Heart of Steel: Interviews

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Interview With Sacred Crucifix
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen

From the North from Finland, Kuusamo, came a totally relentless and evil sounding ´Deathrash´ metal band that was known for its Criminal Assault moniker at first, but which was soon baptized by its unholy current name, Sacred Crucifix.

The year 1989 could be considered as one of the turning points for Sacred Crucifix. That year saw the first real demo release of the band; a 4-song demo titled REALMS OF DARKNESS was unleashed by - practically speaking, a zero-budget, but it was very well circulated through the tape trading scene and gained much attention and flattering comments amongst metalheads in every corner of the globe. It became a true underground classic demo in no time, and everything looked really promising and ready for them until the band split up sometimes around in the end of ´90, due to band´s former member and carrying force Miku Mertanen´s move to Sweden for some years (amongst other things!)

Some of the old members from the original line-up tried to breathe some vital air into Sacred Crucifix in 1993 again, but unfortunately that attempt was a relatively short-lived, even if the guys managed to record some real killer Sacred Crucifix tunes (“Inseparable Dream”, “Caelum Sperare”, “Unsound World”, etc.) with their new line-up; introducing a more technical and modern-sounding Sacred Crucifix.

I honestly thought it was all over for Sacred Crucifix then and yet another talented metal band had ceased to exist without leaving any commercially valuable products behind their back. But how wrong I was with them. The beginning of the new millennium was also a real head-start for Sacred Crucifix´s new coming, having the original frontman back in the line-up, more determined and motivated to return Sacred Crucifix back to those original footsteps that meant a whole world for the guys musically since they started the band. Evil, twisted, and sinister old-school Death/Thrash Metal into the true ´80s fashion is where they get their true fuel and venom from, but let the guys enlighten us by themselves more about the band´s past, present and the future as well.

As a side note: I also had a pleasure to inquire a few things from one of the owners of a brand-new studio called Tonebox Studio, located in Oulu, named Janne T., about the recording process of Sacred Crucifix´s new promo and basically things that are related to the future activities of this particular studio.

 

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Sacred Crucifix lineup, 2003

 

So, would you enlighten all of us as for starters who are Sacred Crucifix from a historical perspective, as people seem not to be aware of your band too much these days. Now take your time with this introduction of the band, will ya?

OK, in 1987 Janne on drums, Tommi on guitar, Sami on guitar, Miku on bass and Hannu on vocals started the band under a name Criminal Assault which released a four-track tape including three songs. In the beginning it was kind of a fun project, but in 1988 it turned more serious. At the same year we changed the name to Sacred Crucifix. During -´88 we made a decision to say goodbye to Hannu because he was not capable of singing these REALMS OF DARKNESS songs, so Miku and Tomppa took over the vocal duties. In the summer of -89 we jumped to studio to make R.O.D -demo. We started distributing R.O.D and surprisingly it became quite a success in the underground scene. Then in 1990 we went to Soundmix -studio, Oulu, to record a promo-tape. A few labels were interested in us, but we had some bad luck and things did not work out. Then Tommi and Janne went to army and Miku moved to Sweden.

In 1993 Sacred Crucifix was reformed again. Janne on drums, Tommi on guitar, Jarkko on guitar, Essi on bass and Tommo on vocals. Style was more technical than before. In 1994 Sacred Crucifix went to Tico-Tico studio, Kemi, and made another promo-tape which did not meet the expectations at that time. In 1996 Jarkko moved to Jyväskylä and eventually joined Trio Niskalaukaus (“Hyvä Petosalmi”!).

After a few years Miku started to plan a reformation. Finally Janne moved also to Oulu and the band was back on the right track once again. In October 2002 we started rehearsing with Janne on drums, Tommi on guitar, Miku on bass and vocals, Jukka Kyrö on guitar (also in both Burning Point and N.N.S). Jukka didn`t have enough time for us, so we decided to go our own way. After that we found a new guitar player Tero Kemppainen. From October 2002 to this point we have 13 brand new songs. We also have 4 old songs on our play-list as well. The day when we started making this interview was 5th of May and we will enter Tonebox Studio on 7th of May. We have a week booked for us to record 3 songs for promotion and we all are very excited. Our style is an old-school Death Metal as we had it as our main musical style within the period from 1988 to 1991.

