Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Whispered – SOPHIE Stage, Sunday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We hail from the land of eternal winter and expensive beer, Finland.
How did you meet?
I formed the band many years ago with my schoolmates, but the current members of Whispered are all from Tampere. I met Mikko through my work and Jussi and Kai were recruited to the group a bit later.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Whispered has been around since 2001. There has been quite much line-up changes and all kind of things, but with the current mates we’ve been blasting since 2014.
Where does the name of the band come from?
When we picked the name, we wanted something that doesn’t tie us too much to any specific aspect musically. The name also reflects the contrast of our music pretty well. We have beautiful, atmospheric things and full on slash-your-guts-out stuff as well.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
All of us listen to very much different kind of music and draw influences from here and there. I’m more of a melodic/epic metal fan with obsession to all kind of movie and game soundtracks too. Mikko listens to metal with very large scale, Jussi is a true fan of rock’n roll and Kai enjoys all kinds of metal and soundtracks too. Usually we’re blasting Abba or something when we drive to the shows.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Imagine ancient, mythological Japan with code of the samurai thriving, battles raging and spirits shining. Then blend those images with the grim coldness of the north. In other words we play melodic death metal with Japanese folk influences. At some point we were labeled as “samurai metal” and I think that term is quite cool! What currently makes us unique is the carefully crafted oriental folk influences blended with (overused term warning) epic, very diverse melodic metal. We’re about the whole package. Not just the “Japan-gimmick”.
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
We have really strong connection with the audience and we treat all of our fans like they were warriors with us at the battlefront. Our shows are full of energy, determination and honour!
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
Our English promoter recommended us to the Bloodstock. We did have some faint hopes of that happening since our latest album Metsutan – Songs of the Void was released first time in Europe too.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We’ve compiled a diverse setlist that will tell everyone what we are about. You’ll be hearing all sort of things and we promise that there won’t be any swords in holsters at the frontline of the Sophie stage!
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
I haven’t seen Slayer yet, so I hope I can take that one off from the bucket list.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re preparing to our UK tour, practicing like lunatics and I’ve already started to write some new ideas down for future releases. Currently we’re also seeking all kind of opportunities outside of Finland and making new connections.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Someone once threw male underwear at me. That was pretty rad!
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Before aiming for record deals, connections or anything, make your package whole. There are shitloads of bands around and only way to thrive is take the best out of everything you do. Record some high quality fully thought-out songs, do the visuals right concerning about everything and accept the fact that nothing will happen for a long time no matter how well you do everything. Have patience, determination and ambition.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
That’s a tough one, but I think many people would enjoy for example this kind of tour:
Wintersun, Whispered and Brymir. I wouldn’t say that Brymir is any smaller than us, but that tour would kick some serious ass.
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
14th of August, Sophie stage. No time yet. [16:25 according the times released today – Mosh]