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The new record is the right time for STALKER to have a little chat with Sonata Arctica. „Unia“ means dreaming again and listening to the fantastic sound of one of the most fabulous bands from Finland. Keyboarder Henrik Klingenberg and Bassist Marko Paasikoski kindly answer our questions.
First of all, could you please introduce the members and their typical attributes
and spleens? Henrik: Well, we´re all pretty different, Jani would probably be the lone wolf, Tommy the daddy-type easygoing guy, Marko is the silent type so I guess I´m the party dude.
Your new record Unia was released, what kind of hopes do you have for this
record? Marko: I hope that our fans (new and old), realize it´s the best record we´ve ever made.
Why the name Unia? (Is it actually Finnish, for "Dreams"?) Henrik: Yeah, it´s Finnish and means dreams, basically we had another title lined up which sort of meant the same thing but could be misinterpreted, so we changed it....
Which song is for you the best one from the new record and why? Henrik: Today it would be The Flight Of The Black Swan, it´s just so damn funny. Marko: I can´t pick one favourite, it varies from day to day.
Who is composing the songs? Henrik: Tony does all the music & lyrics and then we work on the arrangements together.
Which goals do you have, what do would you like to achieve? Henrik: We´ll of course take this as far as it can go, right now the goal is to complete the tour and get people to listen to Unia
Is there any country where you really like to play or where you would like to play? Henrik: Anything goes, the States are pretty interesting right now because there´s so much new things to see. We´re also very into playing new places like Russia, Australia etc. Marko: It´s fun to play in the US because it´s feels new and exciting every time. I really would like to go back to South America, it´s been a long time since we played there.
What is your motivation to go on with music, to go further? Marko: There are so many elements in playing in a band. First there is the songwriting/arranging process, then rehearsals, then entering the studio and finally performing the songs live on stage. The fact that´s it different all the time keeps motivating you and makes it the best job you can have.
What would you do if Sonata Arctia didn´t exist? Which jobs would you have? Henrik: I´d probably be playing in some other bands, doing the club scene in Finland. Marko: I´d be a poker pro.
What was for you the greatest/ most disappointing moment in your band history? Henrik: The whole issue with Jani has been the most unfortunate incident so far, any day on tour playing for people is the greatest day.
(Guitarist Jani Liimatainen has to serve in the Finnish army and is replaced at upcoming shows by Elias Viljanen (Evil Spirit); the ed.)
Is there any concert you particularly remember because something beautiful or
something bad happened? Where was it and what happened? Henrik: There´s a zillion of good concerts that sticks out, and of course a couple of bad ones but I guess it´s hard to be at your best everyday. Marko: The one and only (so far) gig in Santiago, Chile was awesome. The crowd was screaming so loud, we didn´t even hear ourselves play.
What do you like in Music business? What do you hate? Henrik: Most of the people are really cool and fun to be around, both fans & co-workers & other bands. It sucks ass that some part of the people steals your music. Marko: I really like travelling and playing in different parts of the world. I don´t like getting e-mails saying our album sucks, one month before it´s even released.
What are you doing when your not in the studio or on tour? Where do you go for
holidays? Henrik: The last holiday I took, I went to Madeira/Portugal...there´s not too much time for vacations, and if we´re not on tour or in the studio I mostly work from home doing interviews, recording with other bands....writing music, watching movies and partying. Marko: I like playing poker, drinking beer, watching sports ( you know, the main reasons why women leave their husbands.) This i do either at home in Kemi or in Stockholm where I spend some of my time.
Would you participate in Eurovision Song Contest? Henrik: Personally speaking never, however we´re a band and if everyone else was really for it, I´d do it as part of the team, naturally. Marko: I hope we never reach that point in our career
Do you think Finland ist the world´s Metal-Metropolis? Henrik: No, I don´t believe there is one single metropolis for Metal music.
What kind of advice would you give a newcomer band? Henrik: Take your time to learn how to play and write music, there´ll be plenty of time to do all the other rock-shit later.
Do you have any message for your Fans? Henrik: Thank´s for the support and hope to see you on tour....and yeah I do know it´s a fuckin´ cliche and sounds lame but what else can I say.....have a good time people!