Heart of Steel: Interviews

DEMIGOD: Interview With Drummer Seppo Taatila

Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen

It was about the time… I mean, to find out where these sons of bitches have been hiding all these past years. Well, they haven´t exactly been "hiding" anywhere, but nevertheless, it´s been a while since DEMIGOD gave us a lesson in how metal music should be played with such an utterly convincing and so dazzlingly extraordinary way that it could probably leave an indelible mark in our memos about something far greater and more memorable than one is capable of offering nowadays. 10 long, painful years has been passing since these dudes´ debut - and masterpiece, Slumber of Sullen Eyes caught our attention and increased even more our never-ending hunger for these ´GODZ realm of a bombastically moving ´deathrashing sonic onslaught´.

Seppo opens the gates right into the untouched dark corners of DEMIGOD´s past in order to prove all of you that there was absolutely anything neither mysterious nor strange behind the band´s decision to split up for a while; it was all caused by several issues that you normally tend to deal with in your life. He thought sincerely that now was the right time to speak out, so the following conversation between me and Seppo may contain some details that may confuse some of you; some of you may even become somewhat surprised of all the hard facts, what happened after Slumber of Sullen Eyes came out; what happened in these guys´ lives after that really?

Read on, as this just ain´t one of those ´most typical´ interviews you can read from some maga/web - zines… - HELL! I even don´t know if this was ´an interview´ the way we all have used to understand them. I´d rather consider this as some sort of a dialogue between Seppo and me, but whatta heck, just keep on reading…

 

" A NEW START . . . "

DEMIGOD - demo from 1999To begin with some facts, DEMIGOD did one album for the Spanish DROWNED PRODUCTIONS (now REPULSE RECORDS) in 1992, titled Slumber of Sullen Eyes - then split up for an unknown period of time as was told to all the parties this may have concerned. BUT most of the ex-DEMIGOD members didn´t leave music making totally out of their life. There was this period after DEMIGOD´s split up when basically all of you - more or less, got fed up with your old style; so-called downright brutal Death Metal style and you started heading towards more of a thrashy musical direction which eventually took a shape in a reincarnation called NEVERBORN; that having been influenced by such bands as INFERNAL MAJESTY, POSSESSED and even SLAYER. After several reh/promo tapes - and taking back DEMIGOD´s name again, DEMIGOD´s last attempt to get signed, could be considered a 4-song demo-CD for which was shown a green light from SPIKEFARM´s direction sometimes around in 1999. Now when every single piece finally seemed to click in their final places, the original vocalist and true soul of the band, Esa Lindén decided to call it quits and another (major) problem was faced by the band once again.

 

Well Seppo, would you go on by telling us how things turned out for ´a vocalist-hunt´ for DEMIGOD after Esa quit the band? How was Esa´s announcement taken of leaving DEMIGOD for good in the minds of the other DEMIGOD members anyway?

The hunt is over as we all know now and we chose three vocalists to do the work on our new album, Shadow Mechanics. The infamous trio is Ali Leiniö (ex- ADRAMELECH), Tuomas Ala-Nissilä (MYTHEM) and of course the mastermind Mika Haapasalo himself who also produced our album. We did have a fourth candidate as one of the 4 options we had, too, but he didn´t suit our plans even though he seemed to be a hell of a great guy and somewhat powerful noisekeeper indeed. All of you can hear how the guys delivered their goods on the album by picking it up from your local record stores. It´s out NOW on SPIKEFARM RECORDS, so be sure to get your own copy for it immediately!!! If you are a Thrash Metal maniac, then you´ll surely love the album. I´m VERY satisfied with everything how the whole thing turned out in the end both music-wise and otherwise as well.

And as for Esa, well, his announcement was not any big surprise for us at all. He just wasn´t too interested in the band anymore. He was the leader of the band - that's an undeniable fact, so when he told us that he didn´t want to be a part of the band any longer, that may have partly caused DEMIGOD´s slow productivity since those on he left us. We are not expecting any of these three guys taking his role, so we are going to continue the way things are standing now.

 

 

" LIFE OR NO LIFE AFTER "S L U M B E R…" "

Demigod - Slumber of Sullen EyesTime for some unnecessary speculation here now; what if you had made your 2nd album for REPULSE RECORDS in 1998-99 - like it was close to happen so, how do you think that album could have been somehow different compared to the recordings you just accomplished already? What´s at least sure, I guess, it wouldn´t have contained that "up-dated" material of DEMIGOD - and maybe, just maybe, you would only have used one guy to do the vocals for it and the vocals could have probably been done by some other guy than any of these three guys you eventually hired for that job, right?

The album would have contained only eight or nine songs including a couple of not that satisfying "leftovers". The sound would have been worse and vocals done most probably by both Esa and Mika, I quess, but that´s as far as these speculations go.

