INTERVIEW: WEESP ON BLACK SAILS.
“ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE ON A PERSONAL JOURNEY OF COMPLEX DECISIONS, LONELINESS AND FAITH.”
WEESP is a powerhouse quintet hailing from Minsk, Belarus belonging to the alternative metal, post-metal and alternative rock soundscapes lining up: Alexei (Lex) Falco on vocals and keyboards, Michael (Mike) Zalutsky on guitar, Dmitry (Mi) Budko on bass, Stanislav (Stak) Budko at synth and electronic effects, together with drummer Alexei (Gul) Galesnik. They have a decade of music under their belt and an extensive touring experience. Speaking the voice of anti-establishment and nonconformist values, Weesp spread the concept of finding one’s own path in a endless sea, coping with challenges and hard choices, pursuing dreams, being passionate and different.
Debuting with first EP in 2009 titled Taste Of Steel, they released a further EP called This Will Destroy Us in 2011 followed up by full-lengths The Void in 2015 and brand new Black Sails released in April 5th, 2018.
SICK AND SOUND takes you on journey into Weesp’s outfit, sound and new album Black Sails. Our editor-in-chief Alessandra had the chance to interview this bashing outfit for our readers.
- Hello Weesp, welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s warm up a little bit by exploring your outfit and how it was brought together since Lex and Mike combined as a duo until the present quintet.
Hey! Well, it started like with any other band, I guess – we were just having fun, experimenting with genres and that’s it. Mi joined us quite soon, actually.
And the music was gradually becoming something more than a hobby – more of a lifestyle. In our country, we did not have a big community that we’d like to join so we were in a league of our own – and there was something special about it. I think this was one of the main reasons behind Weesp becoming what it is now: we did not belong to any subculture, we simply created music because we enjoyed it and we did not want to please anyone or resemble anyone.
We’ve changed a few drummers before Gul joined and right after it, we invited Stak, Mi’s twin brother, in the band. That’s how it’s been for many years and we do not intend to change the group members.
- I would love to know what main differences and progressions have been taking place in those ten years of Weesp since very first EP Taste Of Steel released in 2009. So how has your sound evolved?
In our first EPs and singles, we’ve experimented wildly, going to extremes. For a long time, our music combined two independent opposites: explosive rebellion (examples: Exodus: origins, This Will Destroy Us, There’s Like No Tomorrow, taste of steel) and dark melancholy (Charcoal And Chalk, Sub, Caves). This was expressed through both music and lyrics. At times we merged those two opposites, like in Our Own Gale.
We were OK with it, to be honest, so you can clearly hear that in our first album, The Void. It kind of embodied everything that Weesp has been before and served as a perfect ending to the first chapter of the group development.
But upon starting our second chapter, the work on Black Sails album, we decided to cling to a more defined style. We wanted the album to sound cohesive.
- FAN BASE AS BLACK SAILS. Let’s discuss the titled assigned to this new record, BLACK SAILS out on April 5th, 2018. It seems that you fan community has been defined as “Black Sails”, being each and every fan a sailor in the endless sea and Weesp being the ship. I would love to talk more about this concept.
To put in short, the concept is really simple – stay true to yourself and do what you think is right and what you believe in. But of course, the journey will be difficult. You will feel exhausted, scared and lonely. That’s why Black Sails is about this personal journey, complex decisions, loneliness, and obviously faith – that everything will become possible after all.
We are sure that all our listeners are amazing people and we’d like to believe that together we are indeed something big. We also want people to feel that they are not alone.
- THE VOID VS. BLACK SAILS. Previous LP The Void dating back to 2015, was instead focused on the idea of the endless sea where individuals either make their own way, or get lost and shipwrecked into the void. If Black Sails is related to your fans as individual sailors in the endless sea, in what measure does the present album pick it up from where The Void has left – musically and conceptually?
Actually, Black Sails and The Void do share a common message. But The Void is more hopeless, I’d say. Even the most “joyful” songs from there are full of some angry irony and desperation – but I still think that’s cool. It gives you more questions than answers.
