Metal Hammer November 2007 – Spanish Inquisition

July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

How did you guys get involved in metal and the whole battle theme?

-Maurice, email
Warlord Nygård: “I don’t know about metal, but I think a lot of us go back to Queen for rock, because of all the big theatrics. So I think that was our way into heavier music and metal. I think ‘Innuendo’ was the first Queen album I heard. As for the war theme, what we started out with was more based on folklore and then we blended in more epic things into that. Even on our first demo we had this track which translates as ‘The Battle Path.’ that was a concept song about the 30 Years War in the 17th Century, and I was reading about that period of time in historical novels. The Finnish cavalry had an important role in that. Of course now we’re dealing with themes that are rather older than the 17th Century. We had a demo song called ‘The Heart If Turisas’ which we wanted to remake for the debut, and obviously the song now goes, ‘Battle! Battle! Metal!’ and then somebody shouted, ‘Battle Metal!’ and we were just laughing, but after a while we were just looking at each other. It came as a joke.”
Olli Vänskä: “I wasn’t in the band at the time, so I wash my hands of this ridiculous naming.”
Jussi Wickström: “When we were thinking of naming the album, we were thinking, ‘Is it too much to call the album ‘Battle Metal’?'”

If it were possible would you build a very large roundhouse in the middle of Finland and live like Vikings there? If so, can I come?

-Revony, email
Warlord: “The only question is ‘why?’ We could live like that… but we choose not to. We choose to go on tour and make records, rather than to live in a roundhouse with Revony.”
Olli: “Modern technology is too nice. We don’t even know if Revony is a boy or girl.”

Does it trouble you that the return of manly, loincloth-clad Viking heroes such as yourselves is at odds with the unstoppable rise of tight jean-wearing emo poofters, or does it take all sorts?

-Merlin, herts
Warlord: “Not at all. When I get out of these clothes, I dress like that. That’s my civil persona: tight jeans, weird haircuts. I keep the balance.”
Olli: “He is really alone and depressed all the time, like, ‘Nobody likes me!’ Everybody chooses their own style of what they like. I don’t like that, but it doesn’t mean I want to start a fight with them.”
Warlord: “I’m totally fine with it. I just find if more interesting that somebody expresses him or herself, even it it’s just to show that they like this music.”
Olli: “I have more positive things to do than bottle with emos.”

When you go out on stage what’s it like seeing everyone with battle paint on?

-James H, email
Olli: “It’s a huge honor. You know they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I think it’s fucking great to see a sea of swords. Someone just told me about a guy in Finland who was wearing chainmail for a while gig! I can’t imagine what it must feel like dancing after one and a half hours, and what is worse is if he entered a mosh pit. That’s gonna hurt.”
Warlord: “Yesterday we heard from one of our crew that someone just got married to the sound of Turisas. I was like, ‘Mmm-hmm…’ Personally, I wouldn’t get married to the sound of my favorite band. But of course it’s flattering. For us it’s different because we’re there to perform.”
Hammer: “Do you have a name for your ‘clan’?”
Olli: “We thought about it, but that should be an organic thing. We only came up with cheesy names, like ‘Marauders’. It should come from the fans, because they build it up.”

How many pigs do you slaughter each month for the red body make-up?

-Eoghan Darbyshire, email
Warlord: “Now we don’t have a trailer after our bus, so we can’t have that many pigs, because we don’t want to take them inside the bus. One pig is enough. The average pig’s quite a big animal.”
Olli: “One pig a week, so it comes to 52 pigs per year.”
Warlord: “We eat them as well, so pigs are quite efficient in the catering department.”
Hammer: “Is there a ritual method for slaughtering a pig?”
Warlord: “They just die. It’s like elephants, they just go to a place to die. The pigs just bite themselves and they die.”
Olli: “They have to find the right vein. It takes ages for them to learn that.”

Are you the first battle metal band, and if so, how do you know?

-Andy Harper, email
Warlord: “I don’t know if we are the first battle metal band, or even if we are a battle metal band. I don’t even know what battle metal is.”
Olli: “Do tell me, what is… battle… metal?”
Warlord: “I think on this scale, we are the first. I mean, surely there are bands that have done similar things in the past, and surely we have got inspiration from somewhere, and these bands have also been inspired by something, but how do you tell? Probably in 15 years I can answer that question.”

What is the best way to hunt, kill and eat a reindeer? They are nice on top of burgers.

