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.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Revolver Mag / January 2009


As soon as the members of Finnish pagan-metal band Moonsorrow introduce themselves at Spinefeast 2009, Revolver Associate Editor Kory Grow knows he’s in for an interesting chat. Vocalist-keyboardist Henri “Trollhorn” Sorvali, who also plays in pagan-metal phenoms Finntroll, calls himself “John Longhorn.” Vocalist-bassist Ville Sorvali (Henri’s cousin) says, “Just call me ‘Nashville.’” (Henri adds “Son of Dolemite” to Nasvhille’s name.) Luckily guitarist-vocalist Mitja Harvilahti gives his real name. What follows is just as tongue-in-cheek as the band’s introductions.

REVOLVER None of the bands on this boat sound alike. What is it about Finland that produces such a wide variety of metal?
VILLE SORVALI It wasn’t always like that. It changed in the late ’90s when some bands started making—
MITJA HARVILAHTI Their own music instead of copying each other.
VILLE Yeah. My words exactly. [Laughs] Glad you said it. We should fire you.
HENRI SORVALI But wait a minute, I take it back. We’ll rehire you. Finland in ’92 was, music-wise, Poland in ’83. It wasn’t bands doing their own music…I think we all could agree that HIM were the first ones to open the vision of Finnish bands and labels to realize that Finnish people can also do their own sounding music and still succeed, and not to copycat foreign bands.
HARVILAHTI And after, like, Children of Bodom and Nightwish got bigger.
HENRI Yeah, those were two pioneers.
HARVILAHTI So there’s a lot of skill in the Finnish metal scene. There are a lot of really good musicians.
HENRI There are good and bad bands.
HARVILAHTI Let’s leave the bad bands out of this.
HENRI [Annoyed] Yeah, I know. [Mocking voice] Don’t mention it.

Didn’t Moonsorrow form in 1995?
VILLE Oh, you mentioned the name. [All laugh]
HARVILAHTI These guys formed the band in 1995.

That’s a little bit before HIM was popular, at least worldwide.
HENRI Yeah. The thing is, the black-metal scene was in its own little world, which was famous. It was like a parallel world; there was this commercial world and the black-metal world. Something that would be a huge hit in the black-metal scene would not affect anything in mainstream metal. Being mainstream in any goth genre doesn’t have anything to do with us. We were in a different league, so to speak. We just wanted to play.

But since then, obviously Moonsorrow has gotten popular. We recently did a feature on pagan metal, and many of the bands cite you as an influence.
VILLE Yeah, yeah. I’ve noticed it. Some years ago, it wasn’t big in the States yet, but Finntroll got very big there. And folk metal and pagan metal are still the only new genres of metal that have come up in the last 10 years. So there’s no reason why you wouldn’t catch on in the USA.
HENRI The new thrash metal, death metal, black metal.
VILLE Then folk metal, pagan metal, whatever.
HENRI What I said in an interview before is that people are feeling ruthless these days with all this plastic culture surrounding us and reality TV shows and culture, blah, blah, blah. That’s why people are searching for something more deep and more profound.
HARVILAHTI I’ve seen bad examples of that as well. Folk metal in central Europe is such a big trend. A lot of people make folk metal by adding stupid fiddle melodies on top of Bathory.
HENRI [Mocking voice] We are descendents of Vikings. Yes! I do Viking metal, jah! [Normal voice] I’m not referring to any specific countries, but you can read between the lines. Jaaaah.

Have you been surprised by the interest in the US?
VILLE Yes and no. We’re surprised that it’s so big already. I thought probably in the next five years it would catch up.
HENRI I thought it wasn’t that big but two interviewers from the States have stated that it’s big over there. I have to rethink my thinking.
VILLE Well, you’re the guy behind Finntroll, but you haven’t toured the United States.
HENRI Well, I don’t fly.
VILLE Finntroll was definitely the first ones. They have been opening up doors there for a couple years already.

Before we wrap up, Henri. I understand you have a joke to tell.
HENRI A kick drum, snare, and a crash cymbal fell off from a cliff. Bu-dump-tsh.

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