Info - HEAVING EARTH se po dlouhých šesti letech vrací na pódia! / HEAVING EARTH returns to the stage after six long years!



sobota 30. dubna 2022

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Interview - CORPSESSED - I personally get most inspired by real life rather than fiction.

Interview with death metal band from Finland - CORPSESSED.

Answered vocalist Niko, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Ave CORPSESSED! I have never found any interview with you in Czech language. I will ask you first to introduce the band to the readers who do not know you yet. You can start from the beginning and take us through the whole history of CORPSESSED.

Niko: Me, Matti and Jussi got to know each other in a short lived band that only recorded one demo and did 2 gigs. The three of us agreed that we have good chemistry between us and are on the same page when it comes to writing music, so we decided to keep going by putting a new band together. Jyri is a long time friend of Matti`s and Jyri also brought in our first bass player, Mikko. We started doing what most bands do in the beginning, play covers and try writing our own songs somewhere in the middle. First couple of years were pretty slow in terms of progress, we lost our practice space at the time and our first bass player, due to reasons that are still a bit blurry to me, haha! Things started moving properly when we started practicing at the Suisto practice space, which was a home for pretty much most of the local bands at that time. We also managed to find a new bass player, also called Mikko, who one day heard us practicing and offered to join in. We managed to write and record a bunch of songs that was intended to be our first demo and posted them online.

We got a couple of offers from smaller labels, but Dark Descent (a new label at the time) was the one who showed to be most enthusiastic and determined to get us signed, so the choice was simple. So the demo turned into our first official release, ”The Dagger & The Chalice” EP.. We experienced the new band-honeymoon period and got signed to play in Tuska and Steelfest here in Finland in 2012.

After some gigs we started working on our first full length, ”Abysmal Thresholds”. We discovered how much work it is to put together a full length and since we do everything music related by ourselves, it definitely was an important learning process. The album production with this massive wall of sound got mixed reactions and feedback. What followed was our first proper European tour with Cruciamentum, that got a bit complicated since our bass player quit the band a little over a month before we hit the road. Luckily Jussi knew Tuomas who lent a helping hand, and things went so smoothly that we asked him to join in as a permanent member. Tuomas has now been our bass player for the longest time, so he was the guy we were looking for in the first place!

Almost five years later after “Abysmal Thresholds”, we finally finished our second full length, “Impetus of Death”. We took our time and it really shows, I'm pretty confident that when we some day decide to quit the band, this is the album I will be most proud of. It was one of those lightning in a bottle moments that are impossible to duplicate.

Which is pretty much the complete opposite with “Succumb to Rot”, since at one point it felt everything was against this record: First came the pandemic. I was going through a divorce while recording my vocals. The album recording was finished roughly a year ago, but the release was delayed because of the situation with the vinyl presses being jammed with orders. All the shows we had booked were either canceled or postponed. But with the album being released finally, hopefully it has been worth all the pain and waiting!

This year, you have just released the new album „Succumb To Rot“. Again, it's a dark, harsh and honest death metal. Did you access the recording process differently than last time or did you choose verified practices?

Niko: Not exactly. Every release to date has been recorded by ourselves, only the gear and skills are better than when we started. Especially the mixing skills have improved. For “Succumb to Rot” we recorded the drums first in a live-like situation, then later everything else instrument by instrument. One big difference to previous recordings, usually when we have released a record, we have needed some time off, so we can distance ourselves and get a fresh take on songwriting. This time we started working on new songs right after we had “Impetus of Death” sent to the label. One thing I have also noticed is our album lengths keep getting shorter, which I guess means either we are able to write more coherent and condends albums or have gotten lazy, haha!

The new album seems to me more complicated, perhaps initially less accessible, at the same time incredibly dark and evil. Was it intentional? How did the album originate and how did you compose the music?

Niko: Well, yes and no. The songs are more straightforward and focused on the riffs, rather than the crushing atmosphere. So the songs turned out to be faster and more aggressive, but in a weird way much more catchy. Most of the time when we start writing, we might have an initial concept or an idea in mind, but the end result usually evolves into something else. So it's not really intentional, but how the album comes together is always an organic process. How we write songs most of the time, is either Matti or Jyri has a riff or some kind of basic song structure in mind, and then we start building from there together. Everybody has a chance to join in and throw in ideas. Everyone also has a VETO-right, meaning if an idea doesn't please someone, it's thrown away. I don't remember that any of us has exercised this right for the past 15 years.

I have a „Succumb To Rot“ in my MP3 player and I have to say that this album literally engulfed me. These are not just great ideas but also sound is simply devastating. I'm sitting in the tram, and suddenly I find myself shaking my legs. I have a feeling to start moshing. If I weren’t so old, I would probably start to. Where did you record and who is signed under mastering?

Niko: Same way we have worked before, Matti does the recording in our practice place. We again played with the idea of doing it in a proper studio, but this DIY method has worked for us in the past, so why change something that is not broken? The idea was to make it sound as much of a live-recording as possible, and to give room for the guitar sound and make it sound distinct so you can hear the riffs properly.