 

 

So, now that you have recorded and mixed the songs, could you tell to the readers of Metal-Rules.com how these 3 new songs turned out both music - and sound-wise? I´m also dying to hear about your studio adventure a bit more as this obviously was Sacred Crucifix´s first studio visit for many, many years, correct?

Everything went very smoothly at the studio and we recorded 4 songs all in all for this promo. Let me introduce these four new songs one by one:

“Aeon of Chaos”

We had a song called “Period of Chaos” with the old line-up Sacred Crucifix back in 91, so the idea for the song is the same. Now, years after, we took up the idea and Janne and Miku re-wrote the same song again and it is same elements in it as it was back then, but it is definitely a new song after all. Miku also did new lyrics for it based on the same idea, so that´s pretty much about it.

“Three Times the 12th Letter”

This song has our ex-guitarist Jukka Kyrö´s signature. We just added our own ideas and elements into it and here is the result. We call it as a “Morbid Angel” song.

“Still Here”

Janne, our drummer, made this song a few months ago. Miku did lyrics to it and it has a story about a ghost house, near Janne´s homevillage. We actually shot a video in that place in 1990, (“Vlad Dracul” that is) but we never finished it.

“The Painhour”

This song has Miku´s signature. It´s is a brutal song and it is story about a madman who was interested in bondage, playing with chains and stuff. As a matter of fact, these songs mainly are made by Janne, Miku and Tommi (except “Three Times…”). Most often it´s like someone of us comes to rehearsals with a new song and the others usually have some ideas to add for parts of a song. That is how we work with our new stuff basically. As for the studio -session, it was an adventure for us because it´s been such a long time ago when we were at the studio together. Miku and Janne arrived to the studio late when we were supposed to record drums for the songs first. But when the guys came eventually to the studio, Janne played everything practically with the first take. That was one of the reasons for that why we decided to record 4 songs instead of 3. Then we started to record bass tracks at the same day, but that particular bass was awful to play, so we ended up recording guitars instead.

Next day Tommi played all guitar tracks and Miku started with a much better bass. The final day of the sessions was to record 2 bass tracks and the vocals. We were done pretty early at that day. Then the mixing for those four songs was done in two days. As a single note, our new promo was mixed by Janne Tauriainen and Ari Koskenkorva at the Tonebox-studio in Oulu.

 

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Tonebox Studio, control room, Janne T, Ari K

 

How did this particular studio experience differ from the one when you recorded your 3-song promo in 1990 by your own words? There´s a cap of 13 years, so I bet you could tell quite easily actually what the main differencies were to get this new promo both recorded and mixed at a very pro-studio compared to the times when you did those 3 (semi-legendary) songs back in the day?

Everything was done analogically back then. These days there is Pro-Tools and stuff. In that -90 promo tape we recorded it live to the tape. Drums, bass and one guitar straight to the tape Then Tommi and Sami played 2 guitar-tracks in and vocals at last. We had one day for recording and mixing. It took only 12 hours.

 

 

Are you happy with everything how the things worked out with these two masters of sounds for those four songs? Or is there still something on those four songs either structure - or sound-wise you would like to change afterwards if you got another opportunity for that?

Of course, there is always a little things to change better. It takes a few days after recording sessions and you start to criticize it. It is the same thing always. We are quite pleased with the production on the new 2003 promo. It was very easy to work with the guys, so all credit for the S.C. -boys also. They understood what kind of sound we wanted for it and that´s basically it.

 

 

Could you say that both Janne and Ari had a full understanding toward your kind of music, like the guys knew precisely what kind of sound you were looking for your new songs?

Yes, they had a full understanding. They are professionals.

 

 

Now when you have surely been listening to these songs on the new promo over and over again, can you already tell which is your very favorite song out of them all and what kind of things make it so ´special´ particularly for you guys?

Miku: “Aeon of Chaos”. I can not explain why, but I like it most.

Janne: “The Painhour”. It is every time fucking nice to play that song.

Tommi: “Still Here” for me. I´m always get some great vibes when I play that particular song. It´s got a really nice chorus, too.

Tero: “The Painhour” for me. It is very angry.

 

 

A couple of questions for both Janne and Ari… As you guys seem to be relatively experienced studio musicians already, would you tell from your own point of view what kind of experience it was to work with the guys in Sacred Crucifix? Were they some of the easiest guys to work with for you if your past experiences with some other band members can be any indicator for you, and how demanded guys they were actually when talking about the whole recording process as wholeness?