-Stuart Gelder, email
Jussi: “By car.”
Olli: “You just wait there with the lights off, and then when the reindeer comes, VROOM!”
Warlord: “Dear Stuart, reindeer is not a wile animal. It’s like a cow, and you don’t really need to hunt a cow, do you?”
Olli: “So you can just go to Tesco and hunt them down in the meat section.”
Warlord: “That’s the easiest way. Deep frozen.”

What do I have to do to become a Viking?

-Dan, email
Olli: “You could try hunting reindeer. As initiation you should come to a Turisas concert. At some point you just know that you are.”
Warlord: “Ant fight the emos.”
Olli: “Hunt the reindeers, come to Turisas and fight emos. There are three things you do. It may be too late to be a historical Viking, but maybe it’s just a mindset.”
Hammer: “Will chewing berserker leaves help?”
Olli: “That won’t make you a Viking, it just gets you messed up in the head.”
Warlord: “I wouldn’t suggest that as an easy solution! You’ll just end up puking.”
Olli: “But the Vikings liked to do that kind of stuff: ‘Here’s some leaves. You go to the front, I’ll stay back…’ So Dan, stay away from the berserker leaves.”

What is your weapon of choice for combat?

-Ryan, washington state
Olli: “Now, what would Gandhi say? I would take a very reliable 9mm pistol – two of them – and then shoot akimbo. I’d hold them sideways, because then you’re cool. I don’t want to go historical because I don’t have the muscles to go with it. I just choose not to…”
Warlord: “I’ve never tried a modern bow, but they’re pretty accurate, and they can be pretty lethal as well so that’s cool, because you’d have to do all this zen mind-setting.”
Olli: “It would be so slow. You’d either have 30 bullets or so, or you’d only have one arrow, so you’d have to know what to do with a bow”
Warlord: Unfortunately though I can’t see very far, but if I had time I’d probably pick that up as a hobby.”
Jussi: “I’d have two different things. I’m fascinated by telescopic batons. Or an AK47. It works always.”

In your latest press pics you’ve all got weapons apart from Lisko who’s just got his accordion. What’s he going to do with that?

-Joey, new jersey
Warlord: “He’s a pacifist.”
Olli: “He just impales people. He doesn’t need weapons, he’s got his own creative body. Weapons don’t fit his mentality. It’s all about going there disco style. He confuses the enemy.”
Hammer: “Why does he get so much abuse from you on stage?”
Warlord: “You have to show him his place. But that really suits his mentality.”
Olli: “everybody’s happy with this situation. There are certain synergies in this band.”

You lost at get in the ring to Deathstars, but surely the war is not over. What are you planning to do for a counter-strike?

-Chris, email
Warlord: “We didn’t lose.”
Olli: “It was a surprise they didn’t give it to us, but we won.”
Warlord: “We won the evening, we won with the judges, and even Deathstars said that. And then it went out to become a public vote and then it was down to the fans who could vote most often. Or maybe we’re just bitter about losing to a Swedish band. Who look like girls.”
Olli: “Because Warlord speaks Swedish, we will get him to infiltrate their band Deathstars with his emo look, and then he will destroy them from the inside.”

Where can I get the best mead?

-Scottie, los angeles
Warlord: “I haven’t had mead for quite some time. I actually bought some because nowadays you traditionally drink mead on May Day, which is the first of May. You can make it yourself or you can buy it in stores, but that tastes really artificial. Actually I bought two bottles for May Day, and I still have them sitting in my refrigerator.”
Olli: “I still prefer beer for getting drunk. Really good mead should taste of sweat…”
Warlord: “… and boars.”
Olli: “Boars. Not taste of balls, but a good amount of yeast should be in there.”
Warlord: “When you have a sip and taste the yeast, that’s when you know that tomorrow will be a happy day.”

Do you kill your own animals for the furs you’re always wearing?

-Kirk, outer space
Olli: “They’re like the pigs, they just die.”
Warlord: “The fur has been dead for quite some time.”
Olli: “Our forefathers killed them.”
Warlord: “We’ve been using pretty much the same material from day one, so we don’t actually need to kill them anymore.”
Olli: “greetings to Pamela Anderson and PETA.”

At Download this year Olli started a personal war against guitar solos. Is that still going, and are you winning?

-Flufflord, email
Olli: “Pretty well. I’m almost there. Yesterday a guy came up to me in Newcastle and told me he wanted to learn to play violin which was really great. Violin is a very suppressed instrument, so I want to raise the status. One year from now, you’ll see who the victor is.”

Source: Metal Hammer, issue 172, pg. 58
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