Interview for "Parat" / "Blakula" magazines (Czech republic)
from August 13, 2002.

W. Martin Brnovjak ("Parat" / "Blakula" magazines): So how was your holiday? Where do the Kazakhs like to spend summer holidays? I bet you have everything in your country - high mountains to seaside, right?

Yermola (Lead Weight): Vacation was great. Actually I'm not a Kazakh (my father was German and my mother was Russian). Most of people here prefer to visit Issyk-Kul lake in Kyrgyzia (it's not far from us - a few hours on a bus or car) and part of them like Turkish health resorts (Antalia e.t.c.). Yes we have big country with wide variety of landscapes (we have no seas but instead we have a lakes and mountain reservoirs).

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: You are currently searching to replace your bass player - do you expect to find someone easily? Is there enough people around?

Yermola: Yes our former bandmate Blum left the band. We found the replacement for him yet. After long search we chose Denis "Pansa" Ivanchenko from local black-death-grind act "Requiem". Soon we'll declare him as permanent band member. We have a lot of metal bands in the city (and bass players as well) but we didn't satisfied with quality of them.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: So you play technical death metal with lots of variety - was the music you played always like this?

Yermola: If you see reviews for our last album you can notice that now we combine different styles in our music from orthodox heavy metal till death, thrash and grind-core. Previous album "For Thine Is The Kingdom..." (1999) was in melodic death style and others were neo-classical, instrumental and even pure heavy metal ones.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: What inspired you to play metal of this kind in your beginnings?

Yermola: My personal heroes were Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, afterward Metallica, Queen, Accept, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Kreator, Pantera and so on.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: You put together your own studio, right? How do you see the sound coming out of there? Wouldn't you be perhaps happy if you could record in a full profi studio?

Yermola: Yes, me and my partner Grom (guitar player and music co-author) we have own record studio "Grom Sound Base". After long years of work in genre we have proper equipment and I strongly beleive we are the best one in Kazakhstan. Other metal bands here used to record in pop-studios and I don't like their sounds and producering. In "Grom Sound Base" we're using Marshall tube amps, custom series Ibanez gtr and Shure 057 microphones with newest version of editorial soft, so you can here the result. Also the drums tracks are alive though even grands as Morbid Angel use drum machine...

Concerning record in famouse studio and with famouse producer... It will be the great experience for us in spite of my vision of sound and producering. I would like to work with Rick Rubin, Flemming Rasmussen or Peter Tagtgren but as with advisers not with dictators. We do not want to sound as Children of Bodom or Slayer.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: If people want to listen to your music and get hold of your records, how can they do it? Have you got any international marketing contacts?

Yermola: We have a collaboration with biggest Russian and CIS source Musica Must Die (http://musica.mustdie.ru/en/index/) and with related label MUSICA MUSTDIE Productions (http://musica.mustdie.ru/en/label/#cd). So you can order there compilation, introducing fresh blood of metal music from CIS countries, Russia and Kazakhstan. Except us you can find tracks from: Glazemaker "Burning Coast" [progressive intro]; Seducer's Embrace "As The Forest Weeps..." [melodic death]; Samhain "Herimos" [doom]; Wishmaster "Betrayer" [melodic death]; Radigost "In The Heart of Battle" [melodic black]; Hostile Breed "Paper Law" [modern angry thrash]; Exhumation "Cursed World" [melodic death]; Vortex "Break The Fetters" [power]; Requiem "Your Dreams" [black-death]; Elisium "Shadow" [power]; Tvangeste "Damnation Of Regiomontum" [sympho-black]; Rossomahaar "Quarite Lux In Tenebris" [black]; Absurd "Where Time Has Died Away" [melodic death]; Forrest Gump and Jamilya Serkebaeva "Sarjaylau" [folk hard rock]

For compilation orders please write to: mmustdie@online.ru or to post addresses: Vitaliy Belov, 30-81, Leskova str., Moscow, 127560, Russia, MUSICA MUSTDIE Productions

Also, before the end of this year our newest "Penetrator" release will see the light on CD (with 8 pages colourful booklet) through MUSICA MUSTDIE Productions, so ... stay tuned. We have negotiations with few labels to present our album in Europe and worldwide if you can advise us some labels in your country you'll be highly appreciated.

