RED CAIN’S voice, Evgeniy Zayarny, reveals details about KINDRED: ACT II
Red Cain is a band from Alberta, Canada born in 2016 that has a huge musical spectrum that makes it practically un-classifiable, however, it is fair to say that their music offers top-notch progressive metal. After spending their first three years of life releasing singles, finally in 2019 the group presented their debut album entitled: KINDRED: ACT I, an album highly acclaimed by specialized critics because they achieved a high level of composition and performance. The album managed to sell over a thousand copies un Europe, so the great response to this album made its second part highly anticipated by fans and it will be at the end of January of the following year when KINDRED: ACT II finally sees the light. We had the opportunity to contact Evgeniy Zayarny, vocalist of the group, to tell us about the details of his long-awaited new album, the best one so far (as he says).
To get to know the band a little bit better, where does the name of the band come from, is it a biblical reference?
Thanks for having me! Not a direct one, rather we wanted to create a memorable name with some specific subconscious associations.
How much do you think the band has evolved from the days of your RED CAIN EP to the release of this new album?
Evolution has happened for sure. For us, it was pretty natural as we learned our own sound and experimented with elements we’d always wanted to try. The biggest thing is: we developed a lot more balls in how we write songs and approach subject matter. The guitarwork and vocals have grown heavier and more aggressive, such as in “Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire)”, “Baltic Fleet”; but we’ve broadened the range of those, rather than moving to a new area. We’ve also moved into a more modern sound; the previous songs used a lot of orchestral elements common in traditional power metal; now, we rely a lot more on electronic sampling and synths, which give a lot more energy and groove.
How has been the challenge of maintaining a base of musicians all these years?
Hah, challenging. But we have to be realists about it. We’ve essentially rotated an entire lineup once, sans myself. It’s difficult to maintain continuously more demanding commitment and the pace we’re at, especially since we signed with Sliptrick Records and pumped out the last two albums so quickly. Plus, of course, individuals have their own creative goals and creative direction, which we understand. Generally, we’ve been lucky to work with a few very strong and very different musicians who have brought their own touch to the material, and we’re still on great terms with most of them.
I read that the song “Kindred” took you three years to finish. How did you deal with such a situation; was it a matter of patience or how could you know the correct moment to finish this song?
It was a matter of patience. The track was reworked and updated multiple times, given that it is a key track in the saga. Our ex-guitarist and good friend Brendan Doll played a key role in the latest rewrite and elevated the song. I’ve always had a very strong vision for “Kindred”, so that allowed us to play with it but not lose the focus of what we wanted it to sound like. We’ve also been playing it live and getting an amazing crowd response for a couple of years – so in many ways, it wasn’t hard to be patient, as it was already a proven quantity at release.
It took you only one year to release the second act, how did you manage to not let the time pass by?
We had a significant number of songs that didn’t make it to ACT I already in various stages of completion, and some of those made their way onto ACT II, notably “Kindred” and “Baltic Fleet”. The success of the album in Europe, with over 1000 physical copies sold in the first 6 months, also pushed us to continue the momentum. Plus, we love doing this, and we were extremely passionate about the “Kindred” story – we had so many ideas on the back of the first album, that it was a seamless transition into the next one. The other huge factor was bringing in our close friend and sound engineer from the previous album Tyler Corbett to be the main guitarist for ACT II. Tyler is a wonderful talent and his input on the tracks was super fresh and drove songwriting forward very organically. He also handled the mixing/mastering part for this album, so hats off to him – he played a huge role in the fast turnaround.
Did it affect you in any way that the album was delayed until January?
Absolutely not. I think we’ve all grown used to delays during COVID, and this was no different. Ultimately, things outside our control drove the decision, and we felt we owed it to ourselves and our fans to release at the best possible time for them, without rushing. It wasn’t a massive delay either, so I don’t foresee any issues.
Did you feel any pressure in the development of this new album due to the good response that the first act had?
I think you do tend to feel some pressure, because we want to live up to the expectations of our fans – but ultimately, we are not so much chasing the high but trying to say what we want to say. We are still at a stage where we’re building our identity as a band, and so much of our material is telling stories – stories we know extremely well and are extremely passionate about. So really, it’s only a matter of execution, and in my opinion, we stepped it up in that regard. As to the response – we shall see!
How has been the response of your singles; are you satisfied?
Very satisfied. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s killer to see people picking up on the nuances in the songs, such as nods to various album concepts, phrases in the lyrics, or musical elements that we included and thought were cool or interesting. We’ve also received a few comments from fans telling us the new tracks are recognizably “Red Cain songs”, which has been awesome to hear.
KINDRED: ACT II has seven songs, the same amount of KINDRED: ACT I, is it a coincidence or was this planned from the beginning?
This was planned. The story was clearly divided in two halves, conceptually and physically.
How was the story of the warrior Zalcoatl born, does it have something to do with the feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl?
It does have something to do with it, of course. In Mesoamerican mythology, Quetzalcoatl also has a second “form” as a cultural hero from which all people claim descent. This is an indirect homage to that, but the concept certainly tied into our portrayal of the protagonist of the story. I’ve always been fascinated by the collision of the ancient and the modern, a theme in a few of our songs, and Zalcoatl’s portrayal and his adventure in the “Kindred” saga is an extension of that.
How is your style of work, first do you think about what the lyrics are going to be about and then compose based on that or is it the other way around?
It can happen both ways. Generally, I tend to have a strong visual image or scene in my mind that is central to a track, and I build either the music or lyrics around this scene, slowly fleshing out the rest of the song. After a skeleton is complete, it makes its rounds among the other band members, sometimes changing dramatically, sometimes not – until we’re all happy with the result.
I read that “Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire)” is the song that closes the saga, does this mean that there will be no third act?
That is correct. Every story has an ending, and this story ends with “Sunshine”. This is not to say we’ll never revisit this world again, but as for now, the two albums compose its entirety.
Will you release a video clip of this new album?
We intended to have a video ready with the album release… but as with many things, COVID prevented us from filming. We do have a concept in mind, and if all goes well, a video should be filmed next year.
Thank you very much for your answers! Any final comments for the readers?
I want to call out the brilliant custom track art done by Piotr Jamroz. We spent a lot of time on details to make sure the art complements the story of the music, and the result has been killer. If you preorder the album now at redcain.bandcamp.com/album/kindred-act-ii , you will get all 7 pieces in high-res digital format. And trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Otherwise – thanks for the interview! We are absolutely fired up to have this album released. The writing process has been hellishly enjoyable, this is without a doubt our best work yet, we’re excited about sharing the music and the story – and we can’t wait to have our fans sink their teeth into this material.