Published on July 15th, 2013 | by Erika0
Exclusive Interview with Timur Iskandarov of Tamerlan
Formed in Serbia 2006, Tamerlan is the solo project of Timur Iskandarov. Aptly named after an ancient Uzbek war leader and mage, Tamerlan’s music captivates the listener and takes them on a magical journey, incorporating neoclassical and dark ambient influences, and using these to create a swirl of melodies that leaves the listener spellbound. Having been started with the intention of exploring, creating, and expanding his own musical style, Tamerlan has, to date, released a demo (Tamerlan), two EPs (Full Moon Festival, and Koyunbaba), a split album (The Trinity of Painted Symphonies) and two full length albums (The Antiexistence, and Gemini – Worlds of Eternal Creation). With work on Tamerlan’s third album Ain being well on its way, Headbang Today had the pleasure of interviewing Timur to find out more about his project.
Your music is often described as a journey or exploration, rather than a song. Do you try to lead your listeners along each journey, or do you leave it up to the listeners to draw what they like from your music?
I have my own journey during the creativity process for any song that I write. With that I can also “open the gates” for the listeners to see what that journey can be all about. However, whether they will follow my thoughts or decide to find their own paths during the listening, is completely up to them.
Your music contains several spiritual and occult references. How have these themes influenced your music, and what other inspirations do you draw on?
There is a strong connection that I feel to the certain forces beyond what we perceive as “nature” or “reality” in our world. This connection has been inspiring and guiding me even before I started to make my own music. But now that I have the way of expressing myself, this connection became stronger than ever. Apart from that, I don’t limit myself to a certain “source of inspiration”. I am willing to draw an inspiration from pretty much everything that can influence me in a certain way.
Being a solo project, touring obviously requires guest appearances. How has this worked for you, and has this hindered Tamerlan in any way?
Until now, I was able to perform with help of several wonderful musicians during my life in Serbia. Unfortunately, we are not in the same countries anymore, but I really hope that someday we will share the stage again. After I am done with the new album, I am planning to create the concert line up again and we will see how it goes. It’s hard to find reliable people these days. My work with the concert line up differs from my main work and there are no conflicts among two of those work styles. No hindering.
You mention that Tamerlan’s first music video is expected for release in the up-coming months. Can you tell us more about it?
Yes, the video was planned. But I’ve got to be honest with you, the last few months were truly chaotic for me on the personal level and I had to slow down with many plans I created at that time. Now that I am getting more things settled, solved and left behind me, I am finally able to resume those plans. The video is definitely among them. However, now I have the new set of songs that I could work with. In the end, there could be even more than one video. Although I will wait until the whole album is done until I pass my concentration to that subject. So, stay tuned on the subject ☺
You have hinted that your upcoming album, Ain, marks a new direction for you musically. In what way can we expect this new album to be different from your previous work?
AIN is the most spiritual and ritualistic Tamerlan album so far. Also, while writing and recording the songs for it I used the different emotions and put myself into different mind states than before. I wanted to use this opportunity as a “filter” to get rid of many negative emotions that were with me throughout the years, so the whole album will be in the much darker tone than any of my work prior to this. Musically wise there are also few significant changes. First of all, I didn’t want to use any artificial sounds anymore. There will be no programmed rhythms or synths, so all of the sounds will be natural (the fact that it will be mastered by my dear friend P23 from Sombre Soniks Studios just adds to the whole sound and expression). Besides that, for the first time in my life, I have been working with vocals. I am also very honoured to host a few guest appearances on the album, some of which are Tony Wakeford, Lesley Malone (Seventh Harmonic, Sol Invictus), Cecilia Bjargo (Arcana), Olja Frolo (Loell Duinn), and a couple more, which will be announced soon.
What influenced this change in musical direction?
The way I see it, we as human beings evolve through our life both physically and spiritually and the work we do evolves with us. I feel I have said everything I wanted to say with the style I had between 2008 and 2012 (starting from The Antiexistence album to the Liminal Tales EP which will be out in a month or so). Therefore, I have felt the need to evolve and express myself differently. Also, as I said before, there were too many negative things that I was keeping inside, and they needed to go out.
What was your reaction when you found out that you had fans in South Africa and other southern African countries, and is there anything you would like to say to them?
It was truly fascinating to find out something like this. You know, it was already incredible for me to be aware of the fact that you can send out your energy to any point of the world, and thus travel in this weird sense, while being in one place. However, every feedback that reaches me from a place far away is something that never stops to surprise me. Just like in this case ☺ I would like to thank each and every one of my South African fans for the support and interest in what I do. It would be wonderful to meet them in person one day.
Finally, as an artist who has studied music, played in various projects and bands, and started your own project in order to discover your own musical direction, do you have any insights or advice for any young musicians reading this?
I would advise them to forget the borders and limitations. Creativity is one of the things that make us supreme and the best way to express it is through ones’ own mind, heart and soul. So just listen to them. They can teach you much more than any other human being in the world.
Thank you for your time!
Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to present my work in your magazine, Erika. Greetings to you and the audience of the website.