Pic by Henry Soderlund

INTERVIEW: Finntroll

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Been really good considering the situation we live in right now. The new album is out, so finally we can have little bit of a breather!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Mask”?

“Mask” is a short burst of energy that sort of well describes the album. It’s a dark song, but still melodic. It’s a fast song, but still has some groovy parts. Sort of a mix between older Finntroll and newer.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I would definitely say that we had some ‘90s black metal classics in the back of our heads when we wrote that one. Also you can hear some riffs that easily could be on the Jaktens Tid album.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Well… Where do I start?! Can say that taking care of and planning these kind of things are definitely not easy. It was a stressful couple of weeks for me, but the result actually turned out over my expectations! I want to give a big hand to some new people I’ve started to work with for these kinds of things. Aimed & Framed [the video production company] did a very good job!

The single comes off your new album Vredesvavd – why taking so long on releasing this material?

Even if it took us 7 years to produce a new album, it definitely doesn’t mean that we were inactive during these years. We started off with touring non-stop for almost two years on the Blodsvept album and then directly moved on to a 10-year anniversary world tour of the Nattfödd album that lasted a bit over a year. At this point we took a small break to catch our breath and to try writing some new material. We wrote some, but nothing really seemed like it was the right way to go, so we decided to tour a bit more and go to more off-the-normal-grid gigs for a while and then maybe back to writing with new inspiration. Still nothing felt like we wanted it to. Then we just decided to do gigs and believed that inspiration will find us when it’s due time. All of a sudden the year was 2019 and we were still in the same place as two to three years earlier. This was the point when I asked the guys if it would be ok to ask Century Media for a deadline for a 2020 release, because usually deadlines help you concentrate on stuff to do instead of just procrastinating further. We got the date set and all of a sudden we started getting things done. In early winter 2019 we found the red thread for the album and here we are now with Vredesvavd!

How would you say time served to your advantage?

I wouldn’t say that at all! I think that it added just so much pressure on us actually doing something well worth the long wait. We got more critical about what we were writing, which also led to us to taking a longer time to write, which added more pressure. It such a vicious circle this whole album!

What’s the story behind the title?

This time, lyrically, we are focusing on different types of journeys, both physical ones you do geographically, but also spiritual journeys. All the stories seem to be related to or done in some kind of state of anger, hence the name Vredesvävd or “Wrath-woven” that we have been calling it in English.

How was the recording and writing process?

I think I sort of got into the writing process above but the recording went quite smoothly this time. Usually Finntroll album sessions are total chaos, but this time we were organized and had everything done before entering the studio. We didn’t lag behind in the schedule and got everything done on time. The only setback was actually [guitarist] Skrymer not being able to enter the studio because of the Coronavirus. Luckily we have a friend here in Finland that could take him in and record his parts and then send us the tracks so we could start mixing.

After more than two decades spanning career – would you say its been easier or rather difficult to reinvent yourself?

This time around it was a real hassle! On the Nifelvind and Blodsvept albums it was actually a pretty fast process, but this time around it was super difficult to find the sound we were looking for. Let’s hope it was just a phase and that next time around it will be quicker!

What role does Helsinki play in your music?

Well, it’s the hometown of most of the members and I lived there for almost 10 years at some point. It is also where we rehearse, so I’d say it plays quite a big role in our band.

What made you want to write every song in Swedish?

Swedish is the mother tongue of both me and [original singer] Katla. Katla who always had written the lyrics (except on the Nattfödd album) wanted to write in the language that he heard stories and tales as a kid and that’s why we started doing it. I think now it’s such a big part of our sound that we will never write in any other language. It would be selling our souls to change our music into English!

You get to focus on some particular legends and folk tales – why did you get to tackle these stories?

These are the kinds of stories that have been told through generations here in the northern countries of Europe and I definitely feel like it’s time to pass on these legends! Some of the lyrics are very personal and have a huge meaning to Katla, so mixing his experiences with Finnish traditions makes them even more particular to us.

Where else else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I think that inspiration can come from anywhere, be it a pop song heard on the radio while driving or the song of a bird when you are hiking in the forest. Finntroll has always kept an open mind and never wanted to put ourselves in any kind of a genre. This would limit our sources of inspiration too much!

What else is happening next in FINNTROLL’s world?

Right now we’re actually trying to reschedule as many gigs a possible and booking new ones. In March/April we will be unleashed onto mainland Europe again to show everyone that Finntroll is still in the game. Keep your eyes peeled for dates in a city near you!

First Single “Ormfolk”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLSA4OT0f7k&feature=youtu.be

Second Single “Forsen”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew6syPV1ZOY&feature=youtu.be

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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