Finns MARIANAS REST are not new to me. With Napalm backing them now this could very well be the next big doom/death metal act. Answered by: Nico (guitars) & Jaakko (vocal nihilist). Anders Ekdahl ©2021
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?
Jaakko: We don’t like to label our stuff although you really cannot avoid that. Maybe that is why we tried to create a name that would not direct into a certain metal sub genre. I remember the point being to have a bit of mystery in the name and at the same time to create a cold, dark feel to it with a slight romantic touch. It originates from Marianas Trench, the deepest place on this planet. It is also one of the few places left in the world, which are not fully known to man.
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
Nico: I’d say it’s doom with touches of death metal. We focus on building atmospheres more than anything else. It’s definitely something that needs some getting into.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say has been the single greatest influence on your sound?
Nico: Personally: Alice in Chains. As a band I think I have to go with Paradise Lost. It’s not very easy to think of a single influencer as we listen to music with a very wide spectrum.
Jaakko: Yeah, everybody brings their own influences and there is a lot of stuff that has left a mark in us. If I’d have to pick one, Sentenced is probably it They made a huge impact on me back in the day. They had loads of raw nihilism, pitch black sense of humour and the ability to do just whatever they wanted. A winning combination.
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?
Nico: In our home town and in Finland in general the scene has been very vibrant over the years. Maybe it’s starting to slow down a bit or maybe I just don’t know enough young bands. I am certain there is still some good music brewing in the rehearsal dungeons. As for the scene there are two sides to the coin. A good scene creates competition and know-how which is always good for driving the bands forward On the other hand it is easier to get lost in the flood of good bands. For some groups that maybe start off a bit easier it can be way more fruitful to be able to operate in a quieter scene and build up their thing without always having to top the neighbour.
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?
Nico: Maybe? Never thought of that. There definitely is a great sense of pride in it. Even though some might see it as daycare activity for adult babies 🙂
Jaakko: As individuals, we are quite useless. It is strange how together we somehow have created something that can really affect and move people we have never met. Can’t see a way how I could do it by myself, so yes, definitely this makes us a part of something bigger.
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?
Jaakko: I don’t want to rule anything out. Some serious eagles and nasty killer bees sound like a great album cover. All in all a well done cover art catches your eye instantly. That is not easy as there are loads of metal bands out there and pretty much everything has been done. For me a good album cover has layers on it. First you see something and as you delve deeper, more things pop up. The best covers are the ones that have many alternate meanings to them. Something to argue about with your buddies at the juice bar.
What is your opinion on digital versus physical? Is digital killing music?
Nico: Physical, no doubt about it. It is a completely different thing to have something concrete in your hands. Something the band has put a lot of effort into. Something that is thought to be a visual representation of the music. The album isn’t a whole without the physical product. But is streaming actually killing the music? I don’t think it is. The concept is still young and I like to think that the problems we are facing today with the current platforms is something that will eventually be sorted out.
Jaakko: There is an up and downside to digital formats. It is a great way to get your music across the world to people that have never heard of you. Usually that costs though and the revenues from streaming are not nearly enough to cover the expenditure. I don’t think physical records are going to disappear. We are all collectors in a way or another and at least in metal people really want to support their favourite artists.
What kind of live scene is there for bands like yours?
Nico: The live scene I think is good for a band like ours. Maybe the hardest thing is to get your name out there. There are so many good bands it can sometimes be hard to get a venue to book you without an agency or someone that represents you. You really have to stand out from the crowd. Generally speaking I think Finland is one of the best places to play in a metal band. The crowd is very accepting of this kind of music. I think there are a lot of places in the world where you still have to keep these shows somewhat underground.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Jaakko: The most obvious thing is to get rid of covid and get to hit the stages. Back to normal life. Who knows, maybe the scene will resurrect even stronger after this has blown away? Our aim is total world domination, so I’d also like to see that happening.