Amon Amarth interview (04/2007)
|Conducted by:||Baz Anderson (in person)|
After finally finding the venue among the busy city of Nottingham, I arrive to see Amon Amarth on the first date of their tour (concert review) and have been granted the opportunity to conduct an interview. I am shown towards one Olavi Mikkonen and after introducing ourselves, and after Olli fetching us both a beer we sit down and start to talk:
Barry: First I'll congratulate you that Amon Amarth's new album "With Odin On Our Side" won the Metal Storm awards in the melodic death metal category and was also the staff choice of the year as well
Olavi: Alright, cool, I didn't know
Barry: Yes, the new album is personally my favourite that you have done so far and it sounds a lot more confident the past albums and it's more bombastic, just generally more confident - do you agree with that?
Olavi: Yeh definitely, I think a big, huge aspect to it is we live off the music so-to-speak today, and also when we recorded "Odin" we could concentrate completely to writing songs. We didn't have to have day time jobs so that helps a lot with creativity, otherwise in the past we would be rehearsing evenings with day time jobs and it was, you know, kind of hectic, stressing, and after "Fate Of Norns" since we started to live off of the music completely so we could put much more energy in the music. So I think that helped a lot, and after "Fate Of Norns" we kind of decided we need to, sort of speak, take away ourselves and make a much better album
Barry: So the band is getting a lot bigger then, you can just focus completely on the band, there's nothing else dragging you down so you must be glad that the band is getting so much bigger now
Olavi: Yeh definitely, it helps a lot. Of course as a musician you want to reach out to as many people as possible, yeh its really good, but of course theres still a lot of hard work behind it, we've been playing for many many years now
Barry: Yes you are a very hard working band, touring a lot because after these dates in the UK you have about a month off and then there's the rest of the year with festivals and different countries
Olavi: Yeh I think we have 120 shows more to do this year
Barry: Yeh, it was only some time last year you was here last as well with Wintersun and Tyr
So right now what is your opinion of the Swedish death metal scene of 2007
Olavi: I think its good; I think… it's my feeling that heavy metal and death metal, all metal is coming back. I think there's a lot of shows at least in Sweden, a lot of people come to the shows and a lot of bands play, I think the scene is very good right now, to me it feels like the scene has not been as big as it is right now, I think it's a very positive trend and hopefully it will keep on.
Barry: Yes I know that definitely here melodic death metal is getting very popular here
Do you have a favourite country to play in or favourite festival, anything you are looking forward to doing this year?
Olavi: It's always nice to play first time somewhere, so we are going to play in Greece in about a month and it's the first time so I really look forward to that. Of course I think all the shows are good, its not like "that country sucks" you know, I think its always fun to play and usually like shows today its like our show so there's no people that doesn't like us watching because, you know, they don't have to come then, so that makes the shows good everywhere - but of course you know Germany, big festivals 30,000 people, that's also a nice feeling
Barry: Yeh, are there any places that..
Olavi: Yeh, American crowd is more like moshing and mosh pits. Italian crowd sing, they like sing along to the guitar riffs, its crazy
Barry: So you can definitely tell between the countries where you are
Olavi: Yeh! German or European crowd is more like fists in the air and you know, of course it will be different between crowds but I think its funny because when you do a world tour you have it all
Barry: Yeh so theres definitely a contrast
Do you have a, does the band have a proudest moment
Olavi: I think the biggest show, probably Wacken, I think it was like 35,000, 2am in the morning you know so it was crazy that people would be standing there looking at shows the whole day drinking and then like 2am they were totally crazy, I thought everyone was going to sleep, yeh that was totally crazy, but I think the biggest show we have right now is going to be Summer Breeze festival in Germany as well, we are going to have a very very cool stage setting so that's, I think thats going to be killer
Barry: Yes, Germany seems to be the main place for metal right now
Olavi: Yes and those shows are so big so we can add so much more like Vikings
Barry: Yeh, like on the DVD!
