Interview with Second To Sun
Vladmir Lehtinen – guitars, music and lyrics
Interview by Kira Levine
Hello! Thanks for your time, hope that you are keeping safe and well. Please state your name and position in the band.
My name is Vladimir, and I’m writing lyrics, music and concepts. As they say, I’m the mastermind of the band.
Second To Sun have been around for almost a decade now. How did you guys all meet?
I met Gleb and Max after a show of the Austrian band Theodor, which I have known of for a long time, ten years exactly. I think we got to know each other after his criticism about the band that I played in at that time.
What inspired the band name “Second To Sun”?
The name has complex etymology and it means the second planet from the Sun – Venus – which is the symbol of the fallen angel, Lucifer. Venus is also called Karelian Star or Finnish Star, ’cause it’s being used in folk ornaments of Finno-Ugric people, whose cultural heritage is actively used by the band. Venus and Lucifer, occult sister and alter-ego of Earth.
When you first started creating music, what influenced you to do so?
It always was black metal, for the most part Norwegian and Swedish. Everything else is a still life of my music tastes.
Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone wanting to start a band? Were you given any yourself?
Do everything as you think has to be done.
What were the main influences when writing Leviathan?
First of all, I want to note the ideological concept of the album – there are numerous songs inspired by movies – for examplem, Rainer Sarnet’s “November”. It would be alien for a band from Russia to use satanic themes, so as usual, I turned to the culture of Finno-Ugric folks, and wrote Shaitan, the song about the battle of two tribes and a shaman who appeals to the people with fiery speech and calls to pray to Shaitan.
The album title is partially dedicated to the Russian movie “Leviathan”, and the song The Engraving of Gustave Doré is my own peculiar interpretation of its idea, based on impressions from the original gravure. I think it has some post-modern influence. Same thing with Emperor in Hell, this song’s theme is close to Russian gothic literature and narrates about the Emperor of Russia, who is being killed and goes to Hell with his killer. One part of the song tells of his memories, and another part is about Satan’s speeches (or Shaitan). The whole song is dedicated to Hungarian psychoanalyst and paranormal researcher Nandor Fodor.
What gear did you use when recording the album?
Nothing special. I have Line 6 Pod UX2, Max and Gleb has similar gear. Theodor has his own equipment, quite often I ask him to record his drum parts during the practice sessions with a tape recorder, and after that we apply triggers for drums.
You have released several albums before Leviathan. What would you say sets it apart from your prior releases?
It’s very atmospheric, eerie and cold. It’s full of absurd things, and shows a love for horror movies.
Do you have a favourite song from Leviathan or the band’s back catalogue?
I think this is the song Leviathan.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Hard to say, I can’t do that, cause there is no word to describe my music in general.
Has the global pandemic affected any plans Second To Sun may have had this year?
We just got home from our Russian tour of 12 cities. The support was amazing. It’s difficult to arrange tours in these conditions, but people need to know that everything is gonna be fine. Sad that a large part of metal-community doesn’t give a fuck about that, and they’re discussing shit.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make it real. All the bands that I would like to tour with are split-up.
Are there any other music projects that you are part of?
I have a wonderful project Voivotus, highly recommended.
What are your interests outside of making music?
I like many things. History, books, movies. You could just take a look at Leviathan inspiration sources, and that would be enough.
Can you describe what the metal scene is like in Russia?
I don’t think I’m competent enough to talk about that. I’d say that it’s corrupted, built on fraternal ties, and music means very small part in front of other things – politics, blabbering, etc.
Are they any up and coming bands that you enjoy listening to?
No, I like to listen old music.
Are there any particular established artists/bands that have influenced your music career?
I think it’s Emperor, Abigor and Pantera.
If you could pick five all time favourite records, what do you think they’d be?
Emperor – Ahthems…
Pantera – Vulgar…
Abigor – Supreme Immortal Art
Abigail Williams – In The Shadow…
Enslaved – Frost
Looking back on Second To Sun’s career, are there any highlights that you are particularly proud of?
I don’t know. Hard to say about highlights, every human being describes them on his own, what may be highlight for someone, for other one can look like failure. In my opinion success is eternity and chaos at the same time. We are dedicated to this chaos. Probably, it’s this chaos that serves as the foundation of the world creation, and this is how we demonstrate our unity with the universe. I don’t understand which moment can be seen as high point, and which one as steep dive. For me this is the whole concept of creativity. It’s usual for us to try something new.
What does the rest of the year and 2021 look like for the band?
We will have a show in Moscow and will write our new album.
Thank you very much! Is there anything more you would like to say to our readers?
Trust only yourself and be persistent.
Leviathian is out now, order your copy here!
2. Marsch der Wölfe
3. The Emperor in Hell
4. I Psychoanalyze My Ghosts
6. The Engraving of Gustave Doré
7. Black Death, Spirits, and Werewolves