If there is a thousand lakes in Finland there got to be 10 000 bands. Because no matter which way I turn I stumble upon a for me new Finnish band. Like with DENOMINATE. Anders Ekdahl
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Kimmo Raappana: There really wasn’t any bigger purpose for the formation our band, other than the enjoyment of being in a band and playing together with your mates. When I was in high school, I had the desire to form a band because I had had a couple of friends with whom I used to play a couple years earlier, but it hadn’t been a band per se. So in high school, I met our drummer Joni and he had a couple of friends who played instruments and were looking to form a band. They were our vocalist Ville and Bassist Tuomas. Originally Ville played our second guitar, but he decided to focus on vocals, so we asked Eetu, who was also in the same school and had also been in my earlier “band”, to join us to play the second guitar. So in the end really the only reason for our band’s formation was that we had five guys that played the right instruments and had the desire to form a band.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Kimmo Raappana: Well, a sound that is ours just comes and evolves naturally. A big part of it is that when I am composing music I try to do things that haven’t been done before, to some extent. I try to draw influence from as wide array of music as possible to prevent being stale. That is a part of the reason that our album, Those Who Beheld the End, is so diverse. For me personally, getting stuck in one particular niche is quite boring. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a band playing music that is restricted in its genre; I enjoy listening to such bands, but as a performing artist, it’s not my thing.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Kimmo Raappana: So far we’ve made two records: Realms of Confusion EP and Those Who Beheld the End. The recording and releasing of the records has been the easy part for both occasions and the challenge has come more from the creative processes before them, mainly from composing and rehearsing. So far in our music I have been the one who mainly writes our music, with everyone giving their thoughts and opinions on my compositions. Of course, Ville writes the lyrics on his own. So far it has been a separate process from my songwriting, but we have been thinking of making the lyrics more intimate with the music.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release songs too soon, before they are fully ready to be launched at an audience?
Kimmo Raappana: So far we don’t really have experience in releasing songs that we have recorded ourselves, excepting a couple of demos we did a way back. We’ve had talks about possibly home recording and releasing an EP or some demos, but no concrete plans have been made yet. I don’t think that home recording, at least for us, carries the risk of releasing songs too soon. It would possibly be the opposite. Completely home recording allows for finer tuning during the recording process, because there is no clock ticking, counting the moment when your budget runs out. I’ve also noticed that many times when the songs are being recorded some new ideas might pop up for them, but in a professional studio setting, at least at our level, doing big revisions on songs might get quite costly.
I for one feel that the change of how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for recorded music?
Kimmo Raappana: I don’t think that the expectation of free listening is going to kill music, but it will have a big impact. As for are these changes that it brings good or bad, one can only speculate. I think that one good side of it is that more people will hear the music and through that, more people, hopefully, will decide to support the bands they like.
What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Kimmo Raappana: We’ve gotten good responses for both our debut EP and first album. So far for “Those Who Beheld the End” we have only gotten great, positive feedback and reviews .The aspect that has garnered the most attention from the album is that it is incredibly varied and most people have liked that.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Tuomas Pesälä: For me, the most surprising contact has been from Rauli Alaruikka from Arctic Live Entertainment Ry. They had arranged a gig to Hevimesta in our hometown Oulu. Day before the gig, he called me and asked if we wanted to come to play with Blood Red Throne, Horna and Author. The fourth band, Sadistik Forest, had to cancel their gig because their drummer had an injury and was unable to play, so we replaced them as a warm-up band. As you probably know, Blood Red Throne and Horna are quite big bands so I was excited and honored for this rare opportunity, as the other band members were.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community playing in a band?
Tuomas Pesälä: I personally feel our band being part of a greater community. First we were just a small, local band, mostly jamming together because we all love music and playing or just being in a band. After gaining more and more reputation, getting more gigs and constantly making new material, thats where I felt that maybe we’re doing something bigger here. We are like an advocate of extreme metal music and community, along with other extreme metal bands.
Kimmo Raappana: I think that the sense of community is changing due to the internet. Back in the days it used to be more local. Local small bands were quite involved with each other and swapped demos and tapes whatnot. But in this day and age everything has become more global. Nowadays the music communities are more global and international thanks to the internet, but it lacks that personal connection to other bands. It seems to me that these small, local communities are slowly disappearing.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Kimmo Raappana: So far we have been a band that doesn’t play live that often, mainly because we have only played in our hometown, Oulu. We’ve finally started to garner enough attention to get gigs from outside Oulu and we have started planning some gigs outside the city. Sure, playing live helps in getting a bigger following, mainly by being free promotion for the band. People will see the gig poster and even if they don’t come to the show they might remember the band’s name and check out their music. Also playing live is one of the best times for a band to forge connections. It always helps to know members from other bands personally and many times there might be somewhat influential people in the audience, for example a representative for a recording label.
What plans do you have for the future?
Kimmo Raappana: Currently we’ve been planning on doing some touring at the beginning of 2017. We’ve also started to plan and write music for our next album, which is in all probability going to be a concept album. Of course we have general plans for our band to grow and garner more attention. We are hoping to get some festival gigs for 2017 and we’ve been planning to contact recording labels for our next release as the contract with Inverse Records includes only this one album.