Jani Aalto (Drums) : Well, there’s five guys from Finland with a deep and profound fondness for complex,
crushingly heavy music… Some instruments are also involved most of the time. I guess our roots stretch
towards Sludge and Doom, maybe throw some stoner in there for color, but I think ever since the moment
we decided to start creating Sludge Metal, we’ve been doing something else entirely; our material is a
dynamic mix of stuff we just come up without really thinking about the genre it’s going to fit in.
Tatu Hutri (Guitar) : One very important aspect for me is that our albums are not meant to unfold right
away. I like to think that the best way to consume it is after multiple times of listening.
2. You have a new EP coming out in April, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented
on the recording and also how does it differ from the full length you released in 2014?
Tatu: As our recording engineer (who also recorded and mixed our self-titled debut) commented on the
musical content of this EP: "This isn’t such a gentle child compared to the last one".
Jani: It’s obviously more dynamic, more experimental and more aggressive. Our first album was released
only a year after the bands formation, and consisted partly of songs we’d been playing since the beginning,
when we were more careful and less experienced when it comes to songwriting. In a way, you can hear a
young, self-conscious band searching for a unique sound in there somewhere. For “The Throne” we had
more of a clear vision of the big picture before we started to seriously write it. We also disregarded the last
restraints of trying to fit into any genre.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Tatu: In my point of view the new EP is about the consequences of growing apart from something that has
been familiar. Self-inflicted pain and victories. Seeing the dark side of personal goals.
Jani: I think we work best when we have some sort of “background” for songs, be it a story or a series of
emotions. For me the whole “Throne” concept sheds some light on the human condition, feeling empty and
trying to find power in dark places. But we sort of hope that listeners make their own interpretations about
our lyrics and find a meaning close to their hearts.
4. I know that the band name means 'noncastrated reindeer stag' in Finnish, how does this name fit in
with the musical style that you play?
Jani: Maybe it somehow reflects the untamed nature of our musical style, or something… Like it’s
stubbornly moving into directions of its own choosing.
Tatu: Someone once told me it sounds too “latin” for our sound. Still works for me.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you
describe your stage performance?
Jani: We strive to produce the same kind of soundspaces, for albums as well as live. We’re sort of old
school in that we try to keep tricks and needless production to a minimum. This reflects to a live
performance where we try to keep the focus on the music, leaving rockstar maneuvers to other bands.
Sarvas does sound a lot heavier live though, and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed. The best
kind of gigs are the ones with great acts performing with us, when different bands come together and just
have a blast supporting each other.
6. Do you have any touring or show plans once the new ep is released?
Jani: No tours planned, some gigs have been booked for spring/summer but we’re trying to focus on
writing new material for now.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and groove metal?
Jani: No idea… I think we’ve always considered ourselves sort of an underground act: most mainstream
metal fans probably steer clear of us, but if there’s like 1 person in 10 who gets an emotional reaction from
our music, we’re satisfied. But in a way, I see our style as branching out from your usual
sludge/doom/groove stuff so hopefully people will find something fresh and unique in us.
8. Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Jani: Me, Tatu and Jonne (Bass) focus mostly on Sarvas at the moment. I have some projects underway but
I don’t personally like to divide my time between too many actively gigging bands. Tommi (guitar) has a
Rock ensemble called KakSanaa and our vocalist Samppa plays various instruments in so many projects, I’ve
lost count… There’s at least Vacancy and a Black Metal group called Isengrim.
9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Tatu: We’ll continue to do our best to make music. For me that's the main point and everything else is just
making the journey more exciting. We have already started working with a new concept.
Jani: Yeah, we prefer to take it one release at a time, and indeed we’re already writing material for a new
album. For now it’s mostly just us bouncing ideas off each other, building central themes for separate songs
as well as the big picture and I can tell you this much: It’s bound to be heavy, more progressive and dark.
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what
are you listening to nowadays?
Tatu: I believe most of the people can hear the influences and find something to relate to in our music if
they wish to really dig into it. We are influenced with sludge, prog, groove, doom and post-metal styles for
sure. Just during the last week I have listened to stuff like Blind Dog, Egypt, Monster Coyote, Ocean,
Crowbar, Yuri Gagarin, Electric Wizard, Horn of the Rhino, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and some spanish
guitar for example. In my opinion influences should be collected to build your 'own voice' when creating
Jani: I’ve always had a thing for groovy, progressive drum patterns and rhythms complimenting the overall
feeling of the music. Bands like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Mastodon and Clutch have all had some sort of
impact on the way I arrange drums for our music.
11. What are some of your non-musical interests?
Jani: We all have our hobbies besides music, but I can’t say how much our individual preferences for
literature, movies, video games or art actually impact our material. I think for us it’s more about a
thoughtful attitude towards life in general and a habit of analytic introspection.
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Jani: Keep watching the horizon, we’ve got some cool stuff on the way. And if you haven’t yet had the time
to check out debut or the new EP “The Throne” for that matter, go do it now!
Tatu: Thank you for the interview!