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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

HeavyMusic.ru / April 2016


After five long years the musical world finally received some great news from Finnish pagan crusaders Moonsorrow. Those who are living in the age of men got a unique chance to witness "The Age of the Gods" since it is the exact name for Moonsorrow new opus. HeavyMusic talked to the frontman Ville Sorvali and the guitarist Mitja Harvilahti just before the release gig on April, 1 in Helsinki, and discussed new material and more - please, have a read!

          HeavyMusic: How did your recent tour in China go? Do you have any special memories, feelings, impressions?
          Mitja: China is great. It is always interesting. It is nothing like you can see in Europe or anything in the world. Basically, wherever you go, it will be interesting and exciting. The tour was great in every aspect, lots of travelling. Maybe too much travelling and too little sleep, but it is always worth to go there.
          Ville: It is a nice country. I have gone there on holiday as well.
          HM: Speaking about new material, how did the new album change your perception of the previous ones?
          Mitja: I guess we always change it because we don’t feel like we are on a road to somewhere... let’s say, we don’t want to hear anything we have done before, we tend to start from scratch and of course the material would sound like Moonsorrow. I mean there is no point in taking something that happened before, add something new and then try to find a perfect recipe for a Moonsorrow album, this just doesn’t work.
          HM: Please, tell us a bit about your new video. How did you find the artists for making it?
          Ville: Initially we had an access to two options but I do not know where the options came from.
          Mitja: It is just that we heard there are a couple of companies that are very skilled and can do something interesting and in the end we chose one of them. Though you never know what you would get with all this money invested.
          Ville: They also had a really good attitude to it [the making of a video] so, I guess, we trusted that they would make it as good as they could. I was involved from the beginning, which was just a couple of months ago. I met up with the main guys in Belgrade where we discussed the script – the general line and then freehand, because I do not know anything about music videos. Overall, I think they did a great job.
          HM: True. Well, it was your first experience of a change from a musician to an actor. How did the shootings go?
          Ville: I can tell you it hurt. It really hurt, as I has had to be in chains for several hours, constantly trying to break free, so it hurt my wrists. I am not even sure I can play today (at that moment Mitja tries to console him). It was a really fun experience as I have never done anything like that before. Still, I am sure I will not become an actor, I would rather stay in my accustomed role.
          HM: So you realized this at the shootings, didn’t you?
          Ville: No-no… actually I would like to do that type of thing more from time to time but I do not know if anyone would want me for their movie…
          HM: Right. If we turn back to the new album, we know that the music that was created between 2012 and 2014 was ditched completely. What did it sound like and why did not you like it?
          Ville: It sounded boring.
          Mitja: It just did not have the spirit. It was not about good stuff, bad stuff or anything, it simply lacked the spirit.
          Ville: Also, it did not go the same direction we wanted to go as Moonsorrow. It is really impossible to explain but that is how it is.
          HM: Music industry has gone through a certain evolution in the past several years. How has it changed your ways of working on a new material and promoting it after the recording for you as a band?
          Ville: Not much.
          Mitja: You see it because the promotion is done differently today; it has become more aggressive nowadays. After the release, there are a lot of versions to cater about for different kinds of groups of people, and this might be the biggest change for us as we do not normally share a lot of digital singles.
          Ville: It did not change our approach to our music. We just do it the same way as always. It could be a commercial suicide or whatever but I do not think many of the metal bands out there care about this.
          HM: From your point of view, how do music videos go along with the impressions people get from listening to music? Sometimes the images from videos can distract the listeners from direct music associations.
          Mitja: That is exactly the point why we will probably never make a music video, and we used to say “Never! No music videos. At all!” many times, but this one is an exception to it. Actually, I think we were kind of forced to make a video. But if we had had our management said “Let’s make a music video” and we had been still in need of shortening our songs, we would have never made one. So it was cool we had this song [“Suden Tunti”] for it. Actually, when I read the script I realized ‘ok, if they can make this script into a video, it is going to be great’, because if you do not capture the whole essence of the song…
          HM: …then it would feel like a fake?
          Mitja: Yes. Usually music videos are crap, most of them, like 98%, are completely shitty…
          Ville: They are useless.
          Mitja: …yes, with wasted money and compromises to make them. I made other music videos as I do camera and lights stuff, and I have always hated the fact that you spend like 20 hours a day working on a video, and it still ends up being a crap no matter what, because the result is just not satisfying.
          Ville: And it is not all about money, you also need a vision. Funny thing about this video and the song I read from our Facebook page – and I probably should not read this as it just makes me angry at how stupid people can be – some people say that now when Moonsorrow makes a music video, the song for it is much shorter than usual (because of the video). And I was like ‘we made the song long before we decided to make a video out of it, and if you do not like the song, that is fine, but it is not the fault of the video’.
          HM: 2015 saw a 20th anniversary of Moonsorrow. With a relation (or completely no relation) to that, have you ever thought about doing a 'very special' Moonsorrow show, for example acoustic one or one with an orchestra?
          Mitja: It is too late!
          Ville: We turned 20 last year but we just forgot about it.
          Mitja: It was knocking in my head for many times, but then I heard people commenting like ‘all these bands making these anniversary shows, they suck!’ And we in the band…we did not even discuss it, but seeing people’s opinions about bands playing their whatever golden era albums or having anniversary shows, I do not think we would have made such a show, even if we had not forgotten about it. I think the best birthday present is this album [“Jumalten Aika”] finally, and it is much more important than any special show.
          HM: True. Can you recall in what moment in time you realized that Moonsorrow has gained some solid attention and success from the audience?
          Ville: I do not think there was a single moment, as our uphill was pretty modest. There was never really kind of a moment when something happened and we started to sell a lot of albums. We still do not, if you get what I mean. It is very slow growth, we never realized something happened. Of course, now it feels really weird sometimes, especially if we look back at our first demo and return to nowadays when we are sitting here waiting to play for the sold-out Virgin Oil... something must have happened! I do not know what, and it feels strange.
          Mitja: We never made any big decisions, we never pushed the band at those times when a band gets a record deal and it feels it has gotten big or something…we never did anything about it, we never started touring when it was needed, we toured when we could. And it actually went good, things were going better and better all the time but it did not explode and it is fine.
          Ville: It is actually very good.
          Mitja: And we never felt there is going to be any decline after it.
          HM: ...after the rise?
          Ville: Yes. I personally know some people who have gone really high in their musical careers, and then came down very fast. You could see that this hurts them. It all messes with your head.

