Interview: WOE UNTO ME

Interview: WOE UNTO ME

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Here you can read an interview I had with Artyom Serdyuk, who is active with several bands: Woe Unto Me, Disloyal and Deathbringer.
Artyom discussed Woe’s new EP Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck and EU postponed tour, next Disloyal album, upcoming Deathbringer news, and others.

Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck is the new EP by Woe Unto Me, and while listening to the album, I realized is deep, doomish, dark. What is the “woe“ behind the EP?
The ”woe” behind the EP is just a small part of the big “WOE” behind the forthcoming album. Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck is not a conceptual record by itself but it has several hints about the concept of the next release. All the names of the tracks in the EP are building a coherent sentence which indicates a part of the concept of the album that we are preparing for the nearest future. And the artwork itself is also a part of the whole concept. When the album will come out listeners will understand the whole idea, but for now, it’s a kind of a small riddle. But what concerns the lyrical concept of the new song Spiral-Shaped Hopewreck; it was inspired by the most eminent art by Ivan Aivazovsky “The Ninth Wave”. The unbridled and powerful forces of nature against the vain ambitions of a human being. The main character tries to escape from himself, to hide from the despair and suffering of his mortal existence. He desperately stands against the wild and mighty waves in his tiny and fragile boat of life. But in the end, this raging storm crushes his hope and these waters devour him.

Four tracks are long titled, is there a reason for that?
Yes, as I mentioned all the names of the songs build a sentence. „And every piece of a being was washed away by the spiral-shaped hopewreck, dissolving and then forming a new image, so sad and slow, sowing itself like seeds into the soil, becoming a chrysalis in the state of lethargica only to wake up in the reality of chaos and burn its wings of creation.” This sentence describes a part of the canvas as if it’s just one panel of the polyptych, which you will be able to understand and see in its entirety when the new full-length album will come out.

Do you consider Woe’s sound changed over the years, the 2014 debut vs the new EP?
Absolutely. I feel that we are constantly developing and progressing. I think we really evolved a lot as musicians since our debut album. I still like A Step Into The Waters Of Forgetfulness of course. It was more about the funeral doom, and it’s very atmospheric, but it’s a pretty much straightforward record. Since then we started to embed a lot of unusual instruments, sounds and effects, techniques to make our music more diverse and unpredictable. We are still playing doom metal in a broad sense but we include many various elements in this definition. We are becoming more and more mature but keeping all these elements we went through in our music and introducing some new components all the time.

 What are the main things that influence you, both in writing the music, approaching the sound, also the bands that have an impact to you.
We draw inspiration from everywhere where it’s possible. The main source is our life of course, everything that is happening around us, everything that stays in our hearts and minds. It’s a reflection of ourselves, our feelings and emotions. Concerning our approach to the sound, we are trying to keep certain originality in each record. We don’t want all our albums to sound the same, so we are experimenting a lot in the studio, trying to find some new and interesting solutions. And the music of other bands obviously influences us. I don’t think that a certain album of a certain band can define our sound, but it can give a considerable amount of inspiration for us. And it can be any type of music, any genre. It’s like even a good pop song can inspire a death metal band to compose a new death metal masterpiece and maybe vice versa, hahah. I listen to a lot of different music when I have time. Currently, it’s for example Klone with their album Le Grand Voyage, Wheel with the fresh release Resident Human, Katatonia’s City Burials, Cannibal Corpse’s Violence Unimagined, Cattle Decapitation’s Death Atlas, Enslaved’s Utgard, Pain Of Salvation’s both last albums In The Passing Light Of Day and Panther, Swallow The Sun, mostly Lumina Aurea and When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light, The Ocean Collective both Phanerozoic I and II, Ulcerate’s Stare Into Death And Be Still, and recently I’m absolutely fascinated by the album Unfold the God Man by the band Psychonaut. I also listen to a lot of Ulver, Pink Floyd, Death, Paradise Lost, Morbid Angel, Wardruna, and many more.

What news can you give us about your other band, Disloyal? When we will hear the new album?
We have recorded a new album with Disloyal during the second half of 2020- first half of 2021. It’s called Divine Miasmata. And it’s now in the process of mixing. I hope it will be finished by the end of September and we will send some promos to the labels, so if everything goes well it should be released in the first half of 2022. I’m very satisfied with the sound that we have achieved. It’s a very strong and agressive album, and I think it’s a bit more groovy and diverse than the previous one. Can’t wait to show it to all the death metal maniacs and to play new songs live.

And the other band, Deathbringer, which there were some infos shared about a new release.
With Deathbringer we have even better news. We just signed a deal with a really awesome label, but I can’t give you the name of it and all the details before the official announcemement. All I can say is that the new album will be released in 2022. We are working on the cover design right now and are preparing all the stuff for promo campaign, also some video, etc. This is going to be a crushing release for sure, so just keep your eyes opened for news and announcements and subscribe to https://www.facebook.com/deathbringerofficial.

You got busy with all the three bands, was the corona pandemic one of the reasons that pushed you ahead and focusing on Woe, Disloyal and Deathbringer’s new music?
I wouldn’t say so, cause I was composing new material for all the three bands even before the pandemic and had a lot of plans for all of them. For sure covid spoiled many intentions but the huge gap between the shows and tours gave extra time to concentrate on the recordings, though this whole madness also caused a lot of problems with getting to the studio, you know, crossing borders and so on, cause I live in Belarus and the studio where I’m recording is situated in Poland. So in general it made all the work more complicated and I’m not sure that it actually helped in anything.

 It was confirmed a tour along with Clouds, will that happen? Do you plan more gigs from autumn or next year?
Yes, ”Mourning Over Europe’’ tour with Clouds, Woe Unto Me, Who Dies In Siberian Slush and Halter is confirmed and will happen. It is postponed for the third time now though. At the present moment, it’s planned to take place during March 31 – April 10, 2022. We all keep our fingers crossed that it was the last time we were forced to postpone it. It’s hard to plan any gigs and tours in such situation, so I don’t think that we are going to plan anything else except this tour until maybe Autumn 2022. Recently we played our first show in 2 years in Minsk- Belarus. It was an amazing feeling to be back on stage. I really hope that this covid insanity will end soon and we all will get back to a normal life.

 How’s the current situation in your home country, Belarus, considering the latest events from there.
The situation in our country is still very strained and stressful. Basically this is a police state right now. Complete lack of rights. State security forces are doing whatever they want. Political repressions. Almost like it was during the Stalin era in USSR, or times of Ceaușescu in Romania. People who are suspected of taking part in the peaceful protests against the authorities who, as you know, falsified the results of the elections to continue the dictator’s reign which lasts almost 27 years already, or showing their attitude by wearing or just having symbols of the opposition like white-red-white flag for example or even simply wearing clothes of certain colors (white with red) are being arrested, kidnapped from their homes by police, imprisoned or penalized. People are suffering for their will to freedom. Some cases are just absurd. You can get several years of prison for the internet comments condemning the regime. Nobody feels safe. We are all at risk of getting arrested and thrown in prison.  The situation is so injust and wrong, so many people suffer from it, that it absolutely negatively affects all of us, causing states of severe depression. Though we are all trying our best to fight these states not giving up.

Artyom, thank you for your time having this chat. Hope to see you soon again on the road!
Thank you so much for this interview, Carla! I also hope to be back on the road as soon as possible. See you soon somewhere! Be safe everybody!

https://www.facebook.com/woeuntome

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