IMPERIAL AGE – A Wee Chat With Vocalist Aor – Glasgow 2023 (Interview)

Alexander "Aor" Osipov Chilling With CGCM Before Gig!
Alexander “Aor” Osipov Chilling With CGCM Before Gig!

A Quick Apology… Sorry for the delay in publishing the interview. This was due to health issues involving the interviewer in last couple of weeks.

A Chance To Chat

I was very lucky to have the chance on behalf of CGCM to have an interview or wee (little) chat with singer Alexander Aor Osipov in the dressing rooms at the venue Slay in Glasgow. It is always a tad nerve-wracking to interview band members, partly as you don’t want to ask dumb questions or bore the poor person you are interviewing with what they always get asked.

Of course, that has to be tempered with the fact that folks that read a site such as this do not always know the background of a band so it is always helpful for those folks to read something from the mouth of a band member. Then the hope is that perhaps you as an interviewer manage to ask something that answers a question that a long-term fan might have also wondered. Luckily Aor made it plain he was happy to chat about anything and even said if I wanted to interview anyone else at the same time I could which was very cool of him/them, but as they were actually getting ready to do a show I thought that might be a bit much.

So this is what he had to say about their background and influences, the lyrics of the new album and non-alcoholic beer😀.

Confirming The Band

CGCM: Many thanks for taking the time to chat with me for CGCM it is most appreciated. Firstly before I start can I just confirm who is in the band tonight as I know you have had some issues and I do not want to get anyone’s names wrong when posted online.  I know we have Ryan (that is Ryan Thomson)… (Aorsays “yes“), is it still Dymitry on bass?

Aor: No, and that’s the first thing we are going to announce today onstage, he did not get a UK visa but not because of the UK but because of the German TSL visa centre that actually lost his visa! We had got our emails from them as both him and I were to receive our visas one month later.


When we asked we were told you can come until the end of January and your visas are waiting for you. In my case that was in Paris and his in Dusseldorf. On Friday I went to Paris and got my visa and he went to Dusseldorf and they say to him (puts on the voice of someone not so bright😀) woops we destroyed it”.

He opened his letter showing that they had written to him and had said they were waiting for him and they just went (again with not so bright voice) “ooooohhhh… you should contact the UK”. So he has stayed in the Netherlands waiting for them to reissue it so Tim (Tim Schalingis filling in for Belf(Dmitry Safronov). Maybe he makes it to at least one or 2 shows…

CGCM: Drums is still Manuele (Di Ascenzo)?

Aor: Yes, there he is (pointing at him), he is a fully-fledged member of the band if you have any drumming questions.

(Aside: I was aware that all 3 singers were in the room, 1 I was chatting with and 2 in Jane and Anna doing makeup etc)

The Perhaps “Obvious” Questions

CGCM: If I may start with a couple of basic questions on behalf of readers of our site that might not know so much about you if that’s Ok (Aorsays “Sure“). So firstly can I ask about the background of the band? How did it start or come about?

Aor:It was me and Jane. We started it about 11 years ago back in Moscow when we both lived there. We wanted to make like a grand symphonic metal project with lyrics about ancient civilisations, occult and magic and stuff that would go deep down but at the same time would be appealing musically. I had some songs from my previous band Revelance which was your typical amateur band. I had some sketches and I put them all together and that’s how the first album Turn The Sun Off came about.

CGCM: Thank you. Can I ask what were your kind of main influences when starting the band?

Aor: Oh it is obvious, things like NightwishAvantasiaTherion and bands like that.


CGCM: Are there any bands that you are influenced by that we as fans might not notice?

Aor: Yeah, sure. I listen to so much music so it is very difficult to name them all. I listen to black metal, death metal, heavy, power, battle metal across to game and movie soundtracks along with classical music and all of those can be named and have influenced. For example I recently discovered Jesper Kyd and the Assassin’s Creed soundtrack.

In the middle of Paris and a car stops and this guy says to me “I am a bag fan of yours and I am also a big French promoter and I want to invite you tomorrow to the premiere of the big Assassin’s Creed symphonic concert.  I went and it was in a huge Paris theatre with a symphony orchestra and I was just sitting there like “WOW“. I have never played the game but I listen to the music very often.

Imperial Age Scottish Help: Guitarist Ryan Thomson: He Knows Real Beer When He Sees It!
Imperial Age Scottish Help: Guitarist Ryan Thomson: He Knows Real Beer When He Sees It!

CGCM: Wow that sounds cool as. Brilliant. I wanted to ask about songs on the new album (“New World“).

A Surprise To The Interviewer

Now I don’t know if I am right, you can correct me if I am wrong, but they sound almost autobiographical at times. OK at times you use imagery, say, like using a bird in one of them (“Legend Of The Free“) talking about freedom…

Aor: (takes over), Sort of in a reverse fashion. All those songs were written before the events happened (referring to the war in Ukraine and having to leave Russia), before they became reality. Some of them were written like 3 months before, like “The Wheel”. “Legend Of The Free” was written  a year before it became a problem for us, you know freedom and all that. So it is kind of what, em, (collects his thoughts/words) prophetic instead. I don’t know.

