Gothic Metal band, Vesssna, recently released a music video for the title track from their 2018 studio album “Почти Святая”. The Russian band has a unique and interesting approach to music, making them attractive even to non-Russian speakers. The band, formed from the talented vocalist and guitarist Marianna Lukianova and keyboardist Marina Felis, previously released a music video for “Вспомянувши меня, заплачешь”, another track from their 2018 album.We have had the chance to chat with Marianna Lukianova and asked her about her music and future plans among other things. We hope you enjoy reading this interview.
Hello Marianna. It’s a pleasure to chat with you. How are you and the other Vesssna members doing these days?
Hello! Thank you, life is slowly starting to improve here in Moscow and, I hope, around the world too. Not so large concerts are already allowed, which makes both musicians and their listeners very happy.
First, how would you define to introduce Vesssna to our readers who are learning about you for the first time?
We’re a musical project from Moscow, founded in 2016 by two girls — me, Marianna, and Marina Felis. I write all the music and all the lyrics, Marina helps me in the studio with keyboard sounds and arrangements. Additionally, there are several session musicians involved in the band.
Basically, our style can be considered gothic metal, although it has some elements of folk, classical, and much more.
In 2017, we released a mini-album »Улыбка Свободы» (Smile of Freedom), and in 2018 a full-length album »Почти Святая» (Almost Saint), and also shot several videos.
You also released a music video for the song Почти Святая a couple of weeks ago. Was it hard to shoot and make the music video, especially with the pandemic around?
Yes, the video came out quite recently, but most of it was filmed last summer, and the last day of shooting (the one with the band in the studio) was in February. In total, there were several days of shooting, separated by long time intervals, as there were some difficulties with the selection of props. And also with the organization of filming due to a large number of participants in the shooting process. Editing also took a lot of time, and due to the pandemic as well. I couldn’t come to the director to do some editing together, and it is very inconvenient online. Plus, she was busy with her main remote work. And I didn’t want to release the video in the middle of the quarantine, because people’s thoughts were still busy with other things. Now, however, the overall mood is much improved.
How much of the ideas that the song lyrics had you believe you were able to put into the visuals of the music video?
The video turned out to be much more spectacular than it could have been expected based only on the lyrics of the song, with its own unique story.
In the text, there are basically some personal experiences of the heroine and dreams of dying gracefully, preferably together with her beloved, and remain forever in the memory of people. To fully embody the meaning of the text, we would have to shoot scenes with lush crowded funeral :-). But the director decided otherwise, and for the better, I think :-).
The music video was taken from the album that has the same name released in late 2018. Are you planning for a new full-length album release anytime soon?
Yes, right now, all the material for the next full-length album is ready – all the music and lyrics. And recently, we started the recording, we recorded all the drums, and now I am recording the guitars. Of course, there is still a long time before its release… The new album has the working title »Beasts and Monsters».
To get to know you more, let’s play a game! We will imagine ourselves in an alternate universe with something different from what we’re used to and see how you’d react to certain situations. Ready?
In a universe where Metal and Rock are not yet invented, what type of music would be doing now?
Probably anything related to folk music.
In a universe where you can travel in time, what era would you like to visit and see?
As a child, I loved historical novels. So let it be France in the 16th century.
In a universe where the sense of taste and the sense of hearing are mixed up, what food would Vesssna’s music taste like?
In Bulgaria, they make these sweets with the taste of roses. I think they’re called Rahat Lokum.
In a universe where the sense of humor is the currency, how rich would you be?
Quite rich, I think 🙂
In a universe where you’re the supreme ruler of the world, what interesting law would you make?
I would prohibit retailers from sending spam and making spam calls 🙂
Thank you for playing, Marianna!
What bands and artists did you grow up listening to, and what moment did you decide you want to be more than just a music consumer and want to be an artist yourself?
Probably, the most influential band in my life is Garbage. Their music, their videos, and the image of the vocalist so sunk into my soul that I immediately decided to become a musician and sing in a band. I was 12 at the time. Of course, I also listened to other music back then — a typical teenager’s set: Nirvana, Metallica, Hole, Placebo, and others. And I still listen to them to this day. Later, when I started taking guitar lessons, I became a big fan of classic rock, especially Deep Purple and Rainbow. And somewhere at the age of 17, I became interested in dark culture in all of its instances, particularly doom and gothic. Lacrimosa and Lacrimas Profundere became my favorite bands. Then I started listening to a lot of gothic metal, mostly with female vocals, and my favorite bands can be counted endlessly! Scream Silence, Dreadful Shadows, Nightwish, Flowing Tears, Xandria, just to name a few.
Do you remember the first time you performed live on stage? How many people were there, and how did it feel?
I was 18 years old at the time, and I was finally playing in a band that lived to see its first real concert! We played some very thick doom metal in the style of early The Gathering. Or at least tried to. It was in the famous Moscow club Relax, where Gothic and doom fests were often held at that time. By the way, there were quite a lot of people — at least, as it seemed since the club is not very big :-). I remember very well the whole day, and especially the constant thoughts that this is finally a step forward, and that now nothing will be the same as before. I wasn’t particularly worried, rather there was a feeling that everything wasn’t happening to me.
Have you ever been treated in a sexist way? How would you face sexism, and what advice would you give to your young fans who face any form of discrimination in their daily life?
Among professional musicians, it is extremely rare to find some kind of negative attitude towards a girl with a guitar, a girl behind the drums, etc. But as soon as you go to a guitar workshop or equipment repair center, and there you have all sorts of stupid and vulgar jokes. Sadly, I really am not that smart that I can repair my guitar amps myself, but, in this case, it means that I will answer calmly and only on the matter, and next time I will go somewhere else. As for advice, understand that you still can’t prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself and try not to communicate with unpleasant people whenever possible.
Thank you for the interview, Marianna! It has been a pleasure. Good luck to you and Vesssna in your future projects.
Thank you very much for such interesting questions, and all the best to you too!