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For the recent year art progressive folk band from Yaroslavl TUMULUS has at last recorded their debut album. Being mostly the first in many respects, the musicians have succeeded here as well. TUMULUS is of the first CIS bands, having been interviewed over the phone. How does the band exist and what it breath nowadays, Velingor will tell us.

Scorpio: Despite the year without 10 days had passed since our last interview took place, the album publishing date question is still actual.

Velingor: I guess it'll happen in fall. Since our former plans concerning this issue have slightly changed. For I think - in fall.


Scorpio: Who is going to be the publisher? Recently, seems like, Irond was.

Velingor: Regarding this matter I will not say anything specific either. As there is some prospect, connected with further band promotion. And still we consider how to act. It is not compulsory it would be Irond. I'm not going to mention the label name anyway.

Scorpio: But the album has been actually recorded and you keep on distributing the promo-stuff.

Velingor: Yeah, now we actively distribute the promo copies. Mostly for the radio, zines, and we prepare small international tour, as I can express like that, in the second part of May, in Romania and Bulgaria as well. So, we've enclosed the stuff for them too. It is already being promoted. Broadcasting over the radio, printing in zines, i.e. the arrival preparation are on the fly.

Scorpio: Besides, recently you've encountered the line-up change.

Velingor: Yes, we have it quite often. By the end of the last year we'd parted with our guitarist, who'd been playing a year with us - Zus Obmorok. Then we made a little shake up. The drummer Kurbat changed for guitar, and the former drummer Ottar returned. He'd been in TUMULUS since the beginning, from Scald times.

Scorpio: And where the heck had he been? Today he significantly differs from the rest of the band with his short hair-cut J

Velingor: Yeah-yeah, he'd had his hair cut since the SCALD. All this time he had nowhere been involved. He had the plans to give up the music completely.

Scorpio: Why the Slavonic motives have been primarily chosen by the band?

Velingor: I wouldn't use that meaning - the primarily choice. As the SCALD r.i.p.ped, we'd started searching in different styles with TUMULUS. We tried both in death and black metal. Generally our lyrics composers were me and of those days guitarist Harald. We admired Slavonic folklore music interpreted by SED'MAJA VODA and KALINOV MOST bands in that time. We just began trying use of these elements in our music and saw how greatly it turned out. At least for that time - 1997 year it sounded unusual. And we decided to take this style - using as Slavonic folk.

Scorpio: Are there so called style-neighbors of the band in CIS?

Velingor: You know, don't consider me singing my own praises, but I honestly tell you: there's no Russian band, performing the due folk-metal as I see it, I could remember. There are a lot of bands, presenting themselves as folk-metallic, but indeed no folk they bring. They could hardly imagine what it is. The Byelorussian scene in this meaning feels better. Such band as GODS TOWER, to my pity, now do not exist, VICIOUS CRUSADE in album "Unbroken" and ZNICH did very courageously and continue to implement the folk into their music. And they do it pretty well, they easily experiment. And these bands do imagine what the Slavonic music is. In Russia this matter really sucks.

Scorpio: So, what about acts calling themselves heathens?

TUMULUS on stageVelingor: My opinion is that Slavonic folk as such is practically absent in the music. And if they consider themselves as heathens - it's their own business. Generally I think - to be a heathen in our modern society is rather impossible. One needs to escape in deep forests, where's not a soul in the 10th kilometers neighborhood. Try to dwell in the earth-house for ten years with no contact to people. Then maybe you will come closer to pagan ideology.

Scorpio: How do you think, why is, as distinct from Baltic countries, the interest to the roots so weak in Russia and Ukraine?

Velingor: Both Russia and Ukraine are far from Europe. They are surely eager to bear the resemblance to civilized countries, and this reflects in music. That is why everybody strives for playing European music and copies the European collectives. Many consider our music as "village-metal". What else can I say? This is none of our business. We want to play it, and we'll play it. We don't wish to imitate anybody or anyone. Yeah, many Russian bands' quality level has grown up, they've reached the possibility to use solid equipment, record in competent labels, gain European sound. But the music since doesn't become either interesting or distinctive.

Scorpio: Therefore the band shall seek diversity from outside.

Velingor: My opinion - the band should aim at having its feature, sound. Otherwise it looks boring, there are plenty bands, just like the others, and what it the difference it has I don't quite get.

Scorpio: You keep an eye on the CIS metal-stage. Which bands in your mind could be of real interest for the western stage?

Velingor: Kind of hard, frankly speaking. There are some nuances, because one must have the desire once he wishes to enter the western stage. And most of bands don't get a clue what to do for this interest be promoted. It is not enough to record a good album and send in for the label, any European, western. They received thousands of demos, being all indifferent in sound quality. And, naturally, most of them miss. First of all you've got to do is to go on touring, whatever. I like Moscow bands attitude who have well-off jobs and earn one or even two thousand bucks in a month. And they can afford visiting some European fest. But for some reason they don't even try.

Scorpio: And do you think when CIS obtains fully scaled open-air festival?

