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29 Sep 2013

Trollhorn interview from Metal.de

Year: September 28th 2003
Author: Proserpine

01.) After Katlas health problems and Somniums death you found a "replacement" very soon. How was it possible in that short time?Can you tell me more about Mikael and Wilska? In what bands did they play before? And in what way is it different to work with them now?

I wouldn´t refer them as “replacements”, but as “old friends evolving into new bandmembers”. So that might also answer to your question about that short time- we simply didn´t have to think more than two seconds about who would we ask to join us. Both guys have their places in history: While Wilska has been in such bands as Wizzard, Nattvindens Gråt and Lyijykomppania, Mikael´s activities have been (as far as I know) at least Louhi, Eyeball Fastlane and zillions of other projects with Tundra. What else? They´re great guys and it´s very easy to work with them as a collective band. Hail!!!!
(By the way, whan answering this question I´m having 38 degree fever and simultaneously listening to Abruptum. Very “mind- opening” process, indeed. ;)
 
02.) What happend to the CD-inlay of "Visor Om Slutet"? Is it intentionally left black, while the grim face is hidden with the tray?
 
I suppose we wanted to show people how beautiful a bass- player can be when covered with clay and making grim faces? Well, maybe not, heh. Personally I think it fits into the apocalyptic mood of the album pretty well: Hidden evil lurking all around you.
 
03.) On "Visor Om Slutet" there were finnish songtitles the first time. Well there were no lyrics to that songs, still I think it suited. Will you make real finnish songs for the next album or keep it 100% swedish?
 
100% Swedish, if asking me. And I suppose Wilska thinks that way, too. At least all the new lyrics this far are written in Swedish. New songs hold such titles as “Fiskarens Fiende”, “Knivfärd”, “Människopesten”, “Ursvamp” and “Grottans Barn”.
 
04.) What feedback did you get for "Visor Om Slutet"? The opinion of our readers here at metal.de were a bit splitted. Most of them loved the CD just as me (I gave it 9 of 10 points), but others said that it is just too soft. I also believe that many people thought that it is the regular follower of "Jaktens Tid" and were upset that it is just that short (well i think 33 minutes is all ok) and that there are no metal-songs on it at all. Did you
get similar feedback?

 
Yes. And I think it´s quite understandable- if our imaginary basic metalhead- 17- year “Lord Mayhemnecrötrasher” from the deepest corners of e.g. south Germany buys the two previous albums, because he is very much into metal (pronounced as “metääällllllll!!!!!” with a slight Tom Angelripper-meets-Ihsahn- accent), I bet my hairy ass off he is disappointed with those wimpy acoustics, slow tempos, stupid forest- effects and girly synths. But it´s all about open minds and certain atmosphere. In my humble opinion, we have the same kind of atmosphere in every album, no matter about the instruments used or the amount of distortion in guitars. So in that case I also understand the basic “Finntroll- fans”, who buy the records for their atmosphere and not for their blast-beats. But Hel, people can compare it to Eros Ramazzotti if they will- we like the album anyway. (And our mothers seem to like it also, which is kinda bad sign, but let´s not discuss about it, ehh….)
What it comes to the shortness…..well, it´s at least sold as “mid-price”, so no-one can blame us for being rip-offs. And yes, it is a bit short, but who would like to listen to 29 minutes of Somnium farting into microphone with some reverb just to get some more duration for the album? Besides, the original plan was to record a mini-cd anyway.
Oh, and for those who still haven´t got it:
NEXT ALBUM IS METAL.
 
05.) The last years were not the brightest for Finntroll. Katlas illness, Somniums death and you also had many problems with touring (which is by far not THAT serious). Was there a point you thought about giving up and let Finntroll die? What was responsible for you that you are still active?
 
Yep, we certainly are not a band which has blessed with good luck in some cases, heh. And you are right, the problems with touring are not so serious, as it happens to every band every now and then. However, Katla´s illness was a bad thing, and it took us almost two years to decide what we will do, and our decision was finally to replace him with Wilska this spring after some fucked- up gigs, futile hopes and three other session vocalists. We just couldn´t wait anymore for a miracle to happen. However, even if he manages to heal his voice, he is no longer part of Finntroll as we already have a new singer. We wish him the best, and hopefully we can make some day new music in a different project with him.
The death of Somnium was way more heavy. We were thinking about burying the whole band for some hours after we heard the news from the hospital, but then we started to think that he would had propably killed us if we would have been so goddamn lame that we abandoned the band. After all, we just had made a new album and were very excited about the band´s future.
We are still active, more than EVER.
WE SHALL CONQUER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
06.) Can you tell me more of the recordings for "Visor Om Slutet"? If you listen to the tracks you immediately get the feeling that you recorded that stuff in the forest...is that true? ;D It seems that there are hundreds of special effects and hidden melodies. Can you give a little overview what you used there?
 