 

In the meantime, when DEMIGOD was inactive for quite some time, you were asked to join in ADRAMELECH, another Loimaa- based Death Metal band, as a session drummer. You did the drums both for their 1st full-length CD, titled "Psychostasia" on REPULSE back in the -´95/-´96 period - and for a mini-CD called "Seven" in -´97. Was that band, y´know, kind of "a good therapy" for you as you probably wanted to fill up that empty space in your life which DEMIGOD obviously left there - and none of you was quite sure whether DEMIGOD still was a worth of trying out or not?

The main man of ADRAMELECH, Jarkko Rantanen, has always been a good friend of mine. I joined in his band because his music is very different compared to DEMIGOD´s music and ´cause I wanted to do an album; not just make music for fun. Jarkko is the man with a great ambition and I enjoyed his way of making things. I didn´t have much else to do at the time, so to put it simply, I joined to his band.

And then he made a hell of a great and strong wine at his home which I loved and that indeed gave me another good reason to be a part-time member of ADRAMELECH, he-he!! Actually me and Jussi Kiiski even joined to ADRAMELECH on the "Repulsive Tour" in Europe in 1997.

 

While you were involved with ADRAMELECH for these couple of years - and, y´know, your own focus was somewhere else than in DEMIGOD, did all that time which you spent with them, give you any lessons on how all the remaining members of DEMIGOD could have had better options to run the band in order to make things happen faster for DEMIGOD - and as a result, we - the true fans of DEMIGOD, could have held DEMIGOD´s 2nd album in our hairy hands like 4-5 years earlier, you know what I´m saying?! How was Jarkko´s way of working with things different from DEMIGOD´s way to handle with several things inside the band indeed?

DEMIGOD just needed some time. We have our own way of working with the songs. Jarkko is just much more productive and he works a lot with his material.

Yep, it could have been possible to release a new DEMIGOD album earlier, but then it would have been worse song-wise than "Shadow...". It also would have been more straight with no steps aside from the line. Now, however, "Shadow..." represents more of DEMIGOD´s variety of songs and that´s much better in my opinion. I´m sorry for the great DEMIGOD fans who were amazingly many and who had to wait for this long period without any new DEMIGOD release. Just buy "Shadow Mechanics" and enjoy it at your fullest!!! I guarantee for all of you that it has been worth waiting for!!!

 

Why do you personally think it took this long time to get DEMIGOD signed again? A lack of interest for a massive promotion campaign might probably be a part of the reason, I assume...

Basically all of us had other things to do in our lives. On the other hand, to be really honest with you, I was not even believing in the band anymore. The recordings for REPULSE RECORDS were a total mistake and I think it had a great (negative) influence on us. At that time nothing seemed to go right. But as I told you it was Mr. Tenetz and you Luxi who believed in DEMIGOD basically and somehow managed to keep the doors open for DEMIGOD´s 2nd album.

 

 

" NEXT CASE: REPULSE RECORDS "

You were saying that there´s actually much to blame REPULSE RECORDS for probably not working as professional or dedicated attitude towards DEMIGOD as all of you, as I suppose, surely expected from their direction. When and where exactly did your plans to get your 2nd album recorded and out, start to fall apart concerning what you just said previously? I am pretty sure many would like to hear what´s your deal with Dave & REPULSE RECORDS at that time - and do you still keep in touch with him from time to time?

Well, Dave Rotten has his own opinions and that´s ok with me. He has always been working hard and at that time, his label was not going strong, so both parties were just unlucky regarding our deal for his label.

Well, it was in Autumn 1998 when we started to record with Mika Haapasalo at our training house. The whole project was actually sentenced to fail because of:
1) DEMIGOD were NOT ready to record yet "too raw(!!)" material...
2) Mika had just bought new equipments and was totally out of knowledge how to use them...
3) Dave got problems with the label...

 

Demigod (the dude on the far right looks IN-FUCKING-SANE!!! haha)

 

"SLOWLY GETTING BACK TO BIZ AGAIN… "

As for the band´s current situation, the album is out now. In the very beginning of the whole recording process you told me that the only bad thing was that you were having hard times to find a suitable yet fitting guy(s) to do the vocals for this album. You once informed me over the phone that you were trying 3 guys out to do the vocals for the album, so could you be kind enough to enlighten the readers of METAL-RULES.COM more about it, how did that situation progressed on and how did you get the very final solutions in sight with regard to your opinions/views about "the winners of that poll"? Was there any criteria existing somewhere in the first place what kind of vocalists you were looking for that job?

We had four nominees like I told you earlier. Then, Popstudio is in Loimaa and Mika of course lives in Loimaa, too. Ali and Tuomas live just nearby Loimaa, so they had better chances to rehearse and record within our tight schedule. We already knew that the songs we had, needed different types of vocals ´cause the songs have been written during a long period of time. I have to admit that the process of choosing vocalist drove us crazy. It was terrible time for us ´cause we didn´t know what to do and who we should have chosen. But now everything for that dilemma has been sorted out and the guys did great work within a short period of time, I think. The fourth nominee was unlucky for not having a real change to show to us his skills vocal-wise ´coz we were looking for a bit different type of vocals for our songs than he was capable of giving us.

