Greetings Miron... I interviewed to Marius Olaussen (Asmegin / Valgalder Records) in our previous issue, and he told me about a promising band from Russia called TVANGESTE, so when Worldchaos Productions sent us your album, I immediately heard it and... well... it is really good; and "FireStorm" is an appropriate title for your album. Can you tell us what is your own viewpoint of "FireStorm"?
Hails! Yeah…Marius is a good guy – I respect him and I’m so grateful for his great support! Thanks for Your kind words about our stuff – I’m glad You like it.
Well…what can I tell You about my own thoughts on “Firestorm”…I think it’s good and indivisible musical composition containing different styles. We tried to create complicated music with a lot of different “feelings”, themes, rhythm and tempo changes etc. Our main goal was to create a conceptual album and as I can gather - our tries were successful. It was a hard work a great experience for us. Of course there are many things I really dislike but in general “Firestorm”’s good enough. Combination of metal and orchestra is always interesting.
Initially this record had to be released by Valgalder Records, had not?
Yes. We signed a two albums contract with Valgalder Records from Norway. The first one was “Damnation of Regiomontum”…the second – “FireStorm”. This album was recorded on Valgalder’s and our money. All works on “Firestorm” recording were finished in February 2002 but because of some serious problems guys from Valgalder decided to sell all rights to Japanese label WORLD CHAOS. That’s why “Firestorm” was released only in September 2003 in Japan.
Seeing that ILLNATH also had to release their album through Valgader Records, and now their album is via Worldchaos Productions, I want to know if Valgarder Records was the one who negotiated with Worldchaos to release their albums, or if you were who signed directly with them...
As I told You above – it was Valgalder’s decision to sell Tvangeste’s “Firestorm” to Japanese guys. There were some labels interested in Tvangeste but World Chaos managed to attract Valgalder’s attention and to be honest I’m glad since WCP is really good label with good people working in it. I believe that our current label mates ILLNATH weren’t on Valgalder but another guys from World Chaos – DIABOLICAL BREED were there.
"FireStorm" was delayed one year... Other bands would be split-up, but you are yet stand-up... What did you do during that year of delay?
Praying ..he he…it was a horrible long agonizing suspense…all of Tvangeste’s members have their own family, work…so we concentrated on our internal problems more…and all that time we were waiting…be sure it was painful expectation but I always believed that “FireStorm” would be out since in my opinion this CD’s good enough and deserves some attention. There are two different versions of "FireStorm" available: one in jewel case and other in digipack with diferent artwork... I suppose the new design is due to the album was delayed one year, and you had new ideas for the album artwork... or I am wrong?
Actually our label asked us to prepare new design for digipack version. We tried to make digipack’s cover artwork from “FireStorm”’s jewel cases but after some talks we decided to make it absolutely different since it’s kinda “limited version for fans”…there’s a sticker on digipack’s cover as well ..our symbol.
I heard about some themes from "FireStorm" will be used as a soundtrack for a new Canadian movie called "Sinners And Saints"... Can you tell us more about this?
Yes it’s true. Canadians asked us to use our music for this new mystic action movie. World Chaos gave us their agreement since their are right holders. I haven’t seen this movie yet…just a short trailer. What can I say…as far as I can judge – it’s mix of action, mystic, horror and erotic. All in one. We’ll release our new video based on “Sinners and Saints” footage. Movie will be our up to March 2004 as we were said.
Now you have a new bassist... Could you tell us about him?
Max Naumoff is our latest “purchase”. Talented as hell. I believe he’s the most skilled musician in the band now…only our drummer from Poland could be compared to him. Without any doubts his playing abilities are top notch! He has his own project – Equinox (alternative music). As a matter of fact – his wife Natalia was featured on “FireStorm” as a singer in the choir. I know that with Max’s arrival the whole music of Tvangeste will be improved.
How many people there are in TVANGESTE?
Current libe-up is:
Michael ‘Miron’ Chirva – vocals, guitar
Naturelle Chirva - keyboards, orchestra arrangement
Nikolay Kazmin – guitar
Victoria Koulbachnaja – keyboards, flute
Vano Mayoroff – guitar
Max Naumoff – basses
Cezar Mielko – drums
Olaa – female vocals
As You can see – eight people. Quite big crew indeed. It’s one of the most big problems for us because we can’t play live abroad. Visa problems….
Are there two keyboard players in your band? This is not usual...
