Hello Alexander Latman, how are you doing?

Hello. I am fine, thanks. A lot of things to do lately, both personal and professional. No rest for the wicked as they say 🙂

Please tell us how and when Winterhorde was found/started?

Well, everything started during summer 1999, when I read an AD in some local metal forum, where a guitarist was searching to form a black metal band. After an hour of telephone conversation we decided to meet and jam. It was Seth, our co-founding guitarist. It took us some two years to establish the line up to begin rehearsals and playing live. Meanwhile we were writing music and evolving our style. In March 2002 , WINTERHORDE played their first concert and in 2004, we recorded our first and last demo “In Traditions of Winter”. In 2006, we signed our first record deal with Burning Star records, which released our debut album “Nebula”. Shortly after that we went on a full European tour with Finnish band Catamenia.

How did you get interested in Metal Music and which bands you where into in the 90’s and bands you like Anno 2024?

I heard metal music for the first time in 1993, on local Belarusian TV. It was Iron Maiden with “Fear of the Dark ” video, taken from “Live in Donnington”. I was amazed by everything – style, virtuoso playing, melodies. But most of it, I was impressed with Steve Harris’ attitude on stage. After Maiden, I naturally discovered Metallica’s “And Justice for all”, W.A.S.P.’s “Headless Children” and Manowar’s “Into Glory Ride. I listened to all the metal which I could find back then, but always was going towards melodic stuff. I admired Dio, Helloween, Accept and King Diamond. Later came Death and Slayer. In the end of the nineties, I saw Cradle of Filth on MTV and it changed the game. It was the moment where I decided to form my own band and play this kind of music – Melodic Black Metal.

Nowadays, I listen to all the new stuff which is being released. I try to stay updated in the musical Spheres. But still, my preference is heavy/death/black metal bands. The newer bands I like are Tribulation and Mastodon. 

Winterhorde just released a new album; Neptunian. Please tell us about the writing process, time in the studio and how the press and fans received the new album?

Although many wrote that it took us seven years to release “Neptunian” after the “Maestro” album, the truth is quite different. There were a couple of years where we were quite not active in terms of music writing. We played some shows and festivals, but didn’t write any new music. “Maestro” drained all of our souls back then. And we didn’t want to push with force. We believe that music must come by itself, no matter how much time it takes. Otherwise it will not be true.

We actually wrote songs for “Neptunian” during the last two years prior to recording. There was a massive lineup change as well. It affected the bands very much. Only when we had all the members in the line up again, we started seriously thinking about recordings and stuff. I wasn’t sure that there would be a fourth album at all. But we did it despite all the problems which we had back then, and we had a lot of them, believe me.

The songs were written individually this time. I completely wrote 5 tracks, our guitarist wrote 4. I also wrote lyrics to most of them. It was a new experience for us. We knew we didn’t want it to be another” Maestro” and I know that people were waiting for it, but they’ve got “Neptunian”, something different. Both musically and lyrically. But we know for sure that this album is 100% organic.

The studio process was quite short in terms of previous recordings. It went smoothly. Mixing was a nightmare. We couldn’t find a common language with the guy, who mixed the album, but in the end he did a good job.

Fans responded quite well to the album. Most of the media responded great as well. There were some who were waiting for “Maestro” 2.0, as I said before and were disappointed, but we can’t and don’t want to satisfy everyone. We just express musically what lies within our souls and if people do like it, this is an amazing bonus. Music is not our job. We work everywhere but the music business. 

Can you share the inspiration behind your latest album, where is the album lyrically all about?

“Neptunian”, unlike the two previous records, is not a conceptual album.Each song takes its inspiration from different sources. But there is one common line for almost each and every song. It is dedicated to the people who did the impossible.

As I said earlier, this album almost didn’t happen, but the fact that we did ,makes it even more special. We even have a title track, which is basically dedicated to ourselves and all the bands who gave their blood to their music despite all the difficulties of the dirty “music” business. As for other tracks, there is inspiration from fictional or historical movies, like “Amphibia” or “With bare hands against the storm”, actual war themes like “The spirit of freedom”, philosophical “The Garden” and based on the true events “Alone in the ocean”. Basically every aspect which has impacted us had its place in the album in one way or another. 

Winterhorde’s music often carries a unique blend of atmospheric and black metal elements. How do you approach the creation of this distinct sound?

There is no real approach. We just translate our emotions through the elements which cause us emotions as musicians. I guess. Good music is alway good music, no matter which genre it belongs to. We try not to limit ourselves within the ranks of one genre. If we feel there is a place for flamenco music and it works great within the theme, it would be flamenco music in it. We are always into atmospheric stuff. I, for example, see our music just a little bit differently rather than just a song.I take care of it, as some kind of big show within, or movie. I need dynamics, otherwise it becomes a generic track which is released in thousands every Friday.Speaking of black metal, this genre of music has inspired us the most during our first years of playing. And it is the most beautiful and extreme form to portray our visions. Image-wise or ideologically, we don’t have much in common with it, but still, we enjoy it, and hopefully enrich the genre as well with our music. 

Winterhorde has performed at various international venues. How do you find the response from diverse audiences around the world?

The warmer the country, the warmer the audience. Just kidding, but it’s true hhh. We enjoy playing everywhere where we are wanted. We enjoy talking to the audience after the show, meeting new fans. It is the best part of being in the band I guess.I would never do it for the sake of studio work alone. We love to travel and see different cultures. To see how the people get our music in different places of the world. But in the end musical fans are musical fans no matter where it is. It’s only a matter of  the amount of alkohol……

Soon you guys will be playing in The Netherlands again, after this memorial and great performance in Atak, Enschede some years ago? Please tell us about the show in Atak, Enschede I think it was in 2016. And tell us about the preperation for the show in Willemeen, Arnhem in April this year?

Yeah, we come back and are very happy about it. We enjoyed the show in Enschede, with a small but great audience. Some of them came to see us from Germany. There was some football game this very evening and a lot of people decided to stay home and watch the game, but we had a lot of fun playing there. Great stuff and hospitality. This time we will play songs from the whole repertoire, as much as time allows us. There are four new members this time, so let’s say for most of us it will be a new experience to play a show there. Anyway, we are always excited to play abroad. 

Any other European shows Booked in April? 

I can’t tell at the moment.

Are there any collaborations or dream projects on the horizon for Winterhorde?

We had some great collaborations on the new album with Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land and Vidi Dolev from Subterranean Masquerade. Both turned out great.

Dream project? I would really love to have Tom Gabriel Fisher of Triptykon on the new album as a special guest. 

Do you have a last word to the readers of Bonavox.nl?

Guys, we are waiting to come and play for you. We come for the music, with love. And I hope we will see you all at the MetalYard festival this April. See you soon. Stay safe.