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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Spiritus Mortis (29.04.2006)

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Logo Spiritus Mortis

HH: In the info sheet it says "Spiritus Mortis was formed in 1987. The first band to be called a Doom act." Do you agree with that?

Teemu: Maybe the first in Finland, perhaps. We didn't even know that a genre called doom metal existed back then, we just did that how we like to hear ourselves.

Jussi: As much as we know it is correct. We didn't even know that some other band can play so heavy and slow until we heard our brothers in doom: Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri.

HH: Apart from some demos it took about 14 years for Spiritus Mortis to sign a record deal. Why did it take so much time? Wasn't the world ready for Spiritus Mortis?

Teemu: We were so goddamn lazy, that's why...

Vesa: Yeah, you needed me kicking your lazy asses! Back in early 90s the world maybe couldn't understand Spiritus Mortis, maybe Finland. That time wasn't a good time for heavy metal bands but attitudes changed quite fast in Finlad thou'.

HH: But that deal disappeared as fast as it took place. What happened?

Teemu: If I remember correctly it was with Sinister Figure, a sub-division of Mastervox. We had an offer and if I again remember correctly we were interested about signing but suddenly we got no contact with Sinister Figure. No email, no calls answered. So we let it go, thank God, I heard that Reverend Bizarre wasn't completely happy with them.

Jussi: Teemu says it all. Much better this way.

HH: In early 2003 you entered the studio and recorded your debut on your own without a record company at your back. How did you feel when you recorded your music without the "insurance" of a label?

Teemu: I trusted that our music is good and that someone will release it after all.

Jussi: Have to say I did not have any bad feelings, panic etc. It was a thing that must be done. Man must do what man must do.

Vesa: Yes and we had rehearsed a lot with Vellu who was drummer at that time, so it was kinda "have to do" thing back then. You know, a bit of hesitation in our minds, will we ever be in that shape again if we can't find suitable drummer soon enough. So we went to the studio and all went well... For a while!

HH: In the same year you signed a record deal with Rage Of Achilles Records. I think you expected a lot from this partnership, didn't you?

Teemu: No, not really. I was just happy to get the firstborn out.

Jussi: Haha, I was more like curious what will happen.

Vesa: Guys are quite right but of course there was a proud feeling somewhere deep in our black hearts that the bastard son is finally born!

HH: Some time later Rage Of Achilles went down and again Spiritus Mortis didn't have a record deal. Did you see it coming that the label would go broke or was it a big surprise?

Teemu: We have seen it coming, as they were signing every available Finnish band. But no hard feelings, Duncan did a good job back then. It was not his fault that distribution sucked in certain European countries...

Jussi: Not really a big surprise; too many bands, too little time and money.

HH: Meanwhile you signed a deal with Black Lotus Records. Will there be a worldwide distribution of your first self-titled album now?

Teemu: If they are willing to make an re-release of it I guess Duncan will give his permission. By the way, there has been some discussion about releasing the first on vinyl, and making it double LP with the first album on first LP and some special shit on the second. And here I have to say that so far Black Lotus has done great job in Germany for example.

Jussi: I hoped that we already had that. :( But sadly specially in Germany distribution and promotion did not work. But all you old and new friends of Spiritus Mortis, you can buy the first one directly from us. Contact Vesa by email vesa@spiritusmortis.com.

Vesa: Yeah, go ahead Spiritus Mortis party lovers! And this vinyl thing has been planned to release by another label than Black Lotus but things aren't decided yet. We'll see!

HH: I think you did a great job with your new record and you're at eye level with bands like Count Raven or Saint Vitus. What do you think about that?

Teemu: Not on the same level with Saint Vitus, they did their stuff even earlier than us. But thanks for your kind words!:)

Jussi: Thanks man! Usually I can take "overwhelming amount of praising" but you make me blush!:)

Vesa: Well... that's your opinion! Hopefully thousands of people thinks same ways!

HH: The Rock'n'Roll influences in your sound take you apart from the masses. Where do these influences come from?

Teemu: We like our songs to be rocking and grooving. This might be surprise to come from doom band but we do what we like.

Jussi: It could be a surprise that in the past we liked Slayer, Venom and Motörhead and we like them even today. Play your metal hard and rocking, it makes nice mixture with doom.

Vesa: I guess I'm partly guilty in this too, I mean my songs usually are a bit more rockin' than early Spiritus Mortis stuff. But actually I'm totally wrong here... There ain't many of my tunes on Fallen after all! The production of Fallen also gives you hint of rocking feel.

HH: Do you have a lyrical concept on Fallen or stands every song on its own?

Teemu: Doom, death, destruction, that's it.

Vesa: Every song stands on its own. No specific theme. But as Teemu mentioned, doom, death, destruction in various frames...

HH: Where do the influences for the lyrics come from?

Vesa: Movies, everyday shit hidden in warrior like tales. I usually see "painting or music video" in my little sick mind and I begin to put it in words. Kinda shortened movie scripts. Sometimes it goes well and other times close enough for rock'n'roll!

HH: In 2000 Spiritus Mortis changed singers and from now on Vesa did the vocals. A great stroke of luck for you in my opinion because his voice is really great and fits perfectly to the music. How did Spiritus Mortis get in contact with Vesa?

Teemu: We had known Vessias for 30 years and it was rather interesting that he wasn't never considered as vocalist before, he offered himself for the job. Maybe Vessias will continue from here?

Jussi: Vesa begged us "please let me sing in your band and I will buy you a beer". Just kidding. I have the privilege to know the man something like 30 years. Vesa had his own projects and we had Spiritus Mortis. It was Doomsnake Ketola, producer of Spiritus Mortis and Fallen, who asked us like "why Vesa's not singing in Spiritus Mortis, it would be a perfect mixture".

Vesa: Actually Doomsnake asked me when we were drinking beer in a bar that "how come you haven't try to sing in Spiritus Mortis?". So I asked guys for some old demo recordings and I erased old vox tracks and rehearsed with PA couple of songs and so it started. And now I'm filled up to the neck with Spiritus Mortis business, haha... By the way, the former singer Tomi Murtomäki sings background vocals on Fallen, so he ain't so mad at all at me stealing his seat!

HH: Imagine Fallen is an animal. What animal would that be and why?

Teemu: Spiritus Mortis is something like Rhino so then Fallen must be... polar bear?

Jussi: Usually women call me bear. Spiritus Mortis could be like Teemu says a polar bear.

Vesa: Heavy Metal Hedgehog!! Definitely, 1000 kilos of mean motherfuckin' hedgehog with spikes of steel! Running loose and hopefully hitting your cities in Germany soon!

HH: That's it, the last words are yours!

Teemu: Thanks, and hoping to see you at tour in Germany! :)

Jussi: Auf Wiedersehen! Hopefully see you soon!

Vesa: Cheers and beware of the quiet one!

Lord Obirah

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