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Interview - Diablo

Interview - Diablo
BANDS : Diablo

First of all let me congratulate you for your last album, Eternium. It is an excellent piece of work and we, at Metalfan, even named it the album of the week. Because your band is completely unknown to Romanian metalheads it will be useful and interesting if you will point out the most important aspects of Diablo history.

Thanks a lot. It's always encouraging to get positive feedback. Here are the milestones of Diablo history.

I've played guitar together with Rainer for almost twenty years. We were born in Kalajoki which is a small town in northern Finland. Since there wasn't that many musicians there at that time we naturally found each other in the same band. In the beginning we played Sepultura / Testament-style thrash metal in a band called Armatage. At that time my brother played drums and Rainers brother played bass. We did a couple of gigs and three demos with a four-track tape recorder. The quality of those tapes is pretty low.

Then we moved to southern Finland to different cities (I moved to Helsinki and Rainer to Tampere). I tried to find a band in Helsinki but after a couple of disappointments we decided to start to play together again. So I started to travel to Tampere every weekend. We operated first as a two-men project (me and Rainer) even though we tried hard to find a drummer and a bassist. The project was named Diablo Brothers. Music that we played was not thrash metal anymore. Diablo Brothers' first demo was recorded with an 8-track tape recorder. Since we didn't have a drummer we had to use a drum machine.

After a while we then found Timo Kemppainen to drums and recorded our first studio-demo. Aggressive Machinery-demo was recorded in 1997. The opening song of the demo ended up on a compilation CD (whose name I can't remember since I never got an artist copy.) by Black Mark Records. Black Mark offered some kind of a record deal as well but it never led to anything concrete. Adolf Virtanen joined the band after hearing the demo. Diablo Brothers played its first gig in 1998 in Nummirock midsummer festival.

Second studio demo To Where The Pain Is was recorded in 1999. Again one of the songs ended on a compilation CD but record companies didn't show any real interest. We came to a conclusion that we should try to concentrate more on the song-writing. I wanted to cut away all those parts from the songs which weren't absolutely necessary and add more melodies in them. Then name was changed to Diablo . The First Diablo recording was a 5-track mini-cd "Princess" (2000) which was the final step to a record deal with Finnish Poko-records. The first album "Elegance In Black" was also recorded and released in 2000, which actually consist of the songs from Princess and additional five songs.

After the recordings of the first album we decided to find a new drummer because Timo didn't take playing seriously enough. Luckily, we found immediately Heikki Malmberg, a phenomenal young talent, to replace Timo . With this line up (Marko Utriainen, solo guitar, Rainer Nygard, rhythm guitar & vocals, Adolf Virtanen, bass and Heikki Malmberg, drums) we have done the latest albums Renaissance and Eternium.

Renaissance was released on February 2002. It got lots of positive feedback and went to the Finnish album list being #14. During the summer of 2002 we played quite a few gigs on the Finnish summer festivals most important of them being TUSKA-festival. We also made a video from the opening song "Angel".

The latest Eternium album was released on the 19 th of January this year. It went straight to the Finnish album list on the third position and stayed on the list for seven weeks. It was actually not a surprise because "Read My Scars"-single (released on November 2003) went to the Finnish singles list being #4 at best. There is also a video from that song. After the release of Eternium we've already played some 14 gigs in Finland . And the summer seems to become quite busy too on that front... :)

Not so long ago you released your third album, Eternium. Please try to introduce us into the album's concept by giving us more details about the lyrics, the music and artwork.

You can expect to hear ass-kicking down-tuned guitar riffs decorated with melodic solo-guitar harmonies. It is a kind of a combination that you definitely could not have heard before because you really can't make any direct comparison to any existing band. And the package is served to you with excellent sounds...

Artwork is done by Miikka Tikka, who has actually been responsible for it on our previous two albums as well.

Why did you choose to name your band Diablo? Is there a connection between the name and the famous Blizzard game Diablo (I hope you are familiar with it)?

The name has nothing to do with Diablo game. It was Rainer who came up with the idea to give that name. The name is taken from an old TV-series Hill Street Blues, where there is a criminal gang called Diablo.

 

Although I made a review of Eternium, I had some difficulties in labeling your music. In my opinion your sound is a burst of energy, a combination between thrash, Swedish melodic death metal with a few touches of nu-metal in a very technical manner. Am I wrong?

First of all, I would like to make it clear that the intention in this band has never been to try to belong to any of the existing metal genres. We've always been open-minded when it comes to the music which means that we can practically use any new idea that we like ourselves. Diablo plays metal, of course, but describing the music with only a few words is just impossible. You simply have to listen to it yourself.

