AGHIAZMA were embroiled in controversy when they were one of two acts disqualified from the online wildcard selection in Ukraine. In this interview with ESC Daily, they give their version of events. They also tell us about their new song, Synthetic Sun.
“The situation in Ukraine with the freedom of self-expression becomes better day by day but we are only at the beginning”.
The answers in this interview are on behalf of the band but given by guitarist Igor Cherepanov (picture below). Photo credits belong to the band themselves (C) AGHIAZMA.
1) What is the band AGHIAZMA about? Where did you meet? How would you describe your style of music and image?
AGHIAZMA is a band from Kiev, Ukraine and consists of 5 persons, who have different tastes and experience in music. For a few years, AGHIAZMA couldn’t decide how to name their music style correctly, because the members of the band just enjoy the creative process and are satisfied how their egos and ideas combine with each other. “Selfish-rock” describes the creation and personality of the band perfectly. Our style is inspired by gothic, industrial, post punk, j-rock and indie music.
2) With Ukraine being host nation in 2017, are you honoured to be in the national selection? And does this make things more competitive for you?
It is cool that there is a lot of attention to it in our country, more than ever I think. But we would better take part in a contest somewhere in Berlin or Tokyo. I think these countries will like AGHIAZAM image and our music. We performed in Kiev a lot and would prefer some exotic voyage
3) Jamala, the 2016 winner is a jury member this year, What do you hope to learn from Jamala and her experiences in Stockholm?
We try to learn from our idols, such as David Bowie, Iggi Pop, Nick Cave, Robert Smith and other cool guys Jamala is a good singer and we respect her, but she is not from our imaginary world.
4) What would it mean to you to represent Ukraine on home soil?
Kiev city is the best in the world to live in. Kiev inspires creative people from the ancient times and we feel this inner energy under our skin. We love our city, our country and will represent it with our black hearts full of passion.
5) You had Zombie Dogs in the online wildcard selection, which was eventually won by Kuznetsov. Both your votes and his were annulled. How did this make you feel at the time and what was the situation surrounding it?
We felt a bit disappointed, but angry and we started to speak about this situation in media. We started so called “Pop Revolution” around AGHIAZMA and finally were heard by the producers of Eurovision in Ukraine. They explained that there was a hacker attack on the website and that’s why there was a problem with the votes – they said that it has nothing with our style or our looks. I think the situation in Ukraine with the freedom of self-expression becomes better day by day but we are only at the beginning of a long road. People in Ukraine still have a lot of inner limits and our goal is to show them that there is a much wider music world full of truth and imagination.
6) Will you be re-entering Zombie Dogs? And if not, could you please tell us a little bit about the song you will be entering?
We have chosen another song because Zombie Dogs is too long and it cannot be made shorter without loosing it’s heart and soul. Our Eurovision song is Synthetic Sun. The song is about the commercial attitude to the Art, about cruel struggle for popularity, about the thrust for fame because of the fame itself. And of course about the freedom of self-expression. The “stars” fight for the place under their Synthetic Sun. Insatiable soffits blind the eyes and push for the cruel deeds, humaneness is forgotten, the harmony is broken, the Art requires VICTIMS…
AGHIAZMA will be competing in the second semi final of the Ukraine national selection. This semi final will take place on 11th February. AGHIAZMA will take position 4. They have their other wildcard competitors and eventual winners, Kuznetsov in the same semi final.