– Hello, thanks for taking the time. What’s currently keeping KYPCK busy?
Erkki: Hello back! At the moment, we’re working on some new songs and trying to find a partner to work with on the next album. We have a couple of shows coming up in the winter, but not so much as after the album-release. We’re working on the foundations again, so to speak…
– First off, I hope you don’t mind making some history of KYPCK for all those who aren’t familiar with you yet…
Erkki: Well, the band was formed about 4 years ago in Oulu, Finland. There was an idea to play crushingly slow, but melodic music and to do it all in Russian, which makes the concept very special. We were all very excited about the idea and it quickly grew into the strangest and heaviest band in the world, heh… It’s really just that – an incredibly strong and inspiring concept
and a powerful, real live band.
– Tell us a bit about the band’s name, both its meaning and origin.
Erkki: It’s the name of a Russian city where the biggest tank battle in the world took place in 1943, and also the sunken Russian submarine, which is another tragic story. We thought these associations suited the band’s music very well.
– And what are the band’s main musical influences?
Erkki: Currently our first two albums… But of course there are lots of influences here and there. Too many to mention.
– Some months ago you released your latest «Nizhe»; how has its feedback? Both from the fans and press.
Erkki: It’s received a kind of mixed comments, because it is so extremely depressing and heavy. It is really a bit hard to take in, so some fans have found it less accessible than the first album, “Cherno”. Then again, we really wanted to make it that way, we wanted to make a sad, lonely, forgotten album which would at the same time be very strong in reflecting all those elements. In that sense we succeeded 100% Some reviews in the press have also been very favourable, even a couple of 10/10 in Germany.
– For what I’ve read, it has got amazing reviews, exactly as your
debut album; did you expect such a good response? Also for «Cherno»… I mean, were you trully confident about the content on your debut? As I guess the feeling just before releasing the band’s first album may be different…
Erkki: Yes, there have been good reviews for both. Like I said, I think the strength and inspiration come from this unique concept. Not many people understand just how much we are artistically inspired by all of this. I mean no one has done this before, so it’s a blessing for an artist. We’re in a situation were we can pretty much create our own path and reflect upon our own work as we go, so that has stayed the same ever since the first album.
– In fact, have been 3 years since your «Cherno» and this new «Nizhe»; what have you been up to during this time? Did you spend many time working on it? Anyway, I guess you need some time to create a really solid effort…
Erkki: Well, not really. I mean we worked on “Nizhe” a bit more than we did on “Cherno” and we were all more experienced in what we do, but the main problem was that nobody wanted to release the album and we were trying to look for a label.
– Anyway, and if I’m not mistaken, the material was already one
about a year ago; why did you wait that long to finally release the album?
Erkki: Like I said, we were looking for a label to release the material.
– You finally released «Nizhe» via Hiili’s label; how good was this for you guys?
Erkki: Artistically it was good because it meant that we got to release our work into the world, but obviously it was very expensive for us to release it ourselves.
– How was the songwriting for «Nizhе»? I have always been curious about that because of singing in Russian; is it easy to make this language fit your music?
Erkki: It’s quite easy. I mean I usually write the lyrics to the music, so they kind of come naturally from the music itself. The guys usually send me their demos musically ready and I work on the lyrics. On my own songs, of course, I do that myself. Sometimes I work together with Sami, our guitarist, on the vocal melodies and stuff.
– I asked this specially because I noticed this time your sound is heavier; was this something you aimed for?
Erkki: You mean the singing or the music? I guess we aimed for both a little bit. But it’s a very organic process, nothing too forced. Things felt good that way.
– Talking about this; how did you come up with the idea of having your lyrics in Russian being Finnish? Have you ever considered about singing in any other language?
Erkki: In Kypck – no. That’s the basis of the whole concept, there would be no point in this band without Russian language. I sing in Finnish and English in my other bands.
– Moreover, people is not really used to hear Metal music in this language, anyway is something that make you guys stand out from the rest so, having Russian lyrics; is it something positive for you or the opposite? Could you say its a challenge both for you and your listeners?
Erkki: Like most of the stuff we do, the visual image, the Kalashnikov-guitar, the one-stringed bass and the Russian lyrics – they are obviously a challenge to everybody involved. But if you get passed that and realise that the thing altogether actually works like an unstoppable Russian tank, then you might get to the other side where we are and get really excited and into the band. I think we have more depth in this band than many of the thousands of other bands around and in the long run that is very positive. No compromises.
– Becuase of this I guess most people won’t understand your lyrics so, could you please tell us a bit about them? If I’m not wrong, you are quite influenced by history…
Erkki: Well, not really. We don’t have any historical songs, we have stories about individual people. On “Cherno” one of the main themes was religion and atheism, as well as the great despair that people experience under different circumstances. But at least 4 of the 9 songs were quite explicitly about religion. On “Nizhe” there are maybe more songs related to Russian culture of the 19th century, like the Burlaks on the Volga, the famous painting by Ilya Repin, there’s a song about Catherine the Great, the German girl who became the greatest empress in the world and so on. But also personal songs, like one that is dedicated to all our fans, who understand what we are doing.
– And how did you get interested in Russian literature and history?
Erkki: I guess I was always intrigued by the fact that it’s right there next to our country and nobody knows anything about it. It’s like you being in Spain and not know anything about France, for example. I wanted to find out. And
of course, even objectively speaking, Russian history is full of tragic events and upheavals, most of which is reflected in Russian literature – so there’s a lot to be discovered.
– Due to this I guess some people could think you are a politic band; what do you have to comment on this?
Erkki: We are as political as Iron Maiden are satanic.
– Finally, what are your near-future plans?
Erkki: We’re getting ready to release some big news on our website, as well as new pictures from all the shows we did in support of “Nizhe”. Then it’s back to writing songs!
– That’s all from my side, thanks once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; take the last lines.
Erkki: Thank you, too. It’s nice to hear from you guys in Spain and it was especially nice to meet some of you who came all the way to Czech Republic to see us play in Brutal Assault! We were very pleasantly surprised as you came to get our autographs… I will never forget it!