          HM: How do you feel about the fact that some fans do not pay enough attention to the lyrics as they do not understand Finnish?
          Ville: I do not really mind, music is the most important part. I have the feeling that the music transmits the message of the lyrics by itself as well.
          HM: Speaking about the lyrics again, do you know what the song will be about in advance or is it a moment of inspiration?
          Ville: I do not think I ever got any divine intervention in my head, like ‘now you are going to write a song about this’, it just gradually develops. We keep a discussion with Henri about the themes, so it is not completely my decision, and I am guided by all other people in the band. I just do the final execution.
          Mitja: This album is a little bit different from the previous one; that one was a concept album, and we already had some images drawn pretty much for it, and we knew what would happen there and how the storyline is going to go, so it sounded differently from what we had on [the latest] album. Of course, we had some themes, but how to ‘execute’ them was pretty much personal as long as it falls within the general frame.
          Ville: The frame was basically that we wanted to write an album about myths and approach the myths in a different light – that was the main theme everyone has agreed upon. And I guess I did smaller details within it. Of course, I could not have done it all by myself. I gained a lot of inspiration from the others.
          HM: And this is a nice thing from your side to point it out!
          HM: You made two covers on Grave and Rotting Christ songs. If you were to choose one Moonsorrow song to cover by these bands, which one would it be?

          Ville: I would like to hear Grave covering “Tulimyrsky".
          Mitja: I would like to hear Rotting Christ covering “Kaiku”.
          HM: Are there any bands or musicians you would like to work with?
          Ville: The guys in the band (laughing).
          Mitja: This is really hard to say, because we know a lot of musicians who are great people, it is in which way we could do something together…
          HM: Probably song collaborations or guesting on each other albums?
          Mitja: Well, guests…vocalists especially are interesting.
          Ville: Well, we already have Jonne on the new album, for example, it was the idea I personally wanted to experiment with, and we will do a live song to try it today.
          HM: Very much looking forward to it. We think it must be very interesting.
          Ville: He was the most interesting character for this album…he has his thing.
          Mitja: He has something in his voice that none of us have. When we heard him in the studio we literally got chills on our arms and thought ‘oh shit!’.
          Ville: None of us has such a voice, because none of us does drugs or smokes that much (laughing).
          HM: This is definitely informative :) We are aware of Henri’s firm opinion about not playing live. What does performing songs live on stage means to you?
          Ville: I love it – cannot say much more!
          Mitja: Yes, it is something you grow kind of addicted to – at least I do. Sometimes it is very hard to deal with not playing live between tours and shows – I get hooked on it very badly. In daily life I am more of a calm and settled person but on the stage it changes completely. It is not acting, but I rather become a completely another person while playing live.
          HM: Thank you for such honesty. Can you tell us what is your biggest dream related to Moonsorrow?
          (At that point David, the manager of the band, enters the room, a friendly brawl happens and the interviewers are properly informed that the biggest dream of Moonsorrow was, is and apparently will be to get as much on David’s nerves as possible. Finita la commedia!)
          HM: They say one should try everything in life. Is there anything you would never try?
          Mitja: There is a saying in Finnish…but we’d better not talk about it.
          Ville: There are a lot of stupid things I would not try to do…
          HM: And on the other way around, what would you say everyone should try?
          Mitja: Chinese food in China.
          Ville: Chinese food in China! It is very different from ours.
          HM: Cockroaches and scorpions?
          Mitja: More like guts and penises.
          Ville: And it is worth trying.
          HM: Our last question is about Finnish winter which, as we know, is very long and dark. Would you mind sharing some tips on how to survive it?
          Ville: Drink. For many Finnish people it is kind of a method of survival in the darkness, they start to drink more.
          HM: Living in Russia we can totally imagine that.
          Ville: Yes, I was about to come to that – the same in Russia.

          HeavyMusic.ru would like to thank Ville and Mitja for the interview!
          See Moonsorrow on the tour on the following dates:
          04.01.16 – Virgin Oil, Helsinki, FI
          04.08.16 – Durbuy Rock Festival, Bomal-sur-Ourthe, BE *
          04.09.16 – Les Tanzmatten, Selestat, FR *
          04.10.16 – Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL**
          04.11.16 – Le Trabendo, Paris, FR *
          04.12.16 – Rock School Barbey, Bordeaux, FR *
          04.13.16 – Arena, Madrid, ES *
          04.14.16 – Razzmatazz 2, Barcelona, ES *
          04.15.16 – CC John Lennon, Limoges, FR
          04.16.16 – Carène, Brest, FR *
          04.17.16 – Antipode, Rennes, FR *
          04.18.16 – CCO Villeurbanne, Lyon, FR *
          04.19.16 – Les Trinitaires, Metz, FR *
          04.20.16 – O2 Islington Academy, London, UK *
          04.21.16 – Club Academy, Manchester, UK *
          04.22.16 – The Button Factory, Dublin, IRE *
          04.23.16 – The Limelight 2, Belfast, UK *
          04.24.16 – The Classic Grand, Glasgow, UK *
          04.25.16 – Leeds Uni Stylus, Leeds, UK *
          04.26.16 – Academy 2, Birmingham, UK *
          04.27.16 – The Fleece, Bristol, UK *
          04.28.16 – The 1865, Southampton, UK *
          04.29.16 – Matrix, Bochum, DE *
          05 07.16 Dark Troll Fest, Germany
          06.17.16 Tampere Metal Meeting, Finland
          06.18.16 Hellfest, France
          06.19.16 Graspop, Belgium
          07.09.16 Jalometalli Festival, Finland
          07.17.16 Ilosaarirock, Finland
          07.23.16 Ragnard Rock, France
          08.06.16 Porispere Festival, Finland
          08.12.16 Rockstadt Extreme, Romania
          08.19-20.16 Summer Breeze, Germany
          * w/ Korpiklaani
          ** w/ Heidevolk
          Interviewers – Maria Meledyakhina & Olga Degteva
          Photos – Abel ‘Grilo’ do Demo & Olga Degteva

