Baltic folk metal and big power. Ūkanose is a young talented band from Lithuania. The musicians have been playing since 2012. If you want to know about them more, we encourage to read this interview.

You have been playing for 2012. Who decided to create this band?

The band’s concept was born in autumn 2011 when Tadas and Linas were both spending their free time away from lectures in pubs where they would get drunk and sing Lithuanian folk songs. At the time Linas was also a part of another folk metal band, although when he stepped away from it, he and Tadas who had experience in a known Lithuanian band „Brėkšta”, started discussing the idea of a band more and more. At first they wanted to gather a group of friends who enjoyed that type of music. 4 months had to pass before the first rehearsal took place on fourth of February 2012. Even though you can’t call „Ūkanose” a project of one or two people, most efforts for the rehearsals, concerts, and festival appearances to happen were made by Tadas and Linas.

Why have you chosen folk metal?

We did not choose Folk Metal. Folk metal chose us! On a serious note though, Linas was dreaming of playing this style for a long time as it was his favorite style of metal. Tadas is more into punk and folklore so he was not impressed by the idea but compromises were made and Tadas became responsible for the folk part of the band and Linas was responsible for the metal. Although essentially we did know where we were going with it and what we want. Naturally with every member change the sound would change a little too. Also its important to notice that at the time when the band was started, there was no folk metal bands in the country, so we wanted to try and revive the genre in Lithuania. Most important thing though is that folk metal is what we enjoy ourselves. Also in Lithuania it easier to be heard with folk metal than any other metal subgenre and it makes up for a wide spectrum of listeners who are not only metalheads.

Also we would like to add that it is really important for people to know their roots, their history and respect it. In our understanding what we play is not only for fun but it is also a way of paying homage to our ancestors, culture, heritage and the folklore itself. We seek that anyone who listens to our modernised folk would develop interest in their history and their cultural heritage. Folk metal is like a bridge to wider cultural floors. It is the first step that help to make anyone who enjoys our music. With modern music it is way easier to interest young people than showing them old stuff.

You are from Lithuania. What can you tell about folk metal in your country? Is there a popular genre or not?

Folk metal in Lithuania… Some time ago there were quite a few bands who tried to play something in the direction of folk/pagan metal but that wave had been forgotten for ages now. Today we only have a couple of folk metal bands. You wouldnt say that this genre is very popular here only by the number of folk metal bands in Lithuania but people are eagerly going to the shows when folk metal artists come from abroad. So in the end we could say that the genre is still very relevant. We have open air festivals like „Kilkim Žaibu” and „Mėnuo Juodaragis” which are based on the ideas of folklore, ethnology, ethnography and mythology and that is why you can encounter a lot of folk metal and folk rock, pagan and black metal bands which bring in a lot of people. We recommend everyone to visit these festivals, and if anyone has been there can share their opinions about them and this question in the comment section. We would like to know what people think.

Anything info for these Polish fans of folk metal who don’t know you yet: what can you tell about your vision of folk metal? What kind of creation can we expect?

Our thing is taking the ancient / old Lithuanian songs and rearranging them in a new way. Every member of the band has his own vision which we put together and check what comes out of it. For example it happens so that Linas likes to play fast and in the first glimpse happy songs, though they are often about war, a death of a warrior and other sad things. So we might say that some of our songs are aimed at changing the manner in which they used to be sung in the folklore. Why cry about going to war when there should be a reason that makes you angry and hyped and wanting to go to war in the first place. Although some of our songs are lyrical and performed with only minor changes. People can expect anything. I guess we ourselves don’t know yet what we will be creating in the future. Spoiler though – it will have to do something with folk.

Your most important achievement is…

Everyone perceives them differently, but as a band we do think that performing in biggest Lithuania’s and Latvia’s metal festivals and shows during the national commemorations is a big thing.

You had a tour in Poland last year. Was it enjoyable for you? What can you tell about Polish public?

Oh yes! We enjoyed it very much, Sure it was not a very long tour but did make up an opinion about the Polish audience and it is great! It was really nice to play for people who partied, danced and moshed together with us in spite of not understanding our language. The Polish audience really did put up a warm welcome and we thank them for that! We do hope we can come back soon and continue the party.

 Now who is the member of Ūkanose?

At the moment the bad consists of Linas on guitars, Tadas on accordion, who came back to us after a 10 month break, Greta plays magic on her flute who joined us in the autumn of 2017 as Tadas’ replacement but stayed with us after he came back, as flute and accordion sounds very well together. Greta also enriches our music with her vocals. The drums throne belongs to Vilius who joined us a year ago. We did not even hesitate to ask him to join us when we needed a new drummer, as he does have experience in other bands and he always enjoyed our music. Bass is being slapped by Andrius who joined us while we were recording our debut album. He has probably been a member of the biggest number of patriotic bands among all the Lithuanian musicians. And then there is Laurynas with his seven string guitar, the newest addition to the band who joined us in the spring of 2018.

What’s is inspiration of Ūkanose?

Inspiration is a very subjective topic. One can be inspired by nature the other one by culture, folklore or history. For „Ūkanose” it would be all of those things together. Every component inspires us in one way or another and influences our creativity. We always think about what we want to say with our songs and what emotion we want to convey which naturally affect the sound. We try not to take influences from other bands just so we can have a unique sound, and people would not mistaken us for any other folk metal band.

And… something for our fans. Ūkanose – what does it mean? 😀

„Ūkanose“ (In the mist) – the place where the souls of ancestors can hide. Old Lithuanians believed that the bodies of the dead continue their existence as the fog – mist. The ancestors used to say that the mist is the fire of waters, that is created when two different origins combine.

Lithuanian language the word „ūkanose“ sounds similar to ūkti, ūkavimas ( hoot ), so it is related to sound which is wild, not domesticated, coming from the wind or from the deep forests.
Overall Ūkanos (the mist) have many meanings and that is why our songs are not only about one topic and they do not sound so similar to each other. Mist is not tied to one place, to time or anything else. It can be calm and it can be militant at the same time.

Now something about the plans for the future. 🙂 What’s your biggest dream? Where would you like to play?

Plans, plans, plans… We have many plans but first of all we want finish this summer’s concerts which will end at „Mėnuo Juodaragis” festival. Then we hope to shut ourselves in the recording studio and start making an EP which will be dedicated to Lithuania’s 100 years and will commemorate Lithuanian resistance and partisans. At the moment we are also working on new material for the second full length album. We’d like to travel a little, plan a tour through neighbouring countries deeper into Europe for now. Although there is no such place where we wouldn’t want to play. Invite us, and we will come and play. 🙂

Thank you very much! Good luck!