When surfing the Internet, sometimes unknown bands reveal to be quite good. Sleeping Woodland is one of these cases. This two men project comes from Russia and the music is a varied Epic Viking Metal. The review of the last album is (here). For sure this band deserves to be widely recognized, so here is the interview. Both members, Andrey and Yuri, answered the questions.

Hail Brothers, thanks for your time and the interview! Can you briefly present Sleeping Woodland?
SW: Hail to all viking-metal fans! We are “Sleeping woodland” band from Russia.
Now our music is Adventure Epic Viking metal that filled the spirit of the North and melodies of the ancient past. We have two CDs, they are "In the reign of Eternal Ice" (2011) and "To the Northern Seas"(2017). Our second album released on the major Russian folk-pagan metal label “Soundage Prods”. At present time "Sleeping Woodland" are Yuri and Andrey. We are working together for many years.

What are your major influences?
Andrey: As all viking-metalheads we were under the influence of "Bathory", "Moonsorrow", "Ensiferum", "Scald", "Finntroll". It was on the first steps of musical thinking and composing. During this self-development we decided to find our own path in music because the creation of a proper style is very important for us. We have made every effort to understand the wonderful music of our favorite bands and try to create our own musical style because we wouldn’t like to be as them all. And so, few years passed and after very-very hard work we made the first full-length album "In the Reign of Eternal Ice". The debut CD didn't follow trend groups, the same with our new album "To the Northern Seas", as I hope!
Yuri: It’s true! In the beginning we were under the influence of great viking-folk metal bands but among them was “Scald” from Yaroslavl (Russia). Also ambient-music very heavily inspired us specially are “Licholesie” and “Nest”. These bands inspired us to take up musical instruments and to create own unique musical world.
In 2004 we experimented with our music and after long time it turned out in the debut album "In the reign of Eternal Ice". When you're listening to this you can notice that songs on this album are very epic and long moreover there is a combination of ambient and folk metal. It was a very hard path full of lapses, failures and errors. After all troubles we have in 2017 our new strong conceptual album “To the Northern Seas”.

Any particular reason to sing in Russian? Do you consider to have songs in English?
Yuri: Russian language as I think is more suitable for our music because it’s more colorfully and expresses all emotions in our lyrics which we are trying to convey to listener. In general, the choice of language for music is very individually for every band. Most importantly to convey true emotions to listeners and to ignite their souls! If you did it I guess that its true path. Who knows maybe in the near future we will use English but we will do it very carefully.
Andrey: The Russian language is the richest in the world. Yes, we know it, think on it and fully represent as sing on our language and how it’s placed on the music. It is moderately rough but not as Norwegian or German, it has sometimes harsh elements. Also, Russian language has many beautiful words and phrases, very important for the meaning of lyrics and give them a uniqueness. I guess its very exotic for our listeners worldwide. We relate well to English because its understood everywhere. Besides, in some of our songs we used choirs on English. We haven’t ideas for using English in our music but we don't want to disappoint the fans and they can always find the translations of lyrics on our Facebook for a better understanding of our Saga.

How is the Metal scene in your region, Tambov? Are there many concerts?
Andrey: In our region Metal is very popular. Our Michurinsk town is the capital of Metal in the Chernozem region. There are a lot of good bands which left their mark in music, for example “Devil-may-care”, “Gothic sky”. Now we have a lot of bands too, but they are not seriously about music and there is no reason to go to their concerts. You simply can’t remember their music, their ideas. There are a lot of gigs but we can not say that quantity turns into quality.
Yuri: We really have a lot of music bands in our region but there are not only metal bands. You can find punk music too and etc. I would like to mention the “Skolot” from Tambov. Every year in Tambov starts "Nasledie" festival. You can see there a lot of interesting bands. Headliner is a wonderful russian band “Troll Bends Fir”. Their show is very bright!

