The battle to become the representative for the nation hosting Eurovision is always among the most keenly fought. Ukraine this year are no exception, but there’s one act looking to make more of a stir that we’re used to – Aghiazma. So Eurovision Ireland have a quick word with their guitarist and spokesperson Cherep to see what we can expect from their performance, and ask why a band so fantastically noisy would ever want to enter such a contest in the first place…
Many Eurovision fans won’t have encountered anything quite like Aghiazma before. So how would you describe your sound to them?
We are not a metal band and we are not a pop band. Aghiazma mixes such syles as goth rock, post punk, industrial, visual kei and we call our music “Selfish Rock”. There is one song of ours called Narcissus that describes meaning of our style a bit.
And what are the other bands that you most look up to, and model your sound and look on?
We never model our music on other bands or specific style but we worship some gurus from the world of art such as David Bowie, Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and Robert Smith. They changed a lot and we try to change all the time.
So what makes a successful, award-nominated band like yourself want to enter a competition like Eurovision – a show more well known for its bouncy pop and sweet ballads?
I should say that there are no bands in ukrainian underground right now that can call themselves successful. There are problems with infrastructure, tastes on the radio and TV channels here. Rock music doesn’t get many chances for success here and Eurovision in one of the shortest ways for AGHIAZMA to show our music to the world.
Is there an excitement in the national air that Ukraine are going to once again host the song contest? Is it something that the people are getting behind?
Some people say that this in not a proper time for Eurovision because of the war no the borders, but I think that people need some relax and some fun time to free the minds from all this political shit.
You first came to our attention when you entered the wildcard round, and the organisers took a big portion of your votes away from you and some other acts after allegations of vote-rigging. Could you tell us a little about what happened there from your side of the argument?
There was an attack on the Eurovision web site and the developers were not ready for it. This coused some problems and our votes were cancelled. We had a meeting with the guys from the Eurovision commission, talked it over. After some time these guys from TV invited AGHIAZMA to talk about taking part in the contest without all this voting stuff, just because they liked our music and our image.
So after that setback, did it make you more determined to succeed? And how did you manage to find yourself on the final shortlist for the competition?
We started a little pop revolution here and now the Ukrainian underground supports us a lot. Hope we will not disappoint them and will win the contest to present the country on the contest.
What do you have planned for your stage show? Anything special or exciting?
We want to make an ordinary AGHIAZMA show – I’m sure it will make the TV audience rather excited
And could you tell us a little about what your song is about?
This song Synthetic Sun is about the commercialized approach to art, about the battle for recognition, about the desire of fame just for the sake of it. And of course it is about the most important thing – freedom of self expression! Stars are fighting for their place under the Synthetic Sun, blinded by insatiable soffits they are pushed to commit venomous actions. Humanity is upstaged, harmony is broken, ART takes sacrifice…
The three judges on the national final panel aren’t famous for their love of extreme music. Are you prepared for some difficult comments?
I think that these judges also want something strange to happen and they are ready for experiments! Media needs scandals and AGHIAZMA can provide
Have you thought about your chances of actually getting to Eurovision? Do you think that is a possibility that you could fly the flag for your nation in such a massive way?
Of course we can and of course we will do everything to win the contest. I don’t agree that everything depends on the tastes of the voting audience and tastes of the judges. The SHOW itself means a lot, the magic can happen and we can win.
So beyond Eurovision, do you have hopes for further global domination?
Yes, we are ready to release our debut album and we are looking for a proper label to do it.
And why should the viewers spend their vote on you on the big night?
They will do it because of the ancient blood magic that AGHIAZMA has already cast on them!
So, do you think they’ll qualify from the Ukrainian finals? Or are they all a bit too noisy for your palate? Either way, we reckon they’re going to make a bit of a stir on the night – and don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last you’ve heard of them… especially during Eurovision fortnight in Kiev.
Check out all the other hopefuls from Ukraine by clicking here…