mercoledì 5 aprile 2017

WINTERSUN INTERVIEW


"This is winter, which nonetheless

brings its own delights"
(Winter sonnet)

The new album of the kings of epic death metal WINTERSUN is a concept album of "The Four Seasons" (A. Vivaldi).

The bass player Jukka Koskinen talks with us about the new album

LFdM: Hi there! Thank you so much for your time. It's a pleasure for us to talk to the masters of Finnish epic death metal. How do you feel after all these years we've been waiting for a new Wintersun release? Would you explain the reasons of several polemics and hard times that you spread out through the social networks?
Jukka: Hey! Great to be here since Wintersun is finally realeasing a new album and feels amazing!
What hasn’t been that exciting is that a lot of problems in the past that has produced mixed feelings in me. There has been personal problems and practical challenges that has slowed everything. Of course the main reason behind everything is the true vision we have wanted to achieve with our music, which has been problematic with the current gear we have since Wintersun albums are very massive and cinematic productions where you need a lot of gear even more than average 3rd party studios have. It has been hard for people to understand why everything is so problematic. Of course some social media talks have been pure frustration in the past, now things look brighter. But the real reason is that if you can’t fulfil your true vision of music, it’s very hard to make compromises because then it won’t sound like you would want to.

LFdM: In a few months "The Forest Seasons" will see the light. It's an interesting title, that leaves our imagination flying. Could you tell us something about the lyrics of the album, is there a general concept running through every song? How will the music and the lyrics fit together?
J: Yes you are right, one thing that can be figured out is that there’s four seasons meaning four songs on this album – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Like the album cover, amazing illustration by Gyula Havancsák, shows birth and death and everything in between in a forest or in life for real and etaphorically. What is the best achievement I think in the history of Wintersun, is that this album has four totally different songs from each other with lyrical themes but at the same time merging together for a full concept. The spring song, Awaken from the Dark Slumber, is something where everything wakes up to life from the winter’s dark slumber; the summer song, The Forest that Weeps, is full of atmosphere; the autumn song, Eternal Darkness, is the darkest song considering death; and the winter song, Loneliness, tells about isolation, sadness but also kind of peacefulness. 
The songs and the concept(s) are just pure epic.

LFdM: I think your music is very related to the creation of extreme contrast situations. You suddenly change from a quiet part into a blasting black-like sequence, then back into a softer part. Many bands in the last years trying are to create a new sound, something completely unexpected. What should we expect in terms of sound from the new album?
J: All the songs definitely have the contrast and dynamics that always has been the key in Wintersun’s sound. I think on this album we are going closer and staying a certain style in every song (season) without that much bouncing from style to another in the same song like in the past. Wintersun’s music comes totally from the mental state and form the heart so whatever feels good for us, we will do it / play it so!

LFdM: It shouldn't be easy to write music and lyrics according to your  extreme roots and the urgency of your modern and classical influences.
What are the heaviest differences between this album and your all past ones? Is there a good deal of variation vocally on this album? What's your chemistry in rehearsing, composing, arranging, recording and - most important - playing live?
J: Yes we all cherish the Finnish melancholy and mentality that certainly helps composing dark songs easily I guess.. Though we are maybe sometimes being even too dark in our minds.
With this album there’s easily the biggest contrast between the songs. The winter song, Loneliness, is something slow and harsh with the most beautiful vocals from Jari up to date. While the autumn song, Eternal
Darkness, is a brutal black metal song from start to finish with the vocals being pure evil – something Wintersun has never done before.
All the songs will impact big time on people!
Have been a happy man in Wintersun always, although the problems we have had, there’s always been a transparent and respectful chemistry between the guys in the band. Everyone understands to focus on the
most important thing, the music, and respects the responsibility we have behind our instruments, arrangements and such. This is the best in a band can be because I’ve seen it too much that people focus on
wrong things outside the music and bring their troubles to be part of the band. Everything that we do is running smoothly, except the album releases hahahah but even that is about to change finally!

LFdM: You will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to collect funds for building the WINTERSUN HEADQUARTERS. Can you tell us more about this project, and overall, what your crowdfunders will get in return?
J: The idea of a crowdfunding came from our great fans in the first place. We though about it and the whole idea just started growing from there. In our current situation we are not able to fulfil our true vision of how and what our music should sound like. It’s a myth that people think we would earn that much to do all this since a record labels have a lot of employees and a lot of costs so the share we have hasn’t been enough. There are no hard feelings to our labels, totally the opposite we took the business side to a whole new level and came up with a fair and decent model with our label how to achieve our goal to have a headquarters of our own. This funding is also totally honest and transparent to everyone, so it’s fair for the people to know where the money is going. We want to be even more than fare when it comes to what we are offering in our crowdfunding. We are offering only one perk that is called THE FOREST PACKAGE that includes multiple items including our new album as one of them. The price is some more than an average cd but the totally reasonable compared to the content it has.
This is something we wanted to create for our fans to be fair and give something truly special for all the patience during the years.

LFdM: At the beginning of June you will play in many festivals, is there any chance for us to see you in Italy? Are you thinking about any surprise in terms of choreography and special effects? Will you use many pre-recorded tracks or maybe are you thinking about a sound much rawer than your records?
J: Yes it’s so nice to play live again after 1,5years break. We are currently planning our stage visualisation and for sure it will show the new album concept with new music.
We want to be an honest band as much as possible when playing live but of course we need to use backing tracks for the orchestration since we would sound like a punk band if the orchestration would be stripped
away since it’s crucial for the sound of Wintersun.. and we can’t afford to hire a full classical orchestra for the live shows. At least not yet :D
Shows are being booked as we speak and more is on the way. Italy you say? Well we have a Colony of unannounced shows coming soon public ;)

Interview by Michela (Anesthesia)