What about any worst moments or any embarrassing moments you have so far
Olavi: Stuff can happen to anybody you know like you fall on stage or whatever but shit happens you know, its normal, I know not really embarrassing stuff I think, but of course you feel embarrassed when you fall - but you know its rock and roll. But not really, I can't think of anything that is really embarrassing
Barry: So at what age then did you start to get really into the Viking thing and all the rest of it, do you know what age around?
Olavi: Ah, I think that came a little later. I got into music and metal when I was like 12 or 11. I think the Viking stuff when I was a little older like 18 or something
Barry: Yes the band was called originally "Scum" for a short amount of time, what make you change the name to Amon Amarth?
Olavi: Ah, Scum was only like, I took the name directly from the Napalm Death album, no it was just, we didn't have a better name. when Ted found out Amon Amarth we just took it right away
Barry: So why "Amon Amarth" then?
Olavi: Because it sounded kind of mystical. When you read "Amon Amarth" its like "what is that?"
Barry: Yeh, its different
Olavi: Yeh, I think that's the main reason we chose the name, and then of course its taken from The Lord Of The Rings books and you know I've never read the books so I didn't know that
Barry: Do you have any special preparations before a tour, especially a long tour like this one?
Olavi: Of course we have a few band meetings where we list down the songs, make a setlist and then we like rehearse for a week so its nothing special. Its more or less trying to have quality time home as much as possible before a tour
Barry: It must get strenuous at some times, is there any time in a tour where you have thought that you have just not wanted to be there any more?
Olavi: Ah, yeh last year we toured in November/December 8 weeks and after first we did a European tour and after the last show we flew directly to America and it was kind of like - you know when you are heading into a tour you are like into it but we already finished this tour and flew directly to another one, it was like "naaaagh". Well you know that's life as a musician, but today is kind of easy because you have cell phones and you can SMS and the internet and you can phone home for free you know, so I think its much easier to tour now then like 5 years ago when no body had internet or whatever
Barry: Do you have any special preparations before a show then?
Olavi: Nooo, nothing special, we all warm up in a different way and have some drinks, try to get into the right mood
Barry: This is the first show on the tour so far isn't it?
Barry: How do you think it will go down with Finntroll, are you going to be watching them backstage? How do you like their music yourself?
Olavi: I haven't really heard that much to be honest so I don't really know but of course I'm going to check them out
Barry: The band has had the same line-up now since 1998 and the very first full-length album, is there any secret or special bond or anything?
Olavi: No, we don't hang out as friends as much at home because we tour so much together, we like to keep the distance. But I think all the touring has made us stronger as a unit because we all know each other inside out we're like brothers, its like a brotherhood family or whatever so you know it helps a lot also to help write songs because we are so tight together. I don't know if there are any secrets..
Barry: Well you don't argue do you?
Olavi: No, maybe if we fight its more or less for fun. We know its stupid to argue about the small stuff while touring, its better to leave it out and sort it out at home
Barry: Plans for the future then, you have a big tour but after that will you be staying at home and relaxing for a bit?
Olavi: Like I said we have like 120 more shows to do this year its going to be the whole summer - first we have the European festivals then we're going to hit the U.S. in July and August, September we do another tour with Dimmu Borgir and then we probably go to Australia and then back to America. So I think we are going to be quite busy this year and then maybe next year its time to start writing, we have been planning to start writing around September or something and see what comes up
Barry: So do you feel that your new album "With Odin On Our Side" is your best so far?
Olavi: Yeh definitely, and I feel it is important to feel like that because that keeps you going you know. If you feel like no, your previous album was better then you are kind of on the wrong track, wrong road, you have to make an album that feels like it's the best one.
Barry: So why did you put out the DVD after the last album?
Olavi: The request has been big for a live video so we thought what the fuck why not
Barry: Yeh, there's more then 7 hours on it!
Olavi: Yeh, for us it doesn't cost more, its just the same price so we thought why not make a package that is really worth buying because DVDs cost money, its got to be worth it. yeh so we thought we would do a really big live DVD, so I don't know what we are going to do next maybe we are going to do more documentary or something like that. Could be a next step.
