Genre: Heavy metal
Maria Doychinova - Vocals
Yavor Kamenov - Guitars
Victor Georgiev - Guitars
Alexander Spiridonov - Bass
Borislav Glavev - Drums
Voice of the Wilderness - 2009
1. Hello Maria and Happy New Year! How are
you? How do you feel now that your debut album “Voice of the Wilderness”
is released? Which are your expectations from it?
Hello Nick, greetings from RAMPART! And Happy
New Year full of good metal music! We are glad that our debut album is
released by the French label Inferno Records. The album “Voice of the Wilderness”
concentrates our music efforts for the last three years. It’s been receiving
a good feedback from the metal media worldwide. Our expectations were our
music to cross the boundaries of our country with this release and Inferno
Records made it possible. We hope that the album will provoke serious interest
amongst the heavy metal fans. And we expect to reach their hearts with
2. You have signed to Inferno Records, a label
that specializes on more extreme sounds and I think that you are the first
traditional metal band that they have in their ranks. How do you feel about
it? Do you think that Inferno Records has the experience to promote a heavy
metal band in the right way?
Inferno Records are an independent label which
specializes in selling almost every kind of metal: heavy, black, thrash,
doom, rock, progressive and so on. Till now besides our band they have
released the stuff of VASTATOR (Chile), HELLHOUND (Japan), LEGIONS OF WAR
(Sweden), HATESTORM (Russia) and VORGUS (Sweden). Inferno Records have
appraised that they can release a Bulgarian band as well. For us the contract
with them was a good chance and a kind of recognition as well. We are grateful
to Inferno Records for their support. For all members of RAMPART the most
important thing was that they are true metalheads and that they indeed
like our music. No matter of the genre good metal music will be remembered.
In our opinion Inferno Records have the experience to promote our band
properly. We have exceptional relations with our label and we highly respect
the work and the promotion they are doing for our first album.
3. Now for someone that hasn’t listened to your
music and would ask you how you sound, which are the elements that characterize
your sound, what would you tell them regarding your music?
Our music is classic heavy metal. It reminds
the general 80’s epic power. We are influenced by the German power metal
bands such as RUNNING WILD, GRAVE DIGGER, GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN. In some
of RAMPART’s songs you may find classic influences from VIVALDI, PAGANINI,
BEETHOVEN, and WAGNER. Our music is a combination between power metal and
classic music. It is filled with enchanting melodies, strong ground rhythms,
double guitar solos and surprising orchestrations. Another element that
characterizes our sound is the lack of the typical female operatic stuff
in the vocals. This is our own style in the framework of traditional (Teutonic)
heavy metal which will always be timeless.
4. I think that the band started back in 2002,
so I would like to know how old some of the songs that you have included
in your album “Voice of the Wilderness” are and if you have changed them
a bit and in which way? Also are there any new compositions on your debut
In fact the band started its activities in
2006. Our guitar player Yavor and our drummer Bobby decided to play together
in 2002 and they made some attempts to form the band but the real foundation
of RAMPART happened in 2006. And some of the songs date from this year
(2006). These are “Warriors”, “Voice of the Wilderness”, “Orchrist”, and
“Age of Steel”. Their compositions and arrangements were already prepared
and created by our composer and guitar player Yavor at that time. There
were no changes in this stuff neither in the lyrics nor in the music. The
songs dating from 2007 are “Stay Aside” and “Mirror to Dreams”. And the
new compositions from 2008 included in the “Voice of the Wilderness” album
are “The Flood”, “Desert of Time” and “Under Control”. Currently we are
working on new songs (5 are almost ready).
5. Why did you name the album “Voice of the Wilderness”?
Is there a special meaning in the album’s title?
We discussed the name of the album and we
all agreed that this one completely responds to our ambition to be a bastion
(a rampart) of the heavy metal music in Bulgaria. This idea also combines
the main intension of the album - as a whole “Voice of the Wilderness”
is an expression of protest and a short retrospection of the contemporary
6. I think that you write the lyrics. So what
kinds of themes inspire you to write about? Is there a story from your
country that you would like to write a song or a concept in the future
The messages of the lyrics are different:
there are some social topics (“Under Control” and “Desert of Time”), some
epic (“Warriors” and “Orchrist”), some interpreted live situations in a
metaphoric aspect (“The Flood” and “Stay Aside”). For our next album there
are two texts about pirates “The Black Pearl” and “Bloody Symphony” and
two texts (besides “Orchrist”) inspired from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of
the Rings”. I find proper topics for our music in knights’ tales or pirates’
legends. I often invent texts inspired from real life situations, but I
also find a parallel to themes from history, psychology, philosophy, myths
7. I would like to stand a bit on the song “Age
of Steel” which differs a bit from the other songs on the album. How did
you decide to add some classic music instruments to your sound? How difficult
or easy was that to do? Do you plan to do it again in the future?