Congratulations for К Северным Морям, excellent album. It was quite a mature work, almost 5 years to compose, no? Happy with the results so far? And getting contacts all around the World?
Andrey: Thank you for congratulations! It was a hardest work, it took a lot of time, own efforts and technical resources. We worked on songs, remaking it, worked on the conception of the saga, over the harmony in music, worked out all the details of it. It was a very important step of all our creativity clearly to submit music to the listener. To the Northern Seas - is a great experience which will help us in future. Certainly, we are satisfied with the result and excited to bring the case to the end. Now we have listeners from USA, Canada, New Zealand, England, Germany, France, Brazil, Costa-Rica and Portugal! Also, we have many new listeners in Russia. So great, that people find themselves our albums and thank us for it. Is this praise for musician? Yes!
Yuri: Thank you very much for the excellent rating for our creation. Nice to hear it! Really, 5 years we worked hard on it and now have a high result. But if to return time back we will do all better...) But very important to know when stop in time and when the album is waiting for its audience. About us already know or just learn people from different countries and nice to know that music is able like and evoke emotions. Almost every day we get positive words about our creation from different places of the world.

Where did you get inspiration for the story? The Northern Sagas?
Andrey: The idea of a Saga appeared in the process of making "To the Northern Seas" album. We decided to look wider on our own idea and group it in one piece with many parts as any artistic work. We don’t want to record a standard album like everybodyl. We wanted each song playing a role in all conception of the album and was a full-fledged work. I think inspiration comes during the difficult work.
Yuri: At the time I loved to read books about North and vikings, listened to a lot of folk metal music. But don’t copy this arts in own music. We decided to find our own way in composing and conception of our creation. Good or bad, let our listeners to decide. But it's just the beginning!

Would you like to have this story developed on book or on screen (movie/TV series)?
Yuri: It would be perfect! To create a movie based on ideas from our albums and show another side of yourself for our listeners. Idea of book... maybe it will be a magic saga consisting of many parts with colorful pictures. Who knows... but now you can listen our second album "To the Northern Seas"
Andrey: Yes of course, we would like to bring the idea into different formats. It is a measure of the quality of own ideas. We thought about creating a book. The idea is extensive and we have something to tell. Music can’t say all because it will take a lot of time… Its very difficult for listeners and for us. Physically difficult to record a large album with a duration of dozens of hours! But a book will tell us more about the nature, heroes and show all background. We want to develop the story used in the music... but it is a secret now.

Have you ever thought about recording a cover, from a known Metal band or score movie?
SW: After a short rest we want to start working on some covers. To invest own ideas in it because the usual overplaying of these songs this is not for us. We want to work with some “Manowar” and “Bathory” songs and now select it. We love and respect the songs of Quorthon and will try not to spoil his art. “Manowar” is one of our most favorite bands! It's true heavy metal! In old songs of the group there is a space for creativity. It’s interesting to try vocal lines of Eric Adams. There is a lot to learn from him. He's a great singer! It will be a great experience.

Are you planning to play alive? Being a two-men band, will you expand the band or invite guest to complete the lineup?
Andrey: We would like to play with other bandmates, but can't find responsible people for it. It's a very difficult situation because most part of musicians are not serious. Don't know what will happen with it.
Yuri: It's a very sadly situation that we don't play live concerts but we would really like to do it. We want to communicate with our listeners. To find seriously bandmates for it is a very difficult work. I’m afraid it's really a problem.

What bands would Sleeping Woodland love to play with, in a tour?
SW: We would like to play on one stage with folk-metal giants like “Ensiferum”, “Moonsorrow”, “Amon Amarth” and “Asmegin”. We would be met with “Arkona”, “Pagan Reign”, “Varang Nord”, “Forodwaith”. We think it would be a hurricane live show! The fans would just freak out of it! Recently we were invited on “Varang Nord” show as a guests. They are great guys! We exchanged CDs and took photos but its so pity that had a little contact with them.

Finally, do you want to leave a message to the Sounds from Apocalypse readers? And the Portuguese Metalheads?
SW: Wish more music made by soul and heart! It's very important for metal! Enjoy your life and go to your own goal! Support “Sleeping Woodland”! To the Northern Seas together! Hope the information was useful and interesting. Wish more quality metal-music for people! Meet in Valhalla at the feast of mighty heroes!

Thanks a lot for this opportunity! I do hope to hear more from you soon!

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   Sleeping Woodland - К Северным Морям (To The Northern Seas) (album teaser)

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