 

 

" WHO NEEDS TO KNOW FUCKIN´ TRUTH ANYWAY… ? ! "

So, now when you chose these three dudes to do the vocals for "Shadow Mechanics" and who obviously are your long-time friends, too - and obviously are pretty satisfied with all of them how they handled their duties on the album, I was just hypothetically speculating what if none of these guys involved for the vocal duties weren´t showing a real impressive impact on the album the way you would have expected in your most secret hopes, right from the very start? If something had gone totally badly wrong with one of the chosen ones - or as the most horrible scenario could have gone, even all of them? Then, would you have had sort of a "plan B" existing somewhere; in a hidden box of a chest of drawers or something alike?

No, we didn´t have any "plan b's" - whatsoever!! The guys (Tuomas Ala-Nissilä from MYTHEM, Ali Leiniö, ex-ADRAMELECH and Mika Haapasalo, our producer, keyboardist as well as vocalist) handled the vocals with a style that´s gonna satisfy many

But if there ever could have been a "plan -B", well, then this possible "plan B" could have been to take you as our vocalist - especially when you are drunk. I have actually collected a secret collection of your "Best Drunks On The Phone" -material and am pretty sure you could have been capable of working out as a vocalist for our new album. You sound like the SYSTEM OF A DOWN vocalist when having boozed the hell out of yourself!!!

 

 

Uh-huh-huh..., I think I rather sound like OBI´s John Tardy or DEATH´s Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P. our metal brother...) than any S.O.A.D. baby whiner when I have tasted a few extra doses of an extra strong liquor called "For The Strong & Bold Ones" (!). And as far as my "Best Drunks on The Phone" thing is concerned, I assume you actually meant my LOUD FARTS on the phone every time when I have called to you, but whatta heck, it´s all the fuckin´ same, he! he!!
(Or what were you answering originally… -eh!?)

Luxi you know it by yourself that you have been a highly respected choir member in the "Mieskuoro of Riihilahti…"!!!.

Seppo!? What in the world are you talking ´bout?! Stay in the topic, man!! Just… (… -eerrr!) - just cut the fuckin´ crap and try to concentrate on all the essential things in this GODDAMMIT interview, will ya?! Pleaz… You have already revealed way too many ´ugly´ details about my past for the readers of METAL-RULES.COM, so let´s just drop this topic once and for all, shall we?! Wanna make me feel embarrassed or something?! Let´s rather go on with some other issues for your new album anyway… As for your new album, "Shadow Mechanics", many people actually haven´t got a slightest idea that it contains material from a vast period of DEMIGOD´s history; from the -´92/-´93 DEMIGOD era to NEVERBORN - just coming back to DEMIGOD´s Y2K -era, so in the other words, you are covering nearly 9 years of DEMIGOD´s past and present for this particular album which may go beyond some people´s understanding for sure. As far as I know, after the times of "Slumber...", you did more or less over 20 new DEMIGOD songs off which the best ones have been chosen, re-warmed and re-recorded for "Shadow Mechanics". But would you again go on telling ´bout some more specific details for the songs that were chosen for the album? Just take all the time you may need now...

Looking back in the time there´s gonna be more than nine years if we are talking about single riffs or melodies, but as for the entire songs, it´s gonna cover about eight years, I guess. The songs for the album were chosen the way what we felt sounded good enough to get included for the album. Every single member had a possibility to tell of which songs he liked the most and which songs he disliked. I think that most of the songs were chosen by all of the members. The album contains different songs; fast, mid-tempo, grinding, heavy, thrashy, etc. It´s definitely different compared to "Slumber..", but it still has some distinctive DEMIGOD elements in it. The production overall is just MUCH BETTER on this album than what it was on our debut.. It was recorded at POP STUDIO, Loimaa, Finland by Mika Haapasalo. He is a member of the band also. He is responsible for many great things and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Mika Haapasalo´s POP STUDIO for all kinds of bands!!! He inspired us in many ways and he is demanding. He is always realistic and honest. Mika finds solutions and works hard. Some of the songs on the album were totally different when we brought them into the studio. Especially Mika, Tero and Sami did a hell of a lot work for the production. We recorded most of the songs in parts ´cause arrangements were done in the studio. We felt that some of the songs were ready for the recording just as they were, but most of the songs got one or two new things in them at the studio. I think it´s going to surprise most of the fans, but I´m positive people (= you) are going to like the final product anyway...

