Interview with Eli Mavrychev (vocal, guitar) and Igor Butz (bass) of Vorvaň
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Eli: After recording we spent a lot of time on the artwork, production and preparing everything for the release, we finished the work on the official music video. Meanwhile we were writing the new stuff, trying to merge our ideas and compose the tunes we think should become our next step after OLWL, there are tons of things to be added, revised, changed.
2.You have a new album coming out in October, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Igor: We were always recording our music by ourselves at our studio which by the beginning of work on OLWL made us gather enough experience, get rid of the past mistakes and do our best to have this album sound as powerful as possible. This time we had more tech tools, more mic channels, more advanced recording interface and of course more studio background. And certainly the mastership of Kurt Ballou and Brad Boatright has brought the final sound up to the international standard, we are very grateful for their help.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Eli: I’d like to say that the topics and lyrics it selves became much more mature on OLWL. All songs’ ideas are different but united under the atmosphere of the whole work, most of them are sad and sometimes even depressive I believe. There were no bounds for me during the lyrics creation process, I tried to mix the things we worry about, our own experience and our visions merging it all in both fiction stories and plots based on the real events. The subjects are touching different aspects of life - spiritual conditions, internal struggles, inevitable treason of system, world’s incompleteness and diseases. But the most important thing is that we tried to express the whole picture from a beautiful perspective. Our friend and a great artist Hal Rotter has created the finest visual art guided by us and our music through each theme. This became not just an artwork but a strong collaboration we are very happy about. All OLWL physical copies will be containing huge booklets with the full art.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name ‘Vorvaň’?
Igor: Herman Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’ became an inspiration to name the band Vorvaň.
Eli: In old Slavic it stands for the whale oil which used to be so desirable for the whalers in the past. We’re passionate about any animal being’s safeness, Vorvaň seemed for us to be a cool name for the band.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Eli: Every show is special for us, even not quite successful ones give us some new experience, new ideas on the things to improve. All of us love to freely express ourselves on a stage trying to make our performance forceful and energetic. We care a lot about the live sound and always try to respect the audience, appreciating everyone who’s showing up. We have played many shows in Europe, Russia and CIS-area over the past years, met a lot of rad people that supported us, helped us and behaved so kindly and hospitably. We’ll never forget the shows where we shared stage with the bands that years ago had encouraged us to start our music journey. We had great time talking to guys from Napalm Death, Converge and Extreme Noise Terror, they’re very open and always eager to give an advice or a hint, tell their own opinion.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Eli: The small tour is planned for October and the shows schedule will be announced soon.
7.You have a few quests on the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and there contributions to the recording?
Eli: To make the vocals more varicoloured I offered two of our great buddies to take part in our recording. Meghan O’Neil Pennie, who is known as a vocalist for California based bands Punch and Super Unison, made a performance on “Sirens” and Armin Schweiger, the frontman for Afgrund, Distaste and GodHateCode, made a contribution to the vocals on “The Black Kaleidoscope”. We’re glad and proud that guys were absolutely into the idea and happy about results that even surpassed all expectations. They both became a really great fit! Also we’d like to thank Jack Shirley and Lukas Haidinger for the additional recording.
8.You have also done a 'Machine Head' cover before in the past, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?
Igor: I used to be a huge Machine Head fan and “Struck a Nerve” is one of their maddest songs. I’ve been carrying a thought of doing this cover for a long time.
Eli: This song is a blast and we surely had fun recording the cover. The OLWL double LP holders will have it as a bonus.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and hardcore?
Eli: We’re not well known worldwide. Some fans do order our records and merch from different places all over the world following us mostly in Facebook or finding articles/reviews in the underground music zines, we’re very grateful for this. The feedback has been positive so far though we would like to present OLWL as a brand new level the band has achieved and not look back. Hopefully people will enjoy the work we put so much efforts and time on.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Eli: We never know in advance how our music is going to be changed. We just keep on playing what we want, experimenting and mixing different genres. Every band member takes part in composing the new stuff, we love seeing how our style is being naturally developed. OLWL illuminates our art from different sides, from some new sides. For us it is important to create something we haven’t done before, the further we go writing our music together the more inspiration we get.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Igor: In my opinion such bands as Converge, Disfear and Mastodon made the most significant influence on our music.
Eli: Actually the list of influences is very huge and not only hardcore, metal or punk collectives appear there. Despite the fact we’re committed to the heavy music we love listening to variety of stuff. Every member has his own taste, we love expanding our knowledge and sharing discovered music between each other.
Igor: For example generally I can listen to anything that carries some fresh and non trivial ideas.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Eli: Each of us spends the vast majority of time on music and music related duties. For example Igor works and grows as a sound engineer, Eugene and Zakk are involved in some various heavy and none-heavy music projects. We don’t think that other interests should be mentioned. No matter what life prepares and where it brings us so far, we are dedicated to the art.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Eli: Thanks to every person who keeps supporting underground bands and independent labels, this is very important.