KALMAH (Eng.)

– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the KALMAH’s camp right now?

Hi, thanks fine. We are waiting for the album release and festival shows here in Finland. (Answers by Antti Kokko).

– You use to describe your style as «Swampmetal». Basically I could say you play Melodic Death Metal, but you’ve managed to have a unique sound, pretty reconigzable so, for all those who maybe haven’t heard your music; how could you describe your sound?

Melodic death metal with Finnish swamp touch..:)

 

– You will soon relesae your 7th album, aptly entitled «Seventh Swamphony». What are your expectations on it? And how is its feedback being so far? With previous releases you got really nice reviews and good positions on different charts.

Like usual we don´t have any high expectations. We know the album is good for us. We are very satisfied with the songs and the whole package so it will feel a bonus if someone else likes it too. So far we have got good reviews, people have liked the single song and video and Windlake Tale which was released on SoundCloud a month ago. Hopefully we manage to improve our chart position here in Finland from the previous 12 Gauge. Basically that is the only expectation I have.

 

– All your albums tell a different story, and you also tell those stories with your artwork so, would you mind to elaborate a bit on the ideas behind this CD and creative process for the artwork?

Pekka who has done all the lyrics for this album tell stories about his life and life in general from the place we live. This album is kind of concept when it comes to the art and lyrics. Nature plays important role for Pekka and me. There are statements about local nature policies and nature raping work but stories about hunting/fishing as well. Not a very common stories in Metal, right?..:) Anyway when it comes to Pekka there is always something to read between the lines and the lyrics can have a different story in background but it is told in an unusual way.

 

– You have always remained true to your own sound so, what could you say are the main differences between this new «Seventh Swamphony» and your previous «12 Gauge»?

12 Gauge was somehow end of an era. The three previous albums have same kind of vibe or atmosphere. On the new album we have new keyboard player as well as we have managed to bring fresh ideas to the music when it comes to riffs, melodies and song structures and tempos as well. The producing is on high level and we finally managed to create kind of separating sound where you can hear every instrument but the entity or wholeness stays. On the other hand whatever we do when Pekka opens his throat it still sounds Kalmah.

 

– For this album you’ve got a new keyboard player, Veli-Matti Kananen. What has he brought new to KALMAH?

He brought the orchestrations and different kind of approach to write synth parts. Of course he wrote one song as well which I find one of the top songs on the album. More important he is a great guy and the band chemistry is great.

 

– I think on this record you’ve got a perfect mix between keyboard melodies and guitar melodies, as we can hear on «Wolves on the Throne». Maybe Veli-Matti has had something to do with this? Did he have creative freedom to compose his keyboard lines?

Actually that is the song he wrote completely…J We had guideline where the keys are in they kind of take the lead and then when guitar is in it has the lead. So we wanted to have strong roles and play with the idea. As always we all have creative freedom especially keyboard player. Velski does his own thing. If something doesn´t work we just dump it or maybe try to rearrange together to get more out of the idea.

 

– I could also say this new record has a stronger symphonic and epic flavour. Was this the way you wanted the new record to sound like or do you just let things flow naturally?

Basically the flow is natural. We always trust the inspiration. At the rehearsal place if something sounds good and we have good feeling about it then it will work. I believe the epicness is part of the new keyboard style and sounds. But we didn´t think about the epicness or that kind of stuff beforehand. It just turned out that way.

 

– I also noticed you have enhanced an overall dark atmosphere, or maybe that epicness enhances this side of you. How important is the atmosphere for KALMAH? What does it bring to your releases?

I have always liked albums that have certain atmosphere that carries throughout the whole album. One to mention is Paradise Lost Icon. So if we have managed to give you a certain atmosphere as a whole album then we have succeeded. For me the atmosphere is important and I do have “good-feeling” atmosphere listening the new album. I think all in all the atmosphere is Kalmah.

 

– You have always been adding new elements to your music, but in a really subtle way. For instance I could say since «For the Revolution» you have more Thrash-inspired riffs and different harsh vocals, as you did with ANCESTOR. Could you say this is just a natural evolution or rather a way to not betray what you are known for?

Have you really had a chance to listen Ancestor?..:) Actually we have used pretty much all riffs and melodies we had back in Ancestor times. Ancestor didn´t give us recording deal so we stroke back and re-used everything with Kalmah..:) Hah! We have always been trash oriented. During the years we may have stepped aside from that fact but at the end it is all about trash riffs. After that comes melodies, keys etc.

 

– This time around you’ve got a really good mixing and mastering job by seasoned Jens Bogren. How did the whole process go? And are you happy with the work done by him?

Yes, we are very satisfied. We managed to record every instrument with a sound we wanted. This time we really put effort to the guitar sound especially. Jens got the idea right away and used his magic to take the recorded stuff to another level.

 

– All this about «Seventh Swamphony» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Melancholic trash happiness.

 

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

Right now we are waiting for the release and the reaction from the public. It is always nice to see what people think of the new album. Then we have couple of summer festivals here in Finland. After that maybe a club touring here in Finland and probably a small tour in Europe but nothing is sure. Within 1-2 years I believe we start planning/writing next album.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you very much! I hope you will enjoy Swamphony!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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