Heart of Steel: Interviews

R A M – Z E T 

Interview & live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen

The Norwegian ´Blackish Psychotic Power Metal heroes´ known also as RAM-ZET have seen the light of awesome greatness and are on their way into the halls of success and fame (If I was the chosen one who could be able to predict the future for them). Their new album, “Escape”, is out now and should be available in the most European countries through many metal specialists, so make sure to purchase your copy – each of you - ´coz RAM-ZET definitely outdo the majority of today’s new metal acts by their highly atmospherically original metallic freak circus.

I met Zet at Finnvox Studio in the beginning of this year when the final mixing for “Escape“was in the works and give him my blessing about another fabulous RAM-ZET album. A great man wanted to share some of his feelings with me about the concept behind “Escape”; also about a mind-wrecking song writing process, business side in metal music, beer, metal, even more beer and even surprisingly, about ´the Finnish drinking habits´ which seemed to become some sort of a concept known all around the world by now – who knows why…?! Oh well…

Boys and girls… Zet from RAM-ZET lowers down the tune of his voice and spits out his truthfully demonic conjurations at the cozy Finnvox Studio…

 

First off, let’s have a couple of words about your forth-coming 2nd album for SPIKEFARM RECORDS, titled “Escape”. Why such a title as “Escape”? Are you personally escaping something or escaping from somewhere...?

No, I’m not escaping anything or anywhere, he- he... But anyway, “Escape” is kind of a concept album having a story about the ´escaping´ of two persons involved in this story. The whole story is about escaping and the lyrics deal with one schizophrenic guy living in an institution - and about one lady who works there, too. And this lady tries to rescue this schizophrenic patient out from that ´hospital´ and eventually they both managed to escape from there. The whole redline of the lyrics is about those two persons trying to escape from that particular hospital or institution in a nutshell.

 

How do you think this new album is going to differ from your debut album called “Pure Therapy” musically? How much are you using the same basic elements on this new record that already were on your debut as well?

When we did “Pure Therapy”, I started the song writing for it by myself and right after that our bassist Solem and drummer Kuth joined in – and the rest of the musicians were hired to the recording a bit later as guest musicians for “Pure Therapy”. Later we decided to recruit these ´guest musicians´ that we had on “Pure Therapy” already as the permanent members of this band. As far as the song writing goes, it’s still like I write all the songs and stuff, but we all arrange them together. On “Escape” we have more female vocals. Now it’s like Sfinx did about 50% of all the vocals and I did the rest, so in that sense this new album differs pretty much from our debut. It’s a bit different, but at the same time, I’m still influenced by the same stuff that influenced me when I was writing down songs for “Pure Therapy”. All in all, “Escape” is quite a schizophrenic album, I think – and maybe even more than our debut was. We tried to take our music one step further and I guess we succeed in doing so on “Escape”.

 

“Escape” has been recorded again at your own studio Space Valley Studio. Do you think that to record your very own first album is always, more or less, some sort of a learning process for the band how to use all the equipments properly the right way that are available there, in order to maintain the best possible sound for an album? In which areas could you say you have progressed mostly if you take these two albums in comparison?

Well, to be honest with you, to record our 1st album at Space Valley, wasn’t that tough of a decision for us at all ´coz I have been using the same studio for some years already, recording stuff there both for myself and for other bands as well. So, I was used to that environment beforehand, before our recordings took place there. But of course it’s a little more special when you record all the stuff in your own studio by yourself and for your own band. Sometimes it can be pretty hard to get some distance from it and to try to get some other people in for it. But that’s also why it’s such an interesting thing to do; first record everything here at my studio and then bring it over to Finnvox in the whole recording process. It’s kind of refreshing to do it that way; to get away from those familiar routines for a while. I’m overall more satisfied with the songs now, of course and it should be that way naturally, too – and if it wasn’t that way, then something would obviously be wrong ´coz the bottom line is that you kind of should develop all the time. I also think that bringing some more female vocals - some more melodic vocals into whole recording, makes it more complete in its own way. Also, as the rest of the other guys are permanent members of this band nowadays, it gives more of a band kind of feeling over the whole thing than before. We have now 6 permanent members in the band when on our 1st album, “Pure Therapy”, it was basically me, Solem, Kuth and a bunch of ´guest musicians´.

