Scorpio: Hallo, Yaroslav, how are you?
Yaroslav: Fine, thanks. I'm in process of composing new poetry, new song. In case you compose anything you start to seize the day.
Scorpio: Tell us brief your band history. And your latest news, and don't forget to introduce us your young talent - Tatiana.
Yaroslav: In 1996 me and Tihon Zolotov left ARIZONA band and assembled our own project called GFM, renamed into DIVINA ENEMA in 1997. In 1998 we recorded our debut demo "To wight shalt never SHINE" and released it ourselves in MC format through our label iDeamon Inside in 1999. The album was highly appreciated and nowadays gains a cult status within CIS underground. In 2001 we had our second album "At the Conclave" released through Eldritch Music, which received abroad response. By 2002 we were offered a deal from Canadian label GREAT WHITE NORTH to re-release "At the Conclave" and to have a new album released. In 2003 we released "Under Phoenix Phenomenon" through More Hate in Russia and Great White North Canada. DIVINA ENEMA has been a studio project recently performing just a few gigs in Minsk. Now we have people enough to play regularly and we would love to play gigs anywhere. Tatiana has been playing with us for half a year, she is a talented musician, a nice friend and a pretty girl. We love to her with us. I hope you will appreciate her talent on our new album and alive.
Scorpio: Let's talk in details about "Under Phoenix Phenomenon". We need to consider it as a performance album. The music is pretty much diverse and the manner of vocals is very special. Not well-informed might think it bullshit. What would you say?
Yaroslav: Yeah… there are such listeners. Writer Bunin was right say - " I am not a bank note to be loved by everyone". Some people are confused by schizo vocals, some find out sexual minority motives, some just do without comprehension - I am not intending to react to attacks of unhappy folks. Get what you want. We compose our music and lyrics and do not impose anything. Music market is filled with different music. Make up your choice, the choice of your soul and nature, is that correct?
Scorpio: Exactly. So, what was the reaction? I checked your guestbook and noted friendly posts from States and even China.
Yaroslav: Yes, DIVINA ENEMA has a lot of friends and that's good. We receive completely different reviews on "Under Phoenix Phenomenon". Some people just love it, the other are bursting with disgust. Anyway, we receive reaction which means we're on the right way. I need to say it again - the market is overcrowded. I am fond of metal music and I am not always eager to listen till the end many first class bands. So what can we say about versed listeners? In case someone listens to our music and tries to understand it - that's too much as it is. I like music worrying somebody. Worrying ourselves is too much as well. Without it there's no sense.
Scorpio: As I know you were inspired by a newspaper article - "Diary of a Madman". At least the front cover reveals the background. Am I right? What's the story?
Yaroslav: You are absolutely right. The article was a catalyst. That's why we placed it on our front cover to commemorate the tragedy of the character. The article troubled me so much that I made up my mind to make the whole album about it. I hope our efforts won't be in vain. The article was about the tragedy of a schizophrenic with an extravagant suicide method that leaves no body. The articled quoted the guy's diary, yeah, it was really my inspiration.
Scorpio: How did it occur to you to record conceptual album? Who was the initiator?
Yaroslav: It happened at once, there was no definite decision to make conceptual things. It might be DIVINA ENEMA's fate, our sacred formula for everyone involved into the project. And everything is a'correlating.
Scorpio: How long did it take you to compose the whole lyrics?
Yaroslav: A year or so maybe.
Scorpio: You compose excellent verses using good English. Have you got a foreign language education?
Yaroslav: Thanks for paying a compliment. I haven't got such an education but a language connected job. So, no probs here. Since my childhood I've been loving English, and everything works out good finally.
Scorpio: Your lyrics deals with demons, do you really think they surround us? Do you know what is "daemon" in computing? A functional invisible program! Does it correlate to people?
Yaroslav: Exactly. We are surrounded by thousands of things we never see. But the demons we are talking about on our latest album are rather material than ephemeral. There are things that we bear ourselves. Sometimes by chance. Making dirt and taking it for granted. Under Phoenix Phenomenon can be treated as a litter bin… a certain black hole. It was decided so. I like to see it works. Created to accept spittles. Yet, I might be talking nonsense.
Scorpio: Many fans say that in spite of cheap prices for bootleg CDs they lack a lot, and first of all many paged booklets. In your case it would be a catastrophe - too hard to obtain further insight into your album. What do you think of bootleggers?
Yaroslav: It is too bad. Labels and musicians get bankrupt because of them. Unfortunately even our licensing firms distribute their products in forbidden areas. We have faced that problem. And it is damn sad to lose trust.
Scorpio: Don't you think that bootlegging is USSR remnant? At that time everything was common, done for friendship or for alcohol. Right we've started to realize we must pay in order to be paid for but normally we don't like to pay.
Yaroslav: I don't know. Things are different. USSR has nothing in common with it. I don't really remember USSR years. People are similar everywhere, no matter in Germany or Norway. Nobody likes to pay. All in all I can hardly grad people I like.
