Heathen Harvest: Can you begin by explaining how you originally became interested in recording music?
Wolfsblood: At first, I would say, that I hated pop-music from my childhood because of deceive and falsity, I always preferred dark and gloomy music. I was searching the music, which suited for me all the time. At the beginning I listened to different kinds of music. It was, from the one side, art-rock as Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis, and King Crimson. From the other side, it was hard enough music like Black Flag, Agnostic Front and, of course, new bands, which were appeared in that time - My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and Anathema. In the year 1993 I met one guy, which helped me to find another interesting direction, mostly industrial, such as Swans, Coil, and Psychic TV. Gradually, I had found the gothic style. I honestly fell in love - Lacrimosa, Das Ich, Goethes Erben and many others. At the same time I started listening to dark folk music. The first CDs were In Gowan Ring “Love Charms”, Current 93 “Of ruin of some blazing stare”, The Moon Lay hidden beneath a Cloud “A new soldier follows...” и Sol Invictus “Death Of The West”. To this time I was disappointed in gothic subculture - too much unreal, false, and unnatural. In the middle of the year 2001 I created the "Seidr" webzine, which was totally dedicated to dark folk and paganism.
In the year 1993 I started writing quite dark and romantic poems. Later I'd heard couple of albums of Radio Werewolf project - and my music concepts were totally changed, it seemed like ritual and radio show at the same time. Exactly radio Werewolf inspired me, gave the belief, that I, not being the musician, but having the Idea, could make something interesting. So I started to find some musical background to my poems. My first experience was too naive, and I don't want to remember about that, anyway there were serious spiritual changes in me since that time. My meeting with dark folk band Romowe Rikoito vocalist Niktorius from Koenigsberg influenced on the appear of “Twilight of the World” album. This meeting changed into combined ritual-folk project Weldisna (Legacy in ancient Prussian), which had existed over a period in several years, during this period we gave three official shows on the Prutena Festival.
HH: Are there specific musicians or artists that directly influenced you towards recording music?
WB: As I've said before, it was, firstly, Radio Werewolf, Freya Aswynn, as well, her albums and the book "Northern Magic.” Partly it was beautiful Alzbeth and The Moon lay hidden beneath a Cloud, and, of course, Sonnwin, which could make very good atmosphere in their "Fehu" album.
HH: Wolfsblood is a one man project. Did you intend that Wolfsblood be primarily you along with guest musicians from the start?
WB: Yes. At first, it was my solo project, and then, making new compositions, I started inviting my friends to "color" my album with their voices and instruments.
HH: How did you come about choosing the name “Wolfsblood” and what significance does it have for you? Is this your name as well?
WB: Well, the answer is very simple ^_^. If you tape Wolfsblood in the search engine, you will see only one variant, except me - it is the title of the album and composition of the same name of one American punk - hardcore band Misfits. In fact, I don't like this song at all. But when I started my own poems, I was listening to Danzig and his perfect album “Lucifuge.” I've collected the information about Glenn (former vocalist of Misfits) and photos. On the one of the pictures I'd seen his tattoo - the wolf with the inscription "Wolfsblood.” After that one tattoo master made me almost the same tattoo (but the wolf is another).
So, when the question "How to sign the poems" appeared, I'd decided to use the name of Wolfsblood. I didn't like my real name ever and my friends usually called me Wolfsblood. I'm with this name and it is for all my life.
HH: Can you explain the title of the album?
WB: Sure. The world is changing and it's changing not for good. Modern civilization leads the world to self-destruction. I see how this world is dying. The twilight of the world is our time, the time before the last step to the Eternal Darkness.
HH: The album “Twilight of the World” embodies strong references to Northern European pre-Christian spiritual and cultural beliefs with an emphasis on the use of runes in the artwork and as themes for various songs. What is Wolfsblood connection to ancient Northern European culture and spirituality?
WB: Northern shamanism and runes always inspired me. Simply, it is what I have inside, I can't explain that. From the other side, I understand I'm not pure Norwegian or Swede, that I'm Russian. And we, Russians, have our own Slavic way. Probably, this point of view will be reflected in my next projects.
HH: The songs of Wolfsblood have a very dreamy / ritualistic feel that is very different from the more straight forward guitar strumming neofolk that dominates the neofolk genre. What drew you towards communicating your artistic vision through more natural / primitive musical forms such as chanting, drumming etc?
WB: My purpose wasn't trying to make dark folk album with "straight forward guitar.” The purpose was to create esoteric, ritual album, very imaginative. The album, making special, Northern mood, leading through the ancient roads, where northern winds and the howl of the wolves are binding in magic reality.
