Firstly, where does the name of the band come from? Is a reference to Dissimulation’s great thrashy album “Maras”?
The name Maras has several meanings. But, the root is in the Slavic mythology, actually the etymology of Morana’s name, the goddess of winter and death. In some Slavic lands Maras are “nightmare demons” serving Morana. A few years after forming the band I found out that there is an album called “Maras”, and until then, honestly, I didn’t know Dissimulation.
MARAS produced their first album,”Raskol” back in 2008 but, bar one Single the following year, the band has stayed silent ever since.
Have you any plans of making some recording in the near future?
Yes, many people ask me why we are not active, some think that we’re split-up. But the truth is that we got bored with the old sound and material, so we decided not to play live until we release something new. At the moment we’re working on our new upcoming album, but before it’s released, there will be another one single which will announce the album. It will be very experimental, wide, refreshing and much different.
Macedonia is a relatively humble-sized country (2 million inhabitants). Does the country have any metal scene to speak of? Or even more specifically, a Black metal scene?
Yeah, I can surely say that we have many talented bands and musicians. But on the other hand, the Macedonians are very lazy, and the main problem with the artists is that they don’t work hard enough. We don’t work hard enough, too. I can say that we have a small metal scene, yes, but in the black metal… I think we’re the only ones who survived.
In Norway the Metal scene isn’t so big either, especially in the north. As a result, the Hardcore and Metal scene tends to overlap often. Is it also the case in Macedonia?
Yes it is. And I’m glad because of this. We’re a very small country and if we don’t stick together we’re done. It is very hard for a metal, or a hardcore band to survive in conditions like these.
What are the bands and musicians that inspired you to start an extreme metal band? Were there any Yugoslavian bands that left a lasting impression on you?
Well, the Norwegian Black Metal scene was the most influential, to be honest, although I grew up with many Yugoslavian rock, new-wave, punk and metal bands.
MARAS is a black metal band evolving in a Christian orthodox country. Is the influence of the church strong in your country? Have you ever been censored or threatened by religious zealots because of your musical activities?
Fortunately, the church in Macedonia can suck a cock, because we’re pagan people in spiritual and social sense, although most of the “believers” think that the traditional rites they practice are Christian. Yes, the Orthodox church has a huge influence in the social and political issues, but it has never changed us. I think that the only thing which keeps people close to religion is the presence of Islam and interethnic conflicts in this country.
The band carries with it a strong pagan concept and identity. Is there any contemporary pagan movement in Macedonia or, more widely, in former Yugoslavia?
Yes, I’ve heard about few pagan movements in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia… but in Macedonia there is no such organizations. Even if there was, I would not be a part of any, because my personal thought is that paganism is an individual concept and way of life.
You’re using the Slavic “Kolvorot” symbol in your logo and artwork just as bands like Nokturnal Mortum or Dub Buk did before you. What does this symbol represent for you?
The Kolvorot has deep personal core meanings to me. It represents the Sun, the wheel of life, eternity, cosmos, and it has never been connected to nazi or racist ideology in my opinion…
Next year the band will celebrate its tenth birthday. What will be the greatest thing to happen to the band in the next decade?
Nice question. I hope for many new albums, many concerts, new experiences… But first of all, I wish MARAS to remain honest and pure in both musical and ideological senses. All of us in the band are huge fans of the Scandinavian (especially Norwegian) music, so a Scandinavian tour would be our dream come true.
Thank you for taking time to answer to our humble Newspaper’s questions. I’ll leave you the last word.
Thank you for the interest, my friend, it was a pleasure to answer the questions. This is our first interview for a Norwegian magazine, so I’ll just say that it was very exciting. Thank you again, and best regards!
Thanks to Darko for making this interview possible.
Listen to MARAS’ latest musical productions: myspace.com/marashorde
Buy MARAS’ music and other great Macedonian productions: www.terrorblast.tk/
The Oldest Macedonian Metal Fanzine: The mighty Vampir Zine:www.vampirzine.tk/