Today’s band are from Eastern Europe… all over Eastern Europe!
Hello! Andrew here, the singer of Shokran. First of all – thanks for having us! Hope you’re doing well.
So, speaking of our origins – we’re one of that bands who doesn’t really have one place in the bio section. And that’s the reason of lots of way too different geotags on the articles about Shokran.
Basically Dmitry, the founder of Shokran, lives in Krasnodar, RU, as well as our session bass player Eugene. Mike, the drummer, lives in St. Petersburg. I personally am the only Ukrainian in the band and live in Kiev. Our ex-bassists were from Moscow (Rodion) and from Belarus (Valery).
As you see, we are not looking for easy ways.
How did you meet?
Back in 2012 Shokran was a one-man-band. Dmitry didn’t know anything about programming drums in that time and asked his fellow musician Mike to program them. It later formed a strong band relations between them. Then they’ve looked for a singer to test, how it would sound with vocals. That’s how they’ve met with the first vocalist, Sergey Raev. The same goes for the basists. I joined the band when they’ve been looking for a new singer after they’ve parted ways with Sergey in 2015. We’ve known each other a little bit for a while already and it was an interesting moment of the final connection and getting the band together.
So basically – thanks, Internet!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Well, Shokran kinda started to be a complete band in 2014 with the release of Supreme Truth LP and going on the first tour over Russia that was a banger straight away. Then the band has gone through different changes, had several shows and tours over ex-USSR countries until 2019, when I decided to put the responsibilities of the manager on myself and started to move the band out from Russia. I’d say that May 2019 was the period of Shokran re-birth on a different level. We’ve done one EU tour in May, then – festivals in UK and Sweden and then – our last to the date, Eurasian Tour. We all, together with every musician in the world, are waiting for everything to get to the norm. Until then we participate in a live-stream sessions.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Haha! We play metal with the oriental, Egyptian flavour. So in the very beginning it has been decided, that the band name should consist of one good looking, good-spelling if you wish, Arabic word. Shokran instantly took its Golden medal. This word (originally, Shukran), means “Thank you” in Arabic. It describes our appreciation to our fans for the amount of support we’re getting as well as the gratitude for all the inspiration we’re getting while composing and recording our works.
What are your influences?
It will be a short one. Dmitry liked darker sounding of Jeff Loomis, Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and wanted to create something unique, cultural. Through the time I can also tell, that the closest influence to our style are, probably, Periphery.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The desire to appeal to the Gods of Egypt while listening to our music.
In 2019 We wanted to take a little side-step to show the different part of Shokran, which is – the deeply constructed musical compositions along with vocals that can give the actual Feels to the listener.
In 2021 that old desire to appeal to Egyptian Gods will transform into the desire to worship them. The album will be the heaviest and the most “Shokran”-sounding than ever. It was a matter of time.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Yes! Each album has its own topic. Exodus has been written around the book of Exodus and revealed each of the Ten Plagues of Egypt in each of the songs.
Ethereal had a different approach in everything, as well as in the lyrics. Here we have the main character, who is going through the deep self-searching that turns out to his multidimensional wanderings an even realizing himself “as great as a God” in some of the realities.
Shokran 2021 – to be told later/
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We love our music and trying to give people the amount of energy that is needed to feel our music in the full spectre. Mosh, slam, stagedive, circle pits and walls of death – that’s the stuff you’ll see in every Shokran show for sure. We like to be active and get the activeness of the fans back. That’s about the energy flow!
Regarding the number – It wasn’t that big. Around 110 shows in total with 60 of them played in 2019.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Broke the wall of China. No really, I broke the wall during the show in the Chinese part of our Eurasian tour. I believe it was in Xi’an. Yes, that place that is meant to be the place of the “first patient”. When emotions and adrenaline took their place, i wanted to hit and push off the wall… Well who knew i would then almost get stuck in there.. Though it wasn’t the wildest stuff we’ve done and seen, this was just one funny story!
Also, I instantly called to a memory, when the guitarist Oscar from the Swedish band Awake The Dreamer climbed on a beam near the stage, played there for some time and then just jumped down like a Ninja! Some serious Yamakasi stuff!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Dmitry is endorsed and plays Overload Guitars – really amazing piece of art. Dmitrii’s Quote: “I even feel like I’m cheating by playing this guitar. That’s how awesome it does sound”. And his chain is mainly an Axe-Fx going to our Stage-Rack that is Behringer X32 at the moment
Mike’s endorsed by and plays Pearl drums, Paiste Cymbals, Axis double pedals.
For the microphones I use different models of Shure, Audix and when I’m at the studio of Max Morton, I use his Telefunken microphone which is just phenomenal.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We’ve released the new music video for “Nature of the Paradox”, that was filmed during our Eurasian tour in St. Petersburg and forgotten until the virus got our memory back. On top of that we have just recently released the new song, that is a cover of the Halloween movie’s main theme (originally made by John Carpenter) but in a Shokran – manner with oriental touch, good and tasty shreddings and a filthy heavy vocals. And with Michael Myers playing along with Dmitry in his apartments. Named “Shokran – Halloween Kills: Metal”.
What are your plans over the next six months or so?
We’re about to release an instrumental edition of our last album, as well as the tab book to it, and the big tab-book for all the Shokran albums. This will be the good surprise for all the guitarists who are our listeners.
The new song is on the edge too and you can almost smell the fire that comes from it. Other than that – we’re planning to get the touring schedule done for 2021 and Hopefully get on the road again soon to see as much of our dearest listeners as possible!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Realistically: Periphery, Shokran, and our mates Ghost Iris as a special guests.