Greeting! Thank you for spendig some time on answering our questions. Could you please introduce the band first?
Hello! We are Olhava from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. The project started in 2016 as a one-man-band, but couple of years ago we decided to make music together. It’s worth noting that the band has been labeled as Trna side-project for a long time (we both play there too), but now Olhava became an act of its own.
When I heard that you are a Russian band, I peaked a certain interest, because the results you are showing are not what I would have imagined. Furthermore the style of Olhava is one of my personal favourites, so it was easy to get me hooked. Maybe the meeting of suffer and beauty describes your music best. How do you see it, how would you describe Olhava’s music?
Well you are pretty accurate with your characteristics because our inner struggles and beauty of our surroundings are a huge inspiration for us indeed. We also would like to think that our music carries some sort of ‘meditation vibe’ if you can say so. We assume some of our fans listen to it while laid back and relaxed.
You are considered a new band since you formed 5 years ago, but you already have 4 albums. Your first serious manifestations were with Thehappymask and A Light in the Dark bands. You made one song which is a 17 minute black metal opus. Those who were attentive at that time would remember your name today. How was your first steps into the scene like? Did the listeners want more of your music? Did you receive any complimenting words?
Wow! Didn’t think anyone listened to it! To be honest it’s hard to remember any feedback from that time because back then I was more concentrated on Trna where I made my first steps as a composer.
Was it always your goal, to play this kind of music? Howcome it is so frightening and beautiful? How would you say being Russian affected this?
If you look at what we do in other bands and projects you’ll see that the answer to this is “yes”. Black metal is the best genre of music for me to reflect on my personal dreads and hopes through. As for being located in Russia – I wouldn’t say it affected us in any major way. We’ve visited a lot of different countries and they all are breathtaking in their own way. I think we could make music anywhere. That said we obviously love the places where we were born and grew up a lot.
Your newest album ,,Frozen Bloom” came out digitaly and with Avantgarde Music. All I can say, is that it came out fantasticly great. It crossed my mind, how is your sound got so much better on this album compared to the ones before. Did you record it in your home studios? How was the working process? How did you put it all together?
In terms of the workflow – this album is no different from Ladoga – we record drums at our studio with our almighty friend Mikhail and everything else we record at home. This is the perfect approach for us and maybe it’s the reason why we’re so productive. What live bands struggle with for months or even years we can do within days. I’d like to think that music should be “fresh out of the stove”. It’s one of the things that makes us different.
Out of 4 songs, we have 2 stormlike and 2 meditational tracks. What are the differences between this one and your last album ,,Ladoga”?
I can’t say that we ever wanted to write different albums as a goal. You could look at Frozen Bloom as a continuation of Ladoga, as a part of one big picture. As for the ambient tracks – we really hope that people understand that its something inherent to what we do. We really like this genre a lot and we both write a lot of drone/ambient material under other projects which is being released on tape by our friends Holographic Rainbow Tapes. It won’t go anywhere or disappear from our music – ambient tracks will for sure be present on our future albums.
A. Lunn gave a visit to you in forms of vocals and guitar, how did he get into the picture?
It was a happy accident. We thought it would be cool to add a proper metal solo to one of the tracks. We reached out to him and he easily agreed to participate in our new release. And as you can hear he did much more than we could have expected! I’m absolutely happy with this cooperation because I have been listening to his music for a very long time and now we – so to say – play together. Dreams come true and this is awesome. Many thanks to him for all the help and support.
What does Olhava mean to you? How would you describe the value this band has to you?
For me personally Olhava is a project that totally took my mind over for now. I feel sort of confusion now when I try to write music for both bands at the same time. It is totally unclear which one is more important Olhava or Trna. The most precious to me is that in this band we can just write stuff here and now and release it into the world without wasting time on exhausting production and promotion. Here I’d like to thank our friends at Avantgarde music and Slowsnow records a lot. These guys do amazing things for us.
I think you are absolutely fertile. Do you have this much inspiration, or there is just a bunch accumulated from the past, and that is why you have this much pase releasing albums?
Yes its really a lot of inspiration in us right now. ‘Out of the box’ we released only the s/t. The two tracks indeed have been waiting on the computer for two years before Tim and me decided to work together. I really didn’t like the programmed drums… Now everything is in its place finally.
Is there a possibility, that you have ideas for a new album? What are your plans for this year?
Yep, we got a whole bunch of ideas. Some pretty grandiose. We think you would be surprised when its ready. But its probably for the next year. Very soon you’ll hear about Trna new release and Somn prepare their new work as well.
What kind of music do you listen to? Are you into the today’s flood of music? Are you aware of upcoming bands?
Yes, of course we follow music trends. Maybe more underground than mainstream though. First go-to tags would be shoegaze, post-rock, post-metal, screamo and of course black metal in its many forms. Sometimes I think that I’ve heard it all but sometimes you find one you’ve never heard of and they already have three solid albums out. That’s the coolest thing about underground scene.
Back to nature, how much are you hiking in the mountains? Do you have any favourite places?
Unfortunately there are no mountains where we live so we just go to the woods. I can’t say there is one place more in favor than another – I can only perceive nature as a whole with all its diversity.
How worrying is it for you, that others are constantly destroying nature? What do you think, when will people realise that money is not the most important?
Oh you cant stay calm speaking about this. Everyone is against pollution and stuff but when it comes to just few simple things you can do every day to stop it (like, say, not using a plastic straw and cup) everyone is against it too. Just disgusting how people put their personal comfort first. What I’m saying is that we all could start with ourselves even if we don’t want to care about global problems. It’s easy. You just don’t pollute where you live and take personal responsibility for it. Unfortunately I don’t think it will change in the near future. Despite some positive trends eco movements here in Russia are staying rather marginal.
How is the weather at your place? What plant are we advised to keep a look out for?
North-west of Russia is famous for its rainy weather. Sometimes it can be rainy for a month non stop. Now when I write this its still winter outside. It snows. But I hope that summer will come soon and we can enjoy the inspiration from nature. There is no point in speaking about individual plants and flowers. We just got to learn to see this beauty of it as a whole. We dream of going somewhere, seeing something but we don’t notice the greatness that is already around us. This is an awesome experience that I got to feel just recently and I absolutely love it.
That you for your answers, I wish you the best of luck!
Thank to you for such great questions. We had a great time coming up with answers. Hope you enjoy it too!