Welcome to the Moonsorrow Interviews Compilation!
Here you will find more than one hundred Moonsorrow interviews, many of which have already disappeared from where they were originally posted. Check the Index and Contact pages above and the notes in the left column for more info.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Back Drop Zine / July 2000


Answered by Ville Sorvali

-OK, where should I think about when I hear the word Moonsorrow? Where does the band stand for? Tell us some history.

[Ville] Whenever the name Moonsorrow is associated with a certain heathenish metal orchestra from Finland, I’m satisfied. Always the better if people connect the name with good music, of course! The band stands strongly for what we believe in, i.e. heathenish ideals, nature and of course good music, but we don’t want to lecture to anyone. Our listeners do not have to think the same way we do, you know.
The birth of Moonsorrow dates back to 1995 when I and Henri formed it as a project. In 1996 we recorded our first demo ”Thorns Of Ice” (though we never released it) and in 1997 the next one ”Metsä” (officially spoken as our debut). We also did a promo tape after ”Metsä” but it encountered the fate of our first demo. During 1998 we struggled with recording our 2nd/3rd/4th demo (depends on how you want to count it) ”Tämä Ikuinen Talvi”; stuggled because various problems held us back until the very beginning of 1999. With that demo we eventually earned a record contract from Plasmatica Records, and with a third member in our line-up (the drummer Baron Tarwonen) we headed recording our debut album ”Suden Uni” in February 2000.

-So you believe in heathenish ideals and nature. What does that mean concrete? What does the word heathenish mean to you and how much do you care for nature?

[Ville] To me being a heathen basically means a simple respect for nature and living by heathenish values, such as sincerity, rightfulness and reasonableness. Heathenism is also a general concept of rejecting the twisted morals of monotheistic religions. It is all though very personal and I’d say that there are no two heathens the same (in the sense there are 5 million christians all the same), because heathenism is mostly very flexible to the needs of an individual. People think that heathens always worship ”heathen divinities” as such, but I for example do not. To me Ukko, Ahti, Pekko and all their companions just symbolize the phenomena of nature. Nature is the only thing actually divine to me, it is my conception of ”the creator”. I care for nature very much and, as urban as I am, I am always striving to live in harmony with it, unlike a worrying number of people nowadays care to. I try to live my everyday life at least somewhat ecologically, but I really am not interested in any activism.

-You do a sort of project called Meat hook productions. Is it kind of a record label or is it a collective that supports the underground scene? Tell us more about it!

[Ville] Meat Hook Productions is a d.i.y. demo label launched in 1995 and active since 1997. We have released 25 cassettes and 1 demo-cd, all but one of Finnish bands/projects (Gorewinter, Unhola, Moonsorrow, Lunar Womb, Kharadrai...). The main focus of Meat Hook Productions is naturally metal, nevertheless we have also put out a significant number of synth music records. In my opinion all of the releases are more or less brilliant (less referring to the very early catalogue numbers) but obviously the big audience hasn’t realized that yet... We don’t make any considerable profit, existing solely to support our bits of the underground. If anyone out there is interested in our merchandise, an expansive distribution list can be asked from my address for free.

-How would you label MS musically? Which bands have inspired the sound of MS? Did the band always played such style of music?

[Ville] I very much dislike labeling due to its misleading nature, but in case a category for Moonsorrow is demanded, I would propably describe it as expressionlessly as ”pagan metal”. Our ”pagan metal” is not however any second hand black metal with ”viking” lyrics, but a selection of the finest metals (primarily heavy and black though) and elements of folk music with utter bombast and a sincerely heathenish approach. There are many bands that have inspired the sound of Moonsorrow during the years, and even though we are more making our own music than mimicking anyone, it doesn’t require that much nitpicking to distinguish the influence of such innovators as Bathory or Enslaved. Roughly bordering we have always played the same music with that certain ”Moonsorrow-sound”, we have only developed tremendously since ”Thorns Of Ice” and clarified our musical aims.

-I guess the band develops more into the folk direction when I hear the differences between the demo and the full lenght? Which image do you want to have as a band?

[Ville] That’s right. Although we have since the beginning been very much into employing folk music for our metal, our abilities of doing it properly haven’t always been that high and so the overall atmosphere isn’t as folkish on the demos as it is on ”Suden Uni”. And because we will always develop further as music writers, obtaining better abilities to express our ideas, I’m pretty sure that the next albums will only be even more folkish. We don’t want to create any musical images, we want to be recognized of what we really do. We are Moonsorrow and we want people to remember us as Moonsorrow - the epic, bombastic, folkish metal band.

-Where are the lyrics about? Do you think there is a place for political lyrics in black/death metal?

[Ville] Our lyrics, as vast as their scale of issues could be, can all be characterized as heathenish. Many of them deal with historical events, nature or pagan beliefs, but they are written in such a poetic way that they always leave enough room for interpretations. I think that the lyrics are an important part of the music, and just as with unvaried music, it becomes very boring if the lyrics are stictly bound to one and only theme. I can’t find a reason for why there wouldn’t be a place for political lyrics in extreme metal, but if there isn’t, all those who preach against christianity in their lyrics must immediately change the subject!

-Yeah, but still I think metal lyrics are dealing with the same subjects. They are almost all heathenish, sober and non-realistic. In my opinion, a band should have (and probably have) the power to influence the thoughts of the people who listen to your music. I mean, people who listen to satanic music mostly claim to be against christianity. People idealize bands and want to be like them, so I think bands should use that power to reach something more than turing everybody against christianity or something, but instead use it for something positive.

[Ville] Yes, most metal lyrics are dealing with the same subjects, and I really cannot defend Moonsorrow from that accusation either, after our lyrics all have that heathenish (and sober) approach. However, our lyrics usually have a strong relationship with reality; for example, can you deny that the crusades happened? I don’t know if we have the power to influence our listeners, but we have a message indeed. Not that we would be trying to convert people, not at all, we would just want them to think a little about the things we say. Unlike it might seem, the core of our lyrics is not directed towards christianity but only in favour of the freedom of people and nature, so I’d say it’s very positive indeed.

-You live in Finland. Do you like living there? How's the political situation over there? How's the economical situation?

[Ville] Yes, I pretty much like living in Finland. It is a safe place to be, even rather comfortable for a metalhead, and there’s plently of untouched nature to enjoy. The political situation is more or less stabile, sometimes even so that it feels like we wouldn’t have any government! Both the left and the right are represented in the administration and so the benefits of all classes of people are at least somewhat taken care of (but of course the rich have things much better because this a ”healthy” capitalist country), and although most of the politicians are selfish and untrustworthy, no serious complications have occurred. The economical situation is also of good industrial nation standard, and I think there is more money in Finland than what we actually need - and although the stock millionaires receive the surplus, most of the people belong to the ”middle class”, being able to make a living without grand problems.

-When there are elections, which party you're gonna vote and why?

[Ville] To be exact, I always vote for a person and not a party. However, partly due to the relative election system (which one of you Belgians invented), I have never seriously considered voting anyone outside the left wing party (the true left wing party, not to be mistaken with communists or that bunch of closet bourgeoises who dare to call themselves ”the social democrats”) or the green (environmental) party. And as the leftists are nowadays as aware of what concerns ecological issues as the greens, which by the way do not have any clear political aims, I think I have no doubts about voting for left wing party once again. Politically the choice is just the most natural, because as a bit of a socialist I support quite the same ideas as them: more equal distribution of income, more reasonable taxation, improving social services, reducing the power of the church etc. Additionally, unlike most politicians the members of the left wing party have proven themselves worthy and they have traditionally been more active and interested in politics than ”the big ones”, which are the social democrats, the center and the national coalition.

-When you were a child, then what was your vision about how life would develop? Did you had a good childhood? Can you tell us some childhood memories?

[Ville] I think I had a good childhood; I had loving parents and a roof above my head, and what more could a child ask? However, I don’t have that much clear memories about that time. My father was (and still is) a teacher and I remember I was highly interested in sciences and stuff, even so that I seriously considered becoming a scientist - though not more seriously than a simple child can consider. Later on I got interested in music and I thought it would be cool to be a rock star. I mostly enjoyed being in my own company, I invented games of my own and did cool chemical experiments. I really hadn’t much respect for authorities and I also spent much of my time doing all kinds of nasty things. I was an irritating brat for sure. I never had a clear ”vision” of the course of life, but I knew all along that the common expectation - study, get a profession, get married, have children, grow old and die - shouldn’t be taken as the only path for everyone to follow (excluding dying, of course). I think I achieved an independent model of thinking at a very early stage, ailingly leading to the aversed figure I am now.

-So you weren't really a proto-type person when you were young? And what do you mean with nasty things?

[Ville] No, not really. I was rather introvert and whenever I played with other kids I wanted to be in charge, and my impertinent nature and wicked sense of humour certainly irritated most adults. I was more interested in sciences than fairytales already at a very young age, and thus I knew a lot more than the other kids when I went to school; the other kids were delighted when I shared my knowledge with them, but somehow the teachers were upset. And I was that young rebel who refused to cut his long curly hair in 1st grade, just because my teacher told me that the way I looked wasn’t appropriate. I did a lot of nasty things, but they were nothing serious really, just picking on my classmates and fighting them, using bad language at teachers, always terrorizing my little sister and fooling her in trading, vandalizing some public and private property and so on. I was of course punished for most of these violations and eventually I grew up from it.

-What did you do for studies? Do you think education is important in a human's life?

[Ville] I still am in the middle of my education, actually. I am starting extensive studies in mathematics, physics and information technology at Helsinki university, and it is a considerable goal for me to graduate into teacher’s profession within the next 7 years (7 being my secondary lucky number as 13 years would be too much) - but of course anything can happen and I can’t tell yet what did I do for studies when I’m a dead rockstar. Education is important because it reduces problems caused by illiteracy, but wouldn’t we be robots with just knowledge?

-Education is a good weapon when it's used for the good cause, but what do you think about the technology of today? Isn't it developping too fast? I think we are turning into robots, but the knowledge is kept by our computers.

