Recently, RockRevolt got a chance to sit down with Vreth (vocals) of Finntroll and fire a few questions his way about their upcoming album Blodsvept, their tour plans and their creative process.
You’re a really busy guy. In addition to Finntroll, you’ve sung and played bass in Chthonian, Twilight Moon, DecomposteR, and most recently Observant (with some of the other members of Finntroll and Chthonian.) How do you keep it all separate?
All of those bands you mentioned, like Twilight Moon, Chthonian, we quit those a few years back. We formed a new band called The Iniquity Descent for when we have a break from Finntroll. These are kind of low profile bands anyways. When we get off tour, usually we have a month in which that we don’t do anything, so we go on tour and record albums with those bands. It’s manageable; the concerts are only on weekends. We just find a free weekend and sort something out. It’s not a dream situation but it’s manageable.
Finntroll has a new album, Blodsvept, coming out here in the U.S. on 03/25/2013, which I’m pretty excited about. Drawing from so many different musical influences, what can you tell us about the creative process that went into it?
It really started like half a year before we went to the studio. Trollhorn does some concerts and he makes some songs and we were like, “Yeah! This sounds okay but ‘nahhhh.’We don’t really like it. We should really switch this style because this is too close to what we did on the Nifelvind album.” Not many of us liked the new songs and so he made some more songs and then suddenly we had this song called “Blodsvept.” He made that song and we were like, “Oh Fuck Yes! That’s perfect. This is the direction we want to go!” Then we arranged the other songs we had, over and over again, to make them fit to that song. Then the landscape was wide open for us and we knew what we wanted to do. It was just this one song (Blodsvept) that was such an inspiration for all the other songs.
It’s been a couple years since you guys had a U.S. tour. Any plans on coming back over here to support the new release?
Yeah, it was two years ago, back in 2011. Plans to come back? Of course there are! We don’t have firm plans or a schedule yet, and we need to sort out some European tour stuff first but yeah, we are definitely coming back.
Legend has it that you guys aren’t afraid to dig deep and drink hard while in the creative process, resulting in some pretty amazing stuff. What’s it like in the studio with you guys?
Well, you know, everyone thinks we are shitfaced all the time, but in the studio that isn’t really the thing. In the studio it’s usually really stressful; it’s a really intense sort of thing. We had technical problems and had already started out with too little time for the album. We had like ten days, which was a lot less than we had for Nifelvind, and then we had all these problems with the tuning of the guitars, drum tracks missing, and all these really fucked up things that happened, and then you know it was a total disaster so we did 15 hour studio days. There’s no chance we could have done that if we had horrible hangovers, you know? I think we have never had this little alcohol present in anything we have done. Obviously, with my vocals I like to drink a couple beers and some whiskey before we start, to get the mood running, but that was basically it. And this one day, we had this huge party and invited our friends to come listen to the album (hardcore choir and thrash metal choir.) Then we had a huge party. It was a cool session.
Got any good tour stories you’d like to share?
Here’s one story not too many people know about. We haven’t told many people this…
“One time, when we were in America, we got arrested in Texas. We spent an entire day in a Texan jail. (laughs) Don’t mess with Texas! There was some suspicion of drugs on the bus. They actually stopped us because they thought we were smuggling people over the border from Mexico. I think they had something against us because they started searching the bus looking for drugs. It was a day off and we were really hoping to go out to eat, do laundry, watch TV and do nothing; instead we were spending the whole day in jail. It was a nightmare.”
Skrymer did the cover artwork for this latest release, as well as previous ones. That’s some pretty intense imagery! Is it an accurate depiction of what’s going on within the album lyrically, or musically speaking?
Yeah!! It really is and you’re going to be blown away when you get the real artwork in your hands. For every song there is a painting that sort of looks like that one. There’s one really detailed painting that’s a part of the concept of that song. I saw the finished version the other day and it’s amazing; very cool!
You guys have some pretty dedicated fans. What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever done for you?
You know it’s weird, some fan, actually a couple days ago updated Wikipedia. I discovered, according to Wikipedia, that I’m married to this Spanish girl. I’m supposed to have been married to her for a couple years. I also found out there’s a blog about my armpits. That’s pretty weird.
Armpit blog huh? Nice! When you guys aren’t recording, playing, and touring, what do you do for downtime?
We have a few hobbies. For example, Virta (keyboards) and I really enjoy golfing when the season allows us to in Finland. That’s kind of the thing I like. Along with swimming and going to saunas. Some of the guys go to the gym and stuff like that. Skrymer paints and works for a design company. Our drummer has horses he takes care of. Everybody has different stuff they are into.
Anything you want to mention?
Yeah! Check the album out – the artwork and the music. It’s going to be a really cool album. Keep an eye out for the next U.S. tour and harass your local promoters to get us to your town!