23 Apr 2010

Root of All Evil radio show Finntroll/Moonsorrow Interview

Root of All Evil radio show,
KFAI Twin Cities/Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 18, 2010

Transcription by Megz

Interviewer - SwordLord (promoter for the Minnesota show)

Interviewees - Routa, Vreth, Ville Sorvali

SwordLord: (to show host, Tim) Dude thank you so much for this amazing opportunity. For those of you who missed the Finnish Metal Tour 2010 tonight at Station 4, I'm sorry to inform you, that you may have missed one of the coolest shows I will ever produce for the rest of my life.

Host: Oh yeah, it was good stuff going on there tonight - it was nice!

SwordLord: After a thunderous opening by Rochester's own, Minos, we had Swallow the Sun and we had Moonsorrow and then to top it all off we had 90 minutes of the Finnish trolls, we had Finntroll. And speaking of which we have some of these very good gentlemen in the studio with us tonight. They've volunteered to take off some of their drinking time to come and talk to all of us, although they did not come to the studio unarmed. I think that there is probably more alcohol per capita in here tonight than at any other time in Root of All Evil history. So without further ado, why don't you gentlemen introduce yourselves to our listening audience.

Routa: Hey this is Routa from Finntroll, with the... iced tea, kinda... based stuff. (laughter)

Vreth: Yes and here we have Vreth, the singer of Finntroll.

Ville: And I'm Ville, from Moonsorrow, and...I haven't drank anything today. (all laugh)

Routa: You have a radio voice, by the way.

Ville: Yeeeesssss, I have a raaaaaadio voice. (more laughter)

SwordLord: Well gentlemen, number one, thank you very much for coming down. We play you a lot on this show, we admire you very much and the show was absolutely amazing. First of all, how is the US tour going for you guys? Turnouts good? Response good?

Routa : Oh yeah, yeah...turnouts has been pretty good, so far. Somewhere not so good, somewhere better, but...

Host: What did you think about tonight?

Routa: Tonight was fucking excellent.

Vreth: I love the audience tonight.

Host: Yeah...yeah everybody was there.

Vreth: Yep!

SwordLord: It was a great turnout!

Vreth: In the beginning of the tour there was not that much people. But at some point the rumor spread about a good show and a good tour....

Routa: At least after the Canadian shows it has been really good. (Vreth agreeing)

Ville: When did we not have that many people?

Vreth: The first two shows were quite...quite silent.

Ville: Right.

SwordLord: did this all come together? I mean...Finntroll's come through a bunch of times, but this was really unique to have a tour that was comprised of entirely Finnish...uh...Finnish bands. Is that something that your agency put together? Or is that something that you all sort of orchestrated and brought to the agent?

Routa: Actually it started with the thing, we were at our booking agent office and we had this huge list of bands know, possible support for us. And we were listening to them like *no* *no* *no* *no, fuck that* *no* *fuck that* *no* *no* and then the booking agent was like, well who do you like? *Well Moonsorrow would be nice, for example* cause you know, we are good friends with them and all of the band likes their music. And then like, at first it was supposed to be Insomnium on this tour, but that didn't happen, so we were then our booking agent came up with this idea of the Finnish Metal Tour, and blahblahblah...and Swallow the Sun....of course!

SwordLord: I think it was a great package, I really did. And the funny thing is that Moonsorrow actually has been to Minnesota twice before on Heathen Crusade, and so we've actually seen you more than I think the rest of the country has, when Heathen Crusade was back in business.

Ville: Yeah, that's definitely true.

SwordLord: You actually gave a little shout out to that tonight on stage - you mentioned that.

Ville: Yeah, of course. Like, we started, like, invading North America from here, so it's special place.

SwordLord: Well we're very very happy to be that place!

Ville: And I have absolutely no idea how it happened in the first place, anyway.