[Ville] Technology is definitely developing (or seeming to develop) too fast, and it’s just a matter of time when will this headless running end in a total collapse. I just can’t get how so many people can still get excited about all newer and newer ”inventions” and simultaneously forgetting more and more things they can do themselves. Obviously no one can really see that this can’t go on forever! I must agree with what you say: we give our knowledge to computers and for the sake of easier living we forget about that knowledge ourselves... but what will happen when the computers are destroyed?

-What is your opinion on emotional matters and their place in the metal scene? Don't you think the image of metal heads is too rough, they will never show some emotional let-downs. Also in metal zines you'll only find musical-orientated questions, don't you think people should use their head more instead of only listening to the music?

[Ville] Human is an emotional creature, and thus whoever is hiding his/her emotions is lying. Considering that there even is a place for the whole spectrum of emotions in metal, metalheads are certainly keeping up to too rough an image. However, they’re far from alone. It seems that - in a highly perverse manner - everyone needs to be a tough guy in this society, regardless of whatever tumults, and that is indeed a good recipe for a generation of mental cases. Anyway, what comes to the content of interviews in metal ’zines, I at least think it’s highly inspiring to read/answer these ”outmusical” questions. First of all because of the variation, secondly because of the depth. (To put it in a seemingly intellectual way: to understand the music you need to discover the minds behind it.)

-Can you tell us what your biggest dream is you want to come true and why? Do you dream often? Do you like to dream?

[Ville] As I am an amateur musician with no hope, my major dream is to be able to make a living with music (not necessarily to get rich or famous, just to survive without having another job). I also have those commonly shared dreams of getting a pleasant job (as I really am not going to achieve that forementioned), set up the best family on earth, by all means living an enjoyable life and dying as a happy man. Nothing too surprising, really. I’m a hopeless realist (some say it’s pessisism, hell, don’t know about that) and quite far from a dreamer. I just try to confront whatever life brings to me, hoping for the best and fearing for the worst.

-Maybe it's better to be a realist than a dreamer. I think when you really know and face reality, your life will be more 'intense'. At that way you can learn more about life and enjoy life more than just dream about a happy life. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we'll have to face it, that's life...

[Ville] I definitely agree. You must of course always have some goals to give a push to your life, but all the goals you set must be realistic, something you know you can achieve at some point of your life. Hopeless dreams just waste your time and eventually let you down. The truth hurts but it never kills; the more mistakes we make the more we learn.

-Can you give us some typical characteristic qualities that fit into your personality?

[Ville] Sceptic, nihilistic, ready-witted and indiscreet, philosophic, socio-political, anti-militaristic, heathenish, anticlerical, selfish, stubborn, emotionally awkward, diplomatic, rational, calculating, disgustingly systematic, non-confident, pretentiously intellectual and at least somewhat musical.

Mandrake Zine / June 2000


Answered by Ville Sorvali

Please tell about the very beginning of Moonsorrow. (When , how, why and by whom was the band formed?) Please tell a bit about your previous projects - were you two already making music or doing something else in the musical field together at the time?

[Ville] Moonsorrow was formed in 1995 by Henri and me. Why? For the sake of playing some more music... we had this paganistic concept we wanted to express, so to say. And how? The same way we formed all the other projects back then, i.e. the other one of us got an immortal idea and consequences followed. So we had a significant number of different projects already, however those projects are more or less dead by now. Moonsorrow has survived through the years, because it was something we really wanted to do and eventually it even became an actual band. The projects we had prior to Moonsorrow included such legends as Ahti and Masturbory as well as dozens of one-rehearsal projects that never recorded anything (at least not to be published). We were really expressing ourselves in every way from thrash metal to folk music... and as we were kids, the results were usually pretty terrible. The experience, however, was valuable.

About the band name - is there any deliberate reference to the Celtic Frost classic "Sorrows of the Moon"? Do you know the song and the alternative version "Tristesses de la Lune" - what do you think? Would you consider covering the track (despite the fact that it has been done before by Therion and Nocturnal Mortum)? What does the concept of Moonsorrow mean? Should it be placed in your heathen views?

[Ville] So you revealed it! Actually it was that Celtic Frost track our band was originally named after, and when Henri introduced the compound for our moniker, I thought it would be a good symbol for picturing our band. And it is. Moonsorrow consists of two powerful words, the combination of which can have many meanings; it doesn't require any strict concept to be connected to, and neither have we ever felt like doing so. I don't know if it particularly reflects our heathen views, but it for sure suits our music and also our Finnish origin. I mean, as a posteriori as my impression would be, our music pictures "moonsorrow", and "moonsorrow" as a symbol mirrors the dear Finnish melancholy or whatever. About the Celtic Frost track then, I think it's a good, innovative piece in itself. (I don't quite get the cross-artistic attempt in the French version, but undeniably it shows how "ahead" the band was at their time.) Covering that track isn't a totally excluded option, but we haven't thought about it before. If we decide to cover a track, we are led by the criterion of being able to give something new to the song as arranged by Moonsorrow and it shouldn't matter if the same track has been covered a thousand times before if only our version would be distinguishable from the others.

Looking over your discography, a striking element are the cancelled releases. What went wrong with the "Thorns of Ice"-demo? Why didn't it satisfy your expectations? Did lack of experience play a role in that? Then for the promo '97 - what happened here? Were you in a phase that experimenting was a higher goal in itself at the time? Were you striving for originality? Why did you take these recordings up in your discography though they were never released?

[Ville] What didn't go wrong with "Thorns Of Ice"? We recorded it very shortly after Moonsorrow was formed, which roughly means that we hadn't had enough time yet to find our own style, to some extent resulting in numbness and naivety of the compositions. Of course we also had severe lacks in our experience, but I think it didn't play such a role in the unsuccessfulness of "Thorns Of Ice". After all, the songs were pretty damn easy to play. Not that the music in itself would have been a total failure - in retrospect it was a good picture of our capabilities in 1996 - Moonsorrow just didn't sound ready yet. I remember that we were about to release the demo anyway, but thanks to the divine intervention of half of the mastered material disappearing mysteriously we very cleverly withdrew from the idea. Then for the promo '97 - the disaster. It wasn't like we would have been striving for originality, we never were; we just wanted to try and write a different, somewhat joyous song. If it wasn't a horrible attempt already, I made it a nightmare by trying to sing clean! Furthermore, we blew up the mix by making the channels distort very badly. The simple reason why these recordings are placed in our discography even though they do not exist, so to say, is that they still have their position as milestones on the path of Moonsorrow - they are a part of what we have done.

In my opinion, with each release by Moonsorrow, it's like listening to a completely different band. What do you think of this? What's the reason for this? I can understand like "natural development", but this is really extreme. Have you found a musical direction now you will stick to or will we never know what to expect from Moonsorrow?

[Ville] I have to disagree, because I can find the characterising "Moonsorrow-sound" on all of our recordings. Perhaps it's because I've been there, but if you compare "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" with "Metsä", you rather easily notice that it's made by the same band, only two years older and wiser. It's faster because we wanted it to be faster and it's more symphonic not only because we wanted it to be that way, but also because we had obtained better synth equipment; on "Metsä" there already are traces of "orchestral ambitions", just played with a terrible game-console-alike instrument. And if you compare "Suden Uni" with these demos, you can only conclude that musically it's not so radically different from either one! The most striking element must be the reduced speed, but we wanted it that way, and as you know "Metsä" you know that it's not a new thing for Moonsorrow. Although I do not foresee such radical turns in our continuation now, we will always develop, and on the next release - as with every previous work - we will again be closer to how we wanted it all to sound. And don't say you don't know what to expect... expect Moonsorrow!

Your first released demo "Metsä" sounded like Immortal (Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism-days) with keyboards to me. What's the most memorable response you got to this demo? What do you think of this recording nowadays? Will you ever re-record these tracks? Thinking back of the recording session - what comes to your mind?

[Ville] That reference was new to me indeed! I don't think "Metsä" sounds like Immortal at all, but that's your opinion and I can't argue with it. Rather, it reminds me of Enslaved (which I think was a part of the purpose), but be it what it is, "Metsä" is a good effort and I'd say we can be proud of it. Thinking back of the recording session, I remember it was going really smoothly, because it took us only a day to record and mix everything; we weren't trying to make any hi-fi stuff you know. The sounds are bad and so are the vocals, but the songs themselves turned out good. And because of their potential, we have already discussed re-recording the tracks, probably for some exclusive release. We have already rearranged "Hvergelmir" and played it live and it sounds marvellous indeed. The most memorable response to "Metsä" must be from a reviewer who concluded "horrible sounding computer drums, boring riffs and annoying sounds", giving us 1 point of 5... or from the other who asked "what's actually positive here?", still giving us 0,5 points more. Well, of course there were the folks who liked the demo, but they weren't the critics.

Your second official demo "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" has become an absolute masterpiece. But as with the birth of beautiful children - the labour was hard! Please tell about all the things that went wrong. How did you cope with this? Weren't you taken by total despair after so many fuck-ups?

[Ville] Thank you very much for your compliment. I'm very satisfied with that demo as well, and perhaps part of the satisfaction is in the happy ending of the painful recording process. So where to start? The first obstacle was that we had several problems with booking the studio of Sibelius-lukio, because it was often full and a few times even double-booked - which shows something about their organisation. And on one of the occasions we entered that studio the mixing table had simply disappeared! (Or was it just broken? Hell, I can't remember.) When we finally got things together and got as far as recording the synth tracks (including the drum computer), everything was destroyed, and we had to start all over again. And when we finally got on the recording again and managed to take in the synths and the guitars, everything was destroyed again when we were recording the bass! I have to admit that we were both very pissed off because of everything that had happened, but I think it only increased our will to get "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" done. Anyhow, it was a huge relief when we finally made it.

Up to and including "Tämä.." you worked with a drum computer instead of a actual drummer and in previous interviews you stated that Moonsorrow would always be the 2 of you. What made you change your mind and led to the introduction of Baron Tarwonen? Did the option of playing live play a role in this? Do you like the way it is working out?