You can download some songs in MP3 format for free on our web-sites: http://leadweight.musica.mustdie.ru/music1.htm or http://www.mp3.com/LeadWeight or http://leadweight.by.ru/0media.htm

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: Do you have a record label for your CDs or do you release and promote everything by yourselves?

Yermola: As I have said before we work with MUSICA MUSTDIE Productions at present time...

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: What other bands from your area would you recommend?

Yermola: I can recommend you Requiem (death-grind) http://www.blackrequiem.by.ru/ and Tornado (hard-core) http://tornado.musica.mustdie.ru/

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: Do you know the Uzbekh SALUPA - what can you tell me about them?

Yermola: I know nothing about band from Uzbekistan. By the way Salupa in Russian means Dick Head... He he.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: You sure like women - what experience you have with impressing women as a rock musician?

Yermola: M-m-m-m... Well... Shure I have such experience but I woudn't tell about it here... :-))))))))

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: Now you are thirty three this year - what about settling down, having kids ...?

Yermola: Actually I have a wife and 2-years old doughter but it's don't impede me to play music.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: Is this true that the first book you ever read was Lenin's "Materialism and Empiriticism"? How do you assess the eastern communist ideology yourself?

Yermola: Yes it's true. My grandfather was a communist and I found that book in his bookcase. I don't like any ideologies including communism or capitalism. You'd better use your brains. The same concerning religions... It's an "opium for the people"... :-)

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: How do you see the admission of Kazakhstan into UEFA and the chance for your football teams to play in European competitions? Is it perhaps a step in broader integration of your country into Europe?

Yermola: Most probably that's good. But condition of football here is far below expectations... As you can see even Russian team on the last World Championship losed the matches with weak opponents... We have no normal teams, players or trainers. Maybe the situation will be better after admission of Kazakhstan into UEFA.

"Parat" / "Blakula" magazines: And the last one - what do you know about Czech republic?

Yermola: Nothing. It's a shame for me but I know better polish bands as Vader or Decapitated... If you have information about Czech metal scene you can send it to me and I will add it to Musica Must Die database, because I'm one of the administrators.

Thank you for interesting questions and hello to metalheads in Czech!!!

 
Web-zine "The Metal Observer" from September 11, 2001.

Metal Observer: Hi, this is Alex, the boss of „The Metal Observer“! Thanks a lot in advance for your effort to answer the questions! Don’t worry about space, we’ve got more than enough of it, you won’t have to worry about your answers being too long ;)

Yermola: Hello Alex and „The Metal Observer“!

Metal Observer: For the beginning, could you please tell me a little about the history of LEAD WEIGHT and its members?

Yermola: The Band “Lead Weight” from Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, plays melodic death metal wilh a strong progressive-metal influence. For the first time the name “Lead Weight” sounded in march 1992 when the musicians of a local band “Apokalypsis” Yermola (lead guitar) and Blum (bass) stayed without a drummer, vocalist and keyboardist and decided to start a new project. The band’s music style was close to a mix between hard-rock and neoclassic-metal. The same time the first demo-tape was recorded. It became quite well - known for the local public, some of the songs were played on the radio, the band started to play at the concerts. Despite of some difficulties, in summer 1995, the album "Omen" was recorded. After that there was no any information about the band during 3 years. In Autumn1998 Lead Wight was back to life. Yermola met some young musicians, who were playing death metal in a nameless band and who invited him to join their band. The guys remembered the old Lead Weight and decided to take this bandname. So, the line up was - Yermola - lead guitars, Grom - vocals, guitars, Blum - bass and HellPash - drums. The band started to rehearse, made a new material that is musically based on melodic death metal with elements of progressive/speed metal. There was recorded and released album “For Thine Is The Kingdom...”, also the guys started to play live quite often. This relis got quite good reviews in Russian and foreign magazines and web-zines (Musica Mustdie Web-zine 8,5/10; 666Metal.com; Legion – magazine e.t.c.). One song from the album was included to Musica Mustdie Compilation CD (this compilation of best new metal acts in Russia was sold about 1 000 yet). Right now we have negotiations with some labels about printing and distribution of “For Thine Is The Kingdom...” for CIS countries and more... It looks like work with new material is about finish too... It will be released under a name “Penetrator” and continue the band way of death metal (with progressive influences) but with best quality of record and strong producering...

