Interview & pics by Karan Dutta
Continuing the interview with the band on their tour bus prior to the London show in December 2016, we continue to look at tours and also the recent acoustic shows. Also, if you ever want to know what the ultimate super power that you could wish for is… well, read on.
MGM: That’s awesome. So quite a few acoustic shows in the past month that I noticed, what prompted that?
Sami: We’ve been talking about it for years because we have quite a few acoustic songs and I don’t’ know, it was
Janne or somebody who’s been kicking our ass, “how about an acoustic show should we do something like that?” and beginning of this year we just decided to do them, and we did a couple in the beginning and now-
Petri: Like four or five.
Sami: In the beginning, this year.
Petri: Yea, something like that.
Sami: Was it that many?
Petri: I think so.
Sami: And now we did seven, and it was a lot of fun, playing a song that we normally won’t, can’t, play live, and rearranging old songs because there was no point just to change the electric guitars to acoustic guitars. You know, you make a swing version of a From Afar.
Petri: From Afar, that turned out to be really funny. That’s really cool.
Sami: Almost like Psycho-billy version of Battle Song, it’s a lot of fun and people enjoyed it a lot. We recorded the last show, no it wasn’t the last.
Petri: No. Second to last.
Sami: Second to last.
Petri: Second to last in Helsinki, at the On the Rocks club. The whole thing is on tape. He watched it already, like this pre-cut nonmixed version. He was like “aw shit”
Petri: I think it’s going to turn out good when we finally get the actual audio and the final cut from it. I think it’s going to be good. Hopefully, people will think so too.
Sami: Yeah. Because that would be also something really cool to take abroad.
Petri: We’ve been doing these heavy metal shows already, fucking 2004 was the first one, so 12 years, 13 years. They have seen us play this one already.
Sami: Especially for old fans. But you know for someone who has never seen us that will be really weird. Like acoustic things with.
Petri: That was already happening on this Finland show, there were people from abroad like students, or just having holidays at the same time, I’ve noticed, like “Ensiferum acoustic, what the fuck”
Sami: Yea there was this girl from France.
Petri: Yeah, this was my first time seeing Ensiferum, this was really cool. I was like, thaaaaank you [skeptically]!
Sami: A couple girls from France have been to many, many shows and also some Finnish say ” I see you fucking 5 times and this is the best show ever” In one review it said really well, of course, we have the advantage because we were in Finland, we can talk like this, like Native language. Somebody wrote it’s like an evening in the band’s rehearsal room, like chatting with the guys, but on the other hand, I really like the atmosphere, if we ever get this abroad, it has to be small clubs also, it can’t be too big because then it loses the…
Sami: Intimacy, yes because that’s the thing.
Petri: Exactly. Like around 300 people.
Sami: Yeah, that’s max, definitely max.
Petri: And not too big stages.
Sami: No. No. No.
Petri: We’re all sitting, we have the drums in the center, and two by two on the sides, making like this half circle on it.
Sami: So, there’s room for our stage diving. We had that one.
MGM: At an acoustic show??
Sami: Yeah, Yeah, and mosh pits-
Petri: And mosh pits also.
Sami: Acoustic most pits.
Petri: Acoustic mosh pits. Verrrry interesting.
MGM: How do you find, because the energy levels must be so different between a metal show and an acoustic show. How does that work for you guys and obviously how does it work for the crowd, guys who are veterans who’ve listened to you for many, many years expect a certain level of energy?.
Sami: I think people who come to our show, I mean even metal shows, come there to have a good time, and I think the acoustic shows…
Petri: ..are even more good time. I think I always say “it’s not that serious, we don’t’ have any backing tracks or metronomes, or whatever, it’s just a feeling, just like, if it goes fast, and it goes fast. There’s nothing we can do about it.
Petri: It’s not that calculated, more free.
Petri: So somebody fucks up we can rewind it a little bit and take two in case it goes that bad. But it’s a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of free stuff for us too, not to be so serious show. Like tonight we have exactly 50 minutes to pull this shit off and if there is something going wrong, it will ruin everything. We have no time to get even a new guitar pick, the time is that tight, so there’s no room for error.
