QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Vicky Stoichkova (Gwendydd)

written by Marko Jakob | 02.06.2022 |

Pix666: Hello Vicky and thanks for your time. How are you doing these days?

Vicky: Hello! We are enjoying the road on tour with Dark Tranquillity & Ensiferum. It’s quite the adventure and an incredible chance to learn a lot and develop as a band. We are tired, but also really grateful to be doing this.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music do you make?

Vicky: We are Gwendydd from Bulgaria. A female dominated metal band that plays extreme metal. It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific genre. We make music that sounds good to us and we have a lot of fun doing so.

Pix666: You became well-known in your home country through appearances in a music show (Гласът на България). How did the ‘normal’ people in Bulgaria react to your voice?

Vicky: The interesting thing is that most of them actually liked it. I didn’t expect the reactions to be so good and that I’d even pass the first round. But they liked it. I got like a ton of messages on Facebook and Instagram afterwards of people telling me how they don’t like metal music but they liked my performance and found it very interesting.

Pix666: Your Taylor Swift cover from that show now has almost 6 million views on YouTube. Did this popularity make it easier for you to start a band?

Vicky: To be honest, hadn’t it been for that TV show, I most probably wouldn’t be in Gwendydd right now. After my performance there, our drimmer – Bambi contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be in a band, so yes. This exposure definitely made it easier for me to start a band.

Pix666: Is Gwendydd played on the radio in Bulgaria now, or how big is the acceptance for metal in your country?

Vicky: In Bulgaria we have some radio stations only for rock and metal music, so they play our songs from time to time. Although metal music is not the most popular music genre here, it is accepted.

Pix666: Recently your second album ‚Censored’ was released. How have the reactions been so far?

Vicky: For now we have had only positive reactions. Which is amazing! But the album was released only a few weeks ago, so in my opinion it’s too early to say. We put a lot of work into this album, so the positive feedback so far has been great to see.

Pix666: What is the main difference to your first album ‘Human Nature,’ – what steps of development or experiments did you make?

Vicky: For “Censored” we managed to spend some more time on the details and sound experiments. Compared to “Human Nature”, the music is harder and the sound is more modern and powerful.

Pix666: How do you create your songs and what are your lyrics about?

Vicky: We don’t really have a formula for creating our songs. Sometimes Bambi comes to us with ideas and we all help develop them. Sometimes Reni comes with some rad guitar riffs and we figure it out from there. The only fixed thing is that I always write the lyrics after the music is done. And they are usually a reflection of my emotional state at the time or my thoughts on different subjects. The lyrics I write are quite gruesome and uncomfortable sometimes. But hey, that’s what art is for. It’s freedom of expression.

Pix666: Did the Corona Pandemic influence your way of working and were you allowed to play concerts during the pandemic?

Vicky: Actually the pandemic helped us in some way. We canceled a lot of concerts, but anyway we had some shows in Bulgaria. We spent the free time creating the music for “Censored”, we did a lot of rehearsals not just to develop our playing, but also to learn technical things and how to be faster on stage preparing and so on. Also we made a couple of music videos.

Pix666: So you recently played a part of the European tour together with Ensiferum and Dark Tranquillity. What were your feelings when you got the news to accompany these well-known bands?

Vicky: OMG it was incredible! Unbelievable! We were like little children jumping full of happiness! It’s a dream come true to get this opportunity.

Pix666: Do you have your own headlining tour planned? If so, where will you be on stage?

Vicky: Yes. Exactly after our support tour for Dark Tranquillity and Ensiferum, we are going on our own headliner tour for “Censored”. Here’s the list of all shows:

CENSORED Tour 2022

27.05 Strausberg/Berlin, Volkhaus (GER)
28.05 Kiel, Medusa (GER)
31.05 Dortmund, FZW (GER)
02.06 Osnabrück, Bastard Club (GER)
03.06 Diest, Hell (BEL)
04.06 Übach-Palenberg, Rockfabrik (GER)
06.06 Cham, L.A. (GER)
08.06 Frauenfeld, Dreiegg (CHE)
10.06 Selb, Rock Club (GER)
11.06 Brno, Unleaded Coffee (CZE)
14.06 Kosice, Collosseum (SVK)
16.06 Székesfehérvár, Nyolcas Műhely (HUN)
17.06 Graz, Explosiv (AUT)
18.06 Vienna, Escape (AUT)
19.06 Villach, Kulturhof (AUT)
20.06 Zagreb, Hard Place (HRV)
22.06 Cluj-Napoca, La Tevi (ROU)
24.06 Sofia, Rock It (BUL)

Pix666: Do you have any special rituals before you go on stage?

Vicky: Yes actually. I have a very bad stage fright, so my ritual includes worrying, warming up, stretching and revising what I should say on stage and my lyrics haha.

Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Gwendydd for almost 4 years now – what have been the most memorable experiences with the band so far?

Vicky: Ah there are so many… From stupid and childish moments where we play with stuffed animals and give them voices and annoy the sh*t out of Bambi, to moments where we just hug and cry because we have accomplished something big. I just like comparing how we were before – 5 complete strangers, and now – a big family.

Pix666: As a musician, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting hobbies you pursue? 😊

Vicky: I actually love sleeping… A lot. I can sleep for 15 hours straight if no one wakes me up. But, when I am not sleeping and not doing stuff for Gwendydd, I like to write poetry and short stories. Also just being outside hanging out with friends is something I love to do when I have the time. When we get back from the tour I’m thinking of taking up a new language to learn as well.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Gwendydd, that you would like to share with the fans?

Vicky: Come see us on the CENSORED tour! We’d love to meet you guys! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so that you can stay tuned with everything that’s going on! Stay healthy, be kind and continue listening to awesome music! 🙂

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – I hope to see you live somewhere soon. Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!

Vicky: Thank you for having me! It was a pleasure! Can’t wait to meet you somewhere in person! 🙂



photos © by Orleff Photograph and Gwendydd