Finland seems to be a good breeding ground for interesting bands, therefore let´s introduce you to Solacide from Lahti, who just released their new demo Baptized In Disgust.
Who are you? Please introduce all band members with their major function in the band and all their characteristics, spleens etc. Kimmo: I´m the guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, Gökhan is the lead singer, Matti Jauhola is the drummer, Joonas Vanhalakka guitarist and Sami Tikkanen handles the bass.
What kind of music do you play? Have you ever had major changes to your style in the past? If yes, which ones? Kimmo: We call our music progressive black metal. Many people call us as a mixture of death, trash and black metal, call it what you want after you´ve listened to it. When we started in 1996, we were more heavy metal –based band, influences came from bands like Iron Maiden and Sentenced. Then around ´99-´00 our style went more to dark/black metal style, and in my opinion it has developed to more progressive and aggressive direction during the years.
How you came up with the band name, and what is it referring to? (solace + suicide???) Kimmo: Solacide basically means death of solace. I thought what would describe the feeling that I sometimes get when I write our music, and also when I listen to it. The feeling when you lose all hope. In the end you´re alone in this world, and when you realize it, it may be a bit crushing experience. But after those reactions you can find more strength and self-confidence.
Are you satisfied with the reactions/reviews of your latest Demo "Baptized in Disgust" so far? Kimmo: Very much, yes. I was really surprised how positive the response was. Especially outside of Finland people seem to like our music. Gökhan: All the reviews are positive up until now. I have to disagree about one thing with Kimmo because I was expecting these kinds of positive reactions from the first time I listened to the mastered CD
How did it all begin? You have a pretty long band history, actually, perhaps you can tell a bit more details about the band history... What were the major difficulties to get further? Kimmo: I started the band with drummer Matti Jauhola. When we started, it was really hard to find guys who fitted the band by their playing skills and personality. Many weren´t just good enough to handle the songs. So it was mainly just the two of us during 1998-2004. In early 2005 Matti met Sami Tikkanen and he joined the band. And Sami knew Joonas Vanhalakka, who then joined Solacide in late 2005. During that time we thought we could use a second vocalist in the band, and we had few guys in the band, but they just didn´t work out. So the main problem was to find guys who were talented enough, and were nice to hang around with.
Only recently you found a new singer who comes from Turkey - how did you meet? Kimmo: Gökhan contacted me through email, Gökhan could tell the rest. Gökhan: I left my band in Turkey in August 2007. It was 100% sure I was going to move to Finland around April 2008. I was looking for some kind of Black / Death Metal band from Lahti while i was still living in Turkey and one of my friends from Finland said that there is a band in Lahti looking for a vocalist.. I checked out the band`s website and emailed to Kimmo that i would like to be the vocalist of Solacide. I gave my previous band`s Myspace that they could have some kind of idea of my vocals. Kimmo answered me that they could try my vocals when i move to Finland. And after doing a small rehearsel i joined to the band.
Gökhan, Can you tell a little bit about the Turkish Metal scene, the bands, how you ended up there - and how Finland appears to be for you in comparison?
I was the vocalist of one Turkish Melodic Black Metal band , between the years 2001-2007 , i made 2 full length albums and 1 demo with them and we played in many gigs.We supported many important bands from abroad. I had some problems about band`s music and attitude during the years and i always told that we must change. They did not listen to my ideas. I didn`t see any point to stay in a band that doesn`t have any bigger plans and goals, i didn`t want to continue to be a singer of a band which wanted to stay inside Turkey borders and didn`t want to spread their music abroad. When the music started to become even more boring - i obviously wanted to make guitar music not any keyboard based music - and problems remained, and when it was kind of clear that i was moving to Finland, i left the band.
I used to follow Turkish Metal scene lots in past but i do not anymore.I like the following bands and support them lots from Turkey; Zifir, Episode 13, Decaying Purity,Uck Grind,Hecatomb and Sabhankra. It would be nice to go to Turkey and play in a festival or do a small tour one day. Metalheads are really nice out there and supporting true metal at gigs/festivals.
For the Finnish guys - how is it to have someone from another culture in the band? What was the funniest misunderstanding (language, behaviour, food, habits) so far? Kimmo: It wasn´t really so different than to have a Finnish singer, besides that most of communicating is done in English. And the behaviour/habits are not so different, except I think band’s Finnish guys are a bit more sarcastic and rude than Gökhan is. When he joined the band, one of our favourite thing was to teach him the curse words in Finnish. Gökhan: To be honest , since i moved to Finland, i didn`t feel like I moved to some foreign country.
How was your first show in Helsinki with the new singer for you? Were you satisfied? You seemed a bit nervous ... Kimmo: The show went well, the reason we were a bit nervous was that we didn´t have time to do a soundcheck, just a quick and really poor linecheck. The problem was that we couldn´t basically hear anything on stage. I couldn´t hear drums and Joonas´s guitar, Joonas didn´t hear himself, Matti didn´t hear my guitar etc… So it was really hard to keep it together, but luckily it went really well. Gökhan:This was not our first gig together. We had a gig in Lahti before. This was our first show in Helsinki ever. And i am not that new for the band, i have been the vocalist in the band for nearly 1,5 years. The mixing guy gave us 5 minutes totally for soundcheck. That was totally frustrating. Personally i`m really satisfied by our performance even we had some trouble because of the tonmeister.
