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Finnish lyrics, groovy and dark sounds, the drums of hell and the badass voice of Lucifer himself. This maybe describes the young Finns Sotajumala the best. With their record “Teloitus” they reached nro 17 in national sale charts, and impressed STALKER several times on their summer Festival Tour, e.g. at Tuska and Jalometalli, and as support for Obituary. High time to get to know the band a little bit better and find out what´s the story behind the body-covering tattoos of singer Mynni Luukkainen.
First of all, please introduce the band members.
I (Mynni Luukkainen) ´vocals´ and hate, Kosto Orbinski guitar, Pete Lapio guitar, Tomi Otsala bass and Timo Häkkinen drums.
Sotajumala means god of war, what´s the story behind this name?
It went something like this, Tomi and Kosti have played several projects ´cause they have known each other way back. One time they were at sauna and just talking shit about cool band names and Sotajumala came out (it sounds way cooler in Finnish than in English). Then they decided to start playing this kind of music they both love.
What kind of music do you play?
Technical death metal with groovy riffs and intensive drumming. Lyrics are in Finnish but in the booklet they are translated also to english so everyone can find out what we are singing.
Mynni, you are in the band since 2004, what´s your experience with the guys since then?
I have to say fucking great! I had known the guys quite long time ´cause I was roommate with their former singer ´105´. When it was his time to go Tomi asked me if I want to join and do a couple of gigs with them, and hell´yeah, why not! I was actually session vocalist at first but then joined as a fulltime member in 2005 when we recorded a split single with Torture Killer.
You performed at this years Tuska Festival, how was this show for you?
It was absolutely fucking amazing, propably the best gig we have had! The audience was completely overwhelming with their moshpit, circlepit and crazyass Wall of death! It couldn´t get much more better....
Which one do you like better then, festivals or club shows?
I like playing in club´s, ´cause you can get more intensive touch with the croud. Of course festivals are much more better situations for promotional reasons ´cause there are lots people who haven´t heard your music and comes to see it out of curiosity, and you can meet tons of friend all around the world. But I perfer club´s for playing and watching gig´s.
Your lyrics are all in Finnish, what are they about what are the main themes in your songs?
The earilier stuff was mainly of war (suprise, suprise...), but now days I have tried to but also something else in the lyrics. Of course war is still the main influence of our songs but we´ve tried to add some different aspects to spice it up a bit. You have to read the lyrics and make your own conclusions how you interpret it.
Who is responsible for your songwriting? Is it teamwork or is only one person writing songs?
It is teamwork in which whole band participates. It goes something like this, that someone has a riff or couple of those and we try to put them together with riff´s from others and workout what the drums (or Timo does) should and so on. I usually write and arrange the lyrics along to guys are making to songs.
What would you like to achieve with you music?
I think that the best thing in this music shit is having a gig so it would be full scale tour in the States or in Europe. And maybe someday to able to pay the rent with music, but that isn´t going to happen in small coutry like Finland unless you are HIM of Nightwish... But for me the ideal situaiton would be touring and playing as many gigs as possible.
What was the most disappointing/most exciting moment in your band history?
It´s always disapointing when your new record gets delayed when it should be released and/or the covers are fucked up etc. It was quite overwhelming when ´Teloitus´ came out, that it went straight to place 17 in Finnish national sale charts. I don´t follow who is selling or not, but it was quite cool ´cause we play so extreme kind of music with no clean vocals or keyboards, that it went so high up. So thank you for everyone who bought the record! And of course the gig in Tuska was amazing!
What do you consider the biggest mistake in your career?
I don´t look back and think what I should have done different or shouldn´t done at all. It just a waste of time ´cause you can´t do anything about it so why spend your energy on something that has already happened. I spend my energy on future ´cause you can do something about it. Like Lemmy said ´No remorse!´
Do you think that you can have success in the rest of Europe, even with your Finnish lyrics?
Of course I have to believe it, otherwise why even bother.... I don´t think that the lyrics are anykind of obstacle if you like good death metal. Well, we have to just check it out and see what the response is...Hopefully positive....
Do you have any other bands besides Sotajumala, if yes, what kind of bands are those?
I play guitar (formerly bass) in HORNA which is old school Black Metal. And guitar and vocals in OBSCURANT which is slow melodic death metal in the vein on Hypocrisy. Our drummer Timo plays in WHERE VICTIMS LIE which is thrashing death metal in the vein of Slayer and At the Gates.
Mynni your body is almost totally coverd with tattoos, is there something special behind them? Any special story?
I think that it´s quite obvious what´s behind it when you look at my back, there is a full scale woodcut piece of Lucifer.... Nothing like a special story, I just like getting tattoos but I haven´t got much more places to get any anymore....
Are the tattoos from one tattoo-artist or do you have a special ritual when you are doing them?
Antti Rossi from Fireline Tattoo has made my both arms and upper back. Markus from His Masters Tattoo has made my back, stomach, and both legs from ankle to knee and Sakari from Body CNTRL has made both of my sides (ribs). Nothing special ritual, just be sober, feel the pain and enjoy...
What do you think is cool/totally sucks about being a musician?
Of course it´s fucking great! Why else would do it....?
Do you have some final words for the STALKER readers?
Thanks for the interview and support! ´Teloitus´ should be on stores all around the Europe so get your own and see you on tour! Cheers!
Thank you for your time.
SOTAJUMALA: OIKEUTUS VIDEO HERE: