18 Nov 2008

Having the best from both worlds, interview with Beast Dominator and Skrymer

Author: Raymond Westland, June 28th 2005
From Archaic Magazine
Original link

Two months ago I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Finntroll. They were headlining a small festival in Arnhem (The Netherlands) which featured Naglfar, Amoral and some local Dutch acts. Skinsman B. Dominator (B) and guitarist Skrymer (S) answered all my questions in the confined space of a hot tourbus. With a steady supply of beer and cigarettes we were ready to go. Subjects: Northern Folk stories, band imagery, label business, the Finnish mentality and lots more...

You guys have been touring for a while now, how are things going so far?

S: Great, the shows are good and we have got nice bands to tour with, namely Naglfar and Amoral.
B: There are no complaints.

Your latest album ?Nattfödd? has been out for quite some time now. What is the current view within the band towards the album?

S: We need to do a better one, haha. No sorry, as on all our albums there are good songs, but some songs we would rather change. We just want to make a new album. There are no particular songs on our last album that I want to change, but the album could have used some more darker and moodier parts. It is too happy occasionally.

The grim aspect of your music, do you think it is inherent to the Finnish nature and the fact that it is dark there for a large part of the year?

S: Yeah, but it is also a part of the Nordic Folk stories. There is not much happiness in there. It is all about fighting, bloodshed, darkness and drinking.

To which extent is the whole troll influenced imagery a gimmick and to which extent is it actually based on genuine love of Finnish Folk literature?

S: It is more of a Folk thing. Our bandname does not actually mean ?Finnish Troll?, it has a far more mythical meaning behind it. It is derived from a Swedish saga in which a crusading army comes to Finnland and they get decimated by this extremely smelly and hairy beast. It is a native Finnish thing.

What is so appealing about those themes that you actually use them as a source for inspiration?

S: That is very hard to explain if you are not from Scandinavia. It has to do with a certain feel. I cannot really explain it.

Something totally different then. My introduction to Finntroll was during Wacken 2001 and during that gig you had quite a show there, including all the costumes and a guy running around on stage to fire up the crowd. However, the last time I saw you guys it was just a metalband playing Finntroll songs. What has happened to your stage antics?

S: That guy did some traditional Finnish chanting (joiking) on the ?Jaktens Tid? album and we thought it would be fun to have him on our show doing his parts. He was never a member of the band. During that Wacken show we were not dressed as trolls, but as natives. Let?s say it was a pagan thing.

B: It is very hard to take those clothes along on tour you know. They are not comfortable and they get all sweaty and they start to smell like shit.

Don?t you feel like that took away some of the charm from Finntroll?

S: Not really, we could not play our instruments so well at that time, so we used the costumes as a cover up. Nowadays, we are a tight live band and we have noticed that the audience reacts to the music and not so much to the atmosphere. They want to see a band playing their guts out and see them headbanging. It is more like 'let the music do the talking', you know.

A Finntroll show is a really an intense happening and the band tries to interact with the audience as much as possible. Do you think it is that important to really make the crowd part of the show?

B: Man, it is great to see people go wild on our music.

S: The irony is that people go wild on happy music, yet the lyrics are about bloodshed and other gruesome subjects. That is paganish.

B: Most people do not have a clue that they are having fun to songs that are about killing priests and stuff. Is that not cool?

A few years ago the whole folkmetal thing was pretty much underground and Finntroll paved the way for bands like Moonsorrow and Korpiklaani to make quite a name for themselves in their own right. What is your view on this?

B: We see Moonsorrow as Finntroll?s little brother.

S: Trollhorn (keys in Finntroll) plays keyboards in Moonsorrow as well.

Both bands are doing well at moment. Is it not difficult to combine both bands?

B: Not at the moment. Henry (also in Finntroll) does not want to tour with Moonsorrow. We used a replacement keyboard player from another Finnish band which is signed to Spinefarm.

S: Spinecrap you mean. Most Finnish bands end up on Spinecrap.

It seems like most Finnish bands end up on Spinefarm. What do you think of that?

B: Spinefarm is for most bands a stepping stone to get to larger labels like Century Media or Nuclear Blast.

