Blog Post

Herbal Moonshine and Bank Loans

In the modern world, so many things are happening around us, that it’s hard to remember what was 2 or 3 years ago… At least for me. Days, weeks and then – months, are becoming years in the unending flow of work. But now, I would like to stop the Time and go backwards in Imperial Age’s history to the very beginning. You will see through my eyes how Imperial Age grew up and became a “grown-up” band … Follow me!

Here we are, at the starting point: I’m a student of a medical faculty, fully into gothic subculture, knowing nothing about the music business, having no idea of what I want from my life (most people don’t have this till their death), drinking and hanging out with Aor and a couple of our mutual friends (mostly musicians from Revelance – his previous band). That was fun. But all the efforts to promote the band brought no results – except that Revelance was finally disbanded. After that, a new chapter began.

We took a huge timeout, almost 2 years. We needed time to create a new band, a new being, think about all the conditions for our future musicians, think of a name, write new songs and make the visual part. This time we wanted to make something properly, to end playing games and start a serious project. This new approach was irritating to many of our “friends” – they were ok with playing their incredible music dressed in old Metallica t-shirts in their own kitchen for an audience of local cockroaches, and although they said that they wanted something better, they never actually did anything to make it happen…

Aor wrote some new songs, revised some Revelance songs, and we set on recording. We chose one of the best and one of the most expensive Russian sound engineers – Arkady Navaho (we honestly sent few songs to one well-known Finnish guy, but the Russian guy did the sound at the same quality but for a lower price). We used all our connections in the Russian underground music world to find all the musicians and a choir. And on top of that we organised the filming of two music videos. Of course, we had no money for all that, because we were both students. The source of money was standard – we took something like 8 small bank loans (some of which are not fully repaid even now).

These music videos deserve some remarks. There was a part where the band is playing in a hall, and a part with a story. The first part was filmed at the same place for both videos (Anthem of Valour and Wings of Your Heart) – it was a huge hangar (an old soviet vegetable storehouse) 300 km outside Moscow (we needed a place where we could use pyrotechnics because we wanted something epic )… I have many funny memories from there, starting with me painting the dusted floor black (yes, I was painting the floor in a hangar) and ending with a storm and no electricity… These videos were far from professional but they did their job – they were provocative enough to bring some attention to the band.

Our first album “Turn The Sun Off!” was released in 2012. The same year, Imperial Age had it’s first performance in history, presenting this album. It was my first ever time on stage. I will remember it all my life.

Having no contacts abroad, we played a number of support shows in Russia (which were almost useless for our promotion judging from now… but gave us the experience of being a support act). We played with Epica, Paradise Lost, Tarja, The 69 Eyes, OOMPH!, Finntroll and Therion. With the latter we played in St. Petersburg in October 2014 and this show was pivotal for Imperial Age. 

In a few weeks after this show Christofer Johnsson, the founder of symphonic metal genre and one of my idols, proposed Imperial Age to distribute CDs through his label Adulruna Records and go on a European tour with Therion. It was like suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a dream… And this is how our international path had begun.

Following Christofer’s advise, we decided to re-record some of our songs with female vocals. So we recorded the EP “Warrior Race” (some people regard it as our second album, but this is not right) with Alexandra Sidorova.

 We joined Therion on their European tour in winter-spring 2016, and I can state that this tour was a huge success for us (although Alexandra left the band due to personal family reasons right after we came home). Through this tour we gained the music industry contacts which are so vital to any band’s existence, and of course, we gained our audience – YOU. Without the support from all of you, we would never be where we are now! 

We started a crowdfunding campaign to record the new album and you guys gave us the money to make it possible.

Half a year later, we hired another singer – Anna Moiseeva – and went on another tour, this time with Orphaned Land. And this time we were renting a camper van instead of a nightliner tour bus due to money issues. By the end of that tour we had all the “must have” consequences of 7 people living together for 1 month in one camper. The most memorable part for me here is that the most comfortable place to sleep (at least for me – I like that kind of stuff) was on the floor in a camping sleeping bag. Though, once I was woken up at night by a few bottles of some strong booze (vodka?) falling on my head, because our driver was an asshole…

After that tour most of our musicians left the band except Anna, who has been with us to this day. Honestly speaking, we lost nothing from it. Moreover, we gained a much better lineup, with which we’re happy today. These guys passed a test in winter-spring 2018 in the form of 2,5 months long support tour with 59 shows! I think that means something.