What is the story behind the "white collar" thingie - so that it looks like a priest collar - on your t-shirts? And the "cuntless whore" (or sth) on the back? Kimmo: I remember some years ago I saw our drummer Matti, and he had made himself a shirt that had those kind of priest collar. I thought it would look good on stage, all of us having Solacide T-shirts with priest´s collars on them. Text on the back came from our song “God On Fire“ –lyrics; “Wingless demon, cuntless whore, give nothing back but you ask for more“. That part of the lyrics tells about this priest, who I met in a funeral once. You could smell the hypocrisy from him, and the only thing he worshipped was money. It´s a bit long story... To put it short, in my opinion religion is just like a prostitute without the strategic body parts; you waste your money and get no real satisfaction out of it. Gökhan: There`s nothing more to say. Kimmo explained it so clearly…
After being in the scene in the underground for such along time (I think it´s 13 years of band history), what is your dream, who do you want to reach, what do you want to achieve with your music, where does your motivation come from? Kimmo: I think we all just want to do more gigs, next we´re planning to get a proper deal and make an album. Get Solacide´s name in front of everybody, to get band`s name in front of peoples’ faces. We love to play our music, and we believe in our songs, that´s where the motivation comes from.
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences? Kimmo: My favorite artists at the time are Iron Maiden, Morbid Angel, Opeth, Emperor, Akercocke, (Jarva-era) Sentenced, Psycroptic, Nile, SYL/Townsend, Symphony X, Amenta, Megadeth, Textures, to name a few. Gökhan: Mayhem, Urgehal , Watain, Ondskapt, Craft , Marduk, Dark Funeral, Carpathian Forest, Dissection, Deicide, Morbid Angel ,Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Behemoth, Meshuggah , Slayer, Death, Sodom ,Iron Maiden, Motörhead etc.
Is there indeed only one person responsible for writing music and lyrics? Why? Kimmo: Yes, I´ve always done all the music and lyrics for Solacide. No one else just hasn´t come up with any material, so the responsibility for the new material has always been on my shoulders. But I think that it will change in the future a bit. Gökhan: I have some ideas for lyrics for the new songs. When i joined the band all the lyrics for "Baptized in Disgust" were already written. They were all well written lyrics and i didn`t have any extra interesting idea in that moment, we recorded the demo something 2,5-3 weeks after i joined the band.
What is the inspiration for the lyrics, personal experiences or stuff you read/watch on TV etc? Kimmo: Basically everything you see and experience in your life. The lyrics are quite misanthropic and anti-religious. I don´t usually like to reveal too much in my lyrics, people can read them and make their own opinions what they mean.
Do you have other band projects? Kimmo: I play in Maiden Hell, Helion and in Waltari I play as a live guitarist , and I do different studio/live session with various bands. Matti plays in bands called Inferia and Vuohi. Sami, Matti and Gökhan has a project called Godvomit.
What do you do if you are not in the band (studying, working)? Kimmo: I´m concentrated only on music at this time, doing gigs with different bands. Gökhan: I learn Finnish, read books, get drunk, try to create lyrics for the new songs etc.
What was the most exciting/the most disappointing moment in your band history? Kimmo: To be honest, we´ve been a bit lazy to make this band bigger in the past. Just when Gökhan joined, we started to do more work for the band. Maybe being without a record deal has bothered me a bit, but we can blame ourselves for it, ´cause we really haven´t been looking for a deal before. Releasing “Baptized In Disgust“ was an exciting thing, cause for the first time the band felt complete.
What was the most absurd thing that happened to you? Kimmo: Absurd… One unfortunate thing that happened was in 2000, we had a gig coming, and we had session guitarist coming to do the show. He was bass player`s friend, and when we were having last rehearsals the day before the gig, the guitarist just disappeared. He just sent me a text message “I´m not gonna do the gig, period“. He got shit scared of doing a live show, and we had to play without a second guitarist. How can you deal with that kind of people?
What happened during your best/your worst live show? Kimmo: The few gigs that we´ve made, have been going pretty good, so I can´t say that we´ve had a bad show. On our last gig I heard one reporter got pissed off because of our priest collar shirts, I thought it was great that it can affect so much on some people. Saved my day. Gökhan: In this point i would like to say that it is good that people support our music and like it. But personally i do not care if a person gets pissed off by the shows we make or from our lyrics. Oppositely, i feel so much fucking better when we can upset people with our music and attitude.
Which song are you most proud of, and why? Kimmo: From Baptized In Disgust –release my favorite is song called Disgust. I think it describes our music best, it´s complex, melodic and progressive, and I like the lyrics. From Waves Of Hate –release I´m proud of a song Your Worst Enemy, it´s great to play. Gökhan: I love the songs "Last Breath of God" and from last release "Disgust". But i can say that all the songs we have different meanings for me. I like ‘em all.
Which band would you enjoy touring with? Kimmo: There are many, but I would love to tour with i.e. Akercocke, Opeth, Amenta, Psycroptic or with Nile, they´re awesome live bands. Gökhan: Mayhem, Behemoth, Watain, Nile and if Jon Nödtveidt was still alive and Dissection continued, it would be awesome to tour with them.
What do you plan in the near future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Kimmo: I hope we have few albums out by that time, and a decent record deal. We try to get more gigs, and I´m writing new material, we already have new stuff enough to do a full length album. Gökhan: Getting album deal from a label which could promote and distribute us in a proper way and tours around Europe & overseas would be very good.
Finally, what would be easier for you to give up forever - sex, drugs or Rock´n´Roll? Kimmo: Drugs would be the easiest to give up, then it gets more difficult… But I think it would be easier to give up sex than Rock´n´Roll, but hopefully I don´t need to make this decision ever in my life. And I think all three of those go hand in hand. Gökhan: None of them would be easy to give up for me :)