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Pagan Reign - Interview

Interview with: Vetrodar
Conducted by: Will Ring

Pagan Reign are a folk/pagan black metal band from Russia who were formed back in 1997. Over the course of there "on again, off again" career, they have released four epic underground albums, the first one, Ancient Warriors, was released in 2001, and are now set for a new one (and first in about twelve years!) in the coming weeks. The new album is entitled Once Again and will be released via Yarko Music Production in December. Here, I talk to lead guitarist and bassist Vetrodar about the bands Slavic pagan believes, the new album and their love of heavy metal music! After many line-up changes, Pagan Reign of today are: Vetrodar (guitar, folk instruments), Orey (vocals, guitar) and Dimosthen (drums).

Will: How did you got involved with music?
: So, each member of the band became involved in music for different reasons. Orey, still in his teens, was carried away by extreme metal. He bought his first guitar and began to hatch plans to implement its special project, back in 1996. Vetrodar was engaged in music from childhood. He graduated from music school and at the same time became interested in bands like Metallica and Slayer and then Amorphis and In Flames etc. Both Orey and I, while still in school, had the idea of combining heavy music with Slavic and Russian folk melodies. The only thing was Orey wanted to play more extreme, high-speed black/death music, and Vetrodar was more more along the measured, melodic doom metal line. But as a result of their joint activities and with the participation of Sloven (drummer), something completely different was born. Pagan Reign!

Will: What made you want to play this style of music?
Vetrodar: I think it was the belief in the real metal of the 90s and the Slavic pagan worldview.

Will: The band broke up and recently got back together. What caused the split and reformation? 
Vetrodar: For the same reason as the group broke up, it arose again. It was the Slavic pagan concept and ideas about good and evil. It was a duty to our people. It was necessary to continue our race and provide our family with everything needed. Playing music at the time did not allow us to perform this important task. But now we are on our feet and ready to trumpet our new victories to the whole world!!!

Will: Now that the band is back, does that mean we can expect a new album in the next year or two? (NOTE: this question was posed before the news of the new record came out)
Vetrodar: The new album will be released in December 2018 in the form of a 36-page, richly designed CD/Digibook (book bound with slip case). The album will also be released on limited edition wooden box with CD and branded band merch. And, of course, music will be available on all major digital platforms of the world. We have plans to release a double LP in the future.

Will: What do you listen to for motivation when writing new music?
Vetrodar: In the process of composing and recording music, we specifically do not listen to anything else just as background. But in the intervals between the work on the albums, we are happy to listen to high-quality heavy music, atmospheric compositions, classical Russian composers of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Slavic and European folk.

Will: If ten year old you could see the person you are now, how would he react?
Vetrodar: I think it will be: "Wow, this man knows what he's doing and what they must do!"

Will: What's something most people don't know about you?
Vetrodar: Maybe it will be a shock for everyone, but Orey and I work as doctors in our spare time. And of course our dream is to live only on music and record more albums. But for this we need the help of concerned Pagan Reign fans!

Will: Which of the four Pagan Reign studio albums are you most proud of?
Vetrodar: I think it's the future album!!!

Will: What's the greatest album ever made?
Vetrodar: For me in metal music – The Black Album by Metallica and The Jester Race by In Flames.

Will: Where can people typically find your music?
Vetrodar: Here are some basic links: Bandcamp, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify.

Pagan Reign discography:
Ancient Warriors (2001)
Spark Of Glory And Revival Of Ancient Greatness (2003)
Destinies Of Bygone Faith (2004)
Tverd (2006)
Once Again (2018)

Pagan Reign links: Official website, Facebook, Bandcamp