Friday, May 29, 2009

Seeing Red: An interview with Russian folk metal band KALEVALA!

I recently did an interview with the Russian folk metal band KALEVALA for my gig at I don't normally plug my other stuff here, but I think this band really needs to get noticed. Here is my lead-in to help get you in the mood:

It may seem an obvious notion, but MySpace truly does offer a world of music at one’s fingertips. Anyone can log on and search for new music by style, looking through Top Friends of other bands, or simply wait for those pesky Friend Requests to pile up in one’s in-box. Many bands abuse this capability and use MySpace simply as press release fodder (like having x-amount of MySpace friends means anything to the industry). However, there are those honest bands who use the tools simply to promote their music and put it out there for anyone to enjoy.

It was here that I stumbled upon a genre of music that I previously was unaware of, that of Russian folk metal. About a month ago, I received a Friend Request from the Moscow-based band Kalevala, most likely due my “Friendship” with bands like Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow. But rather than delete this message, I became curious, largely due to the name; why would a Russian band name itself after a collection of Finnish folklore? So I went to the page and checked them out. A week later, I had the CD, courtesy of Napalm Records European mail order (it is not available stateside, unfortunately).

I was enthralled with the music so much, I decided to research music in the area and was surprised to find an entire scene of great folk music in the Russian vicinity; bands like Tenochtitlan, Arkona, Pagan Reign and several others, some of whom have been releasing music for ten years. Until this point, my only exposure to Russian hard rock / metal was limited to Autograph and Gorky Park. Unfortunately, this phenomenon was not covered in Sam Dunn’s documentary Global Metal, and shame on him for overlooking it. Regardless, my eyes have been opened to a new wellspring of fantastic music, and all started because of a band called Kalevala.

You can read the interview here!

Thanks for checking it out!

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