ALATYR is a band from Bristol here in the UK. Being English and just down the M5 to Ravenheart Towers, I wanted a chat, so I got it!
Hi and thanks for the interview. I myself know very little about your band, so can you tell us where you come from and introduce us to members of the band?
Steph: Hi, my name is Steph. I sing lead vocals in Alatyr.
Jay: Hi, my name is Jay. I growl and play guitar in Alatyr.
James: Hi, my name is James. I sing backing vocals and play guitar in Alatyr and we’re from Bristol, UK.
And can you give us an insight as to how you all got together?
Jay and James met at Music University and found they both liked the same genre of music and started writing rehearsing songs. We later recruited Aaron as a drummer who is a friend of Jays. We actually met Steph in the Gryphon, which is a great little pub in Bristol. Due to a previous band member leaving Andreas has recently joined the band as our bassist.
And effectively, what made you get into music in the first place?
James: I got into music from a young age as both my parents were musicians. My Dad played guitar which inspired me to pick up the guitar and my mother used to sing Opera a lot, which is how I gained my influence of classical music.
Jay: One thing was driving to football practice in my mates dads van listening to Appetite for Destruction by Guns n Roses. One day I saw the moon and I knew I had to play.
Steph: Started playing guitar at primary school, I also had piano lessons from a young age and I was also part of the school choir and my parents were in the church band and I sang and played with them.
And have any band members been involved or are still involved in other musical projects?
James: I’ve been a couple bands over the years mainly throughout High School and College. I’m currently writing material for a solo project.
Jay: I play guitar and front a band called Mordrake which are Dark Melodic Metal band.
Steph: I’ve recently started an all- female project which hopes to gigging later this year.
How would you describe your music to anybody unfamiliar with your band?
Jay: Female fronted melodic metal with elements of Death Metal and Prog Metal.
Cool - and can you explain the name of your band ALATYR?
James: We were originally called ‘Souls Bitter Cry’ but due to previous members leaving we decided to start fresh with a new name and new line-up. The name ‘Alatyr’ comes from Russian Slavic mythology.
Alatyr is a magic stone, As a legend says, healing rivers flow from beneath Alatyr and on it stands the World Tree this stone is guarded by mythical monsters Gagana-bird and Garafena the snake.
You have released a single 'Cursed'. Is there an album in the pipeline?
James: We’re currently in the process of recording our EP ‘Union with the Divine’ which will be released later this year.
Have you had any media reaction to the single?
We’ve had ‘Cursed’ played on several radio stations across the net and also ‘Beauty of Grace’ which is going to be released on the EP has been played on local radio stations.
How do you yourselves view the rock & metal scene generally within the UK?
Band: It’s pretty huge, Bloodstock Festival attracts tens of thousands and currently Download is even bigger and generally the scene is massive.
Do you feel that the that the likes of Napalm Records, Massacre etc tend to ignore the UK rock & metal scene, despite the quality of music we have here?
James: I feel that all bands are signed for a reason, it’s about having the whole package. Image, performance live and a particular sound that attracts a crowd.
And do you know if you are generating any label interest?
Jay: Not at this current time.
What bands or musicians inspire you?
Jay: Wintersun, Opeth, Moonsorrow, Dimmu Borgir and Human Abstract.
Steph: Flyleaf, Lacuna Coil, Eyes Set to Kill, Mors Principium Est and A Perfect Circle.
James: Scar Symmetry, Epica, Nightwish, Dream Theater and Kamelot.
And who would you just love to tour and hang out with?
Band: Protest the Hero and Black Dahlia Murder because they’re hilarious. Epica as they’ve been a big influence on Jay and James. Lacuna Coil because we all have a crush on Cristina Scabbia.
James: I’d love to meet John Petrucci and Per Nilson.
Cristina is rather nice. If you was not a musician, what career aspirations would you have?
Jay: Professional League Badminton star, have my own clothing range and to become the founding member of the Zombie response unit.
Steph: To be Lara Croft, Milla Jovovich and a professional Zombie Killer.
James: To become a professional poker star and make money from doing Adrenaline fuelled Extreme Sports.
And apart from the current dates, are there any future gigs planned?
Band: We’ll be supporting Savage Messiah and Haken this year aswell as releasing our EP. Also we’re through to the Metal to the Masses final on the 12th July! And we’re also playing a metal festival in Italy next year.
Well, thank you for your time and good luck in all your future endeavours. We wish you all the very best for the future. Finally is there anything that you would like to say to anybody across the world via this website?
Yes, welcome to the party Pal! Our Facebook is here.
Dave Smith (Jun 24, 2014)