 

 

As far as I have understood out of your sayings ´bout Mika´s involvement and contribution as a part of DEMIGOD, undoubtedly you´re giving lots of credit for him for being as a big inspiration for the rest of the ´demigodz´ - and I guess, as some sort of a driving force and founding pillar of this particular camp as well - as the one who has got a great insight into all the essential and vital things in DEMIGOD and how to collect the right pieces together for the band and how to make the DEMIGOD -engine work by using these "pieces" smoothly and effortlessly. Do you think that without Mika´s efforts and sacrifices for the band, there might not be any DEMIGOD in YK2? How important has he been as a member of DEMIGOD´s tight link anyway through the crucial, hard times?

No doubt, Mika has been a "true fuel for DEMIGOD engine" during this project. We did not have any changes to just get together and record this album in ´some studio´ within a certain time. During this project we weren´t even once all together at the studio!!! Mika was interested in recording this album the way we wanted and we did know he is soooo professional and skilled as a producer that we could easily rely on him. He is demanding and still he listens to your ideas and wants to proceed all the time. He´s working in a realistic way. Sometimes it´s been a pain in the ass to listen to Mika´s comments on how badly you just played some part that you thought yourself, was kind of the best of the best. But in my opinion, that´s the only way to develop. Mika Haapasalo and his POP STUDIO, therefore, are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

 

 

" WHO WERE ´ THE D E M I G O D Z ´ EXACTLY ? "

A massive amount of water has been flowing in the Loimi river since Slumber of Sullen Eyes was released - and lots of both ol´n´new trends have been coming and goin´ and what´s also harder than any hardest existing fact, a new "Heavy Metal generation (yep… Tell me ´bout it!)" has partly stepped into the picture, too, that probably has NEVER even heard about DEMIGOD - much less ´bout your nearly semi-legendary debut album, Slumber of Sullen Eyes. Aren´t you afraid at all that there´s always a chance that your new album will be left totally unnoticed by this new generation of ´metal rogues´ due to the fact I just brought up in the question - no matter how well so-called groundwork of promotion and everything could have been done for it? To ease up your label, SPIKEFARM´s burden a little bit as far as all the promotion for your new album goes, how would you describe DEMIGOD´s "Shadow Mechanics" to all those suspicious yet curious ´kids (!)´ who supposedly haven´t got a slightest idea what it´s gonna be all about? And remember, an use of superlatives is more than recommended for that ´hot´ piece of Thrash grenade...

OK Luxi, got it! We´re old and that´s the hard fact. Seriously, I´m pretty sure that most of these "new metal generation´s kids" haven´t heard about us. I´ve been thinking about this, too, but then I figured out that now we have a new chance to succeed because most of the kids think DEMIGOD is a new band on the map and that´s a good thing ´cause they are not expecting anything from us. Actually it seems that some of new metal bands have heard about us if I have been informed right. And I guess there is some "old" fans too around the globe that still remember us which is cool. So, it isn´t going to be that obvious for DEMIGOD whether we will succeed or not. "Shadow Mechanics" is a METAL album that consists of pure metal songs!!! As I told you before it has different songs - just like "Slumber.." had, too. Fast and slow, melodic and grinding... It´s absolutely more made of Thrash Metal than Death Metal, definitely!!! All the material has been written during this long 8-10 years period. The vocals are variable depending on the song. There´s some brutal vocals, some Thrash type of vocals and some heavy vocals, but not any screaming Black Metal shrieks on "Shadow Mechanics". We are still using these harmonious DEMIGOD melodies with really heavy riffs behind them. "Shadow Mechanics" is going to be an album that makes you feel "VITTUMAISELTA" (i.e. extremely pissed off!! - as Seppo´s words might be in English...) and escalates your anger/anxiety towards all the shitty things in your life!!! It has to be ENJOYED LOUD, too, of course!!!

 

Just for the sake of... (!) - well, call it ´nostalgia´ whatever! - y´know, for those "jolly good´n´ol´times", why didn´t you consider to re-record 1 or 2 songs out of "Slumber..." for this new album of yours - even just for the sake of your own ever-blazing curiosity for finding out how some of your old Death Metal songs would have sounded like as Thrash Metal versions? I bet at least the title track of your debut album, Slumber of Sullen Eyes, might have turned out just great if it had got a refreshed treatment at the cabinet of DEMIGOD´s Thrash world - or what do you think of the very matter, -eh!?

DEMIGOD - Unholy Domain DemoA HELL OF A GOOD IDEA FROM YOU!!! We may consider to do it sometimes, but that did not cross our minds in the making of this new album. We may consider to record them for a collection of something. Actually we played a mixture both our old and new songs at the "Fuck the Commerce" metal festival in East Germany (greetings to all the GREAT guys over there!!) three years ago and they worked out fine together. And possibly even more our fans enjoyed the "Slumber..." stuff because we didn´t tour after it was released. We even played one song off our "Unholy Domain" demo. But I think that we should leave those old songs untouchable - the way they are on our past releases ´coz that was our past and we played differently at that time, y´know!?

