1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band First Martyr has started its activity anew in 2016. There are four members in the band now: vocals by Morana, guitar by Iscarioth and bass by Columbian musician Hastur. The founder of the band - drummer Cerberus. In this line up the band recorded the album "End of Fucking Faith". In 2017 Hastur was replaced by Storm. Besides there is the member, who doesn't play music but coordinates our live shows, works on our corpse paint, designs our covers and interprets our communication - Orin.
2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
I've never tried to recreate the wheel because no matter what sound you invent it will be similar to someone, after all. But I don't like either too dirty or too polished sound. As luck would have it that while recording of the album we decided to make it closer to the sound of late 90' black metal, without digital arrangement. I think we succeed.
3.The band has been around since 2004 but waited until 2017 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
The band was formed in 2005 by my brother and me, after the end of my collaboration with another pagan-black band "Perun". One of my last live shows with this band was the show with U.D.O. after which our paths separated. Perun was so to say one-man band, who pursued his own ambitions. On the contrary, I wanted to play true black metal, without betraying this style year after year. Though, if being sincere, Perun and my participation in it gave a boost both to me and my band, and to black metal music in the south of Russia in general.
So in 2005 I've made a band which was first called Martyr. After the first live show we decided to change name to First Martyr, as there are pretty much bands around the world who bear the same name. I regret a little about this decision even nowadays. What you call a boat, so it will float! It seems like our name lives it's own life and decides who to get rid of on its own. The best proving is the fact that from 2005 to 2017 all of the band members quit under the pressure of factual constraint. I've lost the contact with almost all of them completely.
Quite a lot of members changed in the band till 2008. The first demo was supposed to be released in 2006. It was ready but a conflict with the vocalist of our band didn't allow us to finish the release. We had to search for a replacement and change all lyrics. In the end vocals were re-recorded in 2008, but the album didn't come out because the guitarist left the band, bass player got sick. We didn't manage to find a replacement for them and the band almost ceased to exist.
Search for other musicians gave no result and in 2011 the name got me. I've almost lost my sight. A year after, and after several operations I have decided to start anew. Wrote six tracks, found new members, restarted concert activity and got prepared to record the album. Another fail, once again I found myself all alone and almost ready album passed into oblivion.
Only in the beginning of 2016 I have finally found the people I've been searching for, who shared my views. With them we recorded the album "End of Fucking Faith" pretty fast.
4.A lot of your lyrics deal with Satanism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the black arts?
I don't want to speak about such corny things as my hatred to Christianity and about their hypocrisy, double standards and endless flow of lies. I don't give a shit about the fact of their existence. It just makes me smile and feel sorry for all those silly people.
When I was younger, about 10 years before, black metal, and rock music in general was a way of self-expression. We were a part of the crowd but no one disturbed us. Now the time has changed. Now the church sidles up to what she isn't supposed to. Now you see it everywhere. In schools, army, literally everywhere! And with the support of government they fucking succeed. Is there anything to discuss if such subculture like bikers is almost completely consists of believers, who cross their motorbikes. If church doesn't like something it becomes a public domain and turns restricted pretty fast. It just kills people's freedom of individuality and their self-expression. That's why in Russia black metal is beyond the law. It's in deep underground now. Maybe that's the dark beauty, mystery and secret of it, which attracts people's attention. This is why I love this dark music. And despise what happens on the surface (among the government heads, I mean). That's why we tell about hypocrisy, sins (admit, that most of the sins are really pleasing) in our lyrics.
It's an endless topic to discuss, actually.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'First Martyr'?
As I've already said the band was first called Martyr. But as there several bands with exactly the same name we have decided to add the word First. I think that everyone knows whom this name appeals. By the name and the logo one can easily define the musical style and topics touched.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I think that our last two concerts which took place in August and November 2017, in Moscow and here in Rostov were pretty good. We try to give an anti religious show with all the attributes necessary. To look natural we use pig heads and human bones sewn to band costumes, a lot of satanic attributes. We hang pig heads so that fans could tear, hit, ride and punch them. It's fun when during mosh fans tear pig heads and try to eat them raw! laughing. On the very last concert Morana, in a nun costume, was carried out tied to the huge cross by a couple of vikings in armor and then started the show. I think that the show was very realistic. We try to bring some new elements show by show, if possible.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Now we are preparing to a tour around Greece. Now we are working on the new material and maybe after the tour we will start recording the new album.
8.On the album the band did a cover of Mayhem's "Freezing Moon', what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
This song of Mayhem is very famous and popular. Many bands made cover on it and almost all of them did it in their own unique way, that's why we have made our mind to make a cover that would suit the concept of our album. We are planning to add a cover on songs from De Mysteries Dom Sathanas in every album. But it's just a plan for now.
9.The band is also signed to 'Abrasax Distro Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
The label "Abrasax Distro Records" makes release in South of America, where black metal is really popular now. Label "Anthrazit Records" works with us in European countries. I'm really glad that we managed to find labels which are really interested in this musical style, because working with not that well known band is pretty difficult. We like that both labels work for idea, so to say.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
After the digital release of our album we have received a lot of good reviews from such countries as Canada, Tunis, Greece, Spain, Columbia, Peru, Norway. Many people from different countries searched through our official pages and got interested in our music. We have expected more negative reaction, but the most negative review was an attempt of some jerk to compare us with Gorgoroth. After visiting our live show he took his words back. Many people compare us with the old Mayhem, but I don't think it's bad.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I don't see any future for my band here in Russia, and I have no plans about this country too. Now our first priority task is to give live shows around Europe. And maybe to take part in some European black metal gigs.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I have never thought of any band as a land mark for our own music, while writing the material. It just happened. In my humble opinion the album has some traits similar to Inquisition, Dark Funeral, Mayhem, Tsjuder and Darkened Nocturne Slaughtercult. But we played it in our own way. Concerning what I listen to now... laughing I'm conservative, new bands neither surprise nor glad me. I like it when you can listen to the album a whole again and again, not only one or two songs. One of the releases that has interested me recently was he last album of Immolation. Indeed, if I want something for my own pleasure I come back to death and doom of early 90s.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I hope that European black metal fans will accept our new album. Wish everyone luck in our dark arts. Ave from Russia!