 

So, are you saying that you recorded this new album exactly with the same line-up that you had on “Pure Therapy” already?

I did all the keyboards for “Pure Therapy” by myself and on this new album, we had Magnus who did all the keyboards for it. The drums, the bass and the guitars were done by the same guys who did them on “Pure Therapy” already. Also, Sareeta played all the violins on “Escape”. She did not play on our debut and joined in the band afterwards.

 

What about guest musicians on this new album then? Did you use any of them even for “Escape” as well?

Yeah, we indeed had 5 girls doing some choirs for two of the songs on the album.

And that’s all as far as these guest musicians for “Escape” go this time around…?!

Yes, I’m afraid…, he-he!!

 

I assume you have obviously written most of the songs for this new album again – right? [Yes…] But I also assume the other guys helped you out with the whole song writing process for “Escape” a little bit at least – or how is it Zet?

Yeah, they did some musical contribution for “Escape”, too, but all the lyrics were co-written by me and one girl who is neither any member of the band nor she’s a musician or anything like that. She’s just a good friend of mine and that’s all. The way we write nowadays is like I do some demos for songs first and give them to the rest of the guys and they listen to them and come up with their own ideas for them. Then we all just gather together at rehearsals and arrange all those songs together. The whole song writing thing for RAM-ZET has been changing quite drastically as a matter of speaking, knowing how it was when we were working with the songs for our debut album. It’s really pretty different nowadays as other guys put more of like their souls into this band than they used to do earlier.

 

Speaking of your rehearsal situations a bit more; when you guys gather together to practice your songs, is each of you entitled for their own opinions if they don’t like something what some of you guys may have come up with for some certain new songs and would like to throw them away and replace some of those ´unpleasing´ ideas with their own ideas instead?

Of course!! That happens every now and then. It’s only natural, I think. We haven’t had any kind of problems with that at all. We all come up with our own ideas for the songs and bring them to our rehearsals and discuss ´bout them and try to find some solutions all together.

 

So, you could kind of consider RAM-ZET as a democratic band in that sense…? Are you, -eh?! - aren't you (-laughs!!)?!

(-laughs!!) … I really don’t know about that. Maybe not if you go and ask the same question from the other guys, too; then our band may not be ´that democratic´, but when we arrange our songs together, THAT at least has something to do with democracy in this band. But since I still do write most of our songs, we come to the point where we need to ask from ourselves what democracy’s all about after all?! In our band, we always discuss about everything as far as our songs are concerned – even if like I said, I still write most of them. This has never been any problem for any of us so far.

 

Hmmm… what indeed inspired you to write your songs the way you wrote them for this particular album?

I think I was inspired pretty much by the same things when we did “Pure Therapy”. As I still listen to different types of music, I always kind of get a wide range of different kinds of inspirations from other genres of music as well. I just cannot avoid being influenced by this or that ´coz the music is always there for me in my life and I have not limited myself to any certain style of music or genre.

 

Is there any particular style of music of which you’re mostly inspired by? Namely when I just recently was going thru some pre-listening to your new album - for me it sounded like you even might have a bit more aggressive vibe going on towards your music on this new record at least a bit more than what you had on “Pure Therapy” regarding some of the guitar riffs and your vocal parts that sounded actually very aggressive and intense – and tight as HELL!! Overall some of those songs sounded, pretty damn intense and ´punishing´ all in all…

Yeah, I agree, it sounds pretty intense at times, but then we have these ´soft´ vocals on some of these songs to give more contrast to the wholeness. I really tried to create some contrasts to this album; that was one of my main things when I was working with “Escape”. Besides, I think each song clicks to each other more nicely as I was able to create some contrast to them and make the songs overall a bit different to each other, y´know. Contrasts in the song writing process have always been important to me and there’s indeed a few of them on this album as well.

 

Did you feel any pressure when you started coming up with all this new stuff for “Escape” as I think your debut was pretty well received by at least all the Scandinavian countries? Besides, isn’t it just natural that you kind of want to top everything you have done previously, so in that sense do you believe that your own personal goals for this new album have been received?

Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that I was feeling at least some pressure from time to time, during both the song writing – and recording process. When I started coming up with songs for “Escape”, I have to say that after the first 4-5 songs I made for “Escape”, I kind of started to be suspicious if they are good enough for this album or not. But then at some point, you start to realize that it’s actually the pressure of your own creative process that puts you in that kind of position really. In a way it’s been caused by other people, too, who have already bought our debut album and thought it’s good and stuff. But still, maybe the most of this pressure comes from myself anyway as I’m always driven by certain things to develop even a few of steps further musically.