SwordLord: Yeah, I guess that would be a question to ask the Heathen Crusade folks. But that's actually how I got turned on to you guys, was seeing you at Heathen Crusade, and started the madness from there. But, surely, on a tour like this you gotta have a story or two for us. Give us a good story from the tour.

Routa: Mattias you go first.

Vreth: nononono. (laughter) Well I don't really have any stories from this tour, except that...ohhhh....the amount of alcohol.

(all laugh)

Ville: Ok, I can get over with it as the first person, so you can invent your own stories...(all laughing)... because I actually did fell from a tree. (more laughing)

Vreth: Yeah, that's true, by the way.

Ville: We were in Worcester Massachusetts, and I had this idea after taking a few shots in the bar, that since I'm drunk like a monkey I should also act like a monkey and I try to climb a tree, and I failed.


Routa: And we actually tried to get to a hospital after that, but we were in Canada and it really didn't work out.

Vreth: He got a really nice concussion over there.

Ville: Yeah it lasted for two days.

Vreth: Yep. He fell like 12 feet and hit the back of his head.

SwordLord: What? Well I mean.... 12 feet... if you were up 12 feet I wouldn't call that a fail. Maybe a partial fail. At least you get an A for effort if you get up 12 feet...that's pretty good.

Vreth: We actually had some local fans to get him up in the tree.

Ville: Yeah they helped me, I couldn't reach the branch so I asked a local guy to please help me with this.

SwordLord: What about either of you two - anything you're gonna share or are you gonna make me tell the story from two years ago?

Routa: I would really love to tell the story about Berlin but I can't.

Vreth: nononono

Routa: That's out of the limits.

SwordLord: Well I've just gotta tell, from two years ago, when you guys played the Triple Rock, and you were with Warbringer. I just remember that you had gotten off the bus, Mathias, and you were were looking miserable, you were really in a lot of pain.

Vreth: Yeah, I know...

SwordLord: So I went up to the tour manager and I said *is he ok, is there anything I can do for him?* And he says, the tour manager says to me *well, we were stranded in Wisconsin, the bus had broken down, and he....he ate a hot dog from the gas station grill.* And I said *oh you never do that* and he was like *well yeah, he knows that now.*

Routa: That hot dog was similar, if anyone watches Seinfeld series, where they've got the fucking movie theater and there's this one fucking hot dog over there - it was the same and he ordered that one. (Vreth laughing) *Can I have that one?*

Vreth: Yeah, that was horrible, know, we had been stranded in middle of nowhere for 7 hours, nothing to eat on the bus, no. We had half an hour drive and we got the trailer fixed. For some reason I decided I wanted something warm and nice, and you know in Finland you can actually eat from the gas stations, you can eat those.

Routa: Yeah, yeah....most of the time it's pretty mellow stuff over there.

Vreth: I was puking for three days. I tell you.

Routa: Yeah but, I mean come on, didn't you watch what you fucking order?

Vreth: Yeah it was kinda green, yeah.

Routa: *Kind of*


SwordLord: Why don't we take a little break, and...what have you got on deck for us, Tim?

Host: Coming up next, I got *Kivenkantaja* from Moonsorrow (mispronounces title)

Ville: Kivenkantaja.

Vreth: That's a good song.

Host: Yes, I picked it myself. (laughter)

SwordLord: Play away sir.

Host: Here on the Root of All Evil.

*plays Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja*

Host: Moonsorrow right here on the Root of All Evil show. KFAI Minneapolis....We've got the SwordLord down, he's got members of Moonsorrow and Finntroll down here taking a visit after their excellent show at Station 4 tonight. What's going on, man?

SwordLord: Oh man, now I just wanna see the show again after I hear that. Amazing stuff. I want to tackle a tough issue on the air, and just see how much trouble I can get into with everybody I know. Basically I don't think it's any secret to anybody who reads your lyrics that you are definitely of a different religious viewpoint than America, even though we're considered a quote/unquote *Christian nation*. And especially, the first thing that pops into my mind, is the my personal favorite song Rivfader that deals with the Finnish troll that will liberate from Christianity. And even though I don't have a particular Moonsorrow song that's coming to mind, I'm sure you do. So I guess, briefly, why don't you talk about what the religious ideology of your bands are, and what it is like to tour in a nation that is predominately of a different viewpoint.