[Ville] On our demos we worked with a drum computer (on "Thorns Of Ice" I actually played the drums, but as it was never released, fortunately no one will be able to witness that) mainly because Henri did most of the arranging and he was already recording something with the programmed drums as the basis when I got to hear the new material. Also, it would have been impossible to obtain proper sounds from real drums on home studio conditions, and last but not least my skills weren't adequate for the beating. However, we wanted to have lively drumming for our album, and so we ended up asking Baron Tarwonen to join in. After all, he is one hell of a drummer! Before him it seemed that Moonsorrow would function the best with only the two of us, but how wrong were we after all... our unity in this three-piece is perfect and new blood has really helped to enhance the "Moonsorrow-sound". Tarwonen also made it possible for us to play live as a band and that is a step forwards indeed.

You have already done some live-playing - what was it like? (experience, response, line-upŠ what about the accordion?)

[Ville] Playing live is always a great experience, and especially with Moonsorrow it seems that we are a "live band" above all. Just unfortunately we haven't got the chance to play live too often. Considering that we're still a young band with no name, the response from the audience has been certainly positive. At all but one of our gigs there has been a pleasant number of people and they have seemed to like what we're doing. Our live line-up differs from the arranging and recording line-up so that Henri plays the guitar and the keyboard duties have been transferred to a man called Lord Eurén. Also there is another guitarist called Shadow to strengthen our live sound. So far the accordion has been played from the synthesizer, although it wouldn't be a bad idea to use the real instrument instead. Mostly the question is about who would play it.

You said you did some reckless promotion after the release of "Tämä"- in what way? You managed to score 4 offers for a record deal!! From which labels? Why did you choose for Plasmatica? Plasmatica is a rather young label - don't you consider that a risk? (will they keep their promises, will they do a good job?..) How is the collaboration/communication going so far?

[Ville] Reckless is a relative term; for us poor students it meant nothing but sending a 100 free copies of the tape to record labels and zines which weren't chosen too carefully (the costs for this operation were circa $200, about as much as what we paid for the recording). Although we got response from only a fraction of those 100 people, we eventually scored 4 offers for a deal as you said. Mentioning the 3 other labels that were in the "contest" is not relevant, but I can say the reason for rejecting their offers in the first place was that they had an inadequate studio budget or insufficient conditions for promotion - two things that are of the highest importance in a deal. We didn't choose Plasmatica only because their offer was the best we got, but because it was truly good. Yes, Plasmatica is a young label, but if there's no risk, there is no gain either. Seriously though, I had been in contact with Carlos (the head of the label) for a while before "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" was even out and because of all the trading we had done prior to the negotiations I was already convinced of his reliability. Also I sensed a sort of a promise in his label, and now when I have witnessed two of his releases coming out (Kranium and Unhola), I can be sure that they do a good and serious job. They really work for their bands so that everyone in their team can feel that they have priority.

Tell us about your debut album (When and how recorded, changes in style of music, expectations, etc, etc). I must really congratulate you with the great production by the way - who produced the album? (how much studio time in which studio?)

[Ville] Our debut album "Suden Uni" was recorded, mixed and mastered in Tico-Tico Studio (Kemi, Finland) during the short period in between the 7th and the 16th of February 2000 (8 hours a day, excluding the weekend) and the result - as you are able to hear - became simply astonishing considering the schedule. It was really produced by us, but a huge gratitude about the result is of course to be paid to the universal guru Ahti Kortelainen, who was our engineer. The composing process of the album didn't take quite as short, though, as the first notes of the material were written shortly after "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" was finished. Our style, however, begun to require more musical imagination and so we had to abandon many of the old ideas during the course. Most of the composing was executed in autumn 1999 and two of the songs were still unfinished in the beginning of 2000. Also the lyrics went through such a long hard way, and there are a few lines on the album that I wrote just a few days before the studio. In January/February when we started seriously rehearsing for the album, we collectively arranged all the songs to 5% from the final. Changes in style of music? Well, as I already meantioned in the 4th question, this album is decisively slower (or should we say "less fast") than "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" - on the same occasion, it is also much heavier. There are more folk influences and the proportions of the songs are more epic. I could well describe it as "bombastic heathen metal" and I dare say that it's more Moonsorrow than anything we have done before. Ok then, what do we expect from the album? Nice question. We have already achieved the primary goal, i.e. the satisfaction of ourselves. But of course we also hope that many people will enjoy it and that everyone who could like it could get it in their hands. Money and fame are not important, after all we're doing this for our own enjoyment, but as we're not rich, all bucks we could ever earn with it are of course welcome!

Though the songs on "Tämä" already had an epic touch, I think this aspect of your songs has grown to be more important - the same goes for the influences from folk music - do you agree? What has caused this change? Have the later Bathory-albums influenced you in your music in any way?

[Ville] As can be understood from the previous question, I definitely agree with you on the interpretation about the growth of epic and folkish aspects. With Moonsorrow we have always wanted to reach the ultimate in epic and folk themes connected to METAL, so the development is certainly the most natural; we have advanced in our skills of composing and arranging music and I'd say our taste has increasingly gone for the better. Also we have given up ripping others off (which, despite the futility of excusing, has never been completely intentional), even though there still are some familiar atmospheres disgustingly shining through, the most obvious of which indeed are reminiscent of the "viking-albums" of Bathory. However, anyone can separate "Suden Uni" from "Twilight Of The Gods" on very clear grounds.

Do you know the Finnish band Furthest Shore? What do you think of their work?

[Ville] Yes, I know the band but I haven't had the chance to check out their production on a larger scale. I'm sure you wouldn't have asked this question as completely irrelevant, so do you think we sound like them?

On your debut album you use rather unusual instruments like an accordion, a mouth harp - who's idea was this? Can we expect more of this kind of instrument extravaganza?

[Ville] Great that you took notice of them! Both of these instruments were Henri's ideas, and although I had a slightly reserved attitude towards the accordion, it turned out to serve our music damn well. The funny part of it was that we had originally planned to play the accordion with keyboards - simply because we didn't own an accordion and no one of us was supposed to be able to play it anyway - but when we sneaked around in the studio we found this age-old instrument and Henri actually practised to handle it within a few hours! And so we ended up recording a live accordion on our album. We are not actually talking about an instrument extravaganza, but yes, accordion and mouth harp will remain in our selection, most certainly. Our hope is also to add a few more real instruments instead of playing everything with keyboards, but as a matter of economy it remains to be seen.

Don't you think it's a shame that non-Finnish listeners/readers can't understand your lyrics (for they are in Finnish), especially considering the fact you once said you want people to interpret your lyrics for themselves? Will you print translated versions? Maybe switch (back) to English someday?

[Ville] It is a shame that people who can't understand Finnish can't understand my lyrics either, but when translated they wouldn't have exactly the same content anyway. I first tried to compose English translations for the lyrics on "Suden Uni", but after days of pondering and numerous attempts I realised that it wasn't going to work. However, I ended up writing English frame stories for all the songs and I hope that these could help foreign listeners to understand the texts. Of course the Finnish people are now left with much better opportunities to interpret the lyrics for themselves, which has never been my purpose, but it's just that I have found writing in my mother tongue to bring forth better expressions. Writing some lyrics in English (or in other languages) in times to come is always possible, it merely depends on in which language I can express a thought in the most effective way.

(Please tell a little about the content of the lyrics for "Suden Uni")

[Ville] Well, as much I would hate explaining my lyrics, I can never avoid that it seems. So here a brief piece-by-piece content for those who hunger for something general (I still wish to leave the deeper interpretation of the lyrics, or the frame stories at least, to the listeners). There are two historical songs, the other which is based around the famous axe murder on Köyliönjärvi and the other which scans the demise of the vikings. This anti-christianly heathenish approach is also used to display the common fact of christians stealing the traditional pagan feasts. Then there is our home-sweet-home anthem, a song about the heathenish relation to death and lastly a lyric my beloved Kaija Kokkonen could tell more about. If there is a general "theme" connecting all these lyrics it must be paganism.

To what extent are your lyrics influenced by Finish folklore/mythology? What do you think of the way a band like Amorphis used it? In an interview for Domain'zine Henry said that folklore/mythology still have quite an impact on the daily lives of many people in Finland. Could you tell me how and illustrate how big this impact is?

[Ville] Direct references to Finnish mythology in our lyrics are few, it is rather the primaeval sphere of ideas they reflect; honour, unyielding disposition in front of an enemy, deep respect for nature, beliefs of afterlife and so on. Writing about mythology does sound tempting, though, but for some reason I haven't done it yet. Okay, we do have mythological lyrics on "Metsä", but they are about Scandinavian mythology (which also played a role in Finnish culture, but is not that we comprehend as the Finnish mythology). The way Amorphis has employed Finnish mythology is good P.R. for it and I think they've done it pretty well, the only minus being that they haven't bothered to dig deeper than just the oral heritage collected in the 19th century - by that time Finland had long been inhabited by Christians. I wouldn't say that the old folklore would have any actual impact on the daily lives of regular Finns, however it is remarkable how strong a position the divinities still have in modern language (the sea is still "the realm of Ahti", people are still talking about elves and gnomes doing all kinds of little stuff and so on, and yeah, of course the Finnish word for thunder is ukkonen)... but it really isn't the recipe for revolution, is it? Fortunately the number of people interested in their national heritage is gradually increasing and we might see it actually affecting the society someday.

What treasures are there to be found beyond the oral heritage. What are the differences compared to the Kalevala? What has the influence of the Christains been like?

[Ville] Huge treasures. There is so much to know about Finnish mythology and folklore and only a little part of it is exposed in public through Kalevala and Kanteletar. The role of the christians in this has simply been the systematic destroying and suffocating of the "godless" traditions, so that there wouldn't be options for their monotheistic belief. There are many rituals (seasonal/agricultural/hunting rituals, sacrifices, funerals...), spells, holy places of the heathens and everything, there is to be found a deeper knowledge of the gods and other mythical folk and of course there is the entire interesting history of the pagan past. Some of the knowledge may be hard to obtain, and I can't claim to have found all the bits of information myself either. There are various books exploring Finnish traditions and of course there is a dose of information scattered around the internet. It takes the trouble, but (in my opinion) Finnish mythology is so interesting that it's certainly worth it.

