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MOONSORROW: We are unpredictable, sometimes even to ourselves

MOONSORROW: We are unpredictable, sometimes even to ourselves
BANDS : Moonsorrow

I sat down for a while thinking about how to introduce this interview to you, what could I possibly tell you about Moonsorrow that you do not already know. Since I am out of ideas I’ll just say:

 Moonsorrow interview, answered by Ville Sorvali



Metalfan - Hello and welcome. Since this is our first discussion ever, could you please underline some of the most important moments of your band’s history?
Ville Sorvali - Founding - 1995; by cousins Ville and Henri Sorvali
Record contract - 1999; first record contract signed with Plasmatica Records after the demo "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi"
First concert - 2000; first live shows with a full five-piece line-up
Debut album - 2001; debut album "Suden Uni"
First concert abroad - 2004; first foreign date in Osijek, Croatia
Present - 2007; the fifth album "Hävitetty" is out

Metalfan - I know that your first demos, Thorns of Ice (1996) and Promo (1997) were never released. How can a die-hard fan get his hands on these rare materials?
Ville Sorvali - Unfortunately there is no way getting to those demos, not even for us. The better half of "Thorns Of Ice" is reported missing, and "Promo" has such a bad sound quality that no one will, or should, ever hear it.

Metalfan - In 1997 you released Metsa, a semi-professional product. After a few years you have re-released it via Internet in 2001. I know that there were some differences between the 2 releases, as you recorded some additional instruments for the second version. Can you please give us some details about it?
Ville Sorvali - "Metsä" had originally such a bad sound quality and we just wanted to update it somehow to give some point to the re-release. Some synth and vocal overdubs were recorded, and also the bass was added (the original recording didn't have a bass!). However, the original recording is still on the background in its entirety, just with a better mastering.

Metalfan - Tama Ikuinen Talvi, another demo recording, was sold-out, then reprinted on CD, then sold-out again. Aren’t you by any chance planning to reissue all those demos as bonuses on your future albums, since they are so hard to find?
Ville Sorvali - Nah, they are demos. Since we have already gone such a long way, let them serve as rarities for the die-hard fans who actually bought them when they were still available. There is a way to get all the material through the internet anyway if someone really wants to hear them.

Metalfan - Even though English is considered the universal language when it comes to lyrics, you continue writing them in Finnish. How come? Aren’t you afraid that most of the people would find them quite inaccessible?
Ville Sorvali - I don't think that the language barrier is such a big deal in marginal metal music anyway, look at the Norwegian black metal bands from the 90's for example. It doesn't seem to be a big deal even in the mainstream (see: Rammstein). We perform and will continue performing in Finnish because it is an integral part of our concept. We couldn't deliver our message any better in other languages, on the contrary.



Metalfan - Finnish traditional music has influenced your songs. How do you actually choose your sources of inspiration?
Ville Sorvali - We don't really choose our sources of inspiration, we just listen to what we like and sometimes that makes its way through to our music. We don't even incorporate any folk elements if it doesn't fit with the arrangements, and coming to that, we really wouldn't even call ourselves a "folk metal" band. We are big fans of folk music, no doubt. Finnish and foreign.

Metalfan - By looking at the technical details of your albums I have noticed that they were all produced/mixed with a team formed by Ahti Kortelainen and Mika Jussila. Can we talk a little about your relationship with them?
Ville Sorvali - We chose Ahti and Mika for the first album by chance; we listened to the albums they had made and realised that they could do a good work with our sound as well. Since then, we haven't felt the need to change the line-up. They are both utmost professionals in what they do, they know what we are doing and all in all we get well along. With them, we get the results we aim at.

Metalfan - Do they give you any suggestions about how a song should sound like, about riffing, etc. or making music is your job exclusively?
Ville Sorvali - Apart from some minor technical details, no, not really. Ahti does the groundwork for the sound, and we take it from there. Sometimes he might comment on individual performances with sarcastic one-liners as "I'm not even a little bit scared". He knows what we are doing and knows that we do it best. In the mastering, Mika gives us his idea of the overall sound and we comment on that. Usually it's so good however that we don't have to change much. Just little unimportant details, as we are keen to.

Metalfan - Let us draw closer to the music and talk a little about your studio recordings. Regarding them objectively, what are the main differences between Kivenkantaja, Verisakeet and Havitetty? Is there anything you might want to change about them, looking upon them retrospectively?
Ville Sorvali - "Kivenkantaja" is definitely the most melodic of all these, and in a way it's a closing chapter for the first two albums. On "Verisäkeet" we already took a different approach and more black metal influences came in. "Hävitetty" is as much a mixture of both as it is an album completely of its own. We pushed the boundaries of Moonsorrow's sound a bit further, as we try to do with each album. We are unpredictable, sometimes even to ourselves.
There are things on every album that we could do better if we did them now, but no, we wouldn't change them even if we could. Each album is a manifest of its own time, they all mark what we have wanted to do, though we might not have succeeded 100% every time. We are proud of our past, as much as we are proud of what we are now.