(throats clearing)

Ville: I cannot say that there would be a definite ideology behind the whole band.... When I am speaking of these tough issues, I can only speak on my behalf, anyway...but...I myself I am a pagan, I oppose Christianity, all the organized religions.... I like to have...uh.... a stronger respect for nature, for example, than these modern people have. I respect old traditions better than the modern....whatever. And....yeah...I get lost in it. I think I got lost in my cup, actually.

SwordLord: I think that covered the ground pretty well.

Routa: Yeah, but I mean....That's basically what...ok, of course I cannot talk everybody on the tour, on their behalf. But that's more or Ville put it.... Organized religions are....not that well taken...with our point of view.

Vreth: You hear all these stories that we are against Christianity, but it's not only that. We are against Christianity because that's the thing you get in Finland, for example...the only religion that they actually try to....really force onto us, so of course we attack Christianity.

Ville: Yes, and by the way, you have a very loud voice. Because you are like, further from the mic than me and Routa, and you can still hear it on the same level.

(all laugh)

Vreth: That's true.

SwordLord: Have you.... If you had to name one song from your band that sort of encompassed your...your ideology, the perfect song, that speaks for you and the band, which would it be?


Ville: That's tough question, like seriously. I could pick like, the song from our demo that's also remade on the new EP - Taistelu Pohjolasta, The Battle for North - which is like...very straightforward opposing Christianity, it kinda speaks for the whole band, but it's also a bit too aggressive for...for today, for us, because it's was written over 10 years ago.

Routa: Beause you guys are getting mellooooow.

Ville: Yeah, we are getting mellow, we are getting old. We just get older, you start thinking more of things and like...considering a wider perspective. So we are not that straightforward anymore. But it kinda speaks for the whole band anyway. Band was built on anti-Christianity. We are not black metal, but we are anti-Christian, anyway.

SwordLord: Sure. And the Finnish trolls?

Vreth: I would actually like to name one song of one of my other bands, on this - *You Will Not Lie To Me Christ* it's called - this thing with the lies and everything. That probably sums it all up.

Routa: I mean....with Finntroll it also started as like, anti-Christian thing, kinda... In a way. But it has moved in a ways, you just anti-Christian, but just you know, use your own brain basically thing. Like, what you feel good, is gonna be good with you....but not just like....fall into the lies of everyday life....

SwordLord: Sure.

Ville: I would also like to stress on this subject, that it's not only opposing religion, but I think the main idea behind both bands is also opposing modern society.

Routa: Yeah. Exactly.

Ville: All the consuming and everything. That takes away meaning from people's lives.

Routa: The basic concept is just - use your own fucking brain.

Vreth/Ville: Yeah.

Routa: *Darn* brain! (all laughing)

SwordLord: I was sitting right here and he said plucking....

Ville: Yeah, use your own plucking brain.


SwordLord: One thing that has always stood out to me, not only for Finntroll but also Moonsorrow, is the fact that you have've always recorded in your native language and have not translated to English, whereas many of your counterparts - Sonata Arctica for example and whatnot, have. (Routa - they suck) Is there a particular reason for that, or do you just prefer to record in your native language and stay true to your roots - what's the reason behind that?

Ville: Yeah it's is a strong part of the concept behind the band. We did our first demo in English anyway, but we changed to Finnish because we felt it fit the concept much better. It's part of the band. We are Finnish anyway, we are talking of subjects that are more or less Finnish, we are playing music that sounds Finnish, and English is not even spoken in our home country. So....I don't know, why should we do it.

SwordLord: And yet you speak it very well. (laughing) No, and that wasn't a jab, I mean that as a compliment. It's always amazing....What do you call a person who can speak three languages - trilingual, a person that can speak two languages - bilingual, a person that can only speak one language - American.

