SARVAS sound more like the name of a Finnish punk band than a metal one. And not knowing what the name means I can’t comment on that one either. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What is this band really all about?
-Sarvas is, in short, a Metal band from Finland formed of five guys with a yearning to create something different; I guess our roots stretch towards Sludge and Doom, maybe throw some stoner in there for color, but I think ever since the moment we decided to start creating Sludge Metal, we’ve been doing something else entirely; our material is a dynamic mix of stuff we just come up without really thinking about the genre it’s going to fit in. We have a strong tendency to create concept-driven albums and most of the time there’s some hidden meaning or “story” behind our music, but most of all it’s about giving the listener strong feelings and to provoke some thoughts as to the deeper substance of the music. Our most profound musical experiences have come from music that requires some in-depth listening and immersion, that’s something we want to offer through our music as well.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-No idea, we’ve never really thought about “being cool”. I guess LA, NY or London could be home to people that have similar musical tendencies, it’d be cool to be a part of strong Metal scene and have more places to gig etc. but other than that, our geographical origin is not something that’s essential concerning our music.
When you release an album that get pretty good reviews how do you follow up on that?
-Of course constructive, as well as positive feedback is something we take into consideration up to a certain point, but we’ve always made music “with our own hands” using elements and writing techniques we want to experiment with, and if the result sounds like cool and different, we’re satisfied no matter the reviews. That being said, if reviewers have found some elements or little nuances especially powerful, we feel confident in trying out similar things. The bottom line is probably to focus on writing more powerful and dynamic music, and not to strive for good reviews.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album, to write the songs or to come up with really good songs?
-For us it’s definitely the writing process itself: We like to make complex, long songs that have uncommon structures and many different parts that still feel like an integrated piece, so writing isn’t exactly a walk in a park. Of course sometimes we just come up with a complete song on the spot, but most of the time we work on the “embryos” of the songs for a long time, grinding little stuff and shaping the parts until we’re satisfied. It’s usually somewhere in the midst of all this work we realize “wow, this is a good song”.
Do you prefer working digitally or is physical still cooler?
-Nowadays digital distribution has made it considerably easier to spread music around the world, which has always been a priority for us: All our music can be found online for free, and we hope people all around the world get to experience it. But physical releases, be it CD or Vinyl, is something we still prefer; there’s a certain appeal to holding a brilliant piece of music in your hands. We tend to invest in our own physical releases in terms of artwork, concept driven texts or lyrics so that people will be buying more than just the music. So both forms have their benefits, listening to music digitally is cool but if you like it, support the artist and buy the whole package.
With a sound that is being described as both this and that by fans how do you view your sound?
-We like to think our sound is constantly evolving, not being restricted by styles or genres. We of course have our roots in the kind of music we enjoy listening to and you may hear some of our influences here and there, but for us it’s all about experimenting and finding powerful stuff through our collective sound. Musical styles like Sludge, Doom and Stoner can be heard in our music no doubt, but during the years we’ve been playing together the music has moved towards a more Progressive style, utilizing elements from Death Metal, Post-Metal as well as a touch of modern technical metal music.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-Each of our releases so far have had a central theme, or message if you will, and we’re not planning on abandoning that mentality. These themes revolve around subjects like philosophy, personal losses, mental shortcomings and the overall human condition as well as seeking power in the wrong places. Lyrics are of course the main interpreter for a message in music and as such are a very important part, especially in a “deeper” style of music. We however try to write songs revolving around certain situations, feelings or themes and accentuate the message in the structure and composition of the song and write the lyrics based on these existing concepts. That way it becomes a more focused entirety.
What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Quite a large one. We always base the art on the concept of the albums so it gives additional information or a different approach on the central theme of the music.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Not really, no great recognition, but if even one or two people remember a gig we’ve done it’s always amazing to hear their experiences when we meet them afterwards. In our home town we’re probably recognized but only in the metal music scene I think. The name Sarvas has however become associated with a certain sound around here and that for us is quite a great honor.
What do you see in the future?
-More music, heavier stuff and more dynamic songwriting! We’ve actually started writing material for a new album and we’re very excited to be creating something new again, it’s going to be powerful.