Barry: So you don't really listen to many bands when you are actually on tour
Olavi: Not as much because it's so much music anyway. I like to listen when I am at home driving my car or whatever. My favourite place to listen to music definitely when I am driving my car.
Barry: Who are your top artists or top bands?
Olavi: Wow, of course Slayer even though they haven't done so much good lately, I dig the new one "Christ Illusion" is definitely, definitely a Slayer album. That's my favourite band definitely but Primordial - awesome, Dark Tranquillity - awesome, the new Dimmu is good
Barry: So you like more extreme bands then, death metal, thrash metal..
Olavi: I like everything you know, but right now I am mostly listening to Dark Tranquillity and Primordial but maybe next month I will be listening to something else, um…
Barry: Do you like power metal? symphonic stuff?
Olavi: Yeh! Um, I'm not really into Dragonforce, its too technical for my ears but yeh I like Gamma Ray, I think they are good and also older stuff, Helloween, so yeh, power metal, and also traditional metal
Barry: So where does the Amon Amarth sound come from, who brings the death metal and who brings the melody to the band?
Olavi: I would say I am the cheesy guy, I do the cheesy stuff
Barry: Cheesy? Whats the cheesy stuff?
Olavi: "Pursuit Of Vikings" - "da, da da da.." [miming the main riff for the song] that cheesy stuff - no not cheesy but we call it cheesy, and I like that, you know that melodic stuff, that's my passion. And Johan, he goes more for the "Asator" you know
Barry: Yeh, is there ever any debates, you know, one side wants to make it more extreme and the other side…
Olavi: Noo, no, no, no, it's more or less he's doing the aggressive whilst I'm doing the melody so together that's Amon Amarth
Barry: So how did you find it last time you came to England, did you enjoy it here?
Olavi: Yeh, what I can remember was I was so surprised that it was actually as good as it was, it was a very positive memory so I am very thrilled and excited about what's going to happen tonight
Barry: How seriously does the band take their lyrics?
Olavi: For Johan who writes the lyrics they are really true and for me personally I dig the whole Viking thing, I like it and I like to read about it and the gods, but I don't believe in the gods as gods you know. For me I don't believe in any god. For me a god is what you create in your own head
Barry: So does Johan believe in the gods?
Olavi: Yeh, he is more into the Æsir religion so for him it's really true but everybody in the band, we are all into the Viking thing and for us we stand behind every word on all the lyrics so its not pretend or anything like that, so for us our lyrics are real and like I said we stand behind everything so its not something that we just do
Barry: Are there any bands that you really don't like, what do you think to the whole commercial scene and everything?
Olavi: My belief is that we need commercial bands also because the bands that make it commercial also bring new fans into the scene for instance I think Hammerfall made the Swedish scene bigger because lots of new people noticed Hammerfall and some people want to go and listen to more aggressive or raw bands and I think also bands like Bullent Mein Valentine or what's the name Bo-bullet Mein Valentine
Barry: Bullet For My Valentine..
Olavi: Yeh, and Trivium, I think those bring also more people to the scene because they expose so much to young people and after a while they will find there's more bands that are better and more aggressive or they are real because at some point they are going to realise that them riffs was already made 15 years ago by other bands, so I think in the end its good because its helping the scene - some how, but that's my belief, I don't know
Barry: What about interests outside of music and metal, and do you like any other sort of music that isn't metal?
Olavi: I mostly listen to metal or I even like hard rock you know, older Van Halen and Mötley Crüe - awesome, but I don't really listen to any other, maybe some punk but I don't listen to pop or classical or jazz or anything like that
Barry: Any other hobbies then? What do you like to do when you are relaxing at home?
Olavi: Playing video games, movies..
Barry: Any games at the moment?
Olavi: Yeh! Scarface - awesome game, I'm very close to the end now
Barry: What kind of games do you like best, do you like role-play games?
