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An interview with Alexey Krasniy & Dmitry Brylev

Music profoundly affects a person and their emotional state. Everyone experiences it differently, influenced by their preferences, mood, and circumstances. It’s fascinating how different combinations of seven notes can evoke various emotions — joy, sadness, delight, excitement, and more. The same composition can even elicit completely opposite feelings in different people.
Some engage with music as a form of self-expression or self-development, writing their own music or playing instruments. These are the people I’m most interested in. I believe that…

I paused my introduction as Alexey Krasny joined our video call. He cut through the silence like a pro, striking the perfect La note on his guitar, turning a crackly sound into an elegant echo.
A few seconds later, Alexey noticed he was live, set his electric guitar aside, and greeted us. After exchanging pleasantries, I skipped the formalities and asked:

Cool Strat! Tell me about your guitar.
It’s just a standard Squier 2019. It’s well-maintained and sounds great. There’s nothing special about it, except it’s my first electric guitar, which I got for my 25th birthday.

Did you have any musical experience before?
I dabbled with the harmonica, and then, after breaking my leg, Gosha Konyshev brought me a bass guitar, also a Squier. I played that while I was recovering, strummed a bit on a classical guitar, and also studied DJing.

Sounds great. So, do you mainly focus on the electric guitar now?
I try to play everything. Recently, in Georgia, I played the piano, and it was amazing. But I mostly play the guitar. I don’t spend a lot of time formally practising. I prefer freestyling, letting a sound inspire me and improvising around it. That’s what I enjoy.

I admire John Frusciante, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Jimmy Page

What amplifier do you use? What about pedals?
I use the simplest amp with basic effects. No pedals. I decided not to get into all the nuances. I tried, but it got boring. I play on the cheapest, simplest equipment, and that’s the best part.

Alexey pulled out a small pouch of tobacco and rolling papers. With great skill, he rolled a cigarette, examined it, lit it, and let out a cloud of blue smoke.

You’re like a classic bluesman, but don’t sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads like Robert Johnson! How did your taste in music develop? When did you realise that music was something you wanted to pursue?
I don’t really remember. Every skate video has music, and watching them immerses you in the world of music. I think I started getting into music seriously when I took up skateboarding around 15 or 16.

Do you prefer listening to compilations or albums?
I love listening to albums, but I also enjoy individual songs. I particularly like live recordings. They capture the essence of a performance, mistakes and all, unlike studio recordings, which can feel lifeless due to their perfection.

For me, music always been connected to skateboarding

What do you think music and skateboarding have in common?
Both are forms of self-expression. Skateboarding, however, also teaches you about yourself — your strengths, weaknesses, and limits. Music doesn’t have the same physical challenges, but it’s equally expressive. Visual arts, like drawing or photography, are better for understanding your subconscious. Drawing, for example, reflects what’s inside you and what you’re experiencing at the moment.

Speaking of other art forms, tell us about your passion for photography and drawing.
I keep a notebook, a pen, and a black marker. I draw whatever comes to mind — abstract stuff. It’s like visualising my subconscious. I also shoot with 35mm and 110mm film. I don’t have a digital camera yet, but I’m looking forward to getting one.

How long have you been into photography?
About three or four years. My grandma had a camera, and I loved capturing what I saw. It felt like people didn’t notice what I did. Later, my ex-girlfriend gave me a film camera for my birthday, and I started shooting seriously. The unexpected light effects from the camera felt like painting, but with a camera.

Interesting. Did your fascination with visual arts lead you to create the Synesthesia project?
Yes, definitely. I wanted to express things beyond words. That’s how Synesthesia came about, using photos and videos to convey sensory experiences.

Synesthesia

/ˌsɪnɪsˈθiːzɪə/

[Noun]

A perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway

During our discussion, we agreed not to talk about stunts, but how did you manage to move out of your parents’ house and then to Barcelona?
It just happened. There was some luck involved. I skated a lot, filmed a lot, and eventually got noticed by Kostya Belozerov, Pasha “Kubik,” and Kirill Korobkov. They supported me, and sponsors followed. I joined the European Vans Skate team, Carhartt WIP, and Baker backed me with decks. This led to regular tours and spending about six months abroad. But political events made me realise that staying in Russia would make travelling difficult. So, I decided to move to Barcelona.

How’s life in Barcelona?
Barcelona is unique. It’s dry and warm, but I miss the changing seasons. I feel like I might move again. But for skateboarding, this city is fantastic. I’ve filmed more material in two years here than ever before.

I think skater mentality is pretty much the same everywhere. Skateboarding is an international language

How often do you collaborate with other artists in Barcelona?
Constantly. Even in Moscow, I collaborated a lot. Moving to Spain didn’t change that. For example, I made a video with Dima Brylev about castles called Spanish Castle Magic, using music from my Moscow friends, Dosada. The video got a lot of views, and everyone was happy.

And now?
Kreem x Kovsh are releasing an album soon. We’ve wanted to collaborate for a while. I suggested using video material I had, and it all fell into place smoothly. Kreem sent me the album, I picked a few tracks for editing, and the video turned out great. Free Skate Mag will release it on June 5th.

Does the video have a message?
Of course. I won’t reveal it; everyone should discover it for themselves.

We wanted to learn more about the creation of this video, so we contacted Dima Brylev. A short-haired, slightly sleepy Dima appeared on our screen.

Hello, Dima! We were discussing the video you made that’s about to be released on Free Skate Mag. What do you think is best captured in it?
Since we shot everything in Barcelona, I’d say it reflects the city’s true essence. During editing, it sometimes felt like we weren’t in Barcelona at all.

What was the hardest part of filming?
Technical issues with the camera due to the heat and humidity. It died at the worst times. Once, we encountered a hostile local who insulted us and cut our session short. Thankfully, he didn’t call the police.

Any positive moments during the shoot?
Definitely. We had one mission where we woke up early to shoot. The morning light was perfect, but people started showing up for work. I couldn’t get the trick on camera, and it started raining. I covered the camera with my shirt, and Alexey landed the trick, but I missed it. He calmly tried again and succeeded. Locals at a café applauded him. It was a great moment.

We talked extensively about skateboarding, film, music, and travel. Unfortunately, some recordings didn’t survive due to a glitch, but we had enough material for the article. I then began the epilogue.

I find it challenging to write this epilogue. Perhaps it’s because conversations with interesting, creative people are so enjoyable that you wish they could last forever. But time is fleeting, and I must learn to appreciate these moments for their unique quality — a quality that can connect minds and shape new consciousness, both personal and public.
Our conversation with the incredibly creative and cheerful Alexey has surely passed this quality on to you, dear readers. This is what our magazine aims for: to unite creative individuals and riders who see skateboarding and art as inseparable. And with Alexey, I believe we’ve succeeded.

Photographer: Alexey Krasniy.
Words: Ivan Florence.
Translated by Simon Paton.
Currated by Konstantin Belozerov.

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