Sami: Yeah. But today’s set is quite a party set, it turned out to be, I realized that after a couple shows, like shit, but it’s a good thing if you think about the other bands, and we’re kind of a little bit different. I think that’s kind of the beauty of Ensiferum, if you really think how diverse our music is. Like on the last album, I really like the fact that if you listen to the first and the last song, if you listen to Axe of Judgement and Neito Pohjolan and somehow we get away with it, at the same time.
And people accept it. That kind of also prove that metal heads have a really wide horizon even though it’s always said that metal heads are narrow-minded, that’s bullshit!
MGM: So new album, when’s it coming out? Are you not allowed to say?
Sami: The plan is to hit the studio, I’d say March of next year.
Sami: Spring-ish, then summer festival season so the album comes out hopefully next autumn and there’s already plans for October.
Ken Susi: Did you guys order a stripper or what? [Ken walked on to the tour bus in his towel, fresh out of the shower]
Ken Susi: Nice.
Petri: Yea, we did actually.
Ken Susi: I hope you like four inches maximum.
Hey, who’s camera? Is that yours? Fucking aye dude.
I just bought a 4D, taking some shots, nudes, oh am I interrupting an interview?
Sami: No, no
MGM: You’re just going on record, but you’re fine.
Ken Susi: Nah it’s a cool dude, these guys love gay sex and hot gay sex.
Sami: You sleep below me [grinning] !
Petri: Where were we?
Sami: The new album, October-ish.
Petri: Hopefully with strippers!
Sami: And there’s already plans for the tour and there’s already plans for 2018, but nothing is confirmed so can’t talk too much. If everything goes as planned it’s going to be hopefully another step ahead.
MGM: So if it’s still open to plan, and I was mentioning this earlier, throw India back on the list, you guys have been out there?
Sami: Yeah, if we can.
MGM: If logistics allowed for it?
Sami: Hey, hey, we got, did we get an offer?
Petri: We did get an offer but it didn’t match the schedule. Something like I think so yeah.
Sami: Would it be the same time with this tour?
Petri: Yea, probably.
Sami: Or did it clash with the studio?
Petri: It was overlapping with something already booked.
Sami: And Carlos said he tries to include it with the Asia tour.
Petri: Shhhh. So it’s a highly probably, maybe?
Petri: Cannot say anything. All that we can do is tonight’s show, that’s confirmed, tomorrow you never know, it’s, there’s too many moving parts you know.
MGM: Fair enough.
Petri: It only needs a one to be fucked up something. That’s not the band, never.
Sami: We never make mistakes, in music or in life!
MGM: So couple last questions, if you had one super power?
Ken Susi: It would be to suck a dick from 3000 feet away or two million kilometers away.
Sorry, I thought that question was for me.
Petri: You did say it out loud too.
Sami: Yea, suck a dick from 3000 miles away.
Petri: Long distance blowjob,
Petri: I would be the receiver.
Sami: Flying, definitely.
Petri: That would be so cool.
Sami: Maybe skip flying, and do the Spock thingy, from Star Trek, that beamer thing. Spock’s. Scotty.
MGM: Beam me up, Scotty?
Sami: Yeah. Yeah.
Petri: Yeah. But without the teleport, so I could just do this [finger snap] and I’d be at home. I’ll be back at, well show time is at 8:25, I’ll be back at 8:24 and a half.
Right onstage, that would be cool.
Sami: That would be awesome.
Petri: Then somebody comes like 10 seconds later and says like sorry I was taking a shit.
You could teleport with the toilet on stage.
Sami: Just remember to wipe.
Petri: You have to sit down the whole set, just to wipe your ass.
Sami: Teleport with the porcelain throne. Just lower your mic and sit there.
Petri: [grunting noise] Incoming.
MGM: Okay, brilliant. Any last words for your fans?
Sami: In case you haven’t heard it yet, check out One Man Army, it’s not that old yet.
Petri: We are.
Sami: We are old. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and stay tuned for news about the album.
MGM: Awesome. Thank you guys, really appreciate it.