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“The Russians really do drink a lot of vodka,” says Carnifex drummer Shawn Cameron of the patrons at Moscow’s Tochka Club, where the band appeared December 1. “And the stuff with labels written in actual Russian is a lot stronger than what you get over here!”

The Moscow date (part of a European tour opening for Despised Icon) was the band’s first time in Russia.

“You can’t just request a visa; they have to invite you into the country. We had to overnight them our passports and fill out a government form that asked us things like, ‘Have you ever worked around plutonium?’ and ‘Do you have any special weapons training?’”

Once in Russia, says Cameron, “The promoter actually put us up in a three-bedroom apartment instead of a hotel and gave us a guide with a van.”

He compares the Tochka Club’s size and sound system to downtown’s House of Blues.

“The stage is on a big box, though, stuck out in the middle of the room, with no barricades, so the kids were right up on us.… The girls wear those long leather knee-high boots with high heels and tight jeans. They look amazing, and they’re pretty starstruck by bands. They don’t get metal shows every night.… One girl got up on the stage and flashed everybody!”

Carnifex appears Wednesday, January 7, at Le Drugstore in Tijuana, before going back on tour with Despised Icon in February.

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