Nocturnal Euphony International

Blackthorn

Interview 2008: (Band members updated 2010)

Band Members: Aina, Stray Away Cantatrice (vocals), Elvira, Six String Alchemida (guitars), Verbena, Serpentine Bass Witch (bass), Greta (bass), Max, Sightless Lord Tormentor (drums) Varaska (drums), Freya, Symphonic Horror Pyromantium (keyboards),

Blog statement from Freya and band: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=156004168&blogId=538231098

Origin Country: Russia

Gossamer Witchcraft - 2009 (Ravenheart Records), iTunes Digital Release - 2010 (Hunter's Moon)

Araneum - 2009 (Musica Production)

The Prologue of Eschaton (demo) - 2007

http://www.myspace.com/blackthornian

1) I will start by saying I am very intrigued by this band. I really like when a band has a overall idea behind the music. For our readers, please explain the basis or concept behind the music of Blackthorn.

Aina: Thank you. Blackthorn’s ideology was defined at the very beginning of our existence. Living in this boring human world, contemplating the same mortal coil is not for us. We always intentionally tried to destroy rest, comfort and constancy by our music; cause you know, obliteration of habitual rhythm is one of the best ways to discover a new I, raise veils of the ordinary and open your soul to numberless, novel worlds. We are visions of the parallel worlds; we are witches in the wide sense of the word; honestly, my band mates and I are far away from all these naked ritual dances and stewed pipistrelle bats, but anyway, the nature of witchery’s such an interesting, complicated thing and we’ll draw inspiration from its dark sources forever more. Nonetheless, the concerts and photo shoots demand more romantic image, we can’t help it? :)

2) In the band’s description there is an interesting story of the band creation. Please give us the story of Blackthorn’s rise.

Verbena: Maybe the story sounds like a fairy-tale, but actually that’s the truth through the fantasy prism. Aina had a near-death experience nearly 5 years ago, shortly after she realized that she has a bee in her bonnet about creating a female metal band, inspired by magic, afterlife and dismal legends. The idea was strange, the idea seemed even hopeless, but fortunately, goofy things use to attract really enthusiastic people, haha; in short, the next Halloween 2004 we celebrated together as the true black coven or something like that (infectious laughter). Aina, the former members and I began to compose and rehearse our first songs and that's how it all started. Then we began to play concerts, there were a few line-up changes also… It was a normal beginning of normal group activity :)

3) Is Blackthorn’s music a natural progression of the witchcraft and magic basis?

Aina: Of corpse. Wait a minute, I should specify I mean magic of the music, I think all that we do is not so useful for wiccans or black magic adepts. Elvira: Sincere music always has something really supernatural and ethereal. Music’s pure magic for sure. Aina: Right, when music comes from the bottom of a musician’s heart, a border between spell and melody become invisible.

4) Blackthorn hail from Russia, a country that has always had a good metal scene. How has the support been for Blackthorn in your homeland?

Freya: Some people support us (morally), some of them not. Some people like us and some of them not. I don`t know what does it depend on but I think it`s normally not only for Russian metal scene.

5) Your musical style is self described as "Dramatic, Symphonic Metal", however there are many influences that create your sound. What do you think is the most original and unique thing about Blackthorn's music?

Elvira: Almost every band hope that they have unique inimitable sound, I would lie if I said we’re exception :) Blackthorn’s influenced by symphonic black metal (and I think you can see that in our bass- , drum- and guitar- playing), but we don’t have growls or screams, our vocalist sing soprano and recites libretti and that is our current zest. In addition to that, symphonic elements are a big part of our music. Dramatic is the term describing our performances and the atmosphere we try to create. It’ s quite hard to put ourselves into a musical category. Especially over here in Russia a lot of people discuss if we play gothic metal, power metal or even black pop-metal. It’ s quite funny to listen to people trying to figure out about that... Our music is often categorized as gothic metal, but I don't think we would automatically underline that statement. Aina: We can’t give a totally objective opinion about our exclusivity, the listeners should do it. Anyway, the band tries not to be copycats.

6) . Recently you lost keyboardist Olga, what was the reason behind her departure?