Janne T: First of all, we did the whole promo in just five days. We used three days to record all the instruments and two days for mixing. All the guys were here basically all the time during the recordings. With the experiences from the past, we wanted to have some privacy during the editing and mixdown (it can be very painful to work in the control room with four musicians, who all wants to be producers as well), so we mixed everything ready and then guys came up and we did some slight changes if there were any to make. I think that the whole process was just very easy for both of the parties. The main reason for that being that we all are old friends with each other and have known each other for years already.

 

 

Did these guys tell you very accurately what kind of sound they were after for their new 4-song promo actually? And were these goals reached eventually?

Janne T: Yes, the main goal was to have kind of an old-school Death Metal sound. That´s why the guys brought Death´s HUMAN and Sepultura´s ARISE albums with them to the studio for a reference. If you keep in mind that we spend just five days for the whole process, I think we reached the goal.

 

 

Did you face any technical problems during all these recording sessions when the recording/mixing process for their four songs was going on and how you solved / fixed those problems if there were any?

Janne T: No, there were no problems at all.

 

 

I was just wondering whether you would like to tell something about the studio itself, what kind of technical equipments you actually have there and what kind of reasons made you choosing all those equipments for your own studio?

Janne T: First of all, this particular studio is designed by the leading Finnish Acoustic Engineering company called Akukon Oy. The studio has a control room which is designed for both stereo and 5.1 surround sound applications. We have two live rooms, live room one for more acoustic instruments and live room two for over dubbing. The main equipment in the studio are Yamaha DM2000 Production console with ProTools HD with two 192 I/O´s. This gives us freedom to work with stereo and Surround sound productions as well as sound for picture productions. We have various models of microphones from the manufacturers such as Neumann, Akg, Sennheiser, Shure and Audio Technica with several outboard units.

 

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Tonebox Studio, live room

 

How booked is your studio already for the rest of the year? Your studio isn´t that known yet, but I still assume a word about it has been spred quite successful around already by mouth-to-mouth -basis, am I right?

Janne T: Well, as I mentioned above we do sound for many applications, we have some promo recordings coming in during the summer along side with sound for picture projects, but the first pure album recording starts in mid August and will continue at least three or four weeks. There are few bands coming in at the moment, but hopefully these promos that we did for Sacred Crucifix and N.N.S. will help us to get even more bands to come in. It has taken six months to build this studio and we have been open for just two weeks so everything is quite open, but we´ll see what happens. You also have to keep in mind that we as engineers have studied and worked both in England and Finland for past five years.

 

 

Would you tell me next what kind of other services do you have available there for your both present - and future customers?

We do music recordings both in stereo and 5.1 surround sound formats and also sound for picture. Also there will be a 100 square meters social area for the clients in the future. There will an English homepage during the summer but in the meantime you can at least check pictures from our studio at www.tonebox.net.

 

 

Back to the reformed Sacred Crucifix next, what kind of reasons made to reform the band again and how much there´s old classic Sacred Crucifix sound involved in this new coming of the band? Have your both attitude and motivation, to be a part of the band, remained the same over the years or would you let us know how these years have been changing you guys both as individuals as well as musicians somehow or some way?

Miku: The reason to reform Sacred Crucifix was obvious for me. I have felt all this time that there is so much for me to give to the band. I played in a few bands in Sweden, but those bands felt so wrong for me. All that time I thought about Sacred Crucifix. The feeling I get when playing with Tommi and Janne is different from playing with anybody else. I think that everyone who plays in a band should have the same feeling. That is the reason I started to call from Sweden to both Janne and Tommi. Like we said in the first question, it is the old Sacred Crucifix style what you are going to hear. When we play and are together it is the same feeling of same kind of guys as it was back then. But now we do not want anything to ruin this group. We want to show you who we are and what Sacred Crucifix is all about. Everyone have their personal lives, but we do things together at weekends (like drinking, -heh!). Musicians, hmm... well hope so.

Janne: I felt something was missing in my life ‘cause I have always played drums (most of the time in S.C.) and made music. There is still so much to do in that section. So I had the call from Miku and I fixed my life to make it possible to play in S.C. again (moving to Oulu, etc.) Nowadays my role writing songs in this band, is more important than before which is increasing my enthusiastic attitude toward it all the time and that way things are getting more mature (i.e. getting old, -ha!).

