HEY DAMIEN, HOW ARE YOU, WHERE ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE 10 MIN. AGO? Hi Michael. Everything’s all right, now I’m in our small studio where the new paintings for Stielas Storhett and The Unhallowed are being born. Generally I try to spend all my free time here, with recordings, rehearsals etc. ALTHOUGH “EXPULSE” IS ALREADY YOUR 2ND ALBUM, PLEASE GIVE US A LITTLE INTRODUCTION TO STIELAS STORHETT: HOW DID YOU GET INTO HEAVY & EXTREME MUSIC, ESPECIALLY BLACK METAL? From my childhood I was interested in heavy music and musical instruments. I’ve always felt (and I still feel) my need to express myself through creation. Once an inspiration came and I started with musical creation experience. That’s it. ALTHOUGH RUSSIA HAS OPENED UP MORE AND MORE, HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AS A FAN AS WELL AS A MUSICIAN? The one who really wants to do something is looking for chances, and the one who doesn’t is looking for reasons. I’ve always looked for opportunities, so, basically that was not so hard for me. Perhaps that’s harder than in more developed countries but I’m not the one who used to complain. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF “STIELAS STORHETT”? Stielas Storhett is a proper name so it’s untranslatable. It came on my mind when I realized that the time to name my child has come. YOU ARE THE SOLE MEMBER BEHIND STIELAS STORHETT, DO YOU NEED THE FEELING OF FULL CONTROL? It’s not quite it. Unlike my other band, The Unhallowed, I’ve formed Stielas Storhett on my own. As I can play all the instruments I use, there’s no need to involve someone else. HOW IS YOUR WORKING STYLE, RECORDING EVERYTHING YOURSELF? Sure, I record all the instrumental tracks by myself without anyone’s help. The whole recording process is versatile. Sometimes it’s like an alchemy, sometimes it’s draining hellish work. ON YOUR FIRST ALBUM “VANDRER” THE INFLUENCE OF BURZUM AND DARKTHRONE (NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE COVERVERSIONS) IS OMNIPRESENT. WERE THOSE BANDS YOUR MAIN INFLUENCE BACK THEN? Of course that’s not just about these two bands. The fact is that I was frequently listening to my favorites: “Filisofem” by Burzum and “Under a Funeral Moon” by Darkthrone on my way to studio and back during the recording of my debut album so it has dawned upon me to make two coverversions. That was made exactly not to identify a stylistic appurtenance or maybe because of some other absurd principles. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE GERMAN LANGUAGE FOR YOUR LYRICS/ VOCALS? That’s one of the delusions making me smile ever. Frankly speaking I write all my lyrics in Russian, 99% of all the lyrics engaged in Stielas Storhett is also Russian except for a few cases. As far as the first album had to be released by German label Northern Silence I decided to make an appropriate design. Torsten translated the song names and a part of lyrics into German well then, and here we go – that made many people believe that I sing in German as well. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL INTEREST IN “OUR” COUNTRY? Certainly I’m interested in Germany. There’ll be the day for me to visit your country as a tourist with a greatest pleasure. NOW, YOUR NEW ALBUM “EXPULSE” IS ABOUT TO BE RELEASED. IN MY OPINION THERE IS A GREAT DEVELOPMENT, MUSICALLY AND CONCERNING SONGWRITING. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR MUSICAL JOURNEY FROM “VANDRER” TO “SKD” AND FINALLY “EXPULSE”. There’s lack of one element in this procession – a split CD “Death Comes from the North”. Besides two songs by Stielas Storhett I had worked on making music for MOR that also presents an escalation of my musical ideas in reference to my debut. Definitely I didn’t take any efforts to make music sound in some other way. I’ve reproduced by my hands a stuff being transmitted into my head as usual. IS THERE A SPECIAL LYRICAL CONCEPT BEHIND “EXPULSE”? The subject of lyrics is about pain, desperation, hate, death… Self-knowledge through these states. It’s quite personal. HOW EASY/ DIFFICULT WAS THE DECISION TO OPEN UP