the 9 string Ibanez for “Inside”? What would it mean for the band to get an endorsement from a guitar manufacturer or to have your own signature model? “Thank you! The reason for that is having more opportunities with an extra string. I know for sure Gene has been happy to get an endorsement or signature model from Ibanez”

The concept of Man Vs Machine runs through the EP as a whole. Where did that idea come from and how much influence did it have on the way the release came together? Did you only come to it from the lyrical angle or was it in the mind during the creation of the music? “It mostly came to it from the lyrical angle. You see while creating songs, normally Gene first composes music, then I listen to it, feeling the atmosphere, come up with the idea and the name and then create lyrics. So I was sure I want to use the concept Man Vs Machine or I’d also say Order Vs Emotion from the start”

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