Amorphis Interview With Tomi Koivusaari
By Gothik Divaa
In this issue of “Metalheads Forever” magazine we are accompanied by the Finnish metal band “Amorphis”. They are going to talk about their career, the upcoming album “Queen Of Time” and the projects for this 2018.
Hello guys … How are you today ?, greetings from Mexico City. Before we start with this interview, I want to say , congratulations on your new album “Queen Of Time”.
TK: Hi, I’m doing fine thanks, repairing for upcoming shows after few months relaxing. And thank you, we are very pleased about the feedback from album so far!
The band has been around for 28 years, How has this journey been for you?
TK: Well I can’t really think my life without Amorphis, when we formed the band we were like 17 years old, so Amorphis has been part of my life all my adult age. There’s been lot of work, seeing great places, meeting great people. I couldn’t imagine better thing to do really, even if this is sometimes quite hard as well, with all travelling and so on. Never thought in the beginning that we would still doing this after 28 years, heh, but here we are.
Based on your experience … in the music business, How do you think the evolution of the metal scene has been, not only in Finland but in the rest of the world?
TK: I think bands are trying to find their own thing more, than just trying to copy their favourite bands. Also metal is taking more influences from wider scale of music.
Throughout your career well you have handled different musical genres, for some music experts this band fits in : Folk Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Progressive Metal even in Heavy Metal. But …How do you define the “Amorphis” sound, nowadays?
TK: I don’t really want to do that, and can’t anyway, I think we are just making Amorphis music, we don’t want to categorize us too much, as that would feel like building limits what we can do musically. I’d say we are amorphous metal.
On the other hand talking about your upcoming album “Queen Of Time”, this will be released on May 18, 2018 with the label Nuclear Blast Records. How was the creative process of this work? and by the way … How long did it take to make this album?
TK: Writing process was quite similar as we’ve used to past years. We’re touring so much all the time, so everyone is doing riffs and songs little by little in home-studios, and before start to check them out we are sending demos by email, so everyone can start to listen and having ideas to those. Then we start jamming at rehearsing place and adding new ideas and so on. I think we had 1 day off after last tour before we started to practice new stuff, so it was quite hectic end of the year for us. After couple of weeks we started to record. So it was very intense work, Jens came to Helsinki to pre-produce and we gathered all the ideas together. Recording itself took couple of months in Sweden. Plus all those great guests we have in album, choirs, orchestras and so on. Songs itselves came very naturally, so were the arrangements.
So I know that you worked with the Swedish producer “Jens Bogren”, known for producing works of several bands like: Amon Amarth, Opeth, Kreator, Katatonia, Orphaned Land, Katatonia and many more…How was the experience of working with him? and What were the challenges that the band faced to create this musical proposal?
TK: I think we signed him for this right after UTRC-session was over. That was really the first time we worked with real producer, well we worked with Peter Täggtren before with Circle but we didn’t have pre-production part yet back then. When working with the way Jens works, it’s not easy to work next time any differently, as that would feel like not making things properly, if you know what I mean. Working with him is of course hard, long days and everything has to be almost perfect, but in a good way. Also we ourselves don’t need to stress about anything, we can lay everything on Jens’ shoulders. So we can just concentrate on playing our thing when recording. Not to mention he is great guy! Musically we share same opinions, so he just pushes the best out of us, and being like outsider ear sometimes when we cannot decide how we should do something.
In this album you have several collaborations for example: the Dutch Anneke Van Giersbergen (Vuur), the Swiss Chrigel Glazmann (Eluveitie), the Israeli chorus “Hellscore” (who has worked with Orphaned Land, Therion,) and many more …How was the selection of these guests to collaborate on this album? and How was the experience of working with them?
TK: We had Anneke guesting one show in Helsinki couple years ago, at that time we started to discuss that it would be awesome if she could sing on our album as well. We have known her for years, so it was great that we got her to do this song Amongst Stars. Same thing with Pekko Käppi. Other guests were organized by Jens, we didn’t actually were same time at studio at all, they did their parts after we did ours. So we just heard the result in first mixes, great musicians!
Some music experts have already had the opportunity to listen to this work (complete) … they have said that it is the best “Amorphis” album but for you. Which is the most representative album for the band and well the most important thing, according to the fans, What can they expect with this latest release?
TK: We are free every time trying to do our best album, so the newest album feels like best every time. Time will tell how it feels after few years with whole discography. But I do have very strong feeling about Queen of Time, so I’d like to say that is our best album so far, in my opinion. I think there is all the elements we have had during these years, and also fresh and new things. Production and sound is great, there is lot of going on and many layers inside the songs. I think our most important albums in past are Tales from the Thousand Lakes of course, Elegy, Tuonela, Eclipse, Skyforger…well I could say all of them, every album has it’s affect how we sound today.
To close the album issue and change to another one. For the release of this album that will be next May 18, 2018. You planned to hold a launch party or a particular event to celebrate this work ?
TK: We just had dinner and few beers..and wine..and some cocktails, hehee. We will start tour with festivals and actually our own tour starts this fall in North-America.
Changing the subject … I guess you’re going to make a world tour with the album “Queen Of Time”, since you have one scheduled for September and October 2018 in North America, along with bands that have a long career as yours within the musical genre that each one handles. Dark Tranquillity from Sweden (Melodic Death Metal), Moonspell from Portugal (Gothic Metal) and Omnium Gatherum from Finland (Death Metal / Progressive Metal). How the idea of this tour came up? and What are your expectations with this tour?
TK: We had long break in touring North-America before last years 7 weeks tour. We wanted to see if there is still market to us or not, and it was very good success. So we wanted to have very good package and I hope it will be good this time as well! We know all the bands, most of them we have toured together in past, so I’m sure we will have great time anyway. Also we have waited for this to happen, and talked with each other that would be great to tour sometimes together again.
Finally …You are planning to come to Latin America with this album or bring a tour similar to this part of the world?
TK: Yes I think there will be Latin-America tour as well, I don’t know yet the dates or places, we will tour Europe at beginning of next year so probably after that..Would be great, we have had such a great time there every time!
I appreciate the time provided for this interview, your attentions, I wish you the best of luck with all your projects on behalf of “Metalheads Forever” magazine.
TK: Thank you very much for this interview!
MHF Magazine/Gothik Divaa