1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Asbath: Greetings! Asbath and Cerritus here! Right now we have the following news: our sixth full-length album “Turan” is coming out on April 29th on Osmose Productions. We’ve also found a new guitarist. Her name is Scythe. Also, we’ve just released a split CD with Saudi Arabian band AlNamrood.
2.You have both a split and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Asbath: I’d say it is Darkestrah in our finest. We never sounded any better. It’s not that original for a band to praise the newest album, I know. But we and Andy Schmidt, our sound engineer since “Epos” have really tried to outmatch ourselves. And I believe that we have succeeded.
Cerritus: It is an album with wintery an mystical mood, both the fact that the songs were mostly composed during winter and that the lyrics mostly revolve around mysticism and ritualistic practices have influenced the overall atmosphere of the record.
3.Your lyrics deal a lot with Central Asian Paganism and Shamanism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
Asbath: I come from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. So Central Asia is where I come from and where Darkestrah came to life. I think it is just normal to be interested in your own culture and beliefs. Also turning to traditional culture was always a thing in Black Metal.
Cerritus: I come from very different background, I’m Russian, and my interest in these topics was actually inspired by my acquaintance with the members of Darkestrah. But I was really fascinated with these topics, there is a lot of beauty in it, both in mythology and in Central Asian music. Enough to inspire me on writing the lyrics and eventually joining the band.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Darkestrah'?
C: It’s a secret. But believe me, there is nothing too important hidden behind this word.
5.Originally the band was from Kyrgyzstan but now located in Germany, what was the cause of the move?
A: Me and Kriegtalith, our then-singer both have some German ancestry. This is not so uncommon in Central Asia since a lot of Russian Germans were relocated to these parts during and after WWII by Soviet government. So we’ve moved to Germany with our families. At that time the band already existed as Kyrgyzian act, and us moving to Germany could be the end of Darketsrah, but we’ve managed to starts from scratch with local musicians and so it goes on ever since.
C: I was one of those local musicians, I was living in Germany for several years when I was invited to write the lyrics for Darkestrah and then to join the band as a bass-player in November 2012.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
C: My personal favorite is Turkish Metal Battle festival in Berlin. The event took place in September 2013. An absolutely unparalleled event with unique atmosphere, great bands and audience. I think Asbath agrees with me.
A: I do.
On stage Darkestrah are a five-piece metal band with occasional use of shaman drum and jew’s harp. We can’t use all the traditional instruments we use on our records, so we rearrange songs slightly and also use samples extensively. Also to create the proper atmosphere we often use a video projection, but it is not always possible due.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
A: Is I told you before, we’ve just found a replacement for our guitarist Ragnar who has left the band in summer 2015. So we are as ready as ever to go on stage. Hope there will be enough possibilities.
8.You have a split coming out with 'AlNamrood', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
C: It is a great band, and I think they are very courageous people too, they keep playing Black Metal even though doing this kind of music could expose you to mortal danger in Saudi Arabia. We are very glad that this release could happen.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
A: We receive a lot of positive feedback from all around the world. I think that a lot of people in Europe have found our music and the fact that the band hail from an “exotic” country strange at first. But now I think all is settled and still the people are interested.
10.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?
C: After I’m finished with this interview, I’m heading to a first Burnt Offering rehearsal in about a year. We have new material and if all runs well we’ll record it till the end of 2016. My other band, a post-punk/goth-rock project called Nietzsche and the Wagners is releasing a debut album on April 10th through Greek label Werkstatt Recordings. Resurgemus has recorded new material with his band Faustus, and I tell you it sounds great, but I don’t know when or how he is going to release it.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
A: Only Tengri knows that, haha. At least I do not. Right now we are focused on rehearsing and making the new line-up fit for gigs and not on songwriting. But I don’t think that there will be some extreme changes in our course in the near future.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A: Our main inspirations remain the same over the years, namely 90es Black and Doom Metal and Central Asian folklore music. This is also the music I’m still listening to mostly. I also stick to my olde favorites, for example I’m often listening to Metallica these days, the band that brought me into metal at the first place. My son also likes it.
On other hand all band members listen to very different music, our keyboardist Resurgemus is a Death Meta fan, Ragnar was a lot into Heavy and Power Metal, which had some impact on the riffs he wrote for “Turan”.
C: I’ve lost my interest in new metal albums and mostly listen to older stuff that I know from 90es or early 2000s. I’m also listening to a lot of post-punk, coldwave, industrial and neofolk these days.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A: Thank you for your questions! Be sure to give a listen to our new album, it is coming out on April 29th. Also check the split with AlNamrood, it is already there!
Also, hope to see our fans live really soon.