TO/DIE/FOR is one of those bands that have been with me for consciously for a long time but one that I never bothered to really check out. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
When you’ve released five albums on one label what was it that made you want to try out a new one?
JAPE von CROW: Our contract with Spinefarm records expired,and this was right time for us too to end it,and start from the clean table. Now it felt so good to do all by ourselves,and then get licence deals all around the world.Not any pressures,no deadlines etc.We feel more free now. Labels like Hydrant Music in Japan and Massacre records in Europe are good for us and we hope that e could take a step higher with them now.It is good to change things sometimes.Routines sucks!
In Finland metal seem to have gone mainstream. Why is that? What is it about Finns and metal that is such a perfect match?
JAPE von CROW: Metal here in Finland is totally mainstream music, and my opinion is that it lost its “radical touch”…this is only my personal opinion but in rock/punk/metal music should be some kind of act of rebellion, but now it is music for mothers and fathers too. It sucks so we need to put our
rebellion into lyrics only, because seems like musically nothing is shocking or rebellious anymore.
We hear this question about Finnish metal too often but, I do not find any other reasons why metal here is so big, but our nature, too long and dark winter, and somehow our minds are exposed to depression. If here would be nice beach with palms and all,,, I guess music would be more happy. Popular Finnish music is always been melancholy, even all Finnish evergreens are pure suicide kinda dark melody songs. If someone walks alone and smiles, we think ” he must be insane or junkie” who would smile alone? And Finnish men are not that easily showing their weak sides, so it is easiest way to spit out your “manly” side y metal music. But what comes to TDF, when we are singing also some love songs…that is not actually pure Finnish metal scene at all. We’re like lonely wolves here.
When you have five albums to your back catalogue what is there left to drive you forward? How do you find inspiration for a new album?
JAPE von CROW: Music is our life, I guess it is the biggest reason to continue. I tried to live without writing music, without band, but it was mistake. I suffered as hell. We love to be on tour, we love to be on stage, we love to write new music. Inspirations for SAMSARA album came from things we went through mostly in 2010. Samsara is down to earth album and all lyrics are from real life…Our
albums are always been as pictures of that time, so what comes next..who knows.
I noticed that there’s a six year gap between albums. What has taken so long to get this new one out? Was it a necessary break?
JAPE von CROW: Actually as a band we did not have 6 years break. We did shows here and there until spring 2008.Then our motivation died a little, because of too many badly promoted, handled shows and tours. It just killed us you see. Shitty promoters ruined all we were fighting for and just because of tiny money! I cannot express my feelings how much I hate people who thinks they LOVE music, but they actually ruin people who are doing music. They should be hanged! Other thing was that our chemistry in the band was not that good. Some persons wanted to do different kind of music, and maybe someone was in the band because of wrong kind of reasons. Now we are ok and actually better than ever! We will take care that same kind of problems does not happen for us anymore! We’ve been through shit, and we know what it is when things goes bad,,,, hard way of
learning you know….
When you’ve been away from the album scene for so long does it feel in part like starting anew? How much has the scene you were a part of changed?
JAPE con CROW: We really feel like start new, and starting from the beginning and that
is really refreshing for us! We enjoy about it. If someone puts us into gothic rock/metal genre, well about that genre I can say it has NOT changed musically at all,and it hasnŽt go forward
musically eather! I just don’t get it, how some musicians are afraid to change their music
or doing some NEW, and putting some new elements into their music. That
genre became so boring. With TDF we changed our attitude totally. We will write music which we
want no matter what people say. On next album you’ll hear Sitar on TDF album for sure, no matter if we are so called gothic rock/metal band. We just wanna give something different and new for gothic rockers too!
What kind of a scene where you a part of? Where would you say that you fit in the best?
JAPE von CROW: This is been asked before too…we are not 100% gothic, not 100% metal, not 100% rock…I just have to say we’re playing TO/DIE/FOR music. Got hippie music.
You music is dark and melancholic. Would you say that the Finns are more melancholic than their other Nordic brethren? Are you Finns the gloomy ones to us happy go lucky Swedes?
JAPE von CROW: Depression is in our blood I would say and that makes us not that smiley
people. Every winter I am suffering very strong depression, that is the reason why I have to escape to India every winter otherwise I would kill myself. I just cannot get this Finnish melancholy and winter darkness anymore. Swedish people are maybe a bit more happy yes…Why it is
so…well hard to say, should not be hahahaa. But anyway, even though we’re doing quite melancholic music with TDF, it does not mean that we are that melancholy or depressed all the time. We put these feelings into our music, and after that on tour we will have fun!
Where do you get inspiration from? Any particular source that you tap into more than any other?
JAPE von CROW: Musically our influences comes from so many genre that it is not even necessary to mention. From 60’s music to whatever…Every members have their own favourites so it will be mixed from those all and then we have our lives and it is most import influence! The earth, society, love, peace, freedom and rock and roll! That is our thing!
Why did you decide to mane the album “Samsara”?
JAPE von CROW: I’ve been travelling in Asia quite much and learned their culture a bit. Samsara is like a circle of life and death and all, if you’ll get out of it, it will be as Nirvana. For us Samsara does not mean anything religious. It means mostly circle of our lives in 2010,when all things happened, I wrote these lyrics…We handled things like my little brothers death, he died in march 2010, and our problems and joys too. It was good way to spit all that shit out and then we can continue with clean hearts again!
What future lies ahead of To/Die/For?
JAPE von CROW: simple…tours, new album, tours, new album. That is all we wanna do. Of course we would like to grow as a band and be a bit more popular but if it would happen someday it would be only a little bonus for us!