Interview by Vard Aman
Marvel formed in 2006 in Kiev, Ukraine, where they are still based. Outside Ukraine, they are perhaps not that well known, but they certainly deserve to be – they are one of those bands that need discovering; and one of those bands that we will find are totally amazing when we do discover them. A hidden gem in the dust; one that equals, if not surpasses the quality of many of the gems we already know about and own; a gem that turns out to be, well… marvellous! And they are! They play a style that is very hard to define, so hard to define that I’m not going to try; you’re just going to have listen to them. Fronting this unique and immensely talented outfit is Olga Skripova, with her meticulously controlled and powerful vocals. I got the opportunity to interview her!
Hello Olga, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine.
When did you start singing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I started singing when I was seven at music school’s choir. At 17 I joined girls’ jazz band. There were seven girls and we sang classic jazz songs in vocal arrangement. At the same time I had rock band (with Anastasia of Delia). After that I sang in another rock band at the university. I like singing very much, especially driving songs!
How did you all meet and how did Marvel start? Were you in the band right from the beginning?
We met at the University of Culture and Art where we all were studying sound engineering. At that time we didn’t know what music we wanted to play. First year we were trying to find our own music style. At the end of the second year of Marvel’s existence two of the musicians (bassist and drummer) left the band. Me and the guitarist asked to some new guys to join Marvel and we started to record our first album.
How did audiences in Ukraine react to Marvel in the beginning?
Not bad. We played many concerts in all possible clubs and festivals. We had many friends who came to our concerts. It was a good time, it was fun.
Tell us a bit about your first album, “V Kazhdom iz Nas”.
“V Kazhdom iz Nas” is very important work for us. We spent much time and energy recording the songs. When we released the album we got a lot of positive comments from people and invitations to participate in big concerts and festivals with famous rock bands, as a support. This album was officially released and sold in majority music shops in Ukraine.
And you recorded some music videos, right?
Yes! We have video clip “Vje ne tut” (“Not here”). The filming was done at a concert in Kiev. This video doesn’t have some idea or story; it is only a Marvel presentation. That’s why we chose a quick energetic song.
Then you recorded your EP, “Ona” and its English twin “Reduce My Pain” – and this was the first release of yours I heard after being introduced to you. First of all, I really like the album cover! Tell us a bit about it and why you chose it.
It is really a beautiful drawing. This picture we found in internet. We wrote to the author of this work immediately. His name is Elton Fernandes and he is from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). I like style and colors of this. I think this woman with wings (probably she is some kind of an angel I don’t know) symbolizes life with ups and downs.
When I listen to the EP from beginning to end, I get the impression of quite an intense musical “journey” taking place. Did you deliberately write it that way or is that just the way Marvel’s music is? Give us a little insight into your songwriting process.
My aim was to write three different stories with different feelings and emotions. But you’re right – there is a connection between the songs. First song (“Tantra”) is about personal feelings and beautiful emotions which we feel when we’re in love. After that euphoria the fear comes, because we worry about loved ones (like everybody). “Reduce My Pain” is something about that. And finally we understand that life is a good thing. “My Own Passion” is a very positive and life -asserting song about our music and life.
And now for the tough one! Describe Marvel’s sound and style to someone who hasn’t heard your music.
Something like this: Marvel is a lyrical music and profound texts with driving guitar riffs. Check it out guys!
How has your sound changed between when you first started out to your first album and to your most recent single “Naiti Sebya”?
I think difference is very big. Firstly, because we recorded the album and the single “Naiti Sebya” at different studios using different equipment. And we wanted to do something new when we worked on the single. We wanted to get nice rich sound with modern elements. I think that to find a new sound is very important for each band.
How often do you play live, and how is the support for your shows now?
Now we play rarely because we are working on new songs.
Have you done any tours inside and outside of Ukraine?
We played in many towns in Ukraine. And we’ve been to Belarus twice.
Do you have any personal favorite Marvel songs, or songs that have a special meaning to you?
I love the new songs. My favorite song is the newest song always.
What bands/music do you like to listen to (other than Marvel)?
I like many bands. Katatonia, Godsmack, Guano Apes, Queen, Pink Floyd, Karnivool and many many other! They inspire me to create.
What do you like doing outside of Marvel? Do you have any hobbies or interests?
Yes. I like travelling. I always go to the different city or country when I have free time. And I work at a TV Channel as a music redactor. I write about music stars and choose video clips for the TV Channel’s audience.
What is next for Marvel?
I think it is new album. We have some new songs in English. And I hope you’ll hear them soon.
That sounds good! What can we expect from your new album?
I think it will be interesting. Now we are working on change of music style. We try to compose more progressive songs with actual elements and sound. It is difficult but I believe we can destroy our usual views on structure of songs. Our new album will be not similar to the first.
OK, Olga, thanks very much for talking to us! We wish you every success and we’re all looking forward to hearing the new album, and lots more from you and Marvel in the future!
Thank you! Goodbye.