 

Talking ´bout your past tours a bit more, actually I have always been pondering quietly in my mind, how many tours, if any, did DEMIGOD do altogether in the ´90s indeed? And what was that most memorable yet most successful tour/or gig of yours which has left a deep, indelible imprint in all of your memories? The one with AVULSED, INCANTATION, and DEEDS OF FLESH, maybe?

That brutal tour with those bands was done with ADRAMELECH. DEMIGOD didn´t tour at all if I remember right...?! We did some gigs in Germany, Sweden and Finland, but never actually toured. The reason was the usual one: We did have neither time nor a possibility for that! It´s just as simple as that. We were offered for these tours, though, but every time someone had some other things to do. My best memories are from Germany; especially the Cottbus area which was really nice. Olaf and Braun... nice dudes!! And the audience was always great over there, too.

 

When did you start to think seriously of the actual recordings for "Shadow..." - like saying to yourselves, it just HAS TO BE DONE; no matter when, but it HAS to come out some day? Was it clear to you right from the beginning that it would have been recorded at Mika´s POP STUDIO or were there actually some other alternatives in your minds at that time, too, where to record it?

The first tour happened after the "Repulsive Tour" with ADRAMELECH when me and Jussi noticed that how well people still remembered us and how badly they wanted to hear some new material from us. The second and more important push for us happened something like two years ago when we went thru some talks with Mr. Tenetz of SPIKEFARM. And then it took a year or a bit more before we knew where we´re gonna record our follow-up to "Slumber…". Mr. Tenetz has been one of those reasons that made the recordings for our new album possible. He has been somehow realistic and patient, too. And yeah, as I told you earlier, POP STUDIO was really the only thinkable alternative for us!!!

 

 

" THE BRAVE NEW S H A D O W M E C H A N I C S "

OK, let´s dive deeper into the content of "Shadow Mechanics" next - and I warn you beforehand Seppo, this will take some of your time, so try to be at least patient with this, please!!! Now what I would like you to do for us, is to introduce each of the songs included for "Shadow..."; both by name and explaining a little what this/or that song is all about - plus some other specific details behind the songs, like telling us when you came up with those songs; with whom, etc.

So let this one-man show begin now... lights on, curtains up and may Seppo enter onstage... (the crowd is already in their seats, sitting comfortably… and expecting to see your hot running blood staining the stage, he-he…)

No PERKELE…", I guess here we go then…
"My Blood, Your Blood": This one we arranged just before, or even during the recordings of the album. It contains some old riffs and also some newer stuff in it. I really can´ t remember the name of one of our older songs off which we borrowed the chorus for this song (as you know, a bad memo is a gift…), but now, however, the chorus part is in the right place. The song fuckin´ RULES in my opinion!! The whole song goes from mid tempo - to fast tempo parts and proceeds from there quite nicely, I think. Ali gives truly his best shot vocal-wise on this one, too. The song itself isn´t too complex in the terms of technicality, and it´s basically very Death Metal orientated as a song.

"In the Mirrors": This song actually is one of the highlights of our newer stuff what we have created under the name of DEMIGOD for this album. Most of the song has been done by Sami and Jussi and I guess the guys wanted to give a more Thrash Metal type of feel to the song by churning out pretty fast riffs for it and keeping it basically in a pure "Thrash" -mode. Tuomas tried to growl a bit into Jeff Becerra -vein for it whereas Sami´s clean vocals in the middle part gave a pretty nice contrast to the song indeed. Kind of fast and brutal song all in all and really cool sounding in my opinion, too.

"Lost Within": I guess this song has its own history. We wrote this song quite soon after "Slumber"- album and it also consists of some bits from some other songs that we wrote at that time, but never released them. As for the structure of this particular song, well, it´s kind of a mid-tempo song and I think it´s even surprisingly heavy by our standards. I´m anyway very satisfied with how Tuomas and Mika managed to do their vocal parts for this song. Hmm... that´s all I can tell you ´bout it. I have to say it´s indeed somewhat hard for me to describe how some certain songs are ´coz I´m not very good at that at all.

"Where the Shadows Clash": Well, to be honest with you, this song is purely punishing in-yer-fuckin´-face Thrash from beginning to end!!! It also contains a really fast section somewhere in the middle of the song where we exceeded the recommended speed limit more than once or twice, he! Again, "Tumppi" a.k.a. Tuomas did a splendid job at the vocal department, sounding all the way nasty and evil in this tune. The song itself is a tough motherfucker and I bet even most of the ol´ DEMIGOD -fans will shit on their pants by excitement when they get to hear the song.

