|Archive | Interviews | Sue Magazine, Finland - November 2007|
Hello! How are you doing?
Your latest album, To The Nameless Dead, is very diverse, and seems to weave together all the elements of your career. In my opinion it sounds more brutal and aggressive than its predecessor, and also more focused, but there are a lot of “celtic folk” elements included as well. How would you describe your latest effort?
Focused is a good word for it. We just concentrate on what we are doing and don’t think about the scene at large or its politics. This album continues our path that we began in the early 90’s. we have forged our own sound. This is simply the next chapter. Are there a lot of celtic folk elements in there ?. I’m not really sure that there are other then some timing elements and chord progressions. I would describe it as honest, truthful and pure
The sound of the album is also very massive. It sounds like an army marching, in the beat of war drums. What “magic tricks” did you do in the studio to get so powerful sound?
Well we learned a lot from recording the last album and we had some very definite ideas this time around and the studio is old itself. It’s full of old gear and we could wake up and jam with each other all standing in the same room and get our ideas out. I don’t like the computerised sound of most modern metal records, they don’t have and life or soul. The frequency range maxed out completely and no space between the instruments. Anyone who tells me the drum sound on the new Soilwork cd is better then Mob Rules or Killers is missing something. We aren’t looking for perfection, we are looking for something honest and real sounding and while everyone is trying to make something sounding more perfect then the next album they are missing one thing. Soul !…I’d rather listen to Venom or The Ramones then something that sounds like it’s been played by a computer !. The differences this time round were that we recorded as much as we could live and went for less layers of guitar only heavier, very much like a traditional old Metal album, two rhythms panned left and right, we fired up some old compressors and went through a big old desk. Not a laptop. The way at least I think Metal should be…
Most of the songs seem to continue the lyrical path of your previous heathen tales of myth and history. Are there any specific themes or concepts this time?
As for the lyrics well there are several different themes of course but one of the main currents running through them is that of nationhood. Why a certain people believe they have rights to a certain land. The movement of borders. The eclipsing of nations, what happens to their folklore, folk heroes, languages etc. the people upon whom empires are built. The nameless dead who gave their lives in wars, in the mud, shit, blood and filth remembered only as numbers. To people who gave their lives thinking they were making a better life for their people only to have it all taken from them. People the world over who in their own way fought for what they believed in…testament to the tenacity of the spirit in man to resist and rebel. To be honest we hardly ever wrote mythical tales, Primordial has always been about the here and now.
The music of Primordial cannot be classified or locked in any genre, and the titles like “pagan metal” are quite vague anyway. Does it actually matter at all that you are being labeled to under most obscure definitions and name tags?
I couldn’t really give a fuck to be honest. That’s something for the label and journalists. All I have to know is it’s honest, pure, uncompromised, dark and Metal.
Primordial is considered as the pioneer of Irish extreme metal, after almost two decades of musical history. Nowadays there are more and more Irish metal bands coming, many of them inspired by your lead. How do you feel about Primordial’s status as the leading Irish metal band?
I’m proud of what we have achieved and I am perfectly happy to be the standard bearer for Irish Metal through out the world and I do hope we have been some inspiration to the newer Irish Metal bands out there. We are a small country and don’t have much in the way of metal folklore or history, we have had to create our own.
Your fans are certainly one of the most devoted and loyal folk. What does it mean to you to have such enthusiastic followers?
What am I going to say ?. Of course its great. People take this band to heart, this is a special and meaningful band for people and for that reason I am again proud. This is what happens when you stand for something and mean something. People are moved, they make an emotional connection with the music. This is the point of Art, we are not entertainers and Primordial is not entertainment. It is Art.
You’ve had a a fine reception also here in Finland. Do you have any particular memories of your gigs in Finland? Also, it would also be great to see you back in Finland. Any chance of that?
Yeah we had a great time there. The cold fucked my voice up for the last show and I definitely drank too much in Helsinki but overall the reception was great and I find Finns an unpretentious honest people !. It would be great to come back over and play some longer shows and new songs as we were a little tired of playing the same old songs we had been playing for the previous 3 years. Hopefully in 2008 !
By the way, I think it is easy for us Finns to relate to Irish people in general. After all, both countries are rather small and both countries have had uneasy historical relations to their neighbouring “Empire”, and both Finnish and Irish tend to drink rather heavily (you guys have probably witnessed Moonsorrow “in action”…). Such circumstances tend to produce proud, independent and stubborn people, or how do you feel?
yeah I totally agree with you. We can relate well to Finnish people and your history. Drinking, fighting and this black humour are very much part of both our cultures. As you say we have both stood up empires and I think this binds the people together when they have a common enemy or common tyrant to rebel against. Also geographically we are both quite out of the way, away from mainland Europe.
Ok, I’m about done with my questions. Do you have anything you’d like to add?
thanks for your time and dedication
no compromise. Not then. Not now. Not ever.
Thank you for your time,
Jussi Lahtonen, Sue-magazine
© 2007 Primordial
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