Interview with Ultar, Post Black Metal Band from Russia
Ultar is Post Black Metal Band from Krasnoyarsk, Russia. They're Pavel - Bass, Denis - Guitars, Maxim - Guitars, Gleb - Vocals, and Mark - Drums. Ultar gave us some information. Check it out.
Tell us about Ultar?
Since less than a year of our existence Deafknife became quite a loud name in Russian underground music. Some people were supporting us, others were blaming us for using term "Post-Black" to identify our music. All in all, we never really claimed ourselves as pure black metal project whatsoever.
There were a lot of changes that happened to the band since it was created. Eventually, a series of events, activities and influences led us to the name change of the band to Ultar.
What are lyrical themes of Ultar?
The lyrics of Kadath are based on Lovecraftian mythology. When we started to work on Kadath we tried to trace to the original idea of storytelling, rather than to make another simple song compilation and calling it LP. However, lyrics on the album are not really telling a story, but more of creating a space for imagination along with the music.
Our main lyrical themes may be defined as every man's search for a self, gains and losses of life, wounderings and hopes.
Despite that our lyrics are written in Russian, there is a translation for every song in a booklet of a CD, so go grab one and understand what this all is about.
What are your influences?
The main our influence was, of course H. P. Lovecraft and his “The Dream Quest of the Unknown Kadath”. Unlike the most of Lovecraft-inspired bands, we tried to create the dreamy and adventurous feeling with the music, not the dark and obscure atmosphere. It shows the other side of Lovecraft, the side that we like a lot.
It is hard to say about music that influenced this album, as we listen to a vast number of different bands and artists in different genres. Moreover, our musical tastes and preferences were changing gradually during the recording of Kadath, so it could be a mix of genres that influenced us; from classic black metal acts like Gorgoroth to Cascadian ones like Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch and then to a whole bunch of non-black metal bands as The Angelic Process, Cult of Luna and so on. We also listened to a shoegaze masters Slowdive and psychedelic rock icons Pink Floyd a lot during the whole album production.
How did you choose the cover artwork (Kadath)?
The artwork came to life as an inspiration by the system of stone mountains around Krasnoyarsk called Stolby. In fact, the face from the cover looks kind of like one of those mountains, called "the grandfather", I guess you may find it using Google. It also looks like a Lovecraftian Ngranek mountain, where according to the legend the elder gods depicted themselves in a stone. So it’s like a symbiosis of these two inspirations.
How were the songs written?
Well, the most part of album was written during the band's rehearsals. We were jamming together and creating riffs on the go.
As the basis for the songs was ready we started to work precisely on some decorations, adding solos, harmonies and all these little things that make final version sound more interesting. Many things that sound on the album had been added much latter than song was actually recorded.
How did the recording process go?
First we came up with some guitar and bass riffs, as we really wanted to make Kadath a more guitar-based album. Actually, we turned the whole process of recording upside down, so we recorded both guitars first, then bass, and finished with the drums. It’s kinda weird, but worked well for us. It became a little tricky as soon as we started to work on the mastering process, as we tried to find a proper man to fullfill our wishes for the sound. The whole process of mixing and mastering took us a little less than three years. Eventually, our label helped us to contact Mell Dettemer, who played a great part in making this album to sound properly.
What are your future plan?
There definitely will be a massive Russian tour next year. Before that, we will perform some shows around Siberia, as here is a certain community of our friends and fans who were waiting for this album for quite a long time.
Of course, it would be great to get to some big festivals during the summer and we work on it.
We would definitely love to tour abroad, as we have never done that before. In fact, we have a decent touring experience that we obtained during our previous Russian tours, and we have a new long play out, so theoretically, this year is the best time for us to expend our tour map.
Are there any countries you’re interested in touring or performing in? Why?
We would like to tour pretty much any country that will be ready to host Ultar on their venues.
There are many people asking us to tour their cities and countries on Facebook, hopefully we'll be able to cover all the requests one day.
What bands would you like to play alongside?
We played with Behemoth once a couple of years ago, it would be nice to repeat that experience as they're living legends and people that we respect a lot. It would also awesome to play with Alcest, they are a great and truly inspiring band and Neige seems to be a really nice person. And of course Cult of Luna, as they make one of the best shows of all metal bands. There's also a crazy dream to share the stage with Anaal Nathrakh. We called out these four, but there are many more of them for sure.
Any last words?
It is a great feel when people from the countries we've never been to support us and our music. Thank you for your voices, it means a lot for us. See you on the shows!