You label your music "Pagan Metal" but I dislike this labelling business as much as you do. But how would you describe your music? What are the influences (traditional Finnish folk music?) and what are your sources of inspiration?

[Ville] Epic pagan metal, bombastic heathen metal... it's all the same I think. Labelling does seldom tell a thing about the music itself. The best option would be that everyone could listen to the music himself or herself so that I wouldn't have to tell what we sound like in my opinion. But as many people simply don't have the chance to check out a record before buying it, descriptions and reviews are obligatory to prevent a complete surprise/disappointment. To begin with, our music is metal, giving intimations of its representatives generally known as "black" and "heavy". The songs are rather lengthy, structured in an epic way and arranged to be as bombastic as possible, in which the keyboards play a significant role. Moreover there are the folkish influences bringing in a touch of Finnish musical heritage. The vocals are mostly shrieky but there is also clean singing in places, and the lyrics strongly support the heathenish atmosphere of the music. And even though sounding just like Moonsorrow, it may reveal influences of some other epic metal bands such as Bathory.

Does Finland have a rich tradition in folk music? Do you listen to Finnish traditional music yourself? By which artists?

[Ville] Yes, there is a rich tradition of folk music in Finland. The melodies from centuries and centuries ago are preserved by many musicians, some of whom perform them as they were and some of whom are bringing them into the present fashion. There are numerous active folk music groups in Finland, and there are also a couple of vital festivals devoted to (Finnish) folk music. I like traditional (and semi-traditional) Finnish music very much, all the way from more or less pure folk groups like Gjallarhorn or Värttinä to those who build their folk music on the corner stones of "popular culture" like Hedningarna or Pohjannaula. Also those who use Finnish folk music in music of totally other genres, for example Pekka Pohjola, are generally to my liking.

You say you are heathens - what does this mean to you, to be a heathen? Is there a difference between heathendom and paganism? Have you always felt a heathen or has there been a certain point in your life that you reached a certain insight? Isn't it a very individual thing to be a heathen? Are there general rules & values shared by all heathens?

[Ville] To me being a heathen means at its simplest a profound respect for nature. It also includes living by values that can be characterized heathenish (e.g. sincerity, rightfulness, honour, wisdom, reasonableness) and not accepting the twisted morals of any contemporary religion. I do not worship any heathen divinities as such as I don't see it as a very crucial factor in heathenism itself; I rather consider Ukko and the other fellows to be symbols as which nature could be personified. I don't see any difference between heathendom and paganism, after all they're synonyms, yet they both can appear in many forms (depending on who applies) under the very same name. Heathenism is, as you said, very personal and quite free to be shaped to respond to the needs and conceptions of an individual. There are no general rules in the sense e.g. Christians would understand, but the basic values are somewhat common with all heathens. What comes to the development of my heathenism, it has just inconspicuously happened alongside the growing of my knowledge and the focusing of my interests. I think I can claim to have been a heathen soul since a child, because I was never turned into a heathen. I just hadn't recognized it until recently.

Nature seems to take up a special place in your philosophy of life. Why? What precise role does nature play in your view on life? Who or what created nature? Are you familiar with the Gaia theory? If so, what do you think of it? Should you be considered an environmentalist?

[Ville] To cut it short, nature is the only thing I "believe in", so to say; it is the superior entity and the divine for me. And because from my point of view nature is the "creator" itself, it was never created, it has always been and it will always be. But what makes nature a different "creator" is that it has not to be particularly worshipped., all we need to "sacrifice" to nature is just to live and breathe with it. We all are a part of nature but unfortunately few ever realize it - let alone act according to it. The Gaia theory is a fascinating alternative for comprehending the world and in a way the earth can be perceived as one breathing creature, but I rather deal with it (her) as a sum of all organic and inorganic it counts. We really can't talk about nature as collectively conscious anyhow. I am definitely an environmentalist in the everyday sense of the word, but that's a far cry from any sort of activism.

Living in harmony with nature, what does that mean?

[Ville] Basically it is an ideal of not consuming more than one needs and not harming nature in any way with one's actions. This is of course impossible in practise, as humans as we are, and I seriously cannot claim to have achieved that ideal either. Quite self-evidently, living in harmony with nature also presupposes spending one's time with nature, communicating with it and understanding its ways.

You consider life to be "a unique incident in nature's course' - what's the reason for existing in your opinion? Do you believe that when you die, you live on in one way or another? What happens to your essence/spirit? Please respond to the following statement "Life is not to be enjoyed, it is to be endured" (From "The Prince of Abbysinia" - a 18th century novel)

[Ville] There is no particular reason for existing; we have just been born to continue nature's course. We do not have to strive for anything remarkable while we walk the earth, we just have to try to live our lives in harmony with nature and all its creatures (and the principle concerns everyone no matter if they live in cities, on the countryside, in forests or wherever). Everything we do has a meaning to nature but there are no instructions of what exactly we should do, so it may be concluded that when nature is satisfied with us we can start satisfying ourselves. And, of course, that part of it is very individual. People should seek the joy from life and make it a pleasant experience, and although life is often hard and miserable, it should be endured to be enjoyed again. I don't know if any spiritual afterlife expects us when we die - so far I have rationalized that it doesn't - but our corpses will nevertheless return to earth, continuing the eternal course of nature from the bottom of the food chain.

What is the cause that life is often so hard and miserable? What role does society play in this? Is there any justification for society the way it is in your eyes? Why not "move into nature"?

[Ville] Mostly it's us humans who make our lives miserable; greedy, envious, hostile, untrustworthy bastards always gathering obstacles on each other's way instead of just concentrating on enjoying being. Not only does the society play a significant role in this by encouraging this cannibalism, it also has its direct means of making us all less happy. All students, unemployed people and generally everyone who has too little money to spend in the eyes of our profit-centered society must know this. Basically everything about "the modern society" disgusts me, but that's where we live in and we cannot run or hide from it. Yes, society is justified as a system, but somehow it has all gone wrong and now we find ourselves struggling in this materialistic, superficial, hypocrite forecourt of hell. Moving into nature is a nice thought, but I doubt if any of us crowns of creation would survive there for long, at least not alone. For most people I think the game would end in the search for food.

Are both Henri and you still active for Meathooked zine? Please tell some more about the magazine and why you started it. What is it that makes Meathooked zine stand out? You also include "social critical features/articles. Why? How do you pick the bands for the interviews?

[Ville] As active as it permits; we work for Meathooked 'zine every once in a while which however isn't too often. We are not attempting to make any frequent magazine anyway. It is more about expressing ourselves and occasionally shattering the underground 'zine circles by bringing some quality into them. We have had two issues so far, both containing 64 pages in A4-format full of information and good humour (see how relative the term is). I think it's our individual style of writing and handling various topics that makes Meathooked stand out. By including socio-political articles we have shown our indifference to the "general underground rules"; we are proud to be aware of humanistic issues and we speak about what we want even if some people wouldn't respect or get it. They are not an end in themselves anyhow, but we really would like people to think about what we say. We may or may not write about such topics in the future, all depending on what we have in mind at that time. Concerning the choice of bands for the interviews, I think you have noticed that the spectrum is rather vast. It happens to be that, for the sake of artistic freedom, we all have taken uncontrolled hands to bring anything onto the pages of Meathooked. Usually it happens (surprisingly enough) that we choose to interview bands we like; moreover, it is often our guidance that a person who really has something to say is more interesting to question than someone who does not have any opinion.

Ville, you are currently doing your civil service; a necessary evil or do you consider it useful to contribute to the well-being of society?

[Ville] Definitely the first option. It is true that the civil service system offers extremely cheap labour to employers in service of the nation, the commune, the church or certain generally useful organisations, but I believe that a few thousand nearly unsalaried workers per year in often just partly useful tasks do not make such a big difference to the well-being of society. After all, we do not even pay taxes. If the service (either military or civil) wouldn't have been obligatory, I wouldn't ever report for it. Who would want to spend 13 months of his life in civil service anyway? I have to admit, though, that my service in Alppila senior high (a local high school) has been rather comfortable because of the fabulous staff and students and the inspiring assignments, and it is a welcomed break to my studies, but the payment for it does not really contribute to my well-being.

What kind of assignments? Please tell your most amusing experience with the students

[Ville] During my service I have worked as a substitute of the janitor and the school secretary, held tests and lessons (mostly in mathematics, but also in other subjects), organized various happenings, counseled students, helped the staff out in computer problems, stored archives, done some repair and whatever. Basically everything you can imagine happening in a school building. I can't remember anything too amusing at the moment, but the most memorable experience I've got must be the lessons I've held. It was always so nice.

In an interview you said, that after your civil service you are going to study mathematics with the intention of becoming a teacher - is this still what you are planning to do? Why do you want to become a teacher? What charm does the passing on of knowledge have for youŠ or is it simply a well-paid job in Finland?

[Ville] Not only mathematics, but also physics and computer science (long live scientific heathens). Anyway. Supposedly the very idea of becoming a teacher is in my blood, because I first thought about it when I was still very young, 5 years old or so. It must have something to do with the fact that my father is a teacher, and that his father was also a teacher - it's some kind of a curse, I think. Anyway, when I started to grow of age and begun to think for myself, the idea didn't fade but gradually started to seem a worthwhile option... and eventually I applied for a teacher's education at the university. Not because it would be my "natural heritage", but because I really like teaching (thanks to my civil service I may talk of experience) and furthermore I think our knowledge is one of the most precious things we can give to the next generation. Besides, the popularity of teaching is decreasing all the time and thus there will be more jobs to graduated teachers when my time has come. It certainly is not a well-paid job, but as all the teachers I know are able to make a living of it without problems, that's enough! However, I seriously believe that the salaries will rise as the teachers are becoming fewer. But hey, anything can happen and I may become a space shuttle engineer or a roof carpenter instead.

