CRIMFALL have a new album to promote. This is another Finnish band well worth investing your time in. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Answers from Jakke – All composing and Mikko – Lyrics, male vocals. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
Mikko: Coming up with a band name is always insanely difficult. We wanted a name that would not be too obviously tied to any certain genre. What inspired us was the “Ruska” of Finnish autumn, the harsh season with the strongest contrasts and vivid crimson colors.
As I am sure there are a few that are rather new to you guys could you give them a short introduction to the band?
Mikko: To sum it up Crimfall is a Finnish metal band that eludes genre conventions and strict labels. Ten years of age we have released three albums, if you count the latest “Amain”. We aim to paint vast musical landscapes with sharp contrasts and intense mirages. The songs and stories are inspired by history, folklore and legends shared by all nations but we want to tell the tales behind the heroes and winners, the forlorn tail of war and oppression.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
Jakke: Greatest influence… that’s a tough one, since we want to pick the cherries from every cake, not just only one. But if I have to choose the biggest influence, it would be movie scores and movies. The storytelling and visuality of that type of music is definitely something we try to create with our music as well.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
Mikko: With the development of social media and streaming services the scene is not as local anymore. Communities, interest groups, fans, band pages etc. form globally. That being said we have been influenced by the strong metal scene in Finland where ideas and inspiration flow freely. Our country is also quite small so everyone seems to know everyone else. But the “trend” has been declining in the past decade and we have lot less zines, metal bars and concert places that we used to have.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
Mikko: Not really, I’d rather promote individual thinking instead of herd mentality or preaching and do not see any worthwhile movements tied into music. Instead it should liberate you from mundane conventions and everyday life. Of course I do appreciate support and solidarity fellow musicians show to each other, especially here in Finland. That cannot really be valued in money.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
Mikko: I remember when I was young I used to buy albums just based on covers. But also back then the quality was somewhat assured when the band was able to acquire a record deal. Nowadays the importance of good cover is sadly declining. We want to put some extra effort to ours but what works for us doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Personally I like covers that make you think. It can be provocative or layered with meaning.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
Jakke: Physical definitely. First of all, the audio quality at least in Spotify and Youtube is not even close to CD. Trust me… I have been working with this album quite a lot :D. And secondly the artwork is a joke when you try to enjoy it with a crappy resolution on your mobile phone. The cover of AMAIN is in fact a real oil painting which was created by Tuomas Gustafsson in vinyl size. So people who have the physical copy can enjoy all the little brush strokes and small details of the image. We also spend whole day shooting the beautiful promo pics and paid attention to the inside art as well. So people who will support us by buying the physical copy will get way better experience than from Spotify for example. And is the digital killing the music… well… with the money that we spent from our own pockets to create AMAIN, we could have bought a new car. And when we get maybe 100€ back from the services like Spotify, you can calculate what that means for us? Are we able or willing to do such of epic album again? It might not be the end for music industry, but this might be the last album we are able to create in this scale.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
Mikko: Competitive. Even though Finland is a bit remote place there are lot of bands coming here to play. And of course the local ones since no one is buying records anymore bands try to make some bucks doing tours. Also our music really needs a bit bigger stage than your neighbourhood pizzeria to really sound good so we can be a bit picky where to play. Let’s hope with this album we can reach bit bigger venues.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
Mikko: We enjoy playing live, it is the best thing in this business. But our music is not necessarily party music associated with majority of “folk/viking metal”. It can be rather grim and unforgiving experience we bring on stage, but we try to build a journey or arc of drama if you will to the set so it is not all defeat and loss.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Mikko: Touring. We hope this album opens new doors for us, uncharted territories, meeting new fans and bringing our music to wider audiences. Hell I miss that.