After their performance at Bloodstock, I had the opportunity to catch up with two of the members from one of the hardest working Finnish winter metal bands currently on the touring circuit. As per last time, we ended up having a really good discussion about the ‘as yet untitled’ 4th album, their upcoming plans and also about ‘seizing the moment of nakedness’. Read on for the full transcription…
It almost feels like yesterday since I was chatting to you in London…
Tuomas: Yeah, I remember that one. That was an awesome show for us as we’d had some sound issues at the previous two shows. How did you think today’s performance was?
I thought it was pretty good.
TS: Only pretty good? Ok, Joonas we can go now!
TS: No, but we’ve had a really tough weekend. We’ve had a lot of issues with the flights and have basically only been sleeping in the planes and the shuttles for the past 30 hours so we’re very tired. But the audience were awesome despite it being a Sunday and the crew we had was incredible; one of the best we’ve ever had. The nice thing is I can only lose my voice which I still kinda have. What about you Joonas?
Joonas: I can lose my legs, hands, back, everything.
TS: It can be difficult when you are a drummer and you’re not sleeping or eating properly. You need to still maintain the stamina and the strength to be able to play. I think we did well despite our many setbacks.
I was there watching and I’d agree. I gather that you’ve already started working on the follow up to Tyhjyys…
TS: Yep, we’ve already started working on some new stuff. We’ve been talking about the schedule with the label already so we’re hoping to get into the studio next March so the next album would be released ready for next September or October. Of course, there’ll be many things that’ll pop up during that time-frame but as a band we are ready and willing to do that.
Tyhjyys only came out a couple of months ago now. How do you feel the response has been?
TS: It has been really, really good. I mean, you always expect it to be good but it’s been really really good. It’s opened a lot of doors outside of Finland and we’re getting a lot of festival and tour offers as well. But what do you say, Joonas?
JK: [Deadpan] I have nothing to say.
TS: It’s pretty difficult to get him excited but that’s the main goal. To get him excited. So we are pushing really hard to get him excited!
And I gather you are doing 70,000 Tons of Metal as well…
TS: Oh, yes!
JK: Yeah, that’ll be good.
TS: As I said, difficult to get him excited! But no, after Continental Concerts offered us the contract they asked us who we didn’t want to work with and any festivals we wanted to go to. So I said to them, we really want to do the cruise as that’s the coolest thing you can do as a metal musician.
JK: It’s our vacation basically.
TS: Yep. I would say that we are the two worst workaholics coming from Finland. Not just in the music but in our other jobs. My current record is 600 hours in 6 weeks so we’ll see if he can beat that.
Speaking of work, you’re a gardener outside of the band. How did you get into that?
TS: I started doing that when I was 15 as a Summer job. I really enjoyed it and kept on doing it and these days I’m a working site manager for a larger landscape company but it’s kind of the same stuff, making everything green. And the fun thing is, Joonas is in the carpentry trade so he cuts down the stuff and I’m building the stuff.
And speaking of making things, you recently made a sauna Joonas. How is it?
JK: It’s really good.
TS: Hot! It is really good though.
JK: It’s super cool.
That’s something I’ve never really understood, going from the sauna to the snow. How does that work?
JK: Just get naked!
TS: The first thing is to be naked and then you go in the sauna and then you either go into the snow or into the lake if it’s summer. It’s kind of going from one extreme to the other. It’s a typically Finnish thing to do in the winter. You’re in the sauna and naturally, it’s really hot and you want to cool down. So you go and jump in the snow to cool down.
JK: But the main thing is being naked.
TS: Yeah, snow or no snow, be naked. Always be naked when there’s a possibility. You need to seize the moment of nakedness whenever possible. Always.
[laughter ensues once more]
Where did your stage clothes come from?
TS: There’s a company in Finland that makes them for bands like Ensiferum, Nightwish and couple of bigger local bands as well. They’re kind of one-off things and they make them to order. They’re going to be making the next set of clothes for the next album as well which’ll be good.
Aside from working on the new album, are there any other things you are working on?
TS: I just finished working on the new Ensiferum video which was really awesome. Typically, I only work on videos for my own bands as I’m normally so busy with other things. It was really cool to work with them though and I might do some similar stuff in the future if everything is cool though.
Describe the band in 3 words.
Contrary to last time… Always be naked!