First, thank you very much that you took your time to answer this interview. It’s not so often that a person can interview a musician that has been admiring its work for the last sixteen years. Let’s start this interview by talking about Vigorous and Liberating Death. In my humble opinion, a very strong album, as well as one of your best releases. How has been the response so far? What are your main favorite aspects of it? And did you really record the entire album sober?
– Response has been great, like really great!! Only bad reviews we have seen have been from Germany. And one from Sweden. Apart from them, fans seem to really enjoy the album and the response to the new songs live has been excellent to say the least. Personally I see this album logical continuation of RttO album. I was fucking happy with RttO and I am fucking happy with VaLD. I would say this new album is more dynamic in that sense that it has more variety, it is not full blastfest like RttO was. And have to mention production too, it is old school sounding record with the old school looking cover. I have recorded Manifest, RttO and VaLD sober so it is not really anything new. I could have recorded the vocals on weekend (we all have normal day jobs) in order to get wasted but I figured out that going directly from work makes me pissed off sounding enough. Long time ago we used to party in the studio but now it is work. More serious I would say.
I’ve heard that you left the word “goat” behind because you’ve become born-again Christians and want to slowly and in a subliminal way to change the band’s identity and spread the word of Christ. Of course I’m kidding around. I read that you actually wanted to see how people would react. How it has been so far?
– King Reborn, first track of the album, is actually Goat King Reborn. I just left the goat out of the title to see does anybody actually read the lyrics. When we announced the song titles I saw comments like “sell-outs”, hahaha. I was like what the fuck, you know. It is funny, if we had announced we have a song called Goat King reborn, people would have said “oh, still goat songs, isn´t the joke over yet” or similar shit. You can never make people happy, that is something i have learned in this business. So yes, it was kind of test to see how people would react. Interestingly enough not a single post I have seen says “oh, they DO have a goat song”. So either everybody has downloaded it or they just simply don´t pay any attention to the lyrics.
I’m not sure about you, but I actually find it funny, perhaps funny isn’t the best word, but well, how people can spread so many rumors about the band. I believe that those people are so stupid that they can’t take five minutes to read some information on Impaled Nazarene. In your opinion, what were the most unbelievable statements made over the band?
– We have heard everything from “they are actually playing football with real skulls” to whatever bullshit. Some things are just plain funny because they are so ridiculous and some are fucking irritating. Like the fact that in Wikipedia it states Manifest is banned in Europe but only country that has enforced it is Germany. We have tried to get this utter bullshit corrected but no. If it is in internet it must be true eh. Manifest is not banned anywhere. And I fucking despise football.
I read an old interview with you a few months ago and you stated that have no political or social or racial preferences, that you are an individualist and cared about yourself. In my humble opinion, that’s an interesting way to lead your life. You also added that, when it comes to hatred, there were lots of people that made you sick but you’d rather try to ignore them instead of wasting your energy. Have you always felt this way, trying to ignore those sick individuals or was it something that you’ve “learned” how to deal over the years?
– Well, I try to ignore but it isn´t that easy. I just generally don´t like people, at least normal people. You have to cope somehow in this society and since I have no interest to go to jail, I just choose to ignore people, things, places, situations and happenings. I absolutely fucking hate babies, they make me sick, their parents make me sick. Every fucking time we fly, you bet there is some fucking new born bastard seated either in front of me or in the back. And his/her parents doing fucking jack shit to make that disgusting fucking piece of shit to shut up. Last time we flew from Italy, there was THREE new born crying simultaneously.
Concerning Impaled Nazarene touring, I’ve already read some interesting stories about the shows and what happens before/ after them. There are always something different to tell. Could you share, what are your best and worst memories of tours? At least the most recent ones, if you feel like it. And what do you usually do before playing a gig, while the fans are awaiting for you to get on the stage?
– Before the show we warm up. It is nothing exciting. Shit that basically every band does. Thankfully we have had much more good and cool things happening when we have been on the road than bad ones. A perfect sample of good things: We played in Slovenia in Ormoz and they had organized a special evening for us, they took us the local farm to eat and taste wines. It was so good food it was beyond belief, from freshly butchered farm animals. Ormoz is a town located at what they call Slovenian wine road or something like this. They have lots of wine farms there and we stayed in this little cool hotel which had wine tasting shop downstairs. We were only customers and the owner joined us and we drank with him several white and red wines and he had all knowledge about them. Something like this is fantastic extra to say the least. As for crap things and situations, we have had anything from guitars and laptops and mobile phones stolen from the bus (Holland) to the near fatal bus accidents (Germany, Czech Republic) to whatever.
I know this is not the intention of your music, but, at least with me, it has actually helped me through time periods of time. Really helped. I remember when things were so fucked up, fortunately better now, that I used to walk for hours listening to Suomi Finland Perkele and Ugra-Karma, at the time carrying the CDs and changing them. Well, seriously speaking, how do you feel when someone tells you that your music gave them more energy to go on with life?
