Just over 2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the gutiarists from Finnish metal band, Moonsorrow. We chatted about the most recent album, the gear he uses and Laakupaavi.
Thanks to Nina at the Noise Cartel for organising and Mitja for his time.
You’re currently doing a co-headlining tour with Korpiklaani. How’s it been going?
It’s been going great actually. We had a couple of shows in France first and a few shows in the UK and Ireleand which were almost full-houses so that’s been good. We haven’t toured the UK a lot so it’s been really good to play here.
The most recent album, Jumalten aika, came out a few weeks ago. What’s the response been like when you’re playing the new songs live?
It’s been great and in some places overwhelming. It was really funny in Spain, at almost every show we had some guys crying as we played. That’s a good a sign as any that the music is going down really well!
Was the process behind the album any different to the previous one?
It was kind of yeah. At a point during the process we ditched everything we had and started again, so as a result it took a long time. We had a bit of a struggle with the arrangements as well as we wanted to do them differently to the way we had previously.
Off topic slightly, but is Lakupaavi still going?
It’s always been up and coming and is still coming, so yes it’s still going. We have a new song ready which is a bit different to what it was previously. It’s in French this time! And, if we do the whole project, there’ll be some biblical languages too.
Now the band has been going a little while now. What do you think has changed in the scene over these years?
Well, we all saw the crash of CD sales for example. I must say however, metal fans still buy them and the market for them is still solid in this scene. It means that record labels can still function and also help bands to make new records.
The shows have pretty much been the same though. Around 2011 there was a point where shows became small as everyone was touring so there were no crowds really. That’s kind of dissipated now and crowds are back but we’ll see…
What gear do you use when your playing live?
I play Amfisound guitars which are handmade in Finland. They’re really nice gutiars and play really well. I have a modified Marshall JVM head and a vintage marshall cabinet which I use for my stage sound. I also use a Fractal Audio system that is the main sound that comes out through the PA.
Coming onto the setlist tonight, how heavily weighted is it from the new album?
It’s actually a good mixture of songs from across all our albums. We’ve got 90 minutes to play, which means we can have some variation in our set and play both new and older songs.
And my final question for you now, what advice would you give to a new band?
Well, you’ll obviously have a lot of influences but you need to find your own sound. If you’re happy sounding like someone else, then you won’t get anywhere. Be critical of yourself and don’t be happy with being mediocre. No one should be mediocre. If you’re mediocre, then you’re going to get nowhere…