Ville, you are also involved in Meathook Productions. How are things going at the moment? Would you want the label to grow bigger and sign more bands for CD-releases? What about future releases?

[Ville] Again, as actively as it permits. Because of its high level of unprofitableness, we haven't released much stuff lately, concentrating more on the distribution side of it - which however also due to the high level of unprofitableness has slowed down in growth. As everyone knows, we are just a d.i.y. demo-label and the most likely that will never change, but if we got an enormous amount of money it wouldn't be a bad idea to turn MHP into a real label. After all, there still are some unsigned bands who would really deserve a proper cd/lp-release. I don't have a clue about possible future releases other than Lunar Womb's still unfinished 3rd demo, I'm just 99% sure that it will be released as a demo tape.

Henry is making music form money, to earn himself a living. In what way does he do so?.. is he a session musician that can be rent? Does he play in a pop band as well?

[Ville] Henri is a professional musician (although his education is still halfway), making it his work to play for artists in the studio, supplying groups on concerts and composing and arranging themes for whatever they're needed for. It is however surprising how little work Henri has got recently considering that he is really good. He can play anything from lounge jazz to hip hop, as long as he's paid, including pop music. Just note that those bands where Henri is a permanent member (Moonsorrow and those which I list in the next question) are not his employers but a sincere hobby.

Please tell some about your side projects! I recently heard one track from Finntroll (before I knew Henry was a band member) on a sampler of the German Legacy magazine. A friend of mine was playing it and during the Finntroll track - I especially asked for the CD-cover to check out which band made this great music!! It turned out to be the unknown (to me, that was) band Finntroll. How are things going for Finntroll? I saw they were going to do a gig in Germany on a festival "Partysan Open Air" this summer (please tell a little more about that) What about Baron Tarwonen's other band Gorewinter?

[Ville] At least according to my perception things are going pretty well for Finntroll (the keyboard wizard of which is Henri). They have reached fair sales numbers with their debut album and a second one is already in the plans. For the summer they are booked for many gigs, including two appearances in Germany in August... check out if you're nearby for that band simply kills live! Gorewinter (where Baron does the drumming and vocals and plays some guitar) is not doing as healthy currently, as I haven't witnessed any action in their camp since the demo-cd "Buried By Night", but I'm sure the project is still together and that they will do another recording someday. I just hope they will get a deal because they deserve it for sure. Other bands the members of Moonsorrow are involved in include Circus Of Flesh (attitude wrenching, Baron on guitar), Kuha. (weird rock, Baron on the other drums), Luokkasota (70s' prog/heavy, Henri on keys) and May Withers (dismal rock, Ville on drums), not forgetting the solo project of Henri, Lunar Womb (neo-classical/ambient). There are also Thornfrost (black/whatever metal, Ville on drums/vocals and Henri on keys) and certain other *projects* but their level of activity has been extremely low lately. If you also want to know where our live session members come from, the guitarist Shadow is from a Helsinki-based black metal group Tyrant and the keymaster Lord Eurén is the other founding member of Gorewinter.

Aren't you afraid that Finntroll will impose a threat to Moonsorrow in the sense that it'll take up too much of Henry's time? How do you look at Finntroll's succes? Please tell some more about Tyrant..

[Ville] As far as I'm concerned, Henri has set his priorities into this band. I am not afraid that he would choose to leave Moonsorrow for Finntroll if such a decision had to be made, but even if he chose otherwise I believe it would be carefully considered and thus better for him. I think there has happened no wrong if Finntroll succeeds, after all, it is a great band. If you'd wanna find out whether I'm jealous, no, not a bit. Our time will come. Then Tyrant, ehm... as far as I know, they have one official demo out, recorded in 1998 or something. Perhaps they're not ready to break out from the "demo level" yet, but some day they could be if they keep on doing their own thing.

Finland has the highest suicide rate in Europe, what do you think is the reason for that?

[Ville] As if the Finnish mentality wouldn't be dismal already, in autumnal and wintry times, when it's really chilly and dark many people get extremely depressed. And if they're lonely on the top of it, that's when the suicides happen. When loved ones die, there are people who can't bear the pressure, and because our profit centred society causes so much stress with all its demands, it is the most likely to increase the risk of people taking their lives even more. Also a stereotypical Finn is supposed to be ready to die for his (stubborn) principles, however suicide does not grant martyrdom, does it? Well, I don't know if I got even close with my kitchen psychology, but at least I answered your question sounding intelligent.

I've never been to Finland - if I was to go there, what should I expect? Which phrase (in Finnish + translation) should I definitely remember in case I pay you country a visit?

[Ville] You should expect to see a very beautiful country with snow in winter and sunshine in summer (though on the coast, where I live, winters are mostly wet and summers windy). Our traditional pride is in the midnight sun on midsummer and in the famous ten thousand lakes and the Finnish nature in general. The people though are rather introvert, which must be strange to a traveller from the talkative Central Europe (heh), but you'll learn to cope with them by time. A phrase you should remember is definitely "anteeksi, missä voisin tavata luonnonvaraisia jääkarhuja?" ("excuse me, where could I meet wild polar bears?") or perhaps "yksi olut, kiitos" ("one beer, please"); pronounced exactly as written. But so that this wouldn't become any traveller's guidebook, I'll leave the presentation for the possible time you are actually paying a visit to our country.

If you're not totally worn out by now, please finish off the interview.

[Ville] Although I am worn out (after answering these questions on all work days of a week), I will have to add something like a word of gratitude and respect for the great work you have done to expose us. This interview was certainly the best I have answered recently, and although it took its time, I took a great deal of pleasure from it... and I hope that this chat was as enjoyable for the readers as well! We raise our chalices with you for a new heathen age to come!

Pure Holocaust / June 2000


Answered by Ville Sorvali

Please let say introduce Moonsorrow and your new album, and Meat Hook Prod.?

[Ville] Hello, we are Moonsorrow from Finland and we play epic pagan metal. Our debut album ”Suden Uni” was released in summer 2000. Meat Hook Productions is a d.i.y. label which has released our last demo ”Tämä Ikuinen Talvi” and 25 other demos. We also have a large distribution catalogue, which can be ordered from my address (it’s free).

What are your tell us more about your band history with your current line-up with name & age?

[Ville] Moonsorrow was formed in 1995 by Ville Seponpoika Sorvali (me) and Henri Urponpoika Sorvali. In 1997 we recorded our debut demo ”Metsä” and in 1998/1999 our last demo ”Tämä Ikuinen Talvi”. (We have also recorded two unreleased demos.) Then we got a record contract from Swedish Plasmatica Records and recorded our debut album ”Suden Uni” in 2000. Our current line-up is: Henri Urponpoika Sorvali (born in 1978), guitars and keyboards; Ville Seponpoika Sorvali (born in 1980), bass and vocals; Baron Tarwonen (born in 1978), drums.

What are you do playing Black Metal?

[Ville] Actually we do not play black metal, we play pagan metal. The difference is both lyrical (our lyrics are paganistic, not satanic) and musical (there are many elements of heavy metal and folk music in Moonsorrow as well). But the reason for why we play this kind of music is that we simply enjoy doing it. Paganism is in our hearts and we want to express it with music we like.

And what is your major influences?

[Ville] Metal bands like Bathory, Enslaved and Emperor and different kinds of classical and folk music. But of course we create our own music instead of copying anyone.

Who did the picture on front cover and your band logo?

[Ville] The cover photo for ”Metsä” was taken by Henri, the cover photo for ”Tämä Ikuinen Talvi” was taken by Henri’s friend and the cover painting for ”Suden Uni” was made by a certainly unknown artist H. Suuronen. All the used versions of Moonsorrow’s logo have been done by Henri.

Are you fully satisfied with Moonsorrow and how many copies of it have been sold?

[Ville] We are very satisfied with Moonsorrow, but never fully – we can always improve and do things better. So far we have sold 140 copies of ”Metsä” and over 400 copies of ”Tämä Ikuinen Talvi”, but it really doesn’t mean much to us.

What’s a concept of Moonsorrow? It is... war, sorrow, dark, religion, anti-christian...

[Ville] The concept of Moonsorrow is 100% paganistic, and because of that it is also strongly anti-christian.

What are you lyrics usually based on?

[Ville] Our lyrics are mostly based on the pagan past of Finland. Some common themes we sing about are battles, nature, history and legends. For example one of the lyrics on ”Suden Uni” is about the slaughter of the first bishop in Finland (year 1156).

Let say that Moonsorrow is given a show to play, which other bands would you like to play with?

[Ville] It would be nice to support Einherjer, but of course we can play with anyone. It’s not so important with who you play, it’s more important that you play.

Moonsorrow! Your band interested show concert in Thailand?

[Ville] We are interested to play concerts anywhere, we just need someone to pay our expenses. The problem is that propably no one would want to pay for our trip to Thailand and back, hehe!

Please opinion some metal bands from Finland?

[Ville] In Finland there are many good metal bands, for example ...and Oceans, Thyrane, Gorewinter, Mother Depth, Finntroll, Unhola and Ensiferum. I really don’t care about such mainstream bands as Statovarius or Children Of Bodom because they are simply boring.

You think about Thy Serpent? You anti it?

[Ville] Thy Serpent is a quite boring band, so I don’t really care about it. This is a free country, and if someone wants to play boring music, it’s his shame.

You think about satanic? And are you is a satanic?

[Ville] Satanism doesn’t really interest me much, because I am not a satanist myself. For some people it’s a good philosophy of life, but all people claiming to be satanic really don’t understand what it’s about.

What are you think underground metal worldwide?

[Ville] I have discovered many good bands from the real underground (Neglected Fields or Heresiarh from Latvia for example). I was earlier more interested in the metal underground, but I have lost a bit of my interest because most of the new bands are just bad.

You know metal scene in Thailand or Asia?