Inferno / March 2016


”Folk metal on pahinta mahdollista kuraa” – haastattelussa Moonsorrow

Padot ovat viimein auenneet, ja Moonsorrow purjehtii taivaanrantaan kevyemmässä lastissa. Jumalten ajasta ihmisen aikaan on pitkä matka.
Folkmetalli on ruma sana. Kun Moonsorrow’n basisti-laulaja Ville Sorvali ja kitaristi Mitja Harvilahti puhuvat yhtyettään inspiroivasta musiikista, he puhuvat mieluiten kansanmusiikkivaikutteista. Ihan nolojen väärinkäsitysten välttämiseksi.
– Folkmetallista on tullut jotenkin niin perverssiä, Sorvali sanoo. – Koko juttu on käsitetty täysin väärin.
– Folk metal on pahinta mahdollista kuraa sekä ulkomusiikillisesti että musiikillisesti, Harvilahti jatkaa. – Se on eskapistista, teutonista hilipatihippanmeininkiä ja larppausta. Vaatteet, kaljanjuominen ja sarvienkalistelu ovat jättäneet musiikin varjoonsa.
Sorvali lisää, että kaiken lisäksi folk metal -leima lyödään usein ihan vääriin bändeihin.
– Me ollaan bändien kesken nimetty huviksemme ”folkmetallin Big 5”, Sorvali sanoo. – Siihen kuuluvat Moonsorrow, Turisas, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani ja Finntroll. Näistä viidestä yhtyeestä folkmetallia edustaa Korpiklaani. Ei mikään muu.
Asia selvä. Moonsorrow ei soita folkmetallia. Moonsorrow soittaa pakanametallia. Piste.
On ymmärrettävää, että Moonsorrow haluaa irti mainitusta genrestä. Alan bändien määrä on lisääntynyt räjähdysmäisesti, ja sen myötä skenestä on tullut kliseinen ja korni. Liian usein yhtyeen imago on näyttävä, mutta rintapanssareiden ja kilpien takaa ei löydy mitään.
Siitä huolimatta sana ”folk” viittaa kansanperinteisiin, ja ne ovat tärkeitä myös Moonsorrow’lle, jonka muinaisajan mausteilla ryyditetty musiikki kiinnostaa varsin suurta ihmisjoukkoa ympäri maailman. Kansanperinteissä ei ole mitään kirottavaa.
– Hyviäkin folk metal -bändejä on, Harvilahti sanoo. – Ne tekevät todella monipuolista musiikkia. Harva genre pystyy yhdistelemään yhtä monia eri elementtejä. Sanoituksissa on historiaa ja fantasiaa, musiikissa metallia ja kansanmusiikkia. Kaikki tuo on nivottu yhteen houkuttelevaksi kokonaisuudeksi.
Sorvali toteaa, että puhuttiinpa sitten folkmetallista, viikinkimetallista (josta Moonsorrow haluaa myös sanoutua irti) tai pakanametallista, musiikin kulttuurinen aspekti on erittäin tärkeä.
– Ihmisiä kiinnostaa sellaisessa musiikissa se, että bändit menevät ajassa taaksepäin ja laulavat enemmän tai vähemmän todellisista historiallisista tapahtumista. Se nostaa esiin tuntemuksia, joita ihmiset ovat kokeneet jo kauan ennen sähkökitaran keksimistä.
Vaiheikas kaari
Moonsorrow alkaa olla siinä iässä, että sen uralle voi merkitä historiallisia tapahtumia. Ensimmäinen on hetki, kun Ville ja Henri Sorvali perustivat Moonsorrow’n vuonna 1995. Kahden serkuksen projektina käynnistynyt bändi teki ensimmäiset demonsa 90-luvun lopulla.
Muutaman ensimmäisen vuoden aikana Moonsorrow’sta kasvoi bändi. Rumpali Marko Tarvonen liittyi Sorvalien seuraan ennen debyyttialbumi Suden unen äänityksiä (2000). Mitja Harvilahti puolestaan ehti mukaan Voimasta ja kunniasta -albumille (2001), joka oli Moonsorrow’n toinen pitkäsoitto ja ensimmäinen levytys Spinefarmille. Kosketinsoittaja Markus Eurén liittyi bändiin samaan aikaan Harvilahden kanssa. Kolmas albumi Kivenkantaja ilmestyi 2003.
Nykyinen miehitys saatiin kokoon, kun Henri Sorvali kyllästyi keikkailuun ja jättäytyi pois kiertueilta Moonsorrow’n luovaksi harmaaksi eminenssiksi, säveltäjäksi ja tuottajaksi. Hänen tilalleen keikkakitaristiksi liittyi Janne Perttilä.
Seuraavaksi ilmestyivät ”pitkäsoiton” käsitteen uudelleen määritellyt albumi Verisäkeet (2005), V: Hävitetty (2007) ja albuminmittainen ep-levy Tulimyrsky (2008).
Helmikuussa 2011 julkaistu Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa jäi Moonsorrow’n viimeiseksi Spinefarmille tehdyksi levyksi. Seuraavana vuonna yhtye ilmoitti tehneensä diilin Century Media Recordsin kanssa. Jämerä välitilinpäätös oli neljätoista vinyylilevyä sisältänyt Heritage: 1995–2008 – The Collected Works -boksi, jonka Blood Music julkaisi vuonna 2014.
Seuraava Moonsorrow-albumi julkaistaan vasta neljä vuotta Century Median kanssa tehdyn levytyssopimuksen jälkeen. Jumalten aika ilmestyy aprillipäivänä 2016.
Tässä vaiheessa Moonsorrow on siirtynyt uudelle vuosikymmenelle. Bändi vietti viime vuonna 20-vuotisjuhlaansa. Tai jos tarkkoja ollaan, ei viettänyt.
– Me ei muistettu juhlia, Harvilahti sanoo. – Kyllä se ajatus hiukan kutkutteli takaraivossa, mutta juhlat jäivät järjestämättä. Aika menee niin nopeasti. Varsinkin viimeiset kahdeksan vuotta on mennyt ihan vilauksessa.
Sorvali naurahtaa, että aina välillä mieleen iskeytyy sellainen järisyttävä fakta, että Moonsorrow’n jäsenenä on tullut oltua reippaasti yli puolet elämästä.
– Vaikka se on pitkä aika, pystyn kyllä hahmottamaan bändin tähänastisen kaaren. Odotuksiin nähden se on ollut äärettömän tapahtumarikas matka.
Sorvali jatkaa, että pitkälle tiellä on kohdattu monia yllätyksiä, ja ne ovat olleet voittopuolisesti positiivisia.
– Ekalla lennolla Meksikoon me naureskeltiin, että eipä tullut aikoinaan demoja tehdessä mieleen, että soitetaan vielä joskus Meksikossa ja vieläpä suomenkielistä musaa. Tässä on saanut tehdä kaikenlaisia Kiinan-reissuja. Kaikesta sellaisesta voi olla vain yllättynyt ja kiitollinen.
”Karttanörtiksi” tunnustautuva Sorvali kertoo laatineensa listan maista, joissa on käynyt. Niitä on kaikkiaan 42, ja yli kolmessakymmenessä on vierailtu Moonsorrow’n kanssa.
– Rundeilla saattaa joskus nähdä jotain paikkojakin, Harvilahti huomauttaa. – Minulla kääntyy kiertueilla rytmi sellaiseksi, että menen heti keikan jälkeen nukkumaan ja herään kahdeksalta aamulla. Silloin jää aikaa katsella ympärilleen. Se reissu, joka me tehtiin Finntrollin kanssa Jenkeissä, oli mulle kuin lomamatka.
– Toisaalta Australiassa mentiin aina suoraan keikalta hotelliin, ja lento lähti heti seuraavana aamuna. Ja jos multa kysytään, Saksassa ei ole mitään muuta kuin lentokenttiä, moottoriteitä ja huoltoasemia, joista Ville ostaa BiFiä. Sitten siellä on festareita ja huonoja hotelleja. Siinä kaikki, mitä olen nähnyt Saksassa viimeksi kuluneen kymmenen vuoden aikana.
– BiFi on teollisesti survottu ja kasaan sullottu saksalainen epämakkara, Sorvali täsmentää.
Epämakkara on ihmisen ajan ruokaa, Moonsorrow jumalten ajan musiikkia.
Primitiivinen tunnelma
Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa -levyn ja Jumalten ajan välissä kului yllättävän paljon aikaa. Ville Sorvali kertoo, että Jumalten ajan säveltäminen aloitettiin jo 2012, heti edellisen levyn ilmestymistä seuranneena vuonna. Se oli kuitenkin varaslähtö. Kappaleita kyllä syntyi, mutta aikansa tahkottuaan Moonsorrow joutui myöntämään, ettei niistä tullut sellaisia kuin piti.
– Se oli sellaista tylsää ja menevää musiikkia, Harvilahti muistelee. – Siinä ei ollut sitä tarttumapintaa eikä syvyyttä, jota me kaivattiin.
Moonsorrow kaipasi jonkinlaista muutosta, mutta ei tiennyt, mihin suuntaan olisi pitänyt lähteä.
– Tietoisesti me ei yritetty tehdä mitään tietynlaista, Sorvali sanoo. – Taisi kuitenkin käydä niin, että bändi alkoi alitajuisesti tehdä uudelleen toista tai kolmatta levyään. Eihän sellainen oikein skulannut, kun niistä oli kulunut aikaa jo kymmenen vuotta.
