Even President Obama have noticed that metal is pretty mainstream in Finland so it is no surprise when a to me new Finnish metal band, like EVERSLAVE, makes it presence known to me. Anders Ekdahl 2016
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
Zakke: We are Everslave, a melodic metal band from Lohja, Finland. Founded in 2008 by myself and our bass player Tomi. Other members of the band are Tanja(vocals), Sami(drums) and Jasper(keyboards). So far we’ve released three demo-EPs, Valediction(2012), Hellride(2013) and I Am King(2015).
How does your latest recording compare to the previous ones?
Zakke: It’s so much better than the first two demo-EPs. We have a better vocalist, a better drummer, better songs and the studio where ‘I Am King’ was recorded, is so much bigger and better than what it was for these previous recordings. From a personal view, I’ve become a better guitarist and songwriter. As it is of course to the other guys, they’ve also improved as musicians. I could continue this list for who knows how long but I think this is enough for now.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
Zakke: No, I think. From the beginning it has been me who has composed all the stuff but every one of us has always brought their own sound and style to the songs. Tanja: The sound has naturally developed during the years and during the line-up changes before I Am King.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Zakke: At first, it was the hardest part for me and felt pointless, so I didn’t use too much time for writing the lyrics. It just had to be done. But as I said earlier, now when I’ve become better songwriter, the lyrics and the themes have become quite important. For me, it isn’t enough anymore just to play guitar to get all those different feelings out, I have to write them down too. So my lyrics tell about something personal or some fictional story if I have one in mind.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
Tanja: The cover art of course has to have some connection with something on the album. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of happenings in any of the songs, it could be, but just like the cover of a book, it needs to tell something about the music. If nothing else, then at least should give some hint about the style and sound, a feeling of what is about to be heard.
Where outside of your country have you had success?
Zakke: According to our Facebook-page, we have some fans around Europe and a few in America but no need to call it success yet.
Is it harder today to get noticed both nationally and internationally than it was 10 or 20 years ago? Is the competition tougher today?
Zakke: I think there’s not much difference between today and 20 years past. At least what comes to the amount of work being done, the reasons are surely different. For example 20 years ago you didn’t have this “social media” and lots of people didn’t even have a internet connection so you had to spread the word about you in many different ways. Nowadays the social media is so filled up with all kinds of bands and projects so getting your name out of the mass needs a lot of work. Tanja: The competition is definitely tougher than 20 years ago. Especially in Finland, the metal scene has exploded since the early 2000’s
What is your local scene like? What status does your band have in the national scene?
Zakke: I know there’s a few bands in my hometown but that’s all. We are not yet very well-connected with the scene andwhat comes to our status, we’ve been noticed mainly here and in Helsinki. Tanja: We are working on it so to speak! with our next record, we aim to get more widely noticed, since te lates was sort of a “Trial” with the new line-up.
What is the general population’s opinion on playing music? Is being a musician a respectable choice?
Tanja: If you measure “respectability” by how steady your income is, then musicians don’t get a very high score. Basically they’re on the same line with other artits. People can go “oh that’s cool!” and respect you in a way of giving you cudos about being brave to do something that most people won’t even dare to try because of the instability… Or because not everyone has the talent or vision or courage or whatever it needs. So in that way, yes, people do respect musicians. But then again, people who measure respectability by how much you make, they don’t give much respect.
Zakke: Well, if you play this crappy top-charted pop, then yes. Of course there’s a lot of people who approves metal music and musicians because Finland has been noted all over the world as a heavy metal country nowdays. But what comes to the general opinion, I think you get approval as long as you play something mainstream. That’s my personal point of view.
What does the future hold for you?
Zakke: There are some gigs coming up in summer and hopefully we manage to get started with new recording sessions at the end of this year. Tanja: First full-length album coming up! From there, the way goes up and forward and to wider lands! We are just in the beginning.