What feelings and thoughts do we have when the world turns upside down and our lives change? This is the question that SEVER‘s debut album, released in May this year, explores. In this interview, you will have the chance to get a closer look at the Latvian alternative rock/post-hardcore band’s colourful and interesting background and the making of “This Should Have Been A Better Place“!
SEVER Leo Korenevsky (vocals) Pavel Trebukhin (guitar) Stanislav Kobelev (guitar) Ilya Peshkov (bass) Jevgeny Bratushchenko (drums)
Wolfy: How would you briefly summarise the story of SEVER? How did you get to the moment of releasing your first album?
We knew each other for some time before we started to play together, alternative scene in Riga is rather small, so we often played on the same festivals or gigs as members of different bands. We started in 2016 with a cover for Sia’s “The Greatest”. The feedback was positive, so we decided to move forward and recorded “Hope” and made a video in 2017. We wanted to make an EP at first, but eventually released six more songs as singles. By the beginning of 2020 we had enough material for LP and went to the studio. That’s when Covid hit. That was an obstacle and it slowed us down, but we learned something from it. We put these new thoughts and feelings into this album.
Traidusk: Which bands inspire you personally and as a band?
There’s a lot of them, from different time periods, but mostly those are metalcore/post-hardcore bands from mid 2000s and 2010s such as Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, While She Sleeps, Emarosa, Beartooth, Normandie and so on.
W.: What are your favourite memories from your career so far?
Two gigs we played in our hometown – Riga. First one in 2017, it was dedicated to life and music of Chester Bennington, it was right after he died. Second one in 2018, which exploited the same idea. The venue was full both times, both gigs were mental. Chester was a true musical icon for whole generation, we felt it at those shows.
T.: What is your most personal song to date you have ever written?
All of them are personal. I’m inspired by my own experience rather than books or historical events. In my lyrics I try to translate my perception of the world, my own feelings, situations I’ve been in, opinion that I have about things that are happening. And I am sure that there are lot of people thinking and feeling the same way, and that’s the idea – to find somebody who’s going through same struggles and show them that their problems are not unique, that there is someone feeling the same way, and may have overcome something you still struggle with, but failed where you’ve succeeded. And you can share experience with this person and learn from one another.
T.: What was the biggest challenge you faced during the making of ’This Should Have Been A Better Place’?
We recorded the album during pandemic when it was hard to gather at the studio due to restrictions, it was not the best time to release the record, because there were no gigs to support the release with. Empty streets, closed venues – it was pretty unmotivating sight to see. Now it’s clear that this atmosphere we lived in has influenced the sound of this album, it’s mood. But back then, during recording process it was pretty challenging.
W.: The cover of your album is very captivating and atmospheric. How did you get the idea of creating something like this? How did the artwork come to life? How much does it reflect what you originally had in mind?
With the dark silhouette in front of an old Soviet high-rise building we tried to reflect the depressing yet nostalgic atmosphere that we convey in our songs and music videos. At the same time, it fits perfectly with the title of the album. In fact, the picture consists of two different photos – a photo of a silhouette in the window and a house, which were combined into single album artwork by our talented friend Stephanie Zapolska.
T.: Your full album stream video is really unique and creative! Who came up with the idea?
Since we were going to release the full album stream on YouTube, we wanted to create not just an album cover image with music, but something that would be interesting to watch. At the beginning there was an idea to make a video with just our silhouettes, it seems that our bassist Ilya suggested it, but when we came up with the idea for an album cover, we decided to use the same theme in the video and put those silhouettes in the windows of the house.
W.: How do you create a song? Do you have a concept for the album that you use as a basis for thinking about what the next songs should be about, or do you prefer to write about what you’re feeling at the moment?
We haven’t had a general concept of this album while we were writing it, however, there are common themes, images and atmosphere in those songs. We didn’t intend any connection between songs, it appeared naturally. A place and period of time we are living in has influenced the lyrics – they are just thoughts of a person living in small neighborhood in Riga during these uneasy times.
T.: What is the story behind the song Animal?
It’s a song about toxic relationships which result in trust issues. It’s about becoming a closed-off, bitter person who avoids interacting with people and has a secret pride in his own suffering.
T.: “Empty Promises” features Christoph Wieczorek from ANNISOKAY! How did this collaboration come about? How was working together with him?
It was an honor for us to record a song with such a talented artist as Christoph Wieczorek. His voice fit perfectly for this song. We are looking forward to working with him again in the future.
W: Which cities would you like to visit at some point as part of a tour? Are there any venues that are on your bucket list? Which bands would you like to perform with?
No particular city. We would love to visit as many as possible. To perform with every of the abovementioned bands would be great, but While She Sleeps stands out a little bit. It would be great to be a part of their show – the energy is insane.
W.: What are you planning for your next step? What can your fans expect?
We are already back in the studio writing new songs. Hopefully our fans won’t need to wait too long for a new material.
Thank you for the interview!
If SEVER and the band’s debut album “This Should Have Been A Better Place” has piqued your interest, don’t hesitate to follow their social media profiles for early updates on new releases and upcoming events.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/severmusic
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sever.band/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2EEOsdvu1oJzCKk9rUNQFq
- Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sever/1257292858
by: Wolfy & Traidusk