Interview for Rock Hard (Italy) 2012

1) It seems that the material which you have included in 'CREEDamage' has been ready since 2006, when you released 'Epoch Of Aquarius'. Why did you wait for so long to release it?

Not quite right. I’ve started working on the album in 2006. Don't forget that MUNRUTHEL is a one-man-project. When you have a group, you bring a melody/theme song on rehearsal, and then everyone will play it in his own way and voila! The track is ready. As for me, I compose fragments, I unite them in a song, I make arrangement and scores for a bass, guitars, and the most difficult, for orchestral instruments. Then I program percussions, invite session musicians, show them their parts. I record everything in my MoonHome studio. When the bass, guitars and orchestral parts are recorded, I play and record real drums. Then I write lyrics and I sing vocal parts, thus as I record myself on my own. And the final stage is mixing and mastering of the material. I do it also myself. When a person understands, how difficult theses processes are, he isn't surprised, why this work takes so much time. In fact, I finished working on “CREEDamage” in spring of 2012, but the promo-companies insistently advised not to do this release in summer. Here this autumn is. And please keep in my mind the fact that during the period of working on the album, I had such moments when I wasn't engaged with my project, because I recorded albums and played concerts with Corvus and Thunderkraft groups much. Very often my studio was occupied with work, when I mixed and did mastering for other groups. It is my business.


2)Your label, Svarga Music, only releases Ukranian Metal Bands, specifically Pagan bands and you fit in that category very well. How important is for you to have that kind of support?

The label’s owner is Svyatoslav Gladkov. He is also my manager and a friend. I know him for a long time. Certainly, he constantly renders improbable assistance and supports me.Everyone has his own talents. I am a good composer, an arranger, and he is a good PR specialist and a manager. Together we do and sell a good product. I am, inherently, a crazy creator. I am capable to work day and night. But all this "wealth" would become dusty on my shelves without such people, as Svyatoslav. As a striking example my literary activity is, but just a few people know about it. I wrote some fantastic stories and a tale in my youth. But I have never tried to carry them in an editorial office. As for the label, it releases Ukrainian groups only. But it is capable to support any worthy group in distribution or promotion.


3) Please give us a brief introduction to Munruthel. You've been around for a few years...

Everything was born spontaneously. My sister practiced in a piano playing (as for me, I have no music education), the instrument was in a room, the sister didn't want to learn, but learned. Me, on the contrary! Therefore I often tried to play. I was 12 - 14 years old then. Thus, the first musical themes were created, some of them were subsequently included in my debut album "The Ancients' Wisdom" (1995) of my SILENTIUM project. Recently, by the way, this album was realised by Casus Belli Musica (Russia) as a split-CD with AR. In 1996 I began to work on a new album of SILENTIUM. And I even recorded some tracks. At the same time, my Pagan outlook had already become stronger - from “may be” into “I know it definitely is!” I understood that my anti-christian views can not be kept within the boundaries with the name in Latin, as a language of "inquisitions". I decided to take as a name for a project my pseudonym under which I played in that period in a group with growing popularity - NOKTURNAL MORTUM. At the same time, I was lucky to find (just on the street) a large sum of money and I bought an expensive synthesizer “Roland”. And it was a new mark in the history of MUNRUTHEL. I rerecorded some tracks with new arrangement, so the album “Yav', Nav' And Prav'” turned out to be. In the following album "Oriana Tales", I tried to use a guitar with distortion (and I played everything on my own). It turned out well; people positively apprehended this innovation in my ambient project. So, the idea was born to create a completely Pagan metal album "Epoch Of Aquarius". My ideology became even more aggressive in relation to christianity as a religion imposed by “fire and swords”. It was easier to express these emotions by means of metal arrangements. My new album "CREEDamage", in my opinion, is a fine continuation of my musical career, as reflections of my life! So, here 17 years of my creativity flew by.


4) What's the biggest goal you have as a musician?

You know, if I set any purposes as a musician, I would achieve much more! I invested money in the studio first of all and developed as an arranger and as a sound engineer. In our country it is not possible to earn money as a musician. During all these years my outlook changed. From all-absorbing total love to our people, to the same total misanthropy. In a projection of a look to a Human Being and his consuming attitude to Mother Nature. Therefore, now I work on the albums for my satisfaction more and more. I tell the truth and I don’t care who and what think about it!


5) This album contains athmospheric parts as well as very aggressive ones. How would you describe your music and which bands influenced you the most?

