– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with VIIKATE? It seems like you are having a good and busy summer, as I’ve seen you are playing some shows in Finland, have been gold disc in your country as well, etc.
A: Thanks for asking, this summer has been extremely great for us. New song are working very well live and shows have been a great success.
– First off, could you please make some history of the band?
A: We formend Viikate in 1996 with Simeoni. Arvo and Ervo joined 2001 when we started playing live. Sixteen years, nine studio albums and hundreds of gigs of finnish heavy burden rock `n roll in A minor.
– VIIKATE’s sound is really unique, which a lot of people describe as melodic Heavy Metal mixed with Schlager. Would you mind to tell us what does this music style (Schlager) consists in? And how could you define VIIKATE’s sound?
A: I think in Finland schlager means just gloomy atmosphere songs that go in minor key. Most essential thing that we do with Viikate sound is to use light twang sounding delay lead guitars with doom atmosphere rock `n roll songs. Like mixing Motörhead and surf band the Ventures.
– And what are the main musical influences for the band?
A: Well, Motörhead, finnish twangband the Agents are the most important influences for me. And Entombed from Sweden.
– Some months ago you released “Petäjäveräjä”; how was its feedback? Did it fulfil your expectations?
A: Feedback was extremely fair. Even somebody did not like the album. I can understand that there`s not so much new and exiting stuff going on when you release your ninth album. But most of the feedback was positive and cheering.
– This “Petäjäveräjä” is your most complete and solid opus to day, with a Rock/Heavy Metal as precious as crushing. Could you say you’ve reached your highest standard or is there always room for evolution?
A: The songs are always diary notes of the period but this time they were very solid notes indeed. But with the sound of the album we reached our most successful level so far. The producer Miitri Aaltonen has everything to do with that.
– Due to this I would like to know how was the songwriting process for this new effort. Has it changed throughout the years?
A: Basics are still the same. Sitting on my sofa with my guitar and playing nonsense. That `s the way songs start to take they form. But after a twenty years you can go more easily to the goal without so much wandering.
– What do lyrics on this CD deal with?
A: Just make love with today. Tomorrow`s only gonna let you down. And smile even with false teeth.
– This being said; what does “Petäjäveräjä” provide different compared to your previous records?
A: As mentioned earlier, the sound on this album is the most successful Viikate-sound so far.
– And how could you describe “Petäjäveräjä” in just 3 words?
A: Heavy burden hope!
– You have already filmed a funny video for the title track, “Petäjäveräjä”; would you mind to shed some light on this? How did the shooting go?
A: The video is our version from the film Pulp fiction basement scene. We have made lots of movie tributes and this time it was Pulp fictions turn. Shooting music videos is always lots of fun. I like to do them very much.
– You are a really well-known band and established band in Finland. Do you think if you would sing in English you would reach a broader audience?
A: Singing in English is out of the question but I think we can serve broader audience by printing translated lyrics on the cd covers. And playing outside of Finland interest us most dearly. Actually we are going to ply few shows in Estonia this autumn. I`m really looking forward to it.
– Anyway in Finland there aren’t many bands playing your style, as a lot of them are into extreme Metal. With such a big Finnish Metal scene, why do you think most melodic Metal bands are just a few and all of them remain in the underground?
A: To that I have no answer, sorry.
– You are not newcomers at all into this world, so I would like to know what have been both the best and worst moments with VIIKATE so far.
A: One of the best moments are definitely when we where playing with Motörhead in Helsinki in 2008. Worst moments are yet to come when our success comes down like a dead albatros.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
A: I`m already started to write a new material so hope we can enter the studio early next year. But before that we`re going to have maximum fun on our autumn tour.
– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
A: «And off we go», said death to the granny!