HH: Though Wolfsblood includes an English translation for each song the lyrics of Wolfsblood are all sung in Russian. What influenced your decision to record in your native language?
WB: I write my poems in Russian. I know English quite bad. And the album was, firstly, made for Russian audience. As for English-speaking audience, I think, that it is much more pleasant to listen to pure Russian language, than defaced English.
HH: Being that the songs of Wolfsblood are very untraditional can you please explain how you go about composing the music? Are the songs written before they are recorded or is the music created through improvisation?
WB: That's a difficult question. Everything depends on inspiration. In common, as a rule, at first the text appears, and then, around the text starts appearing the sounds.
HH: How much do the guest musicians that work with you contribute to the compositional process?
WB: In some compositions my guest musicians played the main role. I could say that there would have never been those compositions without them. For example, the guitar of Pjotr Sviridov in the Spritual Death or keyboard of Marinika in Fight with the System. I can mark out the role of female vocalist Vigdis Sol. who perfectly got done with the task and harmoniously entered to my album's sound canvas.
HH: Can you discuss what draws you to use traditional instruments as well as electronic instruments and sounds?
WB: I suppose that it is done to achieve the solidity of speech and in the same time to achieve the unified picture. Actually, I estimate my work as a listener, not as a musician.
HH: Do you consider yourself an active participant in the “radical traditionalist” movement or Heathen cultures and if so how do you participate or relate to these communities and ideas?
WB: I'm treating those people to great caution, because, as a rule, they join to the ultra-right nationalists. Earlier I was more romantic about that stuff, but now everything is changing.
HH: The music of Wolfsblood not only mourns and remembers the loss of our heathen culture and tradition but also speaks of a coming age when the current Christian dominated Western culture that now dominates us falls away in the face of a heathen renewal. Can you discuss these themes of a coming Heathen or golden age?
WB: What does it mean - the future of paganism? Paganism never pretend to be state religion, paganists existed in all the times and they will exist. Most of the people stopped believing in anything at all, except money. We need coming of the New Avatar, which will return the Belief to people and will make new religion instead of old Christianity. This will change the world. But when will it be? Anyway, we live n very difficult time, when the human being is changing into the consumer of Everything.
HH: Do you feel that reclaiming our lost traditions of folklore, culture, and spirituality could change our path towards inevitable consumption related destruction?
WB: I'm not an idealist. But we have to give the chance to people to believe that it is possible.
HH: This vision of a new “Heathen age” is dependent upon the collapse of our current Western Tradition. Do you believe this inevitable collapse is underway and can you give examples?
WB: People don't feel the nature any more. They live in big cities and their brains are programmed by Big Brother. They are consumers, who were born to consume. They must pay for this opportunity.
HH: Is the music of Wolfsblood influenced by your own political as well as spiritual beliefs? If so can you discuss some of your political thoughts that have surfaced in the music?
WB: I have no purpose to make a political album. What about my political believes, I like neither communism, nor Nazism, nor modern Jewish democracy. Maybe, I'm racist partly. I don't want Moscow to be an Asian city. I want to see pure French or British on the streets of London or Paris .
HH: Wolfsblood is located in Russia . Do you feel as if there is a new level of artistic expression and freedom since the Soviet Union collapsed?
WB: Of course, we have much more freedom for creative self-expression in now. If I had been recorded my album in Soviet Union, I would have been in mental asylum.
HH: Wolfsblood's debut album “Twilight of the World” was released by Cynfeirdd Records of France . Can you discuss how you came about working with the crew at Cynnfierd?
WB: It was very simple. I've sent my demo to six labels, and Alex from Cynnfierd was the first to answer the call of the publisher. In fact, Alex has already published albums of two Russian bands - Tanquam and Neutral, and the idea to send him my CD was quite obvious, though my material wasn't typical for Cynnfierd.
I would publish the album in Russian with pleasure, but there are not any serious labels which could be interested in such music.
HH: Do you receive any local support for your music in Russia?
WB: Yes, I've already got some comments from people all over Russian, and all of comments were positive. It's good, because it helps me to continue.
HH: Can you share any future plans for Wolfsblood? Will there be a second album or possible live appearances?
WB: Gradually I collect material for new album, but I have no idea, when it is going to be ready. I have thoughts about live show, but I need not only guest musicians, but spiritually close people, which I don't have at the moment near to me.
HH: And lastly, is there anything you would like to say in parting?
WB: Try to find your own Way, learn to read between the lines and never fall under foreign influence.
Translated by Vigdis Sol © 2005