Antti : Fine, thanks.
Owais : First of all, congratulations on the completion of 15 years as a band and on the release of Seventh Swamphony. How has the response been from the fans?
Antti : Great, as always (laugh)
Owais : You guys are on tour now, so how is it going?
Antti : It was great although a bit more audience would have been great but you know when its a weekday in Finland, its pretty hard to get audience but in Austria we had a great gig.
Owais : That’s great, its difficult to get a crowd anywhere in the world on a weekday. Over the years, not only has your sound got cleaner, but the production has become much more polished. How was the experience of working with Jens Bogren on the latest album?
Antti : It was great, in the studio we had strong opinions about the sound we wanted in the album and at the end Jens got the idea and just boosted everything so he did not actually change anything dramatically.
Owais : A question that us fans always wonder about is why you guys don’t tour that often outside Finland, despite releasing so many albums?
Antti : Its actually because we are all working dudes, we have our day jobs. It has always been a hobby for us, I guess it will unless something big happens but its good as it is so we can do quality gigs and we pretty much toured where we want to go.
Owais : That’s great because it just makes us want to see you guys play live even more!
Antti : (laugh) yeah, yeah! That’s true.
Owais : You guys are pretty attached to the whole ‘swamp’ theme in your music, do tell us what it is about in brief? There is a character that I’ve noticed who appears on the “Black Waltz” album cover and the latest music video as well is he what I assume to be, the Swamp lord? (laughs)
Antti : Well, he is our “Eddie” (laugh) it was kind of a joke in the beginning when we figured out the swamp thing at first and of course the scenery we live in is covered with and is full of swamps.
Owais : As a huge metal fan, I have observed that almost every Finnish band has a dark and melodic sound to their music and melodic death metal pretty much owes its reputation to Finland. What inspires you to come up with such a unique sound?
Antti : (laugh) That’s hard to tell but its kind of a melancholy and stuff we have in Finland, I guess it comes from the pop music we have because its very melancholic especially after the World War and the beginning of the nineteenth century from Russia I guess in the pop music and I think its comes from there the melancholic melodies but the sound in general I don’t know (laugh)
Owais : Marking fifteen years together in a band as a milestone is amazing, was this album special to you guys?
Antti : Yeah, of course! Every album is special in a way and well this time its special because we thought that we had a three album period and “Black Waltz” started as a new era in the band history and this album starts some kind of era as well so with every three album we change something a bit.
Owais : Your lyrical themes vary from politics, history, personal struggles and swamps. That’s pretty diversified. Who usually writes the lyrics, and who does composes the music?
Antti : Pekka does basically all the lyrics and I write mostly all of the songs but in this album I had 4-5 songs and the keyboard player did one song and Pekka did 2-3 songs, so there is a diversity as well.
Owais : That’s really great! Now its fifteen years of playing together and with a new keyboardist on board, do you think we could get to hear some more guitar-keyboard duels like in Hollow Heart, in the upcoming records?
Antti : Yeah, I guess we had something in mind for this album but (laugh) we just didn’t do it, we have talked about it that we are going to do a lot more duels and kind of the “Together” melodies in the future.
Owais : That’s great. Now, what would you define as the milestone of your career?
Antti : Well, the first album is always THE first album and I guess when it comes to gigs there was one gig in metal camp and we played on the main stage. It was great