Interview- Deva Obida

DEVA OBIDA’s, Artem Bachturin (guitar and vocals) had the time to answer me a few questions about the band’s new album ‘’Rudiment’’: the musical direction they went through, the influences and other stuff.

First of all, can you make a small intro about Deva Obida, as readers to know about the band.
Deva Obida is a Russian metal band from Murmansk that is situated right on the North West of the country, at the board with Norway and Finland, on the coast of the Arctic ocean. The band that’s been making heavy music for more than 20 years, making new style accents of its creativity in different times. Pagan/doom metal, power/melodic metal, melodic death metal, Gothic metal, folk metal – here’s our approximate path over different genres through the years of being active. It appears rather assorted at first glance, but our music has always been recognizable and got its own pattern. Our discography consists of two full-length releases, demo and several singles. And yes, it’s quite few for so long term of our activity. We also do our best to visualize our songs, releasing numerous videos, which quantity partially covers the small amount of releases. Many participants walked through the band, but its lineup’s been stable for about 5 years. The name Deva Obida (smth. about Maiden Offense in English) appears to be a strange and senseless combination of words at the first look. But as a matter fact it’s a poetical image taken from the ancient Slavonic book, an image which refers to a Swan Maid as a symbol of disaster, strife and doom. Sure thing, no one in Russia and all the more all over the world has an idea about that, so it frequently raises many issues.

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This year you’ve released a new album called ‘’Rudiment’’. What is the musical direction you went for this record?
Yes, indeed, our new album was out on March 1st. As I mentioned before, we walked through different genres in our creation and over the years it becomes more eclectic and universal. We don’t play style, we play music. Currently we are trying to combine all the best we accumulated and new ideas. Therefore it’s possible to trace the legacy of our past periods and the evolution of our new sound. The album is an advancement of the direction that took its start on our previous single ‘’Varaka’’. We even wanted to make it a part of an album but later gave up on this idea as we decided to make the completely original stuff. There can be heard death metal riffs as well as hard’n’heavy, Gothic and especially folk that payed much more attention to that before. Samples and synths are almost non existent, but the traditional live instruments came. Some instrumentals showed up, and one of them is fully based right on the sound of traditional folk instruments. That was one of experiments we didn’t grant before. Extreme vocals are almost gone, the clean singing with a great dose of choirs and backing parts is central.

A modern sound is what I can hear on Rudiment, with some alternative, dark and gothic elements, do you agree with it?
Right you are, all those things may be met on our new album. No wonder about that: all those elements have always been the part of our music before. We played those genres. As Rudiment inherits all our previous creativity, it seems to be natural to find there all the traces of our musical past. Frankly speaking, we prefer to walk evolutionary path instead of any jumps and rush, chasing trends and losing individuality. That’s our contrast to many other bands. I’ve just mentioned some genre hues, although every reviewer will find more surprising aspects for us.

Amorphis, to point out an influence of your music. This is what I can also hear!
Indeed, Amorphis has influenced in some way and still keeps on according to regular opinions. The question about that band is a mandatory question of every interview we answer. I cannot say if there is more or less Amorphis in our music. I do not listen to them while composing and I don’t think much of if the song’s got their features or not. Perhaps, there’s a similar sound in some fragments, but not so much of it. Sometimes listeners hear one or two riffs, a glimpse of vocal intonations and are ready to label us. After all, there’s no much care of it and let there be Amorphis then.

It took you some years to release this album, 2012 was released the previous album. Why took you so long to come up with new materials?
For a couple of years after releasing our previous LP we were involved in its promotion that meant gigs, videos and festivals. We started to make new stuff in 2014 and released the new single ‘’Varaka’’ that should have become a part of a new album but that didn’t happen. Then we shot a video for that. This time we spent much time for a pre-production. We composed new songs and recorded them immediately, we made demos close to the final album versions by sound. After that we had rather long studio session of an album on its own. All of us have jobs and different obligations out of music, so that’s not for us to lock up in a rented studio for several weeks, that’s why we had to distract from recording process for many times. Then we had a more complex and long period of mixing, mastering, redoing, remixing, remastering etc. that took for about 9 months, the period of searching of an illustrator and working on the art, search of label and many other details. Finally it came to an end up to March 2019 and we were able to make the album out.

 I know that some of you, like Pavel, have been active or still are active with other bands like Arbor Inversa, The Unhallowed (in the past). Are you guys active in other bands, what are these band’s statuses at the moment?
Only our drummer Ilya takes part in a different active band, Town Tundra and Paul is sometimes being involved in a studio project Arbor Inversa. All the other participants play in Deva Obida only. All of us took part in a bunch of different bands back in days and we even crossed our paths sometimes, but all those things are the past. There is no extra time and beardless enthusiasm for such participation for now. It’s more important to focus on the specific goal, the only band without any distraction.

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Are you planning to hit the stage soon?
Unfortunately, there is no clear info about gigs for now. We want it, we are active band and we rehearse regularly but still got no info about dates.

You’re a band from Murmansk (Russia), then what can you tell me about the metal and/or rock scene from your hometown?
The following answer may partially explain the reason why we don’t hit the stage as often as we’d wished to. There is only one venue in our town where such gigs take part, ant it’s a Rock’N’Roll bar. That’s it, no other place to play. It’s required to comprehend that we live in a small Northern town having a population less than 300 000, about 100 visitors attend gigs, and musicians mates are the main part of them, so there’s no great sense and no place to play regular gigs. There was a time everything was different. There were at least several venues and dozens or maybe even hundreds of bands. Nowadays there are more of cover bands playing in bars and restaurants than fully-fledged rock formations, and that’s the thing to be realized: rock isn’t a mainstream anymore. Cover bands earn whereas rock collectives just spend. There are some interesting and perspective bands in our region but we cannot speak of a scene on the whole. It’s a grim situation and there’s no reason to suspect it may change to a better one.

Thank you for your time having this interview. Cheers!
Thank you for your questions! Keep on doing what you’re doing and good luck!

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