First of all thank you for this chance asnwering to our questions. For those still unfamiliar with CATAMENIA, could you introduce the band?

Toni: Hola, I’m Toni and I play bass and scream the low grunts!

Riku: Hey there all, I am Riku, the lead guitarist and the former of the band. I am also the main composer in the band. To introduce the others in the band, they are Kari Vähäkuopus who sings clean vocals and plays guitar, Ari Nissilä who screams the high screams while playing the rhythm guitar and last but not least the man behind the battery is Mikko Nevanlahti.

Why did you name the band Catamenia?

Toni: I’ll let Riku aswer this one because he likes this one, heheh!

Riku: Well, when we started this band sometime around 1995 we were playing just for ourselves and for a hobby. Little bit later on we thought to make our first demo and we had to choose a name. There were many options, but then Mika, our ex-vocalist, came up with a name Catamenia. It sounded really great so we decided to use that one. After recordings of our debut album ‘Halls of Frozen North’, one of our first fans ever, gave us a call and asked do we know the meaning of it. We told him that it’s just a name among the others. After hearing the meaning we were completed shokced and thought of changing the name, but it was too late cos the debut album was already in the pressing. But for us the name still does not mean anything, it is just a name that sounds good.


How would you describe your sound?

Toni: Well, nowadays I think our sound is way more deeper and powerful than ever. It has a mixture from different styles which are combined finely together.


Since the creation of the band in 1995, Riku is the only who remains as original member. Many changes in the formation of the band?

Riku: Yeah, there’s been lot of line-up changes in the past, but what can you do when you are forced to make some tough decisions or someone cannot continue in the band because of personal reasons. But I see these line-up changes as a natural steps and evolution for the band. Those incidents have processed intheir own way how we sound today. Of course they are not the main reason for it, but they have given their own spices onto it. So, I do not see them as bad thing though itself the line-up changes themselves are sad and unfortune, but sometimes they are necessary to do.

Toni: It’s like baking a cake, the first one is a test version, the second one is a little bit better and when you have made enough cakes you have a perfect cake!


What is currently Catamenia up to?

Riku: Now we are waiting for some confirmations from couple of tours in Europe and Russia and also one from the U.S. Also the release is knocking on the door in couple of weeks, so we’re excited and anxious about that as well. Hopefully the fans and media will take and receive the album great because we know the changes are quite big in this new album.


How things have changed both in music and personally since your beginnings?

Riku: I think I’ve got more mature with things, at least I feel like I’ve got more mature, but I do not know what the guys say, heheh. I do not know has anything changed so drastically from the beginning. I think the music got more mature and I focus on music different way. I have more patience and I do things more with a thought, heheh.


Are you proud of the achievements to date?

Toni:I am!

Riku: Me too. We have experienced so much during these years and had the honor to tour around the world and meet all these people in music business. We have had the chance to record nine albums already to date. So, yes I would say that I am really proud of what I have achieved so far and hoping there’s still many things to achieve, many tours to participate and many albums to record.


Looking back which is the album you are you most proud of?

Toni: I don’t have to look back, it’s Cavalcade!

Riku: I am proud of all the album we have ever recorded and released, but in generally speaking I am really proud of our debut album ‘Halls of Frozen North’. It was something so special to get my hands on that album and think that wow, I have actually achieved something that I have always wanted to do and make. But when speaking from a musical side, I am so proud of ‘Cavalcade’ cos it’s basically the album that I have always wanted to make, but never had the chance because all the events in the band’s history and all. But now it’s there and I am damn proud if it!


I read in an interview that you weren’t too much satisfied with the sound of your third album. If you had now the chance to do it, would you recorded it again?

Riku: I would definitely record it again and this time in Mastervox Studios. I find the songs on that album actually really great, but the sound and the production aren’t so good. I am not saying that they are totally utter crap – no, not at all because it’s always about matter of taste, but I just cannot listen to the songs on that album without having a thought ‘Wish I could record them again someday’. The album could be done so much better today!


Location: Cold is a really varied album: where we can find mid tiempos, melody in abundance and fast riffs. What can you explain about it?

Riku: It was the first natural step to take into our music we play today. We wanted to have different things combined with different styles. Blastbeats with mid-tempo and clean vocals. What more to explain about but it’s a piece of history that brang our music into what it is today. I have always wanted to make such music and such an album, but there’s always been an obstacle or something front of it. Location:COLD was the first album that I actually composed without asking what would you say if I would do it this way. Our ex-vocalist Mika was so narrow-minded in this matter that he was not ready to change anything and on the other hand I wanted to make different things. So, I raised my fist and said that I have composed all the songs, this is my band and this is what I came up this time and I also want to include clean vocals in this one. That was a turning point of whole thing.

Toni: Well it was the first album after I joined the band and I think it sounds like a little bit of old Catamenia mixed with this new stuff. I surely like it!


After Location: Cold´s tour came up some problems with your keyboardist and you decided to not including keyboards in this VIII – The Time Unchained, why?

