Recently Yurii "Jurgis" Kapinus, guitarist for Khors and Nokturnal Mortum bands, became an official endorser of DR Strings. Naturally, with that, the recent release of sixth full-length Khors album via Candlelight Records and increased Nokturnal Mortum activity, the conversation with Yurii became only a matter of time.
Hi! Yuri, today you are the part of such iconic bands like Khors and Nokturnal Mortum. I think our readers would be interested to know how did you get there, how did it all begin?
I was invited to Khors as a guitarist and vocalist five years ago. At that time I was not involved in the active bands and pondering my own project. So this attractive prospect materialized at the very opportune time, especially since I like Khors` music. Besides, we were already acquainted with guys and they made a very positive impression. Since that time we have been together.
As for Nokturnal Mortum, I joined them at the time of numerous permutations in staff. According Varggoth (guitar, vocals for Nokturnal Mortum - editor's note), I suited the band as a guitarist quite well. Since we were well acquainted with Bairoth (drums for Nokturnal Mortum - editor's note) for a long time, getting used to each other was not a lengthy process.
How has it happened, that being a part of Khors for about 5 years, you started performing live with Nokturnal Mortum? Are you exclusively a live musician, or do you take part in composing music as well?
I am a full-fledged member of Nokturnal Mortum, so I am taking part in all band processes, as well, as other musicians without exception. Everything happens harmoniously.
On April 20 through Candlelight Records the sixth full-length Khors album «Night Falls Onto the Fronts of Ours» has been released. Is the band planning any shows in support of the album?
Yes, of course. In late October our Balkan tour in support of the album begins. Within the space of 10 days we will be playing 10 concerts in Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Hungary.
What is about concert activity for Nokturnal Mortum?
The band is very active in this year. We have visited Finland, France, Czech Republic and Lithuania with concerts, not to mention the concerts in the Homeland. New album is not that far off in the future, which means there will only be more shows!
Indeed, both bands are very active. Do the schedule conflicts not arise with those saturated schedules?
Such conflicts have not arisen as of yet. I hope they never will! Show dates are always booked in advance, which precludes scheduling conflicts. Though, from time to time both bands may take part in the same event, as it was at «Повстанець» festival, for example.
It's not a secret that most of metal musicians have more or less regular day work along with playing music. Could you elaborate as to how you manage to combine work with such a tight concert schedule for both bands?
I`ve been working since I was 14. Even at that time I combined work and secondary school. After the graduation - with consequent education. On top of that at 16 I started playing concerts. So I can say that it gets easier as time goes by. Everything happened as it should have, despite of the abundance of obstacles! Higher forces are helping.
Speaking about the new Khors album, I can’t help but note the great sound. Tell us how the recording process flowed, with which studios did you collaborate.
Everything was simple, as always. We recorded drums in Kyiv under the direction of Shaddar (sound producer, the owner of BlackLight Studio - editor's note). Guitars, bass and some keyboard lines were tracked in my home studio. Vocals were recorded in Iron Steel studio (Kharkiv) in two days. Mixing and mastering traditionally performed by Shaddar.
A significant role in shaping of the guitar sound falls on strings. Let’s turn to that. Not so long ago you have become an official artist of DR Strings (USA). Without doubt, you had time to play on a vast variety of strings. What led you to choose DR Strings?
Indeed, I have tried a lot of strings. Most important factor in choosing strings for me is reliability. I must say, it is exceedingly frustrating when the string breaks during the show. Due to the fact that we are playing quite aggressive music, sometimes in a rush of feelings I can begin to play with more force, causing the strings to begin to losing tune and even tearing. DR Strings have a high-performed core, due to which they are great at holding the tune. This is particularly noticeable on the thick strings or seven-string sets.
DR Strings have a special feature that I call "softness" - could not be described more precisely. They are very soft and pleasant to the touch.
How do you tune your guitars for playing Khors and Nokturnal Mortum songs? What gauges of strings do you prefer?
For the both bands I am setting up my guitars in D. For this "thickened ten" fits best, in my opinion, I mean 10-46 caliber. Also, I have an acoustic guitar, which I use in standard E. It is better to use thick strings (11-52). They are well-rocking guitar`s body, forcing it to enter into resonance and enrich guitar sound by harmonics. Thick strings are capable of creating loud sound with "correct low-end", but I like playing in fingerstyle and it is hard to play on the thickest strings, so the 11-52 are the best for me.
Well, let's stop boring our readers with technical details. An official Khors`s live video titled «My Kossak Way» was shot in «Bingo» club in Kyiv this spring. The band performed that show with one image, yet scarcely half a year later, the band was on stage of the «Повстанець» festival, decked out in a military style! What stands behind these radical changes of image?
"Повстанець" is a conceptual festival. We thought it would not be particularly appropriate to appear on its stage in our conventional way. We decided to play this show in military attire. In addition, we performed an exclusive set that consisted entirely of songs from only two albums - "Wisdom of centuries" and "My cossak way". It was the right decision!
Nokturnal Mortum is not one of the bands that regularly release albums, which predictably raises anticipation in the ranks of the fans. Last for today: "Voice of still" was released in 2009, what about the new album?
I will not fully reveal the cards, let me just say that there remains not that much work for the album. In the first pass a couple of musical surprises shall be released, and only then - as bold exclamation mark - the album called "The Truth."
Not so long ago Saturious, permanent member from the very start, split ways with Nokturnal Mortum. How did it influence on the songwriting process?
Saturious continues to participate in writing the arrangements. His departure is rather a formality. It does not affect the process of creating music.
Since we broached the subject, tell me, how Khors music is born? What are the differences in creative processes of Khors and Nokturnal Mortum?
Everything is very individual. Songs and phrases are born differently. Someone can bring a finished song and we all play it in the way it was intended by the author. Another day a song could be born from the one successful note, played in rehearsal during the jam.
There are no unambiguous formulas and algorithms. This is creativity. Everything happens differently and, at the same time, the same. As in the nature.
Thank you for the informative conversation. Any parting words for our readers?
I want to wish you all harmony. Everything is inside us!