by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art Conspiracy
I caught up with guitarist Ville Friman of popular melodic death metal band Insomnium from Finland to discuss the band’s origins, their latest album ‘Winter’s Gate’ and if we can expect a new album soon and about their future plans and upcoming tour in March amongst other things…
Firstly can you tell us about how you arrived at the name
Just by coincidence really. We had a list of cool sounding words Niilo
had collected and Insomnium was something that popped out from that list.
How did you come to form Insomnium which first began back in 1997?
Well, we grew up in quite small city where you didn’t have that much to do. So basically, out of boredom. Then again, the early nineties were a great time for metal music. Lots of great albums were released and new substyles were forged. We were heavily inspired what happened in the USA and Scandinavia and wanted to be part of this scene.
Following on from this, since starting out how would you say the metal scene and the band have evolved in this time?
Internet and technology has changed the whole landscape. It is easy to learn new things, promote your band and have a presence. On the other hand, every band is doing this so it has become harder to stand out from the crowd. It is easier to record stuff at home or home studio so it is easier to test your ideas and get music out in a form or another. You can also work globally across the world over the internet so it has changed everything. Allows more people to do music basically but not sure if wehave ended up having more better bands really.
What is the best way to describe your music?
Melodic melancholic Scandinavian death metal. It’s a broad term but captures all the aspects of it.
What would you say are your main influences musically and creatively?
Early nineties Scandinavian metal scene and then everything that happened in the USA: Guns’n’ Roses, Metallica, Megadeths etc.
How happy were you with the outcome of your latest 2016 album ‘Winter’s Gate’?
I think we’re really happy with it and bit surprised how well critics and fans took it as well. It’s a special release that was really exciting to compose and record.
Can you tell us about the writing and recording process for this and how did it compare to previous releases?
Everything was done with computer before going to studio and we never rehearsed it once before the first shows in Finland Autumn 2016. But somehow we knew it works live as well. Basically, the setup was pretty much the same as with ‘Shadows’. We recorded drums in Joensuu and rest of the stuff in Kotka. Everything was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö in Germany.
What were the main themes explored in the album and what made you decide to release it as a concept album about Vikings?
The theme is based on Niilo’s short story that had Vikings in it. So basically, we just circulated this story as a concept for this release. There’s Vikings in it but it is not really about Vikings if you read bit deeper.
Have you started working on the follow-up to ‘Winter’s Gate’ yet and if so what can we expect to hear from this or is it too soon to say?
Yes, we have. We have some songs demoed and this process will continue throughout 2018. Hopefully, we will hit studio 2018/2019 and have 2019 release.
Out of all your seven albums, which one is the most important to you and why?
All of them have their moments and are connected with certain period in personal life or band’s career.
What were some of your main highlights of 2017?
It was great to perform Winter’s Gate with classical orchestra in Ilosaarirock Festival. We played lots of cool festivals and did great tours. A lot of working basically.
How excited are you to head out on the Winter’s Gate European tour (part 2) in March 2018?
We’re excited to go countries we have never played before and spread the word to Eastern and Southern Europe. Tribulation will join us so it should be a great package!
What can fans expect from your live experience?
Intense show with lots of headbanging.
What else do you have planned for 2018?
We’re focusing on writing the new album and doing a couple of tours and selected festivals. That’s basically it.