Interview with Sasha Giller (vocalist, guitarist & songwriter) of Tragedy In Hope
Interview by Kira Levine
Tragedy In Hope online:
Hello! Thank you for your time, hope that you’re keeping safe and well. Please state your name and position in Tragedy In Hope.
Hi! Thank you, Kira. I am doing great. I hope you’re well too. I am Sasha Giller – a singer, a guitarist and a songwriter of Tragedy In Hope.
Tragedy in Hope began about three years ago. What’s the story behind the project’s inception?
It was almost four years ago. I studied at the university and had been playing guitar and screaming for quite a while by that time. It felt like it was the time to start my own project. I had some rough material for the future demo album and a general idea how I wanted the project to sound like.
Surfing the internet I accidentally bumped into a drummer, who agreed to help me with recording drums after I showed him the material. Since then, me and Alexander Dovgan have been working together.
Six months after I released my first single “The Last Delight.” It was the summer 2017.
What inspired the band name “Tragedy In Hope”?
I wanted to emphasize the idea that sadness and happiness doesn’t exclude one another. Tragedy In Hope is a paradoxical concept after all, isn’t it? One cannot live without hope, but one’s hope can become a reason of a constant discontentment, mildly speaking.
Also, I got a little bit tired of post-modernistic culture of never-ending irony and adaptation of ideas of the past to modern realities. Heck, it felt outdated in 2017. To carry post-modernistic ideas should be just shameful in 2021.
I wanted to represent the ideas of meta-modernism and new sincerity in one short phrase. That’s how I got to Tragedy In Hope.
How would you describe Tragedy Hope’s sound to prospective listeners?
If the culture of new sincerity sounded like black metal, it would sound like Tragedy In Hope.
Tragedy In Hope’s debut full-length, Sleep Paralysis is set for release February 12th. It was mixed, mastered, and produced by Second To Sun guitarist Vladimir Lehtinen. How did this collaboration come about?
I got to know about Vladimir Lehtinen from my acquaintance Alexander Moroz autumn 2018. He was following Vladimir’s band. Alexander heartily recommended me to contact Vladimir for mixing and mastering purposes of the future EP. Vladimir happened to be a great professional, who has a gust of my music. When he sends me a finished mix of a song, it is always exactly how it should sound like. EP “Smile At Death” and LP “Sleep Paralysis” have become the result of the collaboration. I eagerly look forward to work on the future records with him again.
1. Lucid Dream
2. The Celebration Of Despair And Woe
3. Fighting With The Rain
4. Winter Wedding Ceremony
5. The Mistress Of Dark Art
6. Nightmare Lullaby
7. Insomnious Autumnal Night
8. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep Paralysis comes across as a concept album, but would you say it was also written with personal experiences in mind?
I would even say it is my personal experience wrapped in a form of music. I just tried to show it through the prism of fictional characters put in different situations. Though, I think, in the future I’ll write more songs in a more direct way like I’ve done in “Lucid Dream” and “Sleep Paralysis”.
To be honest, the whole album is literally about my struggle to get out of doldrums, which I was experiencing for a quite some time.
Would you consider recording any songs containing Russian lyrics in the future?
Well, let’s say I aggressively think about it, but I can’t tell right now if it is going to happen.
The funny thing is that there is even a song, which contains Swedish language, on the album.
Once it is safe to do so, do you plan on embarking on a tour?
For now, Tragedy In Hope is a studio project. When there is a reason to go touring and people, who will be interested in coming on a concert, I’ll certainly come up with something.
Would you like to tell us about any other projects you might be involved with?
I am not currently involved in other projects.
Aside from music, do you have any other creative outlets or interests that you would like to talk a little bit about?
Not really, music takes all my free time now.
What is the metal currently scene like in Russia? Are there many symphonic black metal artists like Hope In Tragedy in St. Petersburg?
Well, first of all, I wouldn’t attach a label of symphonic black metal artist to Tragedy In Hope. There are, perhaps, two and a half songs on the album, which can hardly be called symphonic black metal. You see, if you listen to the record through the prism of symphonic black metal genre, you are in a high risk to lose the point of the whole album and the music I write.
Some piano and synthesized strings here and there are just little decoration, not main instruments. You can just compare Tragedy In Hope’s music to some Bishop of Hexen, Dimmu Borgir or Fleshgod Apocalypse, where orchestra often takes a main role in a song. Excluding vocals, guitars and drums are main instruments in Tragedy In Hope after all.
Metal scene in Russia is doing great, actually. We have lots of awesome metal bands here, which, unfortunately, don’t get enough attention of a mass listener. What are worth only such bands as Ultar, Morokh, БѢСЪ and Second To Sun.
Also, a festival Metal Over Russia is going to take the place July 2021. The festival is expected to be big.
As for metal artists from St. Petersburg I would definitely recommend to check out Tardigrade Inferno. It isn’t a black metal band, but a dark cabaret one, as they call themselves, but their music talented written and catchy beyond words.
Name some musicians that inspire you work.
I guess, it is Imperial Circus Dead Decadence and Cradle Of Filth. Well, at least, that is what some listeners say. They might be right. I don’t really know.
Do you enjoy listening to any other genres apart from metal?
I would rather say that I enjoy listening to certain artists, who happen to play in a certain genre. It’s almost always about a right vibe and good songwriting, though I can notice that I often listen to witch house, post-punk and sometimes new school rap.
If you could only listen to three records for your rest of your life, what would they be and why?
- Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die (2018). To get this black metalish mood of dissolving in music, but not to feel like to slam in a pit, rather to stay calm and relax.
- Asunojokei – A bird In The Fault (2017). To get the exact same mood, but with a willingness to slam in a pit, just to direct emotions outward.
- Tardigrade Inferno – Mastermind (2019). To not to fall into a constant state of sadness, because the two previous ones are quite depressing.
How does this year look for Hope In Tragedy?
It’s Tragedy In Hope after all. I believe that besides the upcoming album, I’ll release more songs. I have already written some.
Thanks so much! Is there anything you want to add?
Thank you for being here!
“Sleep Paralysis” is available for pre-order from Tragedy In Hope’s Bandcamp here.