Thanks that you’ve found the time for the interview.
Generally I’ve been taking up music for about 15 years, taken part in many bands of the most various styles.
I got the final conception of the project ‘Vedmin Krug’ in the early 2019. Before that I’d been keen on such a thing as dungeon synth and tried writing music in this style. Then I finally realized that I lacked live back instruments and the musical compositions were sort of incomplete. Also, I stored a sufficient amount of guitar riffs, and I didn’t have anything to apply them to.
When I gradually started recording the material, all the musical sequence began getting its wholeness, which was quite unexpected for me, and all I had to do was develop it.
2. Recently you have released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
The only thing I knew for sure was that it should have been old school black metal. I didn’t want to limit myself with some frame of styles and simply recorded the compositions as they were. I grew up on the black metal of the 90s and wanted to express the best things of that time, which influenced me musically, in my album. I was absolutely sure what kind of guitar sound I wanted and how I wanted the instruments to sound in the final mix.
Recently there have many different branches of black metal appeared. Things, that before were experimental, are becoming normal, there appeared some previously impossible hybrids of black metal and shoegaze, electronic, hip hop music. Perhaps all these have the right to exist, but not for me. I’m a conservative traditionalist.
3.A lot of your lyrics deal with mysticism and the paganism of the Northern European and Slavic people, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
On one hand, I’m interested in occultism and its symbolism. One part of the lyrics is an attempt to allegorically describe some rites, carried on to get sacred knowledge. Invocation is about a try to find a dark foundation inside myself, awake it, explore and unite with it, and to get the inner freedom through it. Blood into the soil describes a bloody sacrifice to Earth in order to make the dead in it talk.
On the other hand, and it’s the main thing, I’m interested in everything about pre-Christian traditional religious cults. The Slavic mythology is a huge part of it, unfortunately, underestimated in the West. In the sense of its variety, brightness, thoroughness of its worldview and meaningful vibrancy, the Slavic legacy is no way inferior to the Teutonic and Scandinavian one. As in other countries, a millennial existence of Christianity in Russia has done its best to eliminate the previous cultural legacy or to leave it for itself. Even though we don’t have such epic literature as Beowulf or The Poetic and Prose Eddas, the folk memory keeps its tradition, the memory of its gods and heroes in the forms of folk tales, clothes patterns, folk festivities, wooden figures, old children’s toys and pieces of everyday life, even in the decorations of the early Christian churches. Every year archeologists find more and more new artifacts, and I’m pleased with it!
Summer Solstice describes the eve before the Slavic festivity called ‘Koupala’ with all the specific symbols and attributes: grass wreaths, bathing, jumping over a fire, round dances, fern blooming, celebration of the Sun and the summer thriving of the Nature. In contrast, Father North brings us to the Russian north. This composition is about a shaman, who performs his ritual dance celebrating his home nature and everything around him – the North, the cold, the night, stars, Aurora Borealis. The North for him and all the northern inhabitants is the Great Father, and the polar night, the Darkness, is their Mother, and their eternal primordial alliance creates the whole world.
Up to the Celestial Halls, widely speaking, is dedicated to all killed with a sword in hands. In it there is described a feast for the greater glory of the killed warriors, who go to Heaven with the smoke of their funeral pyres, to the Celestial Halls of Perun (the same as Valhalla) in order to obtain an eternal life. They’ll also obtain immortality on Earth because their heroic deeds will be sung of in songs and legends for ever.
4. I know that the band’s name means 'witch circle' in Russian, how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
And what other name to give to what I wrote and recorded but witches’ Sabbath?)
Actually, I’ve always been attracted by this word combination. It includes many meanings – there are both circles on fields, and stone calendar circles, and mushrooms rings in the forest, and a magical sign, and a bewitching ritual, and a round dance around the fire on Koupala. But I mean “circle” more as an organization, community, a union of people, powers, ideas. In Russian the word ‘witch’ (ved’-ma) is more a prophetess than a sorceress, this means “the woman who knows”, a woman that obtains sacred knowledge, hidden from common people. The name of the project should be written only in Latin transliteration and no other way. By the way, my DS project is called ‘Ordo Maleficarum’, what basically means the same
5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
It’s a photo of one place of power in Eastern Siberia.
6. With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience playing with a full band, which one do you prefer?
Yes, the full band I participate in is called Rymr. Rymr is one of Thor’s names and means ‘noise’. We started it with a friend of mine, Darthfinist, in 2017. Our first album was more in the ways of DSBM, but we’re growing and our future sound and lyrics will be more up to the band’s name, I suppose.
I can’t prefer one project to another; they’re all the same important to me.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Right now we’re agreeing with the label ‘Der Schwartze Tod’ on releasing the album ‘Totem’ on CD. It’s a real honour for me to have the opportunity to work with these people and find myself among the other great bands that had their releases there.
8. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and pagan metal?
Firstly, the most surprising was to have the reaction, and secondly, it was really worldwide. It was mostly positive. The most of positive feedback I got from Germany, France, Scandinavia and the US. People from South America and Japan also showed their interest. And it was traditionally vice versa in Russia, I don’t know why.
9. What is going on with 'Rymr' these days?
We’re working on our second album, which is supposed to be released in 2020. The vocals are still mine, but Darthfinist will be the main composer and guitarist. Probably we’ll make a couple of videos along with the release. As for live gigs, at the moment they don’t make any sense for me, to be honest. But anything’s possible, we’ll see.
10. Do you also have an interest in other forms of Occultism?
I’m interested in the Left Hand Path and occultism of different forms and traditions; I study a lot of literature on this topic. Generally all the authors from Cornelius Agrippa to Aleister Crowley talk about the same way of self-discovery and the world around, even though they use different terms and tools.
11. Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
I live in the presence. I’d like to release at least two more albums with Vedmin Krug, I’ve got loads of ideas on developing of this project. If the interest grows, I may invite more musicians to join the project and we may give live performances, it’s not impossible.
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 grew up on such bands as Limbonic Art, Summoning, Immortal (early), Nocturnal Mortum, Burzum, Temnozor, Old Wainds, Der Gerwelt, Butterfly Temple. Nowadays I listen to really great amounts of music. If I start listing them, it’ll take some pages. Among local Russian bands I could highlight Grima, Ultar, Ruyan, Todestriebe, Drunemeton, Зарево (Zarevo), Asmund, Forest. And Thromos, Svikt, Mutiilation, Mgla and suchlikes among worldwide known. Also, I like so called Nordic Folk like Wardruna, Danheim, Heilung, Nytt Land and so on.
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Once again I’d like to thank my family, friends and audience for their support, it would hard to carry on without it. Let’s keep the black flame of primordial fire burning!