 

It also may have something to do with the fact that you kind of want always to top something what you may have done in the past; develop and write better and stronger riffs, more memorable chorus parts, whatsoever! I bet that’s simply every musician’s personal, main goal, too…

Yeah, it is - you’re very right about that. Also, I think one of the most important things is that – well, I know it’s a ´cliché to say that, but I have to say it anyway; namely you should avoid to do the same record all over again ´coz if you do things a bit different way, you ´re always developing into somewhere and it's always better that way in my opinion. It would have not been any sense to do “Pure Therapy – pt. 2.” with exactly the same music, but with different song titles , of course.

 

Do you, however, think that you accomplished your own personal goals with “Escape”?

Yeah, absolutely!!

 

Let’s talk about Mikko Karmila, who not only produced this new album, but also your debut album, “Pure Therapy”. When you came to Finnvox Studio for the very first time to mix your debut in 2000 with him – about two years ago, what kind of impression did you get out of him both as a guy behind the mixing desk and as a person in general?

For me that was like quite a new experience personally ´coz I’ve been working so much in my own studio by myself and have been having a control over things all the time. So when we came here and knew that he was going to be the guy mainly responsible for the mixing process for “Pure Therapy” and taking care of it all, it’s just natural that you step aside a little bit and let him do his job that was indeed supposed to be given to him to be done. And when some parts for “Pure Therapy” kind of weren’t recorded the way I originally thought them in my mind, and then we of course discussed them and let each of us express our own views and opinions about them. But working with Mikko was never a problem for us at that time. He’s an easy guy to work with, I think. For me personally it was pretty much a refreshing experience to let him to take care of the mixing because I’m always somewhat tied with other products at my own studio for so long time. Therefore coming to mix our debut at Finnvox Studio felt really good to me and provided me some refreshing contrast to my own things I tend to work with at my own studio. Also, I honestly have to tell you that when we first came here, I thought we could have been faced with some problems with this mixing process and stuff, but there was simply none. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here now to mix our new album “Escape” with Mikko.

 

As I believe you have been doing a plenty of final mixing with many bands already and got a pretty clear idea what that process is pretty all about, I was just thinking did Mikko show you some of his own ´secret recipes´ for some mixing methods and tricks how the mixing could also be done in a proper and professional way in order to achieve this so-called ´big sound´ for an album – to make it sound powerful and yet still clear enough?

Yeah, like last time he introduced us a bunch of new things and stuff and gave us some good advices that we partly tried out in the mixing process of “Pure Therapy”. It was a good thing to me personally to listen to him ´coz he’s without a doubt, a more experienced guy as far as working in a studio is concerned.

 

Were you 100% happy with how the mixing was done for your first album – or was there something in the final mix to argue about – or you would do otherwise now if you got one more opportunity for that?

At least I try to think that I’ve always wanted to do things the best possible way and the way what sounds best to me, of course. I have rather strong opinions of what it should sound like and how things should be like in general – and yeah, you could say that I’m very happy with how the mixing turned out for it eventually. If someone is able to show me some other way of thinking how some recording/mixing should be done – and it’s even better than what I have in my mind, then I’m of course all for it. I’m always trying to be open-minded for different things and try them out within RAM-ZET´s music, if they are good enough and fit in to the world of sounds of our band.

 

So you could also say that you understand him better now with how he wants things to be done as the mixing for this new album will be proceeding on and so on…?

Yeah, absolutely!! But also other ways around as well. I think Mikko understands us better now than the last time of what kind of sound we are after for this new album. I have to say that the first time when we were here taking part of the mixing and Mikko was listening to some parts of our songs on “Pure Therapy”, he was like: “What’s this; What’s the meaning of this really? This sounds kind of… er!? weird… (-laughs!!)”. He said that quite a few times indeed, so maybe he was just quite ´unprepared´ to hear a band like us because obviously we don’t have the most ear-friendliest sound in our music.

 

What kind of expectations are you running towards “Escape” then, let’s say sales-wise or otherwise? Do you believe that you’ll gain some new fans with this new product of yours ´coz I personally believe that it’s gonna kick some metalheads´ royal asses by its utterly complex and somewhat tricky compositions that it holds inside?

