– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. First of all, and before digging into your album, as it’s just about to be release, tell us a little bit how MAUSOLEUM GATE are and how did this adventure start.
The band was started by me (Count L.F) and Wicked Ischanius back in 2008. Our first drummer Pasi came in soon after from another band called Metalhazard who also rehearsed in the same rehearsal place. After some training and composing we asked singer V.P Varpula -who also sang in Metalhazard- for vocals. Then we found Neva for rhythm guitar and that was the first line-up which made the first EP called «Gateways For The Wicked».Somewhere in 2011 Neva and Pasi decided to leave and we started to look for replacements. We found Oscar Razanez for drums and Kasperi Puranen for guitars and that’s the line-up today.
– Before recording your first full-length album and checking your discography out, I’ve seen there’s also some demos, singles and compilations. How was the way until recording the album like? And how did they get interested in you?
Our first EP «Gateways For The Wicked» caught already pretty good attention and some nice reviews. Then the line-up changed and the new line-up opened the game with Obsessed By Metal/Infernal 7» vinyl single in 2013. And due to some requests we decided to put all our pre-full-length releases to one CD which was called «Gateways For The Wicked And Obsessed By Metal Sessions». All these releases got us more attention.
– Already digging into the record; both the band’s name as the cover artwork can give an idea of how can the band sound. What’s the meaning behind the cover? And what does the band talk about in this opus?
We have tend to call him «The Psychedelic Demon» – the one in the cover. The cover art and music make one entirety. They both support each other. Also the cover has same themes as lyrics: hell, horror, mystics and so on. One must not forget the black pyramid also depicted on the album cover. All this represents the doom,obscure and mystic world of Mausoleum Gate. As one can also see our vision is not filled with blood and guts but darkness and a sort of tragic and depressive atmosphere.
– Before listening to the release I expected some Doom or something similar, with a SABBATH vibe, as I didn’t know. But to be honest, you’ve been a pleasant surprise, as you don’t have just those influences, but you bring an epic and theatrical touch, really well-elaborated, to the songs. Was this how you wanted to sound? Are you happy with the final result?
I think Sabbath has been a huge influence to us but if you listen to their repertoire you hear a lot of different things: From War Pigs to songs like Air Dance.And that’s just 70’s! We also want to spread our musical borders and not be stuck in just one thing. There are enough bands that make Sabbath’s Master Of Reality again and again. Though that’s my favourite album of all times we wanted to do some more. We took influences from 60’s jazz like Coltrane and Miles,70’s progressive bands and so on and the result is pretty much what we wanted. Also we didn’t want any modern metal sound with enormous guitarwalls, trigger drums and all-filled-up production. Instead we went to those 70’s sounds and not just because they are form 70’s but because we wanted a natural sound.We wanted the instruments sound like they sound in reality. A band playing in your living room! We really went pretty deep into that sound and that is one thing that separates us from many of these so called retro-bands.
– It’s also obvious the British influence, specially in the harmonies at the MAIDEN style and also in passages that remind to the magic of those 70’s bands such as URIAH HEEP. Are these acts important influences when it comes to compose?
Absolutely. I mean I am a huge fan of Heep and Maiden among others.I have been that for almost 30 years so I think that influence is something I can’t escape,ha-ha! Of course when the band started the kind of base was NWOBHM and not just Maiden or Saxon but also bands like Angelwitch and Demon for example. And Dio-era Rainbow was also a big influence.If I remember right we trained Stargazer in the very beginning. Not to forget that a few of us are fascinated by 80’s AOR too!
– Even though there are a couple of lengthy songs, the album’s length isn’t excessive, something I really appreciate as I don’t like albus with a lot of songs, as they tend to contain too much fillers. Did you also have clear that this should be an album as the ones from backin the day when it was time to record or were there some tunes that didn’t make it to the album?
Yes there are few songs that were recorded but didn’t make it to the album. We had a strong vision that the best album length is that about 40 minutes. As you said when CD’s came many albums came too long. I mean bands began to make double albums as far as the length goes and rarely there is enough good material for two albums. In vinyl era a double album was an exception.Somehow I think that 40 minutes is ideal as it is easy to listen in one piece. Also the song order in our album is kind of classic style: There’s a fast opener and two epics end both sides A and B.
– Something else I would like to talk about are the vocals. I think they give a bonus to the band. I really like that dramatic and theatrical touch that brings to the songs, sometimes with that progressive element that bands like QUEENSRYCHE or CRIMSON GLORY have. Tell us a little bit about the vocals and if it fitted perfectly since the beginning with what you wanted to do.
Well I think V.P Varpula’s vocals were very well fitted from the very start. It was like «there it is!». It was match made in heaven -or in hell,ha-ha! We had good luck in this sense because we had vocal sound that supported our vision perfectly.
– In short, I think it’s one of the best albums released this year. I beleive it’ a great record that takes back really good the 70’s and 80’s sound, with those bonus without overusing harmonies and certain progressive elements that make for an album like those of the old days; really addictive. How could you deifne the album? Do you agree with any of the definitions I just fave?
Yes I can agree. It seems that the album must be listened a few times before you get in into its world – especially if you haven’t listened a lot of 70’s or early 80’s sound. To us this sound is just natural. I think the album is a grower: The more you listen the more you find. In my opinion one of the best thing that this album can do is to get listener to think: «Hey! Heavy metal can be done this way too!» I mean metal today could have a lot more variation for example in sounds or arrangements.
– And on a view to the live situation, are there chances to support the album on stage on a tour?
There will be some gigs though a bigger tour is not yet in sight. We hope to arrange some gigs here in Finland before Keep It True Festival in 2015. We’ll see.
– Would you like or do you plan some special release on a live scenario? As your music itself creates images.
I don’t know really. We haven’t been discussed about that any further.
– Will there be any special release of the album? With this I refer specially to a vinyl edition.
Well the album is out in normal vinyl with gatefold sleeve and there’s also a special print of purple vinyl.
– And on a view to the future, what are the plans for the band?
We will rehearse the setlist and maybe start to evolve some new material. There are some ideas around.
– Before wraping this interview up, I would like you to tel us the 5 bands or albums that ahve influenced you the most, both on a personal level or with your music.
Black Sabbath: Master Of Reality
Deep Purple: Made In Japan
Uriah Heep: Salisbury
Motörhead: Iron Fist
and a hell of lot more! Ha-ha!
– That’s all from our side, our best wishes and hope to see you someday in Spain. Thank you so much for answering to our interview and for the good album you have created.
Thanks to you too and all the best! Stay Heavy!