I`m a lead guitarist-solo artist currently living in Haifa,Israel. Right now I`m focused on finishing the demos of my solo album entitled "Deadly Obsession". Its an album centered around electric guitar music and the guitar solo.
2.You have released quite a few songs on your Youtube channel, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you play?
The music in the solo project is in the styles of Rock-Prog-Metal with other influences such as Indie, Ambient and Middle Eastern music. Heavy Metal is the most dominant style in the project.
The balance between riffs, guitar leads and solos is very important for me. While the solos are a big focus in my music, I don't want to write tracks where I`m just soloing for 8 minutes straight.
3.So far all of your music has been instrumental, are you planning on using vocals on any of the future tracks?
I`m very close to finishing the demos of Deadly Obsession, so this album will be entirely instrumental, but I`m not ruling out possible projects in the future if I find the right vocalist.
4.With the solo project you call yourself 'Valentin The Mad', can you tell us a little bit more about this name?
Since my last name (Belokonenko) isn't very catchy, I was looking for a stage name for quite a while but couldn't think of anything good. Then one evening I went to jam on an open stage night with a friend, he arrived shortly before and signed us up as "Valentin The Mad" - a name he gave me for my playing style. Thought about it the next day and decided to go with this name.
5.On all of the tracks you have recorded everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer the solo route a lot more?
While I really enjoy doing all of the writing myself I`m open for working with other musicians in the future. I`d love to play the music from my solo project with a full band and I`ll definitely need someone else to do the drums for the studio version of Deadly Obsession.
6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I`m definitely looking to get signed, relocate to wherever the label is based and really launch my music career.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and rock?
The feedback has been amazing and very motivating. I got messages from people in different parts of the world who enjoyed my music. The best so far has been a fan from Italy who sent me a poem he wrote that was inspired by my track "Sandstorm". I have that poem posted on my facebook page.
8.Are you or have you been involved with any other bands or musical projects?
I wrote a couple of songs with friends, but nothing other than that.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I see the solo project being my biggest focus, touring playing this music (preferably with a full band) and writing more albums for it. I`d also be interested in collaborations with other musicians and playing "guest" guitar solos on various albums.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I`m listening mostly to 80's-90's Metal and Classic Rock, with Metallica, Dream Theater and Megadeth being my top 3 influences. I`m open for any style of music (digging a few Gangsta Rap songs now, actually) but the music that really speaks to me is old school heavy music.
My biggest influence however is Metallica. I picked up guitar because I wanted to learn how to play Kirk Hammet`s solos, and not just "air guitar" them. Eventually Metallica`s instrumentals had a huge part of shaping my view of how I want to write instrumental music.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Fitness (home gym workouts) is very important to me. Recently I added some body weight exercises to my routine and I`m wondering how far I can go with that. I started working out about 6 years ago, but I was never good at body weight and endurance exercises, so I`m trying to build that up now.
Other than that I enjoy movies (horror movies being my favorite genre, stuff like The Conjuring\Sinister is awesome), gaming (mostly tactical shooters), archery and paintball (which I don't get to play as much as I would want to).
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I have an upcoming track that I am very excited about. It will (most likely) be entitled "Everything On The Line". Its a reflection of how I feel about going solo and taking a different route from pretty much everyone around me (even my musician friends). Its also going to be my longest track to date (8:30 minutes last time I checked, but that can still change).