Tommi: Along with these years we have definitely changed for the better, in music and as persons we are more mature and more patient. My personal improvement as a composer and guitar player gives lot more to the guys and the band, yet, we still need to improve as musicians and humans.

 

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Left to right: Tommi, Tero. Down from left to right: Miku, Janne

 

As we speak, if you compare overall the feeling and spirit you had in the band activities back in the day to your feelings and such toward the band nowadays, what kind of things you could say, have changed over the years - and what kind of things have somewhat remained the same if you stare things from this particular point of view?

Well, our attitude has remained the same through all these years. It hasn´t changed a bit. We stand behind our music as much as before and that is the main thing what we are doing. The thing which has changed is only the time itself… Sacred Crucifix has remained and will remain the same!

 

 

When you started this band back in 1987 or -88 under Criminal Assault -moniker, I guess you simply wanted to spread your name around a little bit and basically make some noise just like many other friends of your obviously did at your age. But what was the real turning point fro Sacred Crucifix from your own point of view when things started to get a bit more serious and goal-orientated inside the band? Was it your REALMS OF DARKNESS demo which you released in 1989 and brought a lot of positive attention to you from all over the world? As far as I know it was your 3-song promo tape which you recorded in 1990 is the one that almost made you signed a deal with one unnamed Mexican label; what actually happened?

A real turning point for Sacred Crucifix, from our point of view, was the REALMS OF DARKNESS demo-tape. We figured out that Tommi and I can make some noise together. A few months before making R.O.D. we felt that we should take this band more seriously. Saying goodbye to Hannu was one step ahead for a serious band. The success of R.O.D. was really a surprise. At that point we realized a true value of our music and with it brought more both serious attitude and dedication to the band. We had no idea how the music was spred to Brazil, Japan etc. The underground tape trading scene was a very powerful distributor and supporter for us at that time. We really don´t not know which tape they received from us back then and what went wrong with that Mexican label.

 

 

As I´m told, you actually signed a recording contract with them and returned it back to them, but then you never heard from them again for some strange reason. I was having this feeling in the back of my mind that they tried to rip you guys off somehow; does that correct?

We really don`t know what their real intentions were; possibly only to rip us off? Well, we will never know that for sure what his main intention was with us.

 

 

With this brand-new promo of yours, you will most probably start hunting the most ideal record label for yourselves; and as we have been communicating lately and according to that thing, Spinefarm Records is on the very top of that ´most wanted´ list. Can you tell us what makes them so superior or at least the best alternative for your band? Do you have a feeling that to get a recording contract with a domestic label, is always the best possible alternative for any band - and absolutely the main and most important goal which Sacred Crucifix will be after for more than anything; trying to sign a contract with Spinefarm Records? Or do you still keep other options open as well?

Having a deal with a Finnish record company will make things a bit easier for us, that´s for sure. Thinking of the best and most ideal record label in Finland for a Death Metal band, it sure is Spinefarm Records in our opinion. That`s what we think. But of course all other options are open as well. The main thing is to sign a contract with a decent label that we know for sure won´t rip us off and let us do musically what we want to in the first place.

 

 

But what happens if they don´t have guts to sign you for some strange reason? Is there a masterplan n:o 2. existing somewhere, well, let´s say ´just in case…´?

Of course, we are still gonna work with new stuff all the time, no matter if no label would sign us right away. We do not have ´a masterplan n:o 2.´; instead of that we surely have ´a masterplan n:o 100´. We will absolutely do our best and hope that everything will go smoothly and painlessly for us as far as these kinds of things are concerned. You can count on us that we are gonna work our asses off for this band. We are not gonna give up, that`s for sure!!

 

 

You also have some sort an album cover drawn by Petagno (the artist for Motörhead, Angel Corpse, Thorium, Afterworld, Diabolical and many others. How did you get in touch with him in the first place?

Jukka (our ex-guitarist; now in both Burning Point and N.N.S. - Luxi notes!) knows him, so that way.

 

 

Would you reveal something about that particular cover for the readers of Metal-Rules.com, how does it look like exactly? What kind of elements has he used in it?

The cover looks like chaos in which all religion symbols have been crushed down in it. That´s it kind of in a nutshell…

 

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1987 line-up: Hannu, Miku, Sami, Janne, Tommi

 

You also seem to have quite a few different versions for the Sacred Crucifix -logo. Have you already decided which one of them you will take on use f.ex. for the album cover of your debut album?