Ville: Yeah but, you should hear when I'm really drunk, because then I can speak like 17 languages.


SwordLord: Have any of you discovered any opposition on any of your US tours because of your content - your lyrical content.

Ville: Yes we have.

SwordLord: Really?

Ville: Not beause of the lyrical content, but on the last American tour we decided to make it like, just to test the ground a bit, we made one t-shirt design that had a viking ship coming to the shore of New York with the Statue of Liberty on fire with a Finnish flag planted at the place of the torch. We got some opposition because of that.

Host: Yeah, I can imagine.

SwordLord: I would give you 100 dollars for one of those shirts right now.

Ville: We don't have any because they sold out!


Vreth: I actually really appreciate... yes - there's something I really respect in this...

Ville: Yeah, it's....we never, like...we never thought we would be insulting the Americans or whatnot. We just wanted to a good fancy picture like, we're invading America with our own Finnish stuff. And somehow, we probably got crossed the border a bit, some Americans got pissed off.

SwordLord: What about the Finnish trolls?

Routa: No actually, we have to say that....there has been none.

Vreth: No, no problems with us. We haven't really done anything.

Routa: All of our graphics is anyway more or less like, shamanistic in a way. Samuli's.... uh, the other guitar.... SKRYMER's ...weird things of art....thing is so.... yeah, I'm going with my hands all over the studio...


Vreth: This is not the best time of the day to do an interview anymore. You may not...may not see... but there has been consumed a considerable amount of vodka during this interview.... actually, we are running out..

Ville: Yeah, we had one liter of this.... iced tea and now it's like....empty....which is kinda sad.

Routa: There is not gonna be any more plucking words...

Ville: I have to mention, on that last subject, actually. The misconceptions we've had.... many times during our career.... people are for some reason mistaking us for Nazis. We get these people, like last year in Kentucky there was this one well-trimmed white guy without a shirt, and he had like, a swastika tattooed on him and on his belly it said *weiss macht*, which is like *white power*. He came to us like *yeah, my brothers*....and all that kinda bullshit... I want to say to all those people we are not your brothers. Go *beep* yourselves.

Routa: Same thing with Finntroll, actually. Definitely... We have had those kind of things in the past as well, and whatever...

Vreth: Yup....and when you go to a show and they're gonna show....the sign of old know...

Ville: The logo of Germany...

Routa: The *German logo* - it's a bad joke actually, it's kinda like a joke between the bands. Nobody will get that anyway... sorry...

Ville: Yeah we make those jokes...whatever...but it's like... I don't know why these people chose us. In the first place... Because we are like...we are national romantic, if you get the term right. And if you get the term wrong, then you can really easily see us as Nazis, which is nothing we have to do anything with.

Routa: Yeah but....we are not like we hate anybody over there...

Ville: Yeah we don't hate anyone... or everyone equally.


Routa: That's a better way to put it, yeah, definitely.

SwordLord: Well, guys, I want to just thank you for taking time out of your schedules to come down and talk to all of us, and talk to the Minnesota metal radio audience, it was a real, real honour and pleasure to have you here.

Routa: Oh, thank you so much.

SwordLord: Good luck on the tour, I hope it continues to go well for you. I guess in closing, the one thing that I really want to say is, I know - I haven't been in this business for very long, but I've been in it long enough - I know the American market is a tough nut to crack. I know you play to tiny little venues and not nearly as many people as you do overseas, but don't give up on us. We need this type of music. We love having you here and believe me - when you come we will be there to support you, and we can't wait until you come back again. Truly.

Vreth: That's really nice to hear, thank you very much. (thanks from the others too)

Host: I appreciate you coming down, and bringing your presence down here - it's very special to this radio show. And I'm gonna ask you a favour on top of that. I want to get a radio ID from all of you live right now, since we've got just say your name, the band you're in and *you're listening to the Root of All Evil show*. Anybody can start.

