Interview mit Niilo von Insomnium

Ein Interview von Krümel vom 28.08.2006 (9928 mal gelesen)
Just before the 4 Finnish Death Metal guys of INSOMNIUM start there big European Tour, shouter/bassplayer Niielo was so kind to answer my question even before they depart...

  The band was founded in 1997, when you all just were 16 or 17 years. How did you get the idea for the band? Did you know eachother before?

Niilo:   I had been in same school with Ville Friman and Markus Hirvonen since I was 9 years old. But I was one year older than them so we really didn’t know each other. In 1997 I was in a lousy grunge band and I wanted to start a really fierce metal band. I asked these guys to come in the band because I knew they could play a bit. And that’s how we started the whole thing.

  Did you play in other bands before you found INSOMNIUM? If yes, did you make the same kind of music?

Niilo:   In some local bands which were pretty awful. But we were so young back then and of course you have to start from somewhere. I don’t think that anyone can get to a great band if they have played like one or two years. The bands I played when I was 14-17 where some strange rock/metal/grunge combos.

  Do you have any idols in the musicscene? Or any others?

Niilo:   Metallica are my idols :) And J.R.R.Tolkien.

  Where do you live? In Finland? And how do you live?

Niilo:   I live in Turku, Friman in Jyväskylä and Markus and Ville Vänni in Joensuu. We all live in apartments.

  Are you professional musicians or do the members have any other professions? Which ones?

Niilo:   Playing in a death metal band is not that profitable ;) We all have our own studies and jobs which we need to make our living. I study history and work in a library, Vänni is a doctor, Friman is a biologist and Markus studies environmental law.

  What do you do in your freetime (except of making music)?

Niilo:   I write prose, read books, do some sports, watch movies, play computer and board games.... In other words: normal stuff. Sometimes I go into the dark woods in the middle of the night and sacrifice small rodents to the dark gods.

  After only two self-financed demo outputs you sign at Candlelight Records in 2002. How did you get this deal?

Niilo:   We sent them a demo and they were interested. That’s how it went. Then we negotiated 5 months about all the details and signed a contract.

  Already your first album "In the halls of awaiting" earned best reviews worldwide. Were you very surprised about it or did you expect it?

Niilo:   We thought that the album was very good, so we were not that surprised. Still I think that it’s a very good debut album with many excellent songs. Overall sound is not that good as with the new album, but still it kicks ass pretty well ;)

  Please describe shortly in your words the change/your career from the days of your beginning until today.

Niilo:   Well, everything has changed of course because in the beginning we were 16-17 year old kids and now we are hairy death metal monsters ;) Step by step we have gone forward and evolved our music. First we got a deal and then made a few albums and now on the third attempt we have again achieved a new platform. I think we now sound the way we should and that this album is by far the best we have done.

  Let's come to your new CD "Above the weeping world", that will be published on September, 18th. I already had the chance to listen to it. On my opinion all the songs are very dense and intensive. Who of you is responsable for the songwriting?

Niilo:   The ones to blame are mostly Ville Friman and me. We write most of the music and then we all arrange it on the rehearsals. When we play the songs together, we soon realize what parts are working and what parts are not that good. In the end all the songs will be pretty intensive, because all the mediocre parts are dropped and only the good ones remain:)

  In which way is a song composed? Do you have any conceptional ideas before composing or do you create it spontaneous?

Niilo:   A song is usually made out of riffs which are born through a certain period of time. Usually there are some riffs which fit together nicely and then the rest of the song is composed around these parts. Usually the process is quite spontaneous.

  Where do you get your inspiration for the lyrics from? Do they result of this, what is on your minds or of your feelings?

Niilo:   Inspiration comes from novels, poetry, movies etc. For example this album has influences from poets like Friedrich Hölderlin and Francis William Bourdillon. I create lyrics so that they would fit the atmosphere of the music as well as possible. Some songs need more sorrowful lyrics and the other songs more angry and furious lyrics.

  How long took the recordings for the recent album?

Niilo:   I think we had booked the studio for about 30 days. Recordings took about 23 days and mixing 7 days. Then mastering was done in one day.

  Are you completely contented with your work? Or do you not have the necessary distance yet to look at it objectively?

Niilo:   Personally I’m very happy with the new album. I have listened to it about 3 months and still it sounds very good. With the first two albums we felt immediately that some things were not right, but now for the first time we feel that we really succeeded well! All the people who understand anything about this kind of music have said that this is clearly the best album we have done, so that tells us something.

  Your European tour is fixed for September/October. There will mostly be gigs in the UK. How did this happen?

Niilo:   Candlelight has booked the tours and as they are an English company it’s natural that UK is one of the main targets. First we got the Enslaved/Zyklon/1349 confirmed and after that the Satyricon/Keep of Kalessin tour.

  Unfortunately you only will play 3 shows in Germany? Why only a few? Don't you want to have a good long tour here?

Niilo:   4 shows, we have 4 shows in Germany! :) Berlin, Saarbrücken, Munich and Stuttgart! The reason is, that we had first been booked on this Enslaved tour and that’s why we can’t do the first three German shows which Satyricon and Keep of Kalessin will do. It’s very sad, because we would like to do as many German shows as possible. But, because Germany is a very important for us, we are trying to set up another tour for next year which would concentrate just on Germany! So be prepared our brothers and sisters ;)

  How is your life while touring? Are you real partypeople or are you more quiet, to save your power?

Niilo:   Usually we are THE partypeople, but 6 weeks are so long that once in a while we must save our power and have some sleep. Otherwise we will not survive. But yes, we do consume a lot of alcohol in normal circumstances ;)

  What do you take with you as a diversion (what kind of music, DVD or books?

Niilo:   I think we have some mp3 music and a collection of DVDs. South Park, MacGyver for example and some Finnish comedies. Usually on tour you should only watch something light and not too difficult, because you can’t concentrate on anything more complex :) Still I think I will buy some epic fantasy book first thing in UK, so that I have something intelligent to do if I don’t want to be a rock’n’roll idiot all the time....

  Are you accompanied by your families/wifes/girl-friends?

Niilo:   Just four boys on the road.

  What was the most interesting/weird experience on tour until now?

Niilo:   Last summer in England we had some hilarious moments. For example in Sheffield there were strippers practicing next to our backstage. There was a steel door between us so we couldn’t see them but we heard everything. Then the gig in London’s Koko with Napalm Death was the highlight of our career so far.

  And in the end: are there any interesting "sins of your youth"?!?

Niilo:   I think Madonna’s videos of the 80’s are very good stuff :) And Michael Jackson videos also! Thriller! What a video ;)


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