Russia is not very famous for its metal bands but it surely holds a few great names, being Epitimia one of them. They are currently preparing their 4th album that shall see the Light of day later this year and Pest thought it would be an awesome idea to let them speak about their ideas and so forth.
According to the wikipedia, an epitimia is a means of spiritual correction, prescribed for serious transgressions: witchcraft, apostasy, fornication, murder (including abortion), grave-robbing, and so on. So, why did you choose the name Epitimia?
The band’s name was created by chance when there wasn’t any conception. And although it is connected with Christian tradition, the meaning of this term for us is more individual. It expresses inner spiritual struggle being an allegory of conscience and remorse. I want to note that we don’t have any religious or political ideology in the band’s conception. Any religious symbols must be/ should be seen as a metaphor.
The name of your first demo "You, Whose Name Dies On Quivering Lips” was taken from a poem of Russian poet Lev Mei. Are you often inspired by literature? Who’s your favorite author?
Yes, we do use many quotes from various sources in our works. It can be poetry and music. With their help we try to create more ways of understanding our music - straight and allegorical. Literature often inspires K. when he creates lyrics. Now he is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, Semyon Nadson and some ancient mythologies. Talking about personal preferences, members of Epitimia like Russian classic prose and poetry and some philosophical works.
How would you define your sound? In your myspace it is described as depressive metal but is this the most accurate definition?
I must say that our MySpace page is currently out-of-date. May be our music contained some depressive metal tunes, but now our music can be described as post-black metal with various influences, including post-rock and some metal subgenres. When we create music we do what we want and don’t focus on specific style.
With "Faces of Insanity” you started a new phase in the band’s history because you try to make experiments with different musical structures. Why is it so important to experiment?
We try to make experiments because we want to develop the music and band’s conception. Musically it still has black-metal-based sound, but it is interesting for us to combine different musical elements in our compositions. In fact, Epitimia was created as an experiment, so it is a part of our message.
Your music has received awesome reviews worldwide. How do you feel knowing that the music you create is inspiring tortured souls everywhere?
It is great that our music inspires people, but it is not dedicated only for "tortured” souls, but for many listeners who are open for new sounds and ideas.
What’s the main concept behind your music and lyrics?
All our concept is in lyrics and music. In Epitimia we try not to pay attention to other things, such as ideology, pseudonyms and etc...
Late last year you said you had more songs ready and wished the new album would be released this year... is it actually going to happen? How are things thus far?
Yes, we have 18 songs written for our fourth full-length and over the half of lyrics. We hope that this album will see the light in the second half of 2013. This work will be strongly conceptual and will continue the theme we started in previous albums. Our next album will be the most eclectical our work and we will use there some pieces from trip-hop and post-rock music. We even have songs with electronic, reggae and latin guitar parts. Also we will have some saxaphone parts performed by guest musician, so some conservative metal fans should be shocked. Lol!
You have a female drummer which is not that normal. Do you function well as a trio or do you think things could be better if you had more members?
In fact, we now have another member – I., he will perform some rhythm guitar parts on our next work. We try to find more members, but it is hard to find good and creative musicians in Saint-Petersburg, so we still have a vacant spot on solo guitar. I must say that Epitimia always was a studio project, but now we rehearse some songs and prepare for the big work as a real collective.
The band photo available reminds me of the 70’s bands as lot. Are you a fan of the sound from that era? What kind of music inspires and influences you the most?
We like different kinds of music, and Epitimia combines elements and tunes from different styles that we like. We respect some bands from the 70’s, especially old art-and rogressive-rock, but their specific sound doesn’t influence us.
How’s the relationship with Hypnotic Dirge Records so far? Do you think it is helping you get the recognition you deserve?
We are totally happy with our collaboration with Hypnotic Dirge Records. Nick, the owner of the label, gives us all the support we need. He also helped us to find guest musician, so we must thank him for all what he does.
How is it being an extreme band in Russia? I believe everyone remembers the episode with Pussy Riot! Did this "affect” people’s view of extreme bands at all?
As I said earlier, Epitimia doesn’t have any ideology, so we do not feel any pressure. But we know some bands (mainly oppositional to the regime) who are being persecuted by the system.
How’s the extreme metal scene in your country? It is easy to have access to cds and concerts and all?
Russia has many extreme bands, mostly underground. You can easily order the cd’s through the net distros and go to metal or hardcore concerts. Unfortunately, not many people are interested in visiting concerts or bying Cd’s. So there isn’t a strong extreme scene in Russia because of the lack of audience.
Have Epitimia played live already? Being a trio isn’t easy but it would make a lot of people happy. Have you received any invitations so far?
We had some invitations for the concerts but we decided to wait until we will have a full-packed live group. Playing live is not our general intention, but some day we hope to have a concert.
Please share a final message with our readers! Keep up the awesome work!
Thank you for kind words and interesting questions.
We wish everyone takes care of themselves and of the ones they love. Keep an open mind!
Interviewed by Sonia Fonseca