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