24 Sep 2013

Vreth interview from Hall of Metal

Date: January 2010

Elaborated by: Juan Carlos García; Abel Fernández; PLQ  
Translated by: Abel Fernández

Our mate Abel had the pleasure of doing a phone interview to Vreth, vocalist of Finland's FINNTROLL, during their stay in Century Media headquarters in Dortmund. This is what he obtained:
- HoM. So this is Mr. Vreth from Fintroll! How’s things up North? What are you doing these days?

Well, actually I’m not in Finland right now, I’m in Germany, working with Century Media with interviews and promotion. But in Finland it’s really cold!

- HoM. Must be… did you have any problems to get to Germany?, with all this snow…

Yeah, there were some problems with the aeroplanes, the engines were frozen, so they had to warm up the engines so we could leave, we were more than an hour late…

- HoM. Well, congratulations for Nifelvind!

Oh, thank you!

- HoM. What have you been doing during these three years between “Ur jordens djup” and “Nifelvind”?

We’ve been touring really a lot, around Europe and the States, many festivals… and of course we’ve been writing new songs. It’s been quite… quite like this.

- HoM. You call your style Humppa Folk Metal. What is exactly humppa?

Humppa is Finnish traditional music made for old people, it’s nothing to do with metal at all. (laugh) It’s like the Finnish version of country music, made for elder people, they go out to dance and so on.

- HoM. So there must be a lot of humppa bands, can you mention some?

Ehhh no, I don’t actually know any of those bands, I have no idea about that. I haven’t checked out the scene. (laugh)

- HoM. This is your second album with the band. How do you feel? And, do you like to be compared with Wilska?

Well, it’s never been a problem to adapt from the beginning to this band, but this album is a bit different for me because the last time, when I joined, they had all the songs already written, and now I’ve been with them from the beginning of the writing process and everything. But I think this feels like an album in which I’ve been more active than in the first one. I don’t think that people are comparing me to Wilska any more. Maybe the first year, but it stopped a little bit now.

- HoM. Was it difficult for you to adapt yourself to the band?

Not really. They’re all nice guys and they are really easy to get along with, so I was very welcome in the beginning. Besides, their lyrics are in Swedish and I speak in Swedish also, so they were quite easy for me to learn.

- HoM. Now that you mention that, why are you lyrics in Swedish if you’re Finnish?

In Finland there are two official languages, Swedish and Finnish. I come from the Swedish-speaking part of Finland. We are not really that many, I think it’s 6% of Finland that speaks Swedish, about 300.000 people, something like that. My parents speak Swedish, but of course I’ve been studying Finnish in the school.

- HoM. What’s behind Nifelvind? What do you talk about this time?

It’s not a concept album this time, there are different stories for each song, mostly based in myths and legends, which are old but are still modern in a way, they keep through time.

- HoM. Finntroll gets darker album after album and your music gets less party/folkish; there are some tracks, though, that still have polka touches like "Den Frusna Munnen" or "Ett Norrskensdåd". What can you say about this?

In this album of course there are songs that are even darker than in the previous, there are also some happy songs but there isn’t really so much of that stuff. Anyway we have more in this album than in the last one, actually. But of course we have some songs also that are even darker than in “Ur jordens djup” album.

- HoM. Katla still writes the lyrics, do you consider him a Finntroll member still?

Of course we don’t have him as a full-time member, but he’s a really important part of the whole thing. I really like that he’s still doing the lyrics because he’s very good at writing stuff and he does it so much better than me, so I’m really happy that he’s still with us.

- HoM. How is the writing process? Do you go to a hut in the middle of the forest and eat mushrooms?

(Laugh) I wish! Actually this time we have gathered at Trollhorn’s place, to show him what we had done, our demos and so on. He started to put pieces together, then made demo versions and sent them to us and we started learning the stuff. We don’t really rehearse the albums before we go into the studio. We rehearse our own parts and that’s it.

- HoM. This album was mainly composed by Trollhorn, am I wrong?

Yeah, he’s done the biggest part of it, but there are some songs in which all of us contributed.

- HoM. Can you please make a list of the traditional instruments you usually use?

In this album we actually used more traditional instruments than ever. We have of course a real accordion, also a real violin, which we had never had before, acoustic guitars, Bulgarian acoustic guitars… bouzuki, which is a Greek guitar; we also have a mandolin; a daf, which is an Iranian percussion instrument; and of course the mouth harp is also there. Those are all the real instruments we had on this album.

- HoM. Ambiences and atmospheres favour your music very much. You did an acoustic EP in the past, “Visor Om slutet”; do you think you’ll ever do that again?

We haven’t planned anything like that at the moment, but you never know what you’re gonna feel like in the next years. We wanted to do some, that’s why we have the acoustic song in this album, we wanted to do something a little bit different and not do a metal song.

- HoM. Looks like nowadays many bands do acoustic albums, like Eluveitie for example, do you like them?

They have some really good stuff, I haven’t listened to them that much but they are really talented, they have good melodies on their album. I haven’t listened to the whole album, I have to say, but it’s good stuff, yes.

- HoM. Is Spinefarm still releasing your albums in Finland, or is it Century Media everywhere?

It’s Century Media now for all the world.

- HoM. Are they then going to re-release the old albums?

I think they were already re-released on 2007 or 2008… Yeah, they were re-released.

- HoM. By the way, what happened with that DVD you announced a while ago?

It’s still in working progress. We want to release an special package that looks good and that is realy nice. We want to put more stuff on it. We’ve been busy with the album now, so we didn’t have time to work on the DVD. It’s going to be released, but we don’t know when. I hope it’s gonna be this year.

- HoM. How was the mini-tour in Spain and Russia? It’s strange that you came before releasing the album. Did you play any new songs?

Yes, we played one of the songs, the one we released on Myspace. It actually got really good feedback, people liked it. [We came that soon because] They asked us if we wanted to come and play some songs, and, well, we said yes!

- HoM. It was kind of a warm-up I guess…

Yeah, and we also wanted to keep up with some shows every month.

- HoM. Trollhorn doesn’t tour with you. Is this because of Moonsorrow?

No no, it’s because he’s working, he’s got a really good job; also, he writes stuff for two different bands all the time and he’s got also a little boy at home, so he really doesn’t have the time any more. But sometimes he comes and plays with us, specially in Finland he wants to come and play a couple of shows here and there. On the DVD he was also with us, we have two keyboard palyers on the DVD.

- HoM. So you have two keyboard players on the DVD? But – where was it recorded?

It was in Amsterdam. Anyway, everytime he plays with us in Finland we also have two keyboards. There’s so much keyboards on Finntroll songs, it’s actually really cool that we have two. He doesn’t only play keyboards, he also plays the mouth-harp and does backing vocals and things like that.

- HoM. Wow. So Finntroll concerts in Finland are much better than anywhere else!

[Laugh] Yes, some of the shows. And other thing is that, you know, a band in their home country is also a little extra.

- HoM. And it’s easier for him I guess.


- HoM. Well, this was all. Thank you from HallOfMetal for your time, and good luck with the album!.

Thanks to you, bye!