FOR MORE MUSICAL DIVERSITY, TO EXPAND THE BORDERS, YOUR OWN/ PERSONAL AND OF COURSE “THE SCENE”? I’ve always done in the way I feel as I create music for myself, no matter how selfish it is. Maybe someone wanted me to proceed with my first album’s tendency, nevertheless there are the ones ready to see me who I really am. Anyway there was no decision to change something cardinally. First of all I’ve listened to my heart and followed its tips. ESPECIALLY “ANGEL OF DEATH” (NO SLAYER COVER) IS REALLY IMPRESSING. TELL US ABOUT THE CREATION OF THAT SONG. (AND WHAT THE SPOKEN WORDS-SAMPLES MEAN ) I can hardly tell something “special” about creation of this song but I always create my music under the influence of specific humor and state of mind. I’ve used a same-named poem by Russian classic Nekrasov which he wrote in his youth as a lyrics for “ANGEL OF DEATH”. The spoken words – samples you can meet there are for special atmosphere and mood and they are similar to the verses by meaning. ALSO THE LYRICS, THE HAIR, THE CORPSEPAINT… EVERYTHING CHANGED. WHAT WAS THE INTENTIONS TO LEAVE THOSE (FOR MANY PEOPLE VERY IMPORTANT) TRADEMARKS BEHIND? Lyrics are still Russian, the verses subjects have become even more personal. At the same time I’ve just become tired of hair and do not ever use the corpsepaint as I don’t feel need in that anymore. That would be unfair to do some things that are not so close for you already only according to image or fashion. Anyway, all those aspects are tooooooo far from music and have never affected on it. As well I have nothing to say to those who estimate image “uber alles”. AS A ON MAN-PROJECT A LIVE-PERFORMANCE WOULD NEED A COMPLETE BAND. WHICH PART WOULD YOU PREFER TO TAKE OVER? If I could see myself on a stage with SS concert I would prefer a microphone as it’s the most simple part, haha. But as a matter fact that’s rather hard for me to imagine a live show by SS. SO THERE NO PLANS TO PERFORM LIVE SOME DAY? ANY VISIONS ABOUT PERFORMANCE/ ARTWORK? As I say I can hardly imagine that. Yet it’s due to some obstacles and overcoming them gonna give me nothing. It’s quite enough for me now that I’ve played and got the plans to make a performance with my other band, The Unhallowed. IF YOU COULD VISUALIZE YOUR MUSIC, MAYBE MUSIC VIDEO OR EVEN A MOVIE, HOW WOULD IT TURN OUT? Frankly, I’ve never thought about it. I’m mostly concentrated on music which shows a wide variety of aspects so there are quite enough things for me to think over. I wouldn’t mind if someone did it for me. PLEASE DESCRIBE THE RUSSIAN (BLACK/ EXTREME) METAL SCENE. There ARE respectable bands in our country but very LITTLE. Maybe it’s about my high criteria, maybe something else. An extra fly is musicians’ attitude: conceit, pseudocults, lack of talent and absolute unawareness rule all around. Anyway, I’ve lost all the interest in Russian scene. DO YOU HAVE ANE CONNECTIONS TO THE SCANDINAVIEN SCENE OR/AND THE GERMAN SCENE? No, I don’t, cause I’m not interested in it. I guess we can meet a quintessence of musicians in their albums and I see no sense to bother them. I don’t need to get in their skin or business. ARE THERE ALREADY ANY PLANS FOR FUTURE RELEASES? In fact, I’ve got much of them. I’m looking forward to start recording of new albums by SS. That’s not me who rushes the things, so I just want to admit my great will to move along. LAST QUESTION: IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANY ARTIST TO WORK/PLAY WITH DEAD/ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE? The ideas of playing with someone else had been visiting me from time to time in the past but finally I decided to put all on self-development instead of being satisfied with some “star” participating in my project. Meanwhile recently I’ve taken part in creating of songs for new album by The Way of Purity, great faithful guys. That’s become a wonderful experience and trial for me. THANX FOR YOUR TIME AND THE LAST WORDS ARE YOURS: To all those going to listen to my new album I wish to immerse into the depths of darkness, grief and hatred. Thanks for great questions, good luck on your way!