1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never
heard of you before?
1. (Alexander - bass) Apostate is a death/doom metal band, formed in 1993 in Lviv, Ukraine. The nineties were a hard time for a musician here in Ukraine, so by 1997 we had only one demo and one EP released, then we split up in 1998. In 2007 I decided to release a compilation "Apostate Story" which contained our stuff from the 90s. That CD had a surprisingly good feedback and that was the main reason why I decided to gather a new line-up and reanimate Apostate in 2009. So, however strange it may sound, our debut LP was released only in 2010.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album?
2. (Bohdan - vocals) Musically "Trapped in a Sleep" is a cross between traditional doom and death/doom metal genres. The songs are based on trad doom guitar riffs, backgrounded by subtle keys, vocals are mainly harsh. The sound is dark, atmospheric, but at the same time songs are pretty "rocking". We would like to think we've managed to do a modern album that carries that old-school spirit of honesty, sincerity and straightforwardness which was inherent to death/doom metal music of the 90s.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics the new release explores?
3. (Bohdan) Lyrically part of the songs focuses on outer aspects of life - "what eyes can see" - and explores such topics as the rotting world, hopeless mankind, multiplication of emptiness and other life-affirming stuff :) While other part of the lyrics is more personal, introspective reflections (the title track for example), and deals with psychological, existential issues. What unites both parts is they are all appropriately pessimistic.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
4. (Alexander) When we came up with this name in 1993, we didn't put some specific meaning in it, we liked it might be interpreted in many ways. The main thing about the word "apostate" is it has some kind of protest, disagreement, it's rebellious, which, by the way, should be natural for a metal or rock band! I think it would be not far from the truth to say that such dark, heavy music we play cannot be very popular and understood by large number of people, so in this sense we might be called apostates :)
5. Have you had any oppurtunities to do any live shows yet, if so what are
some of the best shows that he band has played so far and how would you
describe your stage performance?
5. (Alexander) We try to play gigs as often as possible. Until now we had only Ukrainian booking agent, so our performances did not go beyond Ukraine, apart from our mini-tour with Therion in the Baltic States, these shows can be described as the most successful.
At present, we have added another guitarist to the band, also we're trying to work with another singer, and we want to slightly change the band's image, and change a bit the concept of a live performance, to introduce new elements of the show, and perhaps a little theatrics.
We are now working with the booking agency Craneo Metal (Germany/Costa Rica), in this year we're planning to do some tours, maybe in Europe and Central America, hope it goes well, so that we have the opportunity to bring our music to listeners in those countries.
6. Currently you are signed to Black Art Records, how did you get in contact
with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given
you so far
6. (Alexander) To tell the truth, Black Art is my own label, and we decided to release the album on it, because we could not find a suitable contract on other label. Black Art helps at its best, as much as possible, but in fact it is very small, and its possibilities are very limited. Anyway, the label is trying to spread the word about our release all around the world, and the album is already available to buy in the United States and some European countries.
7. You guys split up for a while, what caused the breakup and what made you decide t reform the band?
7. (Alexander) Yes, in the late 90s we broke up, the reason was disagreement in the vision of the band's future, but to restore Apostate was the idea which haunted me for a few years and which I was able to carry out with help of present members in 2009.
8. Do any of the band members have side projects or is this a ful time band?
8. (Alexander) I have a death/black metal project called Goliard (black/death), Vova (guitar) and Ihor (drums) play also in a thrash metal band called Disarm.
9. On a worldwide level, how has your music been recieved by doom/death metal fans?
9. (Alexander) On a worldwide level our album has been perceived very warmly and we got a lot of cheerful feedback from the fans of this style all over the world, as well as enough positive reviews from magazines.
10. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what
direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
10. (Alexander) Stuff on the latest album has been more dynamic than ever before, we have focused more on guitar riffs base in our music. In a future release, of course, the genre will remain the same, but with getting on board two new members, we hope they will bring into our music something new, well, so I think we will carry out experimentation with the sound, with instruments, and with vocals.
11. What are some band or musical styles that have influenced your music and
also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. (Alexander) Bands that have influenced us are plenty, but basically we are influenced by Black Sabbath, Candlemass, My Dying Bride, etc. As for musical style, every style that has a word "doom" in its description :) And we listen to the entire world metal, and not only, scene, ranging from old hard rock bands to modern genres, but except for nu metal, emo, etc.
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
12. (Alexander) Outside of music we have quite a lot of interests, we are engaged in sports, love fishing, hiking, reading, and so on. The problem is we have a little time for all of this, because we all have full-time jobs.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
13. (Alexander) Thank you for your interest in us, we wish you best of luck and a lot readers for your magazine. To everyone, thanks for your time and reading this interview. Buy our new album, if you like our music, follow our news on our pages:
See you at the gigs! Stay doom!