Interviewed and Photos by Zenae D. Zukowski
Zenae: My name is Zenae with My Global Mind and who am I speaking with?
Tomi: Tomi Koivusaari
Santeri: Santeri Kallio
Niclas: Niclas Etelävuori
Zenae: I hope you guys had a safe journey here, my first question is a fun one. What’s your drink of choice on the ship?
Niclas: So far, it’s been water but today it’s gonna change. I promise Tequila tonight.
Zenae: Tequila, yum!
Santeri: I take a Long Island Iced Tea, and you have to say, to make it strong!
Tomi: I think, I’m gonna drink, Fosters.
Zenae: Awesome. Are there any bands you would like to see on this trip?
Tomi: Yeah, Carcass, Orphaned Land.
Santeri: Stam1na, saw them already.
Niclas: I don’t remember all the bands, there’s so many, but there’s Anthrax, I saw Testament yesterday and Arch Enemy.
Santeri: Grave Digger, I saw Grave Digger.
Zenae: Grave Digger is always fun live.
Zenae: Now that Under the Red Cloud has been out for some time now, how do you feel about it?
Niclas: Still feels like a masterpiece. It’s now, but I mean it’s not fresh but it’s well preserved.
Zenae: Yes, probably one of the best albums in 2015.
Santeri: Yeah we’ve been touring a lot after that. We never toured this much. We’d go over 200 shows with Under the Red Cloud. Much to say that with one album, you can do over 200 shows. For us, it’s a lot now.
Zenae: Speaking of touring, it’s been about 10 years since you guys had a full North American tour, how does it feel about the extensive tour a month from touring with Swallow The Sun?
Band members: Yeah!
Tomi: There’s some scaredness also because it’s pretty long. But of course we are kind of excited about going to U.S. tour for a long time, it’s been 8 years or something. It’s pretty long, there will be a hell of a lot of shows.
Zenae: Definitely, you’re stopping at New York twice, NYC and Long Island.
Santeri: It’s really nice to go to the U.S. for a long time because it’s been about 8 years. And in between, we released something like 3 or 4 albums. And we have to go there and play the songs. All songs to America. After this, hopefully, we can start touring U.S. more often. Maybe every time we release an album but, let’s see. This is kind of a kind of go and see.
Zenae: Speaking of the tour, do you have special plans for it? Are you going to focus on the new material or old material as well?
Niclas: We’re doing both. There’s going to be Tales from the Thousand Lakes stuff, there’s going to be new stuff, and some in between. It’s like a pizza, with 11 or 16 toppings.
Zenae: You tend to release a new album almost every 2 years, sometimes 3, does that mean there are works for a new album?
Santeri: No that I’m aware of.
Santeri: But I don’t think so, I don’t think somebody is writing song’s right now.
Santeri: Personally, I start writing when the studio gets closer and closer and closer then, you just push out all the ideas.
Tomi: And we already booked a studio til the end of the year so we have a deadline and we have to make that deadline.
Niclas: Maybe sometime this summer.
Santeri: It doesn’t make any sense to write the songs like one year ahead, because when you got to start rehearsing and then feel old and outdated.
Santeri: So it’s better to be a bit pretty close to the studio.
Zenae: So something is brewing in the future.
Santeri: Definitely, but the brewing, we have a year still. Maybe, the summer.
Zenae: I know you said the writing takes place closer to studio time but, do you have any interesting recording habits or do you write while on tour?
Niclas: We gather in the rehearsal room and the ideas come from everybody and then we start the process.
Zenae: A collaboration.
Niclas: Yeah. Then the producer comes in and gives some ideas. And then we process that. After that, it’s been in a blender for months and then it’s a good smoothie.
Santeri: Yeah I don’t think there’s any magic. We don’t play naked. But there are no real funny tricks, but you never know. Every studio session is different. It’s about where you are and who you are working with or small things, if it’s in the countryside there’s cows, sheep, everything affects the process.
Niclas: Since the countryside they have sheep and in the city they have cable.
Santeri: Yea, it’s a pretty boring process actually. [laugh]
Zenae: Okay so no crazy post it notes laid out in a hotel room?
Tomi: I don’t think we ever even lit a candle.
Zenae: [laugh] No sage either, cleaning the room?
Santeri: Case of beer.
Niclas: There was a big hookah on the floor.Zenae: Is there a country you guys would like to tour that you haven’t yet?
Niclas: There’s a lot of countries.. whole Africa.
Santeri: Africa & Egypt would be nice but, some, we went to a couple of times to Tunisia and Egypt and once was Lebanon.
Niclas: South Africa.
Santeri: It’s really expensive to go there. You know and New Zealand, next time we go to Australia, we have to go to New Zealand, It’s so close.
Niclas: Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam.
Zenae: So all over Asia.
Santeri: I was talking to a band one time and they played in Kathmandu.
Tomi: That would be nice. Nepal, India.
Zenae: My last question is, what advice would you give to starting out musicians?
Tomi: Practice, the first lot of practice.
Niclas: First practice, then buys the mirror. [laugh]
Santeri: I can’t top that.
Zenae: Straight to the point!