Finland seems to be a truly constant source of talented and interesting metal bands. Thiermes from the deepest and darkest woods of Savonlinna are a perfect example of that but let´s hear what the band themselves have to say.
Who are you? Please introduce all band members
Qraken – Voice & Guitar
Thyrm – Guitar
Bael – Drums
Idunn – Synth
Kromm - Bass
If the band members were comic characters, who would be who and why?
Thyrm would be Homer Simpson, he´s lazy and drinks a lot of beer. Idunn would be roadrunner. It seems she has a stunning ability to be in several places at once. The rest of the crew would be Peräsmies, Korpraali Kanki and Paska Ankka [Finnish cartoon characters] simply because they are Finnish.
What kind of music do you play?
We play pagan metal. Our music is mainly combined of black metal and traditional Scandinavian folk music with slight touches of old school heavy metal.
Who do you want to reach, or what do you want to achieve with your music?
We compose and play our music mainly for ourselves. If someone else gets kicks out of it that´s great, but basically we play music to keep ourselves busy. That is where we are good at, and we´ve been doing it for a while so it has become a part of what we are. Quitting playing would be like an amputation now.
How did it all begin? Is there a story behind the band name?
Well, in 1999 Qraken and Kromm got drunk and formed a band. One night they found Bael and Thyrm in a dark forest and they joined the band, which was named Funeral Oath for no apparent reason. Kromm gets the credit for inventing that name. Later, we noticed that the name no longer represented our musical direction and we changed it to Thiermes, which derives from the name of the Lapponian god of thunder.
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences?
The string instruments are mainly inspired by those of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, old Manowar, Enslaved, Rotting Christ and old Anathema. The others follow. Lyrically a lot of our inspiration comes from bands like Bathory and Primordial. Books like Kalevala and Edda are also strongly represented in our lyrics.
Your personal Top 10 albums you would take on a lonely island with you?
Enslaved – Eld
Bathory – Hammerheart
Anathema – Pentecost III
Rotting Christ – Thy Mighty Contract
Hades – Dawn Of The Dying Sun
Venom – Black Metal
Absu – Sun Of Tiphareth
Primordial - Storm Before The Calm
Morbid Angel - Covenant
Scatman John - Scatman´s World
Other stuff you would want to have with you on a lonely island?
A brewery, some musical instruments, women, leather and hell. These should guarantee a blissful death when we run out of food and water.
Who writes the music /lyrics, or are all in the band responsible?
Qraken is in charge of the lyrical content of Thiermes. He also writes most of the music, and usually makes some raw tracks with programmed drums that we first listen, then sculpt and then fine-tune into complete songs.
What do you do if you are not in the band (studying, working)?
Qraken and Thyrm are finishing their studies, Idunn has a job she likes and the others struggle on in jobs they hate. Idunn also does some promotional stuff, like arranging live shows and pre-listening sessions, in her free time. Qraken has a couple of other band projects to keep him busy. These include the doom metal band “The Wandering Midget” and a one-man black metal project “Rautavaris”.
Would you sell your soul to the devil to become famous? Or worse: Would you participate in Eurovision/Idols/Big Brother/Talent Suomi?
It seems that the devil already has our souls, but if we were given an opportunity to bring, without legal issues, ´a slow, painful death to those responsible for the existence of these programmes we would not hesitate for a split second. We despise and loathe everyone who has taken part in these competitions, they are not worth of any attention.
What would you pick if you had to choose between sex, drugs and Rock´n´Roll?
Sex. There would still be heavy metal, wouldn´t there?
What is your dream, where does your motivation come from?
We are not out to change the world into a better place, we only try to make our own lives a bit less hard. Self-satisfaction is what we´re aiming for, and it comes mainly on the expense of those who are against it. This includes all the institutions that aim to feed the weak on the expense of the strong by blending potential individuals into a grey, disgusting mass of human garbage. What inspires us the most is our own culture and its history. It´s a shame that most of the documentary that deals with it has been destroyed long ago by Christian converters. That is why Thiermes supports any actions taken against this parasitic movement. It is a cancer we must cure.
What will you do if you don´t get to have a career in music business?
Thiermes does not have any urge to get involved with the music business. For us music is much more than a weak excuse for making money.
What was the most exciting/the most disappointing moment in your band history?
The greatest moment might have been when we had a gig in our hometown Savonlinna. That night there was a special feeling of unity in the air. We got to play in front of all those who witnessed the growing of Thiermes from the early Funeral Oath days into what it is today, and that kind of feelings are hard to top.
What was the most absurd thing that happened to you?
Our technician followed us with his pants pulled down in the centre of Salo after a Funeral Oath gig, it was about 5pm. There were mothers with little children and elderly people all around the marketplace and our technician was dead drunk
and very loud. He really made some heads turn and gathered some very angry and frightened glances. In fact, all our gig trips together have been very surreal, trance-like spectacles. It seems that every time when Thiermes crosses the border of Savonlinna, every band member becomes seriously insane.
What happened during your best/your worst live show?
Our worst live show was that Salo show, no-one simply cared if we were there or not, the preparations were fucked up, because the band that played before us had taken some vital parts from the drum set with them and disappeared. We had to run around the town to get spare parts to the drums that were meant to be there in the set, and we had to skip the sound check because there was no time to make it. Everything was out of tune and sounded like shit, Qraken´s tongue was dry as a mitten, and the marketplace we played at was full of some goddamn 80-year old grannies buying potatoes.
Is it in general more difficult for a band outside the Finnish metropolitan area? What is the scene like in Savonlinna?
We have not really been in contact with the bands from the metropolitan area so we can´t tell if there´s a difference. If the band works it doesn´t matter where it comes from, it will probably be heard sooner or later.
There´s no real scene in Savonlinna, there are some bands but mainly they´re not worth mentioning here or we just have not been in touch with them. But there are two other bands sharing our rehearsal place, namely Antarktis Utopia and Suicide Legacy. They play death metal though, we do not know any other pagan metal bands from Savonlinna.
Which song are you most proud of, and why?
Lyrically it would be “Devourers Of The Sun”, musically “Auringon Pako”. “Devourers” has very bitter and quite personal lyrics that really draw a picture of the flaws of our society. It also deals with the myth of collective, weak Finnish self esteem and its roots.
What makes “Auringon Pako” worth mentioning here is the mood that it sets and the way that it shows our musical influences. There are parts where you can hear a typical sound of some another band mentioned in this interview, without it being a negative thing. The structure of that song is very different and more progressive when compared to our others mainly because “Auringon Pako” is an instrumental one.
What do you think is cool/totally sucks about being a musician?
It gives us a chance to let out all the shit that grows inside. We are not much talkers and many of us are somehow antisocial and can´t get along much with new faces. The bad thing is that music does not feed us or warm our homes in winter. Another thing is that now when we have found a perfect way to emit our feelings we no longer are able to communicate with the surrounding world with the same intensity that we used to.
Which band would you enjoy touring with?
Manowar, of course. Although it´s not very likely to happen. It would also be nice to share the stage with some of the bands that gave us the spark to play the kind of music that we play. These would be pretty much the same bands that we listed on the "lonely island" topic. Excluding Scatman John.
What do you plan in the near future?
We´ve been working on our full length debut album for a while now, and are planning to find someone to publish it. We also aim to do some live shows to promote that album a bit, naturally. There´s not much more planned at this point, we´ll just wait and see what happens.