Where the hell is Bulgaria?!?! Well, it’s remotely located in Eastern Europe and while it doesn’t make the news, a metal band called Krossfire have with their brand of prog / power metal. Shan Siva goes over the iron curtain to chat to guitarist Georgi Kushev!
1. Firstly, congratulations on your new album – it really is impressive given I did not hear about a metal band from Bulgaria before!
Georgi : Thank you very much. We really tried our best and we are happy that people are digging it.
2. Is Krossfire Bulgaria’s biggest metal band?
Georgi : No. We are truly an underground band and there are others like us in here. Metal in Bulgaria is not very popular to say at least.
3. Can you tell us a bit more about the metal scene in Bulgaria – is there a particular style of metal i.e. power, black etc that Bulgarian metallers like? Are there any metal festivals there?
Georgi : Well, as I said metal in Bulgaria is not that popular. All of the metal bands are underground. There are few famous rock like bands, but they are not metal for sure. As for certain style of metal I think no, Bulgarians like all kinds and styles and genres of metal. For festivals, we used to have only the Kavarna festival, but this year we will have two more which is really cool because metal music is getting more attention this way and not to mention that we will be able to see our favorite bands more often.
4. How is metal viewed in Bulgaria – this used to be in Soviet Bloc and if I’m not mistaken it’s still also deeply religious country – is it safe for metallers to walk around with Slayer t shirts and have long hair without having trouble from either the police or people in general (or both LOL)?
Georgi : Yes, it is safe now to walk with Slayer t-shirt on, LOL. It’s true that we had this Soviet block in the past and this music along with everything western was forbidden, but it’s been more than a decade since then and everything is fine now. You can see metal heads roaming freely, ?.
5. Sound Has Krossfire toured / supported both inside and outside Bulgaria?
Georgi : We play mostly in Bulgaria, clubs and motor fairs/gatherings. We have friends in the motor society in Bulgaria and they often invite us to play on their fairs. Also, we have done opening acts for the Jag Panzer and Pungent Stench shows in Bulgaria. We played few times in clubs in Greece and that’s about it nothing big. But we would love to tour/support in other countries.
6. Why did you guys start up the band?
Georgi : Purely from love for the metal music. It’s our passion and we wanted to give this passion a voice.
7. You’ve been going for over 10 years so is that easy in a country like Bulgaria – are there places for you to play live with good sound etc and good promoters?
Georgi : It’s really hard sometimes. As I said metal is truly an underground music in Bulgaria right now and arranging a show can be quite difficult sometimes. There is no such thing as promoters for metal and you have to take care of everything yourself. Of course, friends can help. Like the motor society and DoubleD music. They give us strong support. There are not that many clubs and they often don’t have good sound capabilities.
8. Listening to the music on your album “Learning To Fly” it seemed to be very much a power / modern prog type mix so was that intentional or has the band been through different sounds through its history?
Georgi : Yes, the band suffered few changes of the style direction though out the years. When we started we were truly a heavy metal band, then for a time we were more on the hard rock side because one of the band’s ex-members pulled the strings hard towards that direction. Then he left the band and ever since we got our current lineup we were able to play the music we really like and that’s the more prog/power style.
9. I can hear some influences from bands like Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden and Manowar so do you see your sound ever evolving into something more Bulgarian sorta like the Swedes did with their Gothenburg sound or the Germans did to the second generation of power metal etc?
Georgi : Well I think that we are all very happy with our current sound. We plan to get a bit more modern and heavy for the next album, but no major changes.
10. What are your plans following on from the release of “Learning To Fly”?
Georgi : Our plan is to play as many live shows as possible, hopefully to tour in different countries and to compose and make our next album.
Ok, thanks for your time Georgi!
Thank you very much too Shan & readers of Battlehelm!