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.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Metal Observer / February 2005


Moonsorrow - We are no Viking Metal! (Ville Seponpoika Sorvali) - Online Feb. 2005

Hi guys, Alex from “The Metal Observer” here, how are things in the MOONSORROW camp?

Hail! Things are cool, we're rehearsing intensively for our first gig in Germany. Bratwurst!

“Verikäseet” is your fifth album already and even though you have kept your basic style, you added some more blastbeats and heaviness instead of going the way of many other bands, who try to get more and more accessible and mass compatible. Was that a conscious decision?

Conscious and not. After "Kivenkantaja" we felt that we have to do something different this time, instead of continuing on the same path. It just came about that "Verisäkeet" would be harsher when we started checking out new ideas and riffs. As we never, definitely never aimed to be commercial anyway, I think this album will get a pretty mixed response from the audience, heh heh.

How important is it for you to differ at least a bit from the mainstream?

It's not our aim to be different for the sake of being different, but sure, we want to make something of our own.

You also extended the playing time of your songs considerably, up to 19 minutes. There are people disputing that shorter, more compact songs might be preferable to tons of ideas in one mammoth of a track. Are you trying to convey whole stories, hence the long songs?

Exactly that's what's the point - we create stories. 3 minute long hit songs were never our thing anyway. MOONSORROW is EPIC Heathen Metal exclusively, initially and infinitely.

Your lyrics are still in Finnish, which theoretically limit your fan base, as there are many people, who have problems with bands singing in anything but English. What is the reason for this? Do you feel that you can’t express yourselves appropriately in English?

Once again you hit the target, my friend. We are a Finnish band, and we need our mother tongue to perfect the musical and outmusical concept. If some people have problems with that, heck, there are many other bands they can listen to. We don't aim for popularity anyway, we aim for authenticity.

So can you tell us a bit about the lyrics, as my Finnish is a little rusty? ;)

The lyrics are tied to the loose concept of "bloodverses", on the other hand dealing with our heritage as pagan people and on the other hand reminding us of death. The text is more or less abstract this time, and I definitely recommend to check it out yourself instead of my empty definitions. The English translations can be found at www.moonsorrow.com.

You usually are categorized as “Viking Metal”. What do you think about this “genre” yourselves?

Bah, we never had anything to do with Viking Metal. MOONSORROW is Pagan Metal, epic Heathen Metal, whatever you call it, but never "Folk Metal" or "Viking Metal".

If you had one sentence to convince somebody of MOONSORROW and to buy "Verikäseet", what would you say?

"You only need the picture to make it a movie." Or that's what our mastering guy said anyway.

A few of you are involved in quite some side projects and also do a lot of guest appearances. MOONSORROW, I take, still is your main objective, right?

I believe MOONSORROW is the priority to each member. We have other activities to fulfil our musical ambitions on fields where MOONSORROW can't touch.

What are MOONSORROW for you guys? Is it a band, where you can try to express yourselves musically, is it also something, where you can process personal problems, experiences, hopes or is it even more?

It is a band where we can express ourselves musically, and to some it is also something where to express our identity and ideology. What comes to personal problems, I'd say the band rather causes them than solves them. ;)

What had been the goals for MOONSORROW back then when you started out, which of them have you achieved and how have they changed?

We formed the band to express ourselves musically and, yeah, have fun. The only dream we had was to record an album, that's achieved, and everything that has come afterwards is bonus. We still just want to play music, share the message and, yeah, still have fun.

Metal has a completely different status in Finland than in many other countries. Do MOONSORROW also profit from this?

Metal seems to be more "popular" and "widely accepted" in Finland, that's true, though I don't know how it happened in the first place. MOONSORROW might have benefited from that (it's expected anyway if Metal in general benefits), but no, that really doesn't interest me. I'm actually pretty disturbed by the fact that Metal is so "common" and "cool" nowadays.

Which MOONSORROW song do you like most and which one least and why?

My favourite (current) is “Karhunkynsi”, it has a very harsh and cold feeling to it, the kind that has always attracted me in music. My unfavorite (all-time) is of course “Pakanajuhla” cause it's so fucking dull. No kidding.

Could you please give us a few words on each member's personality?

Ville - troubled, shameless, uninformative. Henri - proud, inconsiderate, a musical prodigy. Marko - accurate, expressionless, in debt. Mitja - eccentric, inventive, absent-minded. Markus - drunken, trusted, manish.

How would you yourself describe MOONSORROW in one sentence?

"Epic Heathen Metal." Then again, there is no verb in that!

How have MOONSORROW changed for you personal, if you compare them to the "normal" demo band and the band that now has released four albums already?

I have become more troubled, and fulfilled some of my musical ambitions.

What are you doing besides MOONSORROW, job wise as well as hobbies?

All of us, except Mitja, work in normal day-time jobs. That's how it goes anyway if you want to make a living. Our hobbies vary from books and computer games to fishing and even doing sports (eek!). The one in common is naturally drinking.

What would you do, if you weren't able to compose music?

You're talking to me, remember, and I'm not able to compose music. I just write the lyrics and listen to some good songs made by others, haha. If I wasn't able to do that, I would probably be working as a teacher and earning more money.

Which album in musical history would you wish was yours and why?

All of our albums. In addition I wish I would've composed "The Coffin Ships" on the new PRIMORDIAL album.

How important do you think is the internet nowadays to promote an up and coming band?

Without the internet we would be trading tapes, and remember how slow and small was that. Then again, the feeling is gone. I believe internet has been a big help for promoting us and other marginal Metal bands.

What do you love to hate in the music industry?

Piracy, and that it is fought against with totally wrong means.

If time travel was possible, which historical period would you like to visit and why? What would you miss the most from our time?

I would like to visit the prehistoric (iron age) Finland to check out how it was like in the scenes I try to portray in my lyrics. I would miss, let's see... electricity and running water, the conformist that I am.

If your music was an emotion, what would it be?


What is your opinion about internet radio?

Haven't listened to it that much, but the idea is very good. Thanks to the internet - again - marginal culture is at least now available in a larger scale.

Just as a side question - what do you think about "The Metal Observer"?

Huge and informative. One of the sites to check out for sure.

To end this interview, I have my traditional last question: What is your favourite question about MOONSORROW that you have never been asked yet, but would finally like to answer?

Which one was first, the chicken or the egg? Wait, that's the Swedish perpetual motion machine again... Go figure.

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