Since our first album sold about a thousand copies in Norway and a couple of thousand copies everywhere else, I hope this new album could sell a bit more than that at least. Also, if I’m remembering correctly, 4000 copies of our debut album was sold to Russia for some distributor there both as cassettes as well as CDs. Maybe it’s fair to say that we do have some of these expectations for this new record of ours that it could sell more copies than what our debut did and we could possibly get a bit better distribution for “Escape”, too. However, we don’t try to think so much ´bout it because if you create great music in your own opinion, you don’t think it like if we did this and that, would we be more commercial and sell more records then? That’s not our way of thinking at all and besides I’m not good at that myself at all – seeing things from a commercial point of view, I mean. As long as we receive a good feedback for what we do, it pleases us most in the very end for sure and I’m always taking it as a bonus. We are certainly not going to change musically into any commercial direction just to get more albums sold and achieving these big sales?! This is a type of music I have always wanted to do and like I just said, we just don’t bother those sales too much. On the other hand, it’s no denying that good sales also enables a continuum to do more albums and tour and stuff like that. And speaking of touring, I also hope we could do some touring for this album, too. That would also help us to get more albums sold and give more people an opportunity to become familiar with our band.

 

Like I mentioned in my last question, your new album isn’t that easy to get into, but do you believe that this album could also offer something really unique, progressive and worth trying out for those musicians who are possibly so-called ´freaks´ into this type of, let’s say, ´barriers-crushing-shit´ between different genres in music, but especially in an extreme metal?

Hmm… that was a great question. But it’s hard for me to say really, because I don’t think that way when I create music for this band. But I believe there are always some people out there who are trying to achieve something as complex yet progressive stuff as we do and this stuff might be even exciting for them to listen to. But I have to say you need to listen to our albums through at least a couple of times before you kind of understand what’s really happening on our albums. We really aren’t that easy of a band musically even if I also have to say we certainly aren’t the trickiest band on the face of the Earth either. But whoever likes our music, it’s of course nice; those who don’t, it’s ok with me as well. I’m having no problem dealing with it at all. I know this isn’t music for just everybody.

 

How would you say you’ve matured and kind of ´grown up´ as a musician since the days of making of your debut up to this day? I happen to know already by an experience this just is not one of those questions that every musician loves to answer, he! he!!

(-laughs!!) …wo-hoo, what can I say, uh?! As the fact still remains the same, all 6 of us have different musical backgrounds and I think, even somewhat different faves of music, so we have been learning many things from each other all the time. And working with the band, like I have been doing for quite some time now, makes you grow up as a musician because you need to hear what other members of the band have to say about certain things in general and that makes you look at things with a little bit more different perspective, I guess. You are kind of growing up with the band constantly as a musician and that’s really something you just cannot avoid.

 

Have you also noticed that somehow you demand more from yourself than before and are probably more of a self-critical person than you have possibly used to be before when coming up with some new stuff for this band?

Yeah, I have to say so. Because, like we discussed earlier, when you do your 2nd album, of course there will be expectations from others and from yourself as well – and of course you always try to achieve something better than what you may have done on your previous album – or albums, whatever. And within this process, you automatically start demanding more and more from both yourself and other members of the band, too. That’s the only way of developing as a musician and as a band, I think.

 

Since “Pure Therapy” came out, you’ve been doing some gigs at least in your home country, Norway, and even one gig here in Finland, too. How have people’s reactions been about those gigs you’ve done thus far? Namely when I saw you playing at Tavastia club here in Helsinki in the fall 2001, I have to say your live line-up looked pretty ´unusual´ for a metal band. You had two girls in your line-up; Sareeta was playing an electronic violin and Sfinx was taking care of the keyboards on that particular gig who both are now the official members of RAM-ZET, too, as it's been written…

The reactions towards us playing live have been immensely good so far, I really have to admit that. People have overall liked the visual side of us along with the music which is the most important thing, of course!! What’s a bit strange maybe, but only a few people have come and talk to us after the gigs and said how much they liked our live performance and stuff. When that happens, that kind of response always warms your heart naturally. Also, like you said, some of these people may even like us because seeing us playing live is something different than what they have probably used to see normally. We surely look different, sound different and I have say honestly myself, I haven’t seen any metal band that sounds or looks like us. So in that sense, I guess we are quite an original metal band after all.

