VORNA is yet another Finnish metal band. There seems to be at least one for every lake. Answers by Mikael Vanninen (drums). ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?.
-I think there is always pressure when releasing any new material, whether it is a garage demo or a full length studio album. It’s all about impressions, it’s just the scale of things that is different.
Releasing a full length album is always going to be more exciting because you’re always aiming to surpass your previous creations on a larger scale. Most of the pressure comes from the expectations that your listeners have towards your music.

What response did you get on your first album? What was the weirdest response you got?
-The response was mostly on positive with comments about a promising debut from a band that still has a lot of work to do. The weirdest of all was probably the comment about our songs having some eurodance vibes here and there.

When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-Not sure about it being weird but it’s always amazing and humbling to see people enjoying your music. When you see people headbanging and feeling the music at your gigs, you know you must have done something right. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Do you feel that you have to follow in the foot steps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and art work for example?
-To put it bluntly, no not at all. When we started composing new material after our debut, we noticed a change in the music – it started to become more atmospheric, melodic and a lot darker. It didn’t bother us at all to move on from the more aggressive style we had on our debut. All in all, our second album is different from our debut album both thematically and musically.

Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
-It’s less of a community thing and more of the people playing metal just being good, down to earth guys.
Whether we’ve played with bigger bands or smaller ones, it has always felt like we are all on the same boat, just wanting to put on a good show.

When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with songs that fit into the sound?
-It is actually easier to work within certain parameters than it is to have all the “sounds” to work with.
Our sound is a more of a subconscious thing. When I start making a “black metal”-song or a 10 minute epic and if it ends up having a Vorna-esque feel to it, I’ll present it to the guys. You can’t really force it out or you’ll just end up getting composer’s block.

What influences/inspires you today?
-When I purposely try to seek inspiration, I usually just get some fresh air and have a nice long stroll in the Finnish nature. Sometimes inspiration can come from even the smallest things and then afterwards you happen to find yourself composing for two weeks.

We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records, do you notice the state the industry is in?
-Of course, it is very helpful in this industry to be aware of what’s currently happening. For example nowadays there’s loads of promotional tools for bands to use, with social media and all that. It’s important to keep up when the industry is constantly changing.

What is your opinion on digital versus physical?
-I’m all up for anything that makes our music easier to access in as many formats as possible. As long as the listeners get their music and the artists get what they deserve, it’s all good.

What lies in the future?
-Many gigs in Finland and abroad. Hopefully a new album in a couple of years.

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