Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Holocaust, how are you? Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL and thanks so much for accepting this interview! First of all can you tell me about Eastern Front history and also introduce yourself and the other band members?
Holocaust: Hello, I am very well thanks. Eastern Front was formed at the end of 2006 and after a few months we recorded our first demo CD “Promo 2007”. We continued to write more material building up songs so we could perform live. Remembrance day 2007 we recorded the demo “Blood on Snow” and shortly after had our first live show. January 2008 we won “Best unsigned metal of 2007” competition by The Metal Underground. We then recorded a promotional video for “Blood on Snow” and played more shows throughout the UK to build up our fan base. Our first London show being Infernal Damnation Festival V where we supported Skyforger. In this time we also featured in Zero Tolerance Magazine and on various radio stations including Total Rock Radio. September 2008 we embarked on our first European tour supporting Lord Belial & Graveworm. On our return from tour we then won “The Faintheart Movie Competition”.
At the end of 2008 we then played some more UK shows supporting Hecate Enthroned and Averse Sefira, both these shows getting us good reviews in Metal Hammer Magazine.
February 2009 we entered Andy La Roque’s (King Diamond) Sonic Train Studios in Sweden with Anders Backelin (Lord Belial) to record our debut album “Blood on Snow”. On our return to the UK we then supported Natan in London and have just got back from supporting Taake, Helhiem and Vulture Industries on their UK tour.
Eastern Front are:
Metzger – Vocals
Holocaust – Lead Guitar
Krieg – Rhythm Guitar
Destroyer – Bass Guitar
Destruction - Drums
Hanna Tsepesh: When did you start to play guitar? Any guitarist inspired you to start?
Holocaust: I got my first electric guitar in October 2002 on my 16th Birthday after playing the acoustic guitar for a few months.
The main reason I started to compose and later perform music was as a means to express myself and gain a form of escapism from todays world.
No particular guitarist inspired me to play, just my extreme passion for music.
I strongly feel that life without music would be futile and plan to have some form of envolvement in music for all of my life.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands?
Holocaust: This list could go on forever but I will try to keep it short…
In no order:
Drudkh, Kroda, Agalloch, Katatonia, Xasthur, Burzum, Warning, Hate Forest, Temnozor, Nocturnal Mortum, Walknut, Rapture, Cult of Luna, Nortt, Skepticisim, Watain, Satanic Warmaster, Abyssic Hate, Enslaved, Morrigan, Lord Belial, Shape of Despair, Shining, Taake, Negura Bunget, Lyrinx, Fen, Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Necro Ritual, Iceni, Niroth, Paradise lost, Emperor, My Dying Bride, Endstille, Nasum, Bathory, Mayhem, Forefather, Graveland, Natan, Amon Amarth, Primordial, Black Sabbath, Pagan Altar, Leviathan, Blood Axis, Forest, Pest, Remembrance, Marduk, Macabre Omen, Immortal, I Shalt Become, Horn of Valere, Ekove Efrits, Besatt, Ad Hominem, Abigor, Cloaca, H.E.R.R, Wormtongue, Mournful Congregation, Strid, Nargaroth, Venom, Darkthrone etc.
Hanna Tsepesh: In your personal view of music, what do you think about the black metal scene today? Do you think it’s better or not?
Holocaust: I think Black Metal has progressed a lot over the years and due to the ease of being able to promote music online has overall become a lot more accesable than it used to be i.e cassette trading.
Personally I don’t think this is a bad thing as I have discovered a lot of great bands by researching online and can still trade and discover great albums in underground record stores.
As for todays Black Metal being better or not I think a lot of todays Black Metal is still deeply rooted to where it has always been and a lot of new bands are in vein and in regards to the first and second wave of Black Metal. I do however prefer it when a new band comes along and isn’t afraid of experimenting and pushing the limits, which is what Eastern Front want to do.
We keep a traditional Black Metal sound but don’t put limits on what musical genres we include in our songs as we are influenced by Doom, folk and classical music as well as Black Metal. I think the Black Metal scene is stronger today in a lot of ways than it once was due to it being a lot easier to communicate with other bands and fans around the world and also due to the increase of festivals, shows, magazine and webzines that support Black Metal and other forms of extreme music. However I feel it is a lot less controversial than it’s early days and could still be a lot stronger if bands supported each other more, especially within the UK.
