29 Sep 2013

Somnium and Katla interview from SubFennica

Date: March 12th 2000
Scorpius von Nighraeth


Finntroll hails from the woods near Hellsinki, the capital city of Finland. The guitar-troll 'Somnium" and vocals-troll "Katla" answered Sub-Fennica's questions straight from their den..

How are you at (not too) bright and shiny winter day, pun intended? How are things in the Finnish woods, where at night the Finntrolls dwell?

-SOMNIUM: Just fine I'd say, except for the son-of-a-bitch of a flu that's been bothering me eversince I got back from Gran Canaria two weeks ago. But apart from that, just fine. (Isn't that bit un-trollish place for a vacation?! -Ed)
-KATLA: I've got a terrible cold also, though I think mine was received from those nasty boys of Impaled Nazare. Otherwise, quite excellent.

Your biographical information, boring as hell.. Why did you form Finntroll in the first place? From what I've heard, Azhemin (of Thy Serpent fame) was in the band, not any more, though. Care to reveal why?

-SOMNIUM: Ah, boring as hell indeed. Why did we form Finntroll? A damn good question that I keep asking myself everyday... Seriously, we wanted to make something new, and maybe to kick down few borders on the way. Me and Katla had met about a year earlier, and from the first moment we noticed that we both shared similiar strange ideas and got along very well.
-KATLA: Yes, the whole idea rose from mine and Somnium's alcohol-drenched brains. During the recording of another demo we got a bit carried away in our drinking. We actually passed out and when we woke up, we recorded the first song, Midnattens Widunder.
-SOMNIUM: After we had recorded our demo about a year later, we started to search for a full line-up for gigs and etc. and Azhemin was the best keyboardist I knew back then, so it was quite obvious to ask him. But as you probably know, he's damn busy with loads of other bands that he plays in, so it came obvious that he couldn't give Finntroll the amount of concentration that we were asking for. And I'd say that he's a damn lazy person too, no offense Azhemin, heh! So it was for the benefit for everyone to find a new keyboardist.
-KATLA: Somnium's friend knew this guy who was an excellent keyboardist, had a taste for drinks and was ugly as hell, so we thought let's bring him in!

"Midnatten's Widunder" has arrived the unsuspecting public not too long ago.. Are you satisfied with your effort? Are you satisfied with your record label, Spikefarm (division of Spinefarm)?

-SOMNIUM: I'd say that we're all satisfied with our album. To be honest, it turned out better than we expected. We rehearsed like about four or five times before entering the studio and some of us played some of the songs for the first time when we recorded them. Of course now after some time when I listen to our album I think that some parts could have been done better, but I guess that's the same with anyone who's listening their own album.
-KATLA: I'm also very satisfied with the album, but I know the next one will be a killer! I'm very confident with our line-up. Everyone is working on Finntroll 100% (so probably we'll break up soon, heh heh...)
-SOMNIUM: Spikefarm is doing a quite good job for us, although promotion and stuff could be a bit better. And of course, we should get more money out from our deal, heh! But you have to remember that Spikefarm has started just recently, so Spike's bands are not given the same amount of resources than those on Spinefarm. Although Sami Tenetz has to work within smaller resources, I'd say that he's doing a better job than people on Spine.

Many members of Finntroll belong to other bands (for ex. Somnium plays in Barathrum).. So is FT a project of some sorts or a serious band? Introduce the band members and something about their persona to the readers of Sub-Fennica..

-SOMNIUM: Finntroll is a serious band with dedicated musicians. I left Barathrum recently 'couse I wanted to concentrate fully on Finntroll. And Dominator left Barathrum too, we just didn't have enough time for it anymore. We're going to play on next Barathrum album though, because Sova can't find new musicians soon enough.
-KATLA: I've dropped off my other projects also, for me it's Finntroll all the way. I'm doing the thing I enjoy the most right now.
-SOMNIUM: Hmm, what could I say about us? You know enough about me and Katla by now. Ok, here we go... Tundra is a real weirdo who plays the bass. Sometimes even we start to get worried about his mental state, you should meet him. He's not crazy in a classical way, but he's just so damn strange. B.Dominator, our hellhammer. Very nice person, has some weight problems (as do half of our band...heh!), excellent player. Örmy, our live guitarist. His appearance hints that he should play in Hellacopters. Also has some mental problems. Trollhorn, synths. As it was said, has a taste for drink and ugly as hell (he'll hate me for this, heh!).