But let’s not speed it up – we stopped in 2016… After the tour with Orphaned Land, finally, we were able to have some rest and gain some energy for the new music… In summer 2017 we were siting in the forest on the lake Seliger with our best friends (been going there every summer for 10 years!!!), and writing new songs for the new Imperial Age album! 

Then we were signed up to our third support tour (this time with Therion again), and we realised that the time we had left was not enough to compose, record, and rehearse the new album, make new costumes and hire the new line-up (remember, that after 2016 tour there were just me, Aor and Anna left)… But there was no choice.. Life likes to put you in situations where you find strength and capacity to do what is needed to be done because otherwise you fail and loose the whole shit.

I do not know, how we managed to do what we have done. Seems like the Universe keeps an eye on us.

It was a non-stop rush with everything: countless nights without sleep, hundreds of pages of sheet music (for the academic choir), dozens of hours with choir conductor sorting out scores (he makes incredible moonshine with herbs!!!), hours and hours of drawing, discussions with our visual artist and painter, multiple trips to our leather master (he worked days and nights making things he’d never done before (like a leather bra)), hours at the studio (mostly at night, because it was the only time when both musicians and the sound engineer (btw, it was Sergei Lazar from Arkona) were free from other work) and some noticeable amount of millilitres (or litres) of cognac (brandy). It was absolutely destructive for our health but vital for the Mission.

Our second full-length album “The Legacy Of Atlantis” was released in February 2018. We did it. With your support. Because many of you supported us in our crowdfunding campaign in 2016. Without you there would be no Imperial Age in the present state. We remember it every second and we’re endlessly grateful for your support and your belief in us.

Our third European tour in 2018, which was 2,5 months long and contained 59 shows, had proven that we had chosen the right people in our line-up and that now Imperial Age has it’s own place on the metal scene. In short – that all our efforts were not in vain. This is the only thing that matters. Now we have our first ever European headline tour ahead – let’s rock!

Musicians have only one way to evaluate the impact of their musical activity on the world – it is our audience. YOU are the addressee of all our music messages, the reason, why we do not stop.

Thank you for making it matter, it means the world to us.

If you want to know, what resulted from all this activity, take a listen to our latest album, The Legacy of Atlantis.

56 thoughts on “Herbal Moonshine and Bank Loans

  • Zoonie

    Thanks for sharing the history of your band, it makes very interesting reading! I wish you all the best of luck in your future ventures and lives. Keep doing what you are doing and rock on 🤘🏻

  • Jh van der veen

    Mooie combinatie van muziek , echt iets voor Castle fest in Lisse , een genot om naar deze muziek te luisteren 👍🇱🇺

  • Thanks for telling me about your reflections (=blog..?), which are very good. If I were not too English, & fixed on my own things, with ‘Choir With No Name’, in London, I’d be rushing off, straight away, to buy the album… -which I will do soon. But thanks for including me in your continuing saga…!

  • Vince

    Hi Jane, thanks for the story. It is an interesting road you have traveled.
    Your genre is interesting and has not caught on in the States yet. It is similar to a style by TSO, but they are pretty much Christmas only.
    If you keep it up and with the visuals you display, I think it will get the right attention.

  • Robert Borthwick

    Very interesting read. Great to read stuff like this and thank you for sharing. I was introduced to your band via a facebook ad. I enjoy various types of music, but really enjoy listening to Imperial Age. Looking forward to hearing more of your fantastic songs. Greetings from Glasgow. 🙂

  • Francis Walsh

    Well; I read what you had to say on your journey; and thankyou for allowing me to be apart of your journey. It is hard enough to musician or singer by yourself; but as a band it can be even harder. Many bands don’t make it: however I am glad that you all persevered and made it. I very much like what I hear and can’t wait to hear more. Thankyou

  • Jarski

    Thank you for sharing your history! I just recently have found your music, but so far sounds very good (and professional), I can hear you are doing this with a heart! Keep up the good work, you will have the success you deserve <3

  • Brian

    I listen to a lot of different music because I generally like all music I truly enjoy your music and what you’ve done. It’s along road to travel. I’ve seen a lot good bands come and because they didn’t want to do the leg that needs to be done now a days. But I believe you all have what it takes to get it done. Enjoy the music and rock on. New fan as long as you keep making music.

  • It’s a very long story.So, you can also make a short history of what has been importantyear after year. But what counts is the now and your music is really good and strong.
    Nice for you and the band for your perseverence to go on and find a way of musicmaking that is appealing. So, am interested in the last two cd’s and will play song in my radioprogram here in the Netherlands.

    Bye and lots of success. Hope to see a gig in the nearby future.

  • Rick Cody

    Edgy but apparently deeply rooted in the Female Fronted Symphonic Metal genre. Really good sound and some refreshing new riffs along with some interesting (to say the least) lyrics.

  • gwyn griffiths

    very intresting story
    if your persue your dream,it can come true one day
    if your work hard at something,then u will reap the benefits,never give up 2 easily.
    i hope you will carry on the excellent work as a band,as i quite enjoy listerning to your music.

  • Iam very pleased to read the storie and I am gladd to read it and I hope you will this way go further and hope I see you sometimes anywhere,good luck in the future.

  • Angel

    greetings Jane and greetings to all of the band you are an excellent band and I like your work and your good music thanks for giving us good music and being one of the best bands I’ve ever heard

  • Peter

    Hi Jane, thanks for the hard work with the guys of Imperial Age and spend a lot of music on the world. Greetings from Germany, Peter 🤟🖤🤟

  • Francesco Yggdrasill Fallico

    Thank you so much guys for your words and for your passion!you have my total support with my “The Night Of The Living Dead” !!!
    Enjoy life and…metal forever!

  • Fred Boyce

    Hi Jane. Thank you for sharing your story. The persistence, dedication, and resilience is to be greatly admired. Best wishes for your upcoming headline tour.

  • Professor P-Soop

    Jane, this is a wonderful story. I really enjoy reading these email blogs and I’m happy all your hard work and dedication is paying off. it is my privilege to play on my show and we would like to have the band on as guests for a full hour

  • Roger

    Wonderful to read this history of the band! Thank you for sharing it. Love the music and the incredible voices. Hope to see you in the States one day soon!

  • Mike

    Hello Jane,this is a fantastic insight into the making of Imperial Age.Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  • Stan C Myers PhD

    You have done a wonderful job of sharing the craziness of music . . thanks for letting us into your life . . keep writing & never give up . . I wish I had kept track of all the times I worked stage since ’66 . .

  • Torsten

    Hi Jane,your Music is very Fantastc, love the Voice.
    I hope i See you in Berlin/ Germany
    But i hope i can become a VIP Pass

  • Simon Armstrong

    Hi Jane good read the band is great hope to see you in Newcastle at some point 🤘🤘

  • sergio visentin

    Nice story. Enjoyed the read. Will you be coming to Canada. Even as a support act. Would love to see you guys perform Live

  • Chris Sheff

    Interesting to see your page and read some of your story really glad that I found out about your music hope to maybe see you live someday😎

  • Hey Jane & Imperial Age,

    What a beautiful retrospective, it is always very interesting and instructive to know the path of a group that you appreciate. Long live Imperial Age.

  • Ian Stringer

    Hiya Jane ,that’s fantastic to read all about the ups and downs of the band, I really love the content of it all ,its great to hear all about the life of such a great band I love every album and I am really looking forward to seeing you in London very shortly I cant wait .Take care and see you soon Ian Dyringer xx

  • Doug Scott

    To answer your question, I am amazed at your resilience. You have worked so hard to fulfil your dream and you have done it; and what a story! As I stated previously, your sound is unique and so polished, and I hope you all go on to worldwide acclamation. Especially you, Jane. You deserve it for all your hard graft.

  • Doug Scott

    I’m so glad I found you all. Your music is so uplifting and so well crafted. I bought “The Legacy of Atlantis” and it’s an awesome album! Keep up the great work!

  • Marcus

    Hello Jane & Imperial Age, thank you for reading our story, i hope to see you anytime live on stage, much success for our upcoming tour, greetings from Germany 😃🤘

  • Hynek Kepák

    Imperial Age are a great and awesome metal band. I love Russia and I am glad that there is also a wonderful metal. I come to Brno (in Czech republic) and look forward to it. You’re great. Imperial Age forever !!! Please play as long as possible !!!
    I love Imperial Age and Russia. Hynek – teacher from Czech Republic.

  • Martin White

    Hi Jane,
    Very informative read and good to get some more insight into the band.
    Look forward to seeing and meeting you again in Manchester

  • Terry

    Hey Jane & Imperial Age!!
    Thank you all for taking me on this journey, the history of the band made very clear to me that you guys are dedicated to making music we love to hear!! The costumes and props are fantastic!!!…..Many bands perform on stage in Denim & Tee shirts, Only KISS & Alice Cooper involved Theatrics for many early years, But watching your Videos and clips of LIVE shows, brought the music alive, & continues to draw fans into your hearts!!!
    Well done keep going from strength to strength WE ALL Adore you xxx

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