Zero Tolerance: Talk a bit about the beginning of the band, and what the situation was like for a band such as yours in 2004 Ukraine. Did you find it easier to create a diverse and original sound due to being based in an area that doesn't see a lot of entertainment media when it comes to metal at all, much less black metal?
Khorus: Creating a new band is always a little bit problematic wherever it occurs. Sure in our country it's much more difficult due to the absence of support from the state and complexities with financing of such projects as we were. The situation become crearer now in sound recording section only but in other ones the things are not well still. Thus the people out there who trying to create a band frequently surrender and the only obstinate ones survive.
The year 2004 stood out heavy for me. Except of various vital disorders I had to leave ASTROFAES, the band I given almost 9 years of my life for which. I told about the reasons in early interviews not at once. One from them was the absence of progress of records. Therefore the main thing I wished to achieve with KHORS is more quialitable production of debut album. It was possible to us to a certain extent. I can't say that there was European level record but it was definitely a step further for us living here in Ukraine in 2004 having considering all the problems that's surrounding us.
Zero Tolerance: Though there is a distinct vibe to Khors, there are definite points of reference, such as the frigidity of Khold, the clean production and mysticism of Tiamat's Wildhoney, and the lush acoustic work of Borknagar. What bands and artists inspired you to move in this direction after the demise of Astrofaes?
Khorus: It's hard to say what exactly has affected us more. Perhaps it's KHOLD, TIAMAT, BORKNAGAR. We really like their music. Probably it's still such bands as KATATONIA, GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, ARCTURUS and a lot of other music. We don't try to be similar to someone but just we're trying to play the music we like during the certain moment. Thus the albums of ours are different enough though between them are no big time.
Zero Tolerance: How do you see the band as having grown lyrically and musically since The Flame Of Eternity's Decline?
Khorus: No lyrics seriously changed from the first album times cause private world outlooks of mine and Helg haven't strongly changed. As for the music in the first album we'd like to have the most furious and powerful component. The music became more softer on "Cold" album and "Mysticism" continues a direction of the second album having turned it in more mysreious and atmosperic side.
Zero Tolerance: Though your lyricism was always and remains cloaked in pagan pride and the primordial beauty of nature, you've as a band shied away from affiliating yourselves with any sort of political agenda. I'm sure you've still had to deal with those who seek to put everything into a nice little box so it can be easily labeled and then ignored. It's almost like you can't say the words "tree", "forest", or "battle" in the same song without having to answer your share of accusations. I find it strange and pathetic that in the US and UK, the term "right wing" means the exact opposite of what it does in much of Europe.
Khorus: In my opinion the problem proceeds from very small side passing between Pagan BM and NSBM. Journalists and listeners frequently put the bands in the frameworks which they want to see the bands in. As the result the labels sticked on that's difficult to break off from itself further. Sometimes we are under incorrect treatments that a little bit irritates me and it stirs. It's hard for me to see what the reason it's near us but it's the fact and it's definitely hard to struggle with it but senseless in more degree. Concepts of Pagan and Patriotism are deformed and politized now a lot and it's incorrectly and silly. We will always support various Pagan and Patriotic sentiments but we'll never become a part of any politic force, the false and dirty that the events in our country in 2004 confirmed once again when all the Ukrainian people was deceived by politicans.
As for Europe and their relation to the right forces then it's logically enough. After the II WW the relations to swastika and other similar symbols is obvious though it's just a sign of the sun harmless enough and having not bearing any political initially besides. The concern In US and UK much easier to this question but negative still.
Zero Tolerance: On the tour for Cold, you played with a few well-known bands who've been at this for seemingly ages. What did you learn from acts such as Samael and Behemoth when it comes to touring, and the balance of recording with delivering a quality show every night of a tour? Now that you've completed that conquest, do you see more tours in your future?
Khorus: Sure it was very pleasant for us to play together with such bands as SAMAEL, BEHEMOTH, CYNIC, MOONSPELL. They are great masters and adequate people. One can take a lot from them to increase of own level. It was hard to combine record session and shows but it reflected on recording which was tightening in time more and more. We've already played some shows in support of "Mysticism" here in Ukraine. In May we're going to play some shows in Russia and in July our performance is planned on Pro-Rock fest (Kiev, UA) where such headliners are expected as ARCH ENEMY, VADER, CARCASS, SODOM and many other great bands.
Zero Tolerance: How did you come into contact with Paragon Records?
Khorus: It was ordinary enough. We've written many emails with the offer to release our new album having preliminary uploaded some promo tracks on our myspase. Jim from Paragon Records replied that he's interested in the edition.
We've co-ordinated all the conditions further all the things gone by standard scheme of product's distribution.
It's not a secret that were also other offers for "Mysticism" release but I consider that out choise is right and all the things goe remarkably now!
Zero Tolerance: On to Mysticism, you move further into the crafting of soundscapes that you began with Cold. Was this simply a natural outgrowth of inspiration, or did you feel you hadn't said all you can say within the framework you'd begin building with your previous album?
Khorus: With “Mysticism” we've expended even more frameworks of the previous album. The new album sounds softer, more melodious and more various than “Cold”. Atmosphere became mysterious, much deeper and more romantic in some ways. It is really natural way for us at the given stage but don’t be surprised if we’ll sound a little bit harder and brutal further ha-ha!
Zero Tolerance: Michael "Maiden" Smirnoff of Russian stalwarts Mental Home contributed to TFOED as an engineer, but lends his clear vocals to Mysticism. What do you feel his work brought to the album that would've been missing otherwise?
Khorus: ‘Maiden’ is very talented musician and sound engineer. I knew about his vocal talent for a long time but clear voice was not in concept of previous albums so ‘Maiden’ carried out other functions. On “The Flame…” and “Cold” he’s been occupied completely by mixing and mastering but on “Mysticism” only by record of some instruments.
Zero Tolerance: There are 3 guitarists featured on the album, which assuredly gives Mysticism a full, rich sound, and one that's missing from far more albums than it should be these days. How does this dynamic influence the songwriting within the band? I'm sure it gives you options you wouldn't otherwise have when in the compositional phase of your music.
Khorus: Presence of 3 guitarists’ allowed us to make more sated arrangements of songs as studio guitarist Wortherax embodied our ideas in concrete result. But line-up was same and on “Cold” record so the primary stuff written by Helg and me has affected on the result as well as our desire to make “Mysticism” unusual and versatile enough.
Zero Tolerance: How important is artwork as far as conveying a visual representation of a Khors album?
Khorus: CD artworks and layout has huge value and we approach to it with special care. Visual component should transfer the very atmosphere and mood we pawn in our lyrics and music. I should note our designer Sir Gorgoroth thanks to whom the layout of our albums has so qualitative appearance.
Zero Tolerance: How much of a song do you demo at home before bringing it to the rest of the band to flesh out?
Khorus: There is no unique scheme of a song writing. Sometimes one of us bring whole song and we make arrangement only but sometimes the only one riff’s creating and we build other song parts based on it. Some riffs or/and song fragments are throwing away during the process of song’s creation.
Zero Tolerance: What does the coming year hold for Khors?
Khorus: We have some concert plans as well as releases of LP and MC versions of our albums.