Recently I took a gamble on choosing a band from one of our extensive lists of albums we get here to review here at Moshville Times and that band hails from northern Finland and are called Kaamos Warriors. I reviewed their debut album Ikuisen Talven Sarastus and was taken aback by a two piece band that have only been together for a year and yet the quality for the material was there to be heard by everybody. Listen to “Winter Eternal” below to get an idea of how dark metal can sound and caters for all extreme metal fans. I thank Jani and Mikko the best of luck in 2019, where there may already be more material coming from the mighty Kaamos Warriors.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Jani: We both live in Northern Finland, in a little town called Kempele (under 20000 inhabitants). Originally I am from Kuusamo, which is located even more northern.
Mikko: I have been living in Kempele for 5 years. I was born in Valkeakoski and I have lived also in Jyväskylä and in Oulu.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Jani: Kaamos Warriors relies strongly in creating a dark and melancholic atmosphere. Strong guitar riffs form the base of everything. All starts from riffs that we both find intriguing, we usually have lots of good guitar riffs and melodies, but only a small part end up in final versions of the songs. Lyrics and vocals form an interesting part, lyrics are short and poem like pieces contributing in building the right kind of atmosphere that we like. Everything is in the same time simple but can be thought, felt and heard in many different ways.
One thing that is unique to Kaamos Warriors is that we don’t have choruses or verses separated, lyrics and vocals are “only” one piece of the whole entirety. Mikko is in charge of lyrics so he can describe them more in detail later.
Coming from completely different backgrounds in music, how did Kaamos Warriors come into being?
Jani: We both worked at the same work place at the time. After one patient appointment I had a little coffee break, sat down in Mikko’s office and grabbed his acoustic guitar he had in his office. I started playing one riff that came across my mind, Mikko asked where’s that riff from, I told him that it’s not from anywhere yet. Mikko suggested some minor changes to riff and asked me to record it and send it to him later. I did what I was told and that riff became the very first Kaamos Warrior riff. That riff is the one which starts the debut album.
As mentioned earlier, riffs that we both find intriguing end up forming the base of the songs. First riff was great and the very first song build up pretty quickly after that. We started thinking about the band and names, Mikko came up with Kaamos Warriors which felt good right from the start.
Mikko: When talking about the formation of the band, one has to mention that our families have been supportive from the start and participated also greatly. Jani’s brother (bass player, medical doctor) has played the bass to couple of songs and my wife Inka has designed our logo. They have been a big part of this entirety.
Kaamos Warriors released their debut album Ikuisen Talven Sarastus through Inverse Records this month. How does it feel to put all your blood sweat and tears and get an official recording out there?
Jani: Everything built up pretty fast after we got started, little over a year ago we had one riff! We both have a great passion for dark and melodic metal music sharing a common vision what we want to do with Kaamos Warriors. We used all the spare time to create this album, to make music that we both enjoy enormously. After using loads of time and energy we suddenly had everything ready for an album and a deal with a record label. It was a really surreal feeling when thinking back about that relatively short period of time.
Where was the album recorded and who mastered and produced it for you?
Jani: We both have an opportunity to do recordings at home, also vocals were recorded at my house. We have a nice separated place for doing recordings in our house. This gives an opportunity to change ideas and demos pretty fast. As said earlier, we have tons of riffs, from which we pick up the ones that both are fascinated by.
Mikko: From my earlier history with music I knew a guy who I could imagine to do all the mixing and mastering to Kaamos Warriors. I told about him to Jani and we decided to contact Teemu Liekkala who mixed and mastered the album.
I know you have just released an album this month but have you already got ideas for your next songs? How would they compare to those on the debut album?
Jani: Sharing the same visions and passion for music makes us very productive. We have dozens of demos, and continued working and creating new material right after the debut album was ready. Pretty soon something very cool came up, and after a little while we had a quite ready demo version ready for recording. It was followed quickly by more new songs and now we have already half of the second album ready plus demo version of the other half too. It will be definitely recognised as Kaamos Warriors with our unique style and construction of songs, but I would say it is improved in many ways and also darker.
Ikuisen Talven Sarastus thus far is a digital release only. Are there plans for this album to be released in physical formats?
Jani: We definitely have plans, but it remains to be seen how we’re going to proceed with this. There are some opportunities which we have thought. Some ideas have been cast out, which concerns also the second album.
What are the lyrical themes of the songs from the album? Is there a main lyricist?
Jani: This is something that Mikko can answer; he is in charge of lyrics. My role is quite much to thumb up if the lyrics are good and suit well.
Mikko: I have written almost all lyrics to album. Ikuisen Talven Sarastus (The Dawn of Eternal Winter) is a theme album. The album is written to tell melancholic and dark story about eternal winter. The main themes in this story are winter and death. The lyrics are like little poems, which can be interpreted in different ways.
How often are you able to get together and rehearse? Where do you get together and record? How were the songs for the album constructed?
Jani: We change ideas on a daily basis using WhatsApp and emails, we also live quite near each other so it is easy to get together to change ideas and do recordings. We usually do recordings at my place, we have quite a good room for that in our house. Living almost next door makes it possible to do things in a pretty fast schedule if needed.
When constructing the songs, it always starts from a very good riff and builds up from it. It can happen very fast, or if some piece is missing, we wait for it to come up and then kind of fit different pieces together. Mikko is a great visionary in forming and producing songs.
Having different musical influences within the band, was there sometimes a lot of negotiating when recording or do you feel you both are writing the music you want to for the band?
Jani: This has been very easy right from the start because we share the same visions for our music. Sometimes there can be a little negotiation about how fast the solo can be. That is perhaps the biggest negotiation we have.
Mikko: Everything has gone very well, we have a perfect team together!
Do you plan to grow the band and perform songs live or will this only be like a studio project?
Jani: Beside the common interest for this kind of music, we have other common things too. We both have families, so right now it is not possible to do gigs, but this is something that we both wish to do later. Now we can concentrate on creating our music.
Mikko: We hope to find the way and time to play some live performances in some day but not right now. Now we spend all our time writing music for Kaamos Warriors.
Being from northern Finland, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
Jani: I’m not so familiar of the currently active local bands, my favourite band from the northern Finland was buried in 2005 (Sentenced).
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Jani and Mikko: That party would probably be quite heavy.
- Sentenced – Crimsom
- Children of Bodom – Follow the Reaper
- Stratovarius – The Chosen Ones
- Dimmu Borgir – Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
- Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Jani and Mikko: If you have passion for something, focus your energy and go for it. We do that with Kaamos Warriors every day!