1) Salut Miron. How are you? Can you present a little bit Tvangeste, history, releases… On what are you currently working?
Hails! Well…here’s Tvangeste’s biography in short:
1997 – birth date
2000 – “Damnation of Regiomontum” CD was released by Norwegian label VALGALDER RECORDS. This debut album brought many awards and great critics to Tvangeste from World’s mass media.
2002 – “FireStorm” was finished. Tvangeste signed a contract with big Japanese label WORLD CHAOS PRODUCTION.
2003 – “Firestorm” is out. Album was licensed by many labels from different countries… METAL MIND PRODUCTIONS has got a record deal for Poland and Germany, NEOBLAST RECORDS bought all rights for Canada, big label from Russia CD MAXIMUM bought a license for CIS and Baltic countries. “Firestorm” was added to almost all major catalogues like Century Media, The End Records, Dark Symphonies, Red Stream etc…
We are making new album now. Probably we’ll enter studio this Autumn-Winter. This album will be in the same vein as “FireStorm” but we are planning to add many new fresh ideas to make it more interesting, new and modern…all that I can tell You now is – this album will be more powerful, lots of guitar riffs, new unusual orchestra and choir themes….
Current line up is: Michael “Miron“ Chirva – vocals, solo guitar / Naturelle Chirva – keyboards, orchestra arrangements
Nikolay Kazmin – guitar / Victoria Koulbachnaya – keyboards / Vanoe Mayoroff – guitar / Max Naumoff – basses / Olaa – female vocals
Cezar Mielko – drums (Polish virtuoso drummer from DOMINIUM (progressve death)
Ekaterina – violins, orchestra arrangement
+ Baltic Symphony Orchestra musicians
+ Prussian Chamber Choir vocalists
Of course there were a lot of different things that happen to band but I’ve tried to be as short as possible. You’ll be able to find our full history on our official web site: http://www.tvangeste.com
2) For me, FireStorm is one of the best Black Metal albums of 2003. How did the public, mass-media responded to it?
Thank You! I really appreciate your opinion! Excellent reviews, incredible mass media responses, great sales world wide! Tvangeste were awarded as “The Best Russian Metal artist in 2003”, “The Best Black Metal album of 2003” twice in Norway and USA (together with Dimmu Borgir). About mass media responses….here’s just a small part of marks we got:
WAVE GOTHIC (Germany) 10/10
LETHE WARDEN (Italy) 10/10
Metal Message 10 / 10 / Germany
LEGACY mag. / 15/15 / Germany (only three bands got the same points!)
OSKOREI Mag / 10/10 / Norway
IMHOTEP MAGAZINE (Norway) 9/10
BLOOD CHAMBER (Germany) 9/10
METAL DOMINATION (Greece) 9/10
NEBUCH MAGAZINE (Turkey) 9,5/10
Sky Hell / 9/10 / Brazil
Scream magazine / 5/6 / Norway
Tartarean Desire mag. / 8/10/ USA
Metal Storm / International – 9,5/10
Asit / 9,5/10 / Turkey
Behind the Veil / 9,5/10 / Greece
ARISING REALM (biggest Austrian printed mag) – 9/10 (only two bands got the same points!!)
And many many others…. Be sure – it’s not a selected “the best ones”…actually the lowest mark we got was 7/10 from one Italian magazine and one Finnish web zine. So I think it’s just an awesome result….we never expected for such success.
3) I haven’t heard your debut album “Damnation of Rergiomontum” and I want to ask you to speak a it’s textual approach, music line etc.
Well…actually “Damnation of Regiomontum” was our first big studio experience. It was planned as a demo CD for western labels…to show our abilities, to attract some attention etc…so we didn’t expect that this album would be released. So we were very surprised when guys from VALGALDER RECORDS (Norway) offered us a record deal (to released existing material). So we were simply shocked when this release brought us lots of great responses from all over the world!