"Trail of Guilt": Some people may consider this song pretty light-weight just because Mika´s melodic and clean vocal parts are dominating the song in the chorus part. It definitely has lots of acoustic guitar and fine-tuned vocalism in it, but I personally think "T.O.G." is a pretty neat fucker all in all. It´s a well-balanced song and when you listen to it, you´ll notice how the song starts growing towards the end. Also, try to pay attention to Mika´s bass lines on this tune ´coz I think he did really awesome job in that particular department, too.

"Gates of Lamentation": This is the most violent yet brutal number on "Shadow…". Me and Esa (DEMIGOD´s original vocalist, guitarist and song writer!) did this song together right from the very beginning for years ago already when we were working under NEVERBORN´s moniker. "G.O.L." is simple, aggressive, straight, fast, and definitely in-yer-face Thrash song, lasting only 2 minutes and 21 seconds!!! It´s the real thing; a real package of brutality and aggressiveness with all the attacking killer riffs, fast beats and extreme Death grunts by Ali!!!

"Silent with Earth": Well, I have to admit that this one is sooooooooooooo GREAT and sooooooooooo fucking HEAVY that it satisfies me most even though every song on this album is somewhat equal to me. Ali does his best vocal performance in this one in my opinion, too. The guitars make it simple, but extremely HEAVY. I kept drumming simple, too, to escalate heaviness. The chorus part comes only once with the vocals of both Mika and Ali - and it´s a true masterpiece from its every aspect. And there´s only this one tempo change to break the atmosphere in the middle part of the song. If you feel fucked up with something or somebody, I could more than warmly recommend this one for you to be checked out… just for therapy or something.

"Derailed": An old song which we have most probably been playing for ages. We were already playing this track when we had our NEVERBORN -thing going on. When we brought this song into the studio, we made a few changes for it and I think it turned out very well as a song. It´s got pretty neat and catchy sounding riffs and it sounds downright heavy, too. It has some nice tempo changes and our vocalists Mika and Tuomas have both spiced the song with their well-thought out vocal arrangements, I think. Well, this piece is, to put it simply, a good DEMIGOD song in my opinion.

"Crimson Tears": Well, we kind of experimented with this particular song and I guess you´ll notice somewhat easily that this song sounds a bit different compared to the rest of the songs on the album. It´s also a rather long song by our standards and while we were recording it, we had to use lots of single tracks for it in the recording process. And if you listen to the song carefully, you will be able to spot many single details out of it; I personally like the guitar parts in this tune very much indeed!! As for the vocals here, Mika pretty much steals the show by his incredibly well-made clean vocal lines in this song and Tuomas does some brilliant growlings in the background as well - spitting out stories of how miserable and unsuccessful his love life has been lately and so on, he-he…

I don´t know… this song has a great pile of familiar DEMIGOD -elements in it and it still sounds somewhat different compared to everything that we have done earlier… Let´s just say that this could be our Y2K -version for our old song titled "Transmigration Beyond Eternities" on our debut album, "Slumber of Sullen Eyes".

"Drifting": This cut was one of the nominees from us for a REPULSE -compilation CD, even if it never made it there. There´s anyway lots of tempo changes going on here and one of our three vocalists on "Shadow…", Ali is really convincing with his deep´n ´heavy grunts in "Drifting". The song itself is a mix of both Death - and Thrash Metal. In fact, somehow I felt like we lengthened the latter part of the song more than it was originally necessary, but I guess it still turned out quite well. And to reveal a little truth ´bout this particular song for all of you, the ending of "Drifting" was supposed to a bit longer, but we skipped a few seconds over in the final recording. Why, to be honest with you, I haven´t got a slightest idea…

"Burning": This is actually one of our oldest songs on the album. When we brought it into the studio, we didn´t need to add any new things into it - or throw away anything from it. We kept it as it was… or wait a second, we just did a tiny little change for the middle part, but nothing like that you could call it as a major change. To tell some little details out of it, Tuomas growls like a fucked-up malicious madman in this tune whereas Mika provides some contrast to the song by his marvelously melodic vocal parts in the background. "Burning" is also one of the faster type of songs on "Shadow…"; it´s just as fast as it gets really. Tempo is aggressive and as a matter of fact, pretty attacking throughout the whole song and both Jussi´s and Tero´s guitar riffs sound very catchy in this tune in my opinion. As a song, it´s quite short, but the acoustic guitars both in the beginning - and in the end of the song leave you an impression that it could be even longer as a song as it actually is in reality. All in all, "Burning" is a perfect song to end the album. I think we hardly could have chosen any better closer song for "Shadow Mechnics" as "Burning" is. It will leave a listener a good impression about "Shadow Mechanics" as a really tight and well thought-out album - and maybe he/she wants to start listening to the album all over again because of this fact. Well Luxi, I hope you could agree with me at least partly as far as all these descriptions go, couldn´t you?!

 

Well, you don´t leave me many choices, so I just say: "YES… , a well-done work Seppo; thanx for taking your time with all these song descriptions. It surely ain´t the easiest part of these inties for anybody, knowing also how lazy fuck you tend to be from time to time, he! he!!

