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Insomnium - Swedish death metal made in Finland

Insomnium - Swedish death metal made in Finland
BANDS : Insomnium

What do a surgeon, a graduand in evolutionary ecology, a student in cultural history and a researcher in environmental technology have in common? In our case, the thing that binds them together is called Insomnium - a quite young Finnish band who wishes to come up with an individual sound on a path long tried by others. In September 2006 the band opened a new chapter in its history by releasing the latest studio album, Above The Weeping World. We figured it would be interesting to learn more about it directly from source, so our interlocutor today is guitarist Ville Friman.

Metalfan: How is doing Insomnium these days? As far as I know you are in the middle of a European tour?

Ville Friman: We're fine, thanks for asking. Yeah, we're currently in the tour and more precisely in the bus on our way to Barcelona. We share the bus with the guys of Keep of Kalessin which are really great guys to travel with. Shows have been good thus far and we have big crowds even though we are first support band. So basically we are enjoying playing gigs and it's really great to be on tour finally! 

Metalfan: Why did you choose to name your band Insomnium? It has anything to do with your town, Joensuu, described in your biography as a somnolent town?
Ville Friman: The name Insomnium is Latin and has double meaning: nightmare and insomnia. We picked this name when we went to record our first demo. I think the meaning of the word just suits well with our mood in music and even though it's it hard to pronounce and we get it written wrong all the time it also sounds really cool! 

Metalfan: Only two self financed demos were enough to sign you a deal with Candlelight Records. Were you lucky or those demos were really impressive?
Ville Friman: Well I think it's both. We were lucky and we were there at the right time and of course the material has to be good also. Even though I wouldn't call demos impressive J But asically we just keep sending demos to all record companies and Candlelight was the only reasonable one that showed interest in us.

Metalfan: On your previous album, Since the Day It All Came Down, we could detect a lot of Opeth influences, especially in the acoustic parts, but also a few Dark Tranquillity ones. Are those two bands one of your major sources of inspiration?
Ville Friman: Yeah, I think both bands are of big influence for me and also for the other guys. But I wouldn't say that those bands are only major sources of inspirations. Metallica, Sepultura, Megadeth are bands who got us into metal music in the first place. Nowadays it's hard to distinct what influences comes from where because I listen so much of different bands and different kind of music.

Metalfan: Your new album, called Above The Weeping World, has just been released in Europe. I've listened to it and I discovered a quite diverse release, with a rich sound, a more subtle blend of melody and aggressiveness then on your previous albums. Which are in your opinion the main differences between the new album and Since the Day It All Came Down?
Ville Friman: Thank you, I agree with you that our new album is really a diverse package. The main differences in my opinion are that our new album is definitely more aggressive, faster and stronger entity. I think "Since" was more of experiencing lots of new stuff. Now we got parts of the puzzle to fit together more tightly. 

Metalfan: Are the stories of these two albums connected in any way? I mean, first came the day when all came down and now the whole collapsed world is weeping...
Ville Friman: No they aren't. But of course listener can form he's own opinion and picture of these albums. But yeah, both albums are kind of soundtrack to your doomsday ;)

Metalfan: Imagine that you have to describe your music to a person that hasn't listened to Insomnium until now. What would you tell to that person in order to convince him/her to listen to your new album?
Ville Friman: I would tell him/her that put on these headphones, open the booklet and take your time to relax and concentrate on the album. I will guarantee that you will get goose bumps at some point ;) 



Metalfan: The overall production of Above the Weeping World is impressive. Give us a few details about the recording sessions, how did you manage to obtain such a good sound?
Ville Friman: Big thanks from the sounds in the "Above" goes to the Samu Oittinen who recorded and mixed the album in the Fantom studios. We also had good equipments in the studio this time so that we were to reach the sounds we wanted to. Secret of guitar sounds is a split signal between Framus cobra and Single rectifier head  boosted with Ibanez tube screamer.

Metalfan: Lyrically speaking, the new album has influences from Friedrich Hölderlin, Francis William Bourdillon and Edgar Allan Poe. Do you like the work of these writers or you've chosen them because you need a gloomy and dark atmosphere in the lyrics to fit the music?
Ville Friman: Well yeah, they have had something in their works that we appreciate and think would suit well with our music. I think it's the thing that you read something and you can picture what kind of music you would need to perfect the feeling you get from the poem.

Metalfan: What do you expect from this album? How were the media reactions so far?
Ville Friman: The media's reactions have been really good and we hope that we can get bit more famous through this album. We will do also lots of touring and put effort to actually bring the music to the people. We have also had pretty good presales in Finland and will hit the charts probably even to top ten in best case. So for us it seems that the big wheel has finally moved at least a bit.

Metalfan: Do you consider yourself a melodic death metal band?  Is it correct to apply the Gothenburg metal trademark to your sound?
Ville Friman: Well, if you have to choose one genre where you want to put yourself I think the melodic death metal genre is the on that suits us best. However, I think we have our own distinct sound and we have Finnish touch in our music that is different from Gothenburg style. But these are just definitions and the music will always speak for itself.

Metalfan: What are some of your current favorite bands? What albums impressed you lately?
Ville Friman: Well I think two latest bands that really made impression on me was Killswitch Engage and Sigur ros. But I listen so much  music nowadays and I like albums even though they don't make that big influence on me. Like, music can be really good and enjoyable even though it hasn't the originality and inventiveness in it what really impressive albums have. As long as music is good I don't care who's the leader and who's the follower. 

Metalfan: Could you describe in a few words the band members?  What kind of persons are they? Do you all have jobs in other domains of activity than music?
Ville Friman: Yeah, we all work and study besides this band on regular basis. I work in the University of Helsinki and do my Phd in evolutionary ecology. Ville Vänni is a doctor and is currently working in hospital and specializing to be a surgeon. Markus Hirvonen studies environmental technology and Niilo Sevänen studies cultural history besides working in the university. We all have our own distinct personalities but I think that's one reason that we work so well together.

Metalfan: You only have three studio albums in your discography, so I assume it is too early to speak about an Insomnium DVD. Or maybe not?
Ville Friman: Yeah, we haven't yet even spoke about that. Hopefully we make DVD in future but I think the time isn't right yet. Again, time will tell.

Metalfan: Some final words for our readers?
Ville Friman: Thanks for the interview. If you got interested, check us out at, listen our samples and buy our CD's ;)

In the end please don't forget to answer our quick quiz:

Mikael Akerfeldt or Mikael Stanne?
- Both are good, but if I have to choose I would prefer Mikael Akerfeldt.

Finlandia or Absolut vodka?
- Both go ;)

In studio or On stage?
- On stage!

Sunny hot summer or Cold dark winter?
- Neither of those, I choose autumn and spring ;)

Sleeping or Awake?
- Awake, there's so many thing to do in this world. But of course you have to sleep in between sometimes ;)

Autor: Dragos P.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Insomnium

   October 10, 2006  | 0 Comments  | 7859 Views « BACK

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