By then, Alon Shenfield, who was a long time friend of Kisselman’s, joined on as the bassist while Ilya Maximenko got onboard playing guitar and introduced the band to a new drummer – Dimitry Chebanov, while Ilya Kosukhin was playing keys. Although it was never planned to happen this way, Dissident Saint assembled itself out of a musically diverse bunch. With influences old and new, classically trained and self taught, the band established its unique sound. The various musical tastes of all the band members made it impossible for Dissident Saint to submit to one particular style – a unique characteristic that helped the band stand out from the numerous other groups in the Canadian music scene. The early days of Dissident Saint were extremely productive. The second show of the band’s existence was a “Band Wars” in which they won first prize.
Subsequent gigging hardened the band, and its members picked up some prizes along the way like a first-place turnout in a Supernova Band Wars. At some point, it became obvious that Dissident Saint needed to make an album – a first definite step that the band had to make to solidify its existence. With more material ready than it was possible to learn, the question boiled down to time and financial constraints. It also became apparent to that whatever the members did as a band, they had to do it themselves. Their experiences with the more ‘professional’ commercially-oriented sides of the music business left them in a disenchanted state of mind.
They began working on recording The Rise at some point in the summer of 2006 – a process that would take more than a year. The first major setback was Ilya Kosukhin’s departure from the band while having recorded only one song. His reasons were his own, and despite parting on good terms, the morale ran rather low at the time. Dissident Saint’s problems were also amplified by the fact that two (out of the then five) band members would live in a different city for the major part of the year to fulfill their studies. The band had session keyboardists, but playing shows was nonetheless difficult and constantly relearning the same material daunting.
At times, the future of the band was extremely uncertain with the changing interests and lifestyles of the band members. In the first quarter of 2007, the recording was well under way when Dissident Saint finally found a new permanent keyboardist – Andrei Zaretski. He quickly fit into the dynamics of the band, and everyone continued to work hard on completing The Rise. With some new blood came some new strengths and motivation. Andrei employed talents that were not expected of him by designing the sleeve for the album and redesigning the website (an image overhaul that was definitely in order).
Pretty soon, Dissident Saint started looking ahead once again, as opposed to just “getting through with it.” With the release of The Rise, the band finally obtained something to show for the time and effort put forth. Talk of the second album was already underway as well as some serious plans being made in terms of promotion. However, yet another hurdle emerged as Dimitry Chebanov announced his sudden resignation on January 1, 2008. The future of the band was once again questioned. It was a blow to the remaining members' confidence, but after a detailed meeting, it was decided that Dissident Saint must go on and the search for a new drummer became yet another task. It took over a month of searching, with the dust slowly collecting on the empty drum throne.
However, in early February of 2008, Dissident Saint held a rehearsal/audition with Jeff Marshman. The entire band was blown away by his ability to improvise on the spot as well as his unique, tasteful flavour in the band's sound. A decision was made instantly and Dissident Saint was a six-piece once again! But it was not to last! In just a few months, Sergey Perunov bowed out, leaving the band in search of a new frontman in addition to rehearsing for the follow-up to The Rise. Dissident Saint has come a long way as a band, and all the overtaken obstacles have only strengthened the members’ musical ambitions. With the follow-up album already in the works, there is definitely more to come... Read more on Last.fm.
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