1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Ivan: Hi there! Band takes its roots from local DIY community. We started playing together at 2010 after disbanding of local punk/hardcore act each current member were involved in. During the years of being parts of different acts, we collected the best from both metal music and punk ideas and decided to form a band that sounds dark, melancholic, atmospheric and at the same time somehow unique by adding the traditional folk (folkish) elements to the music leaving the lyrics mostly inspired by left ideas.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
Ivan: It is a bit hard to sum up and a find a common feature amongst each our record, especially as a member of the band. As the fan of old-styled black metal acts such as Emperor, Darkthrone, Ulver, Enslaved, Dissection and poisoned by the hardcore affected genres and subgenres like Amebix, Tragedy, Ictus, Axegrinder, the structure of the songs as well as the way of composing it were changing from one album to another. At the last record, as for me, we successfully combined the frosty mood of Siberia with its innocent beauty putting all musical experience gained over the years of playing and writing music.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored over the years with their music?
Ivan: Talking back about the years spent within DIY scene that taught and raised us in a left way in different spheres of life. Therefore, it has influence on the lyric topics as well. Most of the songs are written in Russian despite the fact that I am able to write English ones I prefer doing in native language, as I like how it sounds in whole mix. From song to song, I tried to put some archaic words to give some extra food for thought of native speakers as not anyone are aware of existence of such old and no longer used words. Lyrics are small stories or narratives where the despair rules the mind, the greed kills and frosts the people’ hearts in here and the desire to live amongst the embraces of long and frigid winters and winds. Some English translations are available via our bandcamp, feel free to check it.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Neverending Winter'?
Ivan: The band is named after the song “Never ending winter” by Axegrinder, UK based crusty thrash metal act. The idea belongs to our former drum player, for what we thank him. At the beginning, we were not putting that much meaning to the band’s name. Later the name somehow defined our further vector and drew the direct connection between our location and music. Nothing could express our senses here as a band more that this name, isn’t it?
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Ivan: During the time we were living in Tomsk city, we were not playing that much, one in a month or so. Most shows we have had were outside our region, in neighbor Siberian cities or when we were on tour. It is hard to point out and select the most memorable gig as we toured over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine,China and Europe for the past seven years. However, let it be a last year gig in Trondheim, Norway at February 2017. The country that invented black metal hosted us in such a great way and found our music interesting at the same time. Of course, it was great experience for us and we are looking forward to play there! As for stage performance – it is dark, mesmerizing performance accompanied by both fury of cold riffing and airy acoustic melodies. Hard to describe, easy to witness.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Ivan: For sure. We tried to set up the tour as support for the last record “Хиус” that autumn but things went not that well. Therefore, we decided to make a new three song EP called “Сеногной” and already booked the European-Belarusian-Russian tour for February of 2018. If you are somewhere around Finland,Sweden,Norway,Denmark,Germany,Poland,Belarussia or Russia – catch us there or just spread the word if you’re able to. More info soon be announced on facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/neverendingwinter
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Ivan: In our homeland not that much fans of BM discovered our music and not that much go to the shows. Mostly, the crowd consists of punk kinds or metal-punks, as we prefer to play for such communities/groups. Talking about worldwide feedbacks – we received number of great reviews, comments and just good words about new album “Хиус” from both small and respectable print and web resources. Tell the truth, I was not even expecting to receive a half of feedbacks we did. Currently it is clear for us as a band that our music is interesting for the listeners abroad more than in our country. So let see what will be the reaction of world metal community for the upcoming record then.
8.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Ivan: Besides composing songs and playing guitar in Neverending winter I am also taking part as a drummer in death punk/metal act called “Черное Брюхо Тарантула” (The Black Belly of Tarantula) named after Paolo Cavara movie. Musically it is like a combination of old-swedish-styled death metal met by punky trash with some black metal influences. We are currently preparing our first full-length record that is about to be released at 2018. If you are into some of the mentioned genres, you will most likely enjoy the album.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Ivan: Looking back to each year spent on playing in a band I still could not exactly tell where we were going from one record to another. There is always some organic flow inside the music, something that moves it to the higher ranges, that opens new horizons of atmosphere that could be added into the songs, there is always something inside each member involved in the process that transforms the music to a new, previously unknown form. For example, on a new record there’s a track in vein of punk/d-beat that then transforms into furious mid-tempo raging classis black metal and at the same time there’s 10 minute long progressive black metal song full of different riffs that closer to its end takes the shape of an acoustic outro with some ethnic/folk elements. Summing up all these I could hardly define the further direction as it goes organically itself.
10.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?
Ivan: Nowadays I am opening to myself more and more different artists of different genres. I like to listen to the old jazz and funk, not against of some trip hop, indie or ethnic music at all but of course, heavy stuff still takes place in playlist. As I mentioned I was grown up by Scandinavian metal school and some classical US and UK metal and rock acts, as well as many others in heavy scene. If talking about metal, for now, I could recommend to check Lake of blood (US band that is disbanded now), Drudkh (hails from Ukraine, the best one that ever come out of CIS countries), Elfsgedroch (experimental and very progressive Dutch metal act, highly recommended). If you look for something ethnically inspired and local Siberian Huun-Huur-Tu or Yat-Kha – these both tuvinian bands worth checking. I was born and raised between Tuva and Khakassia republics so I believe I had an influence on me that came from these cultures.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Ivan: In ordinary life, I do some IT, so it takes from time to time when I am free of work, also try to read and find inspiration in classic literature, our nature and landscapes, try to spend more time with my family and friends try not to get depressed if I am not doing or busy by anything.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Ivan: Not that much. We are living in new dark ages, in the digital modern age where the same institutional schemes of social control are used. What left for us is to stay honest and opened for our friends and ourselves, remain open-minded and try to change not the world but at least yourself to a better side. Finally – As a patriot of Siberia, I recommend everyone who is looking for a unique place to visit – do not hesitate and choose Siberian lands, believe me, you will not regret.