There is such a story – I intend to write
a text about the Battle of Adrianople occurred on April 14, 1205 between
Bulgarians under Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria, and Crusaders under Baldwin
I. The tower you can see on the front cover of “Voice of the Wilderness”
is exactly the Baldwin’s tower at Tsatevets fortress. It is a symbol of
victory and at the same time of our band’s name as a bastion of the heavy
The ballad “Age of Steel” is devoted to the
power of the will. In dark times defenders of faith stand strong enough
to pay the price of the existence. Any future tomorrow depends on the will.
Here you may hear the tender violins of our guest musician Sofia. Well,
the composer of the song – the guitar player Yavor has a professional music
education; he graduated the Bulgarian Music Academy. He also is a violinist.
It was logical for him to create something in this direction. He wrote
the orchestration of the composition, and my friend Sofia recorded the
violins, the viola and the cello in the studio. I do not think that this
was difficult to them. We liked the final result and we intend to keep
this line of implementing classical instruments in our future songs.
8. You are a 3 member band, so the question is
obvious… will you stay like that or are you searching for other members?
What do you do in your live shows?
In fact we are NOT a trio. RAMPART has five
members: as it has always been from the foundation of the band. This delusion
comes from the fact that only three of us recorded in the studio the album
“Voice of the Wilderness” – we are the nucleus of the band: the guitar
player Yavor Kamenov, the drummer Borislav Glavev and me. Yavor is the
composer and the author of the music, I am the writer of the lyrics and
Bobby is more than a drummer – he is the musician with the best ideas for
the future of RAMPART. From 2006 till now many second guitar players and
bass players passed through the band. Most of them were just session musicians.
In the spring of 2009 we finally found the true guys - the guitar player
Victor and the bass player Alexander. They brought new energy in RAMPART
and now our line up is stable and creative.
9. You will also participate in a tribute to HELLOWEEN/GAMMA
RAY. Can you tell us a few things about it? Which song will you cover?
The upcoming tribute album to HELLOWEEN /
GAMMA RAY “HelloRay” will be out in 2010 via the Norwegian label Epicus
Records. In this release are involved fascinating bands as Germany's KICKHUNTER
featuring Markus Großkopf (HELLOWEEN), SIGNUM REGIS from Slovakia
which features Göran Edman (MALMSTEEN, TIME REQUIEM), GAIA EPICUS
from Norway, GUARDIANS OF MANKIND from Finland and others. The idea of
this tribute is the bands participating to be real fans of HELLOWEEN /
GAMMA RAY. This makes the album different from the previous tributes and
I am sure that it will raise interest. Our participation is with HELLOWEEN’s
”Just a Little Sigh” song which we recorded specially for ”HelloRay”. We
were chosen to participate on the basis of our author’s music. It is an
honor for us to take part in this tribute.
10. Which are the biggest difficulties that a
metal band from Bulgaria has to confront in order to become known outside
There are a lot of difficulties and challenges
in front of every band, especially a Bulgarian one. It was hard for us
to make a compromise with the sound in a wide range of studios here. It
was a challenge to keep our spirit during these three years because the
constant staff of a metal band indeed is a hard task in the conditions
of our scene. I can say that this is the same story as the Myth of Sisyphus.
We roll a huge boulder of the metal music up a hill, only to watch it roll
back down. The lack of trust in the Bulgarian bands and in their potential
leads to an absurd sensitiveness in our country. But there are other opportunities.
The proof is that we signed to the French label Inferno Records. We would
like to thank to all who believed in us!
11. The only heavy metal band I know from Bulgaria
are AHAT (AXAT). So how is the metal scene in your country? Are there some
other metal bands that are worth to check out?
The Bulgarian scene does not give many chances
for metal bands. So we fight for our music and we fight for saving metal
here, because metal is our childhood and our life. AHAT is an old heavy
metal band; they are titans – fathers of this genre here. In the frame
of the power heavy metal the contemporary Bulgarian bands deserving attention
and that worth checking out are PROJECT ARCADIA and SJK. Good black metal
bands are SERPENTINE CREATION and CLAYMORE. Other excellent bands to look
out for are WARTIME (progressive thrash) and HYPERBOREA (death metal).
We hope to overcome the obstacles in front of our metal scene in future.
12. Thanks for your time answering my questions
Maria! Good luck with your debut album! The epilogue of this interview
belongs to you…
We would like to invite you to Bulgaria, Sofia,
on June 19th, 2010, when we will play with CRYSTAL VIPER and WILD KNIGHT
(featuring the guitar player Majk Moti from RUNNING WILD). You may visit
our MySpace profile and listen to our music - http://www.myspace.com/rampartbg!
Heavy metal is our Faith!
Thanks for presenting our band,
Maria from RAMPART
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis