About Me

Interview with Imperial Age

Russia is better known for its vodka, Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Red Square but there is more to it... so we’ve talked to Imperial Age, from Moscow, and a Symphonic/Power Metal band. It might be Winter and it snows, but Alexander "Aor" Osipov (singer) warmly welcomed us and explained where it all started, the interest in ancient civilizations, why people tend to compare this band to Therion, the love for Portugal and much more. Are you ready to go into the deep mysteries of Atlantis?

M.I. - Hi and thanks so much for being here, answering our questions. Hope you are doing well.

Hello! Thanks for being interested in us! We are doing well, and I hope the same is true about you!!

M.I. - Could you please introduce the band?

Sure. We (Jane & Aor) are the two founders and composers/singers of the band. The other musicians are Anna on vocals, Pavel on guitars, Belf on bass and Max on drums. 

M.I. - You have collaborated on multiple occasions with musicians from Therion and Arkona and they are featured on your albums. How did the idea come up?

Well, we have known Sergei (Arkona’s guitarist) & Masha for the past 14 years, so it came naturally. And it was them who connected us with Christofer in 2014, and it turned out that we have a lot in common (not just the music), so that came naturally as well.

M.I. - Christofer Johnsson (founding member and the guitar player for Therion), brought you worldwide attention, when you covered “To Mega Therion” and, due to that, many people compare you to that band. Do you agree with that?

Contrary to what many people think, both us and Chris think that Imperial Age are more in the vein of Nightwish / Rhapsody when it comes to Symphonic Metal, rather than in the vein of Therion. On the outside, there might be a lot of similarities between us and Therion (choir, 3 singers), but if you dig deeper you will hear that the music itself is very different. Therion is more complicated, more classical and less mainstream. They are more about harmonies and arrangements and they are mid-tempo. We, on the other hand, are more about catchy melodies, more mainstream and more upbeat.

M.I. - You have a master’s degree in History and an interest in Ancient civilizations such as Ancient Egypt, Sumer and Mesoamerican. You have also inspiration for Atlantis and Hyperborea. Why these specifically?

Because I have that degree in History, I know very well that History is not a precise science (and IMHO, not a science at all) and that the History we are taught today is a very vague subject with a lot of contradictions. There are numerous hard evidences in the world all pointing to the fact that our civilization is not the first on this planet and that there were more technically advanced ones before us. Mythology of various peoples all around the planet points towards the same thing. And actually many things written in school History textbooks have much less proof (in many cases it’s just an unverifiable text written by someone 1000 years ago) than the idea of advanced progenitor civilizations (in most cases it’s some well-known huge megalithic structure which is impossible to build even with modern tech).

M.I. - In 2012, it was supposed to be a solo project with session musicians. Why did it change?

Jane started taking so much part in the band - first playing keys and organizing things, then singing, now singing and co-writing songs - that it soon became obvious that it’s not just my project, but we are in it together.

M.I. - Your EP “Warrior Race”, was released via Adulruna, in Europe, with Christofer’s help. How was working with him?

Christofer did all that he could to help us and, at that time, it was our only way to be introduced to the Western audience. Thanks to him, we are now capable of landing deals and headliner shows ourselves. He provided that necessary initial kick up our butt that sent us flying in the right direction. Now Adulruna is no longer functioning, but we have a great distribution deal with Sound Pollution / Black Lodge (the guys famous for launching Sabaton) - and that’s thanks to Chris introducing us to them as well.

M.I. - “The Legacy Of Atlantis” was released on the 1st February 2018 and it refers to various characters telling an occult story about a magician from Atlantis who is reborn in medieval Italy. Where did you get inspiration for it?

While this might be something new to the public ear, the esoteric tradition has always dated itself back to the ancient advanced civilizations - Atlantis (Western Tradition: Hermeticism, Kaballah etc.) or Hyperborea (Northern & Vedic Traditions). All the modern magical and spiritual teachings are shards of one body of knowledge and come from one root and that root is the science of Atlantis. This knowledge has been passed on from master to apprentice through various Orders, for example, Plato (the Greek philosopher who introduced the name Atlantis) was member of the order of the Orphics, whose other members were Aristotle, Pythagoras and many other famous philosophers and scientists of the time. It is documented, for example, that Pythagoras remembered 17 of his previous incarnations. Portugal has very strong connections with the order of the Templars, and these guys were direct descendants of this line. So, the idea is not new, we just wrote a little opera along the lines of an ancient esoteric legend.

M.I. - You released the instrumental version of the album. Why?

So that our fans can sing along and have fun!

M.I. - In 2013, you released a video for “Anthem of Valour”. Care to explain the idea and concept for it?

I mentioned the Northern (also known as Runic) Tradition - well, this video is largely about it and the warrior philosophy that it brings. The song itself is also about facing impossible odds and still fighting against them to your last breath.

M.I. - Six years went by and on the 20th December, you released the video of “The Legacy of Atlantis”. Why all these years and this song?

Well, first of all, until 2018 when “LOA” came out, we didn’t have any new songs to make a video for. Then in 2018, we were first on tour and then chilling out after the tour. Then, in the beginning of 2019, we started the crowdfunding but again went on a 3-month tour. Then we returned and there were some obstacles which we could not control, so eventually the video only came out in December 2019. We are preparing a new crowdfunding for a new video right now and we will make sure it goes much faster!!! 

M.I. - “Live in Wrocław” saw its light this year (2019). Why this city?

Well, first of all, that was a really fantastic show. Second, we were lucky that the local mixing engineer recorded it for us. And finally, we wanted to make this extra gesture of friendship and respect towards our Polish fans. Our governments (not the people) are constantly locked in a completely stupid political struggle (because its economically beneficial for some influential assholes on both sides) and we want to show that we love and respect Poland, the Polish people and their independence, and that metal knowns no borders and bows to no politicians and that we are strong and united together no matter what some big pricks are trying to force upon us. We have always had very good shows in Poland, and we were always treated really well.

M.I. - How did you plan for this album? Were some special guests involved?

There was no plan except the general story line. However, at the time of the recording we did not have a stable line-up, only the 3 singers were in the band, so we simply asked the guys from Therion (Nalle, Vidal) and Arkona (Sergei and Andrey) to record all the instruments for us :) Thomas Vikstrom also sung with me on Domini Canes.

M.I. - You signed with Japanese label Rubicon Music, for three releases there. Will it be worldwide released afterwards by a European label as well?

It’s the same albums, only a few live tracks on top. But you can find plenty of live tracks on “Live in Wrocław”.

M.I. - On February 2019, you came to Lisbon, Portugal, for a concert at the RCA Club. How did it go? Did you like our country?

Carlos is a fantastic person and a very good promoter; the show was one of the best ones on that tour. We are already thinking of coming back. We have a very strong and very active fan club and street team in Portugal. Portugal seems to be a special country for us, and I have a suspicion why. The other such country is the UK - and these two countries have a very strong connection, so that’s not chance either. You see, as I mentioned above, there is this lineage of ancient knowledge that includes the Templars (who later passed it on to the Freemasons, who emerged from their ranks). And if you google “list of sites associated with Knights Templar” you will see that the country #1 is the UK (London even has a whole neighborhood and tube station called Temple, where most buildings bear Templar symbols) and country #2 is Portugal (most sites being in and around Tomar). It is well known that when Templars were persecuted across Europe, the Portuguese King refused and instead offered them refuge. There is also a less known fact: the British - Portuguese military alliance is the oldest in the world, dating more than 600 years, and it is still in effect. I was raised in the UK (in England and in Scotland) and I visited Portugal as a kid (my father worked 3 months at the University of Lisbon, we lived near Cascais). I also have a vague remembrance of myself as a Knight Templar with dark hair and beard and an overall Iberian appearance. When we were sitting in Porto, in a cafe on the riverside for the first time in 2018, I had a very strong feeling that I had been there before, and had a blurry vision of caravelas entering the river, and all the port fuss, and the barrels, and taverns, and various flags…

M.I. - I thank you so much for this interview. It was an honour. Could you please leave your thoughts to the readers and fans?

We truly love Portugal - we are planning to go there on vacation later this year, so see you around when we come :) We also have fantastic fans in Portugal, and we are thinking of how to make a concert in Lisbon possible asap!

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by Raquel Miranda