Where do you get inspiration to Finntroll, do you go out to the woods and raise some trollish hell?

-SOMNIUM: Yeah, we go to hang out with the big boys down into the caverns of Svartberg, heh! Well, we do take these forest trips with Katla, but usually we get so drunk that we can hardly walk, not to mention writing songs. But occasionally some new ideas spawn up during them (if we manage to remember them next day). I get inspired from too many things to mention.
-KATLA: On our last camping trip we even offered some cigarettes and beer to the guys downstairs. So to say, we found a cave we didn't fit into, so we got rid of some camping products!

The intro and outro (Svampfest) are very classically-inspired and very skillfully performed synthetic orchestrations, how did Trollhorn do them? Is there a possibility that more Darkwave/neo-classical musick would be recorded?

-SOMNIUM: As I said, Trollhorn has a long musical background and his studies include everything from jazz to classical. He's an extremely skillfull musician. It everytime amazes me when I look at his fingers and wonder how something that remind me of a snail can move so damn fast, heh! He made both intro and outro with sequenzer. He has already made a new intro that we use on our gigs. Our next album will contain stuff like those

How serious you are about Finntroll? I mean your lyrics are in swedish, you have used "humppa/polka/barn-dance" tunes in "Midnatten's Widunder" and the overall attitude is mocking the Norvegian troll-trend.. To add the hilarious athmosphere even further you have given homage to several porn stars (Ron Jeremy & Asia Carrera).. Have you received any negative feedback due to this?

-SOMNIUM: We are serious with Finntroll, of course there is a good pint of humor in it, but we are NOT a joke band as some people seem to think. And we are not trying to take an advance on some ongoing trend for that matter either (although I'm not aware of any major humppa-trend.). Or try to make any particular mockery against Norwegians, in fact, we got very good reviews in Norway. I know that there are few people that are pissed of at us, but the major response has been extremely positive. People are much more open-minded that they were some years ago. If we had made this let's say five or six years ago, the response would probably have been totally different. And this thing with Ron and Asia; Ron gave us many good laughs during our two weeks in studio, and I don't think there is a single man who wouldn't thank Asia Carrera for her existance!
-KATLA: Show me a metal band that isn't at least a bit self-ironic and I'll be amazed. I actually like several Norwegian bands, and what's wrong with admiring someone who's excellent in fucking?!? (Nothing, I was just curious and the question was kind of a side-note.. -Ed)

You have played live in Tavastia once, I was unfortunate enough to miss it.. What kind of stage-show/presence you have got?

-SOMNIUM: Actually we've played there twice, last time was with Impaled Nazarene. About our stage-show; first of all, you won't see us just standing quietly there, we tend to freak out when entering the stage. Our costumes are somewhat out of ordinary also. I used a kilt in four of our first gigs, but then the audience began to get a bit too interested in whether I had any underwear under my kilt (which I of course didn't have) and started to reach out to peek under it. I'm sure you know that I'm a very decent man who doesn't support nudity in front of many people... Anyhow, I'm sure that it's a bit disturbing when you try to play at the same time. Due that I'm now settled down to fur, leather and chains, very masculine, heh!
-KATLA: Leather and fur, I make love to her (hehheh!). The presence live is what we sound like. Fucking wild! I think our strength is playing live.

You have a song called Svartberg (translated : Black Mountain/Hill), now is this a homage to certain Mellunmäki place, near Vindasyl's den?

-SOMNIUM: The place has inspired us a lot, heh! I've had many great moments there, oi Kuolema!
-KATLA: Yes and no, the lyrics are about something completely else.

Have you composed any new material? Do you have plans for the next Album? What are your future plans? When are your next gigs?

-SOMNIUM: We have couple of new songs ready for our next attack that we are hoping to get out before the end of this year. You will probably see us on many gigs during this spring and on some festivals next summer. I'm not when this interview will be out, but in march we have gigs every weekend.
-KATLA: We have a title for the album already and all the lyrics and themes are done. Now we just need the music.
-SOMNIUM: Now we just need the music? Easier said than done, I'd say...

Time to bid farewell, Last sentences are yours to shriek..

-SOMNIUM: Thank you for this interview, good luck with your work. Watch out for our shirts that should be out soon. See you all on gigs.
-KATLA: Thank you and a big hail to all Finntroll fans out there. Keep trollin'!
-SOMNIUM: Cheers!