Metal Observer: What musical influences could you name?

Yermola: For me there are:
R. Blackmore, J.Page, Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Angus Young, Martie Friedman, Steve Ray Vaughan – as guitar players

And Pantera, Sepultura, Metallica, Napalm Death, Mekong Delta, Kreator, Megadeth, AC/DC, Dream Theater – as bands

Metal Observer: You have recorded a quite interesting cover-version of AC/DC's "Back In Black". How did you come to pick this one?

Yermola: Actually - AC/DC is one of my favourite band… And our first album “Iron Balls” was made in a way of Young brothers… with same arrangement and song structure. So… At present time our style is far from DC but we used "Back In Black" to show our roots…

Metal Observer: Could you give me a few words to each of the tracks, please?

Yermola: 1. Intro – We used music of russian classic Igor Stravinsky
2. Miserere – Instrumental suite with styles varied from power to thrash
3. Enemy – Song about our enemies with some grind elements
4. Exorcist - Instrumental suite in neo-classical style
5. Helltown – Something with thrash and black roots
6. Thanatopsis - Instrumental with styles varied from speed to prog
7. For Thine Is The Kingdome – Melodic Death metal
8. War – Song with grind and black roots
9. Eyes Of Abbadon - Instrumental suite
10.Wizzard (Instr.) – Hard Rock suite
11.Back In Black (AC/DC cover) – Young bro’s song with death vocal

Music on 2,4,6,7,9,10 songs - Yermola, on 3,5,8 by Grom.
Lyrics on 3,8 songs - Evil Max, on 8 - Kostik, on 7 - Yermola.
Bass - Blum,
Drums - Hellpash
December 1999 reliz. Printed on CD and MC.
Design and cover conception - "Gromaler".
Photos by B. Archakov. Mastering - "GromSoundBase".

Metal Observer: How did the recordings go? Are there professional studios where you live?

Yermola: Actually, we have some professional studios here… But all of them work with pop or local ethnic music… So, first albums were recorded at small “TAU-studio” on Alesis Equipment. Then we worked at our own studio “GromSoundBase” and now we have good enough equipment and skills…

Metal Observer: I have detected various influences in your music, ranging from Death Metal over a bit of Black Metal to Thrash Metal and also some more traditional parts can be found. How would you describe your music yourself?

Yermola: It’s easy… :-) We’re playing progressive/techno/death metal with power, speed, grind, black and neo-classic influences!

Metal Observer: Which reactions did you get for your music so far, also from where?

Yermola: Due to Internet we had a lot of feedback from metal fans from USA, Brazil, Russia, Japan and England… That’s great! It looks like music is an international language … As I learn from them we have some style and our own face in Metal with Russian culture elements.

Metal Observer:Which goals do you have for LEAD WEIGHT?

Yermola: LEAD WEIGHT is my own child and my goals are to play great music for me and for people. I hope we’ll work with a big metal label and have music as main business.

Metal Observer: If you had three wishes (for the band) for free, what would you wish for?

