?It A?int Noise Pollution?
Interview with Calmsite drummer Jukka Penttinen
Careening down the metal highway, Finland?s booze-addled rock ?n rollers Calmsite have release their debut full length, ?The Erector? via the American Oak Knoll Productions. With a high energy sound that rides the line between Melodic Death and down home Hard Rock (think Gandalf?s ?Rock Hell? meets Sweden?s Demons of Dirt), ?The Erector? is a surprisingly fresh and exciting listen. With the band?s up-tempo riffing and driving backbeat (complete with cowbell!), Calmsite are poised to make a mark. With a new album on the way via Finland?s up and coming Firebox Records (licensed in the States via Oak Knoll), thing?s only look better for these Finnish bastards. Though this is merely a short update on the band?s affairs, the fact that Calmsite is still an as-of-yet unknown band on these shores should make this little chat a worthwhile peek into a band that is beginning to make a name for themselves.
Hey man, how the hell are ya? So this interview?s finally taking place, huh? Well, your lp ?The Erector? kicked my ass to Hell (sinki) and back, man! However, I have a feeling that most of our readers haven?t heard the name Calmsite before. As clich? as it is, would you mind filling us in on some of the earlier days of the band, how you got together, your goals, etc?
Hi! Doing great, thanks. Well, we started the band in 1998 and we have had the same line-up since then. We just started jammin and writing songs. And when we had enough songs, we released our first demo. That was in 1999, i guess. Our goal is to make songs that we like and hopefully some other people would like them too.
The sound of Calmsite stands apart from a lot of bands I?ve heard recently?you have this dirty rock ?n roll sound combined with this melodic extreme metal?was this a sound you?ve always wanted to express? What do YOU think makes Calmsite original, specifically within the Finnish scene?
I don?t [know] if it was something that we felt to express. We just started playing and that just came out. We didn?t have a “masterplan” of how we should sound. We like Rock n roll and metal and you can just hear that in our music. I dont think anything makes Calmsite that much original…
Speaking of which, how would you describe the atmosphere down there for metal? I hear so much about the exposure Heavy Metal has in the mainstream there. Does being Finnish affect your music in any way, do you think?
Finland has a very strong metal scene. Sometimes there can be about 10 metal bands in Finland?s top 20 chart and that?s great. Metal is really a big thing here, maybe even little too big. Being Finnish doesn?t affect in our music in any way. We could be from Bulgaria and still sound the same.
From what I read on your website, a few of these songs have roots that date back to your demos. Have these undergone a lot of changes since they were originally written, or have they retained pretty much the same structure? How did these early demos fare in the underground? Was the response to your liking?
Some of the songs had some changes and some of them didn?t, but mostly they have the same structure. The demos were well received in the underground scene. Reviews and responses from the people were just great. [There is] always somebody [who] complains about something, but you cant please everyone.
Does the band have a concrete ritual that you follow when it comes to songwriting? Do members come in w/ riffs, with arrangements at practice, or do you jam/write whole songs individually?
We just jam. First we come out with the riffs of the songs and then arrange the whole thing. After that we do the lyrics and the vocal parts. And if the song needs some re-arranging, we do that also.
Jukka!! You play the goddamn cowbell on this album! Much respect to you!! Please tell us about your introduction to this wondrous instrument, and about it?s inclusion here on ?The Erector?!!
Well, I just love the sound of it. Cowbell have always been part of rock n roll drum playing. That?s why its there!
From what I understand, you?re already working on your second record for Oak Knoll/Firebox, correct? What can we expect from the new material? Any surprises in store, or are they shaping up to be along similar lines as the ?Erector? material?
Correct. We are working on our second album. The new material is maybe little bit darker but I think it has more rock n roll and groove also. There will be few surprises on the way, but it has some similar lines with “The Erector” too. It?s hard to describe the album at this point.
How did you originally get in touch with Jeremy/Oak Knoll, and are you satisfied with the partnership thus far?
We sent a promo cd to Jeremy and he was interested. Partnership with Oak-Knoll has worked out quite well so far.
How far do you think you would want to take Calmsite? World Domination? Do you see yourselves making a living from this one day?
We want to take Calmsite as far as we possibly can. We don?t know how far is that, yet. We would like to make a living from this one day, but we will see about that..
What other bands from your area coming up now should we look out for? Would you say you?ve been inspired from other Finnish bands coming up before you, or has it been more of an overseas influence for the band? Personally, I hear a little bit of Gandalf (RIP) in your sound?
Look out for Skepticism, they are a cool band?Endstand, as well. We have had more overseas influence than Finnish. I don?t think that Gandalf has influenced our band. It was a good band, though.
What?s next for the band? Please fill us in on the new album process!
Currently we are writing and rehearsing stuff for the new album. We have 9 songs ready and they need just little bit fine tuning and lyrics. And we are going to the studio in April.
Ok man, I think that?s it?last words are yours! Thanks for talking to us, take care!