SIMULACRUM

Okay here is another of these bands that are new to me. So top get to know more about SIMULACRUM I had to interview them. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-Simulacrum is a progressive metal band from Finland. The band members grew up listening to groups such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Planet X, Spiral Architect, Andromeda and Shadow Gallery. Besides the traditional progressive metal elements, the band draws inspiration also from vintage prog, fusion jazz and the djent genre that is hip at the moment. Simulacrum has just released their second album, Sky Divided and it has been well accepted both in the media and by the fans of the genre.

How does this new album compare to the previous one?
-While our debut was a collection of songs from a timespan of 8 year, the new album has mostly been composed between 2012-2015. Also it is a concept album which required a certain ammount of planning and we feel that the result is more mature than our first effort. All the other elements (music videos, cover art, website, sound design) have also been planned thoroughly so that they fit the big picture.

Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-The responsibility of deciding how the album would sound was up to the main composer CHRISM, who did all the sound engineering starting from the recording sessions and ending in mastering the album. So up to now Simulacrum has mostly been heavily based on CHRISM’s vision. On the next album we hope to incorporate more of Petri’s (guitarist) material into Simulacrum’s sound and evolve a little in the process.

How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-On the first album most of the lyrics have been written by an outsider, who dealt mostly with philosophical topics. On Sky Divided the lyrics have been written by singer Niklas Broman and you can hear it in his performance that they fit his style of singing a little better. Also as we decided to do a story based album the lyrics are of course extremely important and we hope people can be bothered to take a look at them because we feel that they complement the songs very well and give the music a lot of depth.

How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Well the artwork has to visualize what the album sounds like. The idea of the cover was from the singer Niklas and it is a snapshot from the song Sky Divided. It shows a man, who was on his way to work when a blast of light emmits from the sky. He is staring at his own death and in a couple of seconds he will be ashes in the wind. The cover art has been done by Jan Yrlund who has worked with Stratovarius, Manowar and Sirenia to mention a few.

Where outside of your country have you had success with your previous albums?
-Well the first album’s physical copies have been mostly sold out and we understand that they have been bought around the world. Simulacrum hasn’t been able to tour abroad yet so it is hard to say what the real fan base is like in each country. South-America, Germany and the rest of Scandinavia seem to be quite strong.

Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
-Finland is absolutely packed with tallented musicians. Kids here have both the time and money to practice and play music. This is why we see so many Finnish metal bands touring the world. Also our government spends a lot of money on culture benefits and education so bands really have a possibility to thrive. Finnish bands also tend to have an own twist to their sound regardless of the genre they play and they tend to bring something new to the scene.

What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
-The metal scene in Finland is doing well and there are tons of interesting bands out there doing their own thing. The traditional prog-metal scene is pretty thin though and Simulacrum is one of the top bands in the country besides Anthriel, Constantine, Adamantra and Status Minor.

What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
-Finland is very metal oriented and even our main meteoroligist Pekka Pouta can be spotted in a moshpit from time to time. He is the guy who did the Game of Thrones ”winter is coming” joke on national TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sS7-CfPn6Q). So people don’t find it weird for one to play metal or be a fan of the genre. At the moment it is more ”hip” to be a rapper though, but these things go in cycles so we aren’t worried 😉

What does the future hold for you?
-The feedback from Sky Divided has been very promising and Simulacrum will continue to evolve as a band for our next album. We will both be pulling in new influences but also try to tread uncharted paths in creating an original sounding piece of heavy metal art. We would love to tour also outside Scandinavia, but time will tell what kind of opportunities present themselves to us. If you would like to book Simulacrum to play live, you can contact our management at lars@intromental.com!

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