March 11, 2021 by Doc Metal | Leave a comment
Another cool interview I dug up… This one goes back to 2014, where I interview Wintersun!
Let us go back to 2004, shall we? 2004 was the year I was slowly breaking out of my black metal elitist phase where I compared every song and album I heard to Burzum. Black metal was really my thing back then….loving Varg’s raspy screeches, arm goosebumps to Dimmu Borgir’s melodies, and most importantly, finding new ways to insult black metal’s most current failure….Cradle of Filth.
I had the right to break away from black metal, with so many different genres of metal releasing great albums. My ears were open to so many different new albums…..some from new bands, and new tunes from my old classic favorites. Machine Head came back into my life with “Through the Ashes of Empires,” Lamb of God’s “Ashes of the Wake” blew me away, 3 Inches of Blood turned me into a deadly sinner with “Advance and Vanquish”…..and I had some new ammunition against CoF with their “Nymphetamine” release…….There was one record in particular in 2004 that sucked me in completely……and made me stick with black metal for a looooooong time forward. That band is Wintersun.
If you call yourself a fan of black metal, and haven’t heard Wintersun’s first self titled release, you are a bad person and should be ashamed of yourself. Go buy it and listen to it, then return to this article. I am not kidding. This album is legendary. It is one of the best black metal releases ever to exist. It has become so much of a legend….after time fans thought that a sophomore release would never come out. Years would pass and we would hear about something new that came up which forced another setback for recording. Some fans even came to the conclusion that a new album would never happen. But then we were blessed on October 22nd, 2012…..Time I was finally released.
At first I was mesmerized by the fantastic classical compositions….then the guitar blew me away…..then whoa! Vocals were on point! Screams and clear vocals galore! I was truly impressed. I told myself, “WOW, they sure went into a different direction with this! Jari really has improved as a musician and composer!” I spent the next few days listening to Time I over and over.
I was curious to see what my friends thought about this album. I was actually disappointed to find that some people were giving it mixed and even negative reviews. Excuses like “it sounds way different than the first album” and “did Jari take vocal lessons from Devin Townsend?” seemed to echo amongst my peers. I think back to how I was in 2004, and set myself apart from how my peers saw this album as “not really Wintersun.” I wasn’t an elitist anymore. I realized that music changes over time, and true musicians break out of the monotony of releasing the same album over and over. This album showed growth, it showed passion, and most importantly….power. It disappointed me even more to see internet trolls, young kids that are elitists, kids that most likely never picked up an instrument in their lives talk so much smack about this album…Clouded visions that cannot see the masterpiece before them, not realizing the time and effort put into this release.
Wintersun, I thank you. Jari’s vision has sung true to my ears, and I give this album a 9 out of 10, and I cannot wait to hear the follow up album to be released sometime this year.
A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to be at Wintersun’s sold out performance at the Bottom lounge here in Chicago….a show that Wintersun themselves sold out as an opening act for Eluveitie. The live performance consisted of their entire new album and a few tracks from their first album, and it was phenomenal. After the show, I caught up with Kai Hahto and Jukka Koskinen to talk about the new release. I am thoroughly convinced that the Finnish people are the most polite and kind people on the planet after speaking with these two.
Doc: What was the main reason of the splitting of Time into two albums?
Jukka: Basically the idea came first from our record label, we thought about it for a while and decided on it. I think its a great idea to split what would be a 90 minute album into two parts…to give more attention to each of the songs. Also from a touring view, we can tour now and play the entire first album, then on our next tour we can play the second.
Doc: Smart business move too. Keeps you touring. Even though you know that you will still sell out every show you play here in the US haha.
Jukka: Yea we cant wait to play both albums simultaneously for the fans.
Kai: Yes, but when Time II comes out we are going to concentrate on playing that one in its entirety as we are doing right now with Time I.
Doc: I have seen positive reviews for this album on the internet and I have seen negative reviews. Do you think the internet’s existence has given a positive or negative effect on your band? What would you say to those people who do not like that you changed your sound a bit, and talk shit about your music?
Kai: It hasn’t given us any negative effect at all. We try not to value any negative comments towards us. Jari has a very clear vision about the music he makes. He makes the music for himself and doesn’t care what other people think.
Jukka: There are as many opinions as there are people. Unfortunately more people like to voice negative opinions than positive.
Kai: We like that we evolve, we don’t want to do the same thing over and over again. But we still keep that Wintersun sound.
Jukka: We do something unique, something timeless. Wintersun will continue to develop. I know a lot of bands whose albums sound the same again and again, and that’s their thing. People are devoted to their styles, whatever it is. We, on the other hand, welcome and embrace change.
There you have it, words of wisdom straight from the mouth of Wintersun!
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