Distant Sun have returned with their latest full-length release Into the Nebula. If you’re not yet familiar with the band, I urge you to check them out as their combination of power and thrash metal is quite catchy and infectious. The band know how to write a decent tune and Into the Nebula is full of them.
So have a read of what guitarist/vocalist Alexey Markov has to say and get to know the band a bit better. They’re a band worth getting to know…
Introduce us to Distant Sun!
Hey! We’re a power/thrash metal band from Moscow, Russia, but our drummer Eric comes from Ukraine. This style used to be called “speed metal” 20 years ago, so we might be a bit late with our music. But we play it because we love it, and not because somebody else wants to hear it (although of course we are glad when someone likes it!). We have 3 releases: Sunless Citadel (5-song EP) from 2012, Dark Matter (2015). Our new 2016 full-length is called “Into the Nebula”. We also recorded more than 10 covers, some of them are available on your YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/distantsun
What are your influences?
Mostly German power metal: Blind Guardian, Rage, Iron Savior. Some prog-metal classics like Dream Theater and Angra. Our bassist Artem enjoys heavier stuff like Overkill, Annihilator and Grave Digger.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
I guess I won’t be too original, but these are really good:
Metallica – Hardwired to Self-Destruct
Megadeth – Dystopia
Blind Guardian – Children of the Smith (what a lovely song after three dull albums!)
The latest Running Wild is not bad either.
Tell us about your latest release.
It’s our third release – a 9-track album called “Into the Nebula”. It’s full of heaviness, melody and speed. It’s like European power metal intertwined with american thrash. The physical CD comes out next week and will feature one additional song called “Who’s to Blame”, which is more of an AOR/heavy metal song. Generally, if you like Annihilator, Iced Earth and Megadeth, you gotta check it out, you might like it a lot!
What lyrical themes are there on the album?
A lot of things in fact. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, A Game of Thrones, Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, military stuff, sci-fi, love and friendship, anything I find interesting. We’re open to ideas.
How did you choose the cover artwork?
We’ve been working with Mr. Smerdulak from Prague for some time now. He brilliantly comes up with images – right out of my concepts. So the devil juggler from Dark Matter returned in another form – he’s been drawn into the nebula, hah!
What’s the process you use for writing songs?
We prepare different guitar riffs, then carefully listen to each other’s goodies to choose only the best ones. Then we combine them into songs. After the drum demo track is done, we choose the lyrics (I have them ready in plenty, I write them regularly in packs – like, one month a year), then I try to sing them and record something. Then we might rework some parts after listening the song a few dozen times. Or we might keep everything.
How do you think your music will progress in the future?
I guess we’ll be moving towards slower speeds – the top singles are always midtempo bashers, and to win broader audience we gotta slow down a bit. But there will always be fast and melodic songs on our albums. Well, if we choose to record them! Or maybe we’ll just stick to singles from now on.
How do you think Into the Nebula compares with Dark Matter?
It’s much more mature, more serious. Our musicianship is vastly superior and the recording process was way stricter – like, every guitar/drums/bass note was checked and double-checked. “Dark Matter” might be more energetic and youthful, or maybe had catchier melodies, but I like “Into the Nebula” better. It’s very consistent with maybe 1-2 weaker songs (these being “The Battle That Never Ends” and “Inspired by Fear”, which aren’t that bad actually). So we’re good. Moving forward.
What’s your favourite song on Into the Nebula and why?
I’d say it’s “Throne of Iron”. The melodies are simple but very strong, the bridge and outro are super-catchy and I think I sang them really well, very confidently and clearly. I hope there will be more songs like this in the future.
How do you think Distant Sun fit into the global metal scene in 2016?
Hehehe I guess we won’t. We’re so small right now, and I really doubt if we can get a decent booking agency on our side. We’ll concentrate on YouTube/Facebook/VK promotion to grow our fan army.
What are the next steps for Distant Sun?
We’ll keep writing good songs, shoot a video or two, and prepare for worldwide fame in between. Now that we have enough material for a good show, we might as well start playing live – but not too soon. I want a solid fanbase to play in front of 100 people at least. Not 30 and not 50. Seriously. It’s important for me.
Any last words?
Check my other musical project – it’s not strictly metal, more like progressive rock with a touch of heavy, called Starsoup. If you’re into Queensryche/Savatage, you might like it. And thank you for your questions (and for the awesome review!). It’s been a pleasure answering them.