Russia’s Gjeldrune have returned in 2017 with their 2nd full length entitled “Pravda Za Porog” (“The Truth Is Not Welcome”) for their new label Der Schwarze Tod. Playing in a very accessible style of folk metal. Gjeldrune are on the brink of making it big with this one. I chatted with flutist Fedor Nazarov regarding the new album, the new label, touring, writing music and a few other things…..check it out….
Congratulations on your new album “Pravda Za Porog”…. what has the response so far been regarding it?
“Thank you very much! It seems for now that the first album was accepted better, but as we understand, people just should listen to it more thoroughly. Now we can say that average listener did justice to our release.”
Your last release was the epic EP “V Parusah Cveta Zari” in 2015…. were any of these tracks meant to be on that release?
“Earlier we were planning to use the main track of this release – «V parusah tsveta zari» – in our new album, but then we have thrown that idea and do not regret about that.”
How does your song writing process work if there is one? Does everyone contribute to the process or is there one band member who handles the song direction?
“Songs compose very chaotically: some of them are creating over the years like Ermolov and Molotom Bitv, others are creating instantly like Proklyatye and Iz moyey pamyati. Availability of ready-made texts makes great importance: if there is a text – music is creating much easier. But what about «Pravdu za porog» – most of texts were writing for ready-made music, I can’t say it was easy.
Almost all music of new album was written by myself (except «Golovi s plech» – Kseniya has written it). Also, Kseniya and Evgeniy have written a few verses in other songs, so I can say that in music wise I was main person in our new album’s creating, what about lyrics – Evgeniy always write texts. But I’d like most of us to take part in our song’s creating process. We create music very spontaneously, usually it’s just an idea, that suddenly came to mind and recorded at Dictaphone or in special soft.”
How do you find time to practice/write music? Do you have a set schedule for practicing and working on new material?
“Our rehearsal’s schedule is also not stable. We try to meet at least once a week. It’s hard because of life’s rhythm of every member in our band. Exactly now the new material is in process of creation, so we rehearse only available songs for upcoming concerts.”
The translation of the album is something along the lines of “The Truth Is Not Welcome”…..what does the title represent for Gjeldrune?
“Literally, it means that most people prefer not to think by their own heads, but by public opinion, or use some imaginary leader’s words, by the way they react aggressively to alternative points of view. E.g., today in Russia it’s actually effusion people, who has an opposite to government mass media point of view with “greens” (medical solute like Iodine solution of green colour). We were not effused yet, but it seems really difficult to wash off.”
You were signed to Der Schwarze Tod prior to this release…. how did this come about? What appealed to you about the label to make you choose this as your new home?
“This label was more persistent and in the same time. We have found compromises in all of aspects. Nothing was done without our knowledge.”
Have you ever considered singing/lyrics in English? Do you think the songs may not have the same impact or be lost in translation if they were in English?
“We haven’t thought about it yet, there is no acute urgency, besides unknowledge of language doesn’t let us to write texts.”
Russian folk-metal style?
In my review I relayed that I thought you had a pretty accessible and quintessential Russian folk metal style….. how do you feel you fit in the Russian folk metal scene stylistically? Do you think you have a style that is “Russian”?
“I think, that we are a little off the Russian metal scene, mostly because of that “easy listening “aspect of our music. It seems like listener is not able to take the fact that simplicity contains a lot of beauty. About the “Russian style”… I can’t see the criteria that define the “Russian” in the style. We are but just another interpretation of it.”
How is the folk metal scene in your region? What bands do you have in the area?
“2016-2017 years for now are beyond any expectations: at least 3 releases have settled in my walkman – Eldiarn – Bezuderzhnoe Schast’e, Zmey Gorynych – Malaf’ya and Rvi Meha – Zhavoronok. Also, I eager to listen to the new Svarga album. Heard some songs from it, and liked them a lot. So, no doubt it has potential, but there aren’t a lot of bands in this style. The most popular, and pretty much the only, folk metal festival in Russia books same bands for about 5 years now.”
How do you feel about performing live and touring? Is it something you feel obligated to do or are you fans of playing live? Do you have any upcoming shows?
“We don’t have much gigs right now, so we try to make each of them special. For example – we never play the same track list, I think it’s very important. For me personally each concert is a little holiday, especially if it’s a holiday for our listeners. Our next concerts will take place in July: one show in Poland, one in Switzerland, and participation in Ragnard Rock Fest in France, which is the one, that we are preparing for, for the last half of year. Maybe we will play some shows in Russia in May, and also, we are looking forward to make a little European tour in October.”
Any thoughts on downloading of your music without compensation? Has your opinion changed now that you are on a record label?
“We have no hard feelings about people downloading our music for free, but also we like people, who buys our CD’s and T-shirts 😉 It’s really hard to make a name for yourself even with free distribution of your music, so our songs will always be available for free, but we will be very happy to see that even some people help us financially, because at this point, managing a band costs pretty much.”
Any favorite music from 2016 or 2017 so far?
As I said before – Eldiarn, Zmey Gorynych and Rvi Meha. I also like Poland band – Jar, and Ukranian guys – Jorij Kloc. I don’t listen popular “metal bands for a while now.”
“Thank you for listening us, thanks to Jeff for this interview and for really interesting questions. See you at our European concerts in 2017-2018.”