Yes. The logo was made by Juha Vuorma, the oldest logo that was ever used for Sacred Crucifix.

 

 

Since you reformed the band, you guys have been very active song writing-wise. You have already material ready for more than a full-length album, so you tell us politely a bit more detailed way about all your new stuff that you have got ready by now?

Miku: Our songs are coming from different things, (just as before) for example: From movies, wicked personalities, things that are happening around us currently and from our hate and aggression. Things are getting easier to provide these days because we have become more mature and less cynical.

Janne: In my opinion the new stuff is based on the same elements as the R.O.D. and the promo -90, but in a modern way. That makes our music very interesting for those listeners who are comparing our old and the new stuff to each other.

 

 

I bet you must already have some kind of expectations as far as your 1st ever album goes, so how would you like it be as wholeness if you think of the whole package both music - as well as layout-wise? Are there some specific things that you are going to pay an extra load of attention to when you start working with it eventually?

Music-wise, people can expect to hear the sound of old Sacred Crucifix; we haven´t changed or modernized our sound at all even if we will definitely pay attention to a powerful and heavy production very much. As for the artwork for our debut album, all I can say it will support our music perfectly.

 

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1989 line up: Sami, Miku, Tommi, Janne

 

So if I can read you guys correctly enough, you felt like you should try to stay loyal to your original roots and not modernize your sound too drastically so that once people get a chance to hear from you after a long period of silence, they will be able to notice right away from your sound that: “Hey, this sounds really familiar… this must be Sacred Crucifix!!”. Was that one of your main goals with this ´latest coming´; to maintain basically the classic Sacred Crucifix -sound more than anything else really? What songs out of your new stuff sound closest to your old material if your ´90 promo could be some sort of standard point of comparison?

Yeah, you could say so. A few fellows of mine have already heard our promo and they have all said: “When the very first rhythms of your new promo were blown out of the speakers, we recognized immediately that this band can be only one band: Sacred Crucifix!!”. We really want to sound like our own band; good´n´old Sacred Crucifix because that is our thing, that is who we are. All our new songs sound like we could have done them in the early ´90s already. However, all of our songs have their own identity; they do not repeat the same thing all over again. You will be able to make comparisons between each of these new songs to our old songs - of course depending on your past experiences with our earlier stuff. If you have heard us before, then you already know what to expect from our new stuff. Otherwise it will be a bit too difficult for those for a pretty obvious reason who have missed our band in the past.

 

 

How is the song writing process being shared inside the Sacred Crucifix -camp nowadays? Have some of you taken the major roles in that particular department and how do the rest of the guys contribute it on their own way? In the past it pretty much used to be both Mike and Janne who were mainly responsible for that thing for the band?

It is about same thing now. The main song writers of Sacred Crucifix are Janne, Miku and Tommi. All three of us have mainly been and will be responsible for the song writing. Also, Miku is responsible for the band´s lyrics because it´s easier to let him write them as he´s the band´s vocalist. It is actually quite a natural thing for him to come up with the lyrics for this band.

Miku: Sometimes, however, some other guys in the band may come up with some idea for the lyrics and they basically leave them to me to be worked on.

 

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1989 Realms of Darkness demo-cover

 

Does this ´freak´ named ´a little perfectionist´ ever occur in you when you are actually in the middle of the most hectic song composing process? I mean, when you have actually lifted a new song on the table, does some ´inner demon´ always in you try to chant to your ears: “This song has to be better than the last song I did…” - and that´s the thing that is always driving you toward sort of perfectionism as far as your new stuff is concerned?

Miku: It does not work that way from my point of view. Riffs and stuff come spontaneously for us indeed. We really don´t analyze songs while a composing process is going on. For example “Aeon of Chaos” took only 15 minutes to compose. Miku and Janne did it at Janne´s place. When some of us gets an idea, we usually start building up from the root level of an idea and the whole thing just starts rolling very smoothly and naturally. It´s the same thing with the lyrics. We do not sit down and try to make new riffs. They just come when they come.

 

 

Can you tell what´s actually the most challenging yet time-consuming thing to you to get a song done from start to finish?

Miku: Janne and I have had one song called “Elona Sharek”, under process a few months now. The song is taken from a horror movie called “Superstition”. That is the most challenging song so far. Otherwise lyrics take most of the time during the composing process.

