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Finland proves to be once again a good breeding ground for remarkable bands, this is another one STALKER stumbled over, pretty much by chance, and was so impressed that choosing them as band of the month seemed to be the logical thing to do – but let´s leave the talking to the guys...
Please introduce yourself, the band and the individual band members as well, e.g. who is doing what, why + how you began to play an instrument/ make music? Lauri: The Nibiruan is a fairly new act in the Finnish metal scene. Officially found in 2009 the band consists of 6 guys, Asim Searah (vocals), Silver Ots (guitars), Lauri Koskenniemi (guitars), Eerik Purdon (bass), Petri Mäkipää (drums) and Lari Sorvo (live keyboards). Everyone of us has a very different musical background and the inspiration for doing music certainly varies from guy to guy but one thing for sure uniting us all, is the desire to perform and create music that is unique, catchy, groovy and fun to play. I myself picked up the guitar at the age of 10, but really got into it in my early teens and I guess most of the guys have started their musical career being of the same age or at least thereabouts.
What are your other projects (other bands)? Which bands did you have before coming together in this one? Lauri: At the moment three of us (Eerik, Lari and I) play in another band called SHEAR as well. Petri plays drums in Ghoul Patrol and Fleshred, and Asim does some troubadour stuff by himself. Before finding "The Nibiruan" everyone of us have played in numerous bands including Amoral, Omnium Gatherum, Elenium, Selfblind etc.
The story how you all came together is a bit weird – can you give a short version of it? Lauri: In 2007 Eerik and I started discussing about starting a new band and later on, during the spring of 2009 Eerik and Silver had a similar discussion. Eerik then counted 1+1=3 and hinted Silver and Lauri to meet up and maybe get something going. From that point on the band steadily built up into its current lineup. This is a really short version of all the incidents that lead to the finding of the Nibiruan.
What is the story behind the band name? What does it mean/refer to? Lauri: Well first of all we wanted to get an original name that wasn´t used by any other band. We had a couple of different ideas before deciding that "The Nibiruan" would be the one for the band. "The Nibiruan" is just not a fancy name though for it has a meaning behind it as well. According to the Mayan calendar, the year 2012 brings a new planet to the sky, which predicts the end of an era. That planet is often referred to as "Nibiru" and the name derives its meaning from Sumerian and Babylonian astronomy. We don´t, however, want to portray ourselves as some deities or god-like creatures usually linked to this kind of mythology and we definitely don´t have anything to do with all the pseudo scientific religions etc. the internet is full of.
Your vocalist has a pretty unusual background / nationality, I mean not quite what you would expect for a Heavy Metal singer – Asim, can you please tell sth about yourself, how you came to Finland and how you fell in love with Metal? Asim: Well yes true. I am from Pakistan, it was all because of my uncle that at the age of 4 I heard Ronnie James Dio and since then he had been my idol, a teacher and the greatest inspiration in music. At the age of 12 my uncle bought me a guitar and i guess that was it, since then i wanted to be a musician and here i am. I came to Finland in November 2007 for studies and of course for music. I had fallen in love with metal when I was 4, I listened and listen to everything there was and is in music, but i always loved metal.
Why are you making this particular kind of music? How would you define it? Lauri: I find the music quite hard to categorize into a certain genre. We have picked out different kinds of ideas from different types of music in order to create an interesting mix of melody, aggression and harmony. There´s stuff for everyone, from fast-paced blastbeats to really chilled-out melody lines and atmospheric parts, though his doesn´t mean that in every chorus there would be a clean vocal melody for the majority of listeners to sing with, or that every song would have 3-4 breakdowns to get the body moving.
Who is responsible for the song writing, how does your songwriting process usually work (jamming)? Lauri: Silver and I usually write the stuff together although in the new material there are a couple songs which have been written by just the other one of us. Eerik writes the lyrics and after that Asim and I go to the rehearsal place to create and lay down the vocals. The lyrics are a big thing for us as well - it feels like too often metal bands don´t think their lyrics through, and in that kind of a case the lyrics are just mindless babbling in order to create vocal melodies. Usually the lyrics of that sort are naive and just boring to read/listen to at best. We try to avoid that.