Toni: He was an assholehippie! If you listen to this new album there’s absolutely no place for keyboards of any kind.

Riku: Yeah, we confronted some problems during our Russian tour when Tero informed us that he’ll stay there and will not continue with us on our European Tour. We tried to force him into the minibus which would take us to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland, but he refused to come with us. I think he was high on cocaine or something, but we could not ever force him and he wanted to stay in Russia with the promoter he fell in love with, so who are we to tell a grown-up guy what to do. But anyways, after that tour we decided to change our sound a bit and permanently ditch keyboards. Of course you never know about the future, but now it seems that keyboards are buried and gone from the music of Catamenia.


VIII-The time Unchained sounds a bit more melodic than previous albums in view that Kari use more much clear voices than before, has this become a trademark?

Riku: As I already mentioned on the question before, this is something that I have always wanted to do after I heard Kari singing on our ‘ChaosBorn’ album. I was just thrilled and happy when we asked Kari to join the band permanently couple of years ago and I knew that I will make such an album, where Kari’s vocals are widely used. So yes, I think you could say that this is our trademark these days combined with the certain Cata-melodies with guitars.


Could this be the tone of the voices in Cavalcade?

Riku: Yes it could and it is! There are more of Kari’s vocals. I think they make a perfect mix with Ari’s voice. Like it or not, but we’re happy and truly satisfied with Kari and his voice. This will be also a way on our next album, maybe even more Kari’s voice than now, heh.


One of the biggest changes on Location: Cold respect VIII-The time unchained, beside the voices, is the production team. You have changed Kari Vahakuopus and Immu Ilmarinen and you did the production yourself. Why?

Riku: Basically nothing has changed between those albums. Kari is just nowadays a part of Catamenia line-up since ‘VIII’ and that’s why the prodution notes are marked for Catamenia and Kari’s not separately informed there. Absolutely nothing has changed in production when comparing those two albums. Actually our last five albums including ‘Cavalcade’ has been recorded, mixed, mastered and produced with the very same team, but with the difference that the way to express and inform it on our albums has changed, heheh.


After Location: Cold you released the Bringing to the Cold to Poland DVD. Where you included a show filmed in Poland which you couldn’t do the mastering for it because you were immersed in your European tour and you had to delegate others to do so and you weren’t happy at all with the result. Toni: Playing time sucked and the mixing on the DVD sucks big time!

Riku: Well, yes those also, but we were invited to make this DVD show where they filmed other bands as well like Obituary, Sinister and Grave. Itself everything went fine there including the hosting. But the playing time was ridiculous, and the problems started when we were in middle of our European Tour. We wanted to make the mixing and mastering ourselves, but the deadline was pushing towards, so obviously we could not do it. We heard the sample of mixing from our phone’s speaker and of course you cannot hear anything and even if you would have, there would have been so little to do. When we received the DVD we were shocked cos we could have done way better result by ourselves. But don’t they say live and learn.


Why a cover of WASP’s “I wanna be Somebody” song included in the album Location: Cold, and why a cover of SATYRICON’s “Fuel for hatred” song included in the Bringing the cold to poland DVD?

Riku: I think it’s just how you feel at the moment and that’s how we chose the songs at that time. No drama or anything, but they are just songs to pick from our setlist and that’s it. Cover ‘Fuel For Hatred’ is also included in our album ‘Winternight Tragedies’ so that’s why it was also chosen on the DVD as well.


How has been the response from the fans for «VIII-The time unchained»? Do you expect the same for Cavalcade?

Toni: The response was good, but for ‘Cavalcade’ I expect even better.

Riku: Of course the feedback on ‘VIII’ has been quite colorful because on that album we already included some major changes. Some of our fans loved the changes really much, but some of them needed more time to adjust and get familiar, to get used to them. The same thing will be with ‘Cavalcade’ because there are again so huge changes, though still you can clearly hear the melodies and so called trademarks from our music. They will always be there and they will never vanish as long as I compose all the songs. We expect more people to get to know Catamenia after the release of ‘Cavalcade’.


Why a title such «Cavalcade» for the new album? Toni: Well, it’s just the meaning and sound of it! It sound’s great or what?

Riku: ‘Cavalcade’ means many things and especially on this album it does. All the songs are connected somehow to some cavalcade of something in our lifes or history and how life is born from different elements and how the life is gone by these elements. It’s like a circle between life and death and all the aspects between that, not forgetting the mental side of it. Then there are ideas and point of views from cavalcade of deaths and destructions in a different wiews and different ways, cavalcade of different feelings inside of us all.


How has been the creation process for “Cavalcade”?

Riku: It was really easy and fun because when I wrote our first song ‘Blood Trails’ on the album, I asked the guys what do they think about the song. They were really thrilled and amazed of it and really could feel it, so it was so easy and relaxed to continue from that. Itself the compositions were ready quite fast and we were able to book the studio even before than we thought. So, everything with creation of ‘Cavalcade’ went perfect. I think I’ve never experienced such easy process with songs. One of the reasons were the fact that we felt so good with the changes and all because at some point while recordings of ‘VIII’ we lost the joy and the passion. But after making the first new songs, the passion came back to all of the guys.


