I get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I see EUFOBIA name being mentioned. There is something special about this band that makes me feel special. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-But of course. My name is Niki. I’m the lead singer and guitar player of Eufobia. This is a Bulgarian underground metal band from the city of Sofia, which is our national capital. The other band members are Steff, the bass player, Blago the drummer and Ivan the second guitar player. We play mainly in Bulgaria and Romania, where most of the metalheads have already seen or at least heard about the band. Although we’ve been touring a lot in the rest of Europe as well, our band is still rather unknown outside of those two countries, but hopefully that will change soon enough.
How does your latest recording compare to the previous ones?
-This is certainly the most special album. That’s why it was called Eufobia. It took us almost three years to complete. The reason for that was quite simple. During the making of our previous releases we had to make a lot of compromises, so therefore the final result was not exactly what we wanted it to be. When we started recording the last one however, we decided that that time there would be no compromises and that the album would never be released until we were totally satisfied with the result. It was a long and painful process, but it was totally worth it. When I opened the freshly printed CD and put it in the player pressing the play button I felt for the first time that I didn’t want to change a thing.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-Well, I have to confess that we often argue and even scream to one another. The making of this album was no exception. There were surely lots of quarrels. I’ve always thought that the relations between the members of a band are very similar to those of a couple. There’s certainly a lot of passion. But I’ve been lucky. My fellow bandmates are not only very good friends of mine, but also wonderful musicians. We may argue, but I know that each and every one of us adore the music that we make, respect the others and would like this band to succeed. That’s why we’ve been together for so long. By the way, so far no bandmember has ever been replaced and that’s quite rare, isn’t it? What can I say. Our friendship is the secret.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Music has always been more important for us than the lyrics. I have to confess that we used to underestimate the lyrics, but not anymore. Most of the lyrics of our first album, for example, were inspired by the novels of Marquis de Sade. Now we clearly see that such lyrics are rather stupid, but back then we thought that they were cool. We were very criticized because of those lyrics and I have to admit that those people were right. That’s why one should read all the comments carefully, by the way. Thus we learned something useful, which helped us to become better musicians. Our main source of inspiration nowdays is the life itself. We write songs about our own feelings and experiences, trying to transform the negative energy of the world that surrounds us into beautiful music and meaningful lyrics, that every metalhead could relate to. We often let intentionally the meaning of our words to be unclear, so that everyone could imagine something personal, while listening to the song.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-It didn’t take us long to realize the fact, that in order to make a good album one should focus not only on the music and the lyrics, but on the whole visual concept as well. I’m not talking only about the artwork. I believe that the videos are even more important. All those components should function as one. That makes the magic. We were lucky to find the right man for the job. He was an young and totally unknown Bulgarian graphic designer and video director, which goes by the name of Val Volegna. We wouldn’t succeed without him. He’s without any doubt the most talented person that I have ever met. The fact that he was a huge fan of our music probably also helped a lot. If you didn’t believe my words you could watch the video of the song “Hater”, that he had made for us on youtube and see for yourselves. I’m confident that most of you would agree with me thereafter.
Where outside of your country have you had success?
-We’re one of the very few Bulgarian bands, that tour regularly across Europe, so we’ve got no reason to complain. Moreover, thanks to our label our albums are distributed worldwide. Our songs have been played by radio stations from all over the world. We have given interviews for many of the leading European metal media. We have toured or shared the stage with great bands such as Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, Rotting Christ, Kreator, Vader, Immolation, Onslaught, Malevolent Creation, Pyogenesis, Gorgoroth, Sinister, Broken Hope, Dragonforce, Eluveitie, Keep of Kalessin, E-force, Agathocles, Negura Bunget, Suicidal Angels and many more. As I have already mentioned above, Eufobia is also quite popular in Romania. I’m practically a member not only of the Bulgarian underground community, but of the Romanian one as well. I often visit the country, at least half of my friends are Romanian and I speak the language fluently. On the other hand, one shall not make a difference between the local public and the one from abroad. After all, we’re all metalheads, aren’t we?
Is it harder today to get noticed both nationally and internationally than it was 10 or 20 years ago? Is the competition tougher today?
-For an underground band, especially for one that comes from Eastern Europe, it has always been hard to get notice abroad. Probably it was easier before. I don’t know and honestly I don’t care. We don’t see it as a contest, so therefore we don’t consider the other underground bans a competition.Those are our brothers in arm. There is enough space for each and every metal band in the world. We believe in the underground, but it would be strong only if we stood together. We don’t want to be famous, otherwise we would have chosen another type of music to play. We just want to make good music and reach all the people who would like to listen to it. I believe that there are a lot of them out there, but they still don’t know that we exist.
What is your local scene like? What status does your band have in the national scene?
-There are many metal concerts in Bulgaria of both famous and underground metal bands. Those shows are usually pretty well attended, especially the ones that take place in Sofia. There’s not a single famous Bulgarian band and therefore probably people here are more interested in the underground in general. We’re proud members of the local underground metal community. People know one another. The fans and the bands are a part of the same family. Our band has often been chosen for opening act for famous bands, and this is something that gives a local band pretty good status, but I don’t think that it makes us more important than the others. I believe that all the underground bands should be equal.
What is the general population’s opinion on playing music? Is being a musician a respectable choice?
-I honestly don’t give a fuck about the opinion of the general population. Most people are rather stupid, aren’t they? Unfortunately most of my fellow compatriots make no exception, so therefore the metal musicians in my country usually don’t get the respect that they deserve. After all the metal music is complicated and not so easy to understand in general. The reason we make music is because we feel the urge to do it and fortunately there are just enough people, who appreciate and support the band. We’re underground musicians, so naturally everyone of us has also got another profession and has to work to earn his living, but nevertheless we try to make everything professionally, because the people who are interested in our band, who buy our albums and T-shirts, who come to our concerts to support the band, deserve the best and that’s what we’d like to offer them.
What does the future hold for you?
-Hopefully something good. I can’t see deep into the future, but nevertheless we’ve got some plans that we’d like to realize in the near future. First of all we’re going to shot another video. The story, which begins in the video of the song “Hater” will continue in the video of the song “Graveyard”. In the first one we told only the half of it, leaving intentionally some unanswered questions for the second one. You should see both of them, by the way. They’re quite unusual. We’re currently working on our upcoming album, but we don’t want to rush it. Some of the songs are already ready and soon we’ll present them to the public. Meanwhile we’re preparing the promotional concert for the release of the new album. We want to make a huge event out of it. In the spring we’re going on tour with the polish metal masters of Christ Agony and then who knows? Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get, like Forrest Gump would say.