Olavi: No not role play games, I like more sneaky you know, you sneaking around with a rifle and hitting people in the back, hahaha, and hiding you know. I used to play with a mate home, we play this Medal Of Honour both are snipers so when we play sometimes it takes hours before we meet each other, I like that sniping thing. And watching movies, very into movies, collecting movies all kinds of movies. I think that's basicly it - music, movies and video games
Barry: The last film I went to see was the new Mr Bean film; I'm a huge fan of Mr Bean
Olavi: Hahaha, was it good?
Barry: It was alright, I don't think it was a good as the first one but it was still good to see new Mr Bean stuff on the screen again because it has been so long since the original series and the first film
Olavi: Yeh they are showing it in Sweden, I think its every Sunday, the Bean show
Barry: Is that not your sort of thing though?
Olavi: I used to like it a lot but I don't know, not so much any more
Barry: Do you go on the internet a lot and look around websites and look at reviews and look at how the band are coming across
Olavi: Yes! I like to keep myself updated, I like to know what other bands tour or who's touring together with who and you know, that's sort of my hobby too so I know what's going on. Reading reviews of course if I see a review I will read it but I'm not really searching for it, but it's a good way to keep to keep yourself updated as well for example when you are making a setlist for a tour its good to know that people are like "ah they missed that song, why didn't they play that song" and then we have to keep that memorized for a next tour and then we will be like "ok now we are going to play these songs that people requested" so that's good and I also, you know, its good to see on youtube or video whatever a video from a show of course I look so I can see if we need to improve anything. And yes I read a lot of Internet metal magazines
Barry: Do you not read a lot of books then?
Olavi: No, no, I don't read books at all - I don't have the patience because the book takes for me a week and a movie is one and a half hours I don't have the patience to
Barry: So what would you say to the people that say you can get your own imagination from books..
Olavi: Yeh definitely that's a good thing about books.
So are you living in Nottingham?
Barry: No I live in Lincoln at the moment, there's no big venues there or anything so nothing much happens there, I've always got to travel to see shows. Its usually Nottingham, Bradford or Leeds or something. In Lincoln we've just had Saxon play a secret show as part of a documentary that was on a few days ago
Olavi: How was the Saxon show?
Barry: It was really good because it was such a small pub, there was no barrier or anything - you know Biff was right there
Olavi: Yeh I totally like that band. Saxon are very good, they are cool guys as well - we have met them many times. I am going to go see them I think when they play Stockholm next month
Barry: With Masterplan
Olavi: Yes, I haven't heard the new Masterplan, is it good, is it a different singer?
Barry: Yeh it's Mike DiMeo. It does sound quite like the first two albums but maybe the song writing is not as good - but it is definitely worth looking in to
Olavi: Yeh I am going to definitely check it out, and also I haven't bought the new Saxon yet, is it out yet?
Barry: It's come out here
Olavi: Because last time I ordered a bunch of CDs it wasn't out yet, I'm definitely going to check it out
Barry: After a show do you like meeting the fans and everything?
Olavi: This is a headline tour so after our show its curfew so everybody go home so usually we don't have anyone to hang out with
But when we were supporting then we defiantly hang out, we used to stand near the merch. Just to meet the fans. But usually headline shows are different
There's plenty of great festivals this year, not only Wacken but Graspop I think is bigger
Barry: Hellfest has got Immortal and Emperor playing there too
Olavi: Yeh we are going to play there too so hopefully we play the same day so I can see them, at least Immortal - awesome band
Barry: You prefer Immortal to Emperor then?
Olavi: Yeh, any day. I think Emperor is also an awesome band but I would chose Immortal any day
Barry: What is it about them?
Olavi: I don't know maybe because "Damned In Black" is so good album. We toured with them their last tour in the U.S. and then they put the band to rest.
Barry: Do you like to listen to other melodic death metal bands and see what the competition is like?
Olavi: Noo, I don't see it is a competition like I said I really like Dark Tranquillity a lot but the funny thing is that I started listening to them two or three years ago because I had never bothered before and then I was like wow this is so fucking good why hadn't I listened to it before. But I don't really see it as competition, the way I see it if they make a good album and bring people to the scene then maybe their fans start liking us as well or the other way around. And they are cool bands coming up as well
Barry: What was the last thing that you listened to then?