Selitys pitkälle julkaisuvälille löytyy matkan tästä mutkasta. Kun toimimaton tavara oli hävitetty, uuteen alkuun ei päästykään ihan noin vain.
– Koskaan ennen ei ole ollut sellaista tilannetta, Harvilahti kertoo. – Me jahkattiin ja jahkattiin, mutta asiat eivät menneet eteenpäin. Äänitettiin jotain, mutta seuraavana päivänä se oli kadonnut tai muuttanut muotoaan.
– Siinä oli tosiaan pitkä blokki. Mutta kun se lopulta aukesi, musaa alkoi tulla aika sujuvasti. Siis meidän mittapuulla, Sorvali sanoo. – Sovitusvaihtoehtoja oli tietenkin aivan helvetisti, ja mehän mennään studioon aina valmiin matskun kanssa. No, Henu sai tuskailla kappaleet lopulliseen muotoonsa.
”Henu” on Moonsorrow’n primus motor Henri Sorvali. Hän sanoo uuden albumin tiedotteessa, että Jumalten ajalla on enemmän kansanmusiikkivaikutteita kuin edellisillä levyillä ja ne ovat integroituneet lujemmin kiinni yleissoundiin.
Ville Sorvali kertoo, että folkelementit nousivat pintaan siinä vaiheessa, kun kuvainnollinen pöytä puhdistettiin käyttökelvottomista kappaleista.
– Me tajuttiin, että juuri kansanmusiikkivaikutteet tekevät tästä bändistä Moonsorrow’n. Ja nyt ei puhuta mistään folk metal -vaikutteista vaan kunnon kansanmusiikista kaikkine jouhikoineen ja jodlauksineen.
”Kunnon kansanmusiikki” on juuri se elementti, jolla Moonsorrow haluaa erottua toisiaan apinoivista muinaismetalliyhtyeistä. Se ottaa mieluummin mallia 1900-luvun alussa tehdyistä perinnemusiikkiäänitteistä.
Autenttista vaikutelmaa tavoiteltiin vierailevien muusikoiden avulla. Korpiklaanin Jonne Järvelä laulaa levyllä samaanityyliin, ja hänen bändissään ennen vaikuttanut Hittavainen soittaa perinteisiä jousi- ja puhallinsoittimia. Traditionaalisen karjankutsulaulun luikauttaa Helena Haaparanta.
– Ne jutut toivat kokonaissoundiin paljon lisää, Sorvali sanoo. – Levyllä on alkukantainen tunnelma, ja se sopii Moonsorrow’lle. Jumalten aika ei ole mikään tyhmä heavy metal -levy.
Uusilla raiteilla
Ensimmäinen vaikutelma Jumalten aika -albumista on, että kaikki ei ole ihan niin kuin ennen. Levyn kappaleet ovat helpommin hahmotettavissa kuin edellisten levyjen materiaali.
Muutos on hienovarainen mutta selkeä – jopa niin selkeä, että Sorvali ja Harvilahti suostuvat myöntämään, että Jumalten aika koostuu ”biiseistä”, niin banaalilta kuin tuo sana näin eeppisessä asiayhteydessä kuulostaakin.
Harvilahti sanoo, että lähtökohtana oli entistä riffivetoisempien kappaleiden kirjoittaminen. Se tuntui hyvältä vastapainolta edellisen levyn kitaravalleille ja maalailulle.
Vaikka musiikin ääriviivat ovat selkeämmät, se on yhä massiivista ja mittavaa. Jumalten aika ei kuitenkaan katkaise kehitystä, joka alkoi Verisäkeiden aikaan.
– Verisäkeet-levyä tehdessä me oltiin saatu Henun kanssa valmiiksi pari kymmenminuuttista biisiä, Sorvali muistelee. – Alettiin sitten heittää läppää, että pitäisikö tehdä levy, jonka kaikki biisit ovat näin pitkiä. Se oli vitsi, mutta siitä se lähti. Hävitetyllä olikin sitten puolituntisia biisejä. Sitä on vaikea selittää. Ne vain syntyvät.
Jumalten ajan Suden tunti on Moonsorrow’n ensimmäinen alle kymmenminuuttinen kappale vuosiin, mutta bändi ei edelleenkään tavoittele säveltäessään radiosoiton ihannemittaa. Ja jos tavoittelisi, tuskin onnistuisi. Eikä ainakaan soisi radiossa.
– Kun on kerran hiffannut, miten tällaista musiikkia tehdään, siitä on vaikeaa palata takaisin rockbiisin peruskaavaan, Harvilahti sanoo. – Musiikista tulee ikään kun juna, joka kulkee eteenpäin. Se tekee omista rakenteistaan eeppisiä.
Vaikka junamatka on turhan moderni allegoria Moonsorrow’n kaltaisen yhtyeen uralle, Ville Sorvali ilahtuu rinnastuksesta. Hän ohjaa sen raiteelle, joka vie aina Jumalten ajan asemalle asti.
– Edellisillä levyillä musiikki oli kuin tavarajuna, joka ei koskaan pysähtynyt ja johon heitettiin jatkuvasti lisää tavaraa. Nyt junasta on purettu lastia ja se saattaa pysähdelläkin aina välillä.
Myyttien pauloissa
Jumalten ajalla on kaikkiaan viisi kappaletta, joista jokainen kertoo oman tarinansa. Halutessaan kappaleiden voi nähdä kietoutuvan yhteen löyhäksi temaattiseksi kokonaisuudeksi, mutta se ei ole välttämätöntä. Biisit seisovat myös omilla jaloillaan.
Sanoittaja Ville Sorvali kertoo, että edelliset Moonsorrow-albumit olivat niin tukevasi konseptuaalisia, ettei hän halunnut kirjoittaa Jumalten ajasta sellaista. Mutta vaikka monumentaalisuuden aiheuttama ähky painoi lyyrikkoa, myös Jumalten aika on tarkoin harkittu kokonaisuus. Teeman muotoutuminen kesti kauan, mutta lopulta ydinajatus selkeni.
– Jumalten aikakaudella jumalat loivat ihmiset. Sitten ihmiset oppivat puhumaan, laulamaan ja lopulta kirjoittamaan. He alkoivat tehdä tarinaa siitä, miten heidät on luotu. Lopulta ihmiset alkoivat ajatella, että olivat itse asiassa luoneet jumalat. Kun ihminen jätti jumalat taakseen ja alkoi hallita maailmaa, syntyi ahneutta ja eripuraa.
Jumalten aika alkaa levyn nimikappaleella ja päättyy kuusitoistaminuuttiseen teokseen nimeltä Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeään). Ainakin paperilla kokonaisuus näyttää kertovan maallistumisesta.
– Naulan kantaan. Niin jumalten ja ihmisen aika nivoutuvat yhteen, Sorvali sanoo.
Hän kertoo pureutuneensa sanoituksissa erilaisiin myytteihin ja tehneensä tulkintoja niiden merkityksistä.
– Ensimmäisen ja viimeisen kappaleen välissä käsitellään taruja, joilla muinaisaikojen ihmiset selittivät esimerkiksi luonnonilmiöitä. Levyllä kerrotaan myös siitä, miten ihmiset etsivät tietoa ennen kuin tieteellinen lähestymistapa on keksitty.
– Kalevalastakin nappasin levylle yhden tarinan. Kun pääsin peruskoulun Kalevala-traumasta eroon, huomasin sen olevan helvetin mielenkiintoinen opus. Useimmissa on kuitenkin pohjalla yleinen skandinaavinen mytologia. Olen lukenut sekä proosa- että runomuotoisen Eddan. Runo-Eddasta en kyllä tajunnut hevonhelvettiä.
Muinaisuskon ajasta ammentaminen voi olla pelkkää imagon rakentamista tai sitten jotakin syvällisempää. Millainen merkitys esikristillisen ajan hengenelämällä on Moonsorrow’n jäsenille?
– Maallisia ihmisiähän me ollaan, mutta ne asiat kiinnostavat ja ohjailevat meitä. Moonsorrow’n musiikin ydinajatus on vanhan kansan viisaus ja kunnioitus luontoa kohtaan, Sorvali sanoo.
– En ole uskonnollinen ihminen vaan ateisti, mutta minullakin on pyhiä arvoja, Harvilahti jatkaa. – Luonnon ja elämän kunnioittaminen ovat sellaisia, ja ne ovat pyhiä arvoja myös pakanauskossa.
Se riittää, jos tarkoitus ei ole pelata rooleilla. On elettävä ajan ehdoilla, ja aika on muuttanut asioita.
– Ennen ihmiset olivat luonnon armoilla, Sorvali sanoo. – Jos oli helvetin kylmä, mentiin sisälle, sytytettiin tuli kaikkiin pesiin ja vedettiin turkista päälle. Jos oli pimeä, sytytettiin soihdut. Pihalla oli karjaa, josta sai maitoa ja lihaa, ja maassa kasvoi juureksia.
– Nykyihminen on niin vieraantunut tuollaisesta ajattelusta. Lähdepä tästä metsästämään jotakin, Sorvali sanoo ja viittaa ikkunasta näkyvään Helsingin Pasilaan. – Citykanin saatat saada ammuttua, mutta siinäpä se.
Juttu on julkaistu Infernon numerossa 3/2016.

