TORTURE KILLER is another Finnish band that has been around a while now but needs to be heard by more people. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Would you say that the band has lived up to the expectations you had on it when you formed all those years ago?
-I think we´ve done well. It’s not like we ever had any goals in any case, we´ve taken everything as they come and I think we are just normal reason headed guys who never dreamed of becoming anything big or so. We formed the band to play music we like, because doing it makes us feel good. Now, looking back – I think we´ve managed to write a few good chops, the collaboration with Barnes was cool and you can’t plan things like that – that just happened, and working with him felt really flattering and fulfilling, I guess that’s the thing people will remember us for anyhow, so why try to downsize it…back in the beginning it was trying to come up with the next decent song to play, and I think that’s what it still is for us.”
The Finnish metal scene seems to be full of bands playing all forms of metal. What is about the extreme form of metal that suits you Finns so well?
-I really don’t have an answer for this one. I guess its an outlet in many cases because were not exactly known as open and talkative people. We just keep things to ourselves, maybe music gives us somekind of a pressure valve, who knows?”
Is it important to TORTURE KILLER to be a part of a scene? Is there a Finnish metal scene per se to speak of?
-Obviously if there wouldn’t be an audience for us, we wouldn´t have any shows and playing live is a big thing, one of the key reasons why you do it. I was grown with a lot different scene back in the early 90´s when people printed black and white fanzines, traded demo tapes and had letter correspondence with each other, and that’s what I consider a “scene”. It was more of a hands-on type of approach where you actually had to work to get your metal, and I loved those days. Of course there are active concert organizers, familiar faces you see when going to shows and they are the scene nowadays, it’s a lot different from what it used to be but still, it’s the modern form of things. Especially here in our hometown a lot of those people are personal, really good friends so in that regard its nice to feel you’re a part of something special group of people who you can connect with.”
When a Finnish metal band is doing well do you feel a sense of pride or is it more envy?
-Personally I feel none of those, I guess its cool in some ways, but hardly has any effect on what I or we do. Usually the metal that breaks out is a bit more melodic, so not really what I listen to too much…no reason to feel envy that for sure, none of the others success is away from ours… you are what you make out of yourself, and you will get the recognition if you deserve it.”
Do you look at TORTURE KILLER to be a Finnish band or do you see it as an international band?
-Definetily Finnish. The music itself is universal I guess, theres no specific finnish identification to be found I think, but I look ourselves through as people and music is just what we do. We like the late 80´s, early 90´s death metal, a lot of it is from Florida which we certainly take inspiration from. But we are Finns no doubt.”
How pleased are you with you latest album? Did it live up to the expectations you had going into the studio?
-I´m pleased with it… theres a few songs that turned out really good like the title track, “written in blood”, the sound is what we were looking for and I think each song has its attraction, some groove, some have athmosphere… I think it’s a decent mix of things. We would’ve liked to continue doing EP´s because “I chose death” was perfect for us in every way, but as we still owed one album to the label, you get “Phobia”. From now on id like to concentrate on the A+ songs but like I said, I think each song has its appeal and it would be very hard for me to pick the ones to leave out.”
With a name like TORTURE KILLER you can’t very well sing about the birds and the bees. What kind of lyrical contents are you dealing with?
-This time we took a conscious step away from the gore and sheer brutality to more psychologic horror… less graphic horror and more of the psychological. Its digging deeper into the human mind and tells 9 different tales of violence.”
Back in the 80s it was hard to get your hands on new metal albums. Today you just click a few times and then the records are on its way to you, either in digital format or as physical ones. How do you make sure that people actually buys your albums? What do you do to get them to pick up you album?
-Theres nothing really we can do about it, it’s like fighting the wheel that keeps on turning… all we can do is try to write the music we can, if we succeed some people will buy it. I still buy the albums I like because I want the physical copy, and the cover artwork is a crucial part of the record. And im sure im not the only one still thinking like that. I download stuff too, theres just too many released to buy all of em, but if I like something I still buy it.”
What is the live scene like in Finland? What kind of clubs are there to play or are you left to playing your local pub/youth center?
-Were fortunate to live in a town that’s sized enough to have a few rock clubs, also we’ve had very good crowds where ever we play in here so we are doing ok. We´ve done youth centers a few times and actually those shows have been really cool, young kids who are passionate but under aged to get into the clubs make a really good crowd. “
Do you see a future?
-No. Can you? All I can do is to plan what I’m going to do next week, things will happen and each of us are going to deal with the things that come ahead. For us a band, we are taking a small break, we need to re-charge the batteries for awhile but I know I still carry music inside me, and when the ideas are materialized, im sure there will be more Torture Killer music done.