We have a new theme album, 'Dark Half Rising', out now. The last two years have seen lots of changes in our musical working environment. We were lucky enough to get an international record deal with Massacre Records, an international promotion agency (Armada Agency) and a great promotion agency in Finland (Metal Asylum Promotions). To achieve all this, it took some time, but fires are burning intensively in our forest camp now.
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
The songs in the album are all pretty different from each other, there are many extremeties and the songs reflect strongly the thematical approach we chose for the album. We also wanted to experiment with more varied styles than on our first two albums. I think we have also matured as a band and as musicians, I can hear that personally very well. The songs are much more guitar-oriented than on the last album and we have paid lots of attention to overall arrangements.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
As I mentioned, it is a theme album. The whole structure is based on a story I made up from real historical ingredients. Around 2000 years ago, Julius Caesar attacked reign of Gauls in the area of France and Belgium. With our music, we make our own description of the events, it is a perspective of Gauls. We have definitely taken a step in to the world of original druids.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
We kinda think it unites humbleness and darkness.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
The great ones include Sweden Rock (Sweden, June 2009), Bilbao (Spain, March 2003), Klaipeda (Lithuania, April 2009) and Seinäjoki as Amorphis support (Finland, April 2009). We do have a good atmosphere and flow at shows, but it requires the invisible interaction of vibes of the place and the audience too, naturally.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?
We hope to tour at least in Europe by end of the year. There are now some confirmed shows in Finland and next week are going to have our album release show at Festival Medieval in Selb (Germany), that is exciting.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of gothic metal?
It would be great to think that we have some kind of a cult status, on the other hand it would be fantastic to play more shows in different countries. In general, people seem to like our songwriting and a bit different approach. We are balancing between metal and folk rock, and sometimes we lean more towards heaviness and sometimes in to some other approach.
8.Are there any other musical projects going on these days?
Our bass player Teemu has his own projects, the rest of us, we are playing only at Unshine. Though, there could be some secret projects that I'm not aware of (haha!).
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Time will tell, although I do have an inner knowledge of what is going to happen next. More than thinking about the musical direction, I think we'd be ready to release music in much more faster pace. Five years between the new and the previous album was simply too long.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I use a lot of YouTube to find interesting music. Still, I love vinyls and I've started to collect my dream collection. My personal favourites from current year: Tangerine Dream and their earlier side projects, Comus and all the other 70's weird-psych-folk, Camel, my ever-favourite Jethro Tull, Jex Thoth, the greatest modern band: Mastodon and the greatest thrash band ever: Sabbat (UK).
11.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
Can't speak for the others, weirdly, within the band we do not talk very much about our personal views on spiritual things. Partly for this, I respect individuality and the importance of personal experience.
I've always, basically since my childhood, been a nature spiritualist with an animistic world view, so any outsider would definitely label me as a 'pagan', a practitioner of the old ways and a romantic admirer of the countryside. That word (pagan), on the other hand, includes a certain religious charge in itself, saying that it is opposite option to the current main religions. That's basically ok, but I dislike this kind of labeling.
Nature for me is the ultimate source for the thing we call divinity and I have experienced my most religious experiences in nature. We can not see or measure everything in the world as most of the current scientists and especially politicians seem to think. Instead, we may sometimes feel the touch of everything and jump in to that other side of reality with our subconscious powers. Of course, I'm very interested in the current waves of paganism, but I have also got myself familiar lately for example with the nature writings of C.G. Jung and some early theosophical writings. Still, healthy environmental thinking is very typical to most of these current nature spiritual ways, and that is something I really really love.
12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Described in the previous section...Gardening, spending time with my family, food (I'm pretty good cook) and literature.
13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank You for the interview, I had really nice time answering these questions. Check out our music and hope to see you at our shows! Harri / UNSHINE