Finnish bands seem to do well at the moment with Children Of Bodom and Nightwish leading the charge. Do you have an explanation fpr that?

B: I do not know, most bands are very good I suppose. The level of playing is very high.

S: There is not much to do in Finland and people are pissed off most of the times. Perfect breeding ground for metal bands, haha.

Many bands from Finland have this melancholic undertone in their music...

B: That is the Finish national mentality man!

S: Most of the time it is grey in Finland. We have a short summer, but most of the time it is grey. It does something with people I guess and you can hear that back in the music. That mentality is something we have in common with the Swedish and Norwegians. That is why we all get along so well, haha.

Like I said before, Finntroll is doing well in other countries. Do you guys get any recognition in your own home country?

S: We are a small band overthere. Last year we played only three shows in our own country. They only start to write about you when you are in the top ten when it comes to sales in countries like Germany and France.

B: That is another example of the Finnish mentality. You have to do well in Central Europe and the States before you get any recognition.

That brings me to Within Tempation. They used to be a doommetal band, yet they changed their style and suddenly they are booming as never before. If Finntroll would be in the same position what would you do?

B: I know, they used to be quite good, but nowadays they suck. They lost all their originality along the way.

S: If we had a manager who would propose the same thing like Within Temptation did, he probably would get a big fuckin? punch in the face. Nobody tells us what we should do. We do everything ourselves, the designs, covers, artwork, merchandise.

B: We control the strings, man. That is why we are on Spikefarm, instead of Spinefarm, so the record company owner cannot get his greedy hands on us.

S: We are pretty happy to be on Spikefarm.

B: We get the Spinefarm budgets, but we can choose our own studio, our own recording material and we can choose which direction we want to go in. We have the best of both worlds.

Interview with Wilska (FINNTROLL) from

Author: Patrik Wydler, November 1st 2004
Original site link.

Lieber zu spät als gar nicht,
traf ich mich zur finnischen Diskussionsrunde mit
Finntroll-Sänger Wilska.

Patrik Wydler ( It's the second time in a row you play now at the Summer Breeze Festival. You became very popular during the last years, why do you guys have to play as the very first band again?

P.W: Es ist das zweite mal hintereinander, dass Ihr am Summer Breeze Festival spielt. Ihr seid sehr bekannt geworden in den letzten Jahren, weshalb also müsst Ihr wieder als erste Band auftreten?

Wilska (Finntroll): I don't know, it's kind of a german revenge on our band. Cause bands, especially our band, like to drink after gigs, so naturally these guys know it, so the book us as the last act. So we don't have any time to drink. This is my best guess, this is german conspiracy against us.
But we will play drunk, sorry.

Wilska: Ich weiss es nicht. Es ist so was wie eine deutsche Rache gegen unsere Band. Weil Bands, besonders unsere Band, es lieben nach den Shows zu trinken. Diese Leute (Veranstalter) wissen das natürlich und buchen uns als erste Band, damit wir keine Zeit haben zu trinken! Das ist meine Vermutung. Dies ist eine deutsche Verschwörung gegen uns. Aber wir werden trotzdem betrunken spielen, also sorry!

Patrik: Well, you just arrived but, whats the difference between the last year and this year now ?

P.W: Ihr seid eben angekommen, aber dennoch, was sind die Unterschiede zwischen letzem Jahr und diesem Jahr?

Wilska: We got here early enough. Now we have even time to sit down for a

Wilska: Wir sind früh genug angekommen. Jetzt haben wir sogar Zeit ein Weilchen hinzusitzen...

Patrik: .and drink?

P.W: und zu trinken?

Wilska: We should not exxagerate this.Kids, drinking is dangerous !!! Last year, everything really got fucked up, we lost our guitars, our driver got last all that. This year, almost the same happen, but at least, we are here, we have like couple of hours to relax before the show.

Wilska: Wir sollten dies nicht übertreiben. Kids, trinken ist gefährlich!! Letztes Jahr wurde alles ziemlich chaotisch: wir haben unsere Gitarren verloren und unser Fahrer hat sich total verfahren! Dieses Jahr ist fast dasselbe passiert, aber letztendlich sind wir hier und wir haben ein paar Stunden um zu relaxen vor der Show.