Velingor: To be honest, I don't know. It will bear when a man or an organization decides to invest the cabbage in it. This will be the man with a very big desire for it. I doubt it will happen in the nearest future since everyone keeps on its own. Many if they dare start off for Moscow and Peter and the nearby cities. They afraid of touring the whole country, 'coz there's a great chance for having been let down. The same situation is with Yaroslavl bands. Those who keep on touring is MIND ECLIPSE, and we too. Some other bands began riding off, but there are few. Most of them simply worry to be unpaid the fare.

Scorpio: Has the spring already come to Yaroslavl?

Velingor: As if it has, but hardly, alas. We still live in northern region. Everything melts, but through the night it freezes again, then it repeats and at last it snows. It will be continuing this way approx. until April.

Scorpio: Recently I've conceived a desire to take a run somewhere, no matter where, just to keep staying on the journey, lounging around the unknown streets. Have you felt anything like that?

Velingor: Yeah, and I feel it aye. This is part of my lifestyle, that's I like starting off traveling, and my work's bound with staying on the move, assignments etc. But I like the lifestyle you've told me, I love trips, wandering around the unknown streets, travels.

Scorpio: What about hiking? Oh, shit, mountains are far from you.

Velingor: Yeah, the nearest mountains are a thousand kilometers away from us.

Scorpio: Ural, perhaps.

Velingor: Yeah, I think Uralian mountains probably are the closest.

Scorpio: Yes, we're in better conditions, we've got Carpathians mountains hard by.

VelingorVelingor: Yeah, Carpathians are great indeed. Duke Dracula spirit, gloom, NOKTURNAL MORTUM etc.

Scorpio: And do you visit knights' tournaments?

Velingor: You know, I regard to all this like the kindergarten game. When of Slavonic theme, I rather prefer reading books.

Scorpio: And which ones? Historical matter?

Velingor: No, I draw knowledge from the origin. I.e. first of all from ethnographical studies, generally, scientific books, intended for ethnographers.

Scorpio: And where do you get the literature? It is not probably easy to find any?

Velingor: Oh no, it is not a problem. Here in Yaroslavl we've got many shops, where you can place an order for a book, inaccessible in usual storey. Everybody knows me there, they even recommend the better choice. There is nothing of my interests in the Internet.

Scorpio: The day before I'd run the net-searcher and found German black-metal band TUMULUS.

Velingor: As far as I'm informed this German band does not exist. In all, as we started our way as TUMULUS, we've been brought the print out from Net, as long as 1997. We'd decided to change nothing but wait. No more information about this act had become available, afterwards I came across the information they didn't anymore exist.

Scorpio: Also I have found some Bulgarian page, selling MIND ECLIPSE, TUMULUS and other bands' disks, those which Anton St. Ruck brought last year to Bulgaria.

Velingor: Aha, this is our official representative and distributor in Bulgaria. His organization is called "The Other Side". He also helps us with concerts.

Scorpio: Is him the old pal of yours?

Velingor: He's a very long time friend of mine. Since the times I was not familiar to music. So old acquaintance that I can not even figure out how long ago it happened.

Scorpio: Has he ever lived in Russia?

Velingor: No, he lived in Bulgaria, but it happened for us to come across each other, I used to live in Yugoslavia in that time. We had common interests, but since then we'd been fond of extreme music, though on the childish level. Since ever we became friends and have been keeping in touch. I became the TUMULUS bass-guitarist, and he founded "The Other Side" company, establishes concerts et cetera.

Scorpio: What time already are you going to visit this country in this year? Third?

Velingor: If we go, it'll be for the third time already.

Scorpio: Thanks to Bulgaria visits, you are more popular in this country than at home.

Velingor: Yeah-yeah. You know, distributing our demos, seeing what's happening at concerts, we've come to a conclusion our music there is more interesting for masses. As I already told, here (in Russia) people take an interest in traditional music. Do people like IN FLAMES - they'll visit SEDUCERS EMBRACE. This kind of music is very well-known, it doesn't annoy, you needn't listen to it attentively: what new do they play. And there, secondly, we look very unusual and our music is perceived as exotic, Bulgarian take it gladly. Moreover, European band are often guests there, and one needs to hear somewhat brand new.

Scorpio: This year plans are not limited with one concert in Sophia.

Velingor: In this year we plan Buharest in Romania and two concerts in Sophia. Additionally we are to have unplugged folk-project: acoustic guitar, buben, flute and vocal quartet. With this project we are planning to perform at Burgaria folklore festival under the name "Kurgan", i.e. almost like "TUMULUS" interpretation. We are indeed folk-metal band, and we're gonna show our capability of folk performance. There will be Russian folklore songs only.

Scorpio: Are there else any other Russian and Ukrainian ensembles expected there?

Velingor: I guess it is doubtful. This is purely Bulgarian festival, and we will probably be the only collective from Russia.

TUMULUS on the railroad station of Chernivtsi. From left to right: Ottar, Ju Vigdis, Kuchum, Scorpio (The MetalList), Velingor, Kurbat, Violeta Karlashchuk ("Bukovyna" radio)

Scorpio: How good is the metal scene in Yaroslavl developed?