HeavyMusic.ru / May 2016 (HOTW)


What would you say if you hear about a project of a documentary for a band directed by TWO people which is based on the biography created by ONE person? Home of the Wind. A History of Moonsorrow is an ambitious project of two dedicated Moonsorrow fans, Leo Aragón and Abel ‘Grilo’ do Demo; HeavyMusic had a talk with Abel about working on the documentary, challenging moments and personal dreams.

          HeavyMusic: Please, tell us a bit about your project. How and when did it start to take shape?
          Abel: February 16, 2015. I was hanging out with Leo in Camden, London, it was the first time we met in person after a few years of online contact and he just said, what do you think about turning your biography into a documentary? I was so shocked I thought it was impossible, but… here we are!
          HM: Could you please describe your daily work on the project - who does what?
          Leo works, I watch and agree! As the ancient Spanish tradition dictates. More seriously, he does all of the technical stuff: all videos and photos are done by him. On the other hand, all the longer texts are written by me, and I’m also mostly the one researching whatever topic we need at a given time. Everything else, we divide every week or two weeks, depending on who has more time or the best contact. There are lots of things to do and prepare. For example, now it is public information that we filmed the concerts in Madrid and London, but preparing those recordings was long as it involved many people, two full filming crews plus the band management. Another big thing is the different DVD editions that will be made and the perks that will be offered during the crowdfunding campaign… We have people helping us, a lot of them actually, each on their field, but we are still the ones making the decisions and coordinating everything the best we can. So there’s always something going on to take care of. Like answering interviews. I’m in charge of that as well.
          HM: How did the band react to your suggestion to film a documentary and were they supportive from the start?
          At first they were so confused! A docuwhat? Like, how come? And what about? I think in the first moment the five of them had five different opinions on the matter, but as we started to be more clear about our vision and what we wanted it to be like, they started to get more excited. Since then, yes, they’ve been very supportive and offered us very significant help in crucial moments. Wait for the crowdfunding and you’ll partially see what I’m talking about… Right now, my lips are sealed!

          HM: The video teasers we have already seen do create a feeling of suspense and, in some sense, of monumentality. Did you guys do anything similar (filming or writing a script) in the past before you started working on this project?
          I personally did not, but Leo is all the time filming interviews. He does the videos all by himself and achieves TV quality. Search for ‘The Breathless Sleep’ on Youtube and you’ll see. However the documentary won’t be the same, it will have a cinematic approach. He’s been experimenting a lot with that as well lately. I myself enjoy writing quite a lot, so I’m really excited about making a documentary script. By the way, I’m glad you get that feeling from the videos! Suspense and monumentality, I like that description.
          HM: 'Home of the Wind' - a heroic name for a film about the band who surely have this heroic vibe in their music. How did you come up with such a name?
          It has three sides. It will be shot in Finland, in the locations that are relevant to Moonsorrow’s history. So that is the home. Paganism and nature are the foundations of the band’s concept, so that’s the wind. And finally, it links to the song “Tuulen koti, aaltojen koti” (eng. - Home of the wind, home of the waves), which has this calm, home-like feeling—even wind and waves sound effects. By the way, you’ll find waves in some HOTW related material; just keep your eyes open!
          HM: From your point of view, what makes your documentary stand apart from similar projects?
          The cinematic approach, and how the content will be treated. It will have a leitmotiv, a beginning and an end, and a particular atmosphere. Concerning the script, I personally like a lot the History of Iron Maiden documentary series (the one that started in the DVD The Early Days), because of the way the interviews are conducted and how the whole story is told. The visual side is totally missing in that one, but the story flows very well. Besides, Moonsorrow has a very important philosophical content, or spiritual, or whatever you want to call it, so that is definitely something that will be featured too. Add up the story, the concept and the cinematography, and it makes a pretty nice film, don’t you think?

