Answers: Honza V. (guitars)
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Hi. Well the album is out very shortly. We were working on the release a lot. Doing all the advertising, preparing the limited edition of the album, working a lot with the label on some YT advertising videos and stuff. Shortly before the album went out we had come back from a Mexico tour that we did together with INFERNO and ARMADA. And now we are getting ready for 3 gigs with DORDEDUH in Germany. Now we are also packing and sending out the pre-orders. Still a lot to do ;-)
2.In May you have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
This one was a bit of an experiment for us. We didn´t plan an album sounding like this. But all of a sudden some songs sounding more orchestral and simple popped up. So we gave it a try. We completed these with some others and the original idea of releasing a bit different sounding EP evolved into a regular album. The difference is in the sound. But it is still PANYCHIDA, melodic and based on the metal feeling.
3.A lot of the lyrics on the new album where inspired by the Carlos Ginzburg nover "Night Battles' which was about the Benandati Witch Cult of the Witch burning Times, what inspires you to write some lyrics about this novel and also do you feel Ginzburg's look has been over looked during the years?
I know the story for years. I always found it very interesting. And now when I heard the new songs I tried to study the story a bit more and gave it a try. The story Ginzburg describes in his book is connected with some other legends from all around the Europe. Basically it is about the living, who fight for the good of the society and about the cult of the dead who visits the living at some occasions of the year. I think there were some critics of what Ginzburg wrote, but it is the level of scholars and that´s not important for the story itself nor for our album. It is dreaming, we don´t need any exact science to burn the veil of mystery.
4.You also had some lyrics about the Livonian Werewolf from Estonia, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the Mythology of that country?
It is not about interest in the mythology of Estonia… The song is there because it is connected to the legends I mentioned above. The same goes for the song called Perchtenlaufen. The flocks of the dead – like The Wild Hunt were in some forms of the myth lead by Perchta or Holda – an old pagan goddess. And the Werewolf legend shows some evidences of this creature fighting for the good of the society and protecting the society from Evil. The is a red line between all these legends and how they are spread around the continent in different forms.
5.While the band members are atheist the Pagan lyrics have always been very well researched, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
The fact is I’m not very much interested in the “so called” pagan lyrics. That was the domain of our original singer and it somehow stayed with us. I am much more interested in history and different legends and old stories, but I would not call it pagan. I also like reading about the old times, but from a different point of view – I’m searching for the reconstructions of how people lived in the past, but not necessarily in the “pagan” history. Actually the beliefs of last few centuries where we can still find the evidences of heathen thinking is very interesting and it inspires me much more than reconstruction of something that is actually hard to reconstruct due to lack of evidences.
6.Some of your lyrics have also been fantasy orientated, are there any fantasy authors that have had an influence on your song writing?
Yeah, because music is also fun and fantasy is inspiring from that point of view that it makes you dream. I was always a fan of Robert Holdstock, so we did a song called Ryhope. Then I really appreciated works of some sci-fi authors, but there is no place for sci-fi in PANYCHIDA. The band is about different kind of dreaming. I cannot recall any other fantasy author actually who would have a direct influence on our lyrics than R.Holdstock.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I don´t know how to describe our stage performance. It is a metal performance. Nothing less, nothing more. We don´t do anything like using swords and axes if you are asking about it. We are primarily a METAL band and that´s it. We did some really good shows on our tour with ANGANTYR recently, also some gigs in Mexico are unforgettable. But we did so many shows that it is hard to pick out one exact. Sometimes you do better, sometimes you do worse. Really good is when people are in touch with you and they react on what you are playing. That´s the best, thus the nature of people in Mexico is much better than those of for example Germany. But everywhere you can meet good and bad crowd.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Well, for this year it seems we already did all the touring. We did it a bit opposite way and did it before the release. That´s wrong of course, but sometimes you are limited by the circumstances. So now we will only do the gigs with DORDEDUH and then some single gigs. More touring will come next year ;-)
9.The new album is coming out on Cursed Records, how would you compare working with this label to the other ones that you have worked with in the past?
It is just perfect for a band of our size. CR are doing very well and they are still coming up with new ideas. That´s good to see, that the label is totally in. Our previous labels just released the album and then silence. We had to work ourselves, now it is a cooperation and that´s how it should be. Of course CR is a small label, but we are a small band and we both are working on the same level so we understand each other. That´s very important.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and black metal?
As far as we can know based on the comments of facebook, YT and other social media, the feedback´s been good so far with every album. It is good that people are still coming and discovering the band. We have not encountered any negative and aggressive opinions. So it´s been good so far.
11.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?
Well, the priority is PANYCHIDA, so the others must be put aside when we work for the band. But MALLEPHYR will soon release a debut album and it is hell of a music. Very professional and dark for such a young guys. ET MORIEMUR are working on a new album and also will do some gigs in September. And our drummer he is active with many bands, but seems that nowadays PANYCHIDA is the most serious project he is involved in.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think we will do more straightforward album next time. At least based on the songs we have already composed. But it will be still melodic and still PANYCHIDA. No big moves to unknown territories. But definitely it will be more metal and less of everything else.
13.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 grew up on heavy metal and that´s what still has the magic for me. But it must be raw heavy metal. Nothing like speed dragon warriors metal. I really like some of the younger bands like RAM, PORTRAIT, ENFORCER … but I can listen almost all kind of metal music except grind core. These days I’m on the new KATATONIA album, really love that band. Though it is very melancholic it still´s got the metal spirit and that´s what counts for me. I am not into pagan metal very much when it comes into choosing music. I also like some of the dark synth pop like CARPENTER BRUT, DANCE WITH THE DEAD… cool things when you are tired of metal.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Travelling and searching for new nice places. No need to go too far, there is many places worth visiting all around – I like going to Czech mountains, not too high, but quite mysterious and deep. It is also good to know where you are living, so I’m often in the nature here in CZ. Except that I like reading, but sometimes I must force myself. Yeah and trips on bicycle are cool ;-)
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Of course I want to thank you for the space in your magazine. It is good to know there are people who appreciate what we are doing. I don´t have any special message, people should just watch around. The times we are living in are very nervous and difficult and it can get very bad very quickly. We should keep eyes open and enjoy what we have now, because it is gonna be over soon. So enjoy yourself while there are options to do so.