What are the lyrics about? What is the inspiration? Eerik: This question is a bit hard to answer because I don´t have a specific frame of reference or range of topics that I would have limited the lyrics to - The Nibiruan is not lyrically a conceptual band. Most of the songs so far deal with issues of life and spiritual transformation. I draw from a vast variety of influences but I guess you could say that the biggest influence to my lyrics is an Irish poet called William Butler Yeats whose work I really admire because of the way in which he is able to bring the mundane side as well as the magical side of life together in his poems.
Do you have something like a band philosophy? Silver: Just to make something of which we all can be damn proud of!
What are you doing when you are not making music? Silver: All of us have various studies and work.
Your first EP – how come, how long did it take, where did you record it, how was it, where to get the album? Who was most excited about it? Silver: We got the songs done in the fall of 2009 and recorded it right in the beginning of 2010 with our good friend Mikael Grönroos. He is a very skillful recording engineer and also an old friend of ours. We recorded it in his school´s studio mostly on weekends. We were all very excited about it. After it was out I remember having this feeling that even if we would have broken up then and there, it was still so amazing piece if music that it was all worth it. You can download all the songs on our website or order the printed copy. We also have the CD for sale on our gigs.
You had a couple of shows recently – how was it? Silver: They´re getting better all the time. We´re gaining self confidence and finding the right relaxation on stage to make the gig entertaining.
What is your biggest fear when playing live? Is it easier in Helsinki or outside the city, what is the situation for an unsigned band to get gigs in Finland? Silver: The biggest fear is probably that the equipment break down or that we´ll sound like crap. Eerik bass amplification alone requires a NASA engineer to set it up! We´ve only had one gig outside Helsinki so far. In Helsinki there´s always a bunch of friends watching which is great but also a bit unnerving! Overall places to play gigs are plenty but the shittiest thing is there´s only a handful of decent non age limit venues and they´re all too big for demo bands. For under 18 year olds there basically one venue in Helsinki to see bigger bands.
Can you tell some funny band anecdotes? Asim: I guess that could be our trip back from Lauri´s summer cottage. Well it was after sunset, Lauri was driving and i was sitting in the front, Silver and his girl friend with their dog were on the back of the car. I can exactly recall, that we were listening to the new album of "Dream Theater" and the song was "A Nightmare to Remember". I, being a bit tired thought, ok yeah i will take a nap.... as i did that i heard these guys screaming, i opened my eyes and DAMN i can for sure say it was A NIGHTMARE TO REMEMBER, a bloody moose was just standing in the middle of the road, and we went straight into it. Luckily we all survived but Lauri´s car was totaled. We called up the police and so on, but an interesting part was, when a Female police officer came to me and without asking how I´m doing she just asked for my ID and nothing else.
The internet – a bliss (promo-wise, facebook etc) or a curse (illegal downloads) – your comment on that? How do you use the net? Asim: Well its definitely a great tool, I believe facebook has been really good for us. I remember us putting the event on facebook as the debut gig in Tavastia(a club in Helsinki) and damn we gathered some good crowd there, because of that. I mean we are not of a big band so that we would be afraid of our stuff being illegally downloaded, but it´s definitely something which i feel not nice about professionally. As u know bands are not really doing well sales wise in these times, but i wont be able to make much of a difference here. I would say we use Internet for promotional use and otherwise, it keeps us connected with the fans to some extent.
What are your plans fort he future, what are your most enterprising dreams? Silver: Plans for near future is to come up with new songs and in case not getting a record deal, probably record a self financed full length. We´ll see what happens. Making songs is the top priority at moment since we really don´t have many yet!
Your last words for STALKER readers? Lauri: Remember to keep STALKING us at www.thenibiruan.com and STALKER for more cool upcoming stuff!