Well then Seppo, what kind of expectations/or hopes do you personally have towards "Shadow Mechanics"?

My expectations…?! Huh…, my expectations are nearly fulfilled. All I want is to have a nice and tasty DEMIGOD album in my hands. That´s all basically… and other thing is that I wanted it to be released the way that all of our old (and new) fans are able to get it from stores every single store on the face of the planet Earth.

 

What could you say ´bout your own personal favorites on "Shadow..." and could you explain to us a little bit more why do you consider just these particular songs so special for you? And what might be your all-time favorite DEMIGOD songs ever as I´m pretty darn sure some of our curious readers might like to know even that tiny detail about you Seppo?

Let me start with my all-time favorite DEMIGOD songs: I have two, namely "Succumb to Dark" and "Fear Obscures From Within". Somehow these songs are so enjoyable to play and listen. But also the whole "Shadow…" album was something special to me ´coz I really wanted that thing to come out some day. Therefore, it´s somewhat hard to name any specific song off that album. It´s like naming your favorite body part of your own first-born child; it´s just impossible!! I really do like equally all the songs on it.

 

Where did you get the idea to use Tomi Laurén´s piece of art for your album´s cover? What does the cover symbolize exactly?

He was recommended for us and out of all options we had, he really was the best choice for us. We are so fucking satisfied with his artwork!!! All we gave him, was an idea of "Shadow Mechanic" how we wanted the cover to be and that´s basically it.

 

 

" FUTURE PLANS FOR TOURING… "

Has your label´s boss, Sami Tenetz, mentioned ´bout any possible touring plans for DEMIGOD in order to promote your forth-coming album to a wider range of metalheads - possibly as a support act to more of a well-known, already established band? How do both you - and the rest of the dudes in DEMIGOD feel ´bout touring anyway? Do they wait to get back on the road again and would you be into this touring idea if you had no wife, a baby and your work to look after?

The guys would like to tour and I´m pretty sure they will tour quite soon, too, if they are able to. Mr. Tenetz told us that there might be some sort of co-operation with other bands of the label touring-wise. I wish DEMIGOD could do a tour. It would be pleasure for me to sit down in a club and have a beer of two - and then just listen and watch the guys thrashing and sweating onstage. For me touring is out of question, unfortunately. And all this speculation of having no wife and a daughter is somewhat silly Luxi…

 

 

" BUT LIFE GOES ON AFTER… ? "

As you also informed me for some time ago already, now when "Shadow Mechanics" is done, you´ll step aside and leave DEMIGOD for others to be carried on. Was it a tough decision to make from your side which you´ve probably been pondering in your mind for a rather long time already - or were you ever given any thought for that sort of an idea that you might work out as a part-time member for the band - whenever you could have an opportunity/or a chance to work with the band? Ain´t it kind of hard to leave the band now in the first place - knowing how devotedly and determinedly you have been working with everything through all these past years in order to get DEMIGOD back on its firm feet again? On the other hand, I can easily take your position and only imagine it MUST feel just great and everything to get all these songs released finally from a long period of time when you been involved with births of some certain songs and everything else really? Still, I bet you´ll be missing some of those times with the band, won´t you?

Well, especially this time with the guys has been so great. We have had so many good and bad things to share this time and thanks to DEMIGOD for everything that I have had an opportunity to meet so many great people during all these past years. Of course leaving band is hard as you can imagine after all these years. But still, I´m realistic. Working, studying and having a family is something that takes time and needs time. First I was dreaming of taking part into a song writing, but it was just a normal reaction when you are giving something up; I guess it´s a part of tough decisions you need to do in your life from time to time and I just could continue with DEMIGOD any longer. However, overall the feeling is good now. I just can´t be patient enough to get our new album in my hands!! (bet you have it there now; it looks and sounds GREAT!!!! - Luxi)

 

How would you like to see DEMIGOD progressing in the future without your personal involvement in the band? Would you like to see the remaining members staying loyal to this style which you´ve now accomplished on "Shadow..." - or wouldn´t you care less any longer ´coz it´s really up to them from now on?

The guys probably won´t stay loyal to this style on "Shadow…" and they must not to. This is a hobby kind of thing that has nothing to do with the loyalty. They can do whatever they want to and I believe that from now Sami and Tero will be making more material. DEMIGOD´s new material is gonna be more technical and thrashy, I assume. Now they have three guys making decisions in the band. All they need, is a good drummer who knows how to play the way they want and expect him to play the songs. I already stepped aside for a while ago, so it´s not my business anymore. I will continue making music, but in terms of fun and leisure.

