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Vitaly "Larv" (Psilocybe Larvae)

Interview with Vitaly "Larv" from Psilocybe Larvae
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 January 2013, 1:38 PM

Surely this is one of the most awkward acts in extreme Metal that just won’t tire from surprising. Well since determination is everything, why stop there? PSILOCYBE LARVAE, a wicked Russian act handling progressive and extremity on the same Metal table, released a new album named “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra”with an aim to shake the world. Steinmetal talked with Vitaly aka “Larv”about the new album, the band’s message of craze and more…

Greetings Vitaly, I am honored to have you for this interview for the Metal Temple web magazine. What have you been up to recently?

Hey Lior! Thank you for your interest in our band and a possibility to introduce our band to your readers! I’ve been doing some promotional things, sending out promo kits to dozens of magazines, radio shows, answering some interviews and so on. Sometimes it looks like a boring work but I like to do it because we have a good reason for this J

Just out of curiosity, why Psilocybe Larvae? What is the meaning of the name?

I knew you would ask me about it JOk. Our band name was taken from a line from the Tiamat song “Whatever That Hurts” and I really can’t explain why; that phrase just conquered my head. The name was a bit weird but uncommon one, and in the same time it fits to our music very well. So we chose this name or it chose us J, but there is nothing we can do now, we are Psilocybe Larvae and it’s our karma.

I don’t know what Mr. Edlund really had in his mind but I prefer to stick to the following meaning: “larvae” – evil spirits created by a possessed man, they live in his mind and feed on his life energy, phobias and pain. Hence is “psilocybe”, this is an invisible energy form, virtual vampires. In Romanian mythology “larvae” called like “lemurs” – spirits of suicides and innocently murdered that torment and terrify the living.

A little while ago your guys celebrated its fourth release, “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra”. Do you think that upon its release, this album brought you closer to the image you have been trying to assert to yourselves as band?

Yes, this album is our most diverse and significant thing that really represents us as a band to date. I think we managed to make a good balance between groove parts and typical melodic touches keeping our dark atmosphere. “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra” is exactly the type of album that we wanted to create this time around, so we couldn't be more pleased with it. But it doesn’t mean that we are going to record the same album in the future. We are constantly driven, evolving in different directions. So I think we’ll be able to create something new and really interesting stuff.

Please let the readers know about what this new album is all about? Were you aiming for an ordered storyline or packed a few darkened messages for the all the world to endure?

Well. You know, I prefer to leave some things open to interpretation. One shouldn’t consider the album’s line like the story about a computer game or a journey in the some labyrinth. It’s more a philosophical theme. Our existence is like a labyrinth where you are wandering in searching of purpose in life. It’s a struggle with personal demons; you’ll be devoured by them if you stop or go a wrong way. So, you have to go through the labyrinth to find enlightenment and finally reach realization and see your shambhala. This is the way of pain, sacrifice, decease, oblivion and reincarnation. So, walk and ye shall reach!

Lyrics were inspired by the film “The Matrix” also and the album’s story can beinterpreted in this vein. We live inside a program created by the Penumbra creatures and we are a biofuel for them. Only in a sleep you can walk through their labyrinth and try to crack the program and free your mind and soul.  So, choose any option you like! J

I really enjoyed the track “Haunting” as it made me look knee deep inside myself, like a soul searching. What are your perceptions about this particular track? If optional, how was this one created?

I think you liked it because of a poignant solo in the end of the track, he-he )))) Yeah, it’s a pretty good song. Though it has took its shape at once practically we spent a lot of time doing some arrangements, with a solo and samples in coda especially. We worked hard and it definitely rubbed off on the songs, including “Haunting”. May be you felt it too )) I can’t say that something extraordinary happened during the writing process of this song. All comes naturally; we just love to make music. That’s all J

A while back I listened to your earlier album, “Non-Existence”, and found it to be rather awkward, nothing was in one place but still it intrigued me with its mystery. Do you think that “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra” shares the same grounds as the previous? Same oddness or is that complexity behind the music?

We’ve always been trying to make very diverse albums with progressive elements. So therefore some songs have weird counts and the structure. We don’t stick to the sequence, like “verse – refrain – verse – refrain – solo – refrain”. You know what I mean ))).  So when the listener hears something he doesn’t expect to hear at this moment then it may seem odd and awkward. With “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra” we continued to evolve what we’ve created in “Non-existence”.  So expect nothing other than darkness and despair! Ha-ha ))))

Do you think that you rapidly progressed your musical form and lyrical concepts since “Non-Existence”?

Sure, “The Labyrinth Of Penumbra” is a more mature album. We grew up and so did our music.
Having gone through ups and downs during our existence we became stronger and now we have plenty of experience that gives us the confidence to go our own way and make good albums (I hope so, at leastJ).

Basically we wanted to have this album be cohesive all the way through where music, lyrics and artwork tie in with one another. We have been doing a lot of re-writing on some musical parts, working with album sound to get it all to fit perfect with the atmosphere of the album. To be honest, I can’t judge our material objectively, because, you know, I’m so into it. So, I think it’s up to the listeners!

Here is a general question: Metal from Russia has been mostly known due to the existence of bands such as Aria and Master. What can you say about your local Metal scene or maybe answer why with its potential to grow and influence the rest of Europe it is still considered rather trifling and insignificant?

There are many bands out there, very skilled musicians. The main problem is that they are, in the majority, trying to copy foreign examples.  May be this is the easiest way to gain a local success but nothing more. There is no well-developed music industry and bands sometimes are localized in their regions. They just have no a possibility to progress as a band in further.

Any plans for the coming future?

See the end of the world, surely! Not so long to wait, isn't it?  ;)

Vitaly thanks a lot for this interview, I believe that in time you guys would be able to become the Dimmu Borgir of Russia. Your music is assorted and challenging. I really hope for your continuing success. Any last words?

Thank you Lior, but I’d like to become the Psilocybe Larvae of the world! Ha-ha! Thank you for paying attention to our band, it was nice to talk to you. Hail to Metal Temple! Don’t forget to visit our webs: http://psilocybe-larvae.com/, http://www.facebook.com/psilocybelarvae, and feel freeto contact us if you have any questions or would like to donate us some money! )))))))) Merry Christmas and Happy New Fucking Metal Year!



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