[Ville] I have heard two bands from Thailand (Surrender Of Divinity and Annular Eclipse), some from Malaysia and many from Japan. I have also heard metal bands from Pakistan, Nepal and India! I have been told that there is an active scene in Asia, but I don’t know so much about it.

Now favorite bands for you?

[Ville] I listen to so many different types of music (metal, folk, classical, prog, rock and electronic music for example) and I like so many bands that I couldn’t list them all. Just some of my eternal favourites are Slayer, Bal-Sagoth, King Crimson, Opeth, Merciless, Kingston Wall, Hedningarna, Nordman, Anton Dvorak, Bathory, Morbid Angel, Testament, The Doors, Darkthrone, When, In The Woods... and so on...

Future plans?

[Ville] There are no actual future plans for Moonsorrow. We just try to play many gigs and compose some new material. And drink beer of course.

Thank you very much Ville & Moonsorrow, and last words for the end any do recommend in this here?

[Ville] Thank you for supporting Moonsorrow. Hold your swords up high and welcome the new pagan age!

Atifah Zine / June 2000


Answered by Ville and Henri Sorvali

Well, First of All, Since Wer not so familiar yet with the band specially for our readers whom probably will become yer new fans & freaks, Would yea mind to say somethin' to my muthafukka ATIFAH readers here...

[Henri] Greetings! I am Henri Urponpoika Sorvali, I'm 21 years old (I was born in 1978) and I'm the guitarist/synth player of the mightiest band on the great Earth; Moonsorrow. Behold!!!!!

[Ville] And as well from my side, heathenish hails to thee all! My name is Ville Seponpoika Sorvali, I'm the cousin of the abovepresented, 20 years old (1980) and the vocalist/bass player of, suprisingly, the same band.

So, How's your life there !? Would yea mind to tell us 'bout the Local Scene In yer City/State ?!? What's goin' on for the Underground Scene outhere ?!!!

[Henri] The local scene of Helsinki, where we live, consists of many, many bands. There are a couple of them worth advertising like Ensiferum (power/folk/black metal), Rapture (dark metal), Gorewinter (black murder metal), Tenhi (atmospheric folk), Milkweed (death metal) and I'd also like to mention another band in which I play, Finntroll (folk/oompah/black metal). Of course there are always Amorphis, Thy Serpent, Babylon Whores, HIM, Stratovarius and dozens of uninspiring BM-combos, but I do not sacrifice any space for them right now. (And I'm not so interested either.)

[Ville] Thanks for asking, life is quite well; in brief, Finland is a good country for a metal musician to live in. What comes to the scene in Helsinki, it is pretty okay. Amongst the mediocrities which unfortunately make up the majority, there are those few worth worldwide attention, for example (in addition to what Henri listed) Mother Depth, Dauntless and Prophet.

When the band set up, please retell us 'coz maybe some of the readers here dun know 'bout the band yet !!? and also I was wondering Whom and Why created the BAND in first place ?!! How did yea all meet and decide to form the band ?? Did yea all come from other bands before it set up ?!!!

[Henri] Moonsorrow was created in autumn 1995 by Ville and the undersigned with an intention to make some cold and heathenish music. We had gathered experiences in different bands before and Moonsorrow was basically meant to be just a project among the others we had back then. However, nowadays we consider it to be much more...

So, Have yea ever changed the Line Up since beginning !? If yes, Why did yea always change the line up ?? Are there personal problems to each members therefore yea replaced the guys yea don't like ?? Explain the reasons..

[Henri] Not exactly. You see, the band was formed by me and Ville, but after we released our last demo "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" we thought about getting a real skinbeater into our band instead of programming the drums all the time. And as we were good friends with Tarwonen we invited him to join us, which he fortunately did. And he ain't bad at all, is he...? So, the line-up is now Ville, I and Tarwonen but at gigs we have a special line-up to reinforce our sound, consisting of us three plus Shadow (Tyrant) in additional guitar and Lord Eurén (Gorewinter) in synth. And the only line-up change we were forced to do was to replace our former session synth player with Eurén. However, the reasons were purely musical.

Do you really want to become a "Real" Musician of the Underground Band as a Life or have a Band just for Fun or maybe just to express the Skills/Ideas yea have ?!! Explain. How do yea face it ?!! Anyway, Is that possible to make a Living out of Musick in yer country 'coz i see some of bands from there oftenly making tour outside of the country, right ?!!

[Henri] I am sure I won't earn much money with Moonsorrow, but I do other things for my food. After all, I am a professional musician and earn my living in different studio and live sessions with other (also non-metal) bands and artists. Just now I'm unfortunately "unemployed", and it can be seen... I've lost weight and hand't paid my phone bills. But it's life, eh...?

[Ville] I am very prepared to confront the fact that I could never make a living with Moonsorrow, eheh. Thus I have to make honourable work to survive in this materialistic society, work which depends on occassion. Of course there are bands that make big profits with their music, but still I don't believe that there would be many (in the field of metal, that is) actually making a living from it. Touring outside the country doesn't demand that much money that it would be impossible to arrange without huge record sales.

Retell us 'bout yer releases so far to Readers here ?!! If possible, Compare of each ones like which ones has the most cool one according to yea and for the fans/listeners... ?! How many Copies for the albums have sold out so far ?!!! Do yea still make some copies of it ?!!

[Henri] Our first demo "Thorns Of Ice" was made in January 1996. It consisted of two tracks of slowish and atmospheric pagan metal but we never wanted to release it due to the bad sound quality and finally because of the disappearing of already mixed material. In May 1997 we made another tape called "Metsä" ("Forest"). This time some speed was added and somehow the result became pretty more "blackish". However, we still like it very much. Then, in summer 1997 we recorded a 2-song promo tape but once again, it was never released because of the terrible sound... one could say it was a total disaster. In early 1998 we started to record our last demo "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" ("This Eternal Winter"). Somehow everything that could have went wrong, went wrong and it took us almost a year to finish the recordings. We were more than satisfied with that tape back then but at least I consider it to be a bit too black metal for being a product of Moonsorrow. This tape, however, was sent to Swedish Plasmatica Records who offered us a deal we accepted after some negotiations and thus, in February 2000 I, Ville and Tarwonen took a flight to Kemi, Finland, where the Tico-Tico Studio was located at to record our first full-length called "Suden Uni" ("A Wolf's Dream"). It should be out when you read this and I guarantee it will kill!!! Symphonic epic pagan metal!!! HAIL!!!

[Ville] Yep, that was it. If I were to "compare" the releases in some way, I'm sure that the most BM-oriented people will dig "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" the most, while people liking it heavy will surely prefer the album. "Metsä" is a good effort from between, so perhaps everyone could like it... well, it gathered the most negative feedback just because "Thorns Of Ice" or the promo were never relesed, heheh. I really like it anyway, but of course the album is my favourite because it is undoubtably closest to what we have wanted to create. The sales figures of the demos haven't been outstanding measured on a worldwide scale, but they have at least really surprised us; "Metsä" has sold almost 140 copies and "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" already counts over 400! I know that eventually the sales will stagnate, but still I don't see any reason for withdrawing our demos from the market. There may always be people wanting to buy a Moonsorrow demo, and thus they deserve to get one.

What 'bout the Name of the Bands means to yea, and Does it fit/appropriate to the musick yea bring [in yer opinion] ?!? Or Does the name has an influence for/in yer life or kinda like that ?!!!

[Henri] We chose the name Moonsorrow to reflect the melancholy and beauty of the night - the harmony of souls. And yes, I think the name fits our music perfectly.

I wonder if yer an Underground Band, Did yea have difficulties when yea set it up like a Finance, Equipment or somethin' else ?!! Or maybe Yea have a Studio Recording for release the stuffs ?!!! And also Did yea make a cooperation in distributing of Yer previous stuffs [Example, For Demo/Tapes !!!] to the Labels outside and inside of yer country ?!! How's the Distribution so far and any bad problems happened lately ??!

[Henri] All of our material except for the album have been recorded in different home studios and thus there haven't been any crucial expenses to pay for, if we don't count buying new guitar strings or drum sticks etc. to be a major loss.

[Ville] Of course economical problems are always present on this level, for instance I still haven't got proper bass equipment. I would hope to get some financing for all these material things, from royalties or whatever; in another case getting a well-paid job is the only option, and that's not particularly easy in the situation of a (yet) uneducated and occupationally inexperienced university student like me. What comes to distribution, things are already sorted out for our album by our label so we don't have to worry about it. The demos are of course another issue; not that it would have been too difficult to get them to various distros, but the quantities have always been so small (3-5 copies per distro) and usually it has been us who have had to pay for it... most distros prefer trading, which is of course very understandable, and in addition the postal charges bite a lion's share from the budget of an underground artist. Fortunately enough we have never been seriously ripped off by anyone running a distribution service.

Have yea got Sign or Deal with the Labels there ?!! Have yea ever feel that some day/one day If Yea were get a deal/signing with LABELS, There's a possibility for Label to Rip yea Off ?! What do yea think and say 'bout that if truly happened to yer band !!!??? What are yea gonna do ..

[Henri] Yes, by now we do have a deal, as I explained in the sixth question. However, we trust 100% on Plasmatica as they trust on us, and I don't think they will rip us off. Of course, if they did... I'd get a boat ticket to Sweden right away with a baseball bat as my only luggage, heh. Seriously, I think rip-offs ruin the scene and deserve to rot in Niflhel forever!!!

Ok,... Whom always DE-composed yer mu-SICK and Lyrics in every songs significantly ?!! How did yea make such as a musick and What have influenced the Lyrics too.. or Does yer Culture influence the lyrics too or even in yer life anyway ?!!! Also Tell us 'bout the ART-work for all yer releases if possible like Whom the ARTist is for the Covers Lay out and 'bout the Fee for the ARTists, Did yea satisfy with the results ?!!

