Alexandru Ichim: "I found a balance between work, family and music"
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Alexandru Ichim is TOTAL Romania’s representative for overseas clients since 2013. In his spare time, he sings in a band called Coins as Portraits. The band has been around for nine years and had been on two international tours.
What kind of music do you play?
The music we play is called experimental grindcore. It is a kind of rock with jazz influences that has atypical measures. The rhythm is not linear, there is no chorus, it is fast and aggressive. You can’t really remember a song. It's like a poem without rhymes. This music genre is little known, very few people appreciate it. We are four in the band: drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and voice (myself).
Can you remember how it started?
We're all high school friends with similar music tastes. We used to listen to hard-rock bands like Metallica, Nirvana or whatever we could find at that time. We were curious to find out more about this kind of music and that’s how we found grindcore. Then we decided to create a band. We had this idea in the 12th grade, but it took us two years to make it real, since we had no money for the instruments. Today the band is nine years old. We first released an album in 2011 and we are working on the second one, which should come out in spring. But you can find our music on the internet.
You can also listen to it in a concert...
Indeed. We used to have a concert once or even twice a month, most often in Brasov or Bucharest, but also in Cluj, Craiova or Sibiu. This year it’s been more difficult because we all have a job and a very different schedule. We try however to go on an international tour every two years. We first played on a tour in 2011, in Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Serbia. In 2013 we went to Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. A tour usually lasts two weeks. Fans of this music are sort of a community and have helped us organise concerts in their countries. The third tournament was supposed to be held in 2015 but two of us got married, including myself.
What is the meaning of the name Coins As Portraits?
The main theme of our lyrics is the weakness of man in general. And we thought that two of the biggest weaknesses of mankind are materialism and consumerism, both represented by money. Hence the idea of "Coins As Portraits" – unfortunately, for many people money become part of their nature.
How can you handle music and a job within TOTAL at the same time?
Honestly I love doing both. At TOTAL, I work on a fixed schedule, which allows me to repeat in the evenings. My job is quite flexible and I can sometimes leave for a few days for concerts. When it comes to passion, one must always go for it. I think I managed to find a balance between work, music and family.
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