Interview With Demigod
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen
I guess some of you have been wondering what´s been going on with Demigod lately, as
it feels nearly like an eternity since we have heard from them, right dear folks?
Well, one thing is for sure; the Demigod dudes haven´t been resting on their laurels,
doing nothing, since the band´s 2nd full-length album SHADOW MECHANICS was released on
Spikefarm Records more than two years ago. In fact, the guys have (slowly) been writing
new material for their next yet untitled album all that time and doing a few one-off gigs
here in Finland. There´s also a few other things what these fine´n´ old chaps wanted to
reveal about Demigod and things around the band - and all you need to do in order to find
out the rest, is to read this interview which I just recently did nearly with the whole
Seems like Demigod are ready for a real battle again...
It´s been quite awhile since you have been some noise around you, so would you
basically give us some updates what´s been going in the Demigod camp as of late?
Jussi: Weve been writing some new tunes and theres been a few gigs as well.
And as you know Luxi weve always been really slow when it comes to the song-writing
process! Things are looking up though, cos we have a few quite strong songs ready
and more is on the way!
As it already was heard somewhat clearly from your last album, you have been heading
heavily toward a relatively technical, but damn catchy Thrash Metal direction constantly -
and your new material just doesn´t make any exception to this rule. This goes only for
the songs, tho. However, would you even claim that with your next album, there will hardly
be any elements from Death Metal in your songs (except for some vocal parts) as Thrash
Metal as its own single genre, is still much closer to your hearts nowadays than Death
Sami: Well, we dont really think about what particular genre our music
represents. Its true that we have drifted more towards Thrash Metal, but those Death
Metal -based Demigod elements will always be somewhere in our music no matter if we wanted
it or not.
Jussi: Its a little difficult for me to analyze whats what in our music
cos I just dont think about those things that much
However, since you
demand (?) an answer, hows this. Were a Death-Thrash -oriented musical
orchestra, with an emphasis to stand tall on the ´thrashier´ side of things.
Do you find playing Thrash Metal a more challenging yet more pleasing thing than
playing Death Metal nowadays as we all can still rather well remember Demigod actually
started out as a really heavy and brutal Death Metal band?
Jussi: I find it quite pleasing to play a little more technical stuff at least when we
get it just right. Although our older and simpler material is also great to play live, I
mean, theres just more room to get really wild on stage and stuff, y´know.
Tero: We have also tuned our guitars to ´d´ because it's better to play. The sound is
better and clearer now, but still heavy enough.
If you even told a bit for the readers of Metal-Rules.com by a few descriptive words
how your new songs sound like musically, it would be very nice from (each of) you? Are
there actually some bands which you could compare your new tunes musically to? I honestly
have to admit that for me Obliveon´s NEMESIS album -era came to my mind kinda peculiar
way out of some of your new songs, especially riff-wise, and maybe even some Forbidden
-stuff as well?
Jussi: Yes, sir!! Obliveons NEMESIS has had a huge impact on us and our
song-writing, and for sure weve picked a few things from them along the way. Bands
like Metallica, Forbidden and Nevermore should also be mentioned here especially when it
comes to Demigod´s guitar stuff! Obviously theres loads more bands and music styles
that influence us, too.
Sami: You scored it well when you mentioned those two bands Luxi! Those are the bands
that we all have praised all these years.
Tuomas: There are many kinds of musical influences in our new stuff. In my opinion all
the songs differ from each other quite a lot.
Not only your music has changed quite drastically since you started Demigod, but you
also have grown apart from the standard ´death, killing and destruction´ concepts
lyrically that at least partly dominated your past lyrics in your songs as it did for many
other Death Metal band back in the day. What kind of themes or topics do interest you
lyrically these days and do you think that you are even able to express better Demigod
lyrically nowadays than in the past what the band is all about and so on? Do you feel like
your lyrics support your music even relatively well if we keep the focus on some of your
latest lyrics you have done for the band?
Tero: Yep, lyrical side has changed over the years as well. Early Demigod lyrics were
quite often from the same mold. Now, I think we have more sense in them. We put more
thought in them as we don't write about one or two topics only. Now we write about stuff
like sick people, diseases, fears and other funny topics that go on in this nice world. It
is also very important that lyrics fit to the song you know. If you got an angry song you
must have angry lyrics as well.
Tuomas: Political and fantasy topics are out of fashion for us. We are not healing the
world anyway. We also listen to each others opinions during the writing process, so there
won´t be much so-called ´wimpy stuff´ in the end. A guitar riff can sometimes give
inspiration to the lyrics and vice versa.
