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1.How are things in Latvia at the moment? What is the state of your wealthy society speaking from an insider’s perspective?

Economically, things are not looking so good but it has been worse and I hope that it won’t get worse since the restrictions are being reduced. There is not much optimism around but all we can do is stay calm and enjoy what we have.

2.You come from the region of Riga, with a very similar climate to Poland. Long cold winters and short hot summers, forests of pine, lakes scattered across the woodlands. How is your lineage, is it reflected much in modern life?

Regarding our mentality, it is what it is with all the good and bad features but I believe that it’s a thing that runs through centuries but if the things keep going the way they go, soon we all will be the same, multicultural creatures. The time will show.

3.What can you tell me about your past, growing up, backgrounds, and musical tastes? Have you always been into extreme music like Metal? What would you say your biggest influences from the world of Metal, as a band and as an individual?

I have been into heavy guitar sound since I was a kid. My taste went from the mainstream alternative rock to underground black metal. Lately, I have been into various styles of music and I keep discovering new artists. If I have to name one artist that has influenced Druun’s music, it could be Skyforger. Otherwise, I believe we all have different tastes and it’s a good thing.

4.How is the music scene of your surroundings, are there a lot of underground activity going on for the more rare types of music? Have you guys known each other for a long time, or have you met due to interests in the kind of music Druun does?

We have artists doing experimental and pretty unique stuff here. I can’t say what is a lot but we have bands like Tesa, Pamirt, Eschatos and they create quite impressive music. Regarding us, we have been knowing each other for a pretty long time since the local metal community is small. Some of us know each other even for too long. We came together because we like the idea of this band and we still do.

5.Do the members of the band share the same kind of musical tastes, or is the band divided when it comes to liking different styles like Death,Doom and Folk Metal? Is the style of Druun something that comes from all the members, or is one member more into Folk and the other more into Metal, and so on?

We all like metal and all the genres listed by you. Speaking of Druun’s style, the idea belongs to our founding father Jānis Krivāns who wanted to continue the legacy of folk doom metal which was started by the local pioneers Grindmaster Dead.

6.Druun has been active since 2018, and prior to that all of you made music in a different band’s such as as Urskumug, Heaven Grey or Skyforger. How would you describe the music of this bands compared to Druun, are there many similarities? Why did you decide to quit the previous bands and form a new one, were you drawn to more Doom/Death/Folk Metal?

Since I can speak for myself and my years in Heaven Grey, I can say that Druun’s music is much more different. It’s slower, darker, angrier, the lyrics are much different since I use more figurative language. Regarding the style, I have always liked all three elements combined in our music and I was excited to try it out myself as a musician. I had some nice time as a member of HG but I wanted to go further and when I was leaving, Druun wasn’t founded yet, so it’s not related.

7.What can you tell me of the other bands and projects of the members of the band? Is every member involved in Folk or Metal in some way, or is there some other styles of interest to be found?

As far as I know, right now the only folkish thing we are involved in is Druun. I am also a member of another local metal band called Catalepsia. It’s a doom metal influenced band but right know we are heading towards experimenting and trying out new ideas.

8.How much time does Druun take from your lives. Do you play live a lot, or spend time at the rehearsal place with regular schedules, or do the albums come to be when it seems like a good time to play some „fucken Death Metal”, without too much effort?

The most of the work is done by Jānis. He writes the music and does the arrangements as well as he manages the band. The rest of us are quite lazy asses. I don’t think we spend much time as members of this band. Before the Corona virus, we spent a couple of hours per week in the rehearsal room and it seems that the things will be back the same way they were pretty soon.

9.How has the response been so far to „Veļu laiks”? Do you know if your fan-base comes strictly from the Metal world, or is the basic Druun-buyer an open-minded music fan into all kinds of stuff?

I think that we are mostly liked and listened by metalheads, for sure. It’s hard to imagine that someone who hasn’t been into extreme metal would just suddenly start to listen to us. You must have a certain state of mind and soul, if you will.

10.How has the response been to Druun so far. Do you get a lot of invitations to play abroad and so on? You seem to enjoy live-performances. Do you see giging as necessary part of band culture?

I don’t think we receive many invitations. We haven’t been around for very long and this planet has a shitload of bands to offer. We haven’t played abroad yet but we hope to change it as soon as it’s allowed to make gigs. I think that playing live is very vital for me as a musician.