This album contains 5 songs and the cellos outro. Main feelings of this album are absolutely different to “FireStorm”…it’s definitely not similar to our latest works album. It closer to raw, dark sounds….but there are many different melodic lines, rhythm changes etc…”Damnation of Regiomontum”’s songs were created in 1996-1998 but some of them “”From Nameless Oracle’ as instance) are really mature and sound interesting. Album was mainly pagan oriented but even there you can see some parts of our current ideas – Freedom of Mind, Wisdom and Power as the main things in Human’s life.
4) What changes were made in FireStorm? Do you have more speed, more aggressivity, better keys?
Well….there were changes absolutely everything!…Guitar technique, whole song’s structure, vocals…real orchestra and choir were added! We have invited the second keyboardess NATURELLE….she has brought a lot of new things to our music. So songs became more complicated and more professional created.
5) FireStorm has a lot of Cradle of Filth influences but in the same time is quite distinct. Why do you “copy” them? For the money and to get a lot of attention or is just a simple coincidence?
We don’t copy them…I hate Cradle of Filth and think that their music is different. All that you can compare to them are some parts where I cry different voices (closer to Dani’s voice but if you’ll put some CoF tracks and then “Firestorm” You’ll be able to hear the great difference!)
We don’t copy any bands since we use our own imagination, our own minds to compose music. Cradle of Filth is good band but it’s kinda crappy to say that they play like Tvangeste or Tvangeste play like Cradles…our songs’ structure and all methods of composing are absolutely different and there’s no chance to compare us…..to mention Cradle of Filth and Therion was the biggest and stupid mistake of our label! Tvangeste is a unique band…we have our own style…
About money – we lost our own $3000 and never get any incomes from both first and second albums!
6) I read in the booklet that the story begins in 1225, Anno Bastardi. Why then? Why Bastardi? Why is so important for you 1225?
1255 is the year when Christians destroyed Tvangeste and built a knights castle – Koenigsberg. Kaliningrad now…. our native town. 1255…. the 1st of September is Koenigsberg’s birth date and Tvangeste’s death date at the same time…
7) At the end of “Godless freedom” you leave us with a big dilemma: a man will die or not without a god? Some of us say that we’ll die. What’s your opinion and why?
Well….lots of people are weak…so it’s much easier to ask the God for help….complain heaven for all misfortunes…but Human is real….Human has his (her) own mind!… Human should be strong! Each man is free and strong at the birth…but after some time in school, university, work etc. Human’s Freedom and Power in mind becomes weak willed…but only strong people with their own points of view, their own thoughts, their own ideas will survive!
That’s why we tried to show to all listeners this dilemma since this dilemma still exists!
8) When did you decided to work with the Baltic Symphony Orchestra and why? A very nice touch, if I may say.
It was my dream to work with the real orchestra…as You know -it’s lots of money so You’ll be probably very surprised to know that we spent about $1000 on whole orchestra recording…actually it was a really great experience…we got very useful knowledge but…I’d like to change whole way of recording orchestra to normal way. All that we did was like this: we recorded all musicians step-by-step…4 violins first, then 4 violas, then four cellos etc etc…
This way was really cheap but at the same time we didn’t get that POWERFUL sound of the real orchestra…nice violins and cellos- all that I can say…now we got a chance to record our new album using really big and known orchestra…depends on money invested in our project. Dimmu, Rhapsody, Cradles…all of them have tens of thousands dollars on recording… They use great studios…we had only $4000 on “FireStorm” so that’s great result for such small money… (Dimmu spent about 100 000 on their “Puritanical…”)
It sucks but this is our reality –money means everything in this world. But maybe it’s not so bad….
9) How did Cezar Mielko fit in the band? He’s now a full-time Tvangeste member or it was only one time job?
He’s supposed to be a permanent member but let’s make it real – he lives in Poland…we live in Russia…it’s quite hard to make everything from rehearsals to live shows. But we’re trying to find the best solution! My friend Szymon Czech (well known sound engineer in Poland) has introduced me Cezar….so we decided to try him and were impressed by his work …
10) Have you had a promoting tour for FireStorm? If yes, with whom?
