This Ukraine band came as a real surprise to me. HERALDS are heavy as fuck in a doom death sludge stoner kinda way. Not what I expected from them but a nice surprise. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
What is this band really all about?
-So, I don’t think there’s an idea of some sort that is the foundation the band. It’s actually mostly about having fun while making powerful music. As far as our first release is concerned, it’s about exploring our capabilities, how well we can write, how well we can deliver the sound we came up with, both on the record and on stage. It’s also about doing something meaningful as a part of our local, Ukrainian stage which is quite young, but has so many bands that are already holding strong in Europe.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-Well, we didn’t yet come out of our own country for touring, so I can speak only for Ukraine. Here it doesn’t really matter where you came from. In terms of quality of support, if you can really deliver what should be delivered, people will always cheer for you. It’s of course easier to gather a large audience when you have one or two names from higher league in the lineup, but it’s always been a thing and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
When you release an album that gets pretty good reviews how do you follow up on that? Do you feel that you have a sound all your own that follows on from album to album? How important is identification from album to album to you?
-Well, I think, we kind of anticipated overall nice reviews, so nothing special really. Doing a few gigs and straight away thinking on what needs to come up in the next release. As for the sound, there are some core concepts that may follow us from this album to the next, but more stuff is expected to be brand new. As for having the sound as the band’s identification, I don’t think it’s always a good idea. There are not too many examples of bands that maintain their style from record to record, while being constantly interesting for the public.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album, to write the songs or to come up digitally or is physical still cooler with really good songs?
-As for our approach towards the songwriting, digital stuff, like using DAWs amidst putting together a song, is just a nice helping tool for us and may influence our songwriting only slightly. It always starts with some sketch that either I come up with myself, or something is born at our rehearsal jams. And it’s always a thing of playing a song together, when we can feel the energy and tell whether the song is good or still needs work here and there, or should be put aside altogether. So yeah, getting physical is a way to go for us.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-Hell, wish we’d try it someday, but no, we really just recorded in a digital studio. So maybe one day we will get all sophisticated about the recording process and try something like this, but it seems to be not so near future.
How do you view your sound? Would you say that you have a sound that is all your own and that I’d recognize it instantly?
-Well, it may be just too abstract of a thing to put in words. It’s basically something powerful, straightforward and honest. We are just pursuing the goal for the basic three-piece band not to sound super boring and all predictable. As for whether people would guess our song out of others, well, we’d like to think so. At least we are aiming for it. We of course are pursuing all the possibilities to stand out. It’s a very important aspect of what we are doing.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-Of course, it means a lot. It’s something that can carry a song just a bit further than you can push it just riffing around. I’d say this aspect is something we’d like to improve most on, since there were no explicit lyrical themes on our EP, except for the “Black Smoke” track. The visions from the lyrics in this song came straight from the events of Ukrainian winter, 2013-2014 and violent protests which took place in Kyiv at that time. I don’t think we’ll even ever once again write a song like this, packed with the visions of what really happened in the life of our country, something with the glimpse of a social message. It’s rather untypical of us. Probably there just was this time, when a song like this was written. There was not much occupying our minds at that time, besides these events.
What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Well, we tried our best to make it count. For the EP cover we’ve collaborated with a great designer, Yura X Ninja, who does a lot of art for our local scene. And we probably couldn’t be happier with what he came up with. It’s very symbolic, very breathable, and just captures the feeling of a mystery that lies at the face of a new beginning really well. And that’s just what we were going for.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-It was really only once when we played outside of our home town, so it’s hard to tell, though I’d say once we released an EP, the change to people’s reaction was instantaneous. There are lots of people at the gigs who know our songs’ lyrics and it’s always a heartwarming experience to see someone singing along. So yes, it looks like we’re on the right track here.
What do you see in the future?
-Currently, what’s happening for us is writing of the new material. Not yet sure whether it would be another EP or a full-length, but we can say it would be quite a different experience. We want it to sound mature, we want our songs to be self-aware of what makes them stand out, what can make people turn their heads on these songs. So we hope for 2017 to be an eventful year for us.