Lithuania’s Romuvos have unleashed their 2nd album entitled “Infront Of Destiny” upon the unsuspecting masses. With a sound reminiscent of Bathory and Falkenbach, Romuvos weave tales of history and such and the new album makes for an epic listen. Sole musician and vocalist Velnias answered some questions regarding the new album, the metal scene in Lithuania, playing live and a few other things… check it out…
Infront Of Destiny
Congrats on your newest album “Infront Of Destiny”, what sort of feedback have you been receiving regarding it since its release?
“Hails mate, well most of the feedbacks are very good, and it makes me feel great, as an artist no matter how much you tell yourself that you don’t care… you do!”
How did you approaching writing this album that may have been different than “Romuvan Dainas”? Are there tracks on here that were possibly supposed to be on “Romuvan Dainas” that didn’t get included?
“This is a concept album, so none of the tracks were supposed to be on the debut. I didn’t meant it to be a concept album from the start but after few songs I kept this direction. As you already know I like to express my imagination and let out in my songs, I use stories that not always based on true events from the past. All of the songs in the album are telling part of the tale, the quest of group of men going to seek different cultures and other ways of life, meet new kind of people and get to see the world as the never seen before, exploration meets them with their destiny and might is on their side. Some songs tale the sail on seas and life on the waters under the great skies while other songs reveal recognition and exploration of other cultures and traditions. I use a lot of nature elements in my writings and have many battles situations that I like to add to the story. I have a lot of inspiration from D&D (dungeons and dragons) games, and lord of the rings while I love to mix it with the true traditional Lithuanian, or may I say Baltic, folklore.”
‘well most of the feedbacks are very good, and it makes me feel great, as an artist no matter how much you tell yourself that you don’t care… you do!’
How did you learn to master/play so many instruments? Did it come naturally or was it a “means to an end” so to speak?
“Well, first I gotta say that I don’t master any of the instruments, I am a keyboard player since I was 14 years old, I don’t play so good on the guitar as you might think hehe, that is why I have gathered more musicians that will re-record the album “Infront Of Destiny” once I have finished it. I wanted to use professional musicians and go for a better production. So what you hear on this album is a 5-piece band, and we are ready for live act as well! We are going to perform at Kilkim Zaibu festival in Lithuania at 23.6.16”
Have you decided that it is best for you just to do everything on your own with this project?
“I would keep on writing the music and lyrics mostly on my own, for I have a clear vision of how things supposed to be, but regarding for future albums I plan to keep on using my great friends and now Romuvos full band members.”
When you write and start recording a song, are the versions we hear the way you anticipated them being? Do the songs change once you start recording and you hear better or different directions the songs could go in?
“Sure, I like to keep I “flowing” if I may use this word, it is very important for me to write down my vision freely and to keep or add what may serve this vision best. In many times the song may take a different direction than I have planned and it is not always for my satisfaction, but that’s something that an artist might dill with the rest of his life and as an artist I guess I would live with this burden hehe.”
I heard a lot of what I felt was a Viking-era Bathory or Falkenbach influences in your music. Is this accurate or is there other bands that are more influential to you? What are your main influences outside of music?
“You are totally right! That is what till these day I call true folk-metal, I like few more other bands from the genre but I have to say that this genre took some very “happy” direction over the years and most of the “umpa-lumpa” is not my taste at all, I like it heroic, epic and bigger than life. It is those moments that you sit in your room listening to the music and feel in the middle of the battle field, the dark clouds are opening and rays of light coming down making your sword shine, chariots of fire roll down from up high and the horns sound as loud as the stomping horses. I hope you dig me on that… I tried my best capturing the exquisite moments in metal ever hehe”
‘most of the “umpa-lumpa” is not my taste at all, I like it heroic, epic and bigger than life.’
Do you have specific lyrical inspirations prior to writing the music or is it the opposite that the music inspires ideas for the lyrics?
“The music inspires the lyrics indeed, my approach in general for music is to listen to the tunes and the instruments do their thing, then later on I dig then lyrics as well.”
Baltic Music Scene
What do you think of the scene for music in Lithuania? What do you think makes your music distinctly Lithuanian? Any favorite bands on the local scene you would like to share with us that you like?
“Ok, so surprisingly, these days I live in Israel, although I keep visiting Lithuania here and there, I can say that the scene is very good, there are many local bands that making great music and deserve worldwide attention. I prefer to see it as Baltic, and not make such a big separation between the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian bands.
Bands list: Obtest, Skyforger, Lucifer, Meressin, Poccolus, Angis and many more!”
What do you think of the state of the music business these days? Are you concerned about making a living doing this or is it more like a hobby on some level?
“If I would tell you that I don’t want to make a living out of music I’d be lying. But I am a working class hero, and there is a big advantage to that, I can afford to invest in my passion and music, buy instruments, put money into recordings etc. and feel free to do what the fuck I want without feeling obligations to anyone, it is very important for any artist, not just musicians, to feel free while making art, to express without feeling it is some job that needs to be done, there is a big difference between the ordinary life and artistic life. As long as my occupation allows me the time for dealing with my music and supports my passions money wise I am happy.”
Any favorite music from 2015 or 2016 so far??
“You hit the jack pot, I am a metal fan for many years, till these days I get to listen to a lot of music and buy CD’s, so:
Rotting Christ- kata ton daimona eaytoy. (fuck everything that’s the shit!)
Macabre Omen- gods of war at war.(another great masterpiece from the Hellenic land)
Falkenbach- asa.(That is just epic)
Iron Maiden- The Book Of Souls (My favorite band and they don’t let me down..ever!)”
“Here we go: Fuck the missionaries, if you think you’ve discovered god please keep this great revelation to your fucking self and spare us the bullshit! We are united under the metal banner and we are one, but we are also individuals and feel free to do what you want as long as you don’t judge others, keep on drinking though please smile while doing so, oh yeah if you’re into drugs that’s fine to but do it like a boss not like a slave. Fight your wars don’t give up quickly! Stay true stay strong stay alive. Don’t worry life ends at some point anyhow!”