If SVARUN were a person, it would’ve been a kid at the tender age of twelve, probably thinking a lot of how it would’ve been better and easier had he were never born. Rejected and abandoned and shunned by all the people in the world save for his single stubborn parent, the future would not look bright for such a lonesome and unfortunate child. Still, he would at some point realize that a peculiar kind of liberation comes with being on the receiving end of the apathy stick – the indulgence of giving zero fucks about those other people’s opinions and the exact equal amount of restraints applied while doing things your way (due to lack of anyone whose expectations are to be met).
Metaphors aside, SVARUN is a genre- and theme-shifting project centered around what my personal opinion on how it should sound is at the time of writing and recording music. People also used to come and go a lot… In fact, besides me and the lead singer on two latest studio releases no other line-up member contributed to the output twice. Finally, in its core it is a project – not a live act (there were some attempts at performing live but… that was rather embarassing).
SVARUN started out as a symphonic metal project/act with a tinge of folk mannerisms thrown in for good measure. The line-up was a behemoth – initial sextet bloated into a ten-piece rather quickly, a rogue wilderbeast that no one could strap a harness on and tame… Recording, rehearsing, collaborating, communicating – everything and anything was complexity beyond complex. The band crumbled, then got back together again, and then finally disbanded – but not before pushing a homebrew Promo CD out in late 2009.
For the most of 2010 I was busy recording and mixing SVARUN’s first studio release which would be released by Moscow-based Nymphaea Records in early autumn. The chaos and drama during recording sessions spilled over into rehearsal period following the release and the line-up disbanded again.
Now comes the weird part – frustrated over repeating failures at assemblying a live line-up I decided to let my friends in Moscow have a go at SVARUN. While their hearts were at the right place somehow the whole operation stumbled and eventually ground to a halt. I was tired and fed up but Rodion Kitaev, SVARUN’s male and only vocal at the time, insisted we have another go at finding a Russian soprano for the upcoming release. The ad was picked up by Viktoriya Kargina and eventually SVARUN’s 2nd studio album was released by Sound Age Records in 2014.
A turbulent period ensued. Viktoriya’s Donbass region was engulfed in civil war, we met in Russia, fell in love, she moved over, we lived together and then married, with Rodion Kitaev as my best man. Simultaneously, I completed my PhD and also tried my hand at professional game development. Time was scarce but SVARUN was constantly on my mind.
The third release was to be different – SVARUN became “metal”, with “folk” and “symphonic” tags long discarded. By the time we got to recording sessions much has changed – Rodion left, live line-up was rehearsing but to little effect, and Viktoriya had limited time to do solo and backing parts as the mic stand was getting in the way of her belly more and more each day. Still, she managed to do it with a month to spare before her term was due, and the guitars were recorded on time as well. November, December, January and February disappeared in a haze of no sleep, formula mixing and putting up with baby tantrums – regardless, Divide ut Regnes was self released on Victory Day 2019.
As of this writing we are contemplating where to go next. As always with SVARUN, only sky is the limit – a peculiar sense of liberation coming solely out of being on the receiving end of destiny’s stick ▣