Welicoruss interview

The Fashion Victim

Radio Metal: Could you start by introducing your band to our readers?

Alexey « WelicoRuss » Boganov (vocals/guitars) : Hi! This is WELICORUSS, we are from Russia, from cold Siberia to be exact. The current line-up is the following: Alexey WelicoRuss Boganov for the concept, vocals and guitar; Alexander Dizharmony Golovin on bass guitar and vocals; Ilya Elias Chursin on drums; Max Sower Fomin on guitar; and Dmitry Demid Polyansky on keyboards. The band is 4 years old, yet the original project appeared much earlier, in 2002. We released 2 full-format albums, Winter Moon Symphony (2008) and Apeiron (2009), with a Russian label, CD-Maximum. Our style can be identified as symphonic pagan/black metal, although one can for sure observe some traits of death, heavy, pagan, folk metal and even ambient in our music. We try to be in a constant quest for new sound and style ideas, we don’t place ourselves into restricted limits of only one style. During the past 3 years WELICORUSS has achieved considerable success in Russia, Ukraine, Baltic countries and Europe, as you might see on our MySpace profile.

What does « WELICORUSS » mean?

The word “Welicoruss” refers to the ancient Slavonic tribe which existed somewhere in the central part of the lands that are now called Russia. We are proud to be the heirs of pre-christian heathen Russ and try to reflect that dim and distant vision of the world in our music.

Paul Filiuhin made the decision to leave the band. In the statement on your MySpace, it is said that he wanted to change his occupation. Does that mean he intends to stop making music?

Well, that doesn’t mean Paul will stop playing forever, yet indeed he isn’t performing in any band now. He’s chosen another lifestyle, maybe more convenient for him. I think everybody should find their proper place under the sun and we hope Paul has found it.

Since 2008, you’ve been releasing albums and making shows at a rather impressive rhythm. Is it important for you to keep such an intense rhythm in order not to be forgiven by the media and by the audience?

Yes, constant progress and intense rhythm are rather important as they stimulate our activities. There’s no sense in waiting effortlessly because time flies and we must keep pace with it! There are so many thoughts and ideas to be told and deeds to be done in this world.

What can you tell us about the next album, to be released in February?

The new album is postponed till the autumn 2010 because of our spring-summer tour in Russia, Europe and some other countries. I’d like to note that our concept has changed, there won’t be much of pagan metal. This might disappoint some of our fans. However, one should try to understand the essence of our music, to feel we are just broadening the horizons of our perception of the universe. We don’t want to keep ourselves within restricted bounds, to become one pagan metal band out of many – we just want to be a cool band that’s amazing to hear and to bring something new to modern metal.

What will next year’s DVD contain?

I have been haunted by the idea to release the DVD about WELICORUSS for a long time. We haven’t managed to do it yet due to the constant lack of time. Nevertheless, this DVD will be about not only one band from Russia, but this will be the whole FILM about us, our gigs and backstage, Russia, the Russian metal stage, etc. We’ll show how we are doing everything, recording and screening. I hope this video will be very interesting!

So far you’ve given top priority to concerts « at home », namely in Russia. Did this come out of a wish to not go too far too fast, to convince and to spark off the interest of your countrymen?

To tell you the truth, it’s rather interesting to play in new different places, everywhere I’d say! Unfortunately, there’s a big problem – the great distances, although that’s easy to overcome while you’re on tour! We hold to the consequent progress – first we have local gigs, then regional, then have all-Russian tour. Now we are ready to perform worldwide. Now we’ve achieved considerable success in Russia, that’s why we want to blast the stages in Europe, especially in France. I’ve heard there are lots of symphonic metal lovers in your country. So I invite all the French booking agencies and promoters to cooperate with us for the spring/summer 2010 EU tour. Hope to see you soon!

Did this approach bring you local success, a solid fanbase and more resources? At any rate, that’s what it looks like: you have a new album out, a DVD and music videos, you have concerts planned abroad… You seem to speed things up in terms of resources.

Sure! As I’ve said, we try our best to work very hard and be productive.

What about your projects at an international level?

We don’t have such projects yet. However, we’re ready for any cooperation!

Can you present the Russian metal scene to us? It’s not very well-known in France. What are the predominant styles?

The predominant style is IRON MAIDEN-like heavy metal. The unbeatable leader here is ARIA, which gave birth to numerous followers like KIPELOV, EPIDEMY, ARTERIA, etc. Then comes alternative music, from aggressive to melodic, with the band AMATORY on the top. The third place is for the gothic bands, OTTO DIX is one of the best among them. However, now gothic is not so popular, pagan/folk metal is on the crest of the wave. Black and death metal bands are also numerous. Unfortunately, the metal stage in Russia is mostly underground and usually doesn’t bring the bands a lot of profit. That’s why a considerable part of the bands are amateurs.

It’s now time for the stupid question of the interview: it’s a cliché, but as a Frenchman, I obviously associate Russia to vodka. For your part, do you think French people are drunkards?

No, I don’t think Frenchmen are drunkards. To my mind, they are stylish and love stylish things.

Interview conducted by email in November 2009

Official WELICORUSS website: www.myspace.com/welicoruss


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