It’s been a while since the album “Arya Marga – Ninefold Path to the Innocence” was released. What have you been up to since then?
-Hello! The album “Arya Marga” was released in 2009, the years before it, we released the first album “Mysteries of the Ancient Charnel” in 2006, there were the numerous gigs around Russia and CIS-countries, changing of few musicians too. In general, the band was founded by myself in 2002 year rightly. After the release of the second album, I dismissed most of the musicians, because they wanted to play this music no longer and not invested last year into the band, in every sense. After the release of the album I really could not find the missing musicians, but now everything is in order!
From what I understand there’s an EP out now too that while paying tribute to your influences also contains 5 new tracks. What prompted this release and not a record full of originals?
-Yes, we are now released for the new year EP. There are no new songs at all! The first 5 songs – it is overwritten, strongly re-arranged songs from our debut album, the best, and now they are sung in Russian, especially for the Russian fans. The remaining three songs – cover versions of Type O Negative, Ashen Light, Aria. This is just a special interim release between big album that listeners bored without us. Because now we have long been in the process of writing a new album, strong, very complex and diverse, differing from the first album, and since we do not have 3 instruments at all but dozens of different scores, etc. – The writing and recording of such music every year – almost impossible, so there are such breaks
You’ve been going since 2001. How much has the vision of the band changed from the start to now? Do still have the same vision and how does it manifest itself?
-No, of course, in many ways we think and do not work like that. In principle, my musical tastes have changed surely. Why mine – because of the direction of band is always determined solely by myself. Although, in any case, I want to play symphonic extreme metal, and I want it more. The combination of black metal, melodic death metal, classical music, folk music – that’s the direction of Arcane Grail! Just now I would like to play harder, and harder than the first two albums. But as we all (and the old line-up and new) want to play for the world, to sing in English, to play as possible, very beautiful music, trying to stand out and not to create a rip-off from other bands – so it is our main and most great desire!
Where did the idea to use female and male vocals come from?
-The first album has the conceptual lyrics, which was a female image, it should be sung by female vocals, of course. I found Natasha, her voice thrilled us all, and we decided that the two vocals will be interesting, unusual and beautiful!
How hard is it to keep the band on a straight line for success when people come and go? How much of a setback is it every time you have to start anew with new members?
-Yes, it’s always very difficult. To recover, to revive like the Phoenix… But this is usual life for every band, unfortunately. I am the core of band, I really like our music, and metal in general, I am sure of Arcane Grail, and to find new musicians – not such a problem. Now I can say that the new structure is much dearer and nearer to me and to the music of band than the old one. We are all in the band even very similar in appearance. You know, as they say – I found My people!
I’ve searched the net for info about you and in most cases I’ve only found old information. How good are you at promoting the band to gain fullest possible attention?
-In fact, on our website here: http://www.facebook.com/arcanegrail or here: lastfm.ru/music/Arcane+Grail there are a lot of new information. For example, this January we were in a mini-tour with the Swedish symphonic black metal band Netherbird.
What is Moscow like for a metal band? Do you get to play with any of the bigger international bands when they visit or are you left to entertain yourself on your own?
-In Moscow, the metal life is very bad. That is, a lot of concerts as before, the foreign bands are the 5 each month. But! If the first half of the 2000s, even the usual concerts have 300 people and foreigners – 1000-2000, now even the foreign bands have 200 people, and the Moscow bands 100 people, even – but they are rare. Therefore, we do not want to gig more in Moscow, only to go the other cities’ concerts. To perform with any foreign band is not difficult – but for the money, hehe
Why is it that Russian bands aren’t that prominent on the European metal scene? Is there still a barrier between mainland Europe and Russia when it comes to sharing tours?
-Ha, we do not know everything – why?! In fact, we have long been no problems with visas, flights, etc. Russian bands could easily go on tours in Europe, and many (such from my label – Grailight Productions or Soulflesh Collector and SoundAge Productions) – are worth it! Apparently, so there is still some ambivalence about the Russian, perhaps because of the Soviet past…
How much of a live band is Arcane Grail? What kind of stage show do you present the audience with?
-We are very live band, you can, for example, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo-8galHyls
While we still lack a lot of money for large-scale show, we want to necessarily, but we are trying to start a wild crowd and strongly metal thrashing.
What kind of future is there for Arcane Grail?
-We now compose a complex third album, which of course we want to surpass the previous work and works of many colleagues, in general, in the genre in the world. Well, also designed to do tours, music videos. Wait for it!