Patrik: Tell me about your experience with Switzerland.

P.W: Erzähl mir von deinen Erfahrungen mit der Schweiz.

Wilska: Ah, Switzerland. Were I'm gonna start.if I think about Switzerland, it was always a surprise. I mean the first time, when we get there, like a year ago, the crowds were good for us. I love the country, even the roads are quite uneaven. It's so much fun to play there. I have so much friends in this country.don't ask me questions like this (laughing).I'm not ready to answer this philosophical questions like this (laughing). I mean, on the way to this festival, we drove through the if I'd die in the next three years, you can spread my ashes all over the alps, I don't mind.

Wilska: Ah, die Schweiz. Wo soll ich nur beginnen? Wenn ich an die Schweiz denke, war es immer eine Überraschung. Das erste Mal als wir dort waren, vor etwa einem Jahr, waren die Leute uns wohlgesinnt. Ich liebe das Land, sogar die Strassen sind zeimlich uneben. Es bereitet grossen Spass in der Schweiz zu spielen. Ich habe so viele Freunde in diesem Land. Aber stell mir nicht solche Fragen (lacht). Ich bin nicht bereit solch philosophische Fragen zu beantworten (lacht). Auf dem Weg zu diesem Festival fuhren wir durch die Alpen. Wenn ich also in den nächsten drei Jahren sterben sollte, kannst du meine Asche über die ganzen Alpen verstreuen. Das macht mir nichts aus.

Patrik: You did an acoustic album called "Visor Um Sluted". Do you think, you will do something similar again?

P.W: Ihr habt ein rein akustisches Album, "Visor Um Sluted" gemacht. Glaubst du, ihr werder so etwas ähnliches wieder einmal machen?

Wilska: We are now thinking about doing something similar, but with a different approach. Doing the acoustic album was probably the most fun that our band has ever had in a studio. The acoustic side and the experimental side is interesting and we're now negotiating and talking about maybe doing something similar with some guests on the album, like participating with some people that we think are cool musicians.

Wilska: Wir denken gerade über etwas ähnliches nach, aber mit einer anderen Herangehensweise. Das akustische Album zu machen war wahrscheinlich der grösste Spass für unsere Band, den wir je in einem Studio hatten. Die akustische und die experimentelle Seite sind interessant und wir sind gerade dabei zu verhandeln und darüber zu sprechen vielleicht etwas ähnliches zu machen mit einigen Gästen auf dem Album, mit Leuten, von denen wir denken, dass sie coole Musiker sind.

Patrik: Any international musicians or just some friends from Finnland?

P.W: Internationale Musiker oder einfach Freunde aus Finnland?

Wilska: Some international, but don't ask me, I'm not gonna fucking tell you (laughing)

Wilska: Einige internationale Musiker, aber frag mich nicht wer, ich werde es dir bestimmt nicht verraten! (lacht)

Patrik: At least, it was a try. Next question, do you prefer german or swiss girls?

P.W: Ein Versuch war es wert. Nächste Frage: Bevorzugst du Deutsche oder Schweizer Girls?

Wilska: Again, don't ask me such questions, I'm fucking married. I prefer finnish girls, I prefer one finnish girl, but "for me, the ladies, everywhere in the world are beautiful and fantastic, I don't care about nationality"

Wilska: Nochmals, stell mir nicht solche Fragen. Ich bin verdammt noch mal verheiratet. Ich bevorzuge finnische Girls, ich bevorzuge ein finnisches Girl! Aber für mich sind alle Frauen überall auf der Welt schön und fantastisch, ich kümmere mich nicht um Nationalitäten!

Patrik: As a well known specialist of the world wide porn industry, who is the most underrated porn star in your opinion?

P.W.: Als Kenner der weltweiten Pornoindustrie sag mir, wer ist der am meisten unterschätzte Pornostar deiner Meinung nach?

