I get a very shoegazing/blackgazing feel to this band name. A SOUL CALLED PERDITION, taste it, take it in. doesn’t it have the promise of something meditative and sombre but with an edge? Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you formed the band with what intention did you do so? How easy was it to pick up a thread as to where your sound is going?
TUOMAS / ASCP: The whole thing started when my previous band for over 12 years, Pain Confessor, somewhat died down. We just didn’t have anything going and everyone’s interest seemed to fade, guys started to concentrate on different projects and I felt that this period of my life had come to an end. So, I started to finish up the songs I had been writing for the band. I went back to square one with the almost finished songs and re-recorded pretty much all the guitar parts besides some leads and all the bass parts. I ended up rearranging most of the songs quite a bit and finalized the software drums that had been only placeholders for the drummer’s parts which obviously were never recorded.
The sound I was going for came actually quite naturally and effortlessly as it was almost completely there from the beginning. I took the material as a whole into a more ruthless direction with more specific themes, vocals and overall mood. It turned out different from what it would have been with Pain Confessor but it still carries quite a lot of the same elements. I just tossed clean vocals out the window and went into more death metal territory. Overall, it became more like a grim version of Pain Confessor. This will probably not be the case in the future now that all this existing material has been dealt with.
As I haven’t recorded anything I have no idea what that is like but are you ever 100% satisfied? How pleased are you with your latest recording?
TUOMAS / ASCP: There probably isn’t such a thing as a completely satisfied musician but I am mostly content with the album. I got that shit out of my system, showed myself it’s possible to finish an emotionally demanding album while running a family, doing hard work in three shifts and studying, everything recorded and engineered at home and without draining myself completely. So yeah, I am pleased with the results, I am relieved to have gotten this all out of my mind and sort of cleaned the slate for future endeavors whatever they may be.
To me a band name is the first thing I notice. If it feels cool then I’ll check the band out. How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
TUOMAS / ASCP: I feel the same about band names. I find the moniker a really integral part of the band’s image and therefore I had to really dig into the concept of this project being me and me alone. Since my early childhood where I got to know what bullying and being a shithead really means during daycare I have fallen and fallen towards a deeper place where I could only become myself by being depressed, misanthropic and hopelessly romantic about suffering and despair. There was no other place for me, so I just accepted being the one who burns bridges and hates. My whole essence of being became a mockery of what normal life could and should be. So I based the name on myself being a soul full of hell that just waited to be unleashed. And I don’t think of myself being anything special so there was no way it was going to be “The Soul Called Perdition” and the “A Soul Called Perdition” version is the right way to go. I am not that depressed anymore, I was saved from that by many people and most importantly my wife and kids but still there is always that black little hole in there that sucks away all joy if I let it.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
TUOMAS / ASCP: It’s a very important part of the band. I don’t want to be a dude in jeans and t-shirt just churning out some shit with a casual look on my face. I have done that, and this time I felt an urge to go back to the days when I was a fan and saw all these cool bands with mysterious images, when everything was not on the internet and available within 2 clicks. It is impossible to go back into that sort of vagueness but I like to keep it mostly music, lyrics, art and photos that convey certain moods and feelings. No more posing for me.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
TUOMAS / ASCP: Cover art is an essential part of the feel of a musical recording. As are lyrics. I have always strived for meaningful cover art and lyrics, not always being able to influence the end result and thus not feeling completely satisfied. Now that I have it all in my own hands, I get to toy around with stuff without anyone else meddling with anything so I will be solely responsible for the successes and failures. The cover art should always represent the music and lyrics within. A complimenting art makes the whole package open up in a unique and special way. Like a good book, or a movie.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
TUOMAS / ASCP: There are quite a few downsides. I for one hate the evolution of technology and social media culture. It has made everything feel cheap, attention whoring, meaningless, transient, discardable and forgettable. Also it has created a swamp of shit that makes it difficult to find anything new and interesting. It all just drowns even the last crumbs of my interest of even trying to find something new. Which is why I have mostly retreated to listening 80s and 90s stuff. I hate the world we live in. We have completely fucked it up. For such an act as A Soul Called Perdition there actually is very little socializing with “fans” and more of the “should whore myself for attention of people who most likely don’t give a shit about this anyway” and I am not interested in that. So I have a presence on social media but I am not even remotely interested in “trying to win” anyone’s attention. Paying for clicks and all that shit, it is useless money gouging on the service providers part and actually brings nothing useful to the payer. I have no time or patience for useless bullshit like that.
Something I often wonder about is when you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
TUOMAS / ASCP: I don’t. I don’t want to either. I love the feeling of playing with friends, doing fun stuff with people I like to spend time with and as a result create something awesome, lasting and elating. There is no scene that I feel I belong to, never has and never will. The playing in a band thing is just a bunch of people who like music, at least that’s what I think it should be. Of course it would be cool if there was this massive supportive scene and community that tackles obstacles together but to me that is just a naive dream. For all my band career I have never really felt I was a part of anything more than the band and sometimes even that was questionable.
How important is it to be signed to label today? What can they do that you cannot do on your own?
TUOMAS / ASCP: Not important at all, I think. The only ever remotely plausible reason for signing to a label would be the ability to publish it as news that “so and so has signed with so and so!” and even that has very little effect on anything these days. I would go as far as to say that record deals are only hampering the small bands. Do it yourself and keep everything from rights to the material to yourself and be free to do whatever you want and need to do. Labels can destroy your career better than you could do on your own. Labels can fuck you sideways, siphon all money that is a direct reward for YOUR work better than you ever could. So yeah, I dislike the business side and the industry with a passion. Fuck’em.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
TUOMAS / ASCP: I would take the band touring if it was financially feasible and I had the time but at this point I have no set lineup, no time for touring and no interest in paying to play so that’s gotta wait for a better timing. From Finland’s point of view it’s hard if you don’t want to pay for everything and take no-pay leave from work to travel around in a van doing gigs in shitholes that won’t pay you. I’d love to play a few gigs here and there during the year just for the fun of it but like I said, it is not quite possible right now.
What will the future bring?
TUOMAS / ASCP: A real, living and breathing lineup is in the making, so perhaps we get the gig issue sorted at some point. I am not sure as of yet what to do with new material but it would seem like I will be writing stuff and release something in the future.