Metal-Roos: In Ukraine, interest in ethnic tunes has now noticeably increased. Does this justify the choice of genre?
Teren: Even when being a part of the Cult band, we played folk metal and became one of the first in Ukraine to work in this genre. Ukrainian ethnic music is very melodic. It is difficult to imagine the genre it didn’t delve into. It can be gothic, black, prog and everything that exists out there. The collection of Ukrainian folk songs in the UNESCO Foundation alone has about 15.5 thousand songs. And recent events in the country only fueled interest in the search for national identity. We started playing in this genre long before it became mainstream. And we are very glad that this wave is constantly gaining strength.
MR: What’s attractive about Ukrainian folklore?
Teren: Ukrainian folk has a colossal history. Each custom, historical and everyday event is reflected in the songs. Even depending on the area, you can notice the difference in the structure of the songs. In western Ukraine, where mountain rivers flow in a swift stream, these are quick, bouncy melodies, and in the steppe part, there are smooth, endless tunes. Besides, we are very much into the mysticism in tandem with the melodiousness. You can really make a yummy product out of all this.
MR: The first official release went off well in the Ukrainian metal space. Did you count on such success, given the saturation of the market with new bands and genre diversity?
Teren: It is hard to say. Like for any author, even imperfect recordings already seem to be a step towards worldwide recognition, but we did not have illusions. The result satisfied us. Besides the fact that we received very positive feedback, we also understood how to further organize the recordings, which parts should be given more attention. If we compare ourselves 10 years ago and now, this is a completely different approach to music. We still want it to drive and rock, but at the same time, we focus on the quality of the material too. We can’t afford to do it willy-nilly.
MR: How long did it take to prepare the song, record it and make a video?
Teren: Ranok took us about three months. We recorded in stages, based on the free time of the band members, since music is not our main occupation yet. Everyone has a job and a family, and free time is completely devoted to music. In addition, quarantine made us postpone making a video.
The recording itself could be done in one day. Our girls did it from the first take.
MR: You sing in Ukrainian, but are hosted on international platforms. Why not English?
Teren: It’s simple, really. There is a growing interest in the world for authenticity and originality. There is a great demand for distinctiveness. We could write songs in any language, but then the very part that makes the Ukrainian language, culture, and music exactly Ukrainian would be lost. And who, if not Ukrainians, should introduce the world to Ukraine and its features? In addition, the language itself is very melodic and folk melodies were created for the particular features of the language, among others. This is our identity and we are not going to refuse it.
MR: How is the metal stage generally organized in Ukraine now? Who should pay attention to the Ukrainian market and why?
Teren: The Ukrainian metal stage is now gaining momentum and is beginning to confidently conquer the world stage. For example, everyone has heard of such groups as Jinger and Motanka, Stoned Jesus and others. In addition to metal, there is plenty of what to listen to, as well.
If we talk about the Ukrainian market for foreign bands, then ask Tempest Rising. They came to Ukraine and simply won our audience’s hearts. Now Ukraine is increasingly starting to buy content, and the fight against piracy is carried out at the state level.
MR: Should we expect new releases in the near future and what will it be?
Teren: Definitely yes! Now we have at least three songs ready for recording. We plan to release a full album in late autumn. We are giving all our free time to music because the team as it is now is willing and ready to work. The first single was recorded when there was no experience and a clear picture of how to present it and where to do it. But the reaction of the audience and their feedback help a lot.
Interview Date: 2020-07-01
Interviewer: Yulya Toponar