Questions by Vard Aman

Interview collected by Miriam C.

Mysterya, from Kiev in Ukraine have quickly established themselves as one of the hottest prospects in Female Fronted Metal, thanks to their signature sound and unique vocalist of a quality and timbre that makes you drop whatever you’re doing at the time and pay attention. As the protesters gathered on Maidan for a say in the future of their country, we managed to catch up with two of Mysterya‘s masterminds: vocalist Anyri (Irina), and guitarist, Ivan.
Hi, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. Thanks for this interview! How are you?

Anyri: We are great!! Hi to everybody, we are glad to finally answer your questions.

When and how did Mysterya moved its first steps?

Ivan: Mysterya officially started on 27 December 2007. But we already knew each other and had worked together for few months before we found a name for our band and Mysterya officially was born.

Since we’re talking about the inception of the band – would you like to share how you came up with the band’s name? What was the inspiration for the name?

Anyri: We wanted to find a name which would mean what we wanted to do and to say, and sound great at the same time. It took us quite a long time to find a name, but after lots of discussion the name Mysterya came out and we all understood at the moment that that was it, it is exactly what we wanted. Mysterya means something mysterious, something unknown, something that makes you want to try it. And it also expresses our feelings while creating music. You can not express it with words.

And I think that this feeling connects with your debut album “Symbiont”. It seems like the end product of a lot of long and hard work, you must be really happy with it. Tell us a bit about the writing and recording process.

Ivan: I would say that it was complicated, especially because we were creating and recording a full 12-track album for the first time. But at the same time it was so great – we had no rules, no restrictions or frames. It was our first work and with it we wanted to speak freely and tell the people who we are, what we feel, how we feel the music. So it was great, we opened the whole world for ourselves, and now we want only to go on and do more music and as soon as we can.

What were the difficulties that you faced during the recordings?

Anyri: The main difficulty was not to lose track of the hard metal sound and to show the melodic, symphonic parts, so that the listener could feel the beauty of classic instruments and the beautiful female vocals in the hard metal music. We worked hard to combine those two emotions. It was not easy, but we hope the result is worth the efforts.

What has been the reaction to the album so far? I mean reviews in magazines, webzines etc…

Anyri: I think that the feedback has been great, especially on the internet. So many people wrote great comments and bought our CD. People at our concerts know the words of all the songs, it is very nice. And of course an interview with you is a great feedback also.

You’re welcome Anyri, you know it’s a great pleasure for me too! Would you tell us more about the lyrics on “Symbiont”? What are the topic treated in it and what is your favourite song and why?

Anyri: Every song is special. And no less than the music, the lyrics for every song shows some feelings and emotions that I’ve experienced and wanted to share with listeners. That is why they are very personal for me. My favorite is “За всех” (Za vseh) I think… It is very deep for me and partly it based on the biography of my great-grandfather.

Ivan: I would say “Живи всерьёз” (Zhivi vserjoz) as the one I like the most. Maybe because it is close to me, my thoughts, and the meaning that it has. I share it very closely.

Would like to share some thoughts about its cover subject (especially the violin and the roots) and what it portrays?

Ivan: It shows the nature of the music. The cello growing from the ground shows that the music is an inseparable part of our life and of our nature. It can also be very different and it has its roots deep in the minds and hearts of people. And our album as our personal contribution was born there, deep inside our souls.

Who’s is the artist who crafted the cover?

Anyri: I cannot name someone concrete, the idea was born from me and Ivan, but the whole band helped us to create the final image.

Anyri, how many different languages do you sing in?

Russian, Ukrainian, German and English so far. I would like to sing in more languages, especially Japanese.

Oh I love Japanese! Who’s not familiar with the languages, can you tell how different the Russian is from Ukrainian?

Anyri: Probably the same as the difference between English and German. For example, there are words that are similar, and anyone who knows one language can guess what a word means when they hear a word similar to the one they know in another language. But they are completely different languages perceptionally. For me the Ukrainian language sounds more like French. It sounds very musical. I love it. Many people ask me: Why not one language? I just feel some songs that way. For example the song “Колискова” “Lullaby” – there are two versions of it, in two languages, because I rewrote it the day before the recording. I did not feel it in Russian. And now you can hear it in Ukrainian. For me it should be as it now . When I hear it now, I imagine Ukraine with its boundless fields sown with wheat, blue sky and beautiful girls in wreaths with silk ribbons.

Why did you decided to cover Rammstein‘s “Engel”?

Anyri: We took part in a festival which was dedicated to Rammstein. Different bands played their own songs and cover versions of Rammstein songs. One of the covers we played was “Engel”. People liked it so much and they wrote so many comments asking us to play it again and again that we decided record it and make a surprise for all our fans.

In 2012 you won the International Festival of Slavic Rock, can you tell us more about it?

Ivan: Yes, it is quite a big festival. We took part in 2012. There were a lot of participants, about 30 bands in the finals. And we won! It was very nice to hear that all the judges had chosen us by unanimous decision, we were really happy. Among the contestants there were a lot of great bands, and it’s important for us to know that our work is valued so highly.

What are the main differences for you between singing live and singing in the studio?

Anyri: Singing live is much more interesting because there is a connection between you and the listener. When you see the reaction, see the eyes of people, it is very inspiring. Recording in studio you can only imagine what will be the reaction of people to your work.

How is the Metal scene like in Kiev and in Ukraine in general? Can you recommend some other Ukrainian bands for us?

Ivan: In Ukraine there are a lot of people who are very devoted to Metal. Listeners in Ukraine are great, they respond well and it’s a pleasure to play for them. As for the scene, there is not much good I can say about it. In Ukraine, there is a problem with medium-sized rock-clubs and other places to perform with good sound, there are only some small ones and the big venues are for huge audiences. But the main problem is that there is no music industry in our country. The only music which is commercially successful is pop music. Rock music is underground unfortunately. We play on the same stage with many good bands, among others I would name Marvel and Dimicandum.

What is really happening in Ukraine right now? The news often gets filtered for us foreigners.

Ivan: Concerning politics I try to be discreet so that my personal views stay behind, it is hard to say in few words. Because of corruption and lawlessness our country is having bad days. After the Soviet Union broke apart our country became independent formally. But indeed the crushing of such a big state as the USSR in one day could not leave us independent. The center of the economy was in Russia, and until now we are very dependent on them. The European Union and Ukraine wanted to sign a deal about association and further about Ukraine’s membership in EU. Ukrainians supported it, but our president under pressure of Russia suddenly one day refused to sign a deal. It sparked mass demonstrations and boycotts. So for a month hundreds of thousands (on weekend about two million) of people stood on the main square in Kiev with a peaceful demonstration for there right to choose the future of our country; not to be part of the former USSR, but to join EU. The ruling officials are trying to use force against protesters, but the protests are only growing in numbers. Amaranthe had already planned to play in Kiev and we were going to play with them. The date was 14 December, but because of political instability they postponed the concert. But we believe we will play together as we planned, Mysterya and Amaranthe, on 14 February 2014.

What’s are the next plans for Mysterya?

Ivan: First of all we released a new video at a concert a few weeks ago, it will be available on the internet very soon. And then we’re planning a new album, a concert tour, and more new video clips. I would say that the more we do, the more we want to do. We are ready to create new music, we are inspired and full of optimism to move forward as fast as it is possible.

So, Anyri and Ivan I really thank you for this chat. Please say hi to your fans and I really thank you for this interview!

Anyri & Ivan: Thank you very much) Thanks for interview, we are always ready to chat. We wish you all the best!


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