Since we listened to speed/thrash/death metal (mostly

American) when we were young there is definitely some kind of influence from bands like Testament, Death, Metallica etc. But we've also added a lot of melodies. So the final result is then ultra-heavy guitar-riffing decorated with melodies. In a way, your definition is in the right direction, although I don't quite understand the nu-metal part of it. Our playing is definitely quite technical.

What do you expect from this album? Do you think that this new opus could change the future of Diablo?

We want to believe in it, of course, but we're also realistic. Nothing happens overnight. The success in Finland after releasing Eternium is encouraging and we do believe that the taste for metal outside Finland can't be that different. We definitely think that all three Diablo albums deserve to be released outside Finland as well because of the quality of music and production. We wouldn't have anything against a European tour, for example.

How are the songwriting duties handled within the band? Who is writing the lyrics and who is composing the music?

I've been mainly responsible for music and the lyrics are Rainers hand-writing. I can try to describe you the song-writing process in Diablo. Usually it's me who introduces a new guitar riff or a few riffs that fit together to Rainer. Then Rainer tries to imagine some kind of vocals on top of the riffs. If it works we then proceed with the song further by trying different tempos and/or drum beats if that is necessary until music works fine. After the "basic incredients" are in place Rainer writes the lyrics and I try to make a guitar solo that fits in. Finally, we analyse and change together vocal melodies, if needed, so that everything is in harmony.

Even though Heikki and Aadolf haven't been active on the song-writing front, it doesn't meen that they can't take part in the process at all. A good idea is allowed to come from anybody, so if they do compose / write good stuff in the future it will probably end on the next Diablo albums. But I would say that the final decision on what ends up on an album is in the hands of myself and Rainer. Luckily, we don't have to fight a lot in order to come up with a song that satisfies both of us J . And that's partly because of our long history in playing in the same band.

Compared to your previous albums, do you consider that Eternium is better than the other two? What is, in your opinion, the main difference between this new album and your first releases?

Eternium is definitely the best Diablo album so far. On the second album Renaissance we found the dynamics of a song to be of great importance. We then kind of continued on the path that we found on Renaissance improving the dynamics even further. I was personally encouraged by the success and critics that we got from Renaissance so it was a bit easier to start to write songs for Eternium. And we also had more time to complete both the song-writing and recordings this time. I think we've made quite a good progress as song-writers compared to the first album.

 

I imagine you love to play live. I've also heard your shows are crushing. Where do you find the energy to play live? Do you feel more comfortable in studio or on the scene?

That's right! Playing live is why we do this in the first place so we feel like being home on the stage. We always want to give 110% when playing live. Studio work is also fine but I can't understand how bands can survive months of that stuff. Personally, I want to play my parts as fast as possible in the studio.

For some time the Finnish metal scene is extremely prodigious. There are lot of bands that managed to become well known in the entire world. Can you explain

me why are you people so attracted by this kind of music? I assume it is probably a good thing to be a musician in your country, isn't it?

I don't know why Finns like metal a lot. Perhaps it is due to the fact that metal is kind of melancholic music. Winter time is so dark here that people tend to get melancholic every once in a while.

Being a musician in Finland , hmm, I don't see any big advantages in it. The Finnish music market is so small that you really can't get your living out of it. So the choices are then to do something else for the sake of money and play as a hobby or try to become popular elsewhere in the world as well.

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?

Marko: Solo-guitar, age 30 "musical head" of Diablo

Rainer: vocals & rhythm guitar, age 32, Diablos frontman

Aadolf: bass, age 30, a real phenomenon on the stage

Heikki: Drums, age 22, a young talent, rehearses 6 hours a day.

¾ of the band (me, rainer and Aadolf) do have a regular job outside music business. Heikki works part-time in a music bar.

Do you intend to sign a deal with a major international record company? Which is the relation between Diablo and Poko Records?

Diablo has recorded all three albums to Poko records. We are currently negotiating about licencing Eternium outside Finland . There isn't yet anything to comment on the matter but the purpose is, of course, to get worldwide distribution. Let's see how things evolve in the near future.

Do you know anything about Romania? Did you ever think to make a tour in East Europe?

I have to admit that I've never been to Romania . It would be very interesting to see your country as well as other East European countries and how you guys would react to Diablo live show

One last question. What are your future plans, what can we expect form your future albums?

As mentioned, we're in the middle of negotiations about releasing Eternium outside Finland . This summer will go touring on the Finnish summer festivals (you can find info on our website about forthcoming gigs). Then we've planned to take a short break in touring and start to compose new material. Future Diablo albums will be 100% metal, that's guaranteed.

Thank you very much for this interview, I wish you good luck. You have the final words for our readers.

Come to see our show if possible. We'll definitely surprise you (positively, I hope)!

Autor: Dragos P.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Diablo

   June 09, 2004  | 0 Comments  | 7469 Views « BACK

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