HOLY BLOOD is a Ukraine folkish metal band that I came upon by chance searching for something completely different. They fascinated me enough to want to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I have to ask about your band name. What is Holy Blood and why is it the name of the band?
-We are Christians by faith, and for us, Holy Blood is the main symbol of it.

I know nothing about being a metal band in the Ukraine. What is that like? How does a metal band get treated by the authorities?
-There are a lot of good quality metal bands in Ukraine, but most of them are only known in their homeland. There is no metal industry, thus many bands do not even publish their own music, and those who write, as a rule selfpublished, in very small print run sold at concerts. Therefore, the world almost unaware of the existence of some great Ukrainian metal bands, although many of them could become a serious competitor to many European bands.

Looking at you promo shots I get the impression that you are strong Ukraine folklore and traditions. How does that mix with metal?
– Slavic folk is different from the Scandinavian folk, it has more majeure tunes. But it does not spoil the metal music in conjunction with Slavic folk music. We play tunes we’re used to from childhood on that our music is not only aggressive but also fun, cheer up.

Having released four CDs and not being that well known to most metalheads, is that a problem? What do you do to promote the band the best way possible?
– We are well known at home, we gigging frequently and our name is permanently on hearing the majority of Ukrainian metalheads. But outside of Ukraine, we rarely have gigs, so our music does not known well. We would be pleased to have it changed, and we hope that we will have more opportunities in the future.

How would you describe you music to somebody new to it? Where do you draw the biggest influence from?
– Light folk metal with screamo, female vocals and the use of various folk instruments. The influence of folk-Ukrainian Slavic, as well as bands – Svartsot, Falconer, Eluveitie, Cruachan, as well as At The Gates, Pagans Mind and so on.

Where do you fit into the Ukraine metal scene? Is there such a thing? How big a problem is fascism/racism/intolerance in the Ukraine metal scene?
-In Ukraine, we are one of the oldest bands, so many of people know us, listen to and respect. We do not support the extreme political movements, though not quarrel with them, our lyrics call to love our motherland. For the Nazi movement, this theme as close. But we have no enmity with appeals to other people.

I get the impression that Holy Blood is a live band. What kind of places do you play and what reactions do you get?
-Basically, we’re playing at home, the local clubs. But sometimes we do get out from Ukraine. We’ve played in Moldova, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Finland.

What kind of general reactions do you get to the music Holy Blood play? Where would you say is your greatest “arena”, the place with most followers?
– We have fans all over the world, but most of them in Latin America. What is the reason, I can not explain.

How has it helped the band that you’re on an American label now? Have you noticed an increase in interest from the rest of the World?
– Thanks to the American label, our music is now available not only in ex-USSR. We are hardly able to make our music so accessible outside of Ukraine. The fact that we have fans not only among Russian-speaking countries, it is a merit the label.

What would you like to achieve with the band? Any grand plans for world domination?
-Our dream at this point is to begin to be published on some major label like Nuclear Blast. This would help us with more efficient spreading of info about our existence. In this case, the potential audience would be more opportunity for us to hear.

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