Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:
We want to tell the story of a great historical nation to the world. It could be difficult to dance to our music, but it definitely makes you think and imagine. And if a person starts to think and gets to know the history, such person will be able to make a right choice in critical moments of his or her life. We did such a choice by putting our effort to make intelligent music with relatively small audience, as if we would say to the listener: you can change your life in any way you want, but you need to know your roots and have your ancestors in honour. Despite all the obstacles, we took that risk and created this powerful, serious, rigorous music with elements of Bulgar folk melodism.
All music that we created before Hunnar was more or less experimental. After Nardughan and Triptych, we wanted to create a more conceptual work, through which we could tell the history of centuries-long wars and the reign of great rulers, who had immense influence on the whole human world. So we created a totally new sound using good old ethnic motives of Volga Bulgaria and powerful metal of our days together with various progressive tunes. Such an album doesn’t just sound – it speaks. And it won’t be as simple as Nardughan (although it’s quite hard to call it simple). Album Hunnar is a theatre of sound with the scent of history. It transmits the new vision of future of metal music combining the spirit of the old times together with the modern perspective.
Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?
The band grew and evolved throughout its history. The line up changed a lot of times, so there were many influences. What we have now has grown firstly around the idea of playing heavy music in Tatar language and with national color.
How does your writing process normally work out?
Usually, we accumulate the music material for some period of time, after that we compose it in the studio like a construction toy. When the base is finished, we work on lyrics and vocals. After that, we combine everything into a single set, which we rehearse for the shows. But we also use another method to create songs. This is kind of collective meditation, when we gather at the studio and record a live improvisation. During the record, musicians don’t make any arrangements about tonalities, time signatures, tempos, etc. The music is created in a flow. After such live session (usually 40-60 minutes long), we listen to the result and select some tracks for studio works. Track Tengri is just the case. This song appeared during our very first live improvisation, ALPS 1.0. Now it has become an excellent part of Hunnar album.
What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?
Our goal is to transmit our message to as many people as possible, and we’re aimed to work a lot on that. The more is the reach – the better. Becoming a world-class band would be the best way 🙂
What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?
Each of us listens to a lot of different music. Our preferences in music are almost unlimited. In addition to that, we have been working on this album for a pretty long period, so it would be simply impossible to name all the artists who influenced this piece. Inspired by such variety of music, we recorded improvisation albums and listened to them one after another. That may sound strange, but it feels really great. This is how we approached the idea of Hunnar by putting together all the influences we had after mini-album Triptych.
What’s next for you?
Several music videos for the album and, hopefully, a tour around Europe.