I have a hard time telling pagan metal apart from Viking metal. Viking metal from heathen metal. Heathen metal from pagan metal. I have no idea what metal PIAREVARACIEN play. All I know is that I enjoy it. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I love discovering new bands and you guys are new to me. Tell me a bit about the history of the band?
-The band began its concert work in 2006. Since that PIAREVARACIEN has been playing at many pagan- and black metal gigs in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine. Its first album “????? ????” (pronounced as Torny shliach) was released by VOLH (Russia) in 2008. In 2010 the album was re-released by Wolf Tyr Prods (USA) as “Down the broken path”. In 2011 the label VOLH and a French label Crush The Desert released two variants of the second album “Spoviedž Kryvi” (in Belarusian) and “If no Sun…” (in English) respectively. Besides, the band took part in “Tribute to APRAXIA” (the CD came out in 2011) and in the split-project “Triunity” where PIAREVARACIEN was presented with such bands as OPRICH (Russia) and CHUR (the Ukraine). The project “Triunity” was released by Casus Belli Musica (Russia) in 2012.
I gotta ask about the name. I have a hard time pronouncing it. What does it mean and what does it stand for to you?
-The word “piarevaracien” in the Belarusian language has a close meaning to “werewolf”. “Piarevaracien” defines a person who is able to transform into things or animals. It refers to the Belarusian mythology. We can say that the band’s genre can’t be defined as black metal or just pagan metal or anything else, we play the music we do like leaving behind sub-cultures and stamps. Thus, we transform our musical vision according to our musical tastes.
What is the difference between folk, pagan and heathen metal? What structural differences are there?
-In our opinion these three definitions ought not to be divided. But thanks to definite bands Folk metal stands for any kind of metal with folk instruments or keyboards imitating “folk” sounds. Folk metal bands are not obligatory pagans and very often there are such lyrical themes as dwarves, elves, unicorns, medieval times, Vikings etc, you know. Due to the rise of interest to European cultural Heritage many bands appeared to express their views and feelings via music and songs, but as always there were also some people who wanted to make money or just to get famous. Many clowns, alcoholics, sub-cultural whores and so on began to play “Pagan” metal, singing the songs about War-Beer-Valhalla. Actually, the definition “Pagan” means an ideological position, but not a sound. Heathen metal nowadays is an alternative way of thinking, it is the pagan metal in its original form. Many “heathen metal” bands bring philosophy in their lyrics, they open the window into the endless cosmos, somewhere far away from here… In difference to Pagan metal Heathen metal has mostly a pure black metal sound.
Why is it that whenever national pride and nationalism is mentioned people automatically think fascists and Nazis? What is nationalism to you guys?
-Don’t you see the world of today? Its aim is to destroy diversity, to make all people equal because it is much easier to control such society. Here the fairy-tale about evil Nazis is also well known. It’s a shield of the government which protects it from nationalists, from the native folk, because there’s no national government in Europe. It means that this resistance will never fade until Europe turns into a union of national states. Nationalism for us is the best in its social form – National Socialism. It is the love to your own folk, to your own land, to your own culture, to your own state. It is a strong society with a high moral which defines a progress for the nation, both in intellectual and physical aspect. It is a pagan philosophy, because National Socialism is built on pagan ideals: family, courage, love, respect, self-development, pride, honor, loyalty, kindness, comradeship etc. It is a never-ending struggle, first of all with our own weakness. It is also a natural way of life, because it flows in our veins, it’s a message from the beginning of our Kin till nowadays, it is our instinct.
What kind of folklore do you draw inspiration from? How much is tales about heroism and great battle and how much is about the struggle of the people?
-Our inspiration is fed by our mythology and history mainly. We feel proud for our past, especially when we mention the Great Duchy of Lithuania and Belarusian anti-soviet resistance during WW2. Two great folks the Balts and the Slavs built up our history and made our culture unique and rich.
Today the Belarusian culture is being destroyed. The current non-Belarusian government does all its best to show Belarusians as a submissive flock, a herd without the will. Nationalism is hated here, the activists get jailed and live under pressure of the government. Most of people don’t care about their own history and culture, they don’t even know the Belarusian language speaking Russian instead, they dream about better life doing nothing for it. The reason is that the soviet occupational regime murdered a lot of scientists, writers, teachers, etc – the intellectuals (not only in Belarus, but in Russia and in the Ukraine as well). And the working class don’t see the cultural problems, they don’t need their own language, their own future or their own history to live well. It’s enough for them to be able to buy some food, to entertain themselves, to be assured that tomorrow will be the same as today, so why should they change anything? Thus, our inspiration is not only folklore, but also an everyday life which is not less important to us than the past.
When you release albums on smaller underground labels what kind of master plan do you have to gain maximum exposure?
-We don’t plan the work which depends on labels. We choose a label only after being assured that it will work adequately and we can fully rely on it. The main thing is that our CD must be available for any listener in Europe, CIS (ex-soviet countries) and America. And we should admit that all the labels we worked with coped with it very well.
How do you go about writing music that is somewhat original when almost everything has been done already?
-It was mentioned that we can’t define our style in one appropriate way. The mix of different musical styles we were bred on helps us create music you can listen to now. And if we manage to compose something original, so well, we are on the right way.
Do you feel that you’ve accomplished your best yet or is there more greatness to come from you guys?
-We assured that our best songs are not yet written. We are in constant search for something new, actual and interesting for us, that is why we are moving towards the top.
How tough/hard is it to make a name for yourself that takes you beyond?
-We haven’t got an aim to make a name. Our aim is to make music, to release our feelings and thoughts.
What is it that you want to accomplish with Piarevaracien?
-We want to represent the Belarusian pagan scene worldwide on an appropriate level. We are also open for new contacts with worthy people (activists, labels, journalists, musicians, etc) all over the world, together we can do more than apart. Our work should be aimed at the revival of native European pagan beliefs (Baltic paganism, Asatru, Slavic paganism, etc…). It refers not only to music, but also to other ways of struggle against the modern world of decadence and ugliness.