‘The name has complex etymology and it means the second planet from The Sun - Venus –which is the symbol of the fallen angel, Lucifer. Venus is also called Karelian Star or Finnish Star, cause it’s being used in folk ornaments of Finno-Ugric people, which culture heritage is actively used by the band.’
Vladimir Lehtinen (guitars)‘and Second To Sun – is my doing” is obsessed with music and continual progression ‘Yes, even now I’m doing this interview with guitar in my hands.’ Their new album Leviathan is out now and it continues the bands uncompromising sound that began in 2011.’ I think our playing become more melodic, but also heavier, and we got rid of groove metal elements, replaced them with thrash-metal riffs.’
Second to Sun have a prolific discography that includes both instrumental and vocal versions of their releases, they also are not afraid of a cracking Beherit or Emperor cover but don’t label them as black metal. ‘I’m not gonna make a loud statement, cause in my opinion the rating system if it has satan and inverted star – this is black metal and & satanism. Is black metal the propaganda of pop-culture values of Norwegian teens from middle-90-s? Our music is definitely based on black metal, same ideologically, and musically, but it lacks pop-culture visual systems, like six-six-six and anti-christian screams, gothic image and drinking blood from the cup, which helps to sell modern black-metal in thousands. ‘
‘So I can’t give you an answer to this, I’m just gonna say that these two bands, which we covered today - mainstream, and we, despite our pretty modern-ish sound – are not, and never gonna be mainstream’.
And the groove factor to their music ? ‘I just like Pantera, that’s it.’
‘ I don’t understand brutal music – death metal, deathcore, all this stuff looks primitive to me. It’s more like very furious and heartrending performance. Imagine a winter blizzard, that spits in your face and presses you to the ground with wind. Eventually, the blizzard dies down, and you see a beautiful winter nocturnal or diurnal landscape – this is melodies. I would say that my music is endowed with nature’s power and I’m using it in it’s natural form..’
It is important for second to Suns music to contain many different elements. ‘For me it’s very interesting, I’m trying to bring it in Second To Sun’ and to constantly improve and evolve;This is just inherent in man. I’m trying to develop it in my band.
‘I think you can see motion in everything that we do. We are a special form of obscurantism, targeted on a thin origin and idea, not the low feelings of the masses.’
Traditionally based on instrumentals was the new material written with vocals in mind? ‘Of course I started with instrumental parts, and then recorded a vocal demo for Gleb. Our music is based on music is based on the music itself, and it doesn’t need (a) pop-culture ubiquitous frontman.’
“Leviathan’’ carries a central theme ‘First of all, I want to note the ideological concept of the album – there is numerous songs inspired by movies – for example Rainer Sarnet’s “November”. It would be alien for a band from Russia to use satanic themes, so as usual, I turned to the culture of Finno-Ugric folks, and wrote Shaitan, the song about the battle of two tribes and a shaman who appeals to the people with fiery speech and calls to pray to Shaitan. The album title is partially dedicated to Russian movie “Leviathan”, and the song ‘The Engraving of Gustave Dore’ is my own peculiar interpretation of it’s idea, based on impression from the original gravure. I think, it has some influence of post-modern. Same thing with ‘Emperor in Hell’, this song’s theme is close to Russian gothic literature and narrates about the Emperor of Russia, who is being killed and goes to Hell with his killer. One part of the song is telling about his memories, and another part is about Satan speeches (or Shaitan). The whole song is dedicated to Hungarian psychoanalyst and paranormal researcher Nandor Fodor.’
But Vladimirs source of inspiration?’ Hard to say, I think this is the combination of many things. My favourite literature, movies, life experience and just a desire to speak out loud about something.’
‘Of course. It can be everything – from “Blizzard” by Sorokin, to Häxan by Benjamin Christensen.’
Second to Sun originally began as an instrumental outfit hence the 2 versions of their previous release ‘Legacy’. ‘We started as instrumental band, and one part of our fanbase is listening to instrumental releases. I don’t want to disappoint myself and these people.’
But one thing that does surprise people is that the band is Russian and not Scandinavian.’ Honestly, I’m not. We are not really loved in Russia, at least I haven’t noticed any “respects” from the local metalhead community. It lives separately, and doing good, obviously. But we have many fans and listeners in Scandinavian countries, it’s always has been this way.’ And music should be without boundaries “I think yes. The Internet Century is all about that.’
Top 6 albums of all time?
Emperor – Anthems…
Pantera – Vulgar…
Abigor – Supreme Immortal Art
Kreator – Cause For Conflict
Abigail Williams – In The Shadow…
Enslaved – Frost