Metalfan - A few years ago you have sustained some gigs in North America. Do you believe that there is a public for Viking/folk metal music out there? How did you find the American audience, compared with the European one?
Ville Sorvali - There is definitely a market for this kind of music in North America, and I guess some bands (Amon Amarth, Enslaved) have already shown that. So far we've only paid two short visits with 6 gigs in Canada and 1 in USA, and we're not even close to "having a name" over there, but things are looking cautiously positive. The audience varies from place to place, USA seems to have quite a different approach whereas Quebec is already quite close to the European audience. Safe to say the three last shows we played (Montréal, Quebec City, St. Hyacinthe) were all completely crazy!



Metalfan - What were the reactions towards your latest recording, Havitetty, so far? Can you give us some details about the time spent in studio recording it? Any funny happenings?
Ville Sorvali - We had a bigger studio budget than ever, counting up to 5 weeks reserved for recording and mixing the album, so the session was quite relaxed compared to some of the previous ones. In the end we even had time to delve into some details we used to be a bit more careless about, such as spontaneous vocal overdubs and all sorts of interesting panning experiments. On a non-instrumental note, check out the extensive studio diary to read about whiskey, fever, fire extinquishers and whatnot.

Metalfan - At the beginning of August you will have the opportunity to play at the Wacken Open Air, probably the most important European festival. Is it your first time there? Are you nervous about it?
Ville Sorvali - This year has been exceptionally busy for Moonsorrow, and will continue to be so over the summer as well. We have our first time in Wacken and we are really looking forward to playing there, along some other festivals we have never been to before. Playing live is always fun, and it doesn't really matter where is it, so I'm not any more nervous about playing in Wacken than anywhere else. And if I start getting nervous, I ease things with one or two beers.

Metalfan - What are, in your opinion, the reasons for which they decided to choose you?
Ville Sorvali - Heh, wish I would know. They've actually been asking us for a couple of times already, but we had to turn them down earlier because it didn't make sense financially. There are dozens of bands in Wacken each year and we're just one of them, and setting up the billing is business that I don't want to get involved in anyway.

Metalfan - I have always wondered what subjects do your lyrics cover. Since I cannot understand Finnish, I would like you to help me a little.
Ville Sorvali - That's why we make translations for each album. ;) The new album is about the end of the world, it covers some universal issues and also has a lot of personal dialogue. Generally, all of our lyrics portray a pagan's mind pondering upon different subjects, and concepts like culture and nature are very often present.



Metalfan - Have you ever filmed a video? If yes, tell us about it.
Ville Sorvali - Hehe, we filmed a video for "Jumalten Kaupunki", which you can find from the re-issue of "Suden Uni". It's very "spinal tap" and shouldn't be taken dead-seriously; actually, I doubt if you even could. We had a lot of fun shooting it, but I don't think we're going to make another one because our songs are a bit too long, and no one shows metal videos on TV anyway.

Metalfan - What do you like to do when having some spare time? Tell us a little about your future plans too.
Ville Sorvali - I still have to work besides the band, so my free time can be quite limited sometimes. Whenever I can just sit down and relax, I like to spend the time with my friends and girlfriend just by watching movies, drinking beer or whatever normal people do. I also try to play football once a week but that's as far as my non-musical hobbies go.
The future plans of Moonsorrow include the upcoming summer festivals and whatever it is that might come upon us in autumn. We're not thinking about a new album just yet, we're taking it cool as we always do. Fewer plans, fewer disappointments.

Metalfan - In the end, after saying goodbye and parting ways, I have a little request. I’d like you to describe the following in only one word:
· Moonsorrow - earth
· Finntroll - beer
· Children of Bodom - inspiration
· Amorphis - Finland
· Lordi - renewal
· Norther - Easter
· Finland - home
· Sweden - luck
· Norway - Jotunheim
· Denmark - Carlsberg
· Mika Hakkinen - accent
· Jari Litmanen - mullet
· Romania - Carpathia

Metalfan - Thank you very much, you have your final words.
Ville Sorvali - Thank you for this interview and thanks to all Romanian fans for their support!

Autor: Sake
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Moonsorrow

   July 03, 2007  | 1 Comments  | 22774 Views « BACK

Comment on: MOONSORROW: We are unpredictable, sometimes even to ourselves

  • una din trupele mele preferate, de abia astept sa o vad la Wacken la vara....

    1. Posted by darmoth | 04 Iulie 2007 18:08

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