Yes, it’s exactly this thing I spoke about. I am angered very much by a creature with the name “Lord of Nature”. Therefore, music became more aggressive. I’ve already began working on a new album "Earth's Honey", it will have even more aggressive tendencies. Thus, using beautiful melodious atmospheric ways of music, I express my attitude to the Nature. And malicious, aggressive ways express my attitude to the human being. I’m greatly influenced by the music of the 90’s. I was young, I had a lot of time and I saw examples for imitation in my idols - eminent musicians. These were great BATHORY, SLAYER, MORBID ANGEL, then later BURZUM, EMPEROR, IMMORTAL. Now I listen to music little. I have no time and I have no interest in modern art. Therefore it doesn't influence my development in any way anymore. I’ve already developed and I have a status of a "cult" project. In this case, MUNRUTHEL already influences young generation! Sometimes for my pleasure, on the road, I listen to some groups like ANATHEMA, KATATONIA, or ambient/chill-out compilations. It’s beautiful and sounds in atmospheric way. New groups just irritate me with their homosexual tricks and pacifism.


6) You clearly have a very strong bond with Nature. Is that what your lyrics deal with?

The lyrics have been changing in all albums. But all my lyrics are devoted to my love to Mother Nature. My lyrics teach people to treat Her as I treat Her. Because it is absolutely silly not to love and not respect that gives you your life! In the new album "CREEDamage", I again rise for protection of the Nature, proving people guilty of the consumer attitude - when natural resources are aggressively taken away from Mother Nature and turned into money to enrich a small group of bankers. I think that world religions are the main problem in this case. Both in Christianity and in Islam, the subject of worship is an improbable fantastic personage. There’s not a line in the bible to recommend people to care for the Nature! That is, from the very beginning it distracts the human being from the real values. But it is Life! Accordingly, all Abrahamic religions are directed to destroy the human being. At least, the human being’s material "ego". Anti-christianity is the main leitmotif of all MUNRUTHEL’s creativity.


7) Please introduce the guest vocals you have on the album to us...

I involved many good musicians from different countries for recording. Alive violins, choir, flutes, acoustic guitars were recorded. Everyone added a particle of own soul in my music, and the album turned out very epic, beautiful and again as sincere as well as “Epoch of Aquarius” is. I invited two guest vocalists to participate. Wulfstan of Forefather and Masha "Scream" of Arkona. They are very good groups and very good people! I am very grateful for their help and I will pay back them with the same support, if they ever ask me!


8) Why did you decide to include a Bathory cover and why 'The lake'?

It is an old dream. I was eager very much to make this track even somewhere in 2000! I was struck by that ballad-like atmosphere. The real Saga about a hero! Although the quality of its sound always disappointed me a little. It would be always desirable to record this song qualitatively, sit down in a chair, put out the light and listen to it. I made this track not for the Tribute "Voices from Valhalla". It has been in work from the very beginning of "CREEDamage" album’s creation. That is, since 2007. It was already much later, when the instrumental part was completely ready, I got to know about this tribute, Wulfstan recorded his vocal parts very quickly (a lot of thanks to him for that!) and in the very last moment I managed to send the track for this compilation. It is surprising that nobody else “occupied” this track. It is a kind of foresight, a gift of Gods! The choir which sounds as a background in refrains was recorded in Lvov. The main vocal was recorded in England. The author of the song comes from Sweden. Here is the real internationalism!


9) You both sing in Russian and English, the latter one (I guess) to give an 'international' dimention to your music. Isthatright?

Sic et Non! Yes, because I had such aim. After releasing "Epoch of Aquarius", I’d got a large number of fans worldwide. I received many letters from other countries. But I understood that people very much liked music and the atmosphere. While Slavonic admirers also admired my lyrics. So, in that moment I decided that next time I will make two variants of an album. And it is not for commercial benefit’s sake. Russian variant is also required, because people in Ukraine and Russia don't want to study a foreign language. It is the fact. But people would cease listening to my songs in English in my Homeland! I always wanted to sing in English, I like this language, my first two albums (SILENTIUM “The Ancients’ Wisdom” and MUNRUTHEL “Yav’, Nav’ And Prav’”) are in English. It is normal. I often do that is pleasant to me, instead of that is necessary for all.


10)You've also collaborated with journalist Sergey Pavlov. What has been his role in the album?

The matter is that Sergey Pavlov is not only a good journalist. He is also a musician/composer (he runs his ambient project AR). He is acquainted with many musical people. And up to 2007 he’d been supporting me as a manager. He is a person about whom people say: “He’s got a real gift!” Sergey is a professional translator and an excellent poet. This wonderful synthesis makes him the best translator of lyrics for groups! He did translation of lyrics for MUNRUTHEL/SILENTIUM, TRIGLAV, SVYATOGOR, ALKONOST, OPRICH, HAGL and GRAI. Sergey lives in the city on the seashore and he is a very kind and hospitable person. He has a fine wife and two daughters. I come every summer with my family to visit his family. So, our relations are more than just business. Specifically, for "CREEDamage", he made poetic translation of the lyrics into English. English-speaking listeners can estimate his talent! Sergey carried on negotiations with Wulfstan for his participation in “The Lake” cover version as a guest vocalist. The success of this cooperation depended exactly on his diplomatic abilities. Sergey always helps me to solve problems of communication with other people. His opinion concerning any aspect, I’m interested in, is always very important to me.


