MOKOMA (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you currently up to?

Thanks for asking! We are currently writing material for our 8th full length studio album. We also just got snow in Souther Finland, so maybe some outdoor ice hockey as well.

– First of all why did oyu pick the name of «Mokoma»? What’s its literal meaning and the meaning it holds for you on a personal level?

Mokoma is a Finnish Carelian word, and means roughly «oh dear you», which your grand-mother could say to you when she is a bit worried about what you’re up to..

 

– Your latest album, «Varjopuoli», was released some months ago; how has its feedback been? Are you satisfied with it? Specially considern is an acoustic piece.

We were very confused before we started the project, as acoustic music has not been close to our collective’s heart, and we really couldn’t envision how it would turn out.. Eventually we decided to ask our friend Jarkko Martikainen to produce the album, as he has very versatile approach to music and especially lots of experience in producing acoustic music. He’s biggest single input for the project was to convince us that this project should be done. Before the actual release date we were becoming scared to death, as we really didn’t know what to expect as far as public reactions concern. But after the first few gigs with the new acoustic setup, we started to get confident largely due to the audience’s reactions, and ended up playing some of the best gigs in our band’s history.

 

– As I said, «Varjopuoli» is an acoustic album; how did you come up with this idea?

Tuomo, our other guitarist, have always played our metal songs with acoustic guitar, also when arranging songs but just for fun. He came up with the idea, that maybe we should release some of the songs, as the music and lyrics definitely get a much larger role when the aggressive metal elements are removed from the songs. He started pre-producing the album and also managed to sell the idea to the rest of us.

 

– How could you describe this effort in just 3 words?

Fucking awe some.

 

– On this album we can find acoustic versions for older songs by the band; was easy to adapt those songs to this new approach of the album?

Yes and no. Some songs seemed to arrange themselves, but we also did a lot of work with some songs to get the arrangement details right. And ofc, we needed to learn to play these weird instruments even adequately at first.. So it was not a walk in the park. Quite frustrating at times too, but thanks to Tuomo’s leadership qualities, he managed to motivate us and the end result is something we are all happy about.

 

– Anyway we can also find one unreleased tune, «Sydän Paikallaan»; what could you comment on it?

It is a simple song with aerial melodies and beautiful lyrics. This is the first iteration of the arrangement, and we will probably re-arrange it for the forthcoming electric album as well.

 

– Regarding the songs’ selection, would you have liked to include any other song or now, with the album in your hands, do you think there are some tracks that could have been overlooked?

We went thru a lot of songs together, and if some song didn’t feel right in the beginning we skipped it and continued with the songs that seemed to have the acoustic arrangement in them.

 

– We can find some guest artists as Laura Dziadulewicz (MEDEIA) or violinist Pekka Kussisto. Why and how did you decide to choose them both? -And what have they provided with their cooperation?

I wanted Laura to play the tune «Nujerra ihminen». Song is composed by me, and the first version was actually composed with a piano. So we sort of returned to the original vision of the song. I also didn’t want any toned down professional studio musician to play the song, as I wanted it to have some character in it. So I talked to Laura, a fellow brutal metal musician and a pretty funny mental case, and the co-project turned out pretty rich in atmosphere.

Pekka on the other hand is one of the top violin players in the world. He has also had a history of weird cross-over projects, and as we did have the contacts and recommendations, we asked him and he was immediately excited about the project. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the studio when Pekka recorded his tracks, but guys told me that they have never witnessed anything close to such a superior geniousness, that Pekka threw out to table in those sessions.

 

– As always, the cover artwork for this album has a huge persoanlity. Would you mind to share some light on it (its meaning, the artist, etc.)?

Album is titled «Varjopuoli», literally «the shadow side», and it refers to something that is not obvious and visible at the first sight, but maybe hidden in the shadows.. So what ever it is, it is there, you just have to look very carefully to see it. Artwork is once more done by the great Ville Pirinen – our trusted graphic artist for the last 10 years.

 

– Now that you have done something really oustanding in you career; can we expect for the future other surprises like this?

We just try to reflect ourselves into our music and let things grow from there. You cannot force feed anything as «outstanding». People will never buy into that.

 

– You’ve been around for 15 years more or less; what have been both the best and worst moments with MOKOMA?

The worst moment ended up being the best. We were almost disheartened in the beginning of our career and almost ended up quitting the band, a doing something else. Fortunately, the difficulties and challenges made us only stronger and the last 10 years have been a ride to remember. And we are not ready to stop yet either.

 

– What would you like to get with the band you haven’t get yet?

Maybe a world tour or two, headlining largest stadions in the world. And it would be great not having to worry about anything else but creating music, performing to every human being on the planet, and of course hiring the best management company in the world to do all the shitty stuff we currently have to do ourselves.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

We will focus on producing our 8th full length studio album. Play some gigs, and enjoy life.

 

– That’s all from my side, thanks once more for your time. Now feel free to add some final words.

That’s it for me too. Take care y’all!

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

 

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