Hmmm. We used all the stuff you can read from the booklet. :) For example, the frozen minced meat was used by Wilska to create the “bone and flesh- sawing” sound in “Rov” and the wooden floor was used in “Under varje Rot och Sten” by Dominator, who played the Celtic- type of “stepping-shoe” rimshots with his drumsticks to it. And the background ambience of “Rov” is originally a metal plate from the stove we found from the kitchen, which was hit with a soft mallet by Katla near a leaking heating battery to get that extra dripping noise with it. Then we just heavily echoed, looped and reversed it to create the continous threatening cavelike humming you hear. These kind of things were really important for inspiration during the Visor- sessions. We really abused everything we could, heh.
I think the most fun part of doing sound in general is to edit, misuse, create something completely new from the old and used and finally mangle the old sounds to serve your purpose. This is also something which could never have done with analogue equipment so I fully and proudly admit to be a slave of the modern music technology.
We spent a lot of time even after the actual recordings with Tundra and Somnium at my home to edit and create the whole atmosphere to what it is now.
We certainly hope you find it trollish enough!!!!!!
 
07.) In the whole metalbusiness you are one of the most unique bands, cause there is simply NO band which can be compared to you. You are also the first band that released a complete acoustic-album. Was that one of your dreams or more a swift idea?
 
First, to correct a mistake- we were in no way the first metal band to release a complete acoustic album. For there is Ulver´s superb Kveldssanger, to name at least one. The acoustic album was Somnium´s idea back in ´01 or something when he was thinking that we should record an acoustic EP of old songs. The idea was approved by the band but didn´t “catch fire” after all, so to say. Then, when I got my home studio running and gathered some producing experience, I brought the idea to Somnium again, but proposed to him if we could do it all by ourselves without any “outsiders” in the studio, where we could also eat and sleep during the recordings. It took a week when Mr. Somnium had already booked us a cabin in a forest and as a very nice guy, heh- confirmed in the internet to everyone that we will do an acoustic album next month. After all, we didn´t even have one song ready then. :D So, we cursed him into the deepest pit of Hel and started to bang our musical ideas together to survive within the extreme schedule. Luckily, we did, after all. Besides, if it weren´t for Somnium´s “leaking”, we had propably never dragged our lazy asses into the studio. ;)
 
08.) Who is responsible for what in your band? I always have the feeling that you are a real maniac when it comes to music. Are you responsible for the most parts of the songs...or how does it work in Finntroll?
 
I am a maniac when it comes to any music, but in Finntroll, there are six maniacs, who do their best to achieve the best results every time. Most of the music is nowadays made by Tundra and yours truly, but also Routa mails me riffs and ideas very often. Skrymer and Wilska have done stuff at their homes, too. With half of Visor om Slutet and the whole upcoming album, the basic routine has been that we make first a crappy and fast synth-demo out of it and after that, the composer must approve the final solutions as he has the “vetoright”, so to say. Then we make a new, final demo with real guitars, sampled drums, synths and better overall sound, spread it (if they haven´t heard it yet) to the other members via internet and after that we start to discuss about the song, and go to the rehearsal-room. So, it´s gone pretty far from the “let´s go to the rehearsal-room and start to play and make a song”- type of thing. Some say it´s good way to do things, while some detest it. For me, in this kind of music, it´s the best way to achieve the best results.
 
09.) Several weeks ago I downloaded some songs (or better some snippets) from your private website and I was really impressed of the variety of the songs. It shows that you can play really ALL styles of music, which is damn great I think. My fave was the Classic one, but the other ones were pretty cool, too. Can you tell me more about the "The Ragnarök Sunset Band"...is that one of your side-projects? And is there a musicstyle you cant play? I doubt it.... :)
 
“The Ragnarök Sunset Band” is basically not a side- project, but the thing I spend most of my time within music. I have played and created different kinds of music since I first discovered the magic of it, and metal is only, roughly said, about 30 percent of all that I do. So I started this monicker to put all the “other” stuff under it. I´m trying to create a career as a professional composer who does music and soundscapes for television ads, radio, or whatever you could ever imagine, and thus try to advertise my works for the possible customer via that website. If someone needs music for his/hers projects, contact me as soon as possible, as my rent is already 20 days late and phone bill is waiting. :)
 
10.) Just some days ago (ehem...well now better weeks ago...) you played at the Tuska festival and there I saw (well I wasnt there personally, but Nordi of the forum recorded some videos there) that Katla was on stage to sing some songs. I was very happy as I saw this. So how is he doing lately? Isn´t it too much for him to sing there?
 