Mastering was done by D. Lowndes (Cruciamentum/Resonance Sound Studio). We have been working with Dan for a while now and did a tour with Cruciamentum in the past, so we also know him on a personal level. It's really easy and effortless to work with him, because he knows exactly what kind of sound we are looking for.

Who is the author of the lyrics on „Succumb To Rot“? What are they talking about? Where do you get inspiration for themes?

Niko: Apart from Tuomas, we all wrote lyrics this time. “Succumb To Rot” is not a theme album in a traditional sense, but there is an overall theme/arc on the inevitable end of all life, how we are surrounded by chaos and how we are all slowly rotting into oblivion. I personally get most inspired by real life rather than fiction. The song "Sublime Indignation" was inspired by the interview of Richard Kuklinski, a former serial killer who was analyzed by a psychiatrist when he was in prison (you can find this interview on youtube). We sampled a small part at the end of the song.

Who is signed under the cover of „Succumb To Rot“? I like his work very much. How did you choose the motif for the cover?

Niko: Cover art was done by Vladimir ‘Smerdulak’ Chebakov. The method was the same as previous times: we give the artist all the music and lyrics, explain a little bit about the overall theme for reference, but after that they are given free hands to do as they see fit. I personally think the album cover might be as important as the actual music, so it's always interesting and exciting to see how the artists interpret our music into a visual form.

When we look back at the beginning ... What was the first impulse to found the band? And why the death metal? It's not the typical style which can would give you great "glory".

Niko: This is all coming from my personal experience. I'm a late bloomer when it comes to playing in a band, I think I was 22 when I was at my first band practice. So the idea of “glory” was something I never really spent that much time thinking of. At the beginning, the only dream I had was to be in a band that plays extreme metal, have our own practice space, maybe record a couple of demos and do some local shows. Now we have our third full length coming out, we have toured all over Europe and I'm writing this interview, so it's safe to say we have moved past my modest expectations! We might not have made any money, or gotten laid by playing death metal, but the fact that we are still here, after 15 years and still going strong, is more glory than I could have ever hoped for!

You come from Finland and you play extreme death metal. Our readers would certainly wonder how the death metal scene works in Finland. To tell you the truth, so lately I hear only the great bands from there. Does this mean that the scene there is so strong at the moment? What about concerts, how many people coming to them?

Niko: Well they always mention that Finland has the most metal bands per capita in the world, haha! There are lots of bands, maybe even too much for a country with only 6 million people. The shows are usually in small venues, so maybe 50-100 in our shows? The scene is strong but in extreme death metal people usually play in multiple bands, so you see a lot of familiar faces in the bands and in the audience too. One thing I have noticed is the average age in our shows is roughly 30+ years. I don't know if younger people are into different types of music or if we are just old boomers that the youth are not interested in, haha!

I have to ask. You live in Finland, which is considered a strongly Lutheran country. You play death metal. Do you have any problems with it? Do you get space in TV or in newspapers? How is life in your country affected by religion?

Niko: During the nineties with the church burnings in Norway, there was this satan worshiping-stigma on metal music which caused a similar type of hysteria here too. In bigger festivals, you can still find religious nutcases preaching about the danger of Satan, but overall it has calmed down alot. Especially after Lordi won the Eurovision in 2006, metal was a huge thing in Finland, to a point where they started using metal bands on TV ads. People here mostly belong to the Lutheran church just to get the church weddings.

From your music it is possible to feel that you are influenced by American death metal school and as well by the old European bands. How do you feel about it as a fan? Do you prefer the original death metal of the 1990s or do you get inspiration as well from the new albums? If yes so I am wondering which bands had the greatest impact on CORPSESSED.

Niko: American death metal was definitely a big influence on “Succumb to Rot”, but the Finnish bands still remain and always will have an influence in our music. To me it kinda goes into nitpicking trying to analyze all the different styles, because we don´t want to label ourselves under any kind of specific sound. I always say we play Death Metal, why make it any harder than that, haha!

What about you and concerts in general? Are you a band that goes for concerts anytime you can or you are picky about where you will play? Do you have a dream, maybe a group you would like to go with for a tour or festival, a city where you would like to perform?

Niko: At the beginning we would accept pretty much every opportunity we got offered. Nowadays, with day jobs, families and all the normal life things added to the picture, we do have to give more thought on what we can and what we can´t do. Also, the older you get, the less attractive it feels to be sleeping on air mattresses and eating gas station food. We have toured Europe pretty thoroughly, so my dream is to play as far away from Finland as possible, countries like Japan or Brazil.

I'm going to listen again your new album „Succumb To Rot“. I have to say that for me personally, this is basically a perfect death metal work. Totally inferno. I wish big success to your record and to get this album to as many people as possible. This album deserves it. I wish you all the best in your personal life. Whatever you do and the last words are yours. If you want to tell something to fans, labels, promoters, you have space here..... Thank you for the interview and I am looking forward to seeing you live!

Niko: Thank you for the kind words and showing interest in interviewing us! The past 2 years have been, on a global and personal level, quite challenging. So I'll just end by saying stay safe and healthy, hopefully things will calm down eventually so we can come to a venue near you and blast some filthy death metal!

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