At first, congratulations to your upcoming album „Firestorm“! Maybe you can describe the whole work in a few sentences(maybe also some words about the concept behind the album)?
Thanks…thanks a lot! It was a really great and long work and the greatest delay at the same time. This album was made in February of 2002! Just imagine: more than 1,5 year delay! But fortunately we have our CD released and I’m really glad. Personally for me this CD is the big another step to the top of my own song writing skills. At the same time the work on “Firestorm” was a great challenge for me and Naturelle since we got a great deal of new information and knowledge. Work with classical musicians was really awesome and I’m glad that we can introduce our work to the wide mass of metalheads from all over the world.
How was the development process arranged? (Who writes the lyrics in the band? Who composes the music etc.?)
Actually almost all works for this CD were made by me and my wife / our keyboarder Naturelle (You’ll see “me and Naturelle’ phrase maybe too many times but it’s true..this is kinda “family work”…) Of course a lot of different people were involved in “FireStorm” creation. Our CD featured Balatic Symphony Orchestra, Prussian Chamber Choir, session drummer Cezar from polish death band DOMINIUM etc etc…the lyric part is the very important thing on our CD because “FireStorm” is supposed to be conceptual. All music and lyrics are like one continuing from song to song story. The whole idea of the story was developed by me but we invited two guys (Alexander Marchenko and Vladimir Zgursky) that helped us with the poems. So all rhymes were made by Alexander Marchenko, Vladimir Zgursky, me and Naturelle. As about music…well..all “Firestorm” was created by me and Naturelle except “Fire in our Hearts” (made by our guitarist Nikolay Kazmin) All orchestra arrangements were made by Naturelle, Ekaterina (violinist) and me…
I’ve read that you worked together with the BALTIC SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA and the PRUSSIAN CHAMBER CHOIR. How did it come to this co-operation?
All my music life (since 1995) I dreamed to incorporate classical elements in our music…to bring orchestral elements not just with the poor keyboards sound but with the real strength of the real symphony orchestra. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make my dreamed real because of the lack of money. But times are changing …we got the chance to record our stuff at the great professional record studio in Poland…we got the chance to record our CD with the Baltic Symphony orchestra…money make wonder indeed!..
You recorded in SELANI Studios. I think you had best conditions there, hadn’t you? Tell me also something about the recording session there, please.
Many well known bands were recorded at SELANI studio (Vader, Christ Agony, Decapitated, Behemoth). Also this polish studio isn’t too far from our home (about 150 kilometers) so we decided to enter SELANI. Of course Abyss or Fredman Studio would be much better solution but…we had just $4000 on all recordings from our label. It’s 10 times cheaper than usual price for such kind of work. But we did it. Recording session was very hard with a great deal of different problems. Almost all work in the studio was made by me and Naturelle. Szymon Czech, Alex Artichevski, me and Naturelle were co-producers of this project. We got a lot of problems during orchestra and choir recordings but after all hard days of record session many old classical musiciand recognized that we made really great music. It was the biggest compliment for me since I respect true musicians with the classical conservatory education and their opinion is very important for me.
I have to say, that I like the artwork of the FIRESTORM-booklet very much – especially the painting of each band member – who did it and why do you want to have such a complex artwork?
Thanks indeed! “FireStorm” artwork was made by us (yes…we did almost everything for this album =)) All paintings were created by our friend – atrist Margo. Whole design and artwork of the booklet was made by Naturelle (she’s professional designer).
We decided to make such big booklet because we wanted to make “FireStorm” as much more attractive as it was only possible. We tried to make a finished conceptual work so this booklet is a part of our album. This is “FireStorm”’s visual part.
How have been reactions on your new work so far?
We got many great responses despite of the release date was about a week ago! One of the biggest Dutch metal magazines gave “Album of the Year” award to TVANGESTE’s “FireStorm”…we got a “The best Russian Black Metal Act” award for this CD…many great reviews from all over the world. And I hope it’s just the beginning! Let’s see what will happen in future. I believe in our work.
I don’t think, that that many people know TVANGESTE in Germany yet, so maybe you could tell me something about the band in your own words and describe the idea that is behind the band/behind the music.
Actually we have a lot of fans in Germany but of course the main part of german metalheads still have no idea about who and what TVANGESTE is…Here’s the brief selected parts of our official biography:
Tvangeste’s actual birth date in 1997 when all musicians gathered in one place and started rehearsals. So many things have changed since that times…Our first CD “Damnation of Regiomontum” was recorded in the end of 1999 and brought us a great success. TVANGESTE was chosen as “the best Black Metal act in ex-USSR countries of 2000”. Over 5000 CDs of this album were sold in CIS countries. In 2001 Tvangeste have signed a contract with norwegian label VALGALDER RECORDS for two albums. VALGALDER re'released "Damnation of Regiomontum" for World wide. For TVANGESTE it was a great step into the future. There were tons of great reviews Album was played on many radio stations from all over the world. VALGALDERr did a great work for TVANGESTE's promotion. Band was interviewed by the greatest magazines of Europe, South and North Americas and Asia. Licensing on "Damnation of Regiomontum" was bought by Mexican and Indonesian labels. In june 2001 well known British magazine Live For Metal gave a "Band of the Month" award to TVANGESTE.. In the March of 2001 Naturelle (Miron's wife) joined the band as a keyboardist. Later her excellent abilities brought a great part of new, fresh melodies to the TVANGESTE’s sound.