Wilska: Underrated? I should say Seka. She was a female porn star of the late seventies, early eighties. This blonde, I think originally german but in the American porno industry. Her regency as the queen of the porn industry was very short. I mean, for us older guys, when I was a kid and I watched porn, it always was Seka doing with Ron Jeremy and all the other guys, but her reign as the queen of porn was cut very short, so I should say, she's the most underrated porn star ever and wherever I pass on my knowledge to the younger generation and show them quality, old vintage porn, everybody goes like.right, whats the deal with this shit?

Wilska: Unterschätzt? Ich würde sagen Seka. Sie war ein Pornostar der späten siebziger, frühen achtziger Jahre. Ich glaube sie war ursprünglich Deutsche, jedoch in der amerikanischen Industrie tätig. Ihre Regentschaft als Pornokönigin war aber nur von kurzer Dauer. Ich meine, für uns älteren Typen, wenn wir als Kids Pornos schauten, war es immer Seka mit Ron Jeremy und all den anderen Typen. Sie war aber nur kurz die Porno-Queen, weshalb sie der am meisten unterschätzte Pornostar ist. Wann immer ich mein Wissen der jüngeren Generation weitergebe und ihnen Qualität, "old vintage porn", zeige, sagen alle: was soll der Scheiss?

Patrik: And who's your favourite porn star ever?

P.W: Und wer ist dein favorisierter Pornostar über die Zeit?

Wilska: You know the answer. I mean fucking hedgehog Ron Jeremy. Of course. He's THE man. If you talk about porn stars, Ron Jeremy, his career is amazing, his performance always is amazing. But if you wanna hear some personal preferences, at this point I've been enjoying American porn for a long time and found out, that Tera Patrick is my favourite, she's cool, she's a professional.
But if you forget the hedgehog, my favourite porn star of all time is Tanja Russof, originally Russian, she did a lot of French porno movies in the ninetees, midninetees. If she ever came to me and wanted to marry me, I would consider vigurously.

Wilska: Du weisst die Anwort! Es ist "fucking hedgehog" Ron Jeremy, natürlich. Er ist DER Mann. Wenn du über Pornostars sprichst, ist es Ron Jeremy. Seine Karriere ist unglaublich, seine "Performance" ist immer unglaublich. Aber wenn du einige persönliche Präferenzen hören willst: ich geniesse amerikanischen Porno schon eine lange Zeit und habe herausgefunden, dass Tera Patrick meine Favoritin ist. Sie ist cool, sie ist eine Professionelle.
Aber wenn du den "hedgehog" aussen vor lässt, dann ist mein Lieblingspornostar aller Zeiten Tanja Russof. Sie ist ursprünglich Russin, hat aber viele französische Pornofilme gemacht in den neunziger Jahren. Wenn sie jemals zu mir käme und mich heiraten wollte, dann würde ich mir das genauestens überlegen.

P:What are your future plans besides growing up your interests in the porn industry?

P.W: Was sind deine zukünftigen Pläne neben der Vertiefung deines Wissens über die Pornoindustrie?

Wilska: We might get some music done in between all this. Finntroll has always been a band, we don't plan. We're to drunk to do that. At this point, our plan for the future is, stay alive until Christmas, when we finish the gigs which we have booked and after that...let's just say, we will take quite a long break and there might be some drastic changes in the band after christmas, but don't know yet.

Wilska: Wir könnten dazwischen vielleicht ein wenig Musik schreiben. Finntroll war immer eine Band, wir planen nicht. Wir sind zu betrunken, das zu tun. Zur Zeit ist unser Plan bis Weihnachten zu überleben, wenn wir die gebuchten Gigs hinter uns haben und danach.....wir werden eine recht lange Pause einlegen und es könnte drastische Veränderungen in der Band geben nach Weihnachten, aber ich weiss es noch nicht.

Patrik: What kind of changes? Can you tell me something about that?

P.W: Was für Veränderungen? Kannst du mir mehr darüber sagen?

Wilska: No!

Wilska: Nein!

Patrik: The last question to the end. Tell me something about the incredible.unbelievable.unforgettable.Rick James.

P.W: Letzte Frage: Erzähl mir etwas vom unglaublichen und unvergesslichen Rick James.