Olavi: Actually it was Trouble, Trouble - that was yesterday
Barry: The last thing I listened to was "With Odin On Our Side" on the way down here, hahaha!
Do you read metal magazines?
Olavi: The only magazine I get is Sweden Rock magazine, that's the only Swedish I like because the other the Swedish the writers they try to be cooler then the bands and when you read about the band its like its more about the writer when he went there and how he felt and what came where and what he drank and then they write like one word about the band and its like "what the fuck" so I think Sweden Rock magazine is still good because its still fans writing about the bands and when I read about whoever I want to read it as a fan
Barry: Was there any point in the beginning or after the first couple of albums where you was wondering if you would become as big as you are now
Olavi: Yeh definitely, after "Crusher" we did quite a lot of bad tours you know when promoters ripped us and you know stole a lot of money from us and we had a very very bad feeling as we thought its time to call it quit - so the plan was "Versus The World" was supposed to be our last album and the title was supposed to be "The End" and we always had fire on the covers and on that album there was only going to be ashes, that was the plan when we started writing but then I don't know something happened I think we played an extremely good Wacken show, we had a very very nice tour and suddenly "ah" we couldn't give it up here so we changed the title to "Versus The World". "Versus The World" to me is like us against all the bad people in the business because the music business is like so many ass holes, people try to steal your money all over the place there's so many bad people - so really, when you start as a musician but you end up as an economical, you know, you need to know everything about the financing and everything so that was like us against all the bad stuff in the business
Barry: Looking forward to playing then?
Olavi: Yeh it's going to be fun, we haven't been on tour now for a month, no almost two months
Barry: Where have you just been?
Olavi: Home relaxing, we did a Scandinavian tour
Barry: Do you get a bigger reception there?
Olavi: Yeh, it was quite successful, it was sold out and it was the first time we played in our hometown Stockholm for maybe four, four years, five years. After we packed the stuff it was like off to our favourite pub after the show.
Barry: What about The Crown, I think it's a big shame about them
Olavi: Yeh I think "Hell Is Here" is wow, kick ass
Barry: Yeh and "Deathrace King" is one of my favourites
Olavi: Yes! I don't know what happened to them, I think they had so much potential
Barry: I think I read somewhere that they just weren't getting the sales and couldn't get the money to continue and couldn't really tour and make money from it
Olavi: Yeh but six years ago, five years ago we didn't make any money on tour - I mean its like AC/DC it's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n' roll, you know, it take a lot of work, a lot of touring before you reach the point where you actually earn a lot of money
I read somewhere that one time when you was in America and had to get a room with a heart shaped bath..
Olavi: That particular hotel has to be some kind of, you know, I can imagine that place where older men take their mistress - it was crazy it was like a huge king size bed and a huge bath tub in the middle of the room it was crazy - America.
Barry: Can you think of anything else that was strange that happened any time on tour?
Olavi: Yeh one point I think we were somewhere in Florida and we checked into the hotel and next to my room the door was open so I checked in and there laid a woman on the bed, blood everywhere on the floor, on the bed and shit, she looked fucking dead so I went down to reception and I said "hey! there's a dead person next to my room" haha, and the guy at the hotel was like "hey don't bother" - yeh, that was kind of crazy. Oh what else, fuck, there was one tour we lot two wheels, back wheels, from the bus at the same time in a highway in France so it was like, it was a red day, you know, maybe it was a Sunday or some day middle of the week, it was a red day so there was basically no cars on the road, but them wheels where like "whooom" and you know bus wheels are big! And the bus was shaking like hell, so that was quite exciting. I think on that tour we lost those two wheels and also the bus driver, he smashed I think four cars when we was trying to.. there was a really tight street with a lot of cars and it was right after the show and he was trying to pass the corner or something and he took like four cars. And then the same fucking bus driver, he backed into a balcony and we had like bricks were losing from the balcony and we had them on the roof of the bus. And the next day perhaps 800 kilometres later we still had two bricks on the roof - imagine how many bricks we had from the beginning when we started and where did they go, imagine you had a car behind you and you get a fucking brick! Yeh that was a crazy tour that bus was like so fucking bad and the driver was so crazy, so fucking crazy. Yeh I think stupid stuff happens all the time on tours. When I quit I can write a whole book about it.
