Hanna Tsepesh: Здравствуйте!(Hello in russian), how are you? First of all welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! Thank you so much for accepting this interview! Can you tell us a little bit about Psilocybe Larvae history and introduce as well the others band members…

Vitaly: Hello Hanna! Your Russian is very good! I’m fine and very pleased to talk to you. Hope we could find many friends in Portugal.

Hanna Tsepesh: Thank you so much! HELL ON FIRE is already your friend!

Vitaly: The history of Psilocybe Larvae is the same as of other bands and I don’t wanna bore the readers with the line-up’s changes and other shit that happened during our existence. We’ve been playing gigs, rehearsing, recording albums, drinking and etc. I’d prefer to divide our history into 2 parts. The 1st part: early years, when I founded PL in my home town Vyborg (small place near Finish border). It was in1996. We recorded two albums released via Russian label Black Side Productions in that period: “Stigmata” in 2001 and “Agony” in 2003 accordingly. In 2005 both albums were re-released by one of the biggest labels in Russia called CD-Maximum. At the same time the situation inside the band was going from bad to worse for many reasons and we were forced to relocate to St.Petersburg. After many troubles we got a new bassist and a keyboardist and at last our line-up was completed. So we’ve turned the new page of our life. The fresh blood fed on us and in 2007 we recorded our 3d album called “Non-existence”. This year it was released through Moscow label Mazzar/Mystic Empire in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Now we are looking for the label for the worldwide release.
Nowadays Psilocybe Larvae are:

Vitaly – guitar, voices
Andrey – guitar
Alan – drums
Alex – bass
Dmitry - keyboards

Hanna Tsepesh: What are your music influences?
Vitaly: I don’t think about it. I listen to different music from classic to extreme. Maybe it influences me subconsciously but I hope I’ve found my own way. You know, there are too many bands playing the same and not orginal music and it seems like a lot of music today is so churned out. I don’t wanna be a trend.

Hanna Tsepesh: If i am correct, you make all the lyrics for the band right? Can you tell in what do you inspire to create the lyrics for Psilocybe Larvae?

Vitaly: Yes, the lyrics are mine. They are inspirated by our own music mostly. I try to emphasize some music parts, add more atmosphere and gain its power. So emotional experience and even extreme situations can catalyze creative process too. Sometimes some films and books do also.

Hanna Tsepesh: In 2007 you guys release the new album “Non-Existence”, the album have GREAT Vitaly! My congratulations for all the band members, the riffs are very cool and your voice is fantastic, the lyrics and all the melody around the album have some kind of mystery (in my opinion), so tell me 2 things: first if you have some kind of singing classes and second, tell me a little bit about the album for our readers to understand a little bit about your music style and all the history around the “Non-Existence” album…

Vitaly: Thank you, I’m glad you liked our stuff. We were working hard doing adjustments and all touches on the songs for this album. I think we wrote a really dark record that encompasses everything we have ever tried to do as a band and I hope it will push us to new levels after the band’s long break. So, it’s very difficult to describe your own music, the style...I don’t know. It includes doom, death, black and sometimes progressive parts. We always tried to avoid clishes and classificftions, we are free of some genre limits. First of all we write music that is important to us and motivates us. I’d prefer to call it manic-depressive music.

Hanna Tsepesh: It is the truth, you don’t have to thank me! If you can choose one music in this album that you like the most, what will be your choice and why?
Vitaly: The album is cohesive enough and conceptual. So it’s very hard for me to mark any song out. May be the “Threshold” because I like the moment in the middle of a song with a church organ. It sounds mysteriously.

Hanna Tsepesh: How was the studio recording? Everything was done (lyrics and riffs) when did you guys started?

Vitaly: Yes, we’ve done all arrangements, lyrics and some demos before entering the studio. We couldn’t experiment during record session because of our low budget. But, of course, we wanted to make the record raw and heavy sounding. So, when the album was tracked in St.Petersburg we decided to mix it out at good European studio. Polish Studio Hertz was chosen and brothers Wieslawski have done great work. Mastering was taken care of by Tomas Eberger at Swedish Cutting Room and we were pleased with the final result. Although we didn’t have endless time in the studio to perfect the record, I’m sure, the album is heavier than our past records and shows the progression we are on as a band.

Hanna Tsepesh: I have always the same curiosity about the support that the bands have in their own country. In Russia, the Metal bands have some kind of support about people and labels? It was a difficult start for the band, to record all the albums and also to have support to make the concerts?

Vitaly: There are many bands out there, some big labels, many small labels, some magazines, a little bit of radio and TV shows. Russian metal scene grew up, but undoubtfully it hasn’t developed like in Europe and USA. The main metal life happens in big cities like Moscow and St.Petersburg mostly. Nowadays Russian language metal like heavy, metalcore, alternative, emo is very popular in Russia. This bands get good promotion and are supported by labels, they have the possibility to make big tours in our lands also. It’s not difficult to start the band up there but it all depends on money. You have to buy instruments, gear, pay for record sessions. Band expenses are high and sales are much lower due to people stealing the music from the internet. That’s the biggest problem now.
I have to say, there are hard times for the bands like ours because such music is not popular out there thus the record companies can’t support us as well as emo bands, for example.

Hanna Tsepesh: That happens in all country’s and it’s sad to see bands with a lot of talent without labels and to see some crap bands with labels! But life can be easy! Talking about concerts, do you have any concerts for now? If yes, can you tell some dates/places?

Vitaly: We play in clubs mostly. Summer is dead season for clubs concerts. We have cancelled some festivals for different reasons this Summer but, I have to say, most of fests in Russia are for the Russian language music only. Now we are focusing on writing new material for our next album. We’ll start our live activity in Autumn. The 1st gig will take place on October 25, in “Orlandina” club, St.Petersburg with good bands from Russia, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia. Then we’ll rock the Moscow, the show is slated to take place on November 3d in “Relax” club. Also in the battle plans for 2008 is Belarus. We will embark on a short tour in November which includes 6 shows.

Hanna Tsepesh: There’s any plan in the future for Psilocybe Larvae to play in Portugal?

Vitaly: (Hehe), it would be great to do some live shows in Portugal, but it’s so hard to set up a tour in Europe for the band from Russia. It’s not going to happen in foreseeble future because we are still looking for European label to release our stuff worldwide (I mean that we can’t do the tour without label’s help). Now we’ve got a deal with Moscow label Mazzar/Mystic Empire for our lands only.

Hanna Tsepesh: Yes it’s true but we hope to see you guys here some day! Last question, do you have any message for the Portuguese metalheads out there, about the album?

Vitaly: No, I haven’t yet. As I mentioned above, the album was released only in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. I hope we’ll find some European label soon and Portuguese metalheads will be able to listen to our music too. But I think someone from your lands knows our band because our tracks from previous albums were broadcasted on Eclipse Metalico radio show. Hail to Manuel Joaquim!

Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much Vitaly for your answers! THE GATES OF METAL wish the band all the luck and success in the world for “Non-Existence” album and concerts! Hope to see you guys in Portugal very soon…

Vitaly: Thank you Hanna for your interest in our band and for support! We are anxious to play the gigs in Portugal and drink some port . See ya!

Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome Vitaly!

By: Hanna Tsepesh