Can you still remember how was your first ever gig like with this band?

Zet: Oh my, oh my… my first gig?! It happened in February 2001 in Norway…

 

So, how was it as a situation? Did you feel anything like: “SHIT…!! I cannot go there and play to them. My stomach is way too full of butterflies; I just cannot play a thing to them…”?

Maybe a bit like that, but since I’ve spent a lot of time onstage and played in a lot of different bands before RAM-ZET, it wasn’t anything new to me. But for that particular first ever gig with RAM-ZET, I was somehow really nervous about it because I didn’t have any idea how we would sound like to the audience. We had just played together at our rehearsals, so playing live to people for the very first time, is always a new experience. So I was really, really excited about it how it would go and how would we be received by the audience. And as I play the guitar and do the vocals, it gave me an extra shot of excitement to be nervous about ´coz doing them at the same time, is pretty hard to do in a live situation. You really need to concentrate on both things physically really hard. And I still remember that in the middle of the first song, I felt a bit dizzy and even started to see some stars and was like:”…Jesus!”. But luckily that dizzy feeling went over quite soon and I was able to play normally again like the rest of the guys in this band. I guess that incident was caused by a huge tension that I had at that particular moment. I was told afterwards that the crowd was really pleased by our live performance which is cool, of course!!

 

Is there actually anything you can do before going to a stage in order to ease up your tension a little bit? Just any kind of methods or anything that you can do at a backstage before going to entertain your audience?

Not really. You just try to concentrate on all that what you are going to perform onstage and possibly warming up my voice at the backstage a little before I start screaming there onstage.

 

As far as I know ´bout some methods of some (unnamed) Finnish metal bands, they usually drink a beer or two (or twenty, he!) in order to achieve a state of relaxation before going onstage and giving a blast to their audience…

If I started to do that myself, too, in order to not be possibly that nervous when preparing to go onstage, I bet I would become just an alcoholic, he-he!! Seriously, if you got used to do that very often, then I believe there’s no way how you can possibly be without those “couple of mandatory beers” just before the show time. So, I rather stay sober before the show starts and may have those beers after the gig. That would make more sense in my case, I have to tell ya.

 

You have been sharing the same stage with Finnish ´Polka/Humppa´ metal heroes FINNTROLL for a couple of times, too. How do you like them anyway?

I like them a lot as a band as well as persons, too. They sound kind of special for me because when I was here for the 1st time, mixing “Pure Therapy”, I went to Finnvox Studio all by myself and was about to spend some time with many new faces whom I haven´t seen before. And I only knew Sami (the label manager of SPIKEFARM RECORDS, that is) over the phone; I hadn’t spoken to him face-to-face and stuff earlier. So before I came to Finland, Sami called me and told that he’ll meet me at the airport and the FINNTROLL –guys will be with him waiting for me there, too. And Sami told me that they are going to take care of me and help me out to survive in Helsinki. I have to say those guys were just so GREAT and I spent a lot of time hanging around with them when I wasn’t at Finnvox doing some mixing. They really made me feel comfortable and it was fun to spend time with them all the way. I just bought their 1st album before coming here, but hadn’t too much time to listen to the album, so I can’t unfortunately quite tell what I thought of it. But regarding to their live shows, I have to say they are completely different band both music – and concept-wise what I have seen thus far. I think they are really great; I enjoy FINNTROLL – I really do. We were also very happy to play with the guys in Norway ´coz a town where we live nowadays, this was probably the first metal event there for several years. FINNTROLL made it quite a happening and overall it was really cool to get that gig organized there. It was just like I got to know these guys even better when we visited to a bar called “Corner” there in HELL-sinki for quite a few times actually and talked over many things there with them. They are really nice guys; pretty much down-to-earth and easy guys to talk to.

 

And these ´trolls´´ drinking habits didn’t scare you a bit – knowing that they tend to be pretty damn heavy drinkers from time to time, boozing like very…, -eh?! ´the Finnish way´?

No, because I was pretty drunk myself, too – almost every time when we headed to that “Corner” bar, he- he!! I definitely partied a lot with them and like you brought it up already, they indeed are able to drink ´the usual Finnish way´ - there’s just no question ´bout that (-laughs!!)!! But all in all, my experience with them was only positive; I have nothing bad to say about them. Just a bunch of great guys!!