 

 

Do you have any intentions to re-record some songs off your older material sometimes again, let´s say, something off your at least semi-legendary REALMS OF DARKNESS demo or even older songs from the nearly forgotten times of Criminal Assault possibly?

First we need to work with new material in order to get a good enough set of songs for our debut album. The new stuff, like I have mentioned earlier, is not actually that different from the old stuff. But we still play 4 old songs out of our past material we have done. One song off the R.O.D. demo and the whole promo recorded back in 1990, containing 3 songs.

 

 

I know there´s a big bunch of people that just have never got a chance to hear your band, so how would you describe Sacred Crucifix sound to them? And remember, an extensive use of superlatives is recommended here now, he-he!!

Miku: Old-school Death Metal with a known trademark Sacred Crucifix -style. Heavy parts, fast parts, brutal singing… all that in the very same package. I want to create horror, terror and dark visions for you.

Janne: I agree with what Miku said and besides that death is the meaning of life.

 

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Realms of Darkness studio sessions 1989, Janne

 

Do you have any intentions to play any gigs, and even go on tour some day? I know some of you surely have your family life and so on, so some extensive tours may be out of question for some of you nowadays. How is it guys?

Of fucking course!!! Gigs are what keep the band alive and rolling. We are actually ready for any kind of tour. Long or short - it does not matter that much at all. Both Miku and Janne have kids, but our families are supporting these particular two ´dads´ and the band for 100 %. That´s of course really cool, I think.

Janne: I´d like to play gigs with Katatonia sometimes. I can only imagine how much I could be sweating when playing through all the songs on this setlist already… he-he!!

 

 

Why would you like to play specifically with these Swedish melancholic ´gloomsters´ if I inquired this from you…? What´s so special in them that you would like to play with them? Musically they are very different sounding compared to Sacred Crucifix, so that kind of makes me wonder this a bit…

Janne: This is my personal opinion cause beside Death Metal I have my melancholic side in my personality. Greetings to the guys of Shape of Despair, by the way...!! Miku: That is only Janne´s opinion, heh...

 

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Realms of Darkness studio sessions 1989, Miku

 

Are there some specific bands that you´d like to play gigs with - and what songs would your set list consist of if you should decide the songs now for this interview?

Miku: Sure there is. Bands like Morbid Angel, Dark Angel, Hypocrisy, etc. - to name a few. As for our setlist, it probably would contain the following songs: “Aeon of Chaos”, “To Wallachia (Vlad)”, “Three Times the 12th Letter”, “Requiem”, “Single-Handedly”, “Low Nobility”, “Chosen One”, “Still Here”, “The House”, “The Pain Hour”, “Halls of Hell!”, “13…”, “A Creature from the North” and “Watch Them Die”, Then we play occasionally a Hobb´s Angel of Death song titled “Crucifixion” as our cover song.

 

 

Wow…!! You seem to have lots of new tunes. Now I´m of course damn curious to know how are the rest of your new songs; into same vein with this new 4-song promo with even some ´unexpected twists & turns´ possibly…?

They are very much like taken from the same mould. “Three Times the 12th Letter” is the slowest one we have. The rest of our new songs have about the same line as the other promo tape songs. “A Creature from the North” is a quite spectacular song. And the one I just mentioned “Elona Sharek”. Also, I just noticed that I forgot one song from our play list; it´s titled “Gone”.

 

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Realms of Darkness studio sessions 1989, Tommi

 

Band websites are also important channels for people to get known with new bands through the metal scene, so I was just wondering when Sacred Crucifix is going to launch one soon, too?

First off, we must find out that who has that much interest and passion to start doing a Sacred Crucifix site. We want to find someone who is really willing to work with the pages and update them whenever is needed. Anyone who´s determined and motivated enough to do what we require from him/her as far as these pages are concerned. Hey… is there anyone who is interested to do pages for us? Let us hear from you all…

 

 

The metal scene has been changing rather drastically over the years both here in Finland and abroad; many trends have come and gone; many bands have been formed and many of them have been disbanded by now and some of the known names unfortunately have jumped on the bandwagons and ruined everything what they used to be in the past (Sepultura and Metallica come to my mind…). What do you think of Heavy Metal music´s current state in general nowadays? Are we heading toward better times as far as metal bands´ music is concerned from your point of view or did we already reached the ultimate peak in the ´80s quality-wise that many metalheads overall consider the very best era for the evolution of metal? Do you feel any sorry for all these bands that kind of not have sold their souls for Heavy Metal, but instead of that for commercialism?

