I’ve never ever been to Finland. All I know about the land of thousand lakes are what I’ve gathered from all the Finnish bands. WHISPERED helps me getting to know Finland a bit better. Answers by Jouni. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
-We are Whispered from Finland. We play diverse melodic death metal with Japanese folk elements and we’re usually referred as “samurai metal”. We’ve been doing this since year 2004 and we’ve released two albums. Our new album named Metsutan – Songs Of The Void will be out 20.05.2016. So if you’re into Finnish melodic metal and also want to hear something new, be sure to check it out!
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-Whispered was a great choice for us since it reflects our thematics quite nicely. We have lot of serene and atmospheric moments in our music too, so the conflict with the name is nice since we play metal. It’s also a name that does not tie us too much to this genre.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of metal you play? What inspires you today?
-The list would be too long, but my main influences are other great Finnish metal bands, soundtracks of movies and games and of course Japanese folk music. I listen music from various genres, but if I have to give out some bands right now, I’d say Opeth, Moonsorrow, Blind Guardian, Bal Sagoth etc. Inspiration comes from various things of course, not just music. I get really inspired from travelling or just simply walking in the woods or something… Like many other composers. Whole band listens to many different kind of music so as playing goes, one can hear influences from good ol’ rock’n roll, classical and even some jazz.
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-Well the obvious disadvantage is of course that CD and vinyl releases are not as convenient for the listener as playing the music from Spotify, but I think I’ve seen some small positive turn back with CD and especially vinyl sales. We live maybe in a stronger consumer culture than ever before and people like things. CD and vinyl are physical, so especially some special editions and stuff oughta sell at least something.
Is digital killing the album format?
-Yes kinda, but fortunately there are still much people how prefer the real thing. Digital distribution has much positive impact in a smaller projects like us, but the whole concept of digital music selling is still unfinished I think. Maybe if one could buy cool digital booklets, wallpapers and everything like that in Spotify and other platforms would help something? I dunno.. Revenues for smaller bands are almost non-existent through digital markets and I hope that will change someday.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-I think artwork and overall appearance for artists is more important than ever before. And that’s because people are constantly browsing the internet and if something nice meets the eye, they might just take a longer look. Our artwork is provided by a very talented Japanese graphic artist known as TOK, and her work has been really important for us since our first album. She’s done work for bands like Turisas too. TOK truly gets our concept and she’s created this amazing “Whispered-universe” where the Japanese traditional thematics blend in perfectly with metal music. Be sure to check TOK’s stuff from : http://tokmr.com/
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-If you want to be known globally, you should definitely take hold of the social media properly. Social media is a great tool for new bands to get name worldwide. Yet I think proper tours for bands are still the most important thing to get things going.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Somewhat yea. We have small constantly growing fanbase all over the world and I think the most of our fans are outside of Finland. Fans constantly ask us to tour all over the planet and I hope someday we can meet those demands. We have over 11k of organic likes in Facebook, which is quite nice for a band which has played only one gig outside of Finland. (Japan 2013)
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-As I stated before, that is the most important thing, but really getting decent tours is the most most important thing. Like touring with another bigger group globally. That’s
something that would help smaller groups extremely much I think. We’ve played in all major venues and metal festivals in Finland and we played one show in Tokyo 2013.
We’re constantly searching opportunities to get Whispered out there big time!
What will the future bring?
-Hopefully much more shows and much recognition for our new album!