Interview : Yaroslav Smirnoff & Tatiana Moskalenko – Lateless (2011)




 Interview by Si Smith


Born on the streets of St Petersburg in 2007, this gothic incarnation of Russian musicality flies a unique flag amongst many of its fellow compatriates. With much Russian metal tending towards the folk and doom metal genres, it’s is refreshing to hear a gothic (?) band originating from this musically fertile area. Although as previously mentioned in a previous review, their music is slightly more up-beat than the average gothic release so we should not be hasty in pigeonholing these guys at all. Let us allow vocalist Tatiana and bassist Yaroslav to represent the band and explain for themselves….

First of all thanks so much for talking to us at Femme Metal and  welcome from all at the webzine. 

Yaroslav: Hi, thanks, delighted again for our conversation, already a lot of time has passed since our last interview, and a lot has changed.

So guys, your first release upon the music scene was the first EP “Breathe Again”  which you put up on the internet for free download. How did you feel about the final product you had released at that time?

Yaroslav:  No we did not have to release, we rerecorded in another studio and added 
a different song. Now for the past times we look at it as an original stage of our development, many come to know us solely due to the EP. 

I understand that you worked quite hard after this on promotion of your material, from radio airplay to interviews and ‘zine reviews.  How difficult was it to promote other people’s interest in your work?

Yaroslav: We sent many copies of our EP to various journals, fanzines, Internet radio and concert agencies. But because of the quality of its implementation we did not get the result we wanted. In general, I must say that in Russia things are not predictable; because of this it is very difficult, and sometimes do not understand how to promote the group.

Tatiana: I guess it is always hard to introduce new things to the public. That`s why Yaroslav always does all things, connected with promotion.

Quite early on in your musical career you got to play alongside bands such as Amorphis and Norther. How do you prepare yourselves for playing alongside such heavyweight names?! 

Yaroslav: Not to say that we are very prepared, it was a higher stage of our development. We opened their Russian tour. After that there were more performances throughout the year with Reflexion, Lovex and Throes of Dawn (also a group from Finland).

Your first EP rolled off the press in 2010, containing mainly the material from the first two EPs. Did the tracks change much over time as you prepared them for the new release? Or were they very much in their original form? 

Yaroslav : All the songs from the first two EPs were rer-ecorded again in the studio, we worked on the first album with the sound produced, so the sound was different and much higher. Therefore, it received high praise from beating rated in one magazine even better at the time than the Leaves Eyes’ album. But I must say that our very first songs were sometimes naive, a kind of attempt at writing.

“Lateless” seems to have been a great success (our reviewer gave it 83/100). Did it open any specific doors for you? What was the initial reaction from fans and press?Yaroslav: As I wrote in the last response, it made a good impression. It showed that Russia can make a quality album, if you do everything right.

Last time we interviewed you Nataly was singing with the band. How did the change to Tatiana take place? 

Yaroslav : Everything happened very smoothly, we knew that Nataly was to leave us because of her career at work, she moved to another city. Therefore, we started looking for her replacement. And with the new singer Tatiana, we recorded a single “Discover” and our last EP “Bless from the Heaven”.

Tatiana, you now have to sing the songs Nataly sang as well as the new material. How has it been for you? What is your background in the singing world? 

Tatiana: First it was a little bit strange – I never sang this type of song, besides Nataly`s voice is quite different from mine. Some of her parts I had to change. The new material is much easier for me. As for background I always liked absolutely different types of music. But I think that such persons as Tarja from Nightwish and Doro Pesch at influenced my way of singing and acting on the stage.

Musically all your music seems to feature a very solid guitar sound matched to memorable rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics. Apart from you two, how do the other members of the band contribute to the overall sound of Lateless?

Yaroslav: Each team member contributes to the sound of the group in the arrangement of the song. However, I am the main author of the music, I must say that on our second album we are currently working on new material, the songs will be different, as in sound and in style. Just watch out for our friends.

Tatiana: All the members of Lateless work together to reach the best sound that we can. All musicians create their parts by themselves.

The EP begins with a quite heavy guitar riff and a melancholy song topic “Grief and Ashes”. Does this represent any particular event in your lives, or are they just great lyrical subjects?

Yaroslav: The text of this song I wrote about 2 years ago, when I arrived in the deepest depression, it was a cold winter night, empty subway cars and empty, deserted street, unless of course you know what I’m talking about.

On “Of Your Memory” there is a great balance between the singing and growling vocals, with Tatiana‘s singing often echoed or completed by the growls. How do you two work together as vocalists? How do you go about writing the complementary vocal lines?

Yaroslav: Growling on this song appeared quite by chance, we recorded it in the studio, and then tried to joke extreme vocals. And we liked the idea and we left it, it was good.

Tatiana: Honestly, this idea about two vocals in one song appeared from the joke. Suddenly, Yaroslav‘s vocals we found to be totally suitable in this song. We were just surprised, but glad, because it sounds really awesome!) Another surprise for me was the really good efficiency of his work, he did only two or three takes before the final version. I was very glad because we work really hard and it made the sound of the songs really good. Honestly, I`m very proud of myself too because we recorded vocals in a freezing cold studio and I thought that the low 

temperature would make my voice sound worse than it is.

It is clear from the lyrics of all the songs on the EP that the themes of death and the afterlife are the prominent ones. How do the band members feel about these almost spiritual topics? Have you any strong views on these phenomena?

Yaroslav: All songs on the EP, except for “Grief and Ashes” belong to our former vocalist Nataly, so you should ask her. We gave her a free hand in writing lyrics and trusted her 100 percent. For us, there is practically no taboo subjects in the lyrics, exceptions only fascism, satanism and other brightly expressed religious themes.

Tatiana: As for me, I believe in the existence of afterlife. I think my point of view helps me to feel the sense of this song from my heart.

It seems from your various posts on the internet and other interviews that you are very passionate about your music. For each of you, what are the things that make you happy and what are the things that annoy you the most in your lives?

Yaroslav: I live music, 24 hours; I’m a fan of music. I am constantly thinking of something to play on the guitar. I like to invent songs, beautiful melodies. I do not need much personally. A quiet warm evening in the company of close friends at the lake and a couple of bottles of whiskey is good.

Tatiana: Of cause, music makes my life really better and colorful. Music and love… the only things I`m living for today. As for annoying things they are typical for all people at my age – it`s exams and people`s misunderstandings.

Last time we spoke to you the future was quite “foggy” apart from a few major concerts. Has the future cleared at all for you? Do you have any visions for where Lateless will go next?

Yaroslav: Now comes the summer, and we’re in a small way inaccessible to fans. Since the last interview was a lot of concerts we went to a mini tour in support of the album. Attended transfer on television. Shooting the bonus DVD for our EP “Bless from the Heaven”. We now plan to proceed to the shooting of our first music video. The song is in Russian, it is called 
“Fly Away”.

Tatiana: We have a lot of plans, you know. The big dream of mine is to create a big album with a lots of songs, and I hope that soon my dreams will come true.

Finally may I thank you for your commitment to continue making music, and ask you if there is any message you would like to leave with our readers at Femme Metal?

Yaroslav: Thanks for your support, it is always a pleasure to communicate with Femme 
Metal. I think you give good support to really cool bands. I want to wish that you develop further, I want to have to see you in Russia; I think you’re here to see prices show many how to work.

Tatiana: I would like to wish all metal-lovers new absolutely different and interesting music from their favorite bands, stay with us, guys!

Thanks again and all success to the new EP!

Yaroslav: Thanx, STAY ROCK!!!



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