Introducing the Finnish hordes

We would like to introduce Toni and Matti, our correspondents in Finland. These guys are from Korpiklaani, Falchion and Crystalic. Vitunmoisen kovaa Metallia? You bet!



You guys asked for it, so we've got it! Our new Finnish correspondents (of Korpiklaani, Falchion and Crystalic) bring you all that is metal from their end of the world. But first, we got them to answer some questions by way of introduction.


1. How did you get into metal, what bands have you been in... and how did you come to be writing for Metal as Fuck?

Toni: My story begins quite traditionally, as to how I got into metal. At the age of 13 I got some heavy metal tapes from my school friends, bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica etc. So I listened that stuff and soon I realized I got stuck into it, and little by little the music style I listened to got more and more aggressive in the process of time. Bands like Death, Amorphis, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel came out to me when I was 15, and at the same age I got my first guitar. That was it ... the metal journey had happened!

I haven't been much in different bands. I've been mainly banging my head to the wall with Crystalic over ten years by now. And late of the last year I got asked to join Falchion and I did -- a very fresh and good feeling to play with these guys. Well, 1998-2002 there was The Prophecy but it consisted of half the members of Crystalic. 1998 I also met Matson [Matti] when I joined The Prophecy. He played drums on it, and our friendship started then. Crystalic is agressive and melodic metal with progressive elements. We have released one album with Crystalic, and at the moment we're recording the second. Falchion has released two albums before I joined, and soon we'll have material ready for the third album. New Falchion will be progressive metal with neo-classical elements but still kicking ass very angrily!

Kelli Wright [editor of Metal as Fuck] kicked my grumpy ass up to write here, and that's good! This amazing person would probably even kick my ass to make me do things from my grave! (laughing) And then we asked if Matson would like to give his vision here too.

Matti: My first introduction to metal music was in 1984, when I saw on Finnish TV one music program that showed W.A.S.P. and Iron Maiden videos -- and that changed my life. After that, I am still a huge Maiden fan. When I saw Maiden's drummer playing in those videos I decided that I wanna start to play drums. So, I got my first drum set in 1989. And we put our first band up then with my friends, some speed metal stuff. And that was the start to my 'band career'. Then new metal styles came: speed, death metal; bands like Anthrax, Kreator, Megadeth and etc. were big things to us. And we lived with those kinds of metal styles, we went many times to the concerts of those kind of bands. And that gave some influence to our music then.

Our 'big' achievement was band called Depravity, in death metal style. We got our first record deal with that band, in France. We made one EP, and mini-CD. The story of Depravity ends in 1995, but the music still lives. So I continued in different bands. In 1998, we meet the Toni and asked if he wanna come into our band, which was the start to our friendship. We had a band called The Prophecy.


Later, we played together in Crystalic in early 2000. At that time, my old friend Jonne from Shaman/korpiklaani asked from me I wanna come play in his band, and I said Yes. I had Crystalic and Korpiklaani was going on at the same time, and we started to get so many gigs with Korpiklaani, and band was getting bigger all the time. It took such a lot of time from me and from Crystalic that I decided to leave Crystalic. But the funny thing is that we play in the same band these days with Toni, in Falchion. The former guitarist decided to leave and I asked from Toni if he wanna join the Falchion and he said: Yes!! So here we are again. Falchion is Juho's band (accordion player of Korpiklaani). And I've been working with Falchion about two years by now. So that's my story.



2. What drives you to get out and see shows locally?

Toni: Usually I go out and see shows when some of my friends' bands are having a gig here -- to support them. And of course, those bigger bands that don't visit so often here. In the summer we have like two to three local festivals here, where you probably see all your friends and have beer-filled parties. That's kind of funny how people wait for those summer festivals here to see big bands, and when they come around, people get so drunk that they might not see any bands. Or spend all their time in the bar area while the bands are playing. Somehow I felt guilty when I said those two last ones... Ok, maybe I've been like that once... or twice... as I recall (hehe)

Matti: Yeah, I agree with Toni on this question. 


