First of all, could you please introduce the band shortly, for those who haven’t heard about it yet? Which instruments are you playing, who is who, what have you been doing so far?
Hellz! TIRAN are four bastards from Great Fucking Russian Empire, who decided that they could have something to do with the global metal underground. These assholes are based in the small provincial, slowly dying city of Velikie Luki, located at the same distance from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and not far from the borders of Latvia and Belarus. This allows the bastards to move freely both within the country and make forays beyond its borders. I do not think it would be very interesting to talk about each bastard separately in a compressed interview format (dry facts are always very tiring), but I can assure you that they are all the best sons of bitches in the world, and if it’s happened that they met each other, you have to put up with it. Since we live in a small town, we all knew each other before TIRAN and even played in other groups together, but all these bands didn’t achieve anything, so it’s also pointless to mention them.
It’s been almost two years since your last albьm “Apocalyptic Tales” released. What’s actually doing the band nowadays? As far as I know you’ll have a short tour. Did you actually start to work on your new Album? What are your short term plans?
Yes, indeed, almost two years have passed since the release of the last album, and we tried not to waste this time. I was actively engaged in the promotion of this album in the underground, gave a lot of interviews, took care of publishing the maximum number of album reviews. And it gave its results. In fact, at the moment, it is possible to consider the circulation of the album completely sold. None of the labels that participated in the publication, there are no free copies of the disc. I still have about a few dozen copies, but I stock them for sale on our shows. Also, taking advantage of the situation that TIRAN finally found some kind of stability in the line-up, I more closely engaged myself in the live performances of the group. We played some great shows in Russia. These were solo concerts and collaborations with bands such as Vader, Hate, The Hirvi (Finland), Demolizer (Denmark) and TheRevived classic composition of Korrozia Metalla. For the first time in its history, TIRAN began to travel outside the ex USSR. We have already played two tours in Bulgaria and Finland, and in September we have scheduled concerts in Poland. At the very end of last year we released a concert release of “Apocalypse In Bulgaria” on cassettes with audio cutting of our shows of this tour, so that the year 2018 did not remain without releases either! This year we plan to release two more interesting editions: a seven-inch record with material that we started writing with Kill at the drums (we finally added all the other instruments and vocals and can continue to work directly on the release of the release!) And very entertaining a rehearsal recording of a completely new material that the Russian label NitroAtmosfericum Records has offered to release on floppy disks! Haha, yes, yes, you heard right, on those diskettes! The guys from Nitro have a good fan base, which just loves such perversions! We are planning to make this recording in the coming weeks and for now we are thinking about how to staff such an interesting carrier … maybe this will be an exclusive batch of icons, posters or something else like this …
You’ve got many videos from your previous albums as well as the new one. Seems it’s important for you to have a visual aspect. Could you tell us about the story of “Apocalyptic Tales”, why did you choose to have animations?
You are absolutely right, the visualization of music is important for us. This is like another manifestation of creativity. Video can exist as a completely separate type of art (cinema, for example), and in collaboration with other creative paths. For most of the video TIRAN meets our guitarist Moshna. He has all the technical side of the issue – shooting, editing … I just throw ideas to him and express my wishes about the final result. This applies to all videos in which we shoot “live”. In the case of the cartoon “Apocalyptic Tales”, I turned to Vinyl Video Animation Studio, because on our own we would not be able to realize anything like this, because we have no idea how this is done! To this idea, I was inspired by the similar experiments of Obituary, Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste, and I decided that it would be nice to try to do something like that! The most interesting thing was that the whole group was completely unaware of the whole process and when everything was ready and I gave them a special closed premiere, it was a real “wow” effect, hahah! In addition to the main story about zombies, there are several personal moments in this video: for example, Buddy’s dog is really Kate’s dog, which was experiencing very serious health problems at the time, but she set out the goal to cure him at all costs and now he is happy again with his life, and the burning schmuck, on which Buddy urinates at the beginning of the video – is a certain Konstantin – the head of the studio, which was supposed to do animation, but this piece of shit took me an advance and was gone, I hope that the devils in Hell will fuck him in the ass for these pennies. Whatever it was, but the animation is expensive, so, of course, I did not manage to put all the ideas in two and a half minutes, so maybe I will continue and we will make another animated video in the future!