Yermola: 1) To have Rick Rubin or Peter Tagtgren as producer
2) To have Steve Di Giorgio on bass (because we loosed the bass player)
3) To have Earache contract for 10 albums … and for 10 000 000 $ J)

Metal Observer: Do you get many chances to play live and how could we envision a live-gig of LEAD WEIGHT?

Yermola: Right now we played only at local stage but soon I hope (with a new label) we’ll play worldwide…

Metal Observer: Where are your musical works available? Also as tape or even CD?

Yermola: Now we working with small distribution company in Kazakhstan, so it’s hard to buy “For Thine Is The Kingdom...” in Europe, but you can buy “Musica Must Die” compilation through http://musica.mustdie.ru/ with our song and soon we’ll get Russian distribution … Also you can hear us at www.mp3.com

Metal Observer: When did you get in touch with Metal for the first time?

Yermola: I had some older friends in my childhood and cousine who listen metal... So I started at the age of 10 years...

Metal Observer: I could imagine that it is not too easy for you in Kazakhstan to get in touch with CDs from the "west", if I may call it like that. How is the situation over there? I could also imagine that the problem of pirated CDs should be pretty big...

Yermola: In fact, we have a wide variety of pirated CDs even earlie than official relises with cost 2-3 USD... But also licensed CD is available too.

Metal Observer: What does your kind of music mean to you? Would you compromise in any way to get better known or to be successful?

Yermola: It means a lot for us... I don’t like trends and I express myself through my music, so I wouldn’t play nu-metal anyway.

Metal Observer: How is life as a Metal-band/-musician in Kazakhstan?

Yermola: Not bad… As our colleagues from Europe we have to work as marketing, technical specialist for money and we’re playing music for our souls.

Metal Observer: How does the scene in Kazakhstan look like (bands/labels/magazines/fans)?

Yermola: We have some metal scene here... We have some popular bands in different styles, for example: LEAD WEIGHT – death metal, REQUIEM – melodic death/black, TORNADO – hard core, FORREST GUMP – progressive, ACCENT – old style heavy metal, VARULV – black metal e.t.c. Also we have some small labels and zines but it’s not enough for 16 million people...

Metal Observer: How did the scene develop since the break-up of the Soviet Union?

Yermola: After break-up of the Soviet Union, the scene started to develop well… We have no KGB now, you know…

Metal Observer: And are there scenes in the surrounding countries, too?

Yermola: Shure, we have a lot of interesting bands in Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan …

Metal Observer: In Russia there is a lot of nationalist/nazi ideology within the scene. How does LEAD WEIGHT stand to that and do you have the same thing in your country, too?

Yermola: Yes some bands use nazi ideology. But for us – MUSIC is the main….

Metal Observer: And as the end, my traditional last question: What is your favourite question about LEAD WEIGHT that you've never been asked yet, but would finally like to answer?

Yermola: He-he… Why you still have no contract with major label?!?!?!

 
"Legion" zine interview from February 9 2000.

1. How old is your band and how can you describe your style?

With this name ("Lead Weight") band was born 1992 on debrises of not very popular group "Apocalypsis". Yermola (lead-guitar) and Blum (bass) lost keyboard player and vocal and decided to play new music. Present line-up band got on spring 1999. HellPash (drums) and "Enemy" Gromaler (vocal, guitar) added to Yermola and Blum. It's hard to explain about our music style in a few words. We name it Death-Black-Thrash-Speed-Progressive Metal, as far as all these styles are merged and are present in our music. I consider that we manage to create new unique style.

2. What about the new material?

Literally in the december 1999 the album "For Thine Is The Kingdome… …" were recorded (and released while small circulation). Right now we're working with new one (working name "Penetrator").

3. Where are you going to record and realize a new album?

We will record it on "GromSoundBase" for sure. Part of circulation shall realize in Kazakhstan, and part we'll try to realise through west distributors.

