Romuvos is a one man folk metal band originally from Lithuania, presenting an auditory adventure that should thrill music aficionados all across the world. Romuvan Dainas is the name of the debut magnum opus, now available from the notorious No Colours Records. Fans of Viking area Bathory and the mighty Falkenbach will surely want to journey into the auditory adventures of Romuvos. We caught up with Romuvos mastermind Velnias to find out more about the stunning new album, stories behind the sweeping compositions, the collaboration with the label that brought the world bands such as Graveland and Nargaroth, and other subjects of intrigue…
Introduce yourself, what you do in Romuvos and how long the project has been in existence.
Hails, My name is Velnias, 33 years old, born in Lithuania to a Latvian father and Lithuanian mother, we moved to Israel when I was 6 years old, since then I live in Israel and get to visit Lithuania/Latvia once in a while.
Started to play keyboards when i was 14 years old, inspired mostly by BM as my favorite metal genre. Started Romuvos project 3 years ago as a one man band, so as you can imagine i do everything including mix and mastering.
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
For many years now, I am not involved in the local scene that much, though i know few of them that are out there for many years now:
apart of that the scene is not that big here in Israel.
How did you wind up being signed to the legendary and sometimes notorious No Colours Records?
Well, that was unexpected, i sent a song as demo for few labels on the E-mail, one of them was No Colours Records, after few weeks, i kept on promoting the demo though i received a great response from No Colours Records, and i was happy to get my first album under their wings.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Romuvan Dainas?
Romuvan Dainas means: folk songs, songs from the ancient Baltic pagan tradition, most of those songs were written on story and tales about the Baltic gods, family, myth, fable and allegory. I use that name for my first album that mostly represent the Baltic tales and traditions apart to some heroic tales of glory and might of man in battle and legends, that some of them I invent by myself though I base them on the Baltic mythology.
Select two songs from Romuvan Dainas and what inspired the lyrics.
Under The Glaciers Of The Baltijos is a song about giants that came from the northern mountains of ancient gothland and went down to the Baltic sea while its frozen. Underneath there is their great halls where they gather while you can hear the drumbeat echos in the distance, escorting their journey. That is an example of a story I made up inspired by folk tales from the Baltic region.
EGLE- THE QUEEN OF SERPENTS, well known Lithuanian folk story about a girl named Egle who encountered a snake that offered her to marry him, frightened she agreed and after few days he came back and ask her from her parents that tried to hide her, making the story short, the snakes came and took Egle to the Baltic Sea where she found out that the snake she first met is a charming prince who now takes her hand and leads her to his castle under the waters. After many years she wanted to go visit her family she had missed… and for keeping with the story you can read the song’s lyrics or getting more detail from the net 🙂
Who did the cover art for Romuvan Dainas and how much input did you have on it?
I did the art work including the cover, I painted it with a pencil and used a map of the Baltic region as background. I like metal album covers that are painted, whether its black and white or coloured. As a painter, it is most likely I will use my own drawings for my own albums, that way I can make a great connection between the music and the graphic design of the album.
Has Romuvos ever played live or plan to do so in the future?
Never played live and at the moment it seems unlikely to happen due to the fact that I don’t have any session musicians. In the future I think of making Romuvos as a group, especially for live performance and studio recording, so you can say that I have future plans for live shows.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Romuvos?
No. Dedicated to Romuvos alone.
If Romuvos was invited to participate on a Bathory tribute album, what song would you want to do and why?
Oh such a hard question, as a Bathory big fan, I would go for “The Lake” from the album Blood On Ice. I think that the viking era of Bathory is epic music as epic can get. As Romuvos, making cover to one of the songs from that era will be the obvious.
What is your favorite Lithuanian beer of choice and why?
Its a good question, not many poeple know that but Lithuanian breweries are producing great and unique beer for ages now, so there are very good rich and flavoured beers in Lithuania but if i have to put a name, i would choose an ordinary good old white beer as Utenos beer, just cause I like that kind of beer.
What is it you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
The helmet on his head, the sword in his hand, the shield on his body and the boots on his legs while he rode on his horse in the mountains and forests, laying around the fire at nights…waking up and playing the album again just to go back to the same point and continue his quest.
What’s up next for Romuvos?
The 2nd album in progress, making it in the same style and atmosphere, hope to keep doing it even better in the future, giving the listener the music i would like to hear on my stereo as well.
Any final words of wisdom?
Stay who you are and forget what society wants you to be, fuck all the missionaries and posers!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thank you for your interest in me and my music. Hails brothers and sisters!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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