Interviews > Svyatogor Interview
Interview by Athena Schaffer

Music really is the universal language, and nowhere is this demonstrated better than the third album from Svyatogor, Dr. Veritas. The eclectic mix of songs run the gamut from Black Metal to jazz-infused influences (and some include violin and saxophone along with traditional Metal instrumentation), and lyrics – written in a mix of Russian, Ukrainian, English, and French – explore a wide variety of subject matter, from societal problems, human emotions, history, the structure of the universe, and macrocosm.

Hailing from the Ukraine, Svyatogor are: vocalist/guitarist Arius, Master Alafern on both guitar and violin, bassist Duk, and drummer Amorth I.M. Even though “Dr. Veritas” was recently released, the band are reportedly already hard at work on their fourth album.

The Crowgrrl caught up with frontman Arius to delve deeper into the album and other news from the Svyatogor camp.

"Dr. Veritas" is an excellent album! Can you tell us more about the character in the title track?

Everybody knows such persons as Odin, Hermes, Trismegistus, Lucifer, Prometheus. Doctor Veritas is their generalized character. All above mentioned Persons are the transcendental sides of one conception, it is the personification of Truth as Absolute. In the album we tried to widen the criteria of literal, generally accepted in the modern system, conception of Truth. Truth is the thing allowing Person to clearly identify the hypocrisy of the modern world structure with its false democracy, demagogy and the social mind manipulation. Also Truth is the sensible view on the historical events, covered with false estimations and open distortion of facts. These themes are main in the album and make up its concept. The main motto is “the healthy sceptsism”.

What are your inspirations behind "Word hard. Eat. Watch."?

Everything surrounding us! The person is driven up into the frames of “stall” – to have no time for thinking, to live the REAL LIFE. We are created an illusion of needs. Earn-consume, earn-consume. It stirs up the aversion. This is what our song is about.

"La Concupiscence" goes into a lot of different musical directions. Can you tell us more about that song?

This song is about lust, about the irresistible attraction between man and woman, about the primal animal passion. French allowed to picture the ominous eroticism atmosphere of this composition.

I love the musicianship in "The Manifesto"! Can you tell us more about that song?

This song is impregnated with irony against the modern hypocritical society. It is the slap in the face to everybody who tries to interpret the historical events in different form and to present them in a wrong way.

"Reincarnation of Thoughts" is different than any other track on the album – it has a Jazzy feel. Can you tell us more about that song’s influences?

This song is about the relativity of everything existing in Universe. It tells that without past there is no future. About the world transformation is inevitable, irreversible, natural. And despite all changes Truth is single. It is above all.

You incorporate some instruments that aren’t common in Metal – like violin and saxophone – in your music?

The music itself requires this. It is interesting to introduce innovations in our music - it is the sense of a creative work itself.

Who does most of the songwriting for the band?

We create everything together. I am pleased to realize that each next album of Svyatogor opens the new sides and sounds differently. Each of our albums has its own conception, some world. I think it is the main thing.

Do the lyrics come first? Does the music come first? What is the songwriting process like for you?

Always it is differently. By today we have enough material for two full albums. I mean the texts and the music. It “just” remains to combine everything.

What’s your personal favorite song on the new album?

All of them.

Any video plans for any songs?

Now we negotiate that with computer graphic specialist and we are writing the new clip scenario- but it will not be like the things you are used to seeing in Black Metal bands’ clips.

Any stories behind the cover art?

In this image the artist was successful in visualizing his feelings after listening to the album and reading the lyrics. To my mind the cover suits this album.

You’re already working on your fourth album?

The new material will not be like “Doctor Veritas”. It will be the next unique manuscript in Svyatogor library. In this album we will touch the historical themes mostly, the album will be devoted to Achievements, Personalities and Freedom.

Tour plans?

Now we are planning the European tour. There is no concrete information by this time.

What is your live show like?

We are the followers of “classical metal” material representation – “only clean metal”, without any masquerade and the super complex make-up. Sometimes we perform without make-up at all.

Does your live set list contain mostly songs from “Doctor Veritas”, or your other albums?

We have various concert programs, mostly we emphasize the songs with the furious drive. Not being attached to album.

What kinds of merchandise do you have available?

Now the T-shirts “ENERGY-FREEDOM” are available. For the next tour we will issue the T—shirts “Doctor Veritas”. CDs of the second and the third albums are also still available.

What do you do when you’re not making music?

Very different specialists are gathered in our band. The theatre actor, brewer, historian, doctor with ESP. Try to guess who is who.

How Hands-On are you with your Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace pages?

It is very easy, because we do not do anything of abovementioned. Our fans take care of this.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you want to tell our readers?

Downloading the .mp3 you kill the underground, kill the music. Buy original CDs and merch of your favorite bands, otherwise tomorrow you cannot hear their next album!