– I can relate to this 100%, music is very powerful weapon. Summer 1997, every fucking day when I woke up, I listened to Strapping Young Lad song Underneath The Waves on repeat at full volume and tried to not to slit my wrists. It was shit time in my life and that song summed up perfectly what was happening, or rather what was NOT happening. We have had people telling us how our songs or albums have helped them thru bad periods and it is great you know. Because I have been there, I know exactly how it feels.
And for you, how important is music in your life? Not only as a musician, but as the listener as well. Which were the intentions that you had when you created Impaled Nazarene?
– It is important but I also enjoy just silence. I don´t need anything playing on background necessarily. And I belong to the group of people who listen to old albums. I am not interested to hear new bands and new music. If something really is good that it deserves my attention, I will eventually find it. I listen to the same music I was listening 25 or 30 years ago. When we started playing music, we had no plans or whatever. We just wanted to play same kind of music our heroes were doing. Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, Sarcofago, Venom, The Exploited, list is endless.
In a way connected to the previous question, the band is going to celebrate a quarter of century next year. That is indeed a remarkable achievement. I don’t know if you care about it or not, but, in my modest view, it’s something exceptional. Have you thought about this, about when the band started, all the changes within Impaled Nazarene and the metal scene itself? Are you thinking about something special to celebrate it? And did you ever think that Impaled Nazarene would be active after twenty four/ twenty five years?
– I am aware of the fact we have 25th anniversary coming up next year but because we have been so busy with this new album, I have not given it much thought. I really have no idea how we should celebrate. We have already done live album and dvd, I really don´t know. Maybe we just let it pass, who knows. Of course we talk from time to time how much everything has changed. Whole music business is so different than back in the 90´s. Studio work is totally different. Some of the changes have been good, some really bad. Like I said, when we started we had no goals, we didn´t even expect to get signed. So in the beginning could not imagine anything like this. I guess once we hit the 10th anniversary, we were like okay, maybe we can see us doing this longer than we originally thought.
One of my favorite Impaled Nazarene songs is “Total War – Winter War”. Just another day I was watching Talvisota and found it outstanding. I also like Tuntematon sotilas, just to name another one. How do you feel over these movies? Do you think they really represent well the Winter War? And still on Finnish movies in general, are there any that you’d recommend to our readers? I read a biographical book about Simo Häyhä, really fascinating, what’s your personal opinion on this historical figure?
– Original Tuntematon Sotilas is fantastic movie. I watch it every independence day. I have seen Talvisota but I cannot remember anything from it so it must have been utterly boring. Finnish movies in general suck major shit. It is unbelieveable how fucking bad movies this country does, it is like we are Soviet Union or something of the film world. The only country that produces even shittier movies than us is Russia. I really don´t have a clue how well it represents actual war. Probably not even close. Most men who came back from the war simply don´t want to say anything about the subject. War changes man. I have not read Simo Häyhä book, thanks for reminding me about this. I must rectify this definitely. Great soldier, what can I say.
I asked those questions before in order to also ask you about what’s going on in Ukraine and how you, as a Finnish man, feels over this. You’ll be playing in Ukraine as well, right? How are you preparing for this?
– We have saying in Finland: Ryssä on ryssä vaikka voissa paistais. Translates Russkie is a Russkie even if you would fry them in a butter. They don´t change. Nothing new in other words. We prepare for the show like any other gig. That festival is situated in west and those fights are 1500km in the east.
This is a part of the interview that I always ask a few things about your personal life, the musician’s life. Nothing that would the privacy. I just wanted to know what are your favorite activities, when not playing music, what do you enjoy doing when not working. Plus, if you had to choose one brand of the following drinks, which ones would you?
– Beer – My fave type of beer is porters and stouts. Maybe Huvila X – Porter from a Finnish brewery Malmgård. It is impossible to name just one.
– Whisky – Jack Daniels without a doubt and for other whisky type anything from Bowmore.
– Bourbon – maybe Maker´s Mark.
– Vodka – Russian Standard Platinum
– Wine – Tarapaca red wine from Chile
– Gin – Beefeater
– Aperitif (including Campari, Jägermeister, etc) – Campari definitely
– Any other that I forgot but you also enjoy – I can drink all kinds of booze and I am always interested to try local specialities
– I don´t really have any hobbies, I read books (last one I read was Sami Lopakka´s (yes, x-Sentenced guitarist) first book Marras, absolutely fantastic book), watch tv and movies. I love cooking and now that it is summer, barbequing is the best thing in the world. I make very spicy food and love all chilies and things like that. And play with my two cats. Simple life.
sluti666, thank you very much for this interview. I hope you enjoyed answering it and I also would like to wish nothing but the best for Impaled Nazarene and its members. As I said before, on a personal level, this interview is historic, it might sound silly to you, but it is/ was. Well, do you have any last words to finish this interview?
– Thank you. I enjoyed doing this. And remember everybody, drink vodka and be free!June 16, 2014