PRAYER was a blast from the past top my ears when I heard their new album. Not having heard of them previously this came as a nice surprise. I just had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
How pleased are you with your new album?
-I am pleased that we got it made in the first place! There were so many problems after the first album “Wrong Address” got released. I had to pull the breaks and break up the band . After that I wanted to take some time off the whole thing. To make a long story short, I started to record the new album with new line up in December. I am okay with this, there are some decent songs on it. It is not the best melodic rock album , but it is not the worst either.
Was it a conscious decision to have the album sound the way it does? How did you end up with the sound that is on the album?
-I am not sure if I understand this question…but we didn´t look for any particular sound , maybe the thought was to keep it simple and natural and ” good old-fashioned” , not samples and no over-producing. The song and the lyrics are the most important things to me.
What influences you to write music in the style you do?
-I guess it´s the same for all the song-writers. More or less, people around you, things people do, what happens to you, what would you like to happen, dreams, positive attitude is important also to me. Always come back on your feet, never give up, love , freedom to do what you want. I vote, but I do not write about politics. Musically, I think the song should have strong and clear melodies in every
part of it. A good start, a good chorus and there should be a little surprise , maybe a little slow part or a different instrument or something. The story must carry also and the lyrics mean a lot to me , they must be in the same world as music. There are so many bands that don´t even know what they are singing about or the lyrics are shit. The singer might scream like hell, and the lyrics really make him just a clown.
Would you say that there is one era that is better than the other, like the Bon Jovi of the 80s is better than that of the 90s/00s/10s?
-The best music was written in the 60´s , 70´s and in the 80´s. That´s it. The nineties are the low point of in the history of rock music, just terrible. The Bon Jovi song is Runaway and they never got any better.
Can you take from the past and still make it sound modern without losing that which made it great to begin with? How hard is it to come up with an original sound?
-It is a very delicate thing. Some might think you can. I do not think it that way, I write a song, I have an idea how it should be played and we play it. I don´t care if it is modern or not, I think about the song , not the times. I am not good at that kind or things, makes me feel like a whore if I
try to follow some trends
Does it give you any sort of benefits that you are Finnish and the Finns are known to be crazy about hardrock/metal?
-Nowadays it doesn´t matter where you come from, or does it? Metal music has been quite popular in Finland , but I think it has come down a bit , because there were so many bands and most not so good. The most of them sound the same and look the same. The market was overflowing, normal laws or the business world. All and all, Prayer is not a metal or a heavy band, so we would not benefit from that anyway. I consider myself a songwriter and that is a whole different thing, I am free to write whatever I like, I do not have to think if some song is heavy enough or hard enough for some market. This is just a hobby for us.
What is it with the Finns and hardrock/metal? Why is there such an interest?
-Some say it is the long cold winter. Some say it is the history, many many wars and a lot of bitterness. Some say Finns are cynical, drink too much and fight when they are drunk, because they are afraid to open their hearts when they are sober. Maybe finns are not so talented to write great melodies , so they try to impress with power and force. It is the same in football.
When you sign to a label what aspects play in before you sign the dotted line? What do you look for in a label?
-When I sent the first demo-cd to a couple of record companies, I only wished that someone would publish it. That was all. Prayer is a small, quite nameless band and we do not play music that is very popular as a genre. So it would be foolish to think that some record company would work like hell for
you. We are very happy that Escape-Music took us and they understood the whole thing. Like Khalil Turk said: ” Tapani, I think you are talented song writer and your music should be published and we want to give you a shot.”We both understand where we come from, we understand each other, there is no pressure of any kind
What kind of live scene is there for the type of music you play today?
-I believe it is the same for every band in every genre. You can get as many
gigs as you like, but can you get any money out of it, that is the whole different ball game. Some bands work for years with no pay and finally make it. Some work for years and go broke and have to pay those debts for the rest of their lives. I guess everybody knows that nowadays making a living in the music business is very very hard.