Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Our story began in 2011 in Saratov (Russia) when our previous band Darklord seized to exist after it’s guitarist left to concentrate on other non-musical matters. We – vocalist Aleksandr, keyboardist Elena, drummer Peter (that’s me) and then-bassist Artem – decided to continue making music and start it all again nearly with a blank page, so we picked new guitarist Alex, changed the name to “Svartstorm” (there’s some reference to Darklord’s famous song “Svarta Vigseln”) and began to create. When it came to writing material I retrieved some songs belonged to my then-unnamed doom-death one-man-project. But as we had a keyboardist and no one else wanted to do doom-death, I rearranged all of them making something between melodic death metal and gothic metal. So we began to gather material and soon recording. Thanks to our previous band and some successful side-projects (like Dukhi Predkov and Druknroll) we had a lot of recording and performing experience. We went through some line-up changes – adding bassist Roman and guitarist Vladimir – and released your first EP “Scars Instead Of Wings” in May 2013, after participating in several compilations and one tribute-CD and playing lots of concerts in our and nearby cities.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
We do not have any strict definition of our style – somehow in combines many elements from extreme metal mixed with some lighter influences like gothic and heavy metal. As of now I am the main songwriter and I try to make every piece sound unique. Some song sound like melodic death metal, some like modern metal and alternative metal, some like doom metal – with overall obscure atmosphere, lots of keyboards (we considered it to be a lead instrument, so Elena even plays some solos) and vocal ranging from harsh to growl. Well, it is better to listen to our music then to read the “exact recipe”, because I do not like the stylistic “badges”. As for the influences – I used to listen to many bands, beginning with Def Leppard and Helloween and ending with Aborted and Napalm Death, making the list very vast. So, every band from the list influenced me somehow helping me to create something that comes from my heart and mind. That is why our songs are different to each other. I will not say that “our music has no boundaries”, it certainly has. But, as there are lots of influences, the creative process is very interesting and sometimes unpredictable.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
It is always the matter of choice and taste – why should a person that likes us ignore our stuff? I always buy CDs if I like the band and nowadays I try to do this also to support the band. Who else if not me? As of people who do not know us – once we tried to figure out what bands’ music is similar to what we do and we failed to find one. Maybe Therion and Stalwart that mix metal with keyboards – and that is it. I think if people buy our music they hear something really new and interesting. We also have “only keyboards and drums” instrumental tracks where classical meets blastbeats even – who else has? And we did that long before “Beauty And The Beat” project with Mike Terrana and Tarja Turunen.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
So far we have released an EP “Scars Instead Of Wings”, a single “Unneeded People”, a video and participated in several compilations and tributes – the latest is the second part of a tribute to Swedish band Lake Of Tears “Twenty Years In Tears”. The reception was quite good – we also toured to support our releases and sometimes the audience went wild with what we play. As for media – it did not praise our music as some kind of marvel but the reviews were mostly positive with lots of reviewers saying that Svartstorm definitely is a promising group and looking forward to hearing our future works. So I think it’s quite good enough for us because no one thinks we’re stars so we have an opportunity to work on our music without disturbing dreams of extreme fame. Our most popular song up to date is the latest single “Unneeded People”. Besides it received lots of “likes” in our social networks, many people regularly post it as a song that fits their mood right – thus spreading it further. We appreciate that.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We have always been an active band – that is the main purpose because we definitely prefer to play onstage than to sit in studio and record. Recording is a necessity and we do this for our fans to handle some music and for us to have releases. But gigs and tours – that’s what we always up for. Mostly we play in our city with local bands and as a support for touring groups that occasionally come to us. We also play in different other Russian cities when touring and participate in some open air fests – recently we joined our Volga-region bike-fest “Right Bank” and in august we’re going to hit Metal Crowd Fest in Belarus.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
We are always open for every kind of collaboration if that means that both sides would be satisfied. We always do our best not to disappoint people that believed in us and tried to help us or promote our music somehow. As we are an active band, we also can promote media and labels in tours and gigs. That really helps. People are now interested in us, we are becoming more and more popular. And everything we do as musicians we consider as an art and not as a job for making money. We earn for living with regular jobs – but music for us is something that we do to express ourselves as artists. We are all artists. That is why we are satisfied with even the current state of music industry. While other bands go on hiatus with musicians moaning that no one buys CDs and rarely attend gigs – for us it is not a problem. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. That is true.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
We have many plans now! First we are going to release our full-length CD this fall and tour for its support in the fall and next spring and summer. We also would try to join as many open air fests as possible. Compilations, tributes, singles, EPs, videos – and many more to come! Maybe we even make a full video release just for fun and to give fans that cannot attend our gigs an opportunity of seeing us onstage. Or even we can go acoustic (yes, we thought about that)! As artists and musicians, we can think of numerous ways of expressing ourselves.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Anywhere! You can contact our label NitroAtmosfericum Records, you can join our social network communities (VK or Facebook), you can listen to us via MySpace (myspace.com/svartstormband), you can download our music for free or even you can go to our concerts and listen and buy our stuff there to support us. Just type “Svartstorm” in Google or elsewhere – and see what comes next. You can chat with us or ask anything – we are always open for any type of collaboration and communication.
Thank you and good luck!