Yes, Katla was there to give some boost to the audience. He yelled his ass off for a couple of minutes and sang some pieces, too. Sadly, his voice started creaking after one minute in the stage, so he is in no way ready to go live yet. He was suggesting he would come to sing the new album, but we had to turn the idea down as we thought it was, most of all, very unfair to Wilska (who of course would had been very pissed in that case) and secondly- how stupid is to use one singer on the album and then use different session dudes when going live? About his present activites- a couple of weeks after Tuska, he moved to Nykarleby, western Finland to study so we won´t be seeing him so often, which kinda sucks.
 
11.) You also played at the Summer Breeze fest this year. How come that you only play on german festivals every now and then, but not (exept one time in Frankfurt) in german clubs? Don´t you like the german clubs? :D
 
Because it´s so goddamn expensive to book us to a club outside Finland. The flight tickets for each person to there and back is already something like 400 € (!!!!!), then the hotel- expenses and some salary for us too makes it a pretty big amount of money. And the festivalorganizers have usually a bit more money to spend on than a single club- gig organizator. So, to cut it short- we like the German clubs but the clubowners don´t like our expenses. :(
 
12.) How was the tour with Katatonia? It was the first time for you playing in south Europe...any funny or good things happened and do you see a difference to your finnish audience in comparison to the south-european-listeners?
 
Apart some cancelled gigs, the whole band being flat- broke all the time, fist- fights, heavy (forced to) drinking, way too many cigarettes and no showers, the tour went pretty good. The Katatonia guys were extremely cool, especially Matias and Daniel, who were named as “Honorary Finns” after one Tequila-party in Switzerland. The audience was very good especially in Schwyz and in Madrid, but there were many fucking good gigs during the tour. The only bad gig was in Perpignan, France, where almost all of us were suffering from fever, and to make the situation a bit more surrealistic, the shoe-sized club was in middle of nowhere in the French countryside with about 30 people showing up in the whole evening. But in general, people in South Europe seem to be very good audience, as they go totally CRAZY, which the Scandinavians usually don´t do. Hail them!!!!!!
About some funny things, I can mention B.Dominator´s falling through the drum raiser in Portugal or a lit candle between a certain drunken dude´s buttcheeks (which, by the way, made Fred of Katatonia to think that the candle is actually up the ass. What a pervert!!!! :D )
 
13.) Why is there no new story of Aamund and Kettil on "Visor Om Slutet"? Will you continue with that on the next album? I think it is a very nice "running-joke"! :)
 
Ahem, basically “jokes” are not what we try to achieve with those songs, but I guess you have to call them something. When recording Visor om Slutet, Aamund and Kettil were so scared about the two previous bashings that they stayed hiding in their wildmark- cabins in northern parts of Sweden. However, we have now discovered where they might hide, so we try our best to kick some priest-ass once more in the near future!
 
14.) I know that you for example think that "Jaktens Tid" was too Power Metal influenced. Actually I don´t think so at all, but will your new material go back to "Midnattens Widunder" again, which was more blackish. And at all: Are there any ideas/plans for your next album?
 
I´m just listening to a final demo of a brand new song, which in my opinion exceeds even Vätteanda in it´s sheer blackness. :) So, draw your conclusions. About the upcoming album in general: At the moment we have about 40 minutes of material, which vary from slower folk music to hyperspeed orchestral black (???) metal via some pirate- influences (!!!!) and extremely dark punk rock every now and then, hehe. Seriously, I think we have succeeded with the new material to be what we wanted it to be- dark, yet melodic, even raw and somehow twisted. I hope the upcoming production goes as we have planned, to keep the sound more gloomy, too. Keep on following our webpages, and especially the forum, as there is now a 2,5 minute long mix of some demos for you to get a grip on. No album names have been decided yet, but I can promise it at least has nothing to do with Satan, Mussolini or daffodils. Wilska was at least suggesting “Bögjävlar seglar ut: Rivfaders Midsommarafton Pt. 1”, but we have to see. :D
 
15.) Last words or anything to mention?
 
I´d like to encourage you all to check out our new album when it´s out (3/2004) and bang your heads for Rivfader´s heritage!!!!!!! Thanks for the opportunity to spread our Trollish manifest, and stay brutal, as always. HAIL!!!!!!!!
-TrollhorN