Personally I feel that Black Metal will always remain an underground genre of music as it takes some form of intelligence to truely understand it, which truth be told, most humans don’t have.
Hanna Tsepesh: I know that the band gets inspired to write the lyrics about wars, right? Can you explain that to us and why about wars?
Holocaust: As a band we have all had an interest in the history of war especially World War II and The Eastern Front so it was only natural for us to write our lyrics about war.
We want to remind people of the events that happened in the past as we feel that slowly alot of history is being forgotten and erased, especially about World War II.
In the UK alot of the schools here are very brief when teaching about the world wars, the history of events have some what been edited in a way to encourage pupils to believe what was good and what was bad, it’s disgusting! All our lyrics are written in honour of the fallen soliders of war and through them we hope to encourage people to read history books and study the history of war.
We have songs that are written especially about certian areas and events of war and songs that are written from a first person point of view, which capture the emotions and evoke the feelings of what it was like to be on the front lines of war and live through these unfortunate times. This is all supported by the music and with the use of creating different atmospheres and sounds within the songs.
On our website we have also included a brief history of The Eastern Front:
Hanna Tsepesh: That is very interesting subject! Talking about your Demo “Blood on snow”, in my honest opinion you guys are GREAT musicians! The songs are simply brutal with brutal and powerful riffs, the lyrics are great and I also like the theme about wars! Can you tell to us a little bit about the Demo and what Eastern Front wanted to accomplish with “Blood On Snow” Demo?
Holocaust: When composing the music for this song/demo that was then later titled “Blood on Snow” I wanted to compose a faster more brutal Black Metal song compared to our first demo “Promo 2007” but also include alot of atmoshpere and emotion within the song.
When I played the song to the rest of the band Krieg had just finished reading the amazing book “Blood Red Snow” by Gunter K. Koschorrek and already had lyrical ideas that would fit perfectly with the music. Metzger then completed the song lyrics with these lyrical ideas and after reading “Blood Red Snow”. Overall we wanted “Blood on Snow” to capture the cold brutallity of war. When recording the song we didn’t want to lose the energy and dynamics we hear when playing it live, so we chose to record and produce it with a modern sound but also keep some of it’s rawness in order for it not to sound too polished.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band also have one video called “Blood On Snow”, can you talk a little bit about it? From who came out with the idea? I ask that because the video is simple and excellent, that prove that the bands don’t need effects and stuff to have a great video!
Holocaust: We wanted to make a video as a visual means to promote our music and express even more solidly what Eastern Front is about.
”Blood on Snow” was the chosen track to do this as it is also going to be the title of our debut album. In the video we mixed live recordings of us with war footage.
This was done with the help of Hans Beerbaum for providing us with German re-enactment footage and by the use of Russian stock footage supplied by Frank Capra.
We wanted to keep it simple and effective so did not need the use of any effects.
This will not be the only video we create, for most of our songs we also have video ideas due to the subject matter so you can expect another video in the future.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band is recording the first album! I must say, that i can’t wait to listen to it! The name is "Blood on Snow", right? Can you talk a little bit about the album?
Holocaust: We have recorded all the tracks for our debut album “Blood on Snow”.
We recorded the album at Andy La Roque’s (King Diamond) Sonic Train Studios in Varberg, Sweden with Anders Backelin (Lord Belial).
The album so far consists of 8 tracks and Anders and Andy will start on the final mixing and mastering in 2 months time. Once we have the finished product we will start to search for a record label to release the album later in the year.
You can check out the website for Sonic Train Studios here:
Hanna Tsepesh: The band wins the FAINTHEART MOVIE COMPETITION! First of all congratulations, the band must be very proud! For the people who don’t know yet can you talk a little bit about this?
Holocaust: We were very proud to win this competition and to have our music feature in this film and on the sound track. FAINTHEART is a British comedy film about a guy who has a passion for Viking re-enactment battles so much so that he ruins his relationships in his “normal” life so has to repair these relationships and win back his family.