Vreth: What are we listening to?

Host: The Root of All Evil. (everybody practices saying *the root of all evil*)

Routa: Who's first?

Host: Anybody.

Vreth: He is first!

Routa: Hey this is Routa from Finntroll and you're listening to the Root of all Eviiiillllllah!

Vreth: Hello! This is Vrrrreth from Finntroll and the Root of All..... Evil rocks....


Host: Yes, and finally...

Ville: Yes...hello. This is Ville, from Moonsorrow. You're listening to Root of All Evil, the greatest metal show in Minnesota.

Host: Right on, man.

Routa? (not sure): You suck...

(all laughing)

Host: It was great having you guys down. We're gonna play some Finntroll, we've got Demonicon coming up next. Thank you SwordLord for showing up.

SwordLord: Thank you!

Host: We'll see you next week. You guys have a safe trip.

Vreth? (not sure): Will do...will do...

Host: And a good tour. Root of All Evil on KFAI...

*plays Blodmarsch, Solsagan, and I Trädens Sång*

10 Apr 2010

Finntroll - Thanks, Mom!

Published in Rock Hard, April 2010
Author: Ronny Bittner
Translated by Megz, published on the Finntroll forum


With Nifelvind FINNTROLL succeeded a little stroke of genius: first, their fan base should not be alienated due to a lack of typical FINNTROLL-deployed elements, and other metal fans without blinders will also find pleasure in the journey through countless musical genres. We met singer Vreth and guitarist Skrymer in Dortmund Century Media Office.

Some musicians dread promo tours. Not so FINNTROLL singer Vreth and guitarist Skrymer: The men are happy that they loll in mid-January in the offices of their record company in Dortmund giving interviews. "At home I would be waiting around doing just about anything-except the tour preparations. They only start in a few weeks because our other guitarist Routa spends his honeymoon in Thailand just now," Skrymer tells us in a low voice after the lunch break of half scorned Pasta.

With "Nifelvind" You have made a big step forward. To what extent do you feel as part of the Pagan scene?

Sk: We have never felt a part of this scene. To be honest, we avoid being labeled as part of that scene.
Vr: This is true for all the genres in which people want to pigeonhole us. If you get stuck there once, you must keep to certain conventions, and we do not want that. When you play in a pure folk metal band, you can not publish an album like "Nifelvind". The stylistic diversity is not accepted.

On the other hand you are playing on tours such as the Paganfest and present your shows in typical Pagan clothing.

Vr: Certainly there's similarities with the scene.
Sk: But we haven't copied anyone in selecting our outfits. When we started twelve years ago, there were not many bands who dressed like that.

What would you say about your last album "Ur Jordens Djup" in retrospect? Unlike "Nifelvind" it is a very hard, dark and one-dimensional album.

Sk: The disc was musically more back to our roots. Part of this style is also heard on the new record. Total "Nifelvind" combines elements of all previous FINNTROLL albums. So it's like the first real-FINNTROLL album (laughs).

Vreth, for you it is the second album with FINNTROLL. Do you feel fully accepted by the fans and the band?
Vr: Yes, that was the case from day one. We had some communication problems, and it was a new and unfamiliar role for me, but that subsided quickly. With the fans there was no problems. Only when I was announced as a singer, some skeptical comments found on the Internet: "That is the new singer?"
Sk: "He's not even fat!" But it was not according to this criterion that we were looking for a singer.

