How many Finnish bands can there be? GLORIA MORTI are kinda new to me even though they are on their fourth album. The interview was answered by Juho Räihä. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you are on your fourth album does it feel like you are past that difficult third one? What is it that is so hard with the third album?
-Actually I think the second album was the most difficult for us. It’s hard to suddenly have to write a full album worth of songs. The first album is usually written during a long period of time and tends to be distilled from a plethora of songs. But I must add that our third album got its own struggles for sure. Two of our long time members parted ways with the band during the song writing process. The album was kind of a watershed inside the band. Those willing to go all in stayed with the band. To answer your question it feels good to be past all the obstacles and to stand on firm ground.

Does it feel like it is getting harder to come up with original ideas the further into your recording career you come?
-We try to approach every album from a new perspective. It’s true that it is always hard to come up with original ideas. It feels like you are just a passenger when writing music or lyrics. You just sit there and go with whatever ideas come up. I have found it very destructive for the process to purposefully try to come up with something really original or different. You just shoot and analyze after the fact. We try to stay true to ourselves and to not reject any of the ideas first hand. The best ideas come always from a free state of mind, a mind willing to play and not worry about the result. You have your little habits with playing and songwriting process and that’s OK. The innovation usually comes in the arrangement. The possibilities in music are endless. If one keeps an open mind and the willingness to explore, one shouldn’t need to start repeating him or herself.

How much does being Finnish trigger your urge to be better? Do you feel that national competition makes you better?
-Definitely. It’s extremely hard to get noticed in Finland. Even demo bands sound really well rehearsed and produced. The divider is usually the things behind the music. A band playing really well with good sound will not have a following if the songs are bad and there is nothing to relate to in the lyrics. But the general level of Finnish metal bands is insane. It keeps us never settling for anything sub-bar. The drive to be better with nothing to change your course is an innate Finnish attribute.

What kind of scene are Gloria Morti a part of? What is the death metal scene like in Finland?
-I must say that even though we know many of the Finnish Death Metal bands personally, there is no definite scene to participate in. Or so it seems to us. Finns have their own little cottages in the middle of their forests. The whole social scene thing is usually not for us. Though I might add that the blast drummer scene seems to be vibrant. Our drummer Kauko occasionally hangs out with the other drummers, like Kai Hahto and Timo Häkkinen.

How do you feel that the development of the band has matched the idea you had when you signed your first record deal?
-I have never had a really clear image what the band should sound like. One of the best things in music is the freedom to try out different paths. But I must say that I’m really pleased how the band’s sound is developed and how everyone is free to hear it from the albums. I hate it when a band makes ten albums that all sound the same. You’ll need to be able to hear the change. In our case the change happened partly because we were so young when we made the first album. We were nearly minors, like 18 or 19. You are bound to have a change in your sound between your teens and 30’s.
When you sign a deal with a Japanese label what is it that you expect to get out of it?
-We had our feet firmly on the ground when signing the deal. No one expected anything mind blowing. We were just really happy to get our music on a CD and to the stores. There was some talk about going to Japan to play a short tour, but as with so many of these kind of things, the thing got cancelled as not financially reasonable. The album sold quite well and it was a fun experience. Nothing but good memories.

What is the greatest difference between being on a Japanese label contra to a German?
The Germans know their English. At some point it was difficult to keep the information going with the Japanese. Otherwise there is nothing that really outshines.

What has been the greatest setback for Gloria Morti? How have you managed to survive as a band?
-I don’t think we have had any major setbacks, not yet anyway. The postponement of the tour with Marduk and Melechesh was the closest to that description. The tour was supposed to start on November 1st, the day before the release of the upcoming album. Luckily there has been talk about rebooking the tour with Gloria Morti onboard so I think we’ll manage. Tour cancellations are always annoying.

What is it that you want to say with the title ?Lateral Constraint?? How important is the album title?
-The album title is essential to the album. It is a twist from the term Lateral Thinking. which basically means thinking outside the box. Mankind is constantly trying to come up with new innovations and faster computers etc. Why is no one questioning the fact that maybe the road we are on is not necessarily the right one. What if we should think these things in a different light, from a different perspective. The reason behind the inability to think lies mainly on the obsolete institutions we have build for ourselves; Religion, state, money, what have you. These institutions form a barrier, a lateral constraint in our evolution as a species. The point being; we need to do something before the world shits the bed. In this same breath I’ll have to quote the late great George Carlin, who would be my hero if I had heroes:
“I am a personal optimist but a skeptic about all else. What may sound to some like anger is really nothing more than sympathetic contempt. I view my species with a combination of wonder and pity, and I root for its destruction. And please don’t confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything’s gonna be all right.”

What future plans do you have now with a fourth album out?
-We are eagerly waiting to get touring again. Hopefully the Marduk tour will happen this time as planned. Otherwise we are concentrating on rehearsing as much as possible and connecting with the fans. which reminds me; Go and have a look at Hit the like button and get in touch.

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