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......::::BELGARATH (Bulgaria)::::......
Realized at: 28th, November 2016

"The big names in black metal have been and will always be the same: Marduk, Dark Funeral, Satyricon, Mayhem, etc...."

1. Your career as musician has been a long journey, just started on 2003 as a project, then stablished as a band on 2009. How difficult it was at the beginning and have there been any defining moments that stand out in your memories?

In 2003, while still in high school, I was a huge fan of the Swedish and Norwegian black metal scene. Eventually I got inspired to form a band of my own , though I had no experience in musicianship at all. So I bought a cheap guitar (made in Bulgaria), made myself a DIY distortion pedal, and naturally I started writing my first jams. One night at a party I played to my friends the 3-4 songs that I had written by the time, and, for some reason, they actually liked the stuff – basically that is how Belgarath was born.

2. Who came up with the band's name BELGARATH, the logo and everything? Does it have any deeper meaning for you or did you just choose it because it sounded good?

When I had to come up with a band name, at first I was considering picking up a name from J. R. R. Tolkien’s works (like 90% of the metal bands worldwide do haha), but I didn’t really like Tolkien back then, so I ended up naming the band after a character from another writer’s fantasy world – David Eddings, who wrote the epic novel “Belgarath the Sorcerer”. The band logo, as well as the artwork for out debut album “Wanderer”, were created and designed by our friend Peter Wolf. He is also the author of the poems that we used as a basis to our lyrics.

3. I am curious to know more things about your debut CD "Wanderer". Tell us something about the main idea of the 8 tracks. Where did you record? Could you tell me something about the process of making these songs?

It was soon after it’s inception when Belgarath was put to sleep. In 2009, by the time I came back to gathering a proper lineup, I had already written a number of songs. Fortunately, however, they were subjected to some significant changes as every single band member had something to put into the composition. Before the album was recorded, we had the awesome opportunity to shoot a live video with AmpsOnAir (http://www.ampsonair.com/) and to meet the people who would subsequently track, mix and master “Wanderer”. We booked “Na Vilata (In the Hut)” studio and recorded all the songs for just a day – we basically started tracking at 9:00 in the morning, with a severe hangover, and by 18:00 we were already headed home with the raw material. The album was tracked in a multisession (except for vocals), and mixing and mastering were handled by Petar Bratanov (Don Pepino). 

4. I believe that every band has their own way in composing music… so how do you proceed with a song-writing? What elements highly emphasized during the song-writing period? Do you need any certain atmosphere or environment to come up with a good idea?

Sometimes I sit down and play for the sole purpose of creating music for Belgarath, but this approach hasn’t worked for me so far. Ideas tend to come spontaneously – whenever they come, I do my best to work them out and jam on them until time shows whether they deserve a chance or not. At some point I show the stuff that I’ve came up with to the rest of the band, and that’s where the brainstorming takes place. Everyone shares their ideas and visions regarding each composition and the final result is always a product of our collective efforts. I consider that this is the best approach towards songwriting, as it enriches the style of the band significantly, yet it doesn’t change the stylistic course we’ve taken.

5. Is it important for you if listeners understand you or do not? I mean… a message of Belgarath — do you have a concrete one?

We play the music we like the way we like it. Nobody from the band makes a living out of this. In fact, on the contrary, we gladly invest our personal resources in the music we love and we’ll carry on so as long as it makes us happy. If you like what we do – listen to us and support us, if you don’t - we don’t really mind

6. What music format do you prefer the most; vinyl, CD, or cassettes? Do you think it is really good to release one album in these three mentioned formats?

We prefer mp3 and YouTube – it’s free for everyone that would like to hear something from us. These three methods you mentioned are usually profitable for some of the pseudo-labels labels out there, rather than musicians themselves, when we speak of underground music.

7. How would you describe Belgarath live? Where does the band feels the best to you, in rehearsal, studio or live?! How do you figure out your live shows setlists?

Well, as I said, our main objective as a band is to have fun doing the music that we like, so our rehearsals are basically friendly gatherings accompanied by lots of beers. The same goes for our live gigs too: it’s always a pleasure to share some good times with our friends and fans. They may not be thousands of people, but they surely are dedicated and supportive as fuck. And we enormously appreciate that. 

8. Tours are normally good occasions for getting drunk and retarded. Any fun stories, band fights, stage fuckups?

Last year we went on a mini Balkan tour with the guys from Human Serpent (Greece, black metal). When we arrived at the club in Nis, Serbia, there was a local band rehearsing in the place. They were totally unaware of the fact that there was going to be a concert that evening :D Anyway, we waited them to finish their jam (they had paid for it), and started setting up for the gig. After all the show went really well and we got smashed.

9. „Wanderer“ was released two years ago. Do you work on new material relentlessly or do you take your time while preparing a new recording?

Yes, it’s been quite a while now since we released “Wanderer” and some changes happened in the band for the last 2 years as we got a new vocalist and a new bass player (for the second time). However, we have come back on track with the new material, especially since we settled in our new rehearsing place.

10. How do you perceive the advances of technology and the internet changing the music industry in the future? Will the CD as a product become a fanatic’s item like the LP is nowadays?

Surely more and more music is being and will be sold online, but I think there will always be maniacs who love collecting CD’s and vinyls.

11. You are from Sofia, Bulgaria, which is known for being a hot metal scene. What is your opinion on the Bulgarian Metal scene?

Yes, we are from Sofia and we’re constantly keeping track on the Bulgarian metal scene, both band and fan-wise. Almost every big metal band that plays here seems to be happy with the response provided by local fans, though I couldn’t say the same thing for the more underground bands that come to play in our country. Fans don’t seem to be much interested in the new and the unknown. The same goes for (with some exceptions, in Sofia only) the local underground concerts – they are being attended mainly by friends of the bands and other fellow musicians. The media and the big Bulgarian promoter companies almost never give their support for the underground scene. From my personal experience I’d say that compared to the Serbian, Greek and Romanian scenes, our one kind of sucks.

12. What do you think about the current Black Metal scene worldwide. Which are the bands you have the biggest respect for? Which are the most outstanding and influential ones these days?

Black metal got to have lots of subgenres in the last few years. I especially dislike those one that involve tattooed metrosexual boys who whine some faggot stuff over a few power chords. No aggression, nothing to spark you up really. The big names in black metal have been and will always be the same: Marduk, Dark Funeral, Satyricon, Mayhem, etc.

13. And what about inspiration outside of black metal and music in general? What else fuels your inspiration? What kind of art do you enjoy in your spare time? Literature, cinematography, theatre?

That is an interesting question, since every one of us is listens to and plays different genres of music. Besides, we work different things, we have different lifestyles and inspirations in life. What unites us is the love for black metal and out urge to do the thing we like whenever we can. 

14. Well, my friend, that?s all for now, thanks a lot for your co-operation. I hope you enjoy this interview.. Some words you like to add?

Thank you on behalf of the whole band for this interview. It has been a pleasure for us.

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