North with Satanakozel
СатанаКозёл (“SatanaKozel” or “Satan Goat”) besides having probably to best name in all of metal release some pretty killer tunes too. Their most recent album “Север” (“North”) continues the tradition of thrashy over the top folk metal as only they can do. Drummer Nickolai took some time to answer some questions for us regarding the new album, their 5-year layoff, playing live and some other topics, check it out.
Congratulations of your new album “North”!! What sort of feedback have you received so far regarding it?
“Thank you! Actually, we did not receive much response, but as I know people like it and 3 gigs that we did prove it, we also sold all the CD’s we had and every piece of merch :)))
The thing is that nowadays we have too many albums released every day, good and bad albums. People just cannot listen to every record… I can compare it with the huge muddy river when you still may catch some good stuff. Also, I think that our label is not very good in promoting of the bands.”
It has been almost 5 years since the last album (“Солнце мёртвых”). What were the delays (if any) or the reason for the 5-year difference in recordings?
“Delays… Well, the main reason was the moving of our front-man and the main composer to the village which is situated far from Petrozavodsk where the rest of the band members are living. He had no internet, no mobile phone etc. Now the things are better so we’re in touch with him, not like it was 2 years ago.
So Vasiliy’s moving caused the delay with the song writing and recording sessions. BTW, a few sessions we did at his place in the village.”
Nothing really changed
What has changed in the writing and recording process in SatanaKozel over the years?
“Nothing really changed in song writing, but now I have my own recording studio with all the equipment for making a good record, plus our bassist is really good in sound engineering (he mixed & mastered the “North” album). We still 100% DIY band, we do everything as we wish, without any support from aside and I think that’s great, it gives us the opportunity to do what we want.”
With a name like SatanaKozel (“Devil or Satan Goat”) may make people think you play black metal. Is it hard to change to change people’s perception of your musical style? Do you think there is some black metal in your sound and that name still applies?
“Naaah, nobody’s thinking that SK is BM band, our band name sounds very stupid in Russian, as you may know it was a joke name, but somehow it became the “official” band name.
I think we have a slight touch of BM, but only musically, not in a conceptual way. As for me, I prefer BM (not trendy bullshit) to most of the other metal subgenres, that’s my favorite music style.”
I felt the new album was successful because of not being super-fast all of the time, opting for more mid-paced music. Was there a conscious effort to not play fast all the time?
“Nope, we had no special goal to play faster than on the other albums, we never know how the song should sound, all the arrangements come spontaneously. As for me, I’m not the fan of hi-speed music, you know all these modern death or black metal bands that sounds like a machine gun. Sometimes I think these guys have kind of competition – which band is the fastest one or which band can put 1 million notes in a 2 second riff. Cool, but not listenable at all, haha.”
Who are some of the bands musical (or other) influences?
“I think in the beginning, we were influenced by the Finnish folk metal bands, you perfectly know these bands, but now… As for me, I gave up listen to folk/viking metal many years ago, too much really shitty bands appeared and they continue to appear every day. Maybe the other guys are inspired by the folk metal, but not me at all. I prefer pure folk music without any “rock” in it.”
The best inspiration is history, nature (just visit Karelia once and you’d love it), daily life, friends, family etc. Lots of things that inspire us.
Is there a band or two out there that you think play a similar music style to yours?
“Oh, quite hard to answer. Maybe the first album of Leshak and Rogatiy Kolokol has some similar stuff, but not their latest albums.”
What are some of the other bands from your general region (Petrozavodsk, Karelia in Russia) that you play with or are familiar with?
“There’re not so many bands playing metal music, I can mention MDM/metalcore bands Abyss Of Hate and Gorge Of XI.
All the SK members have side projects; we have some kind of “family” where all the musicians play together in a few bands more.
We are playing in Antimelodix, Minuala, Ork Bastards, My Blood plus tons of the nameless projects, from Viking rock to Electro Body Music.”
There’s no use fighting the pirates
Music is easily downloaded without necessarily compensating an artist. Are you concerned about being paid for your music or is it not an issue as long as it gets out there?
“Its good when you get money from selling your records (or playing shows), but you can’t fight the pirates and I must say there’s no use fighting the pirates. So for us it is not the main thing to sell as much as we can.
I heard a lot of complaining from many musicians from different bands that nobody is buying records now and when I hear such words I’m asking the guy “what was the last record that you bought?”, usually I get no answer. I believe that the musicians MUST be the living example for their fans, they have to buy the records, merch, buy the concert tickets of the other bands. Does not matter how big is your band, be an example, stay with your fans in the same line at the venue, buy the record if you like the album.”
How important is touring/playing live for the band? What are the positives and negatives?
“Touring is one of the main things for the band, this is the time when you show your band, your skills.
Positives – good opportunity to see the world, meet cool people, listen to the new bands and drinking with your buddies! Negatives – broken equipment, bad accommodation, bad food and no free beers :)”
How do manage to write/record as a band with everyone’s busy lives outside the band?
“No problem with that! 4 from 5 band members are living in the same town, so we see each other maybe 2-3 times a week, drinking beers on Fridays and so on… We have our place to rehearse and record the new songs, demos etc. Sometimes we are visiting our front-man Vasiliy Kozlov in his village and we are playing all together there. That’s how we manage it.”
What are some of the near future plans (if any?)
“We are going on tour next autumn, 9 dates in Poland and 1 show in Germany, next summer we will have a few rehearsal sessions, we already have a lot of “sketches” for the new record, just need to make an arrangements and so on… Nothing special but still we have some things to do.”
“Thank you for the interview, wish you all the best! Listen to music and do not forget to support the underground! See you all on tour!”