Miku: I can not speak for someone else. If they like what they do, it is fine by me. Everyone has the power to decide what they like or not. No one can jump into other bands´ boots and show them how it should be done. All bands have their own chemistry, evolution and things what happens around them. I do not think that some serious band decides to do this or that kind of record, it surely comes naturally for them the way they want it to sound like in the first place. I still wanna point out that we have stayed loyal to our original Sacred Crucifix sound through all these years - maybe because of the fact Sacred Crucifix did not give everything out of themselves back in the´90s due to some unfortunate reasons. In my opinion we still have tons to give to our fans musically.

 

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1994 line-up: Jarkko, Tommi, Essi, Janne, Tommo

 

What do you think of the current boom for Gothic - and Power Metal bands here in Finland that are doing somewhat well by selling thousands of albums worldwide and being in the tabloids constantly? Do you find bands like H.I.M., Stratovarius, To/Die/For, Sonata Arctica and the likes any appealing to you?

Miku: Those bands have opened new doors for the Finnish metal music worldwide and that is a great thing, of course!! I never listen to those bands, tho, but I still am happy for them that they have made an impact on people around the world. Maybe their success helps less known bands like us to become more recognized globally and get some gigs outside of Finland a bit easier in the future as well. We shall see…

 

 

What Finnish metal bands have made a relatively big impact on you musically as of lately if we talk about some ´newcomers´ to the Finnish metal scene? If you could give some band names and tell us a bit more detailed way what kind of musical things (or some other matters overall related to these certain bands) have made you to dig them even quite much indeed?

Miku: If we speak about Finnish metal bands, I have been listening such bands lately as Sinergy (especially TO HELL AND BACK album!), The Black League, Diablo, Perfect Chaos, Pain Confessor and Demigod - to name a few. I just happen to like them a lot musically.

Janne: Demigod, Reverend Bizarre, Diablo, Thy Serpent and Shape of Despair. I just like them, that´s all... (heh!)

Tommi: Diablo, Perfect Chaos and Grinister. I just like them...

Tero: Trio Niskalaukaus, Children of Bodom, Sinergy... I just like them, he-he!!

 

 

How about the past Finnish (underground) metal scene? Do you think the Finnish metal bands were musically better in the late half of the ´80s and the first half of the ´90s when every band really was driving to their own, well recognizable sound more than bands do nowadays here in Finland? Do you think most of the Finnish metal bands sort of lack of originality and uniqueness these days - and many of them are just copycats from some other bands around them, unfortunately…?

Miku: Then was then and now is now. I can only stand behind our own music, I don’t want to criticize other bands. Thank You.

Janne: Nowadays there are less bands which have clearly their own identity than before.

 

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2003 line-up: Tero, Miku, Janne, Tommi

 

Every band has its goals and dreams for the future, so what kind of things you possibly try to achieve with Sacred Crucifix´s new coming; besides this most obvious ´fame & fortune´ thing, he-he!!

Miku: To play gigs here in Finland; to tour in Europe, U.S.A, Japan, etc. - you got a picture, didn´t ya?!

Janne: I would like to play a gig in Belgium…

 

 

Why would you like to a gig in that particular country if I can be this curious with you…?

Janne: Our REALMS OF DARKNESS demo was number one on a demo chart in Belgium back in the day; that’s why...

Tommi: I simply would like to play in those different countries. Therefore, I need to go on tour with these guys, goddammit!!

 

 

How about some warm milk and just baked cookies in this part of the interview…? Do any of you desire some?

Miku: I want a beer... I´m thirsty and my throat is dry as Beduin´s sandals...

Janne: I want Carelia white wine...

Tommi: I want a 12-pack of beer and some Ettan, please...

Tero: I don’t want to drink... a bit... for now, heh!

 

 

Thanks a lot guys for sharing some of your time with me and good luck to each of you with Sacred Crucifix in the future, too. Now may the closing words be yours…

Miku: ”Tulleeko sitä kalijaa...!?”

Janne: Thank You for the questions and greetings to all the people who helped and supported us. I speak for the whole band. The story continues, see ya...

Tero: I like to be a gardener. Greetings to Piritta…!! (Who drove a lawnmower a long drink bottle between her tits!)

Tommi: I don`t know… The guys know. (Hello to Juha Vuorma!)

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Band Website: www.sacredcrucifix.com