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, January 8, 2014

Metal Psalter / September 2012


This interview was conducted by Philip A. Wickstrand with vocalist/bass guitarist Ville Sorvali at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, OR on September 10, 2012.

Few bands in Pagan Metal have been able to make a catalogue of music like MOONSORROW. Each release is unique from the others and maintains a high degree of excellent musicianship, complexity and great song writing. With six albums under their belts thus far, their growing number of fans are eagerly awaiting to see what number seven will bring.

Phil: First off, how’s the tour been so far?

Ville: It’s been absolutely great. We’ve had thirteen shows, lucky number thirteen, and all the shows have been great. We’ve had a very good response from the audience in all of the places. We went to some new places where we haven’t been before, actually on this tour, so it’s been really great, better than we expected.

Phil: How has the signing with Century Media so far?

Ville: We haven’t done anything with them yet so I wouldn’t know, but the collaboration between us and them has been really good and we seem to have a very good business relationship, but of course we don’t know yet because we haven’t released anything on them yet.

Phil: Will you be having them do a North American issue of your most recent album?

Ville: I hope they would, but that’s a contractual thing. They don’t have any rights to the previous albums.

Phil: It’s been a real pain in the ass to find in North America, unless you want to pay twenty bucks on Amazon (for an import).

Ville: Yeah, I know. It’s a pain in the ass. All we can do is bring them with us on tours, so at least the people who come to the shows have the chance to buy them.

Phil: Have you put any thought into what you will be doing with the next album so far?

Ville: We have some rough ideas but it’s way too early to talk about them anyway. We probably will start thinking more about it when the tour is finished and I don’t have any idea about the recording schedule or anything.

Phil: Speaking of writing, is there anything that you’ve had in mind for MOONSORROW that you haven’t had a chance to experiment with that you would like to?

Ville: I don’t know. A lot of things. Always when we stat making a new album we kind of want to do something a bit different from the previous one. It’s like, we don’t actually know the direction before we actually start writing the material; it kind of just appears from somewhere.

Phil: Stream of consciousness?

Ville: Yeah.

Phil: Always a good way to tackle it, that way you don’t end up doing the same thing over and over again like a lot of other bands do.

Ville: Yeah. In my opinion we did six different albums so far.

Phil: Definitely. Will there be any reissues of the older demos?

Ville: I don’t think so. I personally like the fact that the demos are collectibles for the fans who were actually fans back then. And anyway, you can find them on the internet; you can just download them from a torrent site. [laughter]

Phil: Yeah, but the sound quality’s usually pretty crappy on those.

Ville: Well, the sound quality’s pretty crappy on the originals as well. [laughter] We were recording on cassettes.

Phil: Have you given any thought to doing a live DVD or maybe a documentary on the band’s history?

Ville: Yes. We have been working on it for quite awhile, actually. And I have no idea when it’s going to be out; it’s not even nearly completed yet. But we will definitely release it someday. We have been working on it and there will be a lot of interesting things on it. I’m not revealing anything yet because actually we don’t know it yet either. [laughter] But it’s definitely not going to be one of those live DVDs that every other band releases with just one show and ten minutes of behind the scenes stupidity. It’s going to be something else.

Phil: What would you consider to be your best shows with MOONSORROW and what would be the worst one for you?

Ville: We have had quite many shows that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I wouldn’t pick one before the others, but… I think when we went to Russia for the first time, that was something we really hadn’t experienced before. It was really insane; the audience was really like… coming towards you. We went outside for a smoke and there were like a hundred Russian people screaming for autographs and photographs. [laughs] It was really insane, something that we are not used to. Well, it doesn’t happen that often, anyway.

Phil: So basically, you felt like a rock star, almost.

Ville: No, I felt like an idiot. [laughter] I am extremely uncomfortable in those situations. I think when we played in more exotic places; those are the things we will remember, like for example in China. One of the towns, we were actually the first Western band ever and that was something quite spectacular and the people went absolutely nuts; threw beer on the mixing table and stuff and our sound guy wasn’t that amused by it. [laughter]

Phil: Have there ever been any shows where you’ve kind of just shaken your head and thought they were a complete disaster?

Ville: Uh… yeah. [laughter] Like that one in… where was it? Sudbury, Canada in 2007, I think. It was like the farthest distance from home, at that time, where we’d played. It was a ten hour drive from Toronto and when we got there we realized that the backstage doesn’t have any sort of heating and it was thirty Fahrenheit outside, so we had to have our winter clothing on in the backstage and when we finally hit the stage, we realized that “Okay, there are ten people inside.” They were really into it, actually, so it was probably a very special show to them but driving there for ten hours, nearly freezing to death and playing to ten people, we were kind of thinking “Is this worth it?”

Phil: Yeah, and especially with frozen fingers, I would imagine that would make it very difficult to play guitar properly.

Ville: Yeah. But the more time goes by, we just laugh about these things. They are part of the band’s growth and these are the incidents that actually pull the group together. We are still with the same lineup after all these happenings.

Phil: At Heathen Crusade 3, I remember after the festival, I was hanging out with a few people and I saw you guys getting in your van to go to the next show and one of the bags got left behind. We were kind of wondering “Are they going to come back for that?” Snow starts gathering on it, “Okay, we’d better take this into the hotel lobby and give it to the desk.” How long did it take you to realize that the bag was left behind?

Ville: Until the next show.

Phil: Oh jeez. [laughs]

Ville: I actually… if you’re interested, and I think you are, you have to link this - I have a tour diary from that whole one week tour that started from Heathen Crusade, I have a tour diary about that on our website, Moonsorrow.com in the archives. It’s right there. You’d better read it - it’s very interesting. There is no exaggeration anywhere - it’s just the plain truth. That was only the incident where everything started. It’s full of interesting facts.

Phil: Recommend a book for our readers and then explain why you recommend that particular work.

Ville: Damn. I haven’t actually read a book in a very long time. [pause] Hmmm… [laughter] I like to read documentary books, but… it’s just here and there. I don’t really read whole books; I read excerpts from here and there, mostly on the internet, like historical facts and stuff. So I can’t really recommend a book. It’s probably made me look like a very unsophisticated person, but… [laughs] But I’m still literate.

Phil: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Ville: Not really. I never have any last words because I have so many words to say before I die. I just hope that people have enjoyed these shows so far and will enjoy all the upcoming shows as well. It really has been a good time in America and we definitely want to come back as soon as possible.

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