Wilska: He's so sorely missed. The man who created such amazing wonderful music in the seventees. He defined a genre, he defined a look on life. He just died like two weeks ago and; I don't know. To this question, there is only one possible answer: "I'm Rick James, so hold my drink, bitch"

Wilska: Er wird schwerstens vermisst. Der Mann, der so erstaunliche und wundervolle Musik kreiert hat in den Siebzigern. Er hat ein Genre definiert, er definierte einen Blick auf das Leben. Er starb etwa vor zwei Wochen und.... ich weiss nicht. Zu dieser Frage gibt es nur eine Antwort: "I'm Rich James, so hold my drink, bitch."

Patrik: Any last words to our readers of

P.W: Einige letzte Worte an die Leser von

Wilska: No.

Wilska: Nein.

Patrik: No? Why not?

P.W: Nein? Wieso nicht?

Wilska: Can't think of any, I mean, let's face it, I'm old, I'm drunk, my IQ has dropped like exponentially in the past 11 hours, so.don't expect much from me. My last words are like "here lies Wilska, and why not?".

Wilska: Weil mir keine einfallen. Ich meine, schauen wir den Tatsachen ins Auge: Ich bin alt, ich bin betrunken, mein IQ ist in den letzten elf Stunden exponentiell gesunken, also erwarte nicht viel von mir. Mein letzten Worte: "Here lies Wilska, and why not?"

Patrik Wydler,

14 Nov 2008

Interview with Somnium (FINNTROLL) by Max Thrasher, HOUSE OF NOIZZ

By Max Thrasher, April 25th 2001
Original site link

This interview was a difficult thing to do. Honestly.

First of all, because it supposed to be a telephone interview and I hate the telephone interviews. You can't see your opponent and have to lead the discussion without all those little clues that the journalists usually use in personal talk.

Second - Somnium, the guitarist of Finnish FINNTROLL, who I tried to reach, was in Finland and I was in Auckland, trying to figure out what?s the time difference between Central European time, Finnish time and New Zealand time.

Of course I end up, ringing Somnium hour and a half later. I can't make it without mistakes. Mathematics always was my weak part.

But fortunately, the guitarist of the "new Finnish sensation" (as some magazine called FINNTROLL) wasn't upset and kindly agreed to answer a couple of my questions.

MAX: So, the first question: You've got "JAKTENS TID" released in Europe a couple of days ago?

SOMNIUM: Yes, it's out on Monday, the 21st.

M: Who released the album?

S: Originally it's released by Spinefarm, but Century Media licensed it for Europe, USA and Canada.

M: What's the difference at your opinion between the first album and "JAKTENS TID"?

S: Nature is different, the new one is much stronger. Our playing skills and song writing skills has improved, so the songs are better and the sound is better. I think we finally found our own style. This time we had more time to think about everything, so?

M: Coming back to the history of the band, it was you and Katla, the singer, who founded FINNTROLL?

S: Yeah.

M: How did you manage to come up with such a style?

S: (laughing) I don't know, it's just came out somehow.

M: So, what's actually the FINNTROLL style?

S: I don't know? It's Metal. (giggles) I don't know, we have so many different elements. I think, everyone should decide for themselves, what is it. I don't like to put our music in some single genre. We just play, we don't think what is it.

M: How long have you been playing?

S: I'm playing for 11 years or something like that. Since I was 12 or 13, or something like this. Can't remember exactly.

M: Who inspired you as a guitarist?

S: Hmmm? I don't know? I don't have any role models.

M: On your website it said that your strongest influence is Tom Jones?

S: (laughing) Yeah, Tom Jones! He's a cool dude! He's not a guitarist, but as a person he's cool. He's going 50 or 60 now, or something like that and he's still on stage.

M: You've been doing lots of gigs lately. You was playing in Russia, in St. Petersburg. How is the audience in Russia and in Europe comparing to Finland?

S: I think Russian audience is more fanatical. I loved Russia as well, we're going back there next autumn. You know, so far I haven't seen a "bad" audience. Fans are always good.

M: Do you plan to do a tour around Europe?

