HESPERION (for THE METAL MAG #19)

2017 10 27 135827Interview was prepared by THE METAL MAG #19

 

Who and when did you start the band? Did you have line up changes and is the music changed over the years?
Our native town is Irpin` in Kyiv region Ukraine. Prototype of Hesperion band was created by me, Vitalii Kashenko (guitar and vocals) and Georgii Aryshtevych (drums) in 2008 and was named Morning Star (Utrenniaya Zvezda in Russian). In that times we played music that was more like classical heavy metal as Accept, Manowar, Iron Maiden etc.. Since then only Oleg Gerasko (bass and vocals) and I have remained in band. The band was reborn in 2014 as Hesperion. We decided to play more complicated compositions. Gulnara Asanova (keyboards) and Denis Buslenko (guitar) joined up to us in that time. Alexii Kharitonov (vocals) and Vitalii Petrenko (drums) recorded the album Who Alive with us. Unfortunately, Alexii left the band right after the recording was completed in the summer of 2016, and Vitalii left us in May 2017. Vitalii Kozubov (vocals) and Yurii Petryshche (drums) now playing in band. All we are no professional musicians. There were no significant changes in the line up or in the music during the period from 2014. Gradually compositions become more complicated. Although we don’t notice much changes. Maybe this will be noticeable in the next album.

Which bands inspired you?
People in our band were inspired by such bands as Blind Guardian, Death, Iron Maiden, Labyrinth, Rhapsody of Fire, Symphony X, Gamma Ray, Dream Theater, King Diamond, Judas Priest. Musical preferences of the members of our group are quite similar.

Your album is in Russian, does that limit the fan base?
The tracks in the album are sung in Russian and Ukrainian. In our opinion, the presence of Slavic languages and the lack of English does limit the fan base, even in our country. We wanted to record this album in English, however there was some kind of rush once we got all the records on hands and also a financial part of the question took place. Technically we could not afford recording english version of songs and re-record them again.

What are your lyrics about?
The lyric of the album does not have anything that could combine it into a common theme. Angelica is a translation of the French folk song. Thousands Sleepless Nights is a love lyrics. Dance over Abyss and Who Alive are philosophic thoughts about human life. Lenore is a translation of the poem by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. Ghost of War has battle lyrics about some nonspecific war. Guardian of Homeland is a song about battles but with some patriotic context.

Have you played abroad? how do you find the gigs? do you play with the same bands?
We have been playing abroad once. It happened in May 2017, in Bucharest at SoundArt festival. Our band manager found this festival and we were invited. In Ukraine we played on some huge festivals and periodically play with the same bands.

What means the name? who designed the logo?
Actually, the name of band does not mean anything, just a name. It is not worth looking for a meaning where is no meaning, in our opinion. The logo was designed by Georgii Aryshtevych (ex-drums). It has sharp edges like if it comes from 80’s when heavy and power metal genres were very popular.

You are signed to scrap metal  records, how did it happen? have you had over labels interests?
Once we have recorded everything and got the complete mastered versions and sources we started thinking about publishing the material. As nobody of us had experience with self-publishing, the band members decide to find a music label. We started searching for it in September 2016 and found Metal Scrap Records by a recommendation from another band, who successfully published on this label. During the search period we were close enough to sign on another label,
but finally we have chosen Metal Scrap.

Do you have great instrument, records shops ?
Yes, there are some big, brandy shops with music-related stuff. However almost everything is sold and bought in Internet. Physical shops are the previous century :)

Tell us about your gears, do you use the digital tech?
Andrik (lead guitar) has LTD M-1000 Delux by ESP and Jackson JS-32T Warrior. As main drive he uses AMT LA E1 + Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and handmade delay pedal. At main rehearsal base as guitar stack Andrik uses Randall RX120RH with 4x12 cabinet. Gulnara (keyboards) use KORG Kronos. Along with Andrik’s DD-3 it is all the "digital tech". Denys (guitar) has Gibson Les Paul Studio. Oleg (bass) play on Cort.
How is the Metal scene other there, the country is wide..?
Metal scene is quite large and diverse in Ukraine. There are some famous metal bands known ouside of our country, like Nokturnal Mortum, HellOn, Khors, Fleshgore, Balfor, Holy Blood, Datura, Morton, Sunrise etc. We have big, international festivals and lots of smaller, UA-headlined festivals as well. And small gigs with less-known local bands are performed almost every day There is a possibility to play every 3-4 month on thematic (Heavy or Power or Prog) festivals for us and we try to play on all of them.2017 10 27 140523

How many albums have you recorded? is it easy to find music studios?
Its our first album which contains best of all our compositions from 2009 to 2016. Currently we are working on the second album and have some songs for another, conceptual album. Regarding the studios - in our opinion it is quite difficult to find a good studio with adequate prices where we can record our composition in good quality.

Is there one composer or the whole band gets involved?
Usually somebody from the band comes on rehearsal saying “check this!” and starts playing a new piece. Then the rest helps to combine these pieces into a final composition. That’s a way how, probably, 80% our songs were made. Sometimes lyrics comes first and then somebody thinks about music. New themes come the long way from an idea to completed song, and can be thrown away even they’re almost done, but guys can’t find the bridge or it sounds not how they wanted.

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