We weren’t able to play live since 2001…yes it’s too bad. We got (and still getting) lots of live concerts invitations from different countries. Hopefully situation will change….we are rehearsing hard now so we are planning some tours in Europe and Baltic countries this winter…
11) Now here’s a much asked question. Your name, Tvangest, what does it mean?
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…
12) And now some personal questions. What does Black Metal means for you? It’s just a music style or it’s something more, a way of life…
Actually I don’t know what’s black metal at all….we aren’t blackers…maybe some of our typical moments are quite similar to black but let’s make it real – Tvangeste’s music could be described as doom metal also…we have lots of power, black, melodic death themes…strong classical touch…
As about my own point of view on black metal – I think that the idea of black was “raw, angry satanic sounds….more ideology than music…more hate than deep understanding how to play”…it’s my point of view….
13) How do you see now the Black Metal scene? It’s getting more complex and with many more quality bands or it’s in a decline, with bands without inspiration?
Actually if we are talking about such bands as CoF, Dimmu, Old man’s Child etc- definitely it’s getting’ more quality! But in my mind –all of mentioned above bands don’t play black as is. Because all of them have a lot from other styles…pure BM is a crappy sounds (not even a music!) to me…but I respect all points of view so I know that there are many people who like such kind of music (as Gorgoroth, Isengard, Burzum, Meyhem etc,,,) I don’t…
So BM scene – is a loose concept.
14) How does it feel to compose music in “family”? (You and your wife)
Great.. Definitely awesome!… we this way we are able to rehearse all the time we need it. We are always together so we can much more often than with Victoria. During “FireStorm” recording process I found that Naturelle is a true treasure for the metal band as a perfect keyboardist and good, talented songwriter…and the main thing – her music preferences are different from mine so she makes different music…and that’s really great since it makes Tvangeste’s style more different – it’s our main goal!
15) When you compose music, from where do you get your inspiration?
Different sources….movies, classical music (I almost don’t listen to metal music), movies soundtracks is my favorite music style…also I like guitar players like Jason Becker…
All these sources make me think…so I get influences from my emotions…from my feelings.
16) When you’ll have a child, you’ll let him experience with all kinds of music styles or you’ll teach him that: Only Black Metal’s way is the right way?
I don’t think that BM is the right way….metal music is mainly not enough professional…
So be sure-my child at the birth will listen to Vivaldi, Paganini, Bach’s strings, Jerry Goldsmith etc…but in the future – he(or she) will choose his(her) own way and own preferences. This is my main conception – everybody should go their own ways in this life!
17) How did you got along with Valgalder Records and now how do you get along with World Chaos Productions?
Valgalder was an excellent label…great guys and good friends. I really thank Marius Olaussen was all he did for Tvangeste! We have recorded “FireStorm” for Valgalder but they decided to sell all rights to big Japanese label WORLD CHAOS. I don’t know why exactly…there were some financial problems so Valgalder decided that they wouldn’t be able to support us the best way….World Chaos is supporting us really professionally and great! Lots of excellent reviews, hundreds of interviews, license deals – the best evidence that label does good work! We are happy with them!
18) What plans do you have in 2004 for Tvangeste?
Well…first of all – we are making new album. Also we’ll start touring activity this Autumn. That’s all….
19) We’ve reached the end of this interview. If you have any last words, now it’s time to say them. Thanks for this great interview and good luck with your future work. Bye.
Thanks a lot for the chance to introduce Tvangeste to Your magazine’s readers. Thanks for such interesting interview. If You want to get more info about the band, please visit us at: http://www.tvangeste.com
You’ll be able to download three free songs for evaluation, videos, texts and other fan stuff. If You have any questions or suggestions – please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance!
Miron / Tvangeste
SONGS FOR DOWNLOAD:
Editors note: Check out their webpage to download free mp3s, video, wallpapers and Tvangeste Winamp Skin http://www.tvangeste.com