Elvira: Olga left Blackthorn due to personal reasons. We appreciate all that she did for us and wish her all the best; she is and was the part of our history. Shortly after Olga’s departure I met Freya. We met in Moscow, at the metal club where she played that night. It was the first time I heard her in the flesh and it was an incredible shock for me. The strength of her expression, the sound, and this incredible violence she has inside which is so strange, weird, and frightening. I soon realized that Freya is not only a stunning keyboardist, but also a nice person to work with.

7. Freya, you are the new master of the keys, what made you decide to try out for Blackthorn, and how has the experience been so far?

Freya: I like this kind of music and I find this band quite interesting for me. So I`m playing here and I like it! As for experience I`ve gained in this band, I can say that experience is the name that everyone gives to his own mistakes, and in this band I`ve made less mistakes than in others.

8) Elvira, as a fellow guitarist I really enjoy your work! I especially like your playing on the track "Willow O the Wisp" tell me about the writing of this piece.

Elvira: That track was recorded a few years ago and I don’t remember much… The album version of this song has really doomish, melancholic guitars, reminding me of Draconian. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

9)Verbena, your rhythm work on bass is very solid. How did you come to play the bass?

I’ve always liked low, monolith sounds of a bass guitar; I would always turn up the bass tone or equalizer on a stereo so I could hear the bass better. When I was in high school, my cousin bought me a bass guitar for my b-day; I was absolutely happy! I supposed it would be nice to take a few private lessons, but nothing serious. I honestly never expected to play in a band until I met Blackthorn! :)

10) Aina, have you had any formal vocal training? and have you worked with any other musical projects?

Aina: Actually I’m still a student, going to have a Master in classical singing from Maymonid Moscow State Classics Academy. In September of this year, I began to take private folk singing lessons, so let's wait and see how it will work out for the music ;) As for side projects, right now I am 100% dedicated to Blackthorn, maybe in the future, who knows!

11) Who is playing drums and percussion for Blackthorn?

Verbena: It’s not a secret anymore, we have a permanent drummer, his name is Max and yes, he’s absolutely blind. Let me take the question out of your mouth – nope, we didn’t plan to find a sightless drummer; it was destiny or something else. However, we’re really glad to play with Max and do admire his skills and persistence.

12) Most importantly Blackthorn have a new album coming out. When can we expect it, and is there a title yet?

Aina : Yep, its release is just around the corner. The title of our new album is 'Gossamer Witchcraft' and I think it perfectly fit as a cd name for the band consisting of four girls! I mean, you can take the title as magic of cobwebs floating in air or you can take it as delicate witchcraft - the latter sounds so feminine, I think. This album is a journey through the pages of Black Book of Shadows and a storyline behind the lyrics is relating to eschaton, again. This time we chose cobweb as a symbol, its esoteric definition is fatality and fragility of mankind, cobwebs also reflect lethality, labyrinth of time, ancient knowledge and the hidden things that must die… Here I must say GW is a transition between old Blackthorn and the new one, I hope, you understand me. You can call it Russian superstition, but I don’t dare to set the release date, no way :) The album is almost complete and will be released later this year, that's all I can promise now.

13) Where can fans get the album and other Blackthorn merchandise?

Elvira: Of course, we'll use the best efforts to spread our music & merchandise all around the world. At least in those countries where metal heads are, heh. Actually, such stuff depends on a label that we’ll choose.

14) In closing I ask each of you, what does being in Blackthorn mean to you?

Aina: I feel myself the happiest vocalist in the world, despite of everything. Of course, sometimes we have some problems relating to the female line up, but tell me, can every musician HONESTLY admit that his band is his family, universe, pride, joy, the reason for being, a core inside Lucky me, I can do that now. Verbena: The Blackthorn Alliance is my Family with a capital F! A lot has changed, but me and my band always went hand in hand. Sometimes life just a curse and your band is the only thing that keep you alive in the sea of sadness. I’ll never feel alone with Blackthorn by my side. Freya: It seems to me, that our band is much more than a group of musicians that plays, sings, records and performs. It is a really friendly family, which can work together and play interesting music. Elvira: Blackthorn has changed my life, my outlook. I've found definitely MY place, the place where I can realize the musical ideas, enjoy my time and make metal that I want to hear. It is responsibility, lifestyle, even philosophy. All that I do is for my band.

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