We are joined by LXIV from WOLAND founded in the year 2010. In 2011 they released a double single called “Conquer All & Live Forever” for the international event Finnish Metal Expo. While the songs have been freely streamable online, WOLAND focused on their full length album “Hyperion”, which is since completed and features elements from flamenco guitar to jazz piano, resulting in a unique and modern outcome.
Why the name Woland?
It originates from Bulgagov’s classic Master and Margarithe. The tone of the novel provides us with some good parallels on ‘how’ we approach black metal and thematics associated with it
How do audiences react to your live shows?
The reception has been somewhat panegyric accompanied with some bursts of discontent.
If some people feel ecstatic while other people feel the urge to wave their middle fingers at us, we are clearly doing something right.
What is the best live experience you’ve had so far?
As of yet, we don’t have enough material but both our shows last year where met with excitement and praise.
What are your musical influences?
Our tastes are quite different, what we do share is a long history with black metal. We both grew up listening to the 90’s era classics, that’s what anchors us to this band. I believe W’s still quite active in the black metal scene, and is well versed in what’s going on, who’s working with who etc. I on the other hand have long ago lost interest in metal music not counting a few interesting acts.
What is the harshest criticism you’ve had as a band?
We’ve had some good reviews on our album and live performances and some extremely malevolent comments. That’s the way I like it. Considering criticism or praise, I really don’t care, as long as the reaction is deep and fundamental. I know Hyperion is a great album. “It’s ok”, is the worst.. that makes me want to throw something through the wall. Ecstasy is good, pure utter hatred is good. That’s nothing.. Something that’s ‘ok’ might as well not exist.
How much of your live set is planned and rehearsed?
Well, since we use backing tracks and invest some thought in lights and video installations, due to technical reasons that somewhat ties our hands a bit, of course considering solos, transitions, fills etc we leave some wiggle room for each other to throw ideas and communicate on stage.
What do you guys do when not playing in Woland? Do you have any other talents?
Our rhythm department consists of full time musicians, and they have some other noteworthy projects when not tied to Woland. W’s a graphical designer and the frontman of Cavus. I’m an audio engineer by trade.
The Hyperion album teaser is very sexual and yet disturbing. What kind of reaction are you after?
They are probably the two dominant feelings we are trying to evoke. The evocation of sexuality is a pretty strong underlying theme on the whole album so naturally it shows in our visual material also. Considering the disturbing side of the visuals, there is, of course, the simple notion of our personal interest towards these types of visuals, but personally, I see it more like a De Sade type of view to observe the world.
What advice would you give to any aspiring musicians reading this interview?
Fuck old school. Learn the rules, break the rules.
What’s next for Woland?
As I’m typing this our album Hyperion is being released worldwide, and we are packing our bags for Blastfest, Bergen for our album release show. We have some shows here and there, some festivals in the summer and hopefully a tour.
Interview by Daniel Bateman