11) The track 'Carphatians Shield' is dedicated to the memory of Mikhail Nechay. Can you please give us more details about this important figure and his assassination?

The lyrics of the track "Carpathians' Shield" is written for me by the vocalist of the cult Ukrainian group Dub Buk. It is based on an ancient legend telling us how separate, and still Pagan tribes from the Carpathians united and stopped the most terrible enemy – the Golden Horde! They blocked up the only passage in the mountains with stones and trees and flooded it with the mountain river. Thus, the most part of the army of the Tartar-Mongolian aggressors was lost. ItrescuedCatholicEuropefromdevastation!

When work on this track was almost finished, I read an article in the press about this awful cruel murder of Mikhailo Nechay – the last real Carpathian pagan magician. He received people in his house, one visitor entered, stayed there too long, and when he left, the sorcerer was found with the cut throat. The police confirmed religious reasons of the crime and the fact of insanity of the murderer because of christianity. Documentary films about Mikhailo Nechay were shot, many scientific articles were written about him during his lifetime. He was a real person able to drive clouds away, that is, he could disperse clouds by motion of his hands, and he was repeatedly asked to do it for carrying out open air festivals. One more fact is surprising. I run a world-music project KOLO and now I work on a new album "Ethnosphera". I got acquainted in the Internet with a female singer, who agreed to sing one song for KOLO. When we already agreed with her about cooperation, I looked over her photographs in a social network and suddenly for myself I learned that she is a granddaughter of that killed molphar (molphar is a Carpathian Pagan wizard)! It was a destiny sign!


12) What does the image on the frontcover of the album represents?

The art concept was invented more by the artist Mstibog. He is a true professional in this area. He offered me his service and I willingly agreed. On the picture the cut-down wood is represented. It was alive, and some stubs still have eyes – shining with their life. We see for what trees were cut down. The christian church was built (here it is a symbol of all christianity in general; it symbolizes the fact that christian morals develop in people their consuming attitude to all natural resources). But the church decayed at once, its walls warped and it looks poorly and gloomy. As a sign of the circumstance that the christianity in Slavic lands was accepted as an official religion, but the souls of our people did not accept it. The basement of this religion of lie is already destroyed and the religion will fail soon. If we look narrowly, it is possible to see that the cut-down pagan idols were also used instead of wooden logs in the rotten church.It is a symbol of destruction of Pagan temples and construction of churches on their places instead of them. It is a very widespread practice around the world. In the fog on the background, we can see a lop-sided ritual funeral cross. This religious symbol existed long before Moses’ invention of the christian doctrine. On other picture we can see a monk who has gone mad because of permissiveness, who paints an icon on the remains of a cut-down idol. There are no undercover senses on these pictures. Everything is clear in any way. The designer also invented another interesting feature. He placed on booklet pages some prints of the blood-stained fingers. It looks as if somebody else has already turned over the pages of the booklet before you. And his hands were in blood!


13) Which other bands in the Ukranian scene would you recomend to us?

I almost don't listen to the music now. I work as a sound engineer in my MoonHome Studio. And now "listen" to the music for me is a kind of business. Therefore, all other free time I try to protect my instrument – ears. Recently I read a lot of classics. Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, Ivan S. Turgenev, Howard Phillips Lovecraft etc. Therefore I can't give you a good advice concerning new groups. Rather, I would advice some interesting books. As for my old friends, you know them in any way: Nokturnal Mortum, Drudkh, Dub Buk, Natural Spirit, Chur.


14) What about your live activity? Do you have any plans in that field?

I feel as a person who is very tired of concerts. Don't forget, I actively play alive during 20 years! I don't like a nomadic way of life in buses, the sandwiches, cold tea, constant problems of non-compliance with technical and common riders. And other reason is simple, I awfully feel in a crowd of people! I love silence, tranquillity. I liked the answer of my friend Valentin “Sever” Agapov (the only participant of the Russian cult project Likholesie) to a similar question. He said: “Concerts? No! I’d rather prefer collect all my lenses and I go outside to the countryside”. I think in the same way! Often I go far away from the city and wander about all day in the woods/fields shooting video. By the way, you can see some result of such shooting in video "CREEDamage" soon. I’m seriously engaged in video production, bought all necessary cinematographic equipment and in winter I’ll start shooting of a short film based on Slavonic legends. You can find more information about my audio-video production studio on my official site


15) Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?

I wish your readers to look to the World through the eyes of a child more often! It is the purest and the most correct look. Without social doctrines, without stupid religious prejudices. In total – as it is! Very good, very bad! A very simple criterion for estimation. Also drive away from yourselves any manifestations of any Abrahamic religions! That’s a lie to destroy the human being and life! In spite of the fact that it sounds so strange.