Metal band for Calgary, Canada!
Hi! Tell me about Red Cain. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Hello! Thanks for talking with us! This is Evgeniy, the vocalist of the band. The name was symbolic – Red is a martial, aggressive colour, Cain is a polarizing conceptual figure (killing own brother – morally problematic but in many ways, he is a Promethean figure). We want to use music as a force of discovery, war through concepts, and storytelling. Existence is made of stories. The story of Cain is above all, a great and tragic saga and an allegory for humanity. We do not have religious connotations at all, but look at that fable and music as powerful creative forces and ways to recapture that glorious state of bliss of having dived headfirst into a captivating story. We want to be the serpent whispering in your ear.
“Red Cain” EP was released on November. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put EP into masses without any wishes to change something now?
We feel great! Definitely that we accomplished what we set out to do, which is to make a mark on the metal scene and announce our presence as a band. We have received some excellent feedback and great reviews and we are inspired and fired up for our next album. We have worked very long hours perfecting the EP songs, so while there is always something to improve, we are happy with them as they are.
Tell me more about “Red Cain”? EP conception etc?
It is a sort of cutaway representation of our sound and a cutaway story of the rise and fall of man, his Faustian war between his own serpentine Promethean urges and the easy, vanilla optimism of “goodness”. Sonically, we want to stay far away from castrated mirror-polished metal, so all the songs have lyrical and musical edge, rawness, even in the way they are mixed and mastered. It might not be for everyone, but we really wanted to move away from overproduction. Especially in the power metal genre and most clean-vocals metal, the sound has often become stale. We want to bring more of that primal “metal is the Devil’s music” feel back outside of black metal/death metal.
The tracks of the album work well on their own but together, conceptually make up the four “Faces of Man”.
Guillotine is War. Dead Aeon Requiem is Ascendance. Hiraeth is Yearning, future and past. Unborn is the Primordial. Otherwise, we respect the listeners and trust them to find their own way in figuring out the meaning behind the songs. We do not want to tell them what to think (but there is a lot of interesting content there).
Why did it took 4 years until you recorded your very first single this year?
Mostly, because the current Red Cain is a very different band. With the initial version, we had a more gothic/industrial rock sound, which was great live, and that is what we focused on, simply building a fanbase, finding out what we as musicians like to play, and letting an organic process develop. This time we took a much more structured approach and decided to release material immediately, without even being together 6 months with the new lineup. It was a good strategy and the right move, especially given the strengths of the new members that joined the band. They really changed us into a different vehicle altogether.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
Telling a compelling story, revisiting familiar themes from a different angle, touching on controversial topics, touching on the occult and questioning humanity, questioning the past and the future, using visual language to create strong scenes and images. Of course, most themes have been done and re-done many times, but we try to portray them in unconventional ways. Interesting turns of phrase and lyrics are part of that, and a lot of our tracks are driven by these juxtapositions of vivid, twisted imagery, and conceptual threads (see Unborn and Dead Aeon Requiem). We all love Slavic and Nordic mythology, among others, we love the power and treachery in the tales, we love the bloodthirst in them, the strength and extreme personalities of the characters. I personally am also inspired by gothic poetry (Byron, Lermontov, Baudelaire) and its twisted landscapes, modernist poets and musicians like Marilyn Manson, surrealism, Nordic eddas. The clash of ancient vs modern is also very prominent in our work – the continuous war between chaotic, primordial seeds of man and the orderly, steady march into humanity’s future. All of this shows in both the lyrics and the music.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define Red Cain’s sound?
We have often been called progressive metal and we want to bring that in-your-face 80s heavy metal sound to the fore too, but in a more intelligent way. We certainly have progressive elements, but we do rely on hooks and catchy melodies, as well as overall an aesthetically pleasing sound. We have power metal influences, but vocally, we are very much influenced by bands like Charon, Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode, Type O Negative. Musically, we are inspired by bands such as Blind Guardian, Kamelot, Aria, that create compelling storylines that weave in and out of the tracks. We want the listener to look at one of our tracks as something that can be explored further with every listen, so there definitely is abstraction and a focus on snapshots, imagery in our work, but underneath all of that, there is both musically and lyrically a story that takes place. We want the listener to discover and respond to that story. And of course, we want to present that story with some swagger, with some cohones. You won’t get sappy vanilla ballads from us – every song will have a darker component, because all the best stories are frightening in some capacity.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately? Maybe there is first full-length album coming?
We are working on new material as we speak. We really do not want to relax at all. Everyone’s very inspired and we’ve already written plenty of songs that just need to be perfected and recorded for the full length album in 2017. So the EP was just a taste – we are super excited to continue the journey and you can expect to hear news from us very soon!
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
We are all interested in a wide variety of music, so influences can sometimes be very small, sometimes larger. Kamelot is a big influence for me, Rush and Tesseract for Rogan. Brendan leans more towards Paul Wardingham and Nevermore, and Allan has a huge variety of artists that he enjoys. I sometimes listen to some very obscure bands or even Russian pop for influence, because if it sounds good, why the hell not?! In terms of our sound, we are careful to realize our own vision and perhaps borrow, but never copy from any of the musicians or bands. After all, we are trying to build something new.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
I would love to do a collaboration with Roy Khan (ex-singer of Kamelot), if he ever comes out of his musical retirement. That would be absolutely crazy, but in a good way, considering how big of an impact he has had on my career as a singer. Roy, if you’re reading this, we love you – let’s make it happen!
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
We have put in a lot of effort to make our music available everywhere on the Internet. We’re on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp has been amazing for exposure, YouTube, you name it. I think it’s very important for a new artist to be both accessible and cheap, to reach as many people as possible. We have also talked to hundreds of people and offered them free downloads of our music.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
I’m very much into sports. I’ve played European football for 17 years semi-professionally, and hockey as well.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Absolutely, the support has been fantastic. All our families are very much on board, and they often come out to see our shows and say nice things about us to people. Huge thanks to them!
How’s the metal scene in Canada right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days?
The scene is reasonably strong and there are a lot of great fans, venues, and promoters. In Western Canada especially, though, it’s a bit difficult to consistently have a lot of people to come out to shows. Live music isn’t as much of an event here as in some other cities. However, in Calgary the music scene is growing and we are getting a lot more variety in terms of the sound of the bands that come up. It’s not all death metal and hardcore. I do see a lot of fans going out of their way to support bands, and a lot of the members of the local scene are incredibly supportive of one another, which is always a strong foundation.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
Thank you very much for this, it’s been great to talk with you. Cheers!