Yes…it’s quite unusual but this way we can play with our sound…one keys can play complex piano parts and another violins, cellos or whatever….As an additional plus is that Victoria is very busy person…she plays in 5 (five!!) different projects…Dis Pater (doom metal), Romowe Rikoito (darkwave) etc…so it she’s busy with another band we are able to work in the studio or play live since we have my wife Naturelle as our second keyboardess. The same way about Naturelle – if she would be busy – we’ll be able to play or record stuff anyway.
I guess one of your keyboardist is your wife Naturelle, is not? Do you think this could be a "little" dangerous? I mean there can be problems in the band due to personal drawbacks with your wife...
Actually all…ALL…Firestorm's themes were created by me and Naturelle. Without boasting -Tvangeste now is me and Naturelle. So as You can see – there can’t be any “problems”. It’s quite impossible and everybody in the band agree with this point of view.
What does TVANGESTE means?
It was an ancient time...XII Century. The cursed Christians started their quest to the Prussian Land... Yes, it was another crusade, drawn in blood to bring "true love, and a true God" to the barbarians.
Tvangeste was a small site of ancient settlement destroyed in 1255 by Teutonic knights. In this place was a knights Castile, Koenigsberg. The town where we live, the town we love, the land we respect...
When was TVANGESTE founded?
I placed an advertisiment about band’s creation in far 1995…there were a great deal of different musicians but I think that real Tvangeste’s birth date was 1997…spring…
How would you define your music?
Hmm..I have any kinds of “labels”…prefer to call all music just “music” but…I believe that Tvangeste’s style of playing music could be described like “symphonic black metal with doom,death and even heavy metal includes plus support of the real orchestra and choir”. Our music has a complex structure…difference in themes…we prefer make our music unpredictable.
"FireStorm" is your second album... Could you tell us about your first work?
“Damnation of Regiomontum” was our first album. Debut. All songs in this CD were created detween 1997-1999. This album was recorded in Russia on our own money. After quite big success (“the best Black Metal band of CIS countries”) we got an offer from Valgalder Records to release our album as a CD and MC. This album brought us too much! We were shocked by responses from all over the world. After “Damnation…” release we got many fans in many countries and it made possible to start work on such big project as “FireStorm” was. Thanks “Damnation…” we were awarded by some big metal magazines and radios in Europe and Americas.
Was your first album produced by Century Media...?
Nope..there were some offers but we didn’t get a real support. It was in far 1998.
Well, let’s talk about "FireStorm"... You use an Orchestra and also a Chamber Choir... How did you get the collaboration of these Orchestra and Choir? It was difficult to write the scores?
It was an amazing work! Despite of it was our first experience with combining real symphony orchestra, choir and metal sound. I think it was really great school for us since thanks this work we know so many things and secrets about working process during recording session with classical musicians. I respect professional musicians and I’m glad that their opinion about our CD was more than positive! Some of the Baltic Orchestra members said me that Tvangeste has changed their notion on metal music!
All note parts were created by Katya (violin) and Naturelle. There were over 300 note sheets!
In your opinion, how important is the use of an Orchestra for your music in "FireStorm"?
I think it’s very important since there are really many classical themes incorporated to “FireStorm”…real orchestra brought a lot of power to our music. Keyboards and samples can’t sound as good as real musicians with violins, cellos, kettle drums and winds sound. It was my dream to record my music with the support of the real orchestra.
You recorded "FireSotrm" at two studios: Selani in Poland & TV4 Studios in Koenigsberg. I suppose you recorded the metal instruments at Selani; and the Orchestra at TV4 Studios, or I am wrong?
You’ re right…we did it because of the money troubles. Selani wasn’t too expensive studio but we had tooo small budget $4000 on EVERYTHING (recording, orchestra, choir, tickets, accomodation and food)!! So just imagine if we brought all orchestra musicians to Poland!..he he..I believe that even Scorpions can’t afford themselves such big expenses. We lost a lot of our own money on this album since it’s unreal to make everything we made with $4000….our new album will cost $10 000 as a minimum. We aren’t death band…each of our songs contain over 100 tracks.
Selani Studios are known by recording video-clips, also... Have you recorded a video-clip for this album?
Yes…they made a bonus video for us on “Raven” song. To be honest I don’t like it as hell…but free work couldn’t be good…it’s a golden rule for me – all good things should be paid so we weren’t expected to get a brilliant work from them…
Some people compared TVANGESTE with CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR... In your opinion, what elements does TVANGESTE share with CoF and DIMMU BORGIR?
