If there ever was a classic Finnish metal band ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW must be the closest to it. With a career spanning close to 20 years these Finns should be known to all metalheads. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
When you are on your seventh album how far have you come on your journey? How different is it compared to when you started all those years ago?
Altti: It is actually very different. We have got almost 20 years older and learned a lot during those years both as musician and as a human as well. Nowadays there are lots of other important things in our lives too in addition to music. Whole music industry have changed radically after 20 years too.
When you look back to that very first album and compare it to this new one do you see a red thread running through it all?
Altti: Definitely I can see some certain basic elements that have always been in our music. Like importance of melodies and harmonies, the certain northern feeling, topics of our lyrics. When you’re listening to our old albums and our newer albums you can certainly hear that both are the very same band.
You’ve seen the Finnish metal scene grow. What are the pros and cons of it? How different is it nowadays compared to when you started?
Altti: Very good thing is that Finnish bands have always had their own and recognizable sound. There have arisen lots of great bands that are very well known all around the world nowadays. Maybe the negative thing nowadays is that the whole scene is overcrowded at the moment and it is
very hard to rise above the other bands even if being very good and talented one.
Do you as the elders of the Finnish scene also get to reap the benefits of what the newer bands experience in terms of recognition etc.?
Altti: Surely all bands benefit from each other when some band gets well known in other countries. It’s like chain reaction that people get interested in other Finnish bands too and want to find more Finnish music.
How would you say that this new album fits in the ETOS discography?
Altti: I feel it like natural continuation to the previous albums. It has very same kind of strong atmosphere like our latest albums have had..but then this new album have also gained some influences from our first albums. In that way it has very traditional EToS feeling throughout the whole album.
How important is the Finnish spirit to you as a band? How much of the Finnish heritage do you use in your music?
Altti: It is and it has always been very important to us. You can hear the Finnish sound on each of our albums and read it also from our lyrics that have always handled Finnish nature, Finnish life, Finnish myths etc.
With an ever increasing globalization does it become even more important to not lose track of where you come from and what your heritage is?
Altti: Sure it is even more important because people should always be aware of their roots and heritage. Music is for example a very good way to express it and tell those old stories to the younger generations.
What has been the hardest part keeping the band alive for almost 20 years? What has stopped you from throwing in the towel?
Altti: Maybe the hardest thing has been to find the balance between musical activities and the rest important things in your life. And why we haven’t stopped to compose new music? I guess it has been the passion on what we are doing and desire to make always something better on next album.
Something that has struck me with every ETOS album is the stunning art work. How much time and thought do you put on the art work and the lay out?
Altti: To be honest, a LOT time has always been spent with the artwork, band photos etc. We want the whole package to support the music and reflect the atmosphere of each album.
Where do you take ETOS now that the album is out? What plans do you have for the band and the album?
Altti: The next step is to make some great gigs after this new album. Further than that we are not scheduling anything yet.