In general, we don’t hear too many Thrash metal bands from Russia. The bands that are known globally are mostly a bit “darker” bands. Why is it like that in your opinion? ( I mean black metal, doom metal bands more oftenly getting more reaction from international music scene)
I believe that this is happening, first of all, because the Russian groups in the styles designated by you take care of their promotion in the underground much more than the posers who now inhabit our thrash metal scene. And whether it is now in Russia in general is difficult to say. At the very end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the underground began to develop very actively in Russia, which from time to time even attempted to take on the position of the official metal / rock scene. Just do not say that you have not heard of such aids and thrash bands like Korrozia Metalla, Master, Kruiz, Shah, Mortifer, Koma ??? If this is true, you urgently need to fix it! These were great bands that played amazing music! But then, as in the rest of the world, the demand for such music began to fall. Some groups tried to adapt to the trends, some simply fell apart … And here came the 00’s… It became very fashionable to get rid of the ironed denim vests and, under the slogan of exhumation, thrash metal, call themselves the keepers of traditions … “Thrash” groups appeared almost every day. Yaroslavl (city in Russia) bands even managed to proclaim themselves a new San Francisco in which they create almost the world capital of thrash, hahah! Stupid children … It was much more important for them to be in the stream and show off in front of their friends. Music was not important for them. By and large, all these dozens, and maybe hundreds, of the group played the same thing, to the extent that they simply could not be distinguished from each other. Many have not left even a single record. So much for TheRevivers. There are a number of near-thrash bands who tried to be more serious and through meticulously approached technical issues, killing their music with new standards dictated by the same music market. They wanted to play cool, cool instruments and match the “western” level. But this idea also failed. They saved money for tools, then for a good record, and then, when they did write something down, they understood that there were enough people like them in the west and no one was particularly interested in listening to another flare with a Russian accent. Of course, we are not talking about all the groups. There are exceptions. Take, for example, Arbitrator from Kirov city! From the year 94, Alex goes his own way and makes thrash metal, which he likes, and not which “should be”, for which he has great respect. But, as you understand, these are isolated cases. In contrast to all this circus, on the black and doom metal scenes that you mentioned, there is much more authenticity. There are ideological labels that focus on the promotion of music and their bands, and not attempts to recoup their costs by any means. And groups try, first of all, to observe and preserve their authenticity. Their joint efforts (and efforts of labels and groups should always be joint) and give positive results even in difficult times for hard music.
What are your lyrics about in general? I’ve heard that they are a bit critical, could you please explain our readers about your ideologies and the main subjects that the band wanted to share with the listeners?
To be honest, the lyrics in the music of Tiran have the most mediocre value. Words in our time have lost their meaning altogether, not only in music. Why waste time on something that does not make sense? There was a certain period in the work of the group, when I did not write texts at all … I just screamed some separate phrases and spit out my emotions into the microphone … So we made some recordings, and you know what ??? Nobody even paid attention to it, hahah! Magazines wrote reviews on these releases, discussed music, vocals, artwork … but not a single censor has sharpened or even noticed that there are no lyrics in the songs! They just didn’t get it, hahah! This is very funny, but these are facts that have been proven by practice. Initially, I wrote texts in Russian, it was for me a kind of fundamental moment, but then, when the uselessness of this activity became clear, I stopped bothering myself, trying to convey something to someone’s ears. Listen to music, it carries an emotional charge and a message to the listener! And who is there that quacks into the microphone – no one is interested. Name the song “Satanic Unholy Death” and you can quietly scream there about what beautiful flowers grow around you and how beautiful the rainbow is after the rain. Be sure that unsuspecting true and evil fans will just as well shake their heads under her, not thinking about your words. Now I’m back to writing lyrics. To this, I was encouraged to participate in the Sibireal project, where I am responsible for vocals and lyrics. There I began to write again in Russian, while the lyrics of TIRAN became completely English-speaking. But this is for no one. I am not going to teach anyone anything with my texts and prove anything to anyone. This is just for me. I write about what I think, what worries me … Simply put, modern lyrics for me are a way of communicating with myself. Nothing more.
Which bands are you following, are there any bands that had an influence on your works when you were at the very beginning of your carrier? Do you have interesting stories about it, how was the first steps into metal scene?
I don’t think that information on this will be important for you, necessary, or at least interesting. I have not done anything so great to make it worth highlighting the details of my biography, even if it was part of a creative development. If this cannot be done without, then in two words: I started listening to heavy music when I was about 13 years old. First there were Russian punk bands, such as Sektor Gaza, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Az, Purgen. Later I got acquainted with the Western classic punk rock, and the further it got, the harder it became. Heavy, speed, thrash, death metal. I still continue to listen to performers in all these genres. Everyone influenced me in their own way and, to some extent, reflects on what I do as part of my musical activity. But, in this topic, I would like to note that first of all I consider myself to be a fan of music, and only then a performer and everything else.
After all these years, do you see differences between your first times and now? Did you imagine before that it’s gonna continue for more than 15 years?
