pondělí 7. května 2018

Home » » Interview - SADISTIK FOREST - Life is a complex thing and death comes to all.

Interview - SADISTIK FOREST - Life is a complex thing and death comes to all.

Interview with Sadistik Forest founding members Markus Makkonen (bass, vocals) and Antti Heikkinen (guitar). 

Translated by Markéta, thank you!

Author of photos Sami Kaarakainen.

Ave SADISTIK FOREST! I did not find any Czech interview with you. Can you please introduce your band to readers who do not know you? You can start from the beginning and take us through the history of SADISTIK FOREST. 

Markus: Sadistik Forest was formed 11 years ago in Oulu, Northern Finland. Around the time we felt that the elements we all liked in old thrash and death metal had gone missing. There was brutal tech death and melodic "death metal", but not that mauling, relentless bashing we grew up listening to. You know... Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel.. So, we thought to form a band like that ourselves instead. We all knew each other already from the 90's metal scene of Finland, as we all played in various demo level groups and shared same stages with our bands many times. I guess we kind of an impressed each other. Vesa's blastbeats (not a regular thing in 90s!), Antti's stage persona and guitar playing... The line-up of Sadistik Forest is like some kind of an "best/worst of" from our teenage bands. The guys who wanted to play more brutal stuff than our bands at the time were doing. 

I am just listening to you new album “Morbid Majesties” and I feel like being closed in anunderground room with old bands from the 90s. The album has a great sound. Where did you record the album and are you satisfied with the result? Were you able to have any comments about the final product? 

Markus: We recorded the album in a couple of different locations in Finland with our producer Samu Männikkö, who also produced our two first albums. As there seemed to be loads of certain lo-fi death metal sound around we decided to go to more clear production instead. To stand out. Our references were the 1990's thrash/death metal albums and our goal was to go back to basics - Solid drum tone, crispy guitar, rumbling bass and most of all - strong individual performances on vocals and instruments. In a way the production and the approach is closer to a 90's Slayer album than a modern retro-death metal sound. 

Who is the author of your lyrics and what are they about? Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics? 

Markus: So far i've been writing most of the lyrics, but on the new album Matti also contributed on the song Bones of a Giant. It gave things a real nice extra boost. Vesa has been contributing to the vocal arrangements as well. Sadistik Forest writes all the music as a team, so it is nice that the lyrics are more like that these days as well. A large part of the Sadistik Forest lyrics are dealing with real life. Maybe with metaphors and with weird angles, but still somehow connected to the "real world". Life is a complex thing and death comes to all, so there's quite a lot to write about, really. As huge fans of Napalm Death, this has felt like a natural option for us. 

Mörtuus (Raul Fuentes) did your great cover for the new album. I really like is work but I do not know what is on the cover. Who is the person/monster? How did you chose this motive? 

Markus: Thanks for asking this. This is a good question and important to the concept as well! The cover art came to be on the basis of one of the Raul's drafts he had online. We all felt that it looked a lot like "morbid majesties", which we had agreed to be the title for this release. The Morbid Majesties are time, chaos and death - the things mankind can do nothing about. We are often misled to believe that our lives are in our control, but that could not be further from the truth, i guess. Time goes on, everything dies and the element of chaos is ever-present. All these things exist with or without us. They do not care. It's easier maybe to say that there is control in our lives, predestination even, but when you think of life in big enough scale our existence is merely a freak accident in universe and our personal lives are just never ending coping with surroundings. Quite far from controlled! So.. The draft of Raul's seemed to have "death" and "chaos" already in it, but we asked him to add a hourglass (time) to it, so the final being on the cover had now all the morbid majesties on it, clustered into one deformed being, of course.. heheh. 

I think that “Morbid Majesties” would sound great on vinyl. Have you thought about that? How do you feel about vinyl and its sound? Are you a collector? 

Markus: Vinyl is by far the best format on music. No doubt about it. Not the handiest, but when you want to spend some quality time with the music and the artwork, reading the lyrics, having some beers - the vinyl is the best format. We really do hope that Transcending Obscurity puts out a vinyl version of the album, but that's a record company call and we cannot really affect that. 

The new album was released by Transcending Obscurity Records. The label has a very good name in the underground and it does a great job because people often hear about bands this label works with. Were you, as a band, satisfied with their work? 

Markus: They seem to be doing a real good job. Definitely. The album is reaching new people and seems to have a good buzz around it as it goes. What i like most about our current label is that they do not go for safe bets alone, like most of the labels seem to be doing these days. Transcending Obscurity are also willing to work with more obscure bands and this rules, as music (and metal) world are both becoming too safe. World needs more labels like T.O. to bring out new ways to express the music we all love. Labels that look into future, instead of looking into past. 