Barry: That wont be for a number of years yet though will it?
Olavi: No, hopefully not
Barry: Have you ever missed a show because of problems with your bus?
Olavi: Yeh! In the early days when we couldn't afford good busses we had lousy busses, they fucking broke down every week. We got ordinary busses with only seats but I think we miss only three shows all in all, but usually we manage to do the shows. But also if you flying if you have a connection flight sometimes they don't have the time to load up the first plane and loading the second plane, that also happened a couple times but then we had good local opening bands that we could borrow stuff from. And then of course America also two times we had to cancel because of weather conditions. When you go into the mountains in Denver or Colorado if its too bad weather they just close the roads so you have to like check into hotel somewhere and wait 10 hours or whatever until they open the roads again, that happened a couple of time to but you cant do anything about it. but we have never cancelled a show because someone is ill or something, I have been playing with.. what's the name in English where you fall and your head is.. your head got so..
Olavi: Yes! I played with that, Freddy played with one rib broken, I think he also played with one finger broken, we all play with fevers and usually, you know, the show has to go on. It doesn't stop the show. I can remember one show Johan played he didn't have his voice, he couldn't speak, but still he was able to growl but only high growls, no deep growls but hey, the show must go on.
Barry: Yeh, sometimes the crowd sing along to some songs as well
Olavi: Yeh I think last tour we played here in England we played at Scala in London and something started the fire alarm so power went off so we didn't have any power at all but the audience continued singing "Pursuit Of Vikings" no not the power, it was the P.A. system, there was some kind of security, if the fire alarm is going then the P.A. stops so we only had the power from the stage but Johan didn't have any P.A. for his singing so the whole crowd started to sing
Barry: Can you tell from city to city, and do you have any favourite cities or venues in England and around the world?
Olavi: I think that the venue in London, the Scala, it was the first time we played there I think that venue was very cool. It was different, first you have the floor and then a balcony and then another balcony then balcony on the sides. America, New York, Nokia Theatre central Manhattan, totally amazing you know, it was like what do you call it these stairs that you don't have to go up, you just stand and the stairs go..
Olavi: Yeh escalators when you get in from the doors there was like escalators going down I don't know how long but it was quite down underground, the venue was like 2500 capacity, very very nice dressing rooms. And then also America is house of blues, it's a chain they have - those venues are awesome, the food is no nice. For us as a band what's most important except for the stage or the show or the audience is a nice dressing room and then nice food, I mean Italy is awesome, very nice to tour in Italy, pastas, pizzas and nice wine - so that nice
Barry: Has there been any venues that you have been at that have been very bad?
Olavi: Yeh we played shitty small pubs with stage as big as this, [he points to the floor we are on that is about 2 and a half meters wide] you know and I think some point we played also America, it looked like a shelter it was like fucking raining outside and it was raining on the stage much as it was outside and very cold you could see your breath, them kind of places
Barry: Have you ever been on the stage and no one has been interested at all?
Olavi: Yeh probably yeh but this was almost 10 years ago playing in France or something like that playing before Deicide, no body cared about us, it was like [impersonating a French accent] "get of the stage, we want to see Glen Benton!" yeh that was kind of tough but you have to start somewhere. But not lately because if you are headlining and if people don't like you they can go home, they don't have to stay and wait for another band - so usually the ones that see us are there to see us and like it
Barry: What was it like when you first started touring out of Sweden and Germany?
Olavi: Oh that was when we toured with Deicide
Barry: That was all over Europe?
Olavi: Yeh, it was also England, London and yeh, Bradford! We played with Deicide - the Rio, the place was packed but when we played there was three guys on the floor and the rest was outside or by the bar - it was like ok, lets give it all for those three! that was fun. After that it was Brutal Truth and the place was like so packed! You have to start somewhere.
