A couple of hours after their show at Bloodstock, I had the chance to chat to the Violinist of folk metal legends Korpiklaani. We chatted about their most recent album, how they ended up playing with Sabaton a lot recently and what inspired him to start playing music.
Thanks to Claire at Nuclear Blast for organising and Tuomas for his time.
MT: You played on the main stage a couple of hours ago. How did it go?
Tuomas: It was an amazing show for us. We played at 2pm in the day, which is unusual for us. We normally play at a later hour in a tent at other festivals. It was so surprising to see all the people that came and it seemed as though everyone at Bloodstock came to see our show. It was a beautiful party out there and everything was just right.
MT: Your most recent album, Noita (review here), came out around 3 months ago. What’s the fan response been like to it when you play the songs live?
Tuomas: That’s a funny one as we played it pretty risky. We were on a US tour when the album was released and even before it was released we were playing 7 songs from the new album in the set list. It’s kind of wild to do that with songs that no one has heard but somehow we managed to pull it off and the response has been really good.
MT: Was the production any different to the previous album?
Tuomas: Oh absolutely. We spent a lot more time on the folk arrangements and the role with the folk instruments is way different than what is used to be. There’s a couple of accordion solos and 5 violin solos. All in all, the general sound has changed so the balance of folk and metal is there now.
MT: You recently played at the “Noch Ein Beer” festival with Sabaton. How did that go?
Tuomas: We’ve played with Sabaton a lot lately. We did the UK tour with them last winter and before that we played a lot of festivals with them. It’s actually quite interesting that Pär from Sabaton is a long time Korpiklaani fan. For him, the joy we have in our metal has been life changing and we were one of the inspirational bands that led him to that image of making metal something that is a lot of fun. And now it’s turned around and they are much bigger than we are. There’s a history between the two of us that we haven’t put together ever before.
MT: What’s the sort of equipment do you use live?
Tuomas: I use an electro-acoustic Violin that was made in the UK. I prefer using electro-acoustic as I think the electric violin sounds like a trumpet. Myself, the drummer and the accordion player use wireless in-ear systems but the other guys are old school and use monitors. We all use wireless systems however, thank God!
MT: If you don’t mind me asking, what inspired you to start playing music?
Tuomas: Well personally that’s an easy one. As a violinist, classical music was very important to me as kid. There were a couple of records of Bach that I listened to a lot. My cousin had a violin and I was so jealous of him. I played classical intensely all the way up to my teen years until I felt it was a bit inadequate to play the notes, which someone had written. I then started doing a lot of improvisation and to different genres. I actually even had a hardcore trio of Cello, Piano and Violin playing sort of Napalm death style 3 and 30-second songs just to burst out from that sort of conservative style.
MT: Thank you very much for your time!