S: Guys from Century Media said something about putting us on tour next autumn, but nothing's sure yet. Hopefully something will come out. I'd like to go on tour.

M: You've mentioned on the FINNTROLL's website that you'd love to do a tour with SKYCLAD?

S: Yeah, that would be cool. But I'm not sure what's happening to SKYCLAD, because Martin Walkyier left it, so?

M: So, would you still be glad to do a tour with them, or is it different now, after Martin left?

S: You know, SKYCLAD was always about Martin Walkyier's lyrics and his voice, so I don't know, how they would continue without him. But I'm looking forward to hear from them and I hope they won't break up.

M: OK, about the new album again. What's your favourite song on "JAKTENS TID"?

S: (sighing) Woof? that's the hard one? I like them all. I think that would be "Skogens Hamnd". There's lots of different elements in it.

M: On "MIDNATTENS WIDUNDER" you had pretty interesting lyrics about trolls slaying all the Christians and all that?

S: Well, it's more like the new one? (laughing)

M: But on "JAKTENS TID" you don't have any English translations.

S: We were supposed to do the English translation or the explanation, but then we thought that it would ruin the whole picture. Because beneath every lyrics there's a picture from that song. But we're planning to put the English translation on our website as soon as we manage to do that. Well, let's just say that there's lots of trolls, lots of killings, lots of booze and stuff like that. (laughing)

M: Are you, guys into any particular religion?

S: I think, all of us has a different opinions about religion. There is no single religious belief inside the band. I think, the only common thing about the religion is the anti-Christian attitude.

M: What do you think about such extremes as burning of the churches in Norway?

S: Let's say, I wouldn't do such a thing. Here you'll go in prison for burning a church, I think it's not worth it. If someone wants to burn it - well, go ahead, I don't mind. But I wouldn't do it myself (laughing).

M: You?re from Finland, but you're singing in Swedish? How come?

S: That's true. In Finland there's two languages, Finnish and Swedish. Katla belongs to the minority that speaks Swedish. We tried Swedish in the beginning and we liked it, so? There's no special reason for that, it just sounds good in our music.

M: Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music for the songs?

S: Katla writes all the lyrics and me and Trollhorn (keyboards) write most of the music.

M: You have lots of keyboards on the albums and lots of pretty interesting melodies and sounds. Did you ever plan to put any medieval instruments in your songs?

S: Well, it's a problem to get any. It costs like hell. Hopefully, we'll manage to get some of these instruments, but so far it's easier to use keyboards. I know some people who play medieval instruments and they make a lot of money from playing on the albums and we don't have that much money to use.

M: Some bands lately put the sounds of nature in the songs. It's getting kind of popular now to do so. Are you planning to do something like that?

S: I don't think that we will use something like that too much. (giggles) There is some wind in a couple of tracks. If you use just a little bit of the nature sounds - it's cool, but some bands put a lot of that stuff on the albums. It gets ridiculous at some point.

M: Not quite a FINNTROLL style?

S: No, I don't think so.

M: The first album was released in 1999 and "JAKTENS TID" - in 2001, so when could we expect the next one?

S: We already booked the studio time. We're going in studio next year in May. It's Abyss Studio in Sweden.

M: And what the next album is going to be like?

S: I think, if you listened to how we have developed from the first album, so you can expect the same kind of development from the "JAKTENS TID" to the next album. It will be much more crazier!

M: Even stronger?

S: Yeah, I'm definitely sure about that!

M: OK, here's the question: do you have a girlfriend and what does the girlfriends think about you, guys, being a Rock-stars?

S: First of all, we ain't no Rock-stars. If you mean something like when we're going to do a gigs? yeah, sometimes they complain a lot: "You should be more home" and stuff like that. That's basically why I broke up with my girlfriend, because I want to concentrate on the band. I just don't have any free time.

M: And probably the last question: what's the plans for the nearest future?

S: Writing the new songs, doing gigs? It's hard to say, because the album just been released in Europe. I think, the next month or two will show how the things are going.

M: Well, thank you for doing this interview and I hope that everything will go well for you!

S: Thanks, catch you later!

Max Thrasher