As you currently have like 6 new finished or almost finished tunes, do you believe
that all these 6 Demigod songs will most probably end up being on you forth-coming 3rd
album as well as they certainly should represent Demigod of 2004 a somewhat splendid way
Jussi: Yes maam, I do believe the 6 tunes you mentioned will end up on our next
album. We have actually made a few more songs but we only told you about those 6 songs
cos those songs are worth mentioning.
Sami: I just checked out what kind of stuff we have put together after the SHADOW
MECHANICS album and I noticed that we have thrown away 5 complete songs plus several
almost complete tunes because in time they didnt sound good enough for us anymore.
Those 6 six songs have survived, so they will definitely be heard on the next album.
Your song writing process for the band has also been changing quite drastically
during these past few months. Now you guys don´t have to rehearse the same way like you
used to rehearse in the past, having the whole band being gathered to your rehearsal place
as it seemed to be quite hard to organize for you guys every now and then in the first
place. Enter a modern technology... it has offered you a helping hand for this lil´
dilemma, but as I somehow assume you may want to go on from this...
Jussi: HEY DUDE, COMPUTERS KICK ASS!!!! Seriously though, youre right about the
helping hand thing. Its easier to concentrate on the actual song writing when you
dont have to worry about getting the other guys to interrupt you at certain points
and also not having to teach each riff to everyone when youre trying to figure out a
structure of a song! When we started to use computers on our song-writing process, we
became much more ambitious towards our music.
Sami: Yes, we had to figure out some new ways to keep things going. So basically we
just book every idea down into a computer in order to not forget them by next rehearsals.
Dementia is always lurking right behind the corner, you know. We also use computer to try
different drum tracks on those ideas. Thats basically it, we havent turned
into computer nerds or anything like that, tho -hah!
Now if we could look back in times a little bit, your 2nd full-length album titled
SHADOW MECHANICS was released in 2002 on Spikefarm Records. My question is, what do you
honestly think of that album nowadays, in the beginning of 2004? Do you still feel it´s a
great album and kind of represents what Demigod is all about musically?
Jussi: Well, I just have to say a few things here
Above everything SHADOW
MECHANICS is a sort of a document that we made to give an idea of whats
been going on with Demigod over the years. So, there are a few musical experiments that we
tried and there are old songs, new songs, weird vocal arrangements and all kinds of funny
stuff on that album. It was also Seppo´s last piece of work with us, so SHADOW MECHANICS
is also sort of a testament for him if thinking this way
MECHANICS was made at a point when we had two possibilities
make the record or let
the band wither and die!!! So we decided to give this band one more chance, and as it
we are having a LOT of fun with it! Okay, thats enough with why we
did what we did. The actual answer comes here, SHADOW MECHANICS was never the greatest
album as such, but we have a lot love for it nevertheless!! And finally, let me assure you
my friend, the next Demigod album will wipe the fucking floor with S.M., just count on
Sami: Basically the idea behind the album was to choose best songs from the past ten
years and get them to people to hear. After all we had put a lot of time and energy for
those songs. The thought that nobody would ever hear them was very frustrating. So our
main goal was achieved and I think we had no chance to do it any better than we did. So my
answer is: Im still happy with the album and Im proud that we did it because
otherwise Demigod would have been history for good.
When it finally came out and people got a chance to buy it for themselves, how was
people´s response for it? Did you (guys) receive lots of feedback about the album? How
did people overall like it?
Jussi: Some people love the album and some people hate it! Someone even said that
were in it for the money????????? What fucking money?????
Sami: All in all there hasnt been very much feedback at all. And the feedback
that we have been given has been very diverse although most of it has been positive.
Its true that its not the easiest record because of its diversity, so people
have probably been very confused and probably dont know what to think about it.
As far as I know, the selling for your 2nd album wasn´t exactly something as I
originally hoped it to be. In fact, at least for my big surprise, SHADOW MECHANICS has
been one of the worst selling album on the Spikefarm -roster, so can you tell us what
happened with it? Do you think that a new generation of metal fans simply didn´t know who
you were or even what kind of metal you were churning out? Let´s now keep in our minds
that your debut album was released in 1992 already through Spanish Drowned Productions, so
there´s over 10 years between the debut and your latest album. Things have this bad
tendency to sink into oblivion if you don´t keep enough noise about your existence, so I
guess that´s exactly what might have happened to Demigod, do you agree with me?
Jussi: I totally agree with you!! In 10 years time almost any band would be forgotten,
let alone a small underground band like Demigod! To be honest, though, we didnt
expect huge sales for this album in the first place. Maybe just a little more though! We
knew we were in a place where any other new comer is with a debut album?
Are you completely happy how Spikefarm Records did all the promotion for SHADOW
MECHANICS prior to it came out on the label? I don´t know if I´m alone with my
observation, but I hardly saw any decent promotional campaign done for this particular
album by them, so probably it should have been promoted a little better then than was done
for it? What do you honestly think of this?