 

By the way, are there any other Finnish (metal) bands there you’d like to do some gigs with?

I think… wow, that was a toughie one again; I mean, in a way that was a tough one because being signed with SPIKEFARM, it also gives me a nice opportunity to listen to some other bands on that label; bands that I maybe would never listen to otherwise. And not many of those bands on SPINE-/SPIKEFARM are known in Norway. But of course some of the bands like NIGHTWISH and CHILDREN OF BODOM are known everywhere nowadays and getting some good sales in Norway, too. And I like those bands myself. As for the other Finnish metal bands, well, it’s hard to say really. I like a lot of (metal) bands that I’d like to play with indeed.

 

Well, what could be those most ideal Finnish bands for RAM-ZET to play with, then…?

It’s so hard to say because we could do gigs with bigger Finnish metal bands such as NIGHTWISH, CHILDEN OF BODOM and the likes – and I could not see any problems playing with smaller Finnish bands like SILENTIUM, ENTWINE and those kinds of bands as well. But on the other hand, I would mostly like to play with a band which is totally different compared to the other bands in the metal scene, so I guess I probably would stick to just FINNTROLL because they are so totally different compared to us, for example.

 

Also I believe when RAM-ZET shares the same stage with FINNTROLL, both of the bands in question are able to offer a pretty nice contrast for everyone in the crowd both visually and musically, so no one should get bored there?

Yeah, you’re completely right about that. That was the thing what made our gigs in Norway quite a unique experience all in all; to play with FINNTROLL was a really unique thing to do because like I told you earlier, they are a very different sounding band indeed. And what I have heard, they already have a respectable following both here in Norway, but also in Sweden – not even to talk about Finland where they must be a hugely popular band, I think.

 

Yeah, I guess you could say so. Still going back to your debut for a passing while. Namely when “Pure Therapy” came out on your current label, your press kit described RAM-ZET´s music as “Black Psychotic Power Metal”. Do you think that definition fits perfectly to your new album as well – or do you believe it needs to be changed a little bit when it comes down to your new songs on “Escape”?

Well, to put it most understandable way for all of you: All those influences are there: “Black Metal”, “Power Metal” and “Psychotic Metal” in RAM-ZET music, I think. But there may be even more, I really can’t tell. I had this discussion with Sami for some time ago and we were pondering together how we should call our music and actually he was the one who came up with that description for our music, so thanks to him for that. I really think that definition fits to our music somewhat perfectly. I also have to say that it’s not that easy to describe our kind of music what we are doing nowadays because we have so many elements inside our music. On the other hand, if we are even more accurate with a fitting title - or category for describing our music, then I have to say it’s kind hard to put all the elements that we have in our music, under any specific category because our music isn’t really limited to any certain thing, y´know? If you limit yourself musically too much, it’s gonna be pretty tough for you to progress and experiment within your own music and I surely don’t want to do that for myself; I am always open for any good ideas as far as RAM-ZET´s music is concerned. As for trying to fit that definition (“Black Psychotic Power Metal”, that is) for “Escape”, I have to think of that later whether it might fit to our new stuff or not, but right now it’s kind of way too early to tell. But we’ll surely come up with something for giving people an idea of what “Escape” will be all about. Maybe the latter mentioned definition won’t fit to this album too well any longer, but like I said, we are about to find out that later…

 

I don’t give up that easily, so can you already think of any definition for “Escape”, how would you like it to be categorized then in order to give people some sort of hunch of its content in advance…?

Well, all I can say that it’s going to be more atmospheric, so let’s try this one out: “Psychotic, atmospheric Power Metal with some Black Metal elements thrown in a well-balanced mixture… how’s that (-laughs!!)?!

 

And it’s also up to a listener how he/she feels ´bout your music , right… ?!

Yeah, of course - but we also need to come up with something really in order to promote “Escape” better ´coz that’s important, too, I think…

 

How do you feel ´bout all those strong contrasts in your music? Namely listening to your songs you can easily hear that you’re using those contrasts quite a lot actually; the aggressive parts of your songs may turn, like all of a sudden, to really atmospheric yet so beautifully arranged parts and I guess that’s one of the strongest points of your music really…

Thank you for your kind words. I definitely agree with you that many of our song arrangements are based on those strong contrasts like you just spitted it out yourself. These rather strong contrasts that we use in our music, are really that thing what make RAM-ZET so special and unique band for many and I really want to keep it that way.

