Turisas interview (03/2013)
|Conducted by:||Susan (in person)|
Turisas is currently wrapping up an epic North American tour with Firewind and Stolen Babies. I caught up with the band before their Seattle show and had the pleasure of speaking with guitar player Jussi Wickström.
Susan: How's the tour going with Firewind and Stolen Babies?
Jussi: It's been good. We have been on this tour for 2 weeks now I think? It's been really good. We started in Florida, which is maybe a bit more challenging. In Florida there's usually not that many people at shows but it's been really good, all the shows have been quite OK.
Susan: Good! How did it come together with those bands? All 3 are so different.
Jussi: Yeah we kinda wanted to do a nice package with a bit different bands. We think 3 bands in the same genre could be a bit boring, in my opinion. So it's kind of nice to have a bit varied.
Susan: I like it; as a fan it's fun. So you've been in the band since the beginning, right?
Susan: Where did the face paint come from?
Jussi: Well, I think when we started, well, when we did our first demo that was probably like around 2001 or something? And we all kind of wanted it to be a bit like blood spatter or something like that. And on the first tour we did in 2004 it kinda… we put some more and more and more and it was like that total face paint thing.
Susan: I heard that the title "Battle Metal" was originally a joke.
Jussi: Yeah well kinda. We joked around like what would be a good name for the first album and I can't remember who threw it in but it was funny at first and then we're like let's do it.
Susan: So the demo that you released before Battle Metal, was it of the same style?
Jussi: Yeah we did one demo, one that was released, it has 3 songs and one is a cover and then 2 songs. It is kind of same style. It has the actual "Battle Metal" song with different title.
Susan: OK. Do you feel like the band's sound has changed a lot from then to today?
Jussi: Yeah, well, I think it's been natural, kind of, progression. When we started we weren't that good players so it has kind of evolved in that sense. Naturally.
Susan: Cool. Why did you guys decide to stop using an accordion and start using a keyboard?
Jussi: Well, I think our accordion player left a few years ago.
Jussi: Yeah, and even on The Varangian Way album there wasn't really a part for accordion any more that much and when she decided to quit the band we kind of decided there isn't that many part for accordion. Maybe more used to have an actual keyboard player.
Susan: Well, speaking of accordions, do you know where Lisko Maakinen is? (He's the previous accordion player who mysteriously disappeared in 2008 before the upcoming tour.)
Jussi: (laughs) Well, I haven't really seen him in many, many years so I actually have no idea. He's probably in Finland somewhere.
Susan: Ok. But he's…
Jussi: Yeah, I think he's alive!
Susan: He kind disappeared under mysterious circumstances!
Susan: So I know this is kind of old but whose idea was it to cover "Rasputin"?
Jussi: I think it was Mathias' idea. I think originally he saw a band, on the ferry from Finland to Stockholm, there was this cover band, playing songs and they played Rasputin, a disco rock version or something, and he thought it'd be a nice idea to try it.
Susan: Do you guys still enjoy playing it or do you get kind of tired of it?
Jussi: Ah, I think it's kind of fun to play live. But, we haven't played it on every show, we kind of throw it in every once in a while.
Susan: Are you playing it much on this tour?
Jussi: We have played it a few times.
Susan: Good! So what can we expect from Guards Of Glory? Is it going to continue in the same direction?
Jussi: The new album… um, yeah it will be a bit different I think. But you can still hear it's same band. Not like totally different. But we like tried a different approach. We recorded the album mostly ourselves, so that's of course, makes it sound a bit different. We used the orchestra in a bit different way than before. Like on the last album we kind of did the whole big orchestra, kind of Hollywood style thing, and now we are trying to do a bit less of that Hollywood style reverb or anything. It's more like, kind of retro style, 60s and 70s.
Susan: Ooh, cool!
Jussi: And everything is all ready, we actually recorded all that orchestra parts.
Susan: Well I'm excited. What kind of music do you listen to besides metal? Where do you find inspiration outside of metal?
Jussi: Myself I listen to, well nowadays, a lot of indie and dreampop. Totally different stuff. And I try to listen to all the new bands, I try to check them on Spotify.
Susan: Nice. Does the new album, or on any future albums, do you plan on having any songs in Finnish?
Jussi: I think it's like if there's a song where Finnish language would fit well then we'd do it of course. It's not like we have to do everything in English or anything. So it kind of depends on the song.
Susan: A friend of mind is trying to learn to speak Finnish and he wants to know if you have any favorite words.
Jussi: Favorite words… well in Finland there's kind of funny words a lot. Since, if you compare to English, in English there's not like....I don't know what's the word in English were you put two words together?
Susan: A compound word.
Jussi: Yeah, in Finland we have them all the time. Like we could have a compound word of four different words all together.
Susan: Like in German, they're everywhere.
Jussi: Yeah, yeah. But I don't think I have any favorite words, of course there are a lot of words, with Scandinavian letters, there are place names like Köyliö that has a lot of ö. It's kind of funny sounding.
Susan: So do you have any funny stories from the tour so far?
Jussi: Funny stories? Not funny we have kind of awful stories!
Susan: Oh, no!
Jussi: We had like, small problems, our trailer broke, our bus broke down, had to change the driver, and stuff like that. Otherwise it's been quite good. Kind of hectic since there has been these problems all the time, and have been delayed on many days but each day we have managed. And I think now it's getting better. It's always like first week of a tour is really difficult in a sense but now it's kind of rolling already on its own.
Susan: Well, especially after, weren't you playing on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise?
Jussi: Yeah! (laughs)
Susan: That was easy, this is hard (laughs)
Jussi: Well, the metal cruise, it has its own technical difficulties since it's a festival on a boat. So, if you forget to bring something then you kind of don't have it. And we did! So it was kind of hectic.
Susan: Oh no! Well I heard that went well.
Jussi: Yeah! It was a fun trip.
Susan: Well you have a lot of fans at Metal Storm so thank you very much!
Posted on 03.03.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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