My personal opinion on this: I hate all compares….damn…the best cure is to put 2-3 songs of Cradles and then run Tvangeste…difference is so clear! But wise people won’t tell that Tvangeste’s a Dimmu or Cradles’ followers….we have our own niche in metal music without any doubts! What do we share…he he…all of us play metal…we use guitars, keys and drums ..they do the same…that’s all!….OK…sometimes my voice can remind You Dani’s one…but again: listen to him and then to my vocals and You’ll understand what I mean…
Can you tell us about your lyrics? Are you only centered in Pagan and Prussian themes?
Nope…”Damnation of Regiomontum” was based on pagan Prussian themes…new one is much deeper and wiser…
Lyrics is the second and really very important part of my life. Muisc is the main…but meaning of lyrics is important without any doubts. My inspiration is my mind…my own thoughts and ideas…my vision on this world.
The main idea of “FireStorm” album is the Sorrow about Great Prussian Land…about ancient (XIII Century) times…about brave warriors involved in the great war for Independence of Mind…our lyric describe Honor and meanness, Valour and lie…we tried to show that ancient world not only like “world of pagan gods and fights” but deeper…to show inner side of human, his mind, his soul and heart…we tried to tell to everybody to go their own ways and don’t follow another’s ideas…to be Kings of Innerselves
To be or not to be –
There’s no such question!
To be! But to be WHAT?
A weak-willed sheep that’s taken to the slaughter house
Or a proud wolf
Whose heart is filled with freedom?
What’s in your eyes, Human?
Fear or Rage? Blind Submission or Resistance?
Love and respect your friends
And let your enemies die!
There was some rumours telling you are a nazi-band... but seeing you I think this is absolutely false... Why do you think there was this rumour?
It was a really stupid thing to call Tvangeste nazi….we respect all nation…I don’t care if You’re black, white or yellow…as long as You are positive to me – You are my friend…if somebody wants to make harm to me or to my friends or family – I’ll kill him for sure. Everything was because of limited poor mind of some people that decided that our symbol (we use ancient swastika as our official symbol) was taken from nazi ideology. Be sure it’s a bullshit!
What is religion for you? Do you think religion is the opium of people?
I think that religion is a very wise thing to gather all people to one herd of sheeps ….sheeps without will ..without their own point of view…etc…I have all religions…my religion is my mind….my heart…..look at some lines from our “Storm” song…this lyrics will show You my point of view the best way:
Every sheep needs a shepherd
Every shepherd needs a sheep for his flock.
They are walking to the horizon of their ideas
Trampling the sprouts of freedom and despising pride
But rise above the Earth and you will see
WHERE this herd is heading …
It’s heading to the precipices
Have you planned touring through Europe?
We got a lot of invitation but we can’t play live now because of some really big inner problems. Also we have another big problem – visas. It’s quite impossible to get visas to some countries for all Tvangeste members…we are working on it so I hope we’ll be able to play live abroad soon.
Well, I suppose you are now working in the next album... What can you tell us about it?
Yeah…You’re right ..I can’t tell You all details but it would be interesting album. Lots of new and fresh ideas…we’ll continue our collaboration with Baltic Symphony Orchestra…also there would be more choir parts and all choirs will be done much better…we have a great experience now so there won’t be any mistakes in our work with classical guys. All that I can tell You now – album will be much stronger….more guitar riffs…more dark themes…but main style of the band will remain the same…just will be improved…
Your next album will be again released by Worldchaos Productions...?
I believe yes…we got an offer from them…of course we have to discuss a lot about our recording but World Chaos did a really good and professional promo campaign and I like that we have a contract with such good label so…..we’ll see…I’d love to record our new album for Japanese.
Well, this is the end of the interview... What would you tell us to our readers?
Thanks again for this interview! Thanks for the chance to introduce TVANGESTE to Spanish metalheads! I know that we’ll find a lot of new friends in your country!
You can visit Tvangeste official web site: http://www.tvangeste.com . Videos, full first CD and three free high quality tracks from “Firestorm” for evaluation are available there…lots of fan stuff etc... If there would be any questions – don’t hesitate to send a letter to our media department: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep Your Swords High - and let our Enemies Die!
Miron / Tvangeste 23rd of November, 2003