 

Ok then, let’s have a couple of words about your current employee and the boss, SPIKEFARM RECORDS and Sami Tenetz. Are you happy with the way how Sami has been supporting your band this far by trying to spread your name out as much as possible – or is there anything at all he (or they) could still do for you in order to get RAM-ZET´s name out even more over the borders of different countries, metal genres and so on?

I think when we released our first album with Sami, SPIKEFARM has just hired a new guy to do the promotion for SPIKEFARM –releases; and because he was just learning things how to get all the promotion done a proper way, maybe we didn´t get all that promotion for our debut it could have been possible done for it. Quite hard to say anyway. But like Sami has told us, the promotion for this new album of ours should be done a slightly better because it wasn´t good enough for the debut. Also license deals for this new album might help to get our name out even more, but of course that´s all up to SPIKEFARM naturally. I wish, however, that they could be able of license it to as many countries as possible ´coz both the label and us could derive benefit from them, of course!! We weren´t running too high expectations towards our debut, tho, but for this new album, we do. Thinking logically this issue, I think our 2nd album just HAS to sell more albums than our debut. If it won´t sell more copies than what “Pure Therapy” did, maybe there´s something wrong in our music then, he! he!!

 

On the contrary, debut albums most often are kind of supposed to open, more or less, the road for certain bands´ names; I mean, if you have been in the scene for less than one year since the day you started your own band, I suppose within that time it´s quite impossible to make that huge impact on people (unless you are not Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie, he!) if a promotion for a band hasn´t been done determinedly and devotedly enough and some real goals I your mind that this band could BECOME something in the future if I did this and that in order to achieve this and that, y´know?!

I couldn´t agree with you more on this. Of course all that what you just said, is extremely important for any up´n´coming band…

 

Which countries has “Pure Therapy” been licensed for exactly…?

It was licensed to many countries. It was licensed to most of the European countries like Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc. – and also to Australia and Canada as well. But like I mentioned earlier, the promotion for it could have been done a little better, I think.

 

One more question and then we are done, sir… I'm just curious to know what kind of music do you listen to normally when you just want to relax a little bit and spend some time alone at your home or somewhere else?

Hmmm… let´s say that when I create music which I have been doing for the past 4-5 months now, I don´t listen so much any kind of music. But when I do, I listen to DIMMU BORGIR; especially their last album – then I listen to EUROPE, I listen to DESMOND´S CHILD and… what else; Yeah, I listen to SOILWORK´s latest album ´coz it truly kicks some ass. I actually listen to a lot of different stuff; also some kind of really ´weird´ stuff sometimes. I don´t have any so-called ´favorites´ right now, tho.

 

But when you listen to something; some band or whatever, do you constantly try to avoid somehow for being influenced yourself by that stuff what you may listen to at a time?

To be honest with you again, when I listen to something, I don´t bother at all if something may stick to my mind out of all that stuff what I hear when I listen to something. And like I already said, when I'm in the middle of my song writing process, I don't listen to any music that much at all. It's already enough for me to hear what kind of things I have done myself for this band, so I just don't spin many other albums around during all that time.

 

And the final (cliché) words to end this interview, sir Zet…

Yeah, the time for those ´famous´ final words… I´d like to say thanks for all those people who saw some quality in us and bought “Pure Therapy”; not a bad choice at all ´coz we have got some really good and nice feedback from them from all over the world actually. And I have to say for the new listeners of our band that if you are going to listen to “Escape”, you have to listen to it AT LEAST 3 times from beginning to end before you make up your opinion out of it. It may be a bit harder album to get into, but I guarantee all of you that it's gonna be worth it – absolutely!!

Also, I want to thank you Luxi for coming up with another interview with us for your excellent web magazine METAL-RULES.COM. It´s was a pleasure to share a couple of words with you again, so thanks and c-ya…!!

 

Thank YOU Zet for your time and let the metal flow for RAM-ZET in the future, too…

 

Contact information:
Spinefarm Records / Pete Eskelinen
Fredrikinkatu 71, 00100 Helsinki
Finland
email: pete@spinefarm.fi
http://www.spinefarm.fi

www.ram-zet.com

All rights reserved and contents ©2004 Metal-Rules.com
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995!