Desperate Measure : A LEEWAY interview with Valera from KINGPIN

By Tieuma

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How many references to LEEWAY can you make with your band ?

Our band is one huge reference to LEEWAY!

Would you play with LEEWAY on this Eddie Leeway Show thing ? What do you think about that ?

Sure if we had such a chance we would stick with this opportunity to share the stage with them. It’s like a dream to us. It’d be a great honor. That’s how it is.

Will you buy those LEEWAY represses made by Reality Records ?

Unfortunately, I’m not able to right now, but definitely going to do this later. It’s really hard to ship anything to Ukraine nowadays. However, I’ve got an original Desperate Measures LP. I’m really proud of it!

Will you film a video clip too ?

We’ve never thought about that until now! Thanks!

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Favorite LEEWAY song and favorite LEEWAY riff

Haha, that’s a great question. My favourite song is obviously Kingpin. That’s why we called our band KINGPIN. Really. This song’s gave our lives a new direction, definitely.
I can even put it that way: when I heard this song for the first time, I was stunned like never before. That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard. And it’s definitely affected my life.
As for the riffs, well, again it’s Kingpin, though it’s not that easy to pick one in particular – I love their music in whole. All the albums are brilliant. However, my favourites are DM and BTE.
I love the riifs in Stand For, Who’s To Blame, The Future (Ain’t What It Used To Be), Make Me An Offer, All About Dope, Enforcer, Rise And Fall and so on… I think I’m going to list all Leeway songs now. So, let’s stop here.

Most OG LEEWAY merch piece you own ?

Well, some official Leeway tees and a longsleeve. Some I ordered from Eddie, some bought from my friends.
Anyway, the most significant possession is their DM LP 1st press!

Why KINGPIN ? Wasn’t Marathon cool too ?

As I’ve already told you, THIS SONG IS THE BEST! That’s why…

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How did it happen for Eddie Sutton to review your records ? Do you still have good contacts with him ?

It happened occasionally. We just wrote to Eddie on the facebook about how Leeway affected our music and us, and especially that the latest album was written under the influence of Leeway’s music. He responded quickly, giving us his opinion on our band. We got really excited about that. We thought and still think it’s the best thing ever happened to us and out band. It’s hard to describe how flattered we were. It’s like there’s nothing better than to be praised like this.

Are you covering LEEWAY on stage, which song ?

We haven’t done it yet, but we’re going to do it soon – we’ll play Enforcer, though it was really hard to decide which song to play – you just want to cover them all!

Why LEEWAY anyway ?

This is easy. It’s the best thing we’ve ever heard, I can dwell upon that. The band is special. So special. For us, I mean!

Do you love any other NYHC band ? Or any other Hardcore band for that matter ?

Sure! We do love the NYHC scene. There are tons of legendary bands, and I think listing all the bands is not necessary – almost all the bands are classics of hardcore. After all, our Coldfront cover might tell you about something. However, our favorite band is still LEEWAY!

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What do you think about the early MERAUDER with Eddie on vocals ?

It’s just a masterpiece. A fucking awesome tape. I’ve listened to it a million times. And for me it’s much more crucial than the original songs from Five Deadly Venoms LP. Eddie’s vocals make it sound far more interesting.

You wrote on the tags “boxing gym”, is it linked to all the super violent and sometimes politically involved boxing club in Eastern Europe ?

To be honest, I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about!.. There’s no politics in it. It’s just because we’ve got bunch of sporty guys in our band. Dima (guitars) and Eugene (drums) have been into gym for a few yers, Benji (bass) is fond of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And I’ve had boxing training for 3.5 years. This is a huge part of our lives. And of course there’s some joke in it all.

Taking the name of your record “What man is a man…” from Kindgom of Heaven, is it your favorite type of movie ? Do you watch TV series like Vikings ?

Yep, this phrase is from the movie. The movie is a great one, definitely. Everything happening there matters a lot to us, cause some of the band’s members are religious. And such genre is one of our favorite. As for Vikings, I don’t watch it.

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If you have lived in the age of swords and kingdoms, what kind of person would you be ?

I like this question! I suppose nothing has changed since then. The only difference is that knights don’t have any swords nowadays.
People might lead some spiritual crusades (in a good sense) nowadays, trying to defend what’s left of beautify and kindness of this world. Modern world is full of illusions, it wasn’t like that back then. At least, I think so, but I might be mistaken. Anyway, if I lived in that age, I’d be a knight, whose life would be about dignity and honor. Something like that…

Even thought you seem to be a productive band, I never saw you touring that much outside Ukraine, is it linked to the problems happening lately in your country ?

Unfortunately, we’ve never had an opportunity to play outside Ukraine. It’s all because of workload of the band’s members and the situation here.
I remember when it wasn’t certain what to expect the next day. The threat of war was so overwhelming. Now it’s much better, though the situation is still really tense.
We’re planning to have a tour next spring, so, Europe, wait for us!

Do you feel like the problems in your country helped your scene to be more united or in the contrary it divided each others ?

Yep, mostly. It has had a huge impact on our scene, it’s made it united like never before. We all want the war to stop. This topic if obviously of a huge importance to us, because there are people dying for nothing. No politics are worth it.

Did you succeed to avoid the military service ?

I can’t say we were avoiding it. But it hasn’t affected us in any way, we haven’t been drafted. Thanks God.

Do you feel safe somehow in Odessa ? How is life for you all ?

Yep, it’s safe here. The situation is calm and there’s nothing to worry about. However, I can’t say we’re satisfied with the new government.

What are you doing for a living and how hard are you struggling to live a decent life ?

Thank you for this question. I’ve got a lot to say. In fact, the struggle is spiritual. We live in the world of capitalism, and people are being infected with the ideas of materialism. Where money is everything, where the only value is something that you can see and touch. People seem to lose the ability to see what’s inside, to feel the need to bring something beautiful in its non-material sense. ‘Thanks’ to Mass Media, our heads are being stuffed with all these instructions – what to do, what to love, how to think, what to wear, what to read, what to watch, what to buy and so on. Bullshit. And due to that people are withdrawn from their ability to be themselves, to lead their own way. What’s our struggle? We’re almost 30, however, our souls are still young. We are against alcohol and drug abuse, the depravity of modern life. We don’t eat any meat. KINGPIN is not a straightedge band, though two of us are straightedge.
We think that what you do makes you the person you are. You don’t need to go into details here. We play this music to shout out what is vital to us.
We don’t wear any armor or carry any swords in our hands, literally, for the reason this fight is spiritual. Our armor is our wounds, and this struggle means that we just preserve what is important to us in this world and remain humans.
It’s all about honor, decency and good.

https://kingpinhc.bandcamp.com/

Thank you for your time and patience Valera

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