Started back in November 2013, the Ukrainian political crisis has resuled in the annexation of Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea and endless fights around the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. While the struggle of the supporters of the new Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents continues and there is less and less attention from the world’s media, there are more and more signs proving that Russia could soon attempt to perform additional steps or even stage an invasion, which can eventually lead to a real war and even more deaths. I sat down with Matt from atmospheric / ambient post metal band EEDEN to learn about his insights on the Russian offensive and provocation.
EEDEN come from Черка́си (Cherkasy), a Central Ukrainian capital of the Cherkasy Oblast. They released one EP called “The Outcomes” in April 2015.
Hey neighbor! Thanks for taking some time with IDIOTEQ webzine. How are you? What’s up?
Hey hey, we are pretty good, just release our second EP, and as we know people liked it. We already filmed a new music video for one of the songs, soon will release it. Right now writing a stuff for a new EP which will be a way different from of all what we did. It will be a bit lighter and more atmospheric but not like all what already know.
Great! Before we dive a bit deeper into your work, I’m really curious about your view on the infamous Ukrainian/Russian crisis. After so many months of fights and political struggle, how do you feel the Ukrainian issue is expanding now? How has your view of the problem changed since you began realizing what’s going on around you?
Right now is really hard times at Ukraine, war with Russia, inflation, falling national currency in 3 times. A lot of our friends right now at the west of Ukraine protection our land, we lost one of our close friends, he was killed in a mortar attack. All of Russians think that we are nazi’s and fascists, and happy about any our losses, but we just want to live at our land, we never started a war with anyone, thru all of our history we just tried to protect our land. Right now the situation is a bit quieter, but it still not the end so we are preparing for the worst.
Our politics also forgot about all of deaths at Maidan, and now trying to show for EU that they doing something, but they still trying just earn money for themselves.
What can people like you do to change that tough situation?
Oh, it’s a big volunteer movement thru all the country, we collecting the food for soldiers, weave camouflage net, trying to support refugees by given them food and cloth, We are also trying to control the local government, creating civil organizations.
Is there a realistic chance that some kind of a peaceful solution will be implemented by the end of the year? How do you see the nearest future of the crisis?
We think the most close scenario is the same for what Russia did with Transnistrian conflict, we never again will own of the east of Ukraine, and we think that we’ll not see a peaceful solution in this year. For Russia it’s really good to tighten conflict, and further weaken the economy of Ukraine, and this force Ukraine to cooperate with Russia and show the citizens of Russia that nothing good in the overthrow of the dictatorial regime there. Russia already lost too much money because of sanctions for leaving us.
Oh, sanctions, indeed. But, honestly, what’s you stance on other European countries’ reactions and sanctions against Russia? Which path would you like Poland and the rest of the countries to follow? What do you think other countries should do to assist Ukraine in these harsh times?
In 2013 I was at Africa at Rwanda and they had a genocide in 1994. And he began partially the fault of Europe, but during all the horror that happened there, Europe is not particularly in a hurry to introduce peacekeepers. In our situation it’s not fault of EU, but they also not hurry to do something more radical. And this is a big mistake because Russian checks on how far they can go without punishment, first Georgia without penalty, now Ukraine. Who is next? Poland? Finland? I think the Europe needs to send a peacekeepers.
How about some guns and ammunition? Is sending weapons to your country a good option?
Yes, because even in regular army a lot of soldiers need to buy ammunition buy their own money, and of course all of volunteer battalion need a lot of guns and ammunition, and the volunteer battalion doing a way more than regular army.
You can’t win a war with blankets and big ideas alone, huh? How about peaceful solutions? Is it already too late for such things?
Yeah, that’s right. Our president trying to do peaceful solution, but soldiers still dying, separatists are increasing the number of tanks and mortars and I didn’t think that’s because they want a peace.
Do you have some friends or family located in Russia? I’m just curious.
No, I don’t have, my cousin sister lived near Luhansk, now she left the Ukraine and moved to Kazakhstan where she’s mother lives right now. She stopped chat with us, she think than we trying to kill her family because we hate that fact that they speaking Russian, instead fact that all of family speaking mostly Russian.
Ok Matt, thanks a lot for your insights. Now, let’s talk a bit about your independent music scene and how has it been affected by the war. Can you introduce your local music scene, tell a bit about its evolution and this particular moment in time?
Okey, let’s do it. So when Maidan just begun there was no gigs at all because all bands thought it’s not a time for fun. And maybe after half of the year it’s back. So maybe Ukrainian screamo/post metal scene is not so well developed like in Russia. But we have some good bands. The main problem that Ukrainian scene don’t have so much event. At Interest in that music is big enough at very few cities.
Are you all from the same city? How did you start the band?
All guys from EEDEN are from the same city Cherkassy. It’s 200 km away from Kiev, so mostly we have all gigs at Kiev. Previously we did have another band which called GOOGLEME! and we played post hardcore. Then our drummer left us and we were stuked without drummer, but some day we wrote a new song with our guitarist Chris, and right after that we recorded it, but it was very different from what we played at GOOGLEME! So we have decided to start a new project and after some time we asked our old friend to play drums with us and start a new band EEDEN.
The new EP is dark as hell. What makes your work different to your previous experiments in music? What inspired this new EP?
Yeah it’s dark. Mostly that was decision of our guitarist Chris, in this period he just bought new delay pedal and orange head, so he started to play some music and found this really dark sound and liked, and this is how he write songs: Last Land, Land, Timeless, and it was so dark, to much even for us, so we asked Chris to do this EP how he see it, but next one will be like we want, and we want add more melodic things;)
Never Too Late was our old song from our previous band GOOGLEME! which we really like, but never record before, so we decided to use it for EEDEN. Song Gone at first was a cover for BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH hole in my hand, but the we decide to change it to our own song.
Both concert- and recording-wise, what are your next steps?
Oh:) Now we want to have some shows at Ukraine. But it will be not many, and we understand that we already need to write new material for new EP because in recording things we are not the fastest guys. Also we are dreaming to have some shows at Europe, but it’s so expensive now for us because of the currency of Ukrainian hrivna.
Alright buddies. Thanks a lot for your time! Good luck!