There is no denying that it only takes one band to open the flood gates. Had it not been for the success of Arkona I’m sure that we’d seen less bands from ex Soviet countries making it onto records on European labels. One that would have made an impact any which way is WELICORUSS. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I was positively surprised when I heard “Kharnha”. How would you like to describe your sound to somebody not familiar with the band?
-Welcome! Thank you for your warm words! I would describe as – imagine as if the Russian composer Tchaikovsky played with the band Amon Amarth! At the core of our music is a symphony, it prevails and soars above the rest. But powerful rhythm section and guitar create explosively effect!
The first time I read your band name I wasn’t impressed or even interested. It wasn’t until I heard the music that I awoke. Where does the band name come from?
-In fact, the name WelicoRuss is very significant and important for us. First, it initially came from the history of ancient Russia – the so-called tribes living on the territory of Western Russia and name means “Great Russian”, and secondly, in the 19th century the famous Russian philosopher Chernyshevsky produced revolutionary leaflets with the same name, third, for us WelicoRuss has approximately the same value as Finntroll for Finns – a band that comes from Russia. So the name has a very deep roots.
With the success of Arkona have you notice an increased interest in your band’s music based on the media attention they’ve recieved?
-In general, I think we have not noticed. We have a slightly different audience – fans of metal in general, but of course there are heathen people, not without it. In addition we have a different sound as well as visual images are very different. Despite this, I should note (that thanks to this excellent band as Arkona) the opinion of European metalheads about Russian metal scene has changed considerably. For this fact we want to express honor and praise to Arkona!
When you have a pagan feel to your music is there a risk that you attract the ”wrong” kind of fans? How do you deal with the unwanted fans?
-You mean neo-Nazis? Yes, sometimes they come to our concerts, but after listening a while they realize that they don`t hear music and lyrics they want, so we have short talk with them. We do not support such a social movement. The pagan mind is in the depths of our music, we do not want so much emphasis on this as Arkona doing, first of all is the power, beauty and accessibility of music perception. We have our own philosophy, fans who want to know more about it can find lyrics in English on our website.
You seem to have an elaborate band image. How important is appearance to the band?
-Style is very important for us! We are brought up on music of well-known European bands and we think that the band should looks as much as possible to attract and engage the listener. The concert is a ritual action for us, so we do our best to invest in our suits and image to emphasize our philosophy, outlook on life. This is not just a beautiful latex suits, or something like that. A few people working about it, makeup and style developed by our stylist Anastasia Krieger.
Something I’ve been wondering about for a long time is how you got about getting everything done (clothes, art work, backdrops etc.) when you are a small band with a limited budget?
-Well, I said about this earlier. We have some friends who also like our music and philosophy, so they help us. Also I am a professional designer and I do all design and artwork, merchandise. Of course, it takes a very huge time, but I think it will be easier later.
What kind of scene do we speak of in your hometown/region? What kind of reactions do you get to your music?
-In our city, as well as throughout Russia, heavy music is not popular, although we have constant listener here, and it is becoming more and more bigger. As for us, we have made fan base here long time ago, we’re here almost as local Dimmu Borgir)
It is easier today to spread your music worldwide but how do you go about getting the most reactions/interest? What social Medias are the best?
-As a result of our hard work in spreading of our music, we concluded that the best way of promo is creating of video. If the video is made with the special spirit and really very good – it instantly distributed to blogs, metal portals, webzines. Today we have a great promotional tool – facebook and other social networks. Much is being done through it.
In the former Soviet satelittes bootlegged tapes was the way for young metalheads to get to hear the latest releases. Today downloaded files has replaced that market?
-Yes, you’re right. Here in Russia, 80-90% of music are downloaded from internet and torrents. This is a philosophical theme on which we can speak for hours. There are pros and cons to this problem. Pros – that music and information about band (if it is really cool of course) is spreading very fast (also thanks to social networks), the disadvantages – of course, falling heavily selling of cds. I honestly do not understand how russian labels can survive in these conditions, because business is impossible thing here in selling of cds.
What kind of future do you wish for Welicoruss?
-A great future – appearing of regular albums, lots of great original videos, many large tours around the world, we strive to bring our thoughts and feelings to everyone in its entirety!
Official band web recourses:
LAST BAND VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne_Y5hLNOlc&feature=channel_video_title
ORDER WELICORUSS ALBUMS HERE: http://domesticgenocide.com/news/welicoruss-digipack-pre-orders/