On December 31, 2012, Viscula released their Mini Album (or EP) Завжди Молодий. The release was recently reviewed on MangoWave – click here to read that article. In an interview via e-mail, Viscula let us take part in the band’s history, in the role of Завжди Молодий, and in the current situation in Ukraine.
How important was the EP Завжди Молодий for the development of Viscula? What changed for Viscula when Завжди Молодий was recorded and released?
Viscula recorded the mini-album Завжди Молодий (Forever Young) in 2012, after a creative break due to the fact that our vocalist was in the army. It was an inspiring work that brought the musical collective together again. After the release of the EP, we went up with new strength, performing at the largest festivals of Ukraine and near abroad.
Can you describe the ethos behind Завжди Молодий? What stories or ideas do the four tracks convey?
Photos from our childhood shine on the artwork, created by our friend Oleksandr Kulakovsky. Four children’s faces are like the four elements embodied in the presented songs, namely love, carefree, naivety, and romance.
The sound on Завжди Молодий combines melancholy with joy and movement. Does that mood stand for the time the EP was written and recorded at?
Of course, the sound of this mini-album fully corresponds to the time when the hipster culture based on indie rock first began to bear fruit. After the release of Завжди Молодий, we received several awards for our innovation on the rock scene of Ukraine.
The final track Байдарка was recorded together with Пан Пупец‘. How did it come to this collaboration?
A few years before our cooperation with the band Пан Пупец‘, we performed together at a big festival and have been following the rise of this band ever since. Bass guitarist of Пан Пупец‘, Oleg Moroz has his own studio in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and when the question arose, who will be the producer of our next project, the decision came naturally.
Are you still in contact with Пан Пупец‘?
Yes, and in our opinion Пан Пупец‘ is one of the best rock bands in the recent history of Ukrainian rock n roll.
The time when the EP was released was also marked by the Maidan revolution and the fight for Ukrainian indepence. How much of these struggles can we find on Завжди Молодий. And how does it feel looking back on those days today?
The EP Завжди Молодий is based on powerful anthemic choruses that resonate with the mood that enveloped Ukraine at the end of 2013. The Revolution of Dignity had a fateful effect on the future of the band Viscula. It was during the revolution that we moved to Kyiv at the invitation of a well-known producer, but those creative aspirations were not destined to come true, but new perspectives opened up for us, which we successfully implemented in China.
For over a year, the Russian Federation has been launching a war on the people of Ukraine now. Can you describe your situation these days? As a person and as an artist?
Ukraine will persevere and will definitely win. For 80 years, there were no wars of aggression in the world, and now someone decided to redraw the borders of the sovereign state that is Ukraine. It is extremely difficult for our people now and they draw inspiration from our rich culture. Therefore, we artists, must continue our work, because as long as there is a culture, there is also a people.
Does the current situation allow you to write or play music as a means of expression or escapism? If so, what does your contemporary music sound like?
At the moment, we are working on our new music, which illuminates to some extent our current state and the experiences associated with it. Is it escapism? No, rather the opposite, escapism on the contrary, if there is such a term. In our new music, we do not run from something, but towards something instead, and this something is our future.
Is there something that you want to tell the people who are currently based in the Russian Federation, in Ukraine, and outside?
And is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?
We would like to thank everyone who supports Ukraine and everyone who has listened or is listening to our music during the 20 years of Viscula’s existence.
All pictures by courtesy of Viscula