Jussi: Dont really know what they did or didnt do as far as the promotion
goes? I guess it wasnt the most massive campaign of all times for it, tho. I kind of
have this naive idea that the coolest promotion would be the word spreading
from person to person! So you realize Im really stupid with this kind of stuff
I´m also kinda curious to know whether there has actually been any other label
interest out there for Demigod since SHADOW MECHANICS was put out?
Have you ever planned to warm up some of your older Death Metal tracks, turn them
into more Thrash -orientated songs and actually record at least one or two of them for
your next album or something? Just think about how a song like Slumber of Sullen
Eyes would sound like if it went through your ´Thrash -treatment´, over 13 years
later since it was created?
Jussi: Theres been a few songs that we have considered to give a
Thrash-treatment! But so far there are no actual plans for recording any of them
Tuomas: I think that we play the older tunes quite traditional way, as they were meant
to be played and they still seem to fit well in our set list.
Do you ever honestly miss those past times when your previous vocalist Esa Lindén
and drummer Seppo Taatila were official members of the Demigod line-up? Wouldn´t it be
kinda, let´s just say, ´nostalgic´ or whatever if you got a chance to play even one gig
with those fellows some day again, now only playing songs from your old demo/reh songs up
to the excellent SLUMBER OF SULLEN EYES album for a small amount of those people who were
there supporting and digging Demigod since the beginning? Like an old-school Death Metal
gig for old-school Death Metal fans, y´know?
Tero: The present line-up is very good to play with and we sure have a lot of fun
playing together. Surely it would be a nice idea to play a gig with the old geezers to the
old geezers, but it probably won't happen. The old days were good and we remember them
that way as well, but I see no reason why should we weep about them. It´s history and
everyone should go on with their lives. However we sometimes jam with Seppo at our
rehearsal place and play old tunes with him, thats nostalgia enough for us.
So, what´s up with Demigod gig-wise? I have seen you guys doing a few gigs around
the South of Finland; these one-off gigs, but for some reason or the other you haven´t
done any more extensive tour-like things since SHADOW MECHANICS was released? I just
Sami: We got things rolling several months after the recordings and that was a little
bit too late. But we have done all the gigs that we have been asked to play. Now it has
been quiet just because we want to write the rest of the material for the next album and
then activate the band on that sector.
Back in the day when your debut album SLUMBER OF SULLEN EYES was put out on Drowned
Productions, you even happened made some gigs outside of Finland like in Germany and
Sweden. I was just thinking that it would be cool if you got a decent gig organizer for
yourself so that you could seriously start considering to play outside of Finland once
again. Shouldn´t be that difficult, I guess...
Jussi: Wanna be our manager? There's no pay and we'll drink your beer and slap you
around, bitch! Yes, it would be nice to play gigs all over the world and in Finland, too!
Are the some bands you would like to make even some gigs nowadays? I somehow doubt
that playing with some Death Metal bands wouldn´t be as cool for you nowadays as doing
some gigs with some more Thrash Metal -orientated bands. I was just thinking of such bands
as Exodus, Infernäl Mäjesty, Dark Angel and bands alike; I mean, specifically all these
old-school Thrash Metal acts!
Tero: Would be an honor to play with any of those bands you mentioned, but we have
totally nothing against Death Metal oriented gigs either. Just nothing against Death Metal
generally... In conclusion; we don't have any specific band in mind that we'd like to play
with at the moment. Anything goes...
Now talking a bit about one of my favorite topics ever refering to my last
question... namely an old-school Thrash Metal to be more specific with you. How do you
personally feel that some of these once dead and buried Thrash Metal heroes that pretty
much used to dominate the Thrash Metal scene in the past, have all made their comebacks
and some of them have even signed multi-album deals with some most known international
record labels. Now I was pointing my finger to bands like Exodus, Death Angel, Dark Angel,
Nuclear Assault, Heathen, etc. Do you honestly believe they can still live up their past
glorious and prime days and churn out some quality Thrash -shit as they all used to on
their earlier albums?
Sami: It's hard to say on behalf of other bands. Surely some comebacks succeed and some
don't. I haven't heard the new material from the bands you mentioned, but I surely like to
listen to their old stuff.
Tero: My world doesn't collapse if some one´s comeback sucks ass or not. I dont
particularly follow the scene that much, but its always nice to hear what kinda shit
the old dudes have put together.
While were at it, talking about the past ´giants´ of a pleasingly ´deathrashing´
metal, also some relatively known and popular Finnish metal combos have made their
comebacks. For example such Finnish metal bands that were formed sometimes around the
´80s as National Napalm Syndicate, Sacred Crucifix and Necromancer have been dug out of
their cold graves to bring some noise for metalheads again which I think it just great.