Velingor: You know, the metal scene in Yaroslavl is very well developed. I've been practicing music since 1991, through me and my years so many bands have passed, who appeared, shone at Yaroslavl stage and dissolved. And now the new generation, 15-17 years old, visit concerts, they don't even remember the bands. These people became solid, having considered their past hobby as wasting of time. I think the present bands are going to have been happened the same things after a time. 'Coz the desire of staying the ordinary, civilized and decent citizen will prevail. I can say this would never happen to us, at least to me, since I'm that dogged RNR man who considers the music as his life. Can't help without it. I'm 30 y.o. now, and ain't gonna change myself, change my ideology.

Scorpio: What is the reason for your leaving MIND ECLIPSE?

Velingor: You know, I've always liked and like the MIND ECLIPSE music. They are very talented musicians, good enough for their style. But I'd been made demands with no connection to neither my vocalist's role nor music at all. In MIND ECLIPSE these demand were considered as compulsory, but I took it as a bosh, pure nonsense. I was not object to conflicts, just ignored these demands, which made the other band-members more angry. At last when proposed to leave, I didn't resist on the whole, otherwise it would had ended with colossal shit and very strong conflict.

Scorpio: What music have you been listening to lately?

Velingor: You see, I really seldom listen to anything, inasmuch I have no special time for that. As per today I try listening to lighter music: SED'MAJA VODA, RAZNOTRAVIJE. But it happens just like when sitting at home and I want the Borgirs to turn on, just do it and have fun. It happens also that I hang on listening to DESTRUCTION, sometimes CANDLEMASS and anything like that. I listen to much different music. The only thing: don't like alternative at all, i.e so called nu-metal. I can't stand it and reckon this music as having no connection to music overall, it's closer to punk-metal though.

Scorpio: Whom from the famous musicians are you acquainted with and could brag it for us?

Velingor: Generally I know many musicians. Let me focus my view on those, whom I performed and talked with personally. Within different period as far as the SCALD times I communicated with Kipelov. We performed together in due time. With Martin from SANATARIUM. May be called a friend of us, whom we'd been contacting and hitting the bottle - Danny McManus - vocalist and front-man of KOROZY. Since long time ago I've known Lazar from ROSSOMAHAAR very well, when the name of the WOLVERINES was STONEHENGE. In one's time I closely kept contact with Maiden from MENTAL HOME. More or less I know the folks from BUTTERFLY TEMPLE, Jeff from CATHARSIS, and many others uncountable. When pen-palling over the Internet, besides for ages too when the Inet was not very well widespread, I got acquainted with John Peres - SOLITUDE AETERNUS guitarist and front-man, and with Rich Walker - guitarist of SOLSTICE.

Scorpio: I must tell you SCALD is very well known abroad.

Velingor: Yes, you see, I actively participate in Wroth Emitter label job. And I see all these letters, provided with orders so on and so forth. The interest is really tremendous. What a pity it was not present in times of SCALD. Word of honor, looks like the some kind of posthumous glory has unveiled.

Scorpio: What are your future plans?

Velingor: The minimum plan - Romania and Bulgaria visits' preparation and realization in May. There are many aspects. We are the underground collective indeed, no hotels and so on, we arrange everything for ourselves. Visa, embassy, tickets - everything by ourselves. Now it is a tense moment, we expect Bulgarian to enclose official invitation asap. In other words, we are fully involved in the issue. Rehearsing actively both hard and folk program, Russian folk songs. Maximum plan - new stuff completion, it is almost done, and the new album recording, the working name of which is "Svetokresiye".

Scorpio: I suppose the "Winter Wood" is entirely finished, and no more work is needed?

Velingor: No, I think the "Winter Wood" doesn't need a further perfection since it is already. There were some unpleasant moments during the recording for the disk appears not as good as we want it to be, but I believe as the debut, representing the authenticity of our music, that will fit.

Scorpio: I've got to say your music is liked not only by the heavy sound admirers.

Velingor: On the whole TUMULUS is often liked by people with no connection to heavy music. They hear some songs and ask: "So you, kind of, playing metal? I wouldn't say that!". Then they upon visiting our concerts, where we perform the harder sound and more expressively deliver our music, ask: "why d'hell do you rock your heads so, pals?"

Scorpio: So, what is your concert audience overall?

Velingor: We're listened probably by the same people, visiting other metal-sessions. The audience is the same. As a rule, they sink beer a few at the first-second performing band, and they mostly don't give a shit what to listen, the main point - to be loud and have a gambol. We for sure have our true fans in Yaroslavl, but mainly the audience doesn't differ. In Bulgaria there's naturally another situation. The local sessions are visited by both metallists and outsiders. While the dynamic sound they have fun, when heard something demanding advance listening - they stay hearkening, nobody leaves the auditorium. We've encountered the most different attitude to our show, starting with cry out "Pops!" and finishing with "Cool!"

Scorpio: Your final words.

Velingor: Big greetings to Ukraine from all! Here next to me Ju Vugdis and the head Wroth Emitter, Anton St.Ruck join the greetings to Ukraine. Listen to TUMULUS and don't seek for routine, try to make your own. And keep on calling to your historical roots.


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