O’Rev: Hello Thomas Hornstein, and thank you for agreeing to answer my
Before starting I would like to tell you that your project had a great response
in just 2 months or less. Many appreciated “From Yav To Nav” and the s/t,
released at the same time. Thomas: Hello O’Rev! It is me who thanks you for this interview and also
for your interest in my music; it's very motivating, and very touching.
I am so into Pagan Metal, yet I did not know Sviatibor, perhaps because you
started recently, in 2013 ... Now it is as if I’ve known the project for
centuries, I listened and listened to the last releases ... I noticed -during my
investigation- that you are not only French, you have Germanic and eastern
European origins, do you think it has a relationship with the music you make? or
Paganism? I am glad that you liked my work that much, really. To answer your
question, I think yes. There are things –hard to explain- in arts that awaken
the ancient warriors within us; art is used to express them in our way. In fact
it happened to me when I saw how some pagan bands honored their European
heritage. (I have been influenced by the work of Arkona about the Slavic
heritage, and Burzum regarding the Norse heritage. Those were the two biggest
influences that led to Sviatibor.)
How is Pagan Metal in France today? Can we say that it's still not a well
explored genre? Still underground? Pagan Metal is not very developed in France, nor is Metal by the way (even
if we have some important events such as Hellfest and other metal festivals).
First, because - as I said - Metal has a bad image amongst French society. A
great part of the population is still closed minded and thinks that Metal isn’t
music but screams… that metalheads are alcoholic idiots. Second, because
paganism is something absolutely rejected by the French society, most people do
not even know the existence of such a religion (and it’s the original religion
of Europe) or have a false image about it. For example the word "pagan" in the
French dictionary is defined as "atheist" or "unbeliever". That’s why the image
of metal and Paganism in France is something for which I fight through my art
and music, and I am certain that the situation will improve in the next few
years, because the others (emissions , radios , festivals, bands) are currently
fighting for this.
Each musical project has a purpose, some want fame, others have a stronger
message to transmit, what is the message Sviatibor has? You’re right; in fact I do not seek fame. I try to have an impact on the
opinion of people, concerning paganism and nature. My music is focused on the
idea that nature (which can be considered as a God) is greater than us, and is
the most beautiful thing in our world. I fight to make people realize the
importance of pagan values in this society, because I am convinced that paganism
is the only way that can make men respect Nature, it is what can control and
limit the human crimes against Mother Nature. I hope I can influence people,
just as I have been influenced by Arkona. This fight is by the way pacifist, and
shows no hatred as did the Christians to pagans when they wanted to spread
My music also aims to introduce the Slavic mythology to people, to describe my
feelings for it and for nature, it’s in a word: a meditation through my music.
are young and professional, you released two albums in 2014, was that easy? How
the recording work was, etc ... since everyone knows the problems young
Metalheads face when releasing an album. I must admit that it was not easy, I had to learn a lot in a short time: how
to record, make a good audio production, promote my own project, where and how
do I release ... Some things are still impossible (e.g. physical albums, t
–shirts…) because I don’t have enough money. I had to make all this with what I
had, but I am satisfied. I had the chance to be helped by my twin brother who
suggested to me the right materials for music production, also, my father who’s
a great visual artist, realized a wonderful artwork for “From Yav To Nav” (and
also made the artwork of the upcoming album “l’Oeuvre De Rod”). In spite of the
difficulties I encountered, Sviatibor has always been a great pleasure.
What are your metal and non-metal musical influences? The bands that influenced me the most are those with the deepest concept. My
favorite artists are Gojira, Arkona, Burzum, Ensiferum, Behemoth (the early
releases) and Wintersun. Apart from metal, I am of course a big fan of Pagan
folk music (I’m sure you expected it), classical music (mainly Mozart),
Soundtrack/Score music (I'm a huge fan of Hans Zimmer’s “Gladiator OST” and John
William’s “Star Wars OST”).
I also like Ambient and spiritual music (you can listen to some tracks I
composed on Bandcamp, such as the albums “Ununderstandable Visions” and
… You just talked about Mozart and Hans Zimmer, two artists I so like,
Now let’s talk about your work!
“l’Arbre du Monde”, my favorite track so far, very powerful, with beautiful and
deep lyrics, tell me a little bit about this song and your inspiration. It is a pleasure to know that it is your favorite song!
I wanted through this song (which belongs to the s/t “Sviatibor” and will be in
the next album) to describe how music can come from contemplation of trees;
powerful and beautiful bodies… L’arbre du monde, or Mirovoie Derevo is one of
these biggest known trees (same thing as Yggdrasil in the Norse mythology), it’s
the Tree Of Life in the Slavic Mythology. I wanted, on a musical level, to make
people feel the immensity of this omniscient tree, its spiritual and symbolic
power that reminds me that we are from Nature, and nature shelters us.
speaking, France finally joined the other countries that want to keep the flame
of what I like to call "Europa” burning, by returning to the actual Genesis:
Paganism. Do you think that these events inspire the metal scene today? That
music helps to convey this message and protect Europe from the political and
religious wave that’s erasing its image little by little? I think it is precisely the pagan scene (not only Metal), which fights for
this heritage in France, because the French society does not, even with
Secularism it remains a very Christian state! However, yes, I am convinced that
art helps to convey the message of preserving heritage, I myself have
experienced this! I never stopped calling people to remember his legacy through
my music. And I know that one day paganism rises from the ashes of a forgotten
What are your future projects? To continue the project alone, to work with
other people on the same wavelength…? I’ve thought about it all. And I do not really know what the future is for
Sviatibor, yet . A part of me wants to turn it into a band, since I want to
experience my songs on stage. It is difficult to be known, when you have a solo
project. Concerts are now the best way to spread music and earn some money.
Another part of me wants to keep Sviatibor as a solo project because I like to
be free and able to compose the way I want, at home, in my own space. So if
Sviatibor becomes one day a band, I must find people who believe in the same
things as me… In any case, this is something that I must think about!
I understand you perfectly, that’s why I said “on the same wavelength”
Very pleased to have had the opportunity of asking you these important
questions, for me and for the community of those who appreciate your work…
I leave you the last word!
Thank you very much for all the questions and relevant comments during this
interview, it is actually very important to me, because without these kinds of
actions, motivation would disappear! If you want to ask me any other question,
do not hesitate to contact me via email or my official Facebook page! I will
answer with pleasure.
A big “Thank you” to all those who are listening to my music, or reading this
interview, and patience, the second album is coming soon! Slava!