Black Sails, in its turn, has a more serious mood, harder riffs, thicker sounds – we wanted to display more determination in it, and for that, we used the more embodied message and harder sound, while still keeping our unique style. And we quite managed to do that.
- BLACK SAILS – THEMES. Is it correct to consider this a concept album? Let’s explore the messages and lyrical themes the record discussed along its 9 tracks.
I’ve mentioned it already but can add a bit more: one of the album’s messages is the apparent rejection of society’s value and their promotion. The reason for many people to abandon their dreams or feel ashamed for them or for their own self is that “somebody said so”. But, as I’ve said, one needs to be really courageous to follow their dreams. We admire such people and always try to support them.
- WHO WE ARE. This is the opening track for your new album. I found a heavier imprint for alternative metal and post-metal especially in the heavy riffing and intense heartfelt vocals backed up by powerful choruses. Let’s talk about this song.
Who We Are was kind of a milestone song for us, as for songwriters and just people. A lot of things were happening around, and we were kind of deciding what to do next. When there’s so much left behind and so much unknown waiting ahead, sometimes you can lose yourself, you know. Maybe this is what is called a crisis of faith.
The song is like a hesitation between slow depressive chords, and «firm» riffs. A play of dark and light. In the end, Who We Are is about honesty – first of all, honesty with yourself.
- ILLUMINATION. This track is combing a high dose of melodic and eerie atmospheres. I would love to discuss more the songwriting and inspiration behind it.
This is truly one of our favorites. And it often happens that such songs are created very fast. The main guitar riff was brought by Mike quite a long time ago, and he was ‘keeping it on the shelf” until coming up with an idea what to do with it. It was not a standard riff at all, as you can notice, but suddenly we caught the vision of a future song altogether.
We knew it would be an unusual song, and we were not going to make it ‘right’. This song is about light. It’s about the beautiful light of some people’s souls that illuminate the darkness for all of us.
- BLACK SAILS. For the title track you have released a suggestive video release focused on the black/white colours dichotomy and mostly influenced by alternative rock and post-rock elements. What can you tell me more about this track?
Black Sails was one of the first tracks that we created for the album. Musically it was mostly built around the breakthrough in the middle, when it is becoming epic and ‘flying after being rather slow and ‘reserved for the most part of the song.
As for the message, well – it’s the title track of the album. We are Black Sails, don’t let the world break you and you will change it one day.
- LIVE EXPERIENCE. Weesp is an outfit with a solid live experience. Let’s share a few memorable moments related to your extensive touring experience and standout bands you had the honor to share the stage with.
Yes, we really think that playing live is something that all bands should focus on primarily. We love touring as well as playing at festivals. We were touring several times together with our mates from Berlin – Redlake Circus, and we toured in Germany and Poland, as well as in Belarus and Ukraine. We’ve played with some very famous Russian bands on local stages, and will be attending a few European festivals next summer, so probably we’ll meet you there ).
- SOUNDSCAPE AND AUDIENCE. Europe and Eastern Europe have a large fan base as for the heavy metal and metal contaminations scenario. How do you see your soundscape and what have you found as typically different between various European and Baltic audiences?
We believe it’s metal culture. Rock culture is mostly above national frames. In the end, it’s all about the same music, the philosophy. In the end, we all have been growing listening to the same bands, that were thundering all over the world.
However, I can say that the audience from Eastern Europe and Baltic countries is more emotionally open during live events.
- What’s at the horizon for Weesp? Any anticipations or revelations you have for our readers touching on live shows and new upcoming projects.
We are planning to make an acoustic album this winter and maybe will release a single. For the upcoming 2019 we are planning to perform live more, including (obviously) a tour across Europe and a couple of summer festivals. We are also looking at an opportunity to visit the UK. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and X.
Thank you for your time and good luck for Black Sails album. We are longing for more music to be dropped from Weesp and keep on supporting you into Europe and US!
Stay tuned with our news and see you at our show!
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