Amorphis, Skyforger

The finnish dark metallers are back in the business with "Skyforger". Melodic, melancholic, somewhere between rock and metal, this new piece appears to be the most mature sounding album the band has made yet. Interview.

Let me know about the response on "Eclipse" in 2006 ?
Tomi Koivusaari : When Pasi left after Far from the Sun album, people were expecting that our story is finished, as last years with Pasi were quite unmotivated inside the band, and you could see and hear it from our music as well afterwards thinking. When we found Tomi as a new singer, people were quite curious what kind of a guy there will be. We did right away American tour with him, and our fans were mostly excited about new energy, and Tomi's singing skills on gigs. So when Eclipse came out everything happened much better than we ever expected. So response was great, specially if you think of changing the singer is not very easy to any band, and this started totally new era in Amorphis.

How do you see the evolution of your music since 1992 and "The Karelian Isthmus" ?
I think evolution started with our band even before our first album Karelian Isthmus. Right away it was clear to us that if we wanna keep this fresh and interesting, specially to ourselves, we don't care what people are expecting from us, but keep on doing this the way we feel. And looking back now all those albums, I think everyone are important, 1 is leading always to direction or another. Making Karelian Isthmus kind of stuff almost 20 years and 9 albums.. no way! That would have killed us long time ago. I see our albums on some kind of three albums periods, then always something happens, even inside the period, but something more dramatic in between. Maybe we need some kind of take away once in a while, to keep creativeness or something. Eclipse, Silent Waters and now Skyforger are together somekind of trilogy, musically and thematically, so this is again last album then probably some dramatic change. Or then not, maybe we have found something which will be as well. Anyway this is first time on our career to have same line-up on three albums! Before Tomi joined we couldn't do even two without changing members.

What was your state of mind when you started to work on the new album "Skyforger" ?
We didn't have any pressure, there has been great spirit inside the band ever since Tomi joined. We didn't actually have any plans to go to studio this fast, but one day we just realized that we have 18 songs ready. It has been very creative period last few years. Also on live we have never been this good vibe, as we enjoy of them these days very differently than before. Feels almost like that we have found some sound or thing we have been looking for all these years.

Can you tell me more about the work of everybody on this record ? The title of this album ?
You mean outside the band? Sami Koivisto, our livesound-engineer recorded it at Sonic Pump Studios, Helsinki. Marco Hietala was once again producing vocals. Mikko Karmila mixed it at Finnvox Studios, once again, and Mika Jussila mastered it. So quite same team than past 2 records before this one. We have found good team, so we didn't want to change it. Also my friend Iikka Kahri played some additional Flutes and saxophones on the record. Title of the album is Skyforger.

How do you see the fact of recording a ninth album ? Is it hard to find the inspiration or it’s always a work in progress for the band ?
When we started, I couldn't imagine that we are still doing music with Amorphis after almost 20 years. But being open-minded for all kinds of music styles, and not categorizing yourself to any genre keeps this inspiration and sort of flame alive. As long it is fun and you enjoy what you are doing it is easy.

How do you manage the balance between strong melodies and agressive guitars parts ?
I think most imporatant is balance. If there is good dramaturg in a sogs structure and song is solid, and not sounding like there is just riff after riff. Arrangements are nowadys to us very important.

What will be the next step for Amorphis ? Going on tour ?
It's about one month before Skyforger will be released when doing this interview. We just finished small tour in Finland, now we have like 1 month promotion time, interviews and so on. Then summer festivals, after that European tour which will cover about 15 countries. Then South-American tour, maybe couple shows in Russia and Australia as well. So it will be busy rest of the year for us. And that's perfectly ok to us !

Interview by Laurent Gilot
Photo : DR

Amorphis, Skyforger (Nuclear Blast/Pias)
May 2009


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