          HM: You are starting a crowdfunding campaign in May but you have already gathered some field help from dedicated Moonsorrow fans (and I find this fact to be pretty awesome!). Did you expect such a feedback and supportive attitude or have you actually been relying on you alone from the start?
          Yep, that’s right, the funding starts in May but the crowd started long ago! I actually was expecting some collaboration, yes. I expected some people would want to contribute, and I expected it because I totally would if it was someone else’s project, and I know there are many fans like me. The first person who joined us was someone you probably know, and here I’m revealing this for the first time in public: our artwork is made by the incredible Belgian artist Kris Verwimp, who also made all those Marduks and Absus and Suidakras and Arkonas among others, as well as the very praised Tulimyrsky. After him, many more joined us: two community managers (at different periods), several filmmakers, a few people who will make subtitles, someone who’s helping us with formatting the pages of a thing with pages we’re preparing (hint hint hint), photographers, a very nice journalist from Moscow, two composers, and I’m probably forgetting about some more people. This isn’t a team any more, this is already a legion. Or as the compound word says: a crowd. ;)
          HM: What are/were the challenging points in your work which were not foreseen beforehand?
          At first we intended to go and film in November 2015, I’m writing this in April 2016 and the crowdfunding hasn’t even started yet… so imagine how many things happened. There weren’t many real problems, but some aspects were very complex and, as you said, challenging. Firstly, we have our jobs and obligations, which sometimes slow us down more than we would like. Secondly, Moonsorrow is after all a part of the music business, which not because of being music is less of a business, and there are many people around who have the totally legitimate right to have some conditions as well. For example, copyrights belong to the labels. So, back to your question, there weren’t big surprises concerning challenges—we mostly had in mind most aspects we would have to face in general terms, and then we had to deal with the smaller, sometimes previously unknown details that came with them.

          HM: Without doubts this documentary is a project both ambitious and complex. What do you dream to achieve with it on a personal level?
          I’m already having the fun of my life and I’m doing something bigger than I ever thought I would. In addition, I’m doing it about one of my top favourite topics ever. In addition, I’m making a lot of friends and meeting super interesting people. In addition, I have the honour of being involved in, deciding about and eventually having my name on a product that is going to be awesome, thanks to a great team I'm also a part of. In addition, I’m going to have one of the coolest editions of a Moonsorrow-related item ever (hint after hint!), actually prepared by my friends and me. In addition, I will organize and participate in an awesome event (hints never end). In addition… need I continue adding things?
          HM: Do you imagine the biography you have been working on being published someday?
          It’s a pretty pleasant day today in Budapest, how’s spring in Moscow? :)
          HM: Since all this is obviously about Moonsorrow let me ask this one: which one MS song would you like to be played at your wedding and another one - at your funeral?
          For my funeral, whenever I find out I died I will make a small poll among my mourners so they can choose their preferred one. And if I ever get married, I’m totally hiring the band to play a full set.
          HM: Thank you!
          ¡Las que tú tienes! Thanks for your support!
          HeavyMusic would like to thank Home of the Wind team for the interview!
          Follow Home of the Wind. A History of Moonsorrow on Facebook
          Interviewer – Olga Degteva
          Photos - Home of the Wind. A History of Moonsorrow

Inferno / March 2016 (HOTW)


Moonsorrow-dokkaria rahoitetaan joukolla, ensimmäinen tiiserivideo verkossa

Kuten jo viime kesänä kerroimme, Moonsorrow’sta on tekeillä dokumenttielokuva. Ihka uutta tietoa on, että Abel ”Grilo” do Demon ja Leo Aragónin masinoima Home of the Wind. A History of Moonsorrow toteutetaan joukkorahoituskampanjan avulla.
Do Demo ja Aragón kertoivat Infernolle, että kampanjassa on kyse sekä hankkeen rahoittamisesta että fanien ottamisesta mukaan projektiin.
– Moni asia riippuu siitä, saammeko kokoon tarvitsemamme summan. Mutta siinä on myös joukko-ulottuvuus, jonka kautta projektiin voi löytää uusia ideoita ja yhteistyön muotoja.
Moonsorrow on antanut dokumentintekijöiden käyttöön haastatteluja ja monenlaista muutakin materiaalia. Myös joukkorahoituskampanjan houkuttimet tulevat yhtyeeltä.
– Bändi on lahjoittanut kampanjapalkinnoiksi harvinaisuuksia. Suunnitteilla on myös erilaisia tapahtumia ja yllätyksiä, mutta niistä lisää myöhemmin.
Joukkorahoituskampanja käynnistyy toukokuun alussa ja kestää kuukauden. Mikäli kaikki etenee suunnitelmien mukaan, do Demo ja Aragón tulevat kesällä Suomeen kuvaamaan. Home of the Wind. A History of Moonsorrow’n on määrä valmistua vuoden loppuun mennessä.
Aiheesta kerrotaan lisää 18.3. ilmestyvän painetun Infernon laajassa Moonsorrow-jutussa.

Folkmetal.pl / May 2016 (HOTW)


