Technical metal can be as exciting as watching paint dry but every now and then along comes a band that makes you sit up and take notice. Enter Finnish CLOCK PARADOX. Interview with Antti Karhu. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
The first thing I came to think of when I saw your band name was Dali’s painting of a melting clock. What significance is there behind the band name?
– While talking about Clock Paradox, mentioning Salvador Dali is flattering, because for me he is one of the key artists with his disturbingly haunting crafts. Back in the day, when we were looking
for a band name, we came across the term ‘twin paradox’, which is the alternate representation of time distortion. The name seemed to portray our progressive-oriented metal very well. After that, our band name has emerged many times in reviews and interviews – both in good
and bad – so it has done a pretty good job in catching people’s interest.
Listening to your album I get strong vibes of Death’s very last album. How much more technical can it get before it start being music that you can listen to?
– The technicality in our music is not an intrinsic value. More often than not it makes the music slightly more interesting and long-lasting. That being said, the music that I mainly listen is pretty easy-going and more straightforward, because it usually is the case that the more technical the music gets, the more it loses the emotion I personally expect. I don’t see any strict limitations to
technicality in terms of compositions – as long as the content itself has a function and a purpose.
How do you take the music you record in a studio to a live stage without losing the vibe? How hard is your music to play live?
– Because we still are a small band, it’s obvious that we are currently unable to capture the exact soundscapes on a live setting. This is, by all means, a question of resources since establishing the
Clock Paradox sound would require more quality gear and a person behind the mixing board who knows what we are supposed to sound like. Despite this, I’d still say that the vibe is at least as present as it is on the actual album. This is because our live performances share a lot similarities with our music: it is energetic and truculent. We constantly rehearse new and old material, so it’s not a huge stretch to us to perform live. We are not aiming for doing difficult music, we aim to do brutal and interesting music that is supposed to work equally well for everyone – regardless of whether you are a normal metalhead or a person with a degree in music’s theory.
Is the style you play popular in Finland? Where do you fit in?
-I can’t really say that progressive death metal would, in any way, be popular in Finland. From a musical perspective, this country is extremely challenging to spread our style of music because the music scene here mainly consists of all imaginable forms of disposable crap. At this very moment, the two most selling albums in here are soundtracks to Finnish reality-TV-shows. To make matters worse, they consist of cover songs and cover songs only. The appreciation for genuine, artistic music in this country is practically nonexistent. Thankfully Finland is a small country and then there’s always the
Where do you see CLOCK PARADOX fit in on a global scale? What bands would you consider brethrens in spirit and style?
– I’d name the Swedish C.B. Murdoc and the outstanding – but sadly enough, also defunct – Strapping Young Lad. These bands made exactly what I myself personally aim to do with music. After releasing
“Egotheism”, I have learned that our place is truly outside Finland. I genuinely hope that it will one day be possible to tour across Europe with a really tight band who share the same preferences and ideologies
When you play the style of metal that you play how important are the vocals and the lyrics?
– Even though I don’t personally consider lyrics that important part in music, I have noticed that they can bring a whole new dimension to the music when they have something valuable to say: good lyrics are kind of like an additional instrument. Our vocalist Jouni (who does all the lyrics) has a phenomenal way of creating lyrics and he undoubtedly is an extremely valuable asset for our band’s music. It is obvious, that our style of music rises to a whole new level, when it
is dictated by a meticulously crafted lyrical concept wrapped around either a certain message or an entire story.
What kind of topics do your lyrics touch on?
– “Egotheism” is a concept album about the mindset of a psychopath. How he has become the way he is, how does he think of himself and the surrounding world and where does he end up. This isn’t a gore story of some serial killer, instead it is a collection of observations on a social predator who has ruthless ways of getting whatever he wants, leaving only smoldering human ruins in his wake – metaphorically speaking, of course.
What are your opinions of all these djent bands that we see popping up everywhere now? How much have Meshuggah pushed the limit for what is considered listenable metal?
– When the scene started to emerge from the underground, I was very interested in it. But as you yourself already put it, that particular genre has grown so much you can’t really tell the bands apart and everything pretty much looks and sounds like everyone’s copying each other. That being said, these days djent is pretty much the genre I’m least interested in at the moment. Meshuggah is Meshuggah, and it does NOT belong in this ever-expanding genre, even though they are partly
responsible for creating the scene.
How important is it to also look the part and not just play the part? How much does image matter to you guys? Is image and metal compatible?
– If you are referring to the arrangements of our songs, we consider them quite a lot. Somewhere along the years everybody will develop a capability to observe the music from a bit further from the distance – even if the music was your own. We want to make our music aggressive and more to-the-point. We aim to trim our compositions from everything unnecessary and leave only the well-defined core that doesn’t hold much of loose ends or other moments that cause the listener’s focus to
dissolve. The music of Clock Paradox has to bash in faces and simultaneously give some sorts of emotions. We haven’t come up with a particular image for ourselves: we just are who we are. Both honesty and faking are very visible qualities, and adding a fabricated image doesn’t really make us or our music any better than what we really are.
What does the future bring to the band?
– Our sophomore album is already coming up very nicely in terms of the composing process. We also aim to put a lot of effort in doing shows – despite the fact that in Finland it is beyond frustrating. We would like to grow and evolve as a band and I hope that this would take place along the release of our second album. It’s going to be an effective, heavy, groovy and brutal piece of progressive death metal!