If I were to ask for this in a record shop (do they still exist?) or if you were asking me what I am listening to I would not know how to say Воєвода’s name. Yuriy Dagys, singer and founder of Воєвода answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-We are only working on our very first album, so we don’t know how it is to transfer to a next one. Speaking about other bands’ influence, it doesn’t impact us much since our songs are inspired by the medieval Slavic and other European folk music.

Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-What helps us keep true is our will, the beauty and the magic, not aesthetic. Our main topics are war and Воля (the last word can’t be translated).

How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-Sometimes it’s easy to write new lyrics, sometimes it’s very hard work. Since we turned from writing songs in English to Ukrainain, our native language, it got much harder.

I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-That’s definitely not our way. For our future album cover I made a deal with a really good young painter girl, so she made a big painting, inspired by fantasy films like Lord of the Rings and Frank Frazetta’s works. We don’t care about money. We are cool about people downloading songs, so as soon as we release our album, we will make it free to download. We want to release it on compact disks and vinyls as well to sell them on a price that equals our costs spent on them.

Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
-We don’t care about being misinterpreted, because people who feel and think the same as us will always get the right message. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine” – Matthew 7:6.

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-We don’t like to whine. Everything is going exactly as it should. It’s good for us, because it always pushes us to improve.

Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
– Music or any other art can’t die before the humanity dies. We don’t worry about it.

I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-The tougher the better. We enjoy traveling Ukraine and giving concerts. It can only be even more fun going “plus ultra”, beyond the borders of the world known to us. It’s just the same feeling that our ancestors, varyags of the old time had.

If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-We don’t need a stage. A forest clearing, a grass field on a mountain top or a longship deck will suffice.

What does the future hold?.
-The future holds many cruel battles, glorious death and the transition to eternity.

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