Finnish folk metal band Finntroll released their latest album ‘Blodsvept’ on March 25th. The fans had been beyond excited for the band’s sixth debut album; especially after the release of ‘Nifelvind’ (2010), it was a bit clear that Finntroll decided to take a ‘darker’ step regarding their sound. So how was the new album going to be? Was it going to be even more atmospheric or was it going to be more fun?
I had the chance to interview the guitarist Routa on February 2013 via phone for Muzikantenweb and we talked about the new album’s sound as well as the band’s future plans. Check out the interview 😀
Hello Routa! How are you?
I’m alright. We had a long evening yesterday with Vreth [vocalist] but I started to wake up now.
You finished recording your new album, ‘Blodsvept’ and it will be released on March 25th, 2013. How do you feel about it? I have been checking the Facebook posts from fans and the expectations are quite high.
As a band we love the album. On this album, we wanted to have a more straightforward approach and we didn’t want to paint any musical landscapes or anything like that. We just wanted to make like ‘slap-in-your-face’ vibe. [laughs] And I really hope the fans will appreciate that. I am sure it’s going to divide opinions about us. People who expect atmospheric folk metal from us might not like the straightforward approach.
What can the fans expect from this album musically? Do you think it is a classic Finntroll album or is it a bit different?
I wouldn’t say we did something completely different. Whenever we do an album, we want the music to sound like Finntroll but we really want to find some new themes to mix it. It might be a music style to have influences or weird sounds or something similar. This time it was the punk rock-ish approach.
The new album is called ‘Blodsvept’. How did you come up with the title?
It’s really hard to explain it but I don’t know the right word in English for that. It’s like wearing blood. It is the same way as how Egyptian mummies are wrapped but with the blood.
I think ‘Blodsvept’ means ‘blood swept’ but I don’t think that’s the word, is that?
You could translate it to blood swept as well but it doesn’t mean in that context. It means ‘wrapped in blood’ basically.
Is this a concept album or do the song tell different stories?
All the songs have different stories this time. We didn’t want to make a concept album with one long story in it. We just wanted to do an album with individual small tales.
What are the themes, what do the songs tell generally?
It differs from song to song. There are songs about old finnish myths and then there is a song about a murderer. There are lots of different stories in the album generally.
Did any guest musicians take part in this album? In your previous record, there were a lot of guest musicians like Olli Vänska [violinist from Turisas].
Yeah, Olli Vänskä also took part in this record for the violin parts. We also had a couple of professional musicians from northern Finland and the guys from Moonsorrow took part in the choir and the screaming as well. They didn’t take part as musicians but we needed male voices for the songs and they took part in that.
When you think of the memories during the recording process, what was the funniest or the weirdest experience that the band has had during the recording of ‘Blodsvept?’
It was a pretty normal recording except we had to record the guitars twice. We kind-of deleted the guitar parts by accident so we had only a few days of recording and we had to it all again.
It was quite a challenge for you I guess, right?
Well yeah because we had to record the parts again 1,5 days and it’s ridiculous!
When you compare your previous record ‘Nifelvind’ and ‘Blodsvept’, what are the differences? What makes this release different?
Soundwise, we wanted to have more natural sounds so it wouldn’t be so over-produced. We wanted the fans to hear everything released through that. At first it might sound a bit lighter compared to the previous record but when you get into the sound, it’s not lighter, it’s just more natural.
I think this record is also a bit faster and not so darker compared to Nifelvind as well.
Yeah but it wasn’t anything that we decided to do in this album. It was because of the straightforward approach so the songs were also fast.
One thing I noticed in this record was that there is not a long intro which is quite uncommon for Finntroll. Was this intentional?
We didn’t have any intro composed for this album and then we had this feeling that we don’t need an intro. We don’t want to build some atmosphere on this album; it doesn’t need it. We felt like we could make the small welcome for the fans and then we wanted to jump straight into the music.
What other parts of the world (apart from Finland) inspire you musically? I have noticed that there are different influences like Balkan or oriental sounds in 1-2 songs.
Everything. When you keep your mind open, you get inspiration and ideas from everywhere. We don’t want to get inspiration from one thing only but we try to keep our mind as open as possible and take it all into our minds.
Which song did you pick or are you going to pick as singles? Are there also any video shootings in the near future?
Yeah, we are gonna shoot a video at the end of February 2013. We still haven’t decided on the song; we have a couple of ideas. We are still discussing it within the band. I know that Century Media [Finntroll’s record label]wants us to release a preview rather than a single from the album.
If you have to pick a song that would be the highlight or the favorite from the album, which song would it be?
At the moment, I really like Häxbrygd. I love playing it. I don’t know if we will play it live or not but that song works so well.
You are already confirmed for some festivals. Are there any plans for a Finntroll headlining tour?
Yeah, we are planning to do 6 or 7 special release shows around Europe. Then we are going to do a bigger show in small venues. That’s the plan for now.
Do you want to play in Heidenfest 2013 this year again?
I don’t think we are going to play in Heidenfest this year. We were asked to play this year but we feel that we want to to do something else this year so we are probably going to play with bands that we choose.
Finntroll @ Heidenfest 2012
Are you going to choose more unknown bands or bigger bands?
We don’t know that yet. We have to talk with different bands but at the moment I would personally love to tour with Skalmöld from Iceland. I hope we can tour with them.
You have toured with many bands before. Are there any particular musicians that you would love to tour with but you haven’t toured with before?
I would love to do tours with some very big names but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
What was the best country that you have toured in so far?
It’s hard to say but one of the tours I really enjoyed was the tour in Australia. There was something different there than in Europe and that was just awesome.
Finntroll has been around for quite a long time but you haven’t released any DVD yet. Are there any plans for a DVD release?
Yes, there are plans for a DVD release but we have had so much bad luck and it’s not going to happen anytime soon. We don’t want to release a DVD with just one live show; we want to have a special package for the fans. It’s going to take some time though.
Finntroll’s new album was one of the anticipated albums of 2013. Are you looking forward to any releases in 2013?
I haven’t even checked any upcoming releases. I’m like an instant buyer. I don’t plan it; when I see it, I am just like “Oh my god, I have to get that!”
So what was the last album that you bought?
It was actually a Tori Amos album. I like to keep my mind open.
Finntroll has been around since 1997 so that’s a lot of time. When folk metal is considered, I see a lot of new bands trying to make it big. What would be your advice to the newcomers?
Just stay true to yourself and try to be authentic. Have your own thing going on no matter what people say because if you start to copy somebody else, fans will notice it. I would say the biggest advice would be like do whatever you want and be yourself.
I wanna thank Routa for taking time to answer the questions. I will hopefully see Finntroll live on May 2013! Long live the trolls! 😀