Could you introduce yourself and mention the projects you are working on (for all those who don’t know)? My name is Peer and I´m singer and songwriter with the band Golden Apes and additionally head, tongue and the left hand of the project VOYNA.

Does the name you have chosen for this project «Voyna» have any relation with Leo Tolstoy’s work «Voyná i mir» and, if so, why did you choose the part of «Voyná»?

The name, chosen for the project, has indeed a quite obvious link to Tolstoi, because I´m quite attracted to the Russian language, both acoustically and visually. VOYNA means “war” in Russian and I like the contrast between the harmonic tenderness of the sound and the actual meaning.

But war isn´t reduced to tanks, bombs and trenches only here, it stands for all conflicts and frictions staged on the battlefields between two temples.

Your first album as Voyna with the title «The Cinvat Bridge» has a name related to Zoroastrianism, in other occasions you have talked about this, how do you imagine yourself crossing that bridge, what do you imagine you will find on the other side of the bridge, will it be a wide or narrow path like the edge of a knife, will it be a wide or a narrow path like the edge of a knife?

The things to be found on the other side depend on the direction you enter the bridge from. And to be honest, it´s not the other side what is interesting for me but the spot where both sides meet. So I´d say my viewpoint is in the middle of the bridge, one foot in the sea, the other in the desert, the head leaned far over the parapet. Or just balancing on the balustrade…

Is it a viaduct? Is it a pendant bridge? Or maybe just a rope? I think it´s all and different for every single one…

We know that VOYNA started during the recording of ‘Kasbek’ with GOLDEN APES in 2019, but how do you start this personal process towards the construction of «The Cinvat Bridge»?

It´s honestly not that easy to pinpoint the exact moment when VOYNA was finally alive. It was a versatile process, organic and not even conscious in the beginning.

When I started to work on new ideas after the release of “Kasbek” I really had no idea where all this will lead to. And there wasn´t even the ambition to know. I wrote for writings sake. Therapy and self-reward…
And I remember only when a handful of songs was ready and I realized how good it felt I decided to baptize it VOYNA. From that moment on everything happened on its own. Creative magnetism…

We know you like philosophy: what are your main literary influences and how do they influence your music?

Except for Nietzsche, who seems to be the red thread of all things happened in the last 100 years, I don´t think that I could name specific influences. I read a lot, widely scattered when it comes to the topic and somehow there is this big cauldron in my head, where everything falls in and get blended.

There is no kind of linear thirst for knowledge, it´s more an insatiable curiosity.

And yes, the cauldron stands in the room where the thinking is made and this has an effect on the words and this has an effect on the music…

How do you achieve the union of styles with Denis Ivanov (BRANDENBURG), Marita Volodina (STRIDULUM) and Thommy Hein, for example in the single «Ocean»?

To be honest – the collaboration with Marita, Thommy and Dennis was the most brilliant thing that could happen to me. It wouldn´t be the same album without any of them.

Even while facing some great geographical distances there was an incredible connection, a creative closeness some people can´t even give you when they´re in the same room with you. It was a process that needed no guideline, all fell into the right place and it was such a joy to see things coming alive, getting created and starting to breathe…  

What are your plans for this year as VOYNA and with your other projects?

Even when there are not the best times around for making plans so I can say that my focus is resting on the Golden Apes again and there will be new music anytime soon.

There are a lot of ideas in my head and also VOYNA will find it´s sequel. Still I don’t know when and how but I´m looking forward to it….

Peer Lebrecht, singer and creative director of Berlin-based Post-Punk heroes GOLDEN APES

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