 

The metal scene has overall been changing big steps since the days when your debut album saw the first sunbeams of that day it came out. Have you had any potential chances to follow the scene since the remarkable year 1992 all the way up to the very day (your first-born you naturally always remember the best...), what´s been going on in the global metal community and how different trends/hypes in metal have been coming and going - and how such, now big metal bands from our country like H.I.M., CHILDREN OF BODOM, NIGHTWISH, STRATOVARIUS, AMORPHIS, SENTENCED, etc. - to name a few, have all made quite an impact on this fertile ground; gaining new fans record after record and making themselves known even better and better all the time worldwide? Well, to put it simpler, what do you think of all this success many both old - and new (metal) bands from our home country have been lucky enough for gaining for themselves - even tiny parts out of this ´success´ -thing and touring the world and enjoying this type of ´stardom´ for a passing moment at least? Could this have been something you have secretly dreamt of sometimes, too - like make your living out of making music for DEMIGOD?

It´s of course great to have all these awesome bands in our small country you just named here. I have always been realistic anyway. Without our hard efforts, DEMIGOD just NEVER could have risen on that kind of level of fame, though. In order to success, you need to work your ass off - and it was something I wasn´t interested in this "hobby" of mine. I believe I am happy enough the way things are in my life now. I, however, suppose that the rest of guys will push the band harder and harder now when they are productive and together again. You just never know what will happen the with the band…

 

As you also have become aware of the fact, nowadays just TONZ of new metal albums are flowing into already swamped markets of metal all the time and that makes your own work even harder for picking up the most ´ace stuff ´out of all that crappy shit what´s LOTS of in there as well. So, to help DEMIGOD´s new album, "Shadow Mechanics" to survive slightly better than most of other albums in these ´markets´, give people at least 5 damn good reasons for that why they should invest their money to "Shadow..." instead of some other ´brutal-killer-kick-ass´ -release?

First off, this album contains lots of really classic DEMIGOD stuff; some of the songs are about 10 years old and some less older than that. Therefore, I bet even many old DEMIGOD -fans will like the album ´coz it´s got some of those familiar Death Metal elements that are to be found from our debut, "Slumber of Sullen Eyes". Secondly, we have lots of more variation on this album due to the fact some of the oldest songs on this album were written 10 years ago or so when we were still pretty heavily Death Metal -orientated - and some of the songs got finished right in the recording situation that on the other hand, may also contain a good load of elements from our Death Metal -era here and there, but still are more like real Thrash songs by their nature. And even if it´s been 10 years since our debut came out on DROWNED PROD., you will be able to recognize a familiar DEMIGOD -sound on "Shadow…" as well - I can guarantee you that fellow metalheads!!! Last but not least, we have just NEVER wanted to be any trendy band or any media hype and have totally ignored what may be ´in´ or ´out´ in the metal scene!! We have been doing music from our hearts that has felt good to us. That´s the only thing that has mattered to us; playing music which you love and would like to listen to by yourself best of all.

 

 

" ALL THE HAIL TO THE MASTERS ! ! ! "

What kind of stuff have you been listening to lately? Any idea ´bout the rest of the guys fave acts today?

I mostly listen to radio and that contains everything else but metal music. If there was some music that makes me sick, I most probably would refer with this to so-called "love songs" or ballads - and I cannot stand "killeli-/pimppihevi" either. Sometimes on my way to work, I listen to some of my old favorites like OBLIVEON (the BEST fucking act ever!!!!!!!), METALLICA, some collection CDs, IRON MAIDEN, KOTITEOLLISUUS, etc. etc. One rather surprisingly good band was recently found from SPIKEFARM´s sampler CD and that band was called MOONSORROW. That particular song on it which title is now escaping from me, is Black Metal´s "Hallowed Be Thy Name". It sounded really really good indeed!!!

I don´t know much about the other guys´ recent favorites, but you can always go to: www.demigod.xrs.net - and may find some answers right from there...

 

Well, this chat has come to its end. First off, I wanna thank YOU Seppo for taking your precious time with all these questions; knowing how busy a family man you have become during these past 2-3 years or so - and secondly, I just wanna wish you all the best in the future and say last but not least: You REALLY DID A HELL OF AN ALBUM!!! Be fuckin´ proud of that and keep on kicking some other asses in the different areas of your life from now on and try to keep yourself as THE man!! C-ya & take care!!!

Well, may I THANK YOU and your awesome webmagazine!!! Actually I have to tell to all those people who probably don´t know yet how much promotion and support you have been given to the Finnish metal bands/scene during these past 13-15 years or so, so let everyone know from now on that LUXI IS A HALL OF FAME METAL MAN AND A GREAT INDIVIDUAL WITH A HIGHLY RESPECTABLE ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greetings to all old and new DEMIGOD fans also for being there for us… The Slumber is OVER!!!!!


Official Demigod homepage:
www.demigod.xrs.net

Read Two Demigod CD Reviews
- SHADOW MECHANICS
- Shadow Mechanics

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