– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to?
Markus: Currently we are working on our new album promotion. Giving interviews as many as possible and also we are prepearing for our presentation concerts in december.
– First off, would you mind making some history of METSATÖLL?
Markus:On 24 February 1999, three men held a meeting at the borders of the Pääsküla bog, in my basement. We thought that it is time to put together a band.
The demo album Terast mis hangund me hinge was released in the autumn of 1999. Soon afterwards, Lauri joined the band, bringing with him a second guitar, the torupill, kannels and flutes.
In early 2001, the original bass player was replaced by Kuriraivo. A year later, a single and video for the song Hundi loomine were released.
Metsatöll’s current line-up was finalised in 2004, when Atso took up the place behind the kit. At that same year, the album Hiiekoda was released. And a year later we won the Best Metal Act 2005 award at the Estonian Music Awards ceremony.
In 2006, the same award was won for the album Terast mis hangund me hinge 10218, a re-recorded and re-arranged version of the band’s demo album. The live DVD See You On The Battlefield! was recorded during the album’s presentation show, and it won the title of Best DVD 2006. At that very same year Metsatöll and the Estonian National Male Choir composed an arrangement of Veljo Tormis’s magnum opus, Raua needmine; a DVD was released in Estonia and Germany of the show that took place in the ruins of the Pirita cloister. It was a busy year 🙂
Metsatöll’s third album, Iivakivi, released in February 2008.
At the same year, Metsatöll signed a contract with Spinefarm Records.
To celebrate the band’s 10th birthday, a 2DVD/CD Kõva Kont (2009) was released, which will be Metsatöll’s final release published with the band’s own resources. More than five hours of stuff to watch and listen, from between the years 2000-2008.
In the autumn of 2009, Metsatöll joined Ensiferum (FIN) for an European tour of 31 shows in 11 countries.
In 2010 came out Metsatöll’s fourth album Äio.
– I guess there is still some people who don’t know what your name means; would you mind elaborate a bit? As well as it’s origin and why did you choose it.
The name «Metsatöll» is an ancient …Estonian euphemism for wolf . I choose it because i think that wolf is a misunderstood animal. Cause when i made the band rock music was really dead for me in Estonia. Not many concerts the radios didn´t play heavy metal at all. Then i thought what a great name to prove otherwise.
– You will soon release your new «Ulg»; what are your expectations?
Markus: Don´t know what to expect because we always play what we want to play but we are still trying to prove that there are many different faces and turns in our music.
– I think this is abig step forward compared to your previous «Äio» but, what do you guys think about it?
Markus: I don´t know about the steps but yes i think we managed to do something diferent again. And we are very happy about it. And finally we made our shortest album 😀 Our albums have always been very long but now we made an album that is musically more interesting and says a lot more of our development.
– For all those who might be interested; how could you describe this new effort?
Anyway you have already unleashed the single «Land Full of Stones». Please, tell us a bit about the story behind this tune and why did you choose it as your first single.
Markus: That song came really quick. I think in five minutes. We noticed that we hadn´t written a simple heavy song for a long time. So we wanted something catchy and simple. The song is about stubbornness and doggedness, characteristics which we are immensely proud of, but which unfortunately do not always lead to effectual accomplishments.
– And already with a single, do you plan unleashing any others or shooting a video once the album is out?
Markus: The new video is available here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC3Q9q4cRZA
This our second single. The song is called “Serpent”
– You recorded the album in the woods of Southern Estonia. Has this affected the sound or atmosphere in the album in any way? Does having a certain environment influence you while creating or do you need a special environment for such matter?
Markus: I personally don´t care about the environment but the other guys need it.
Of course our nature makes a big influence to our music and being away from the city helps to be in music much better. Different environment helps to write better lyrics and itś easyer to put deep thoughts in to words more naturally.
– The own band took production duties. How positive if this for you? Does this mean just more pressure and work or more freedom? As I guess no one like you knows what sound you want to get.
Markus: We have always produced our albums ourselves. We love the pressure that comes with the work. We always know what Metsatöll should sound like and how the cover art should look a like. We need that freedom to our work and we need that pressure to our music. That makes us different that makes us Metsatöll.
– Production is not really modern either really raw, in fact it fits perfectly the more organic and epic sound you have had this time. Was this something you aimed for?
Markus: You´re right. We certainly aimed for it. We wanted more raw and more natural sound to this album. We thought that “ÄIOś” sound wasn´t raw enough.
So we decided the first time in Metsatöllś life bring up the quitars and make it more raw and more thrash metal.
– Anyway you had the help of well-known engineer Mikko Karmila. How did everything go?
Markus: Everything went well. We asked him what microphones and other studio stuff we need to use. And also he helped us to build up the studio and set up the ampliphires and microphones. But when Karmila saw what animals we are when we are under inspirational pressure then he left. And the master blaster became Keijo Koppel who recorded and deleted up to the end.
– We already know how was the production/recording process like but, what about the songwriting? I read you weren’t thinking about releasing a new full-length album when you started with some demo tracks, so I guess it may have been quite spontaneous…
Markus: Yes we were not even thinking of recording a new album. But when the tunes began to come we bursted like fire and we knew that this is it. Too much inspiration-lets record it. And we are truely glad cause i think if we had made only demos this album in the future wouldn´t sound like it sounds now. This is our most spontaneous work we have ever done. And it was a big surprise to everyone.
– What are some of the instruments you have used for «Ulg»?
Markus: Lauri plays only traditional estonian insruments. Like estonian bagpipe (torupill) flutes, kannel, mouth harp. One selfmade electric kannel and a moldpill.
– Is easy is mixing these kind of instruments and different sounds with your Metal foundations?
Markus: This is the hardest part of mixing our music. We have to keep the sounds of traditional instruments as organic as possible. We don´t want to change their sound but we also we want keep our bass line and quitars as heavy as possible. So on this new album i think Keijo made an excellent job.
– In fact I could say Metal parts are sounding more Metal and Folk parts are sounding more Folk with each new album. How important is this balance for METSATÖLL?
Markus: Very important. Because if we are makeing an album then first we try to look our music in more different sides, it means the music have to be intersting for us. And we try to write our music like not pushing it only towards one direction. But to discover new angles and new colours and emotions. But also we keep line in direction that not much folk or too much metal. Something in between.
– I guess you may be comfortable singing and writing in your mother tongue, moreover it fits better your music and attitude but, have you ever considered singing in English?
Markus: Never, because our native language is the biggest part of Metsatöll´s music. What makes our music honest and true-itś our language.
– Estonia is not the usual country form where we get many Metal bands; how’s the scene out there? Any bands you would like to suggest?
Markus: Ouhhh there are many bands. So itś easyer to give you a link www.estonianmetal.com There is a lot of information about estonian metal scene. You can surf there for days. Find your favorite 🙂
– Past 2010 we could see you in Spain supporting FINNTROLL, SAMAEL and ROTTING CHRIST. What are your memories from those dates?
Markus :Only good. In your country is always a good feeling to give a gig cause your people are always so warm to us and we hope that it will always be that way.
– And do you plan touring again this year in support of «Ulg»?
Markus: When the time is right we´ll let you know. This year we only have some presentation gigs in Estonia. But for the next year we hope a lot more 🙂
– That has been all from my side, thanks one more for your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.