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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Metal Team UK / February 2007


Moonsorrow have really kicked the new year off to a good start with their fifth album “V: Havitetty” reaching number 16 in the Finnish charts and what’s more - no-one has had a real bad word to say against the album!

The ‘sorrow have been at their game for just over a decade and have lead the way for a generation of folk metal bands, although with V: Havitetty they have almost brushed aside their folk metal roots to make way for a bleaker sound. Comprised of two tracks of truly epic magnitude, I think it is fair to say that V: Havitetty isn’t going to be to everybody’s taste. Moonsorrow drummer Marko Tarvonen very kindly took the time to answer a few questions for MTUK as I probe him about their new release and about the year that lies ahead.

LH: Greetings. How are things in the Moonsorrow camp?

MT: The album is finally out and it has got great response. We just finished our Canadian tour and started to play several shows in Finland so the band is in positive mood really.

LH: Your new album Viides Luku: Havitetty has had some really positive response already in the press. Would you say the album has had the feedback you were expecting, and do you think that your fans will like the new album?

MT: We really didn’t know what to expect. The main thing is that the band is satisfied with the result. Everything else comes next. Luckily it’s got a great reception amongst the fans and press. It seems that no-one cares to give it bad points! I’ve been awaiting for that really, haha! Surely we will lose several fans but I’m positive we’ll have many new also.

LH: What made you decide to release the album as two long tracks?

MT: It wasn’t planned like that at first. But then we started to write the album and we found the material so epic and then we made it bigger and bigger and suddenly we had a song lasting 30 minutes. Then we thought ok, now let’s do another one. They just turned out like that. However it doesn’t mean the next album would consist only one song. It could easily have 10 songs in it.

LH: Could you tell us about the lyrical concepts of Viides Luku: Havitetty?

MT: There’s an end-of-the-world concept through the whole album. It reflects the old beliefs that the new world will be born after the old one dies and it’s kind of adapted into this day. Just watch the news and you know what it is all about. Most of it is Ville’s feelings and some mythological symbolics.

LH: Who are your influences? Have you been listening to anything new or different that has influenced the sound on V: Havitetty?

MT: Our roots lie in the style the bands like Bathory, old Enslaved, Borknagar and Amorphis once started. We still like those old albums but during the years we’ve “sucked” many other influences from the different genres. Mostly it’s still blackish metal mixed with folk music elements but we found that too boring and started to write more atmospheric and depressive stuff. Also we like many prog rock bands from the 70´s (King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull), which have had a huge influence on us. There are similar arrangements in Moonsorrow if you compare us to those old farts, hehe!

LH: I love the artwork for V: Havitetty, it is very dark and powerful and seems to really fit with the album concept. I would be interested to hear your own take on the cover design and what the concept was for the artwork. Also are you happy with what Travis Smith has done with the cover?

MT: Yes, actually for the first time I am totally satisfied on the result of our album cover. The previous ones were cool enough but always something got fucked up, be it the print, photos, booklet… Now it’s the one the album deserves. We just gave Travis some instructions for the artwork that we need something very barren and distant landscapes without any buildings or people. The lyrics in the end of the album reflect this when all is gone and there is nothing anymore.

LH: You recorded the album at Tico Tico studios last summer. I had a read through the studio diary on your new website and sounds like plenty of beer flowed and you had a fairly good time in the studio. Could you tell us about some particular highlights (and/or lowlights) of your studio time?

MT: Yeah it was a very relaxed session as we had good studio budget. There was no rush at all and it was nice to do it on summer. After studio day we went to watch football WC and sipped some beer. Sometimes we went to play football or to swim at the beach. Definitely different to the previous sessions in Tico because usually we’ve been there during the winter or some other shitty season and then there isn’t much to do. The actual studio thing was just a routine for us. Nothing very special happened. We didn’t have any problems so it went quite smoothly.

LH: I did read that you made some video footage of your time in the studio. Will the videos be put on the website for your fans to see? On a similar note, are there any plans to release a DVD?

MT: We’re not sure what to do with that footage. Maybe put it on the website or spare some extra on the possible live DVD release which we’re not going to do in the near future. I’m not sure when or even if we’re going to release such.

LH: Apart from the Day of Darkness festival in Ireland, you’ve never really played the UK from what I’m aware at least. You seem to have a bit of a following over here, so is there any chance of you conquering our shores any time soon?

MT: Yes I know we have many fans there and it seems now the local press there have also warmed on us. I just read good reviews in Hammer and Terrorizer + a dozens of web medias. We have now a good agency taking care of our gig booking, so maybe after the summer it’s time to ravage your fine country :D

LH: You’ve been added to the bill for Wacken and Headbangers Open Air festivals, which are pretty huge. Are you looking forward to playing the big European festivals?

MT: Yes indeed. The list gets bigger and bigger. The last time I checked we had already 6 big festivals in central Europe + Finland coming for this summer. Only bad thing on the festivals is the playing time. It’s usually around 40-50 mins so that means 4 – 6 songs for us, hehe…

LH: With the Viides Luku tracks being so lengthy, do you intend to play either of the tracks live on tour, or perhaps a shortened version of the songs?

MT: Yeah we have a 20-minute edited version of Tuleen Ajettu Maa which we have played on some shows already. If not a killer, then a gig-killer for sure! ; )

LH: You have played in a few different countries, where have you experienced the best crowds, and have there been any particularly memorable gigs for you that stand out?

MT: The best trips / crowd have been in Quebec, Canada and in Russia. Fucking fan(t)a(s)tic! Also the first bigger festival experience in PartySan open air in 2005 was a blast. It’s always nice to visit new countries and make some mess!

LH: Do you have any other plans for 2007?

MT: In Moonsorrow’s scale this is going to be our heaviest touring year this far. At the moment we’re touring Finland and in the end of March we’ll head on the Central Europe for a 3-week tour. Then the summer festival period and I don’t know what will come after that. Some more touring and hopefully we’ll finally get on the British Isles as well.

LH: I’d just like to end this interview by saying thanks for your time, and to wish you the best of luck with your new album and for the year ahead. Feel free to leave us with any final words for anyone reading.

MT: Thx for the interview, see you on tour / festivals / pub! Greets & mosh!

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