11.The art of Druun is very live-oriented in terms of creation, as well as working splendidly on stage I’m sure. How much do you play live, and do you see Druun as a live-band more than a studio-band?

We have played four gigs so far and we will play more for sure. I think that we are all excited to perform live from time to time. Hopefully, we will manage to get back to it soon.

12.Your music is extremely visual to me, in terms of visions of sceneries it creates in my mind,as well as emotions of different life-situations. Do you have history in visual kinds of art, such as painting or making films?

Well, Jānis is a camera guy, editor, director and he has worked with tons of live shows, TV shows, music videos and so on. Our second guitarist Jurģis is a lighting guy and the bass player Mārtiņš works with photography. I have never thought about it but these skills might have left a mark on Druun’s music too.

13.”Veļu laiks” has an astonishing amount of complex riffs and amazing performances when it comes to playing the instruments. How is a typical Druun -song crafted? Is it a long process, or do the creation-lengths of songs vary a lot?

Lyrics-wise, it can take quite a long time for me. Sometimes it takes days and several erased versions of the song lyrics. I am slow at it. Music-wise, as far as I know, Jānis has a pile of riffs from the past and now it’s the time to use them which he does. He usually takes things step by step and lets the ideas process themselves a little until a song is ready.

14.How did you manage to make these all guest musicians contribute to Druun debut album?

Since the scene is small and friendly, it wasn’t that hard. I believe that everyone was excited to take a part in our debut album.

15.How have the sales been on this age of digital releases and people not buying (buying?) records that much in general. I’m, guessing money is not the biggest motivation for you to create music?

We invest more than we earn, for sure, so money is the least of motivations. People seem interested in the physical copies of the album which was the reason why the CDs and cassettes were made. At first, we had no plans to print the album but there were quite many requests for the physical records, so we found a way to do it.

16.I just have to ask about it – Druun current lineup features drummer Imants Vovers, a figure who has been involved in the Latvian scene for ages, producing essential albums and playing in important bands making his name known publicly in Latvia. I’ve understood that music is not the “main profession” to him (even creatively), but rather a therapeutic passion in life? Is he still much involved in the Latvian folk scene besides being involved in Druun?

Imants is our legend, for sure. He has been in the local metal scene since the very beginning. Right now, Druun is his only band and yes, that’s correct, it’s his passion, not way of making living.

17.You have decided to write in Latvian besides English since the beginning, giving a more sinister feeling to the music, at least to the foreign listener. How did you come to this solution?

We have our own identity as Latvians and using Latvian seemed very natural since it’s folklore related music and I am glad that I managed to do it because it can be challenging.

18.Like I mention above, there is no English lyrics at all in this album but for me they sound and „look” intelligent and multifaceted, travel clearly in the world of Baltic mythology and Spiritual symbolism. As I don’t read the Latvian, can you explain, what are the greatest themes and sources of inspiration behind Druun lyrics.

It’s the typical life challenges described using figurative elements from the past. As a matter of fact, I have an English translation on its way. It will not reflect the whole message and tone but hopefully, it will provide the mood and most of the meaning.

19.Your label is Metalkalve, which promotes also the other Latvian band Eremos. Does the Baltic countries help each other? What about the activity of the Baltic scenes and the link with the other countries?

We gave very good relations with Lithuania. I guess it has to do with the same language branch and common history just as it is with Estonia. We respect each other, go to their festivals and events and they come to our events. It feels like home there.

20.What do you see as the most fascinating aspects of being Baltic? Do you like to investigate specifically the Latvian cultural mentality and it’s unique aspects, or perhaps more global Universal themes?

It’s where we belong and I would love to stick to the Baltic folklore for now. I would like to keep digging and create something new of what we have here.

21.How is the local scene for music like this? Do you feel like a part of a bigger group of musicians helping each other out and you much involved in it, or do you prefer to work on your own more and you prefer to stay outside of the gossiping of the underground?

We are a community and we do things together. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t keep working the same way.

22.Ok, last question! Is Druun the manifestation of your musical creativity to such lengths you can see yourself doing music under this name for as long as you shall make music?

Nothing is predictable but as far as it goes, I think we will keep doing it as long as we manage to gather for rehearsals and prepare for the gigs. The ideas for music itself will never stop coming.

23.Thanks for this interview! How do you see the future of Druun, are you planning already any new full-length perhaps?

Yes, we are but let’s keep it secret for now. Thank you for your support and doing this interview and we hope to see you in one or several of our gigs.