Interview: Vladimir Lehtinen of SECOND TO SUN

Russian black/death metal trio Second to Sun have just launched their new video, for a single titled “Me or Him,” taken from their debut album “The First Chapter” which was originally released as an instrumental album back in 2015, but was re-released with new artwork, tracklist and vocals by Gleb Sysoev. We spoke with guitarist and composer Vladimir Lehtinen about the band’s work.

Hey there, Vladimir! How are you doing?

Hi, Rocking Charts! Doing great, just released a new music video for “Me or Him”.

Back in August last year, you launched your latest album entitled “The First Chapter.” How do you feel about the release?

I think that with this album we’ve reached a much broader audience, as we’ve only ever released instrumental albums before this one.

How much of a challenge was to work on the album?

Working on this album was pure joy instead of a chore, really – there were hardly any difficulties.

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Russia are you friends with?

I think there are lots of such bands. If we stray from STS for a moment, I work with tons of bands in my studio, and Gleb sings in Ultar (whose album I’m currently mixing, by the way) – so at least one of such bands would be Ultar!

Second to Sun - The First Chapter

What is your opinion about the current metal scene?

Metal music is extremely stable but also really stale these days – any attempts of the musicians to make something new and original are usually shunned by the audience. No one really cares for interesting and well-produced music that much anymore. Metal is pretty much in the same state as jazz or chamber music are – and will probably remain like this forever. Sadly, bands don’t get famous without substantial investments or support from the “gatekeepers” anymore, and the musicians themselves concentrate more on live performances than on making good music.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I love Pantera, Immortal, and Emperor. I’d say that my songwriting is equally influenced by groove metal and black metal bands.

What are you listening to these days?

Right now, I’m listening to new Dimmu Borgir and trying to convince myself that I haven’t clicked on Nightwish by mistake.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

– Pantera / Cowboys from Hell

– Kreator / Cause For Conflict

– Emperor / Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

– Immortal / Pure Holocaust

– Dimmu Borgir / Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “The First Chapter”?

I used an Ibanez guitar and bass for recording and mixed the tracks on Genelec monitors. We also used drum triggers with our own drum libraries.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

I think we’ll soon re-record “Blackbound” with Gleb’s vocals and give the album a new name and song order. “Vocal Edition” written next to “The First Chapter” really does look rather silly, even though people do seem to thoroughly enjoy the album.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Listen to music! There’s not a lot of it left these days, regretfully.

Check out “The First Chapter” on Bandcamp.