[Ville] Until today, most of the music for Moonsorrow has been composed by Henri while the lyrics have been particularly my field. Of course I have every now and then intervened the composing process with surprisingly good results considering my talent, and it eventually seems that Tarwonen will also be contributing to our compositions in the future. I think I will keep writing most of the lyrics with a little help from my fiancée (who has wrote 1 1/2 songs for us this far), but naturally I do not reject any good lines from the other members. I can't tell how has the music gotten the shape it has, it has just happened. In the early days we had strict influences from bands like Enslaved or Bathory, later also Emperor with the 2nd generation of Black Metal in whole, but I think we have gradually been learning to make things our way and now our sources of influence are not particular bands. There for certain is something in the surroundings that moulds our music, because even though we don't force our music to be what we want it to be, it still always sounds "heathen", it always sounds Finnish and it always sounds Moonsorrow. Obviously because we are all very fond of our culture, our origin, legends and tales, the beauty and cruelty of nature etc. and as a matter of fact, our music and lyrics are a hail for nature and the pre-Christian North. Coming to artwork, it is very important in supporting the atmosphere of music, and we have always sought for the most suitable pictures for our covers. We have got ourselves through it with extremely low expenses; the cover for "Metsä" was a photograph taken by Henri (which I fucked up when scanning it), the cover for "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" was a photograph taken by a friend of Henri and the cover for "Suden Uni" was a painting by a formerly unknown friendly artist. The inlay pictures for the album were taken by my father and my fiancée's family, so we haven't really gotten into debt because of our artwork. And what's the most important, we are satisfied with it!

What do yea want from yer fans or Listeners when they heard yer musick for example, Get Suicide, Kill, Just enjoy the Lyrics, Feel the Emotions from the band's mucisk, etc.- ?!!!

[Henri] I think every musician in some way wants the listener to be influenced by his music, be it emotional or musical. I'd like to see the listener of Moonsorrow to fly away from the modern world for a moment to the realm where swords clatter, arrows fly and honour is more than just a word. To reach the gates of Valhalla, to stand proud on the shores of north... to the world of which our music, lyrics and ideology are all about.

Tell us 'bout yer Life, What did yea do beside playing in this Band and Studio Working ?! Or somethin' like Sports, Drink Beers, etc.-. How's 'bout yer fave Authors and Books ?!!! Also Do yea like HORROR movies and Stuffs like that in yer leisure time ???

[Henri] Besides Moonsorrow, I do have a lot of another bands/projects, like Finntroll, Luokkasota (70's prog/metal), Lunar Womb (neo-classical folk/ambient) etc. etc. Basically, music is my life... it takes most of my time anyway because I study it daily (in Helsinki pop/jazz conservatory), practise it, compose different styles of it, listen to it... you know what I mean? Anyway, besides that I hang with my girlfriend, pals, I love to read, cook and of course one of my dearest hobbies is just to do nothing (with occassional moments with beer, of course). And about horror movies... there is hardly anything better than watching a great horror flick with lots of alcohol and friends.

[Ville] Also I have some other bands/projects, however I'm not that active musically (mostly because I don't do it for a living). Besides Moonsorrow I beat skins (hah hah) in a rock band called May Withers and I'm hoping to contribute to the resurrection of our former black metal band Thornfrost. There are numerous *projects* as well, but they are not to be mentioned because of their obvious unimportance. Although being less active musically, music really fills my life anyhow; if not playing or composing it, writing articles related to it for Meathooked 'zine, making serious loss with it through Meat Hook Productions, I simply listen to it. Fortunately, as my life would be rather empty if only filled by music, I also do have a fiancée and a few friends to hang out with, studies in mathematical sciences and a couple of beers to drink now and then.

Well, Do you still like the 80's Metal bands !!? What are your comments 'bout their growing to the 90's and have influenced 90's bands ??

[Henri] I sure do! Excluding all the wimpy pussy bands playing their disgusting German-influenced melodic crap, I like Kreator, Iron Maiden, Sodom, Kiss, WASP, Metallica, Motörhead, Venom, Bathory etc. etc. But looking at many of them now... well, it is so sad what happened to some, like Metallica. That kind of bands have my deepest loathing because of what they are today... daring to call themselves metal. Bah!

[Ville] Are elephants big and gray...? Of course I like 80's metal bands! Slayer, Kreator, Bathory, Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Testament... they all belong to my all-time favourites. I'm also one of those trendy bastards who don't pay much respect to their "maturation" (with some namely exceptions), but they do what they want to do and I concentrate on listening to their old albums instead. There would be something terribly wrong if 90's bands weren't influenced by the old masters, after all no one can avoid their effect, I just hope that people would stop cloning them and invent something "new".

What are yer fave Bands, 'Zines and Labels today ?!! [If possible, Included Local & Foreign !!!] Specially for yer fave band if there is, Have they influenced yer music, How ?!!!

[Henri] My faves are Bal-Sagoth, Cannibal Corpse and King Crimson. But Bathory belongs also to this category of my all-time favourite bands. Of zines I'd like to mention Isten, Mimes Brunn, Eclipse, Ledo Takas and Freezing Flames. And the labels... well, it's sad that Misanthropy stopped their activity 'cause I think it was the best label ever. Other great labels I respect for their attitude and music they publish are Osmose, Hammerheart (HOL), Nocturnal Art and some other but smaller labels like Plasmatica or Native North.

[Ville] I listen to hundreds of different bands in totally different genres and thus it is very hard to list any absolute favourites. Bands I usually give as my top3 are Bal-Sagoth, Slayer and King Crimson, but dozens of others could as well deserve their share of gold, silver and bronze. Bands I listen to have of course influenced me in a way or another, but the influence does never directly reflect in my compositions. My definite favourite zine must be Isten and my dearest label was of course Misanthropy Records, both for their controversial nature.

If you saw other Bands' playing on Gigs, Whom has the most brutal or impressive gig/show in yer country/State [in yer opinion] for Local Bands and Foreign Bands ?!? Also, We wonder, What's yer opinion if There's a Band bring cover songs from other bands on stage ? Do yea like it ?! Or Did yea ever try to bring a cover song when yea were on Stage/Gigs ??? IF Yes/No, Why ?!!!

[Henri] Well, I really liked Cannibal Corpse when they were here in autumn '98 and of course Impaled Nazarene (hail Mika!) and Barathrum are always a pleasure to watch on stage. About cover songs... sometimes it's ok but when you see a bunch of 14-year olds executing a WASP cover song (or the worst - a Venom track) during their cheesy set of untalented and crappy Black Metal it gets a bit out of hand, you know. We've never played any covers with Moonsorrow (mainly because we've had only a couple of gigs to this day) but we're planning to do a Merciless song called "Back To North" (from "Unbound") and maybe a Storm-cover of "Oppi Fjellet". The latter, however, is mostly based on an inside joke and if we decide to play it, we sing it in Finnish with the Finnish version of lyrics, which by the way tell a tale of a lonely snowman. Sick, ehh...? :)

[Ville] Perhaps the best gigs I've ever seen were the festival appearances of Therapy? and Machine Head and the club gig of Testament this year. Undoubtably Slayer and Pantera at Nummirock festival two years ago also belong to this cast, as well as the true Metallica in 1992, and that Cannibal Corpse show Henri told about was a blast as well. Of local bands at least Finntroll, Don Huonot and Sentenced always kick ass live. Cover songs usually give an extra kick to the show if they're arranged well, but sometimes they just kill the feeling. It all depends on who plays who.

Anyway in yer other free time, Do yea like Porno Stuffs XXX or Shit like that ??! If yes, Who's the Big Porn Stars in yer country/City ha...ha. ?!!! So, If There were an opportunity to be a XXX Porn Stars he...he...he..., Did yea want to take it ??! If NOT, Why ?!!! If Yes, Whom the Artists yea want to dig out then ??? Describe yer fave girls to taste ha...ha...ha...

[Henri] The only Finnish international porn star I know is Henry Saari (also known as "Henry the Great"), but maybe there are some others too which I just haven't heard of. If I ever acted in a porn movie, it would be really X-rated stuff and only for the real freaks. You see, I'm kinda overweighted, heheh. My fave girls? Anyone with a decent face, a pair of tits and a cunt.

So, When did you yerself first get into the Underground Scene ?? How's ' bout other members !!? Would yea mind to compare it to the present from the past, Any Changes yea see now ?!!!

[Henri] I entered the underground scene as late as in 1993, but it wasn't until 1996 when I finally started to get contacts with other people via internet and trading demos. I liked it more back then than in the last 2-3 years, mainly because of the huge expansion of crap bands and all the "very evil and satanic" kids who entered the scene. Now I see the positive movement rising because mostly only the dedicated are left. And that's good. I don't think we need people to ruin the scene but to make it stronger. Hail!

[Ville] I think it was in 1993 or 1994 when I first got familiar with the underground, but my real activity had to wait until 1997 when I started to gather numerous contacts. It all seemed much nicer 6 years ago, and still in 1997 it was cool to be involved, but then something happened... the "scene" lost much of its reliability and also the quality of new bands went way down. The end was not in sight, but eventually it seems that the posers and rip-offs are now leaving for good. I know that we will never get back to what they say it was in the beginning of the 90's, but it will certainly get better than this.

Yeah, Could yea tell us 'bout one of Yer best GIGS/SHOWS there, How's the Audience ?! Was it Great ??? With whom for the Last Show.. Also How's 'bout the FEE for yea, Did they pay yea well ?!!! Have any experience with Bad payment, Where ?!!! So, Did yea make a Tour or Show to show so far to promote yer releases now ?!!! How's the requirements to invite yea to play on GIG/Show !?!

[Henri] Well, as I said earlier, our live performances have been very rare... and as a matter of a fact, we've only done two gigs now (both in april 2000). But we're definitely going to do it more in the future. The only things we demand from a gig operator are travelling costs, food, a place to sleep over (if the venue is too far) and some beer. And of course we do not refuse to take any money, but we do not necessarily demand it.

Anyway, Have yea ever thought in mind to end this Band !? If NOT, So What's yer motivation behind it ?!!! 'Till How's Age, Yea want to quick from band and Metal/Underground Scene specially ?!!! or probably, Do yea have a Project stuff to do like playin' in other Band or Tell us if Yea have part/full time JOBS too to cover a music, I guess ?!!!

