An Interview With Guitarist Dmitry "Xyrohn" Shkurin Of Illidiance
Band Photo: Illidiance (?)
Russian electronic metallers Illidiance, who refer to their particular brand of sound as "cyber black metal," are currently working on their third full-length album. The band has had their music appear in a variety of online and magazine exclusive compilations and have shared the stage with the likes of Behemoth and Rotting Christ. Illidiance guitarist Dmitry "Xyrohn" Shkurin shared with me the history of the band, his thoughts on their blending of genres, and their plans for the future.
xFiruath: Can you give me a brief history of Illidiance for anyone not familiar with your band?
Xyrohn: No problem. The Illidiance cyber metal act was formed back in 2005. As of today the band has released two full-length albums, namely "Insane Mytheries To Demise" and "Nexaeon.” The act also took part in the Brutal Assault festival compilation in 2006. The band’s song "Razor To The Skin" has been included in cover mounted CD compilation Fear Candy 72 released by Terrorizer Magazine. Throughout the years of our stage career Illidiance wheeled all over European Russia with solo tours, as well as played at concerts and festivals in other CIS and Eastern European countries, more than 100 gigs at all. Illidiance has had the privilege of sharing the stage with such well-known international bands as Rotting Christ, Grave Digger, Thy Disease, Shenight, Deathstars, and went on tours with Hate, Grave, Behemoth, and Crionics. In addition to that Illidiance have already played twice at one of Europe's best known festivals: Brutal Assault v11 (2006) and Brutal Assault v13 (2008). The press has also totally embraced the music and the status of the act. In 2009 Illidiance became the 1st runner-up of the nation-wide Na Vzlyot contest competing against more than 1,000 rock bands. In 2007 the band won the Rock nomination at a contest held by Russia's Ministry of Culture in Southern Russia, while in January 2009 we finished as number two in a contest held by Metal Radio, with over 500 other Russian bands participating. Right now we’re putting finishing touches to our third release and are getting ready to enter the studio.
xFiruath: When did you originally get involved in music and what made you want to be involved in heavy metal?
Xyrohn: I started playing guitar seriously ten years ago, and that was a very cool time. Songs of Metallica, Sepultura, and Fear Factory made me mad, my brains were boiled! After a week of listening to metal music I recognized the way of the metal musician is the best bet for me.
xFiruath: Are you currently involved with any other bands or projects?
Xyrohn: No I’m not involved with other projects now, I spend my time only for my band now. I’ve played in different bands in the past. I played different styles from American rock, punk, to black and death metal.
xFiruath: How would you describe the sound of Illidiance to anyone who hadn’t heard your music?
Xyrohn: Interesting question, so let’s try. Just imagine the moment when raw power of Fear Factory meets electronics of Prodigy, mixed with atmosphere of The Kovenant. We perform easily understandable, catchy songs with clean and screaming vocals, trying to do the best in our style.
xFiruath: Tell me about your latest album “Nexaeon.” Where did you record the album and how is it different from your previous releases?
Xyrohn: “Nexaeon” is our previous work. When we’ve been recording “Nexaeon” we’ve played cyber black metal. We recorded “Nexaeon” here at Rostov-on-don, the production quality was mediocre, but the final album sounds well. “Nexaeon” was a conceptual work fulfilled with extraterrestrial atmosphere, and very technical parts of drums and guitars. It sounds very formidable and extreme.
xFiruath: Are there any specific segments on the album that you like the best or are the most proud of?
Xyrohn: Yep, there are some songs which I love because they’re very atmospheric and very precise transferring the image which I had in my thoughts when I was working on them. This way I speak about “Nexaeon,” “Chaoticon Nomads,” ”In Thousands Gales I Dwell,” and “Bleed For Deliverance” songs.
xFiruath: What do the lyrical themes deal with on “Nexaeon?”
Xyrohn: As I told the main concept of songs was built on extraterrestrial Intelligence, the birth of a new races, cosmic disasters. We were drawing on a new canvas, transferring our idea of a future in different cases.
xFiruath: How do you guys put together your songs? Does everyone write their own material and then come together or do you write the songs together with a specific goal in mind?
Xyrohn: In the main way of work me and my brother are preparing material, we work together a lot, then we show it to other musicians and they work on to do the best, they include their ideas and stuff. At the end we have a case of collective work, comparable to a brainstorm.
xFiruath: What is your local metal scene like and how has the reaction been to your music?
Xyrohn: We have a lot fans here in Russia, and it’s number is growing day by day. We have very good press clippings in Russian press like, according to the 1Rock magazine, “Illidiance is today one of the most promising modern/cyber metal acts on the Russian stage.” "Insane Mytheries To Demise" was reviewed at 9/10 by the Dark City magazine and 5/5 by M-Magazine, while "Nexaeon" received 9 points out of 10 in Whiplashmag, and scored album of the month at Terroraiser (Belarus).
xFiruath: What’s coming up in the future with Illidiance? Do you have any upcoming tour dates or are you writing any new material?
Xyrohn: Now we’ve finished the work on material for a new album, and entered the studio. Our management, The Flaming Arts Agency, is working now for us to hit the road in support of our new record in Russia and Europe.
xFiruath: What bands and albums have you been listening to most often lately and what do you enjoy about them?
Xyrohn: I listen to many bands, for now my top five consists of Sybreed, Marilyn Manson, Scar Symmetry, Suicide Commando, and Disturbed. I enjoy quality, hit structures, awesome sound and production, interesting ideas, catchy riffs.
xFiruath: How do you feel about the state of metal music today?
Xyrohn: I think that metal music market is overcrowded with tons of ordinary bands, and It become more difficult to find something unique, interesting, and exciting amongst the smog of stupid ideas. But this state of market is helping in the way to evolve the best, the strongest ones, which will form the ultimate supernovas in metal universe!
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