3. What's your local scene like? 

Toni: We have a small but strong local scene, consisting members of local metal bands. Metal bands of Tampere speak with one voice and marshal shows together. But I have to say it's really hard to conduct this kind of music here. Basically, we have to do it all by ourselves. We have to book places to have shows, advertise shows with flyers, and fear no-one will arrive, because we would have to pay all charges by ourselves. All the shows that we have here, we have to keep them in the midle of the week. It's always the same. Twenty to fifty people arrive at the show, including our friends and their friends. For example, on our last show it was so quiet that every time we finished a song it felt we would been in a church. People were sitting their asses, stuck into chairs, and they tried to clap their hands. At last our singer asked the audience little bit of a sarcastic way: 'are we bothering all you there if we play a few songs still, or are we violating your social evening?'. We didn't get an answer! (laughing)

So we can say the metal scene here is dipped and lot of trend crap has emerged. At least on the level that we are at. People go with the flow of the media, and what the media says they seem to believe. Very few people seem to use their own ability to judge what they think about music nowadays. Of course, the situation would be quite different for us if we had a booking agency and a good label to promote Crystalic. Maybe if we got shows to be on weekends and more people would arrive I think, and the audience would be at least drunk. So then a Finnish person would have enough courage to come to the forefront and bang their heads off...with the power of alcohol.



4. If you were asked to predict the most popular movement, or subgenre, of metal for the coming year, what would you say? 

Toni: Death metal has been quite invisible for a long time here, seems to be deleted. Maybe we'll get a  new fresh wave of death metal...who knows. I would say at least labels are looking for more and more personal stuff to release all the time. You never know if they are looking for some kind of astronomy metal next time when you knock their doors. Anyhow, you just have to do your own thing with your heart and keep believing what you're doing... Basically, just 'kick the balls' harder than the others. But  I'm not saying that we don't want to progress and change a bit - it would be dull to do same album again and again.

Matti: I think that it's not gonna change so much here. New bands are coming all the time came but those are mostly the same stuff as their predecessors. I am not following so much our metal scene here but it seems that old school thrash/death metal bands are making comebacks, like: Thor, Overkill, Death Angel, etc.


5. What's the craziest thing you've ever seen at a metal show?

Toni: To be honest I feel like I haven't seen anything that would be abnormal or totally crazy at metal shows. But I know these things are coming in the future when we'll get on the road. I guess that Matson will have more to tell with this one.

Matti: One thing happened in 1989 in Hämeenlinna, Finland, at Giants Of Rock festival. There was performing Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies and etc. Some asshole threw a bottle to the bass player of Suicidal Tendencies and it hit his head. And immediately their vocalist jumped to the audience and hit with a punch that guy who threw the bottle. We heard after the concert that it was the wrong guy, who got the vocalist's fists!



6. And the best and worst shows? Why were they such?

Toni: Best show I've seen was Nile at Tuska festival in Helsinki, Finland, last year. They kicked so much ass with their show, and the energy they had with their music got stuck to the audience. We got a  fucking huge mosh pit there, and people were just raging. It warmed my heart to see something like that. That was a metal show at its best.


And the worst... Type O Negative at the Sauna festival here in Tampere in 07. They were the headliner of that metal festival. And this gothic band gave their sad gothic show like after midnight, no wonder if some people went to sleep at home before they would have been sleeping in the festival area.

Matti: I've been in so many good gigs that it's hard to say which is the best. But it is Iron Maiden's gig in 1990, when I saw them the first time. It was awesome experience, their show was full of energy, and I was 16 years old then. And the Ramones here in Tampere in the same year, we get autographs from the Ramones then... And of course when Bruce Dickinson played in Tampere in 1998; before the show he shared autographs. They're nice memories for me.


7. What is one band that you've never seen live, that you would quite literally kill to see?

Toni: Seems like I don't have to kill anyone for this one. (heheh) A band I wanted to see with such strong feeling was Death, unfotunately it's not possible anymore. Of course there's lots of bands I want to see but somehow I can't pick one out of them.

Matti: I have to say that seems I dont need to kill either. I've seen those all of my favorite bands live on the stage. Including Death with Chuck Schuldiner.


8. Finally, how does one say "Metal as Fuck" in either Finnish or Finglish?

Toni: I give you both. I would say like Vitunmoisen kovaa Metallia and in Finglish it would go like Fak tis metalli on meid of fakin hard stiiiiiil!!!