In the beginning of 2001 Miron and Naturelle began the new album creation. It was a horrible long work...months of laborious work. They decided to create not just a "Damnation of Regiomontum" sequel but something more professional, much powerful, really interesting, fresh and new. BALTIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was hired for this recording. It was amazing work with the professional people. Naturelle and Katya (first violin in the orchestra) created all scores for each instrument. 300 sheets of notes! Also PRUSSIAN CHAMBER CHOIR took a part in the recording session. With their greatest help Tvangeste got a lot of dramatic vocal moments in the songs. It was the first experience for TVANGESTE to work with professional musicians and this collaboration helped TVANGESTE to find their unique style of playing metal music.
There were great complications (sometimes even incomprehensible things) during recording sessions, but at last in February 2002 the new album entitled "FireStorm" was finished. Because of those troubles the album release was delayed more than ONE YEAR! In November of 2002 Valgalder Records sold all rights of this album to a big Japanese metal label WORLD CHAOS PRODUCTION.
In December 2002 Tvangeste have signed a contract with World Chaos for "FireStorm" release... Official “FireStorm” release date was the 1st of September.
What means “TVANGESTE”?
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 Castle, Koenigsberg. The town where we live, the town we love, the land we respect...
When reading in the booklet of the new album and having a look on your homepage I often wondered about “prussian” – what’s the meaning of that?
It’s simple – we live in Prussian land…we were born here. Prussia is a small piece of land between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea shores….
So far I’ve heard you are quite famous in Russian/baltic Metal scene – maybe you can tell me something about the scene there.
Actually there are many great bands in Russia. A lot of them can perform great live shows. But I bet – if I would ask You “what Russian bands do You know” You wold answer…”hmm…”
It’s not because of the absence talented musicians…the main thing is money and politics…sad but true. Some Russian bands even can’t buy more or less good instruments (for example Naturelle even now borrows keyboards for live shows since we can’t afford ourselves to buy KORG or something like that…)
Generally Russian metal scene is good and getting better. I can see many new bands that play great as hell. So all that Russian underground needs now is good help from western labels. Be sure - there are a great deal of fresh blood inside Russia!
Are there any gigs planned in the next future (also in Germany?)?
You know…we’d love to play abroad of Russia! We get about 5-10 invitations from American, European (German as well) live concert organizers…but visa problems make a great barrier for us. Once we were invited to play with Graveworm and Haggard in Italy and Germany. Some moths ago our label mates ILLNATH from Denmark offered us to make an European tour and again: in vain…it’s hard to tour when you’re from Russia…you know what I mean…
I’ve heared that you had lots of positive reactions on your first album DAMNATION OF REGIOMONTUM. I don’t know the album myself, but I read that FIRESTORM is more professional, more powerfull etc. Can you mention some other differences to the parent album?
Yes. “Damnation of Regiomontum” was our first work. Almost all songs were written in 1996-1998. It was not bad demo. Good melodies and musical ideas but it was absolutely raw…bad sound, bad production…”Damnation..” was good as a demo and we were very surprised when norwegian label Valgalder records had released it …and we were shocked when we got hundreds of great responses! I can’t explain this success. CD was under ban in Germany because of the cover artwork (I can’t understand why – guys from different german labels told to Valgalder that “swastica was not allowed in Germany”)…Our “Damnation of Regiomontum” cover design contained kind of swastica but we aren’t nazi and hate all this nazi bullshit! We respect all nations and this symbol was an ancient symbol of prussian warriors! But unfortunately as I can see Germany has its own view on this symbol and all versions of it….
More about differences – new CD is simply much better done. Great sound (thanks polish sound engineers!), classical includes, excellent production (SELANI+TV4 studios). This CD can compete with all most popular metal bands of the world in our style since it has everything to be attractive for the metal minds.
Something very interesting for me is, that parts of FIRESTORM will be used on the soundtrack for a Canadian film called “Sinners and Saints” – how that to come?
Yes. Our music will be used as an official soundtrack for Canadian movie “Sinners and Saints”. It will be a good mix of mystic action and erotic thriller. DVD will be out in March of 2004. How did they find Tvangeste? I’m proud to tell You that satrring acrtess (and movie producer) is our great fan. So she offered us to use our themes for the movie. Also we’ll write all music for their upcoming works.
What are your musical plans for the future?
We are working hard on new album. It will be ready up to the next summer I think. We’ll try to make our sound more powerful. There will be used much more orchestra and choir. Themes will be created and arranged more interesting and innovative with many fresh ideas and new sound solutions. We got a great experience working with the real orchestra…it was the first work on such global project and of course we made a lot of mistakes…so we’ll try to keep all our faults in mind during next recording session and I bet - new CD will be much better! We are still thinking about label and studio. I’d like to enter Fredman Studio in Goeteborg but it’s quite expensive. We’ll see.
Thank You for the chance to introduce Tvangeste to the German metalheads. I am sure we’ll find many new friends in Your country.
You can visit Tvangeste official web site: http://www.tvangeste.com . Videos, full first CD’s mp3 files and three free high quality tracks from “Firestorm” for evaluation…if there would be any questions – don’t hesitate to send a letter to our media department: email@example.com