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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Pain Confessor (23.11.2005)

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HH: Hi! How are you? I think, not a lot of people already know your band Pain Confessor. So, would you please start telling us something about your history? What was the reason to form the band?

Tuomas: Pain Confessor was formed around August in 2002 by me, Make Kivistö and Mikko Kivistö. We asked Mikko Laihanen to play drums and soon enough started to look for second guitarist to join us. That's when we asked Wesleyer to step in. Pasi Laihanen joined the band probably a week or two later. Reason to form the band was to play melodic but aggressive metal that had been a passion for us for quite some time.

HH: How long are you already into the music business? You played in other bands before starting this band. What kind of music did they play?

Tuomas: I started in early 90s in a band that played pretty much the same style as we do now. After a few years I was asked to join Jane Doe (later Jane Doe 69) that played aggressive metal in Pantera-Sepultura –style. They go by the name SinKing now with a new line-up. I also have had a few black metal and death metal projects. Make, Mikko K and Mikko L all played in a aggressive metal band called Nonsliplevel (Meshuggah, Sepultura style) and me and Pasi had been also session members when they had line-up problems. Wesleyer used to play in A.R.G. which was a thrash band in the early 90s. Pasi also has or had a band Kolonia but I don't really know much about their stuff.

HH: What is your background? What kind of music do you prefer when you are not playing in your band? What are your influences?

Tuomas: I tend to listen to pretty much anything that is good, I go by my own ear and listen to good songs. Only thing I find hard to be objective about is rap and hip/hop. There is so much bullshit about that whole scene that even thinking about how much money they make raping classic songs makes me sick. My metal listening career started around five or six probably when my cousins gave me a VHS full of heavy metal videos as a gift. That video had Wasp, Kiss, ZZ Top, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden and lots of other stuff on it.
They also "made" me listen to Accepts Metal Heart album and Twisted Sister. My mother bought me Wasps original Winged Assassins (the first album with the title printed in the sleeve) and Kiss' Kiss and Lick it up. So I must blame my family for this. As a guitar player I rate Jaymz Hetfield, & Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Wolf Hoffman (Accept), Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), Miika Tenkula (Sentenced), Randy Piper (Wasp) and Bruce Kulick (Kiss) as my major inspiration. Unite those styles and you see where I am coming from. I also appreciate as an influence early Amorphis and our local Sancnity (whose lead singer and guitarist is our producer Janne Saksa). I must also point out Conan the Barbarian soundtrack which is probably the best movie soundtrack ever and still a constant source of inspiration. I always add something into my leads that gives a nod to that masterpiece.

HH: What kind of reaction did you achieve with your album ? Have you expected them?

Tuomas: Great reactions from the majority of people who know us. We did expect something along these lines as there was some kind of a "hype" around our first promo back in 2003. We also have been bashed with accusations of being too hyped up and so on. Well, we didn't blow smoke out our asses so we can rest assured that our material works for our fans. Most of our media coverage has been pretty encouraging and we are really happy with our live audiences since day one.

HH: Are you still satisfied with the result? What would you like to change?

Tuomas: No reason to look back in regret. We made that album with all the energy and love for metal we had at the moment. It's all real and sounds the way we sounded back then. So yes, I am satisfied with the result. If something, I would have changed the way the debut was promoted and delivered to stores on its release date and also made a better use of our Lake of Regret video. I hope that with this new record things will go far more smoothly.

HH: Who is responsible or the lyrics? What are the songs on your Debut about? Would you please tell us something about the meaning of each song?

Tuomas: Me, Make and Wesleyer wrote the lyrics. The lyrical themes were about different hardships in life. People can have their own perceptions of the lyrics but Lake of Regret does have a story involved with it. Around where we live in is a Lake Regret that according to folk lore was named after an incident where early Finns were forcefully baptized into Christianity and when they returned to their homesteads they washed away their baptism in fear of revenge by their pagan gods. We are not religious in any way but the incident gave me an idea of how it also describes a person's denial of other peoples' forced opinions on themselves. So the song is more personal in a way but still carries the original idea of the refusal of baptism to a foreign religion. Other lyrics such as "Erased Of Empathy", "Poor Man's Crown", "Soul Eraser" and "Just Names Remain" that I wrote have their own story for me but I wish to leave their meaning open for anyone to decide for themselves. Other lyrics I cannot comment on.

HH: What is the process of a songs' creation ? Is every member involved in the writing process?

Tuomas: I usually record my own ideas at home and those songs are mostly as ready as possible for rest of the guys to start working on. We usually arrange them together. Wesleyer has riffs and sometimes pretty complete ideas also, and we arrange those at rehearsals into their final form. Then there is the third way which mostly has Make and Mikko K introduce their ideas to the band and we start jamming and arranging a song from those ideas. On the forthcoming second album we arranged the stuff more together and I think the band is moving towards a more united songmaking direction.

HH: What plans do you have for your future? What do you want to achieve with your band ?

Tuomas: We release our second album and promote it as much as we can. I personally want to make as good music as I can and vent my thoughts about things through lyrics. In the future I hope we get more solid backing in our ventures and of course I want to go on tour and play around the world while I still can.

HH: Finland has these days some very popular bands like Children of Bodom, Sonata Arctica or even Finntroll. So, what do you think about the metal scene in your land?

Tuomas: Can't say much about a real scene where I would feel certain unity and belonging to a scene of metal musicians but yes there are good bands coming from Finland.

HH: What about touring (through germany)?

Tuomas: There was a certain opportunity offered to us to go on tour with Destruction and Candlemass but unfortunately it proved to be financially too much of a burden to us so we had to back out of it. Perhaps some other time.

HH: Who is your favourite enemy?

Tuomas: Probably too much to mention. Let's start with my own mind.

HH: Finland is one of the countries with the highest suicide rate. What do you think about people choosing this way? What makes in your eyes live worth living?

Tuomas: Personal decision that involves immense selfishness. You don't only end your own journey but deny your loved ones many things. I have much higher understanding towards a merciful suicide in the case of severe illness or painful fatal condition that would only relieve you and all the people around you of the burden. But to waste a perfectly functional life is a selfish and cowardly way to slip out of all responsibilites and should not be encouraged by making it something brave and romantic. Nothing romantic about giving up and leaving your beloved to take all the shit that will hit the fan anyway.

HH: What is your favourite drink and how much can you take of it?

Tuomas: Mineral Water and Mountain Dew. I can handle quite a lot.

HH: Thanks for answering my questions and good luck!

Ray

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