1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the release of the new ep?
Hi! I am working on new material, planning some concerts in the fall, spending a lot of time at the countryside taking photos - visual side of the project is very important for me. Also I've been spending a lot of time on self-education in the field of music studies and sound studies.
2.Recently you have released a new ep, what are some of the things you feel you have done differently with this recording that you where not able to do with previous releases?
Finally I'm satisfied with the sound production! Also I've recorded most of the instruments by myself. New compositions have more powerful sound.
3.Most of your music is instrumental, would you be open to using vocals on any of the releases?
Well… I've thought about it many times. May be I will use some vocals in the future, who knows… Btw, I used overtone singing when remixing Sni Hmar track by the Ukrainian band Viter.
4.A lot of your musical themes focus on 'Siberian Shamanism', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
I’m interested not only in Siberian shamanism, but in shamanism at all, as an archaic proto-religious culture. This is an outlook that seems completely different from the modern outlook. All these rituals, calls to spirits, and taboos looks so strange for the modern man. But if you look closely, you'll see that some basic principles have been passed down through the centuries. The modern man also has rituals (not only religious, for example greeting rituals), also has taboos, also has his myths. As to the music, the basic principle hasn't changed either. Speaking about Siberia, some ethnic groups here have preserved their archaic culture and religion. I respect that. The whole reason to study different cultures is to understand your own culture and to understand yourself better. Through music I’m trying to re-create some archaic feeling of magical nature, to take listeners to another worlds like shamans do.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Liholesie'?
Liholesie is the Russian translation of Tolkien's Mirkwood. As we know, the writer took the word Myrkvidr from the Norse mythology. I like how it sounds and its connotations - twilight, dark forest, that divides one world from another. Music itself can be such a thing, that takes listeners from the everyday world to magical worlds.
6.In your logo you also include a lot of runes, can you tell us a little bit more about how you got interested in this ancient language?
Actually, Liholesie hasn’t a permanent logo, and I can remember only few pictures, where I used a stylized alphabet, that looks like runes. As I remember, I became interested in archaic cultures when I was a teenager. I listened to black metal and read many books about paganism, shamanism, runes, mythology and so on. Not all of them were really good.
7.On the albums you record everything by yourself, do you feel this gives you more room to be creative with your music?
There are both positive and negative aspects of such recordings. On the one hand, If you want something done, do it yourself. True, but on the other hand it's impossible to be the best at everything. Sometimes I need a fresh look and some new unusual ideas.
8.For a few years you also had taken a hiatus, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time span?
It's simple, I hadn’t enough time and inspiration for music. Work, photography and troubles in my life were taking away all my energy. I think that hiatus isn’t bad, it can help take a fresh view and bring new ideas.
9.A few years back you where also a part of a split with a black metal band, how would you compare that genre to what you are doing with your music?
Of course, black metal inspired me, but I don't feel a strong connection between it and actual Liholesie. Real (true if you want) black metal is about darkness, destruction and negativity, and my music is about other things: nature, heritage and spiritual quest. While there may exist points of agreement, it is no less certain that there are also significant differences.
10.What are some of the best shows that you have done over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The last show in Ekaterinburg in the last spring with Ultar and Srub was very memorable. There was a big club, good sound, great light, wonderful audience… what more could I ask for? Liholesie stage performance is rather modest. I use stage clothes, accompanying video and just play my music using keyboards and some ethnic instruments.
11.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, I have some plans for this fall, but nothing concrete yet.
12.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of ethnic, ritual and ambient music?
My project is best known on the territory of the ex-USSR than worldwide, so the feedback was not big but positive. The listeners came to the conclusion that the music and the sound had changed much, but the composer's fingerprint had remained discernible.
13.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I prefer not to predict the future. Time will tell.
14.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Many styles and bands influenced me, and continue to inspire nowadays, from ethnic to electronic music, and from classical music to extreme metal. One of the musicians that I listen most to is a Swedish composer named Ulf Söderberg.
15.What are some of your non musical interests?
I have many interests besides music: photography, anthropology, psychology, history of religions, sport, traveling… Sometimes I wish there were more than 24 hours a day.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I want to thank you for the interesting interview and wish you good luck! May the force of nature be with you!