Barry: So what was the first time going to America, going a long way away like?
Olavi: That was 7 years ago I think, 2000 - that was just a festival appearance. We had a very nice how do you say - reception. And after that an agent came up to us to do a full tour with us. I think that happened maybe a year later or something like that or was it 2 years later - because I think we were supposed to go there with Marduk but then this September the 11th happened and then I don't know, I think they postponed the tour because I remember I got a phone call very late the nigh before we were supposed to leave and it was like "the tour is cancelled" but I think it was 2002 or 2001 when we did our first real tour. It was the first time for me as a person to be there so it was like exciting. Its really nice to go somewhere you haven't been before because everything is different and it was quite surprised about America first time because everything is so much bigger, you know and I am talking about everything, toilet rolls are a little bigger, everything is a little bigger you know you got to a McDonalds and you order a small coke and you get like this [with his hands makes the size of a cup similar to a large over here] and you know, you cant find a simple cheese burger everything is like triple, but I like it, its cool. And that's also a nice thing about playing in a band; you see so much different stuff. It's nice to see different traditions.
Barry: Are there any countries that you haven't been to that you would really like to go to?
Olavi: Japan and Australia, yeh, that's going to be very exciting to see all these snakes and spiders, sharks..
Barry: And crocodiles..
Olavi: Yeh! Crocodiles! Irwin.. wha, what's his name?
Barry: Steve Irwin
Olavi: Steve Irwin! Yeh, my hero
Barry: Yeh, mine as well it is a big shame about him..
Olavi: Yeh, first time I saw that thing it was '95 or something broadcasting it in Sweden - he was my fucking hero, I was so hooked first time. He was a funny man.
Barry: So what about Japan, do you think it will so quite well over there?
Olavi: I don't know, I hope, I would be glad if we could make it in Japan but I don't know why really, it hasn't really happened for us. In Japan market its that they select a few bands that they bring in and somehow we are not one of those bands, or maybe I don't know because I cant imagine that we are not good enough because, you know, we sell records all over the world so why not Japan so I don't know what's going on but I would definitely like to get down there and see because I heard that its fucking crazy - you eat sushi from a naked woman's stomach, its crazy
Barry: Have you played anywhere in Asia?
Olavi: No, I can imagine it is very different because somehow Europe and America are kind of the same. The most exotic that is a little different we have played could be Israel because that was kind of crazy. It was like we had armed guards on stage with weapons, it was fucking crazy. The audience, they went so crazy, so I think after the first song they had to turn on all the lights and we had to go backstage and the promoter came to the stage and told them they had to calm down because if they didn't calm down they would have had to cancel the rest of the show - they was too crazy and we was like "uh?" - and then he came to us and told us we could start playing again and we started playing and the audience went crazy again! And then we had to go backstage again and the promoter went on, and it was crazy.
And then we played a few times in Iceland and the last time we played Iceland was also very cool because we made two shows, one all ages and one for bare drinkers - and all ages was like a play school and the kids were like from 8 years to 13 and it was so fucked up you know, we was like playing, headbanging, and we had the small kids sitting on stage chewing chew gums watching us and it was crazy! Yeh and we ran out of all small size merch. we only had like X.L. and you know a small kid like this like 8 or 9 years old buying an extra large t-shirt, that was funny
Barry: Well they will grow into it
Olavi: Haha, yeh, exactly. It was funny. Yeh, first time we played Iceland we were actually the first international death metal band playing there
Barry: All right then, do you have anything to say to our readers?
Olavi: Come and see us live! That's what we are all, all about - playing live
Barry: Right well it's been very good to meet you
Olavi: Yeh! Nice meeting you, I hope you enjoy the show and I am definitely going to check out Metal Storm when I get the Internet. All right, nice talking to you!
Barry: Yeh, you as well!
Thanks go to Andy at Metal Blade UK/Ferret Music Europe for this opportunity,
and of course thanks to Olavi Mikkonen for his time.
Conducted and transcribed by Barry Anderson
||Posted on 18.04.2007 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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