Myspace created the competition, which over 300 bands entered, the director of the film then short listed 5 bands to be put to public vote which Eastern Front won.
The film was released in over 150 cinemas in the UK and Ireland in January and is now available to buy on DVD worldwide alongside it’s soundtrack that was released by EMI Records.
Buy the DVD here:
Buy the soundtrack here:
Hanna Tsepesh: So cool! you have been in a Europe Tour with Lord Belial and Graveworm! Can you tell to us how the things went on that tour?
Holocaust: This has been my personal highlight of Eastern Front so far and was such a great experience for us. The tour was called “The Black Curse Over Europe” and was to promote Lord Belial’s newest album “The Black Curse”.
This tour included The DevilHorns Fest Vol 1 in Slovakia, The Black Curse Fest in Bulgaria and Chaos Fest 2008 in Romania alongside other shows in Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia.
We received very positive reviews from this tour and met a lot of amazing people along the way that we are still in contact with now.
The best shows for me were The DevilsHorns Fest in Slovakia and The Black Curse Fest in Bulgaria due to the immense crowds and fans that were extremely into the music and subject matter of Eastern Front. It was an honor to support Lord Belial on this tour, as they have been one of my favorite bands for quite a few years now.
We have a tour diary of this tour on our official website as well as photos from the shows on our Myspace page:
We hope it won’t be too long until we will do another tour through Europe and we’re thoroughly looking forward to playing back in Romania at Rock City Open Air 2009.
Hanna Tsepesh: You have just completed another tour, right? Can you talk about it and also tell us about your future dates for our readers to know where they can see you?
Holocaust: We have just finished supporting Taake, Helheim & Vulture Industries on the UK leg of the “Lukt Til Helvete Tour”.
These shows we’re great and it was an honor to support Taake who have also been one of my favorite bands for a while now. Currently the rest of our shows in 2009 are all festivals, here are the dates:
9th May 2009 – Infernal Damnation Festival VI with Shining, Hate + more – The Underworld – London – UK
20th - 23rd August 2009 – Rock City Open Air 2009 with Immortal, Amon Amarth, Onslaught, Agathodiamon, Ancient Rites + more – Fetesti – Romania
29th August 2009 – Heaven in Hell Festival 2009 – Stockton on Tees – UK
25th – 27th September 2009 – MetalFest 2009 with Blaze Bayley, Swallow the Sun, Primordial, Primal Fear, Evergrey, Omnium Gathering + more – Dudley – UK
24th – 25th October 2009 – Hymns of Sickness Festival 2009 – Worksop – UK
Hanna Tsepesh: One thing that shook me is that you still are an unsigned band even with all of great things that you are doing and the music you are making! All the things that the band accomplishes until now are from your own hands, right? Was it a “long walk” since the band started? In your country do you have some kind of support (places to play/people/radios/etc.)?
Holocaust: Eastern Front are currently unsigned but as soon as we have our debut album mixed and mastered we will start approaching record labels in search for a record deal. We have had some interest from record labels already but wanted to progress and record the album before signing any deals with a label.
All that we have accomplished so far has been from our own hands and with the help of promoters, tour agents as well as radio play, magazine features, online promotion and of course our fans. In the UK there are a lot of venues for bands to play and magazines/webzines that support underground Metal bands, which helps the scene here.
However the Metal scene in the UK is still very small compared to other countries.
Hanna Tsepesh: Last question, do you want to send any message for your fans around the world?
Holocaust: Of course! We thank you all for the continued support and effort you have put into promoting our music around the world.
Keep supporting Underground Black Metal!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much for your answers! THE GATES OF METAL wishes all the success and good luck for your future concerts and we will wait for your album! Hope to see the band very soon in Portugal…
Holocaust: Thank you for offering us this interview; it’s been a pleasure.
Keep up the great work with THE GATES OF METAL and we also hope to see you very soon in Portugal.
Hanna Tsepesh: thanks so much Holocaust! The pleasure is ours! All the best.