What subjects influence you nowadays both while writing and composing?

Riku: I can get my influences on my writing and composing anywhere. They can just appear, but at the same time they can disappear really quickly if I do not have my guitar nearby.


Is «Cavalcade» a conceptual album?

Riku: Basically it’s not a conceptual album, but at the same time it is. It just tells different stories from different point of views and aspects, but then again they are always somehow connected to each others. Well, I think I said it quite well on the question about the title, so look above, heheh.


What are the main differences we can find between «Cavalcade» and your previous «VIII- The time unchained»?

Toni: Well, the main differences are tempo and I think the whole atmosphere is totally different, but you can still here the Cata-thing there!!!

Riku: Exactly, I think we have already proven the fact that we can blastbeat and we can play fast tremolo picking and all, heheh, so something new was needed. Now the atmosphere inside the band is even higher than before after these changes and you can hear it clearly on the album also.


There will be keyboards in Cavalcade?

Toni: No,  here’s no need for such thing in our music. When you hear the new album, you will understand the meaning ‘it does not fit there’! There’s just no need nor place for keyboards there in the whole album. Only place where you could even imagine keyboards is the small time gap between every song, heh.


There will be a video for the song Cavalcade?

Riku: There was a plan to make a video of ‘Cavalcade’ before the release of the album, but there’s been some difficulties to set the date for shootings because our own duties at work, studies, etc. so we have had to postpone the shootings somewhere later in the Spring – maybe around March/April. But at some point you can expect a video to be released, but just little bit late, heheh.


There will be cover songs in Cavalcade?

Toni: Yes there will are and this time we considered them with a little bit of thinking, heh. I know Riku has always wanted to do a cover of Megadeth song ‘Angry Again’, so we recorded it. For the bonus track on digipak we recorded a tribute to our fellows Sentenced, song called Farewell.

Riku: We prefer to call this Sentenced song more as a tribute song than just a cover song because we want to honor Mr. Tenkula and Sentenced and all what they have done in their history for Finnish music scene.


Another characteristic feature of your albums are the big and spectacular covers made by Anthony Clarkson. Will he be in your next record?

Toni: No, the cover for ‘Cavalcade’ is designed and made by Riku and I think he has magic hands on whatever he creates – music, lyrics, graphics, websites, etc. You name it and he’ll get on it!


What are your plans to promote the album? Any chance of seeing you touring across Spain?

Riku: I think the major weight on promoting the new album is thru internet by different social medias and channels. Of course some advertisement on different magazines are also printed. Hopefully all the plans of touring will come true because that is also major piece of promoting and hopefully we’ll also have a visit there in Spain as well. Mas Cervesa! Donde esta mi cervesa?


What bands are influences for the band members?

Riku: The music I listen to and that influence me somehow, the list is way too long to be listed here. I listen to music from classical to black metal. I do not care what category or style it is, as long as I like it. But to name few I listen to and am influenced by are Megadeth, Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Sparzanza, Viikate, The Cult, etc.

Toni: For me, all oldschool death metal, example Deicide, Vader, Napalm Death,

Bolt Thrower, Obituary … the list is very long!


How’s the music industry like nowadays?

Riku: I think it has got harder and harder year after year. There are so many bands to offer their music, but how to be noticed from the sea of bands is just so damn difficult. It does not necessarily mean anything if you have great music and style, and all’s perfect, but nowadays you need more and more of luck as well. I know it sounds cruel, but that’s how it is. You need to know THE persons in business or then you’ll need a shit-loaded of pure luck! Also itself the music business is getting more rough and more business-like than it used to be.


How’s the quarry like in Finland? Any new bands to point out?

Toni: There are so many bands that I cannot even remember all of them. Now I think of it only one band comes into my mind and that’s The Man Eating Tree.

Riku: I have also a blank spot at the moment about new good bands in Finland, but to say few of them that I do recall now: Mors Subita, Kätyri, ZeroCrowd, Akma.


What does your future provide?

Toni: Hopefully lot of gigs and tours around the world. Our contract will include also one album more for Massacre Records, so you can expect that to arrival someday in couple of years.

Riku: It’ll be kind of an anniversary album because it’ll be our tenth album. We have already some great plans for it, but you’ll just have to wait and see about that for a while, heh.


To finish I would like you to “sell” “Cavalcade” in a few words to all those people that could buy it.

Toni: Buy it! Listen to it! Then you know!

Riku: Please feel free to check out four full-length songs from it on our myspace player @ and then you can make your decision to buy it or not!


Thanks for dedicating us this time and for answering to this interview.


Xabier Rivas Martínez.

Traducción: Xabier Rivas Martínez y Tania Giménez.


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