Scorpio: The atmosphere of the album has much in common with Goethe's "Faust" and Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita". I guess you like both of them.
Yaroslav: Oh, so many compliments. Yeah, the books are marvelous, I totally agree with you. I've read "Master and Margarita" not less than five times!
Scorpio: How do you like Mayakovski? I remember his verse - "Could you play a nocturne with a drainpipe flute", it had no rhyme. I was a schoolboy and thought I would never learn it by heart. It turned out it easily into my mind. How do you think he composed such verses. Do you like his poetry?
Yaroslav: I believe Vladimir Mayakovski a rare genius. Such verses just occur in mind. We cannot influence them. These voices we follows and hardly control. I adore Mayakovski. He is my favourite poet.
Scorpio: Let's get down to music. Your multifarious suits your conception perfectly. Is it hard to compose music after lyrics. Or do you compose music first?
Yaroslav: Actually we are simultaneous. Each poem contains melody, you just need to hear its sound. Some poems emerge like songs, right on the spot. Sometimes music brings words, you just need to figure them out.
Scorpio: What music do DIVINA ENEMA musicians listen to? I guess no limits!
Yaroslav: Right! We listen to everything. Jazz, black, pop music, heavy metal. The main criteria is the feeling of bar, structure and inspiration. Such music will always be interested. Even if people are not professional or write simple verses. They might play any music, everything - EMPEROR or PET SHOP BOYS.
Scorpio: What's up with your first track - weird noise? I though my speakers gone wrong. Or maybe someone just spoiled your song?
Yaroslav: It's done on purpose. The album's start is too pompous and then something hurts your ears. In case you loan for pathos - plug in MANOWAR. We follow the other way, we perform plays. We perform a farce. Grotesque is our style. No pathos. Laughing in tears.
Scorpio: So about your live activity?
Yaroslav: Oh… we are getting prepared. I suppose it's worth something. We haven't played a lot recently.
Scorpio: How do you form your set list? I suppose if you gonna play "Under Phoenix Phenomenon" tracks you need to play all of them!
Yaroslav: That's not possible. The album is to long. And we would love to play other songs as well. And to survive. Our presentset list includes Of Day and Funeral To Come, Iron Megaira, No Corpse - No Funeral (brilliant metal version, album version is also good but too hard to perform alive. It is one of the core songs and we just have to play it!) , Fee Nicks Fen' Omen On'… maybe something else. Longs songs like A Handful of Hay are wearisome both for musicians and listeners. We'll see. Presently we gonna be more energetic on stage.
Scorpio: What about my favourite Demon Mastery Top level?
Yaroslav: We thought of it recently. We'll see, check your time.
Scorpio: Why there are many extraordinary bands in Belarus: VICIAOUS CRUSADE, ZHICH, DEADMARSH, DIVINA ENEMA of course. Their music is original and doesn't suit any definite metal genre.
Yaroslav: Any land has many talented people. And Belarus is not an exception. The main reason is craving for expression. I might discourse on Belarus climate but that's bullshit. England and Norway have got more phenomena.
Scorpio: Are there new talents in Belarus we can hear soon?
Yaroslav: Of course there are! SANATENA, WEEPING TWILIGHT, SERDTZE… I suppose there are some we haven't heard ourselves. Unfortunately Belarus is economically unstable and most musicians have all these ordinary jobs, sometimes several jobs. It is very hard to work and to be a musician, yet it is another pair of shoes.
Scorpio: Would you agree that extraordinary things attract steadfast attention? E.g. HIGHTWISH with female opera vocals, FINNTROLL with lively humpa, APACALYPTICA with cellos?
Yaroslav: That's true. Attention is one thing. The other thing is singularity becoming the main feature, a production line with 10 NIGHTWISH-clone bands or 48 similar FINNTROLL-clone bands, while more original bands like ATROX or VIRUS remain unknown. We observe here original music views and not all listeners are ready for them. I believe DIAMANDA GALAS a great phenomenon for they gain some popularity.
Scorpio: I mentioned three Finish bands. Looks like the Finish are quite keen in experimenting.
Yaroslav: Definitely not. I think the Norwegian more original and miraculous, look at them - DODHEIMSGARD, VED BUENS ENDE, ATROX, VIRUS, CADAVER INC., EMPEROR, LIMBONIC ART, MADDER MORTEM, FLUERITY, RAM-ZETH and more!
Scorpio: Give us your final hails, all our readers would appreciate your English verses!
We never try to reach the bottom
Or suffer under barrel-gun
For those who scared as not to run
Into infernal door wide open
Behold the sun ascending high
Forget the pains, abandon cellars
Which night provided for the child
Who can neither peruse nor cry
All of the hidden lamentations
Among which chaos pressed 2 dwell us! ;-)
Scorpio: Thanx a lot for your grandiose poetical final words! We wish you good luck!
Yaroslav: Thank you for your attention towards DIVINA ENEMA! We appreciate your friendly support! Hope to meet you soon in concert halls!