Interview for Polish portal PsychoZine.eu

Where did the idea of creating your band come from? Why did you prefer this musical genre? Does folk metal really experience renaissance again?

Hi! We decided to create this band, being inspired with songs of Russian band «Северные врата» and with Slavonic mythology, Belarusian history and folklore. What about the rebirth of folk metal in Belarus, we believe that even though Belarusian language sounds very seldom on our streets, the interest to native culture and to music in particular is growing up, especially among young people. We suppose that folk metal is the most advanced genre of Belarusian music, because really distinctive and unique songs are created in it. Belarusian melodics, images of ancient world in lyrics and power of metal just can’t leave indifferent the audience!)

During last time Belarus was surprising us with other interesting and good bands, playing in this style. Лютавер'е, Яр, Litvintroll or Пярэварацень… those are the names of bands, coming on my mind at once, but its number is much greater. What’s the phenomenon of Belarusian music?

Indeed, there are a lot of music bands in Belarus, playing pagan and folk metal. Perhaps, the reason is that this musical style appeared in Belarus quite a long time ago, at the end of 80-s, when legendary Belarusian band Gods Tower was formed (by the way, this outstanding band has resumed its activity and now it continues to rejoice the audience with new shows and songs). Lately different ethno-bands appeared (Троіца, Сары Ольса). Belarusian folk scene also was developing and songs in Belarusian language began to sound here. Such bands as Znich and Apraxia appeared at this time. Since then this musical movement hasn’t stopped, although there were some ups and downs. For example, many bands, which had started their activity at the same time as we had, faced with a choice later: give up on music or move to the next level. That’s why the staff of music bands has changes so often; musicians begin to have a serious attitude to their musical activity, their professionalism grows up, they need more money to keep the group at the proper level – and at the same time the quality of music increases too.

Could you introduce the members of your band with a few words?

For today our band consists of four people. Tatsiana – female vocals and violin. Aliaksei Maliauka – vocals, bass guitar, the author of lyrics. Aliaksei Rysukhin – guitar, the author of music. Arthur Martynau – drums; searching for serious musicians, Arthur took part in a lot of music bands and now he takes part also in Podych Navalnicy (doom/death metal) and Рокаш (neofolk-rock).

Bands from East Europe, recording their compositions, often face with a problem of working in recording studio, where metal hardly ever had been played . It seems that you’ve avoided this problem. Your debut album sounds very well, with all elements, characterizing folk metal.

Our new album will be recorded where the first one was – in studio of Aliaksei Sialitski. But we understand that the sound of our first album is good only for a debut. Now we are more critical of selecting the sound. This time we recorded drums in studio of Dmitrii Ovchinnikov (the keyboardist of Gods Tower). Mixing and mastering will be done by Aliaksei Balotau, a mastering engineer from St. Petersburg, who worked with many famous bands and Litvintroll. Our last single “Lilije” was mixed by Aliaksei Balotau too. We are satisfied with the result of his work and we aspire just to this sound.

How long had you been working on composing and recording the material?

Quite a long time. Actually, the album was recorded and could be released 3 years ago, but we weren’t satisfied with the result and decided to re-record all the material again. It happened, first of all, because it was our first experience, and then because sometimes we cooperated with wrong people and were too trustful. As a result we had a choice: to leave everything as it was or to do it better. And we’ve chosen the second variant.

Some guests visited you in studio. What influence did they have on your music material?

In fact we had only one guest. Alyaksandra Shaiko from Unia band recorded the vocals in song “Padai, Yaryla!”. She also recorded back-vocal parties in this song. All the rest stayed as it was. So we had a commercial collaboration, not a joint project.

Did your split with Yar band have any influence on signing the agreement with Sound Age and releasing your album? How did you get such a big label in folk-metal community like Sound Age interested of your music band?

We met Yar some years ago, when Yaravit (the leader of Yar) suggested us to release split with them. We agreed with pleasure. But we don’t know If it had any influence on Sound Age. We just contacted with this label, sent there our records, and Sound Age suggested to release our album. Though everything was well, after some time we lost contact with Pavel, the Sound Age representative. Therefore now we are going to look for a new label and we will consider all the offers.

What about your concert activity? Have you performed anywhere outside your country?

After two years, when we didn’t give concerts (we were too busy with the album recording and couldn’t find a proper vocalist at that time) we are glad to tell that we have a good concert condition now. We had some performances in Russia and Ukraine. After release of our new album “Songs of Fierce Winds” (exact date is still unknown; you can follow the latest news on our website www.lutavierje.by ) we are going to make its presentation in Minsk . Today our music band is opened for suggestions.

You bespeak to the forces of nature in your work… but in your last single you have addressed to the poetry of the great poet Adam Mitskevich. I guess, this move is the rightest: after that a part of Polish audience should look towards you with greater interest.

Well, we should say that we also thought like that. We were pleased to sing in Polish. The song, underlieing the ballad “Lilije”, although was known in some regions of our country, but it’s evidently, that it came to us from Polish. But what about the name of Adam Mitskevich, it is connected with Belarus not less. Adam Mitskevich was born in the Belarusian town of Navagradak. If you come to this town, you’ll find there a House Museum of the poet, the famous stone of Philamats, and not far from it you’ll find a place called Tuganavichi, where Marylya Verashchanka lived. Love to this woman run through the poet’s work.

Adam Mitskevich’s youth passed in Vilnya (nowaday Vilnius), which was a Belarusian town till 1939, when it was assigned to Lietuva. Here, in Vilnius University the poet met romanticism and for the first time turned to folklore. Motives, images, plots and sometimes whole fragments, taken from Belarusian folklore, formed the basis of Adam MItskevich’s poetry. The poet wrote in Polish, though loanwords from Belarusian language often went through his works (this regionalism in his poetry often was met not very friendly in high society and among critics). After some historical events Polish was also a language of educated people in Belarus in 19th century. And Belarusian language just began to return to Belarusian literature after prolonged decline (by the way, Adam Mitskevitch’s close friend Yan Chachot was one of the first authors, who started to write in Belarusian at that time).

There will be also a song with fragments from Adam Mitskevich’s poem “Pan Tadevush” on our new album, where poet’s longing for Litva, his homeland, intervined with our sadness of glorious past.

Have you received any marks, voices from my country after the single had been released?

Yes, we’ve got some reviews. They were positive, and we were pleased to get them!

How is the work on the new material? When are you going to release the second album?

The new material is ready and we’ve started to record it. Drums have already been recorded. After the drums are done we’ll continue recording. We are going to finish it in January. And then, during mixing and mastering, we’ll be searching for a label to release the album.

What are your plans for this autumn and winter?

Record the new album, release it and make its presentation in Minsk.

Your last words…

Love culture of your Motherland, don’t leave your roots, listen to good music and see you on our concerts!

Interview on PsychoZine.eu