How do you personally feel this whole revival of some of these particular Finnish metal
acts? Do you still believe that some of these bands even will manage to find themselves
under the same limelights where they used to be in the prime of their whole career?
Jussi: Very nice bands I'm sure, I just don't know enough about them to be seriously
interested on their revivals. Good luck to them all the same.
What about this so-called retro-Thrash movement then here in Finland these days with
bands like Mokoma, WhereVictimsLie, Jumalation, Malicious Death and so on, leading the
troops. Many of these have, however, obtained a familiar Thrash Metal sound for themselves
that pays a somewhat great tribute to the old-school Thrash Metal where reminiscences from
bands like old Slayer, Kreator, Razor, Destruction, etc. can be relatively effortlessly
tracked down. What´s your own honest view about this matter? To me it seems like Thrash
Metal as its own single metal genre is making its strong comeback not only
internationally, but nationally in Finland as well...
Tero: Personally I dont follow much whats going on in the scene today, but
it seems like the way you said. Thrash Metal sure has raised its head in the todays
world of metal. Its hard to say whether this kind of trend is here to stay or will
it be forgotten in few years? If Im correct, the old-school Death Metal
also made some kind of comeback a few years ago, so who really knows. Im a big fan
of Thrash Metal, have always been and will always be, so I like this kind of trend very
much. Its cool to hear that bands like Exodus, Testament, etc. are back in the game.
I cant say much about these ´retro bands´, ´cause I really havent heard
their music. I still listen to the old stuff rather than go and buy new records.
Your drummer also plays drums in a Death Metal band called Deepred. How does that
affect your gig plans? Does he still consider Demigod as his main band or is it Deepred?
As far as I know, Deepred has been doing quite a lot of gigs both here in Finland and
abroad as well - at least compared to Demigod, so is it hard for him to arrange his own
schedules in with both of the bands?
Tero: Yeah you got that right, not much gigs for us lately. So, no problems so far...
Were not exactly sure which band he keeps as his main band. He seems to be a bit
overworked sometimes. Rehearsals here and there you know. Truth is that well have to
organize Demigod rehearsals long ahead to avoid fucked up schedules.
I checked out your homepage and noticed that it hasn´t been updated for awhile.
What´s going on with your site anyway?
Tero: We have no clue whats happened to our webmaster. We havent heard from
him in a long time. Were working on the matter as we speak. If we dont hear
from him soon well probably have to create a totally new homepage for the band.
Its a darn pity ´cause internet seems to be the most important source for
everything nowadays and we sure would like to stay on that wagon. On the other hand,
theres not much happening in the band right now to tell about. Were rehearsing
new stuff so that we can be ready for the next album. In case something major happens
were trying to put in the guestbook of the pages.
Have you been able to give any thought when you might record your next album? It´s
gonna happen before the years end if I can predict this much, correct?
Tero: Hopefully before the end of this year. The sooner the better!! We must rehearse
everything to the final shape first, so that we can just press the record button in the
studio and play. We had a valuable lesson in not being ready for the studio, when
SHADOW... was recorded. We literally wrote some of the songs in the studio. That was a
fucked up way to do it I tell ya. Damn stressful and frustrating it was and if that
wasnt enough then Mika Haapasalos coffee that was served at his studio,
destroyed our stomachs completely. Anyway, things are going forward pretty good rehearsal
wise and altogether. Jussi and Sami have been writing some hell of a lot songs lately, so
Have you been thinking any thought what could be an optimal amount of songs you
would like to get done before you enter a studio to record your next output? Would it be
kind of cool idea to have some sort of a limited special edition out, too that could
contain either some bonus tracks or even live videos from your past years?
Tero: Nine or ten songs might be an optimal amount on the record, I guess.
Jussi: Some sort of a limited edition would be cool, however I don´t think Spikefarm
will spend money on that kind of thing.
What do you believe 2004 will have for Demigod?
Tuomas: Hopefully a new record and some gigs. We are working our hairy arses off to get
that stupid record out.
I want to sincerely thank you again for your time with all these questions and
let´s hope that this year will be better for Demigod than the last year was all in all.
If there´s still something you would like to add to this very interview, then go ahead
and fulfill the rest of the interview with some extra info about Demigod for us...
Jussi: Thanks for the tricky questions Leroy!!! We love you, dude
Thanks to Hanna Maunuksela for all Demigod pics.
Band Website: www.neovoid.org/demigod
Interview With Demigod
Jussi Kiiski firstname.lastname@example.org
Tero Laitinen email@example.com
Sami Vesanto firstname.lastname@example.org