CGCM:(laughing) you don’t happen to have tonight’s winning lottery numbers?

Aor: If I would then trust me we wouldn’t have all these problems just now (laughing away)

CGCM:I love the lyrics on the new album, and some of the melody lines are, despite perhaps the dark themes, very uplifting. Is that something you tried to do on purpose?

Aor: Yes, yes, all except “Call Of The Towers” which is a very depressing song! We wanted to write some more catchy or more dancey type music this time. The lyrics came themselves, that is kind of a different thing. 

The Making Of The Album And Ongoing Issues

CGCM: How much difficulty did you have making the album, getting it together and recording it?

Aor: First of all it was amazing, then the war began and we had to move which disrupted everything and we actually still owe some of our crowd funders some of the items which they ordered back in the summer 2021, we are still doing the catching up on all these. Due to the disruptions, this tour is also part of the catching up, it has been postponed what like 5 or 6 times. Some of the fans bought tickets over 3 years ago you know?

CGCM: It obviously isn’t your fault. The fact is, even like the last time I saw you live you had your arm in a sling but still performed, and now all this crap has happened (Covid and the war) you have still managed to get the album out and you have made it out on tour. That even with having to change guitarist and being down your regular bassist…

Aor: Frankly speaking nobody believed this was going to happen, neither us or the fans. In fact the agent wanted us to cancel 2 years ago but we said NO. The only person who believed in us and is still doing it is John Minor(?)  from Born Again Concerts who without this wouldn’t have happened. He is the organiser in the UK. We don’t have a reverse gear, there was no way we could cancel these shows.  Just no! 

They Are Definitely An International Band

CGCM: So 2 of you are now based in Turkey…

Aor: Yeah Jane and I are in Turkey,  Anna is in Moscow, Manuele is in Rome, Ryan is Scottish and comes from Fife, I can’t remember the exact town or village… (looks over at Ryan and tells us “Cardenden“) and Tim is Dutch and from Zeeland not sure where exactly (Tim does say but he wasn’t close enough to my recording device for me to hear where he said exactly, although he did say it was a “small village”, apologies).

CGCM: So it is quite an international band…

Aor: Oh, and the girl on the merch is from Eindhoven, so also Dutch. (Laughing away) For some reason, we are surrounded by Dutch people immensely.

CGCM: I suppose it is the home of many symphonic metal folks, and goes hand in hand with you guys. I have some questions noted about lyrics.

Aor: I’ve got some lyrics about this tour, that I started having heart palpitations before the tour began… when we crossed the border and they vanished.

The Seeming Result/Dangers Of Non Alcoholic Beer😂

At this point, we went off-topic about how both Tarja and Epica are touring soon so Aor was saying they wanted to do their shows before they kicked off in case of duplication ticket-wise for fans. Then he made a comment which caused much hilarity when Tim took a beer from the fridge.

Aor addressing Tim

Aor: That is alcohol-free beer (everyone laughs at the warning). There is proper Scottish beers in there. LONG PAUSE. Non-alcoholic beer is the first step to having an inflatable woman… (everyone erupts in laughter)

CGCM: Is it? (laughing). Now I didn’t know that…

Aor:(also laughing) It’s a theory

CGCM: I should use that as the headline to this interview (everybody laughs at that idea)

Aor:But they might miss the whole idea behind the concept. Is this about beer and inflatable women mmm? (I think it is Tim that says in the background “is that not the message” to which Aor goes “no!”  Tim then apologises going “Sorry, I am new!” Much laughter breaks out again).

Finish With Some Quick Fire Questions

CGCM: Can I finish with a few quick general questions (Aor goes “whatever you wish to ask“).

Firstly what is your favourite all-time album?

Aor: Nightwish Once

CGCMFavourite band?


CGCMThe first album you ever bought?

Aor: Emmmmmm. I don’t remember frankly speaking. I think it was a pirated version of probably the 69 Eyes and “Devils” back in 2005 in Russia, I think, but I am not 100% sure. 

CGCMI take it in Russia there is still a lot of pirated copies of albums…

Aor: Not so much. Back then it was only pirated copies you could get, now folks download from torrents and things. It is like going to somewhere like Mexico and they have your merch, more of it, better quality and its cheaper (laughing). You have to remember the difference in income in many places so culturally the way music has to be consumed is different. 

CGCM: Favourite book?

AorLord Of The Rings

CGCM: Favourite movie?

AorStar Wars

CGCMMost interesting place ever visited?

AorKailash in Tibet

CGCMInteresting. Why in particular?

AorIt is one of the most powerful places of power with one of the highest mountains in the world. 

In Conclusion

At this point it was time to head out of the dressing room and allow them to have time together before hitting the stage for their first UK show in 3 or 4 years. I want to say a huge thank you to all the band and especially Aor for their time and patience. Also a huge thank you from CGCMto Andy from Palmer Turner Overdrive for arranging and organising the opportunity to spend time with the band along with seeing a great gig.

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