Hahah! It feels like you’re talking about sex or drugs! Although, to some extent, it may be quite comparable things, hah! No, I do not see any fundamental difference between what was then and now. Now there is a little less free time that I can devote to music, but there are more opportunities. After all, whatever one may say, it is difficult to drag the financial expenses of the band when you are an ordinary schoolchild. Now we can travel and play concerts in different countries, without thinking especially about their payback, make interesting artwork for our releases, and I think this is great. As for desire and interest, the fire that flashed many years ago still burns in me. And of course, I planned that this madness would last not only 15 years, but also much longer! I didn’t put together a band to have a fun one or two nights or to record a couple of songs just because I had nothing else to do. I consciously entered the underground to stay there seriously and for a long time.
What are your opinions on recent world politics? What do you thing about Syrian war, migration, global economics, racism, religious extremism or nationalism in general?
You know, I prefer not to plunge into this shit. In fact, although many have become accustomed to thinking that politics is difficult, no. Everything is elementary and transparent. The leaders of states have long ceased to hide their true intentions and goals. They are practically not ashamed to call ordinary people ordinary garbage and openly demonstrate their contempt for those below them. The cause of all power and money. Religion, national identity and other things that you listed are only pretexts and tools for achieving selfish goals. As I have already said, I try to keep away from this whole manure heap, but I live in Russia, and in our country, even if you are not interested in politics, it begins to be interested with you. The current leadership of the country openly aims to restore the status of the empire to Russia, as it was before the revolution and the founding of the Soviet Union. But they forget about one important thing. In order to raise people to war, especially to war, aggressive, not defensive, for which it is enough to raise the level of patriotism to the limit, people need to know what they are going to die for. For money? For the native country? For some idea? In Russia, there is nothing to die for. The state is engaged only in foreign policy, gaining weight on the world stage, while inside the country everything is dying. About thirty percent of the population lives below the threshold of poverty, and this is only according to official data! Of all the media, we hear how everything is fine with us, but you go out into the street and you understand that this is just a disgusting lie. Russia helps Syria at a time when schools close down, education becomes paid, and many simply cannot afford it, the level of medical care tends to zero … How do you feel about such an empire? In addition, in our country the division of society into classes is becoming more and more obvious, and this is fueling the situation, smoothly leading it to another revolution and civil war. The government understands this and is clearly afraid. Therefore, now the authorities are getting as close as possible to themselves, they are caring and cherishing all the power structures, hoping to enlist their support. And the lower strata are trying to divert staged clowning like the World Cup, the Olympic Games and external conflicts. Ukraine, Georgia … who’s next? Sooner or later, society’s patience will burst and then my country will have to go through this hell again. The ruling elite is migrating to warm countries, where they have already stocked up on land, and the poor will indiscriminately crush all who, in their close opinion, live better than them. And again the middle class, the bourgeoisie, the enlightened intelligentsia, trying to maintain neutrality, will go into the dressing. Good prospects? And how do you think I should relate to this?
Before coming to the end of our conversation, I’d like to as you a very typical question of Extreminal Webzine. When you are listening to music, do you prefer digital platforms or CD/Tape/Vinly ? What was the first metal album that you bought?
Like many fans and collectors, I prefer analog media: vinyl and cassettes. But in my collection, there is also a huge number of CDs, which, nevertheless, are more convenient, practical and transportable. I can listen to them in the car, at work, they are most adequately tolerated sending mail by exchange and are most resistant to external factors, such as the weather … but my soul is yet for analogue.
Another classic question for me, whats your favorite alcohol ? Vodka ? 🙂
Hahah! I’m afraid to upset you, but no! I love vodka, it’s a terrific drink, but vodka, like all other types of alcohol, has its own philosophy. She has to think and communicate, hahah! I drink alcohol every day and my absolute favorite is beer, in particular American Pale Ale, recently I even finished developing a recipe for our brand beer TIRAN. But I can also use other beers in any quantities, hahah! As for stronger drinks, my preferences go in the direction of bourbon, Armenian brandy and Spanish red dry wines. The world of alcohol is huge and each drink has its own aesthetics. Maybe it sounds a little pathetic, but I really think so. I do not want to say that I am too meticulous gourmet, as all these sommeliers, who claim that they are able to decompose a bunch of a dozen varieties of grapes by smell, but just so indulge everything in a row – it is disrespect for alcohol. And if you do not respect alcohol, he will not respect you and instead of giving pleasure, will just turn you into a dirty pig. Do you understand what I mean?
Which bands would you suggest us from Russian metal scene?
If we talk about our classics, then I have already listed above some of the groups that are worth reading. If you try to find something from modern bands, then I will leave it without comments. Try to dig deeper, who is looking for, he always finds something.
Thank you very much for answering our questions. Would you like to add lastly something else?
Probably not. I think you asked about everything that interested you. Thank you so much for your interest in TIRAN! Sorry for taking so long with the answers and do not forget to wash your hands before eating. Microbes, you know, are not asleep, hahah! Fuckin amen!
Thanks to Ruslan and Idil for helping this interview.