Home of the Wind – wywiad

Home of the Wind to grupa fanów fińskiego zespołu Moonsorrow. Ich celem jest wydanie dokumentu opowiadającego o historii tej kultowej już grupy. Postanowiliśmy zadać im kilka pytań.
Jak narodził się pomysł na ten projekt Home of the Wind?
Home of the Wind: Wszystko zaczęło się od Leo, kiedy założył Jörmungandr Media. Zajmował się on tworzeniem filmów, lecz zaczął poważnie myśleć nad naprawdę dużym projektem, w którym połączy swoje umiejętności techniczne z miłością do muzyki metalowej. Miłośnik Moonsorrow dowiedział się o mnie i postanowił napisać do Unofficial Moonsorrow Biography (strona jest trochę przestarzała, ale wkrótce zostanie ona całkowicie odnowiona) okazało się, że Leo ma ogromną wiedzę na temat tego zespołu. Zaczęliśmy więc zbierać coraz więcej informacji o Moonsorrow, dowiedziałem się wiele na temat montowania filmów; wydawało nam się, że to będzie dobry pomysł, kiedy postanowimy współpracować. Projekt był samorealizowany, ponieważ nie chcemy za jego pośrednictwem zarabiać pieniędzy – wszystkie nasze fundusze wydaliśmy na projekt, i nie mamy zamiaru go potem sprzedawać. Marketing nie jest naszą domeną – wolimy trzymać się tego, co uważamy za słuszne i co robimy dobrze!
Skąd zamiłowanie akurat do Moonsorrow?
HotW: Więc… czy można wytłumaczyć, na czym polega miłość? Postaram się być obiektywny w subiektywności, o ile to ma jakiś sens. Moonsorrow jest bardzo unikatowy i rozpoznawalny na tle innych zespołów. Najbardziej w ich muzyce podobają mi się melodie, zwłaszcza te, które są grane za pomocą klawiszy i chórów; są one zawsze w określonym miejscu i w dokładnej ilości, nie za dużo, ale też nie za mało. Ich piosenki są idealne w definicji rozwoju. Inne zespoły również mają piękne melodie, ale często wykorzystują je bardzo niezdarnie, albo wykorzystują je bardzo dokładnie i starannie, lecz wtedy melodie są nudne. Oczywiście, nie tyczy się to wszystkich zespołów, są to tylko przykłady. Ale to się nigdy nie dzieje z Moonsorrow. Tak więc – połączenie tych dwóch aspektów może być odpowiedzią na pytanie, dlaczego kocham akurat Moonsorrow.
Od jak dawna macie zamiłowanie do Moonsorrow?
HotW: Od grudnia 2006 roku. Pobrałem album V: Hävitetty (nielegalnie!) i nie mogłem uwierzyć w to, co wtedy usłyszałem. Muszę podkreślić, że w tym okresie nie słuchałem ekstremalnej odmiany metalu, nie wiedziałem również, czym jest muzyka paganmetalowa. Ściągnąłem wszystkie albumy i zakochałem się w utworze Raunioilla. Jak zapewne rozumiesz, było to wtedy dla mnie gigantyczne odkrycie.
Czy jesteście zadowoleni, z waszej obecnej sytuacji w kampanii crowdfundingu?
HotW: Słuchaj, uzbieraliśmy ponad siedem tysięcy euro w niecałe piętnaście godzin, było nam naprawdę trudno w to uwierzyć! Więc mogę powiedzieć, że tak – jesteśmy bardzo zadowoleni, hehe. W momencie, kiedy piszę ten tekst, mamy 66% funduszy potrzebnych do zrealizowania projektu; to wszystko dzięki wspaniałym stu dziewięćdziesięciu ośmiu osobom. Do końca kampanii crowdfundingu zostało piętnaście dni, czyli jeszcze drugie tyle, ile mieliśmy. 66% kwoty w połowie „naszego czasu” brzmi bardzo optymistycznie, prawda? Jesteśmy praktycznie pewni, że uda nam się zrealizować projekt, więc kolejnym celem naszej kampanii jest dotarcie do wydawnictwa, które wytworzy skórzane wydanie, zawierające całą biografię – nie tylko to, co znajduje się w sieci, ale rozszerzoną wersję, obejmującą wszystko do 2014 roku, a prawdopodobnie nawet więcej.
Czy macie ulubione albumy?
HotW: Jednego słucham w każdej chwili! A tak poważnie, może Kivenkantaja jest tym jedynym. Ale kiedy jestem podczas słuchania Voimasta ja kunniasta, Verisäkeet albo Jumalten aika, czuję się, jakbym cały czas słuchał tego samego. Może trochę mniej lubię Suden Uni niż pozostałe krążki, mimo że Tuulen koti, aaltojen koti (stąd tytuł naszego filmu) i 1065: Aika to absolutnie genialne piosenki.
Czy są utwory, z którymi wiążecie dobre wspomnienia?
HotW: Bardzo mi przykro, wiem, że to bardzo romantycznie zabrzmi, kiedy powiem, że przez niektóre piosenki wracam pamięcią do miłych wspomnień, ale to nie moja sprawa. Te „dobre wspomnienia” nie odnoszą się do poszczególnych utworów, ale tak czy siak, są takie wspominki. Dla przykładu; moja (pierwsza) podróż po ukraińskich górach w sierpniu 2012 roku była prawdopodobnie najlepszą wycieczką w moim życiu, nie mówiłbym tak, gdyby nie grało tam Moonsorrow. Zacząłem nawet oblewać sobie nawet twarz krwią, coby w ten sposób okazać szacunek dla tego zespołu, hehe. Recepjonista hotelu nie spodziewał się, że po wejściu do pokoju o 4 rano, zobaczy uśmiechniętego człowieka pokrytego krwią, który mówił po rosyjsku strasznym akcentem. Na mojej twarzy widniał czysty terror… Śmieszne wspomnienia! (ale pewnie nie tak śmieszne dla recepcjonisty).

Czy macie jakieś plany, kiedy skończycie ten projekt?
HotW: Nie w tej chwili, do sfinalizowania naszego projektu została jeszcze długa droga. Po nakręceniu materiału będziemy musieli go edytować, zajmie nam to kilka miesięcy; potem trzeba zrobić fizyczne wydanie i wysłać je. Chcielibyśmy urządzić jakąś imprezę z okazji premiery filmu, może nawet z udziałem samego Moonsorrow, ale jest to bardzo skomplikowane, ponieważ osoby odpowiedzialne za projekt mieszkają w różnych krajach… Zobaczymy, co z tego wyjdzie. Na chwilę obecną mamy jeden główny cel: zrobić niesamowity film dokumentalny!
Dziękuję za wywiad, powodzenia w przyszłości!
Wy też jeszcze możecie wspomóc Home of the Wind w kampanii crowdfundingu, wpłacając dowolną kwotę tutaj.
Liczymy na wasze wsparcie!



  1. How did the idea for the project Home of the Wind come up?

It was Leo, founder of Jörmungandr Media, who brought it up. He has been making videos and working as a designer for a while, but he wished to embark on a big project that would combine all his technical skills with his love for metal music. A Moonsorrow lover himself, he knew about me having written the Unofficial Moonsorrow Biography (http://moonsorrowbio-en.blogspot.com, now a bit outdated, but soon to be renovated completely) and having a deep knowledge about the band. I have researched and read a lot about Moonsorrow, and he has astounding skills for making videos, so this seemed like a decent team for the job, right? It’s a bit of a self-realization project, as we don’t intend to make money out of it—all the funds will be invested in the project, and it won’t be sold afterwards. Marketing isn’t our area—we better stick to what we do right!

  1. Why exactly do you love Moonsorrow?

Well… can love be explained? Haha! But I’ll try to be objective in subjectivity, if that makes any sense. Moonsorrow is very unique and recognizable, which can be applied to other bands, but not many. What I like most in their music is their melodies, especially in keyboards and choirs; they’re always in the precise place, in the precise amount. There is a lot of repetition in every song, but repetition reaches exactly the point it has to reach, and then it changes, and then it comes back with a variation. Their songs are the perfect definition of development. Other bands may have beautiful melodies, but may arrange them in a clumsy way; or are able to develop in a right way but their melodies are dull. Of course not everyone else does this, they are just examples. But this never happens with Moonsorrow. So the combination of these two aspects may be what makes Moonsorrow special for me, if I have to explain in in a coldly reasonable way.

  1. How long do you like Moonsorrow?

Since December 2006. I downloaded the promo of V: Hävitetty (illegally!) and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I must point out as well that at that time I didn’t listen to any extreme metal at all, and I didn’t even know about “pagan metal” being a thing. I downloaded everything else and “Raunioilla” definitely made me fall in love. As you probably understand, it was a pretty big discovery for me…

  1. Are you satisfied with our current financial situation in the crowdfunding campaign?

Man, we raised over €7,000 in about 15 hours, we could hardly believe it! So I can say yes, we are acceptably happy, hehe. Right now, while I’m writing these lines, we are at 66% of our goal thanks to 198 wonderful backers, and 15 days are left, so we are exactly at the half of our campaign. 66% funded in 50% of the time sounds about right, doesn’t it? We are practically sure already that the documentary will be made, so the next goal of the campaign is to reach the minimum for making a leather digibook edition that will contain the full biography—not just what’s online, but an extended version, covering up to 2014 at least, probably more.