[Henri] The story of Moonsorrow comes to an end in the very day all the members loose their interest towards the band... which I think is pretty absurd thing to happen in the near future. We all have very high hopes and motivation towards the band.

[Ville] Of course there will be time for Moonsorrow to split up, but only after conquering the world. Seriously though, time does not set the borders - we will still be rockin' at the age of 50 if we just feel like it! For what comes to side projects, my love for different styles of music will never let me give them up, but Moonsorrow will certainly remain my main focus. We all have to work to stay alive, but I hope it will never interfere our musical activities.

What's yer comment if There Some Bands or Labels didn't support each others, just 'coz of in Different style of MuSICK !!? Shall we give them a Fuck Off ?!!! Do yea ever feel like it there ?!!!

[Henri] It depends... I wouldn't give a flying fuck for supporting a glam rock band but I think you mean the music styles within the borders of metal, right? I say it's a terrible stupidity e.g. from a black metal band not to support a death metal band just because of their slight varieties in the music style, after all, it's METAL for fuck's sake!!!!!

[Ville] This ultimate display of ignorance fortunately seems to be fading, supposedly mainly because most of those "true evil" dudes have grown tired of keeping up to their image. Of course I'm certain that there still are some people in the countryside of Bulgaria or wherever who hate us because we do not play black metal, but yes, we should give them a big fuck off! I at least accept (almost) all kinds of music and I'm able to find my favourite bands inside any genre.

Back to yerself . When did yea first learn yer own instruments yea played !!? Did yea have educational background for the instruments yea play before and How's bout others ??? Whom have influenced the character of yer own instrument in Band and Bands too entirely ???!!!!

[Henri] I started to take piano lessons when I was only four years old (!) and after playing classical music for ten years I switched to jazz in the process, which I have now studied for over eight years. But while I begun to learn jazz (which, frankly said, has never interested me much, but it of course is a very important basis of my whole "other styles of music" -career) I started to explore what else a man can do with a piano than just the abovementioned. And so I got interested in synths and finally how to use them in the music style I love the most: Metal. When I was 12 years old I started to play guitar. (Angus Young and Adrian Smith were my greatest idols! :) But I can also handle bass- and some drumwork. Nowadays I admire mostly composers (which is what I've been mostly doing for the last 2-3 years) such as J.S.Bach, Ludwig van, Grieg, Dvorak, Wagner, Vivaldi, Jerry Goldsmith, Anssi Tikanmäki, Danny Elfman; and of course the two mightiest composers in the metal scene: Ihsahn and Jonny Maudling. But when just playing the keys I'm very influenced by Jens Johansson. (Although it has nothing to do with Stratovarius - take a listen to his solo albums... weird, freaky and extremely well-played sick shit.)

[Ville] I first tried the piano as a kid, but I got fed up with it within a year. Then I got interested in the guitar (as everyone else did) but I never learned it either, and at the age of 13 came the drums and the bass. I soon gave up the bass and decided to concentrate on the drums, and only after "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" I got more interested in the bass again. The only musical education I've had is a year of piano lessons, another year of drum lessons and a few extensive music courses in comprehensive school and secondary high school, meaning that I have barely reached the basics. All additional skills I may have gathered are self-taught. The band that is the most responsible for my interest in playing must be Metallica, and Lars Ulrich in particular, and later when I got interested in more technical instrument handling (heh don't worry, I'm not capable of that myself!) I begun to admire such drummers as Dave Lombardo, Commando Sandoval, Sami Kuoppamäki and Hellhammer, as well as collectively superhuman performers like Atheist, Cannibal Corpse and King Crimson. My favourite bass monster through all eternity has been Steve DiGiorgio (and the more after I had seen him live with Testament in May 2000...!), but we should not forget Les Claypool or John Myung either. W.A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, D. Elfman and J. Maudling are my ultimate composer idols (even though I'm not much of a composer myself), and for the sake of not discriminating lyrics writers, my definite fave is naturally Byron Roberts.

So, If Yea played some instruments in the band, What is yer fave trade mark/label/brand for the instruments yea used for Rehearsal, on Tour/Shows or also in Stuido Recording for example BC. RICH/IBANEZ/JACKSON GUITARS, TAMA/SONOR, MARSHAL/CRATE SOUNDS SYSTEM, BOSS/D.O.D. PEDAL EFFECTS, . etc.- I believe Yea know what I mean !!! Then How did yea find yer own original sounds with that Instruments ?!!!

[Henri] Korg for the keys, Ibanez for the stringed ones.

[Ville] My official Moonsorrow instrument is a Samick jazz-bass; very heavy-duty but sounds damn good.

What's yer comment on BOOTLEGS Recordings and Stuffs or D.I.Y. records Which make a duplication of every releases of the bands without their permission and license.. Also what are yea gonna do if yer releases bootlegged by some people and Labels ?!!

[Henri] Bootlegs suck, mostly. I don't quite get the point why someone wants to steal from a band by pressing illegal copies of their albums, or the worst; publishing something the band wouldn't even publish themselves because of terrible sound-quality etc. etc. It's harmful, rips everyone off (except for the greedy motherfucker who sells it) and is usually very bad promotion for the band. The only positive aspect in bootlegs is the admirable fact that the band is somehow popular... like the more bootlegs there are around, the more popular you are.

Okay, Sometimes sounds like shit too. So, Do yea Smoke Like Marijuana/Dopes, Cocaine, etc.- !?! Should it be Legalized ?!!! What's yer cumment on FREEDOM ?!!!

[Henri] I prefer just alcohol to make my head spin but sometimes a good puff from an occassional bong or a joint is more than welcome, if you know what I mean... :) So I let other people waste their brain on coke, speed, LSD etc. hard drugs... whatever makes them happy. And as long as their little addictions do not bother anyone else, it's ok for me. About freedom... I prefer it very much, and that is also a big reason for why I don't do any hard drugs.

[Ville] Coffee and alcohol are the only drugs I use frequently. I even don't smoke cigarettes, although I welcome a good joint now and then. I want to keep control of my intoxications and thus I won't submit to the use of any hard drugs. Legalizing cannabis and khat would be a great thing and it could prevent many problems in the society (related to criminal activity and the abuse of hard drugs), but all governments should still take a strong stand against all hard drugs and stop their distribution at any costs. For what comes to freedom, it is everyone's basic right but all people don't seem to get that.

[Mel Gibson] FREEDOM!!!

Some might said that a metal/band featured in the Web site/Internet and have already released more than 6 or more Albums in CD format is No Longer an Underground Band. What do you think of this !!? Why there are many restrictions for bands and individuals in Underground, is that right ?!!

[Henri] I think when a band sells over 20 000 records, it's pretty hard to label them as "underground". But basically, I consider all metal bands to be more or less underground, be it your local Burzum-cover band or some Bolt Thrower, if compared to the shit the mainstream is all about, like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys or the Spice fuckin' Girls and anyone else who sells from 200 000 to ten million albums.

What Do yea think of Underground Publication such as Magazines/Fanzines, Netzines/Webzines for the Bands ?! Are they still needed for the Band's invasion in The Underground Scene worldwide ?!!! And What UNDERGROUND means to yea, is that so important. !!!

[Henri] I am what you would call a "scene-freak". I spend many hours a day reading underground publications, getting information of new bands, trying to contact different "scenesters" via internet... the underground is to me what Satan is to Glen Benton. Hail the underground!!! Hail scene!!!! Hail METAL!!!!!!

[Ville] Oh yeah, 'zines are the culmination of underground culture. Besides that I like reading them a lot, I am certain that they are of big help for the bands to get their name out there. At least there are many bands I have got interested in after reading an interview or a review of them. Underground as a conception is rather vague, but my part of it means a lot to me for sure.

If There were statement like this but correct me if I may wrong again... " Norway/Finland/Sweden or Other Scandinavian/Baltic Country is the Country for Black Metal Bands/Musicans and America is for Death metal Bands/Musicians ", Do you agree with it ?!!

[Henri] Basically, yes. But I wouldn't set any limits. It's just that somehow the Americans cannot do any good Black Metal nor that the North Europeans (except for the Swedes, of course) can make a decent Death Metal album. Maybe it's in the climate, heh. Honestly, I agree with you but I don't have a single clue why.

Anyway, Do yea have a Tattoo ?!! If Yes, How much to make a Tattoo and What is yer fave pictures ??? Let's say this as a Metal Musician, One should have a Tattoo !? Ha...ha...ha... Do yea agree with it ?!!!

[Henri] For years I've been wanting a tattoo, and the more of them the better, but every time I've finally planned to get one, meaning that I have the money for it, I've most likely/always woekn up next day with a terrible hangover knowing exactly where all the money I saved for the pictures had gone. Down the throat, down the throat... but tattoos are very metal!

[Ville] Tattoos are cool, but at least I do not have one yet. If I wanted a tattoo, I should anyway save something like $200 to get a suitably sized picture, and that really is nothing I have circling in my pocket everyday. Tattoos are very metal indeed, but getting one is up to each metalhead him/herself.

So, What can we expect for your future releases and Hope/Dreams in this 21 millenium century chaos celebration !!?

[Ville] Expect that we will be doing some gigs, writing new material, hanging around and drinking beer. We really have no strict plans for the next release or anything yet. Our hope is to become the best band ever and conquer the world, of course!

Well, I guess Here's the Last and really the last query !!! Ha...ha... I really apologized to ask many questions for yer band and As usual for the End of This fuckin' fuckin' long Intie, Your closing words brutally dominate here..

[Henri] Thank you for the intie. I hope you still have some room for it, as it seemed to "stretch" a little in the process. Hail Atifah 'zine! Hail Moonsorrow! Hail METAL!!!!!

[Ville] Geez, thanks for this mental exercise. Long interviews are enjoyable but enough is enough. :) Anyone reading this far deserves a place in Tuonela for sure. Keep the flag of METAL high!!