4. Do you have any interesting on your stage?

Are there any changes? I think that on post-soviet stage (at total) we have a lot of great bands. For example: E(nd) Zone, Rossomahaar, Trizna, Archontes and so on. Between monsters are: Master, Aria e.t.c. Concerning changes, the best sample - E(nd) Zone band. Tough russian style, which able to form competition to "Dream Theatre".

5. What subject do you touch in your own texts?

In English lyrics it's standard subjects: Good and Evil, God and Devil. But in russian we use Pagan texts.

6. Your plans?

Our main plan is to play good metal for our fans. Well and there was an idea to become popular all over the world and got a lot of greens.

7. What kind of music do you prefer?

Personally I like very different groups and different directions. For example in my closet there are discs of "Napalm Death", "Rhapsody", "Dream Theatre", "Deep Purple" e.t.c. (170 at total). Also I have around 300 MC. Concerning others, Grom likes "Dimmu Borgir", "Death", "Morbid Angel", "Carcass", "Atheist", "Pestilence" , "Cynic". Blum likes old hard as "Deep Purple", "Lead Zeppeline", "AC-DC" è e.t.c. Hellpash likes Dave Lombardo (I think you can hear it in our compositions). Last time he started to listen "Deep Purple" and Joe Satriani.

8. What about concerts?

We like concerts a lot. If the band just sit in a basement, it's a dead band (except Mekong Delta!). I like alive sound and alive fans, that's why we trying to play often.

9. Please explain group name.

Name was created by Yermola maybe under influence of "Led Zeppelin". Literally, "Lead Weight" means something very heavy. Besides in professional box this term means the most heavy category.

10. Your attitude to alcohol and narcotics.

We don't use (with help of god!) drugs. I prefer beer. Gromaler - vodka, Blum - two beer (o not to beer?), and HellPash - stoped. Besides I like sex (with women!).

11. Your strong and weak points?

As band our strong point is original and heavy music. But it is a weak point too, because greens have sweet pop boys and girls.

12. Do you have principles, which you'll never break?

Yes for me. I don't want to play pop for money.

13. Do you afraid something?

Nothing basicly. I just want that my family will be O.K.

14. How do you spent your free time?

Computer, Internet, my Web-site, PC games ("Kingpin" rules!), books, movies, beer with colleagues from metal stage.

15. Main values in your life?

It's music and my family.

16. How your creative process looks? Do you have place for improvising?

Mainly me or gromaler bring the new completed song. But others tooks part too (arrangement ideas and so on...). For example, all drums parts for my stuffs I know only aproximately and all details are for drummer. During play we have a lot of improvisation and as a result we can change the composition very hard.

17. What do you do beside the music?

All we are working. I am market specialist in a big company. Drummer - PC specialist and network manager. Gromaler - works in K-cell (standard GSM). Blum - working in a building company.

18. What means "success" for you?

Success - first of all confession of your goals by broad public masses. Besides it's creation of what-that-really-costing.

19. Any underground band dream about big label contract. What do you do for it?

We have own ideas about distribution. We hope to realise it very soon.

20. Do you read metal zines? Your comments about.

I read it on the regular base. Most of all I like "Rock-City" and "Legion". It's very informative publishings.

21. Is underground and commerce compatible?

It's a long story. Presently my group belongs to underground (we don't have such greens as Metallica!), though in due course Metallica and Nirvana were underground, but afterwards started to be very profitable formations.

22. What do you prefer: music with very hard structure or simple one but with powerful riff?

I prefer different music. I like "Dream Theatre" and "E(nd) Zone", same time "Carcass" riffs.

23. If you'll have possibility to earn great money at the condition to throw a music, will you do it?

I will try to do that I'll never see thise choice.

24. Who (from the band) have music education?

Me and Blum (we learned classical guitar). But I can't tell that Gromaler and HellPash are not professionals.

25. A few words for "Legion" readers.

Heil brothers!!!!! Stay fucking metal! "Lead Weight" is the heaviest weight!