  1. Do you have a favorite album?

The one I’m listening to in each moment! More seriously, maybe Kivenkantaja could be the one. But when I’m in the middle of Voimasta ja kunniasta or of Verisäkeet or Jumalten aika, I don’t feel at all like changing the album… Maybe I like Suden uni as a whole a bit less than the others, although “Tuulen koti, aaltojen koti” (where we took the title of the documentary from) and “1065: Aika” are absolutely brilliant songs.

  1. Are there any songs that involve the good memories?

I’m very sorry, I know it would be very romantic to say that certain songs remind me of special memories, but that’s not my case. My, let’s say, “good Moonsorrow memories” aren’t related to particular songs, but they do exist anyway. For example, my (first) trip to the Ukrainian mountains in August 2012 was probably the best in my life, and I wouldn’t have gone at all if Moonsorrow wasn’t playing there. I even got to wear their blood on my face, which was cool in its own fanboyish way, hehe. Apparently it wasn’t so expectable for the hotel receptionist to have a guest arriving at 4 AM, alone and covered in blood, smiling and politely speaking very broken Russian. The poor guy’s face was pure terror… Funny memories! (or maybe not so funny for him)

  1. Do you have any plans, when you finish this project?

Not for the time being, as the finalization of the current one is still far ahead. After filming, we will have to edit it, which will take months; once it’s done, we will have to manufacture all the physical items and send them out. We would also like to organize a cool event for the premiere, maybe even involving some band members, but this is very complicated because it involves a lot of people who live in different countries… We will see. For the time being, we focus on the main point: making an awesome documentary movie!

Thanks for the answers to questions :)

And Justice For Art / June 2016 (HOTW)


Thursday, June 2, 2016

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Unveiling artwork for the poster of the documentary "Home Of The Wind. A History Of Moonsorrow."

Independent film-making proposes many challenges—including finding proper financing to make your ideas a reality. Young filmmakers, Leo Aragon and Abel Grilo Do Demo, know this and are currently embarked in a titanic crowd-funding campaign via Indiegogo to raise the funds they need to finish their epic documentary "Home Of The Wind. A History Of Moonsorrow." 

As the title indicates, this film will be a recount of the career of Pagan Metal heroes, Moonsorrow. The filmmakers have the complete support of the Finnish band, who are helping them in their efforts to raise funds for the documentary. So far, their combined efforts have raised 70% of the campaign's goal.
The film's official poster was painted by seasoned illustrator, Kris Verwimp, who is well-known for his epic album covers for bands like Absu, Marduk, Suidakra, among others. He previously collaborated with Moonsorrow on the creation of the cover for the EP, "Tulimyrsky." In the following interview Verwimp talks about the creation of the poster for the documentary. His impressive, evocative Nordic-inspired landscape can be seen for the first time below in its original form—without any lettering or band logo. 

Kris, you have been painting artwork for metal albums for over 20 years. How did you start? Was it your own initiative, and did you decide to do it continuously already at that time?
Kris Verwimp: Actually, it all started way back in 1993 when I was trying to find a publisher for my Odoric comic book. At a local convention, the owner of a small underground label called “Midian Creations”, asked me if I would be interested in painting an LP cover for Ancient Rites’ “The Diabolic Serenades”. I had always been into Metal, but I never imagined I would ever get the chance to actually design an album cover. So I jumped at the opportunity and tried to create my best work ever. 
I didn’t think I would ever get such a chance again, but soon after the Ancient Rites album was released I got a call from Osmose Productions from France. A while later I was painting CD covers for Marduk’s "Opus Nocturne" and Absu’s "The Sun Of Tiphareth” along with numerous T-shirt designs for bands like Immortal, Enslaved, Angelcorpse, etc…
It was never a conscious decision. In the following years I just kept getting artwork requests from great bands. The music is always my number one source of inspiration. So when the music is great, it’s not hard to find the motivation. 
You painted the artwork for Moonsorrow's Tulimyrsky almost nine years ago, and it became a popular painting, that was even made into a huge poster in 2014. What are your memories about that one, concerning inspiration and the painting process itself?

Kris Verwimp: Well, I must start by saying that I was a fan of Moonsorrow ever since their first album “Suden Uni”. It was a blind purchase at the time, but I loved it immediately and bought all their releases ever since. I’ve spent many hours painting while listening to their music. To my surprise, one day I got a mail with the message that it was my turn to create an artwork for them! They presented the idea to do a very wide artwork. In fact, it was the same amount of work as 5 regular covers. The front cover would be this calm scene of only water and mountains, with only a hint of what was really going on. It was such an inspiring idea that it wasn’t difficult for me to come up with several rough compositions to choose from. The painting process itself took quite a while, but I remember enjoying it a lot. I love epic historical scenes, so this was a great opportunity. 

What was your reaction when you got a request about a Moonsorrow documentary—which needed pretty much the exact opposite of an epic historical action scene?

Kris Verwimp: Actually, I thought it was a great idea! I believe that nature can also be pretty epic and I think that the concept fits the title very well. There’s also the fact that the illustration has to serve as a backdrop for the logo. So it was something a bit different than usual and it required a different approach. I thought it would be a nice challenge.

What inspired you to paint this particular image? Were you given a clear description, just a few guidelines, or did you have complete freedom?

Kris Verwimp: I was given the title and some guidelines. It had to be a nature scene in a DVD size format and there should be enough room for the logo. Everything else was up to my own imagination. The title itself creates a certain expectation, so I wanted to go for a sweeping landscape with a lot of open space and a lot of sky to convey the concept of the wind. The warm colors were meant to add a sense of belonging. The animals were painted to make the composition a bit more dynamic. The main source of inspiration was of course Moonsorrow’s epic music itself!     
What technique did you use in the "Home of the Wind" artwork, and why did you choose it?

Kris Verwimp: I used acrylics and water mixable oils on paper because it’s my favorite technique at the moment. In the past I mainly used gouache, but then I started experimenting with airbrush and other techniques. After a while I stopped using airbrush and switched to acrylics. It’s a constant evolution. I never went to an art school, so I’m discovering all those techniques on my own. I think it’s part of what keeps it interesting for me. It’s like a journey… 

Now you've just made a painting for a film, even if music-related. Have you made artwork for films before? Is it different for you, and if so, in what ways?

Kris Verwimp: A few years ago I also worked on “Death of a Shadow”, a Belgian short movie directed by Tom Van Avermaet. I created concept art and credits illustrations. The movie featured actor Matthias Schoenaerts and it was even nominated for the Oscars in 2013!

The big difference with painting album covers is that you get to see your drawings turned into reality at some point. Which is very cool of course, even if the final result could look a bit different.  

I’ve always been very interested in movies. After all, the reason why I started drawing in the first place was because of my love for movies such as Conan The Barbarian, Excalibur, Mad Max, Dune, etc.. In those days a movie could only be experienced at the cinema. So the only way for me to recreate the experience at home was by trying to draw what I had seen. It was also the reason why I started drawing my own comics. A comic is actually very similar to a movie storyboard and you get to be writer, director, photographer, costume designer, etc… And the best thing is that the budget is only limited by your imagination. 
Those interested in supporting the film can check "Home Of The Wind" official Indiegogo campaign and the official Facebook. The campaign offers all kind of perks, from digital copies of the documentary to rare band-signed items.