It's always hard to tell one's parents that you want to make your livelihood with a metal band - especially when it is dealing with such a chaotic bunch of drinkers as FINNTROLL, right?
Sk: My parents have always given me free rein and I never want to squeeze in something. Perhaps this is part of the Finnish mentality.
Vr: I grew up in a musical family. My father played in the seventies and eighties in a band called Sound, which was quite well known in Finland. He knows what it's like to be constantly on tour.
Sk: Trollhorn's father was one of the most legendary jazz drummers in Finland. My father is a photographer and cameraman and has a fairly liberal mindset. My mother wanted to visit one of our gigs, I said to her: "Will you really want to see your son dead drunk on stage?" My mother became especially delighted after the gig. She said: "You have sounded almost like a real band!" Thanks, Mom!
Your keyboard player Trollhorn is the musical mastermind of FINNTROLL, but he is not touring with you. Do you feel like puppets without a master on tour sometimes?

Sk: No, because there would not be FINNTROLL if we were not all there. Trollhorn produces a demo of the album, which corresponds to his vision, but what we will have on the finished album is realized by all the members. If we had to enact strictly only his stuff, I would be bothered. But we all feel that they are our songs. Trollhorn is just the idea-maker.
Vr: Trollhorn said in the studio last production, it would not sound like FINNTROLL if he was recording the songs alone. Skrymer provides the pieces with a personal touch already just with his guitar playing.

For some international fans, it may be difficult to understand the contents of your Swedish lyrics. Have you ever thought to sometime provide a song with English text?

Vr: We have discussed this, but that does not benefit us all in question.
Sk: Why should we sing the Finnish folklore and Finnish myths in English? That makes no sense at all to me. Of course there's people in our business environment, advising us to sing in English, so that more people understand us. But if you ever have a problem with the language, then you will probably have still more problems with our music.
Vr: If you really want to know what we sing, you can go into the net. A week after the release of our albums, Finnish or Swedish fans have the texts already in translated form up on the Internet.


Vreth and Skrymer and the songs of "Nifelvind"

Blodmarsch (Intro)

Vr: The intro is consistent with its light circus and a Voodoo-Vibe on the album.


Vr: We have chosen Solsagan as a video single because the song contains all the elements of the album.
Sk: Solsagan has black and death metal riffs and eerie and orchestral moments. We found it funny to start the entire album with blast beats. This is not necessarily expected.

Den Frusna Munnen

Vr: The eighties pop song.
Sk: Thanks to Peter Gabriel!
Vr: This is still a Danny Elfman--influence.
Sk: It sounds like Danny Elfman would produce Dismember. This song is TrollHorn was not sure if he has not exaggerated. But that's what I believe in this band.

Ett Norrskendåd

Vr: I think this is the first song we wrote for Nifelvind. Ett Norrskensdåd includes both Swedish folk elements and oriental influences. Therefore, we have had a friend from Iran take over the percussion. The violin is played, by the way, by Olli Vänskä of Turisas.

I Trädens Sång

Sk: The song is musically "back to the roots".
Vr: Yes, the track would have fit well on Midnattens Widunder.

Tiden utan Tid

Vr: Perhaps the most epic song of the album - and I may not actually want the term "epic". A very atmospheric track that breaks out of the usual structures.


Vr: The Country Song. This song would have fit well on our acoustic album Visor om Slutet. We wanted in the middle of the album to have a song that turns a gear down. For me it was a challenge to work only with clean vocals.
Sk: It is also the first song of ours that works without keyboards. On it only acoustic guitars can be heard.
Mot Skuggornas Värld

Vr: That's Tundra Vision. A real Bodybuilder-track (laughs).
Sk: A rock song with Industrial-Vibe.

Under Bergets Rot

Vr: A punk version of FINNTROLL with rockabilly twist. The main theme is from our other guitarist, Routa.
Sk: I always had the wish that Rob Zombie sometime produced a video for us. This song would be perfectly suitable for that.
Vr: The song was damn hard to mix, simply because there's a lot going on.


Vr: Perhaps the most experimental song on the album. Also in this one, Routa had his fingers in the game. My vocals are very varied.
Sk: The track had a lot of guitar tracks. When someone at one point had the mix of guitars turned down a bit, and we thought: leave it so, it is perfect!


Vr: A Swedish death metal song with FINNTROLL impact. One of our longest pieces and a perfect end of the album.