To/Die/For interview (10/2003)

With: Jape [vocals]
Conducted by: Melanie Haack
Published: 02.10.2003

Band profile:


To/Die/For are still alive! Their new and third album "Jaded" is the best proof for it. There has been a lot of trouble concerning this gothic metal band from Finland last year: rumours about splitting, about breaking up with their label Spinefarm Records from Finland... but they've gone through all those things and are back again. Even a European support tour with Katatonia was possible - but as if there is a curse on the band something went wrong. The band's singer Jape was on the other end of the line, talking with me about the new album and the hard times the band had to go through.

- What went wrong with the Support tour with Katatonia? Why was it cancelled?

Some English promoters said that we should pay about 20.00 Euros to do that Katatonia tour. So it was a little bit too much for us because our record company Spinefarm in Finland is not giving anything to our tour because "Jaded" is the last album we are doing for them. We are really pissed off! Of course, we would really like to do that tour with Katatonia and come to the middle of Europe but unfortunately it is impossible.

- Is something else planned except gigs in Finland? Maybe festival gigs?

We are trying to get a new European tour. Maybe after summer but I don't know yet. Let's see what happens. Concerning festivals we don't know yet. Our booking agency is now beginning to send those promo cds to everywhere.

- You took a break after the second album and the tour with Lacrimosa. Why?

After the support tour with Lacrimosa we went to Mexico and Russia. We were a little bit tired then and pissed off because of that business but that's the only reason. To be honest, the end was near. We were without any kind of rehearsals about some weeks. It was quite a difficult time for us. But we continued in the end.

- How did you personally feel in this situation?

I was fucked up. I'm really happy that everything is okay now. We just have to find a new record company but I think that's not a big problem because there are a couple of Finnish record companies who would like to do something with us. Then we have to check if Nuclear Blast will still work together with us.

- What kind of problems do you have with Spinefarm?

Our contract really sucks. That's the only reason. They aren't really taking care. It's not that easy for use to work with Spinefarm.

- Alli is new in the band - where do you know him from?

He lives in the same home town as we live - in Kuovola. He is an old friend and we knew that he can play the guitar because he used to play in another band. During the studio session when we recorded "Jaded" I asked Alli to come there and he said that he really would like to play with us. Now he is a fulltime member. It's great to work with him.

- Let's come to "Jaded": Concerning the other two records there was not only one person writing the lyrics. What about "Jaded"?

Joonas, our lead guitarist, did almost every lyrics. There is only one song on it where I wrote the text. It is called "Forever", the seventh track on the album. But the fact that it was me writing the lyrics doesn't mean that the song means more to me than the other ones. Life is kind of difficult for me so it's eays to do that kind of lyrics for me. You can't escape from the room where there is every kind of suffering.

- Life is difficult for you - would you explain to me why you said those words?

Maybe the biggest problem is in my head. I can't take everything easy. A lot of problems appear when I sometimes do something before thinking about it.

- Seems as if you like Coverversions. we have "Died In Your Arms" - why did you choose this song to cover? Because there is a bit 80s in the whole album?

Just because all of us like the 80's music - we are really big fans. We were talking in the studio about that song and everyone of us remembered that song from his childhood. So we decided to record it. But we don't take our cover songs so serious. What we take serious is our own stuff - sure, if we didn't do that there would be something wrong. I think that we are not gonna do another cover version on our next album because we've already made many of them. There's a lot of 80's stuff in the whole album, yeah - not because we maybe should do that, it just comes from somewhere.

- You went to Astia Studios to Anssi Kippo to record the album. Why did you choose this studio?

It's one of the greatest studios here in Finland and it's quite near, about 70 kilometers from where we live. So it was easy to go there. Anssi is great in producing every kind of stuff. We heard so many great records for which he was responsible, Children Of Bodom and Entwine for example. He is also our friend and used to be our sound guy at our gigs here in Finland. But I really don't like spending my time in the studio. It's always a hard time for me but if you wanna do a record there is no escape. So I have to suffer...

- Have the other albums also been recorded there?

No, we were in a little studio in Helsinki: Lala Records. But there are again some fucking problems with Spinefarm because they don't let any of their bands record their album there anymore.

- Marco from Nightwish did a few guest vocals.

No, that's a wrong information going around erverywhere. We only tried to get him in the studio but he was so busy with Nightwish. He called us and said that he'd like to come but there were some Nightwish gigs in Sweden. So it was impossible for him but maybe we are going to use Marco's voice in the future. I did all the backing vocals and there was Anna, who did the female parts in "Jaded". She is a great singer so it was easy to work with her.

- Can you desribe the album in just three words?

To die for! It's quite difficult to say what kind of music it is. We just can say that it is pure to/die/for. I cannot name any band which is very similar. You can't say that it sounds 100% like HIM, The 69 Eyes, Sentenced or any other Finnish band. I hope that our fans like "Jaded" although it is a little bit different than "Epilogue" and "All Eternity".

- What did you want to change after "Epilogue"?

I don't really know but my opinion about "Epilogue" is that it's like every single song almost sounds like a demo version. We did every song when we were already in the studio. There wasn't any track ready when we went there. I don't have to care about it anymore but I think it wasn't as good as "All Eternity". In my opinion "Jaded" is the best one. And I don't say that because I maybe should tell you this words.

- Who is responsible for what when a song develops?

I do almost all the melodies and then Juppe does all the guitar things. He's a great guitarist so we never have to worry about what he does. And then Tonmi does all the bass lines and drums. That's how we have to work and it's an easy way for us.

- Guitars are heavier now, samples are used great in my opinion but not too much. Did the way it sounds now just developped or was there a certain idea in the beginning?

No, we just recorded whatever we wanted to. We didn't think all the time it should sound this or that way - we just played. So it was easy in a way.

- What do you like about "Jaded"?

It's a new beginning for us. I am happy about that album and really hope that there are record companies who also like it and are interested in us. It sounds like unique to/die/for. It's our new start after that seventh months break. Now we can let Spinefarm do whatever they want to. We don't have to work anymore with them.

- What are your plans for the future? For this year and then thinking further?

We are just waiting that we can make a tour. That's our biggest dream right now. After that we hope that we can releasse our fourth album next year. We don't wanna make any kind of break anymore. But first of all we have to find a new record company.

- Every one has dreams and hopes... would you tell me one of yours?

I would like to live in a country someday where there is no winter at all. That's one of my biggest dreams because I really hate that Finnish winter. It's much too long. Summers are great here but I don't wanna spend my time here when it's winter.

- The last words are yours!

Stay alive, have fun and come to see our shows when we'll be in Germany or wherever.


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