You play typical, classic old death metal. You have never done anything else, you are “orthodox”. Personally, that is one of the reasons I like your music so much. However, have you ever thought about trying something else, to spice the music by SADISTIK FOREST up? 

Markus: I might see this a little bit in a different angle while being this close to the music, but i have personally never felt that Sadistik Forest is one-dimensionally death metal alone. We even prefer the term "extreme metal", over "death metal" alone. We are all coming from a little bit different kind of backgrounds in music and death metal is maybe just the musical surrounding where we all meet and share common ground. SF has never been afraid to incorporate ideas that come from outside the death metal box either. Maybe today we even try to shake up the foundations on purpose a bit, rather than to follow on anybody's self-proclaimed rules. Antti is a bit older than the rest of us and he grew up more with the 80's stuff. Therefore he is largely inspired by the old school thrash metal thing. Matti has a background in progressive music and Vesa in second wave 90's black metal. My personal background includes maybe a little bit more of grindcore. So, when you infuse these all to the main death metal meltdown of SF you get a variety of ideas that go beyond your classic "orthodox" sound of old school death metal. Celtic Frost or Napalm Death - for example - were never afraid to explore with their sound and this should be the case with any band out there. And this is what SF is aiming to do as well. To let our songs breathe freely. If they want to go somewhere new, we will follow. Later on we will decide if the song suits the purpose, but experimentation or boxed thing is not our thing. We have short, grindy songs. Thrashy ones. New album has more mid-tempo stuff in it as well. There was also a track called Modern Day Oskorei, that was released as a bonus track for our Death, Doom, Radiation album that had even bits of Bathory in it. So, we like to keep our eyes open. You add all these spices to the grinder that is us and the sound comes out like SF. Death metallish, yes, but not in totalitarian way. 

How about SADISTIK FOREST and concerts? I looked online and I found out that you mostly play in underground clubs. Do people often go to old death metal concerts? Do you want to support your album with a tour? If yes, do you want to play in the Czech Republic? 

Markus: Actually, playing in mainland Europe again at some point is definitely a goal. We've already played in the Baltics, Sweden, Ireland and Germany, but there is always a new spot where we would like to play. As far as the Czech Rep. goes, i played there twice with Hooded Menace back in the day and loved it in there the both times. It would be nothing short of an amazing to play in Czech with SF as well. I'd say it is only bound to happen! Besides the club shows you already mentioned we have also done a couple of bigger festivals in Finland, with bands like Triptykon, Carcass, Suffocation, Angelcorpse, Wombbath, Defeated Sanity and Obituary in the same bill. Jalometalli fest in Oulu (twice) and Kuolema II fest in Helsinki. They've been great experiences all. Besides the fests our career highlights so far have been maybe the shows we did in Ireland and Germany. But like being said - Czech Republic is a goal! If anybody reading this knows a local promotor, please mention SF to them and we can get this organized. 

Antti: Yes, of course it would be nice to play also at some Czech Metal Festivals someday. Like Obscene Extreme and Brutal Assault. 

Nowadays, many people download music online and they only use its digital form. How do you feel about this as a musician? 

Markus: Actually, we spoke of the subject with the band just recently. It would be quite easy to get polarized on this, but like life usually is - this case is not black & white either. Underground bands have never had a wider audience, for example. Just as soon as you upload a recorded work to internet, you can get fans and friends from across the whole wide world. It's like the tape-trade network of past times, only way more faster and widespread. I personally listen to more new music today than i have ever done since my teenage years. Re-discovered the hunger for new music through applications like Spotify and Bandcamp. They allow you to go mental on great demos again, like it would be 1995 again, haha! Then again, it is hard to live off music today. Almost impossible. But i see this only as an welcomed elimination of rock stars, or at least the people who think they are ones. Death metal is a wonderful scene, as barely anybody can do this for living, so it is basically a rockstar-free movement. Rather, meeting with bands across the globe only make one wonder how cool and down-to-earth people you get to meet through the common music we all love. At the end of the day it all goes to the basics - you have to work hard, maybe harder than ever to make your band stand out. You need to have the tunes as well. There are maybe more bands now than ever in the history of metal music, so mediocre music will not get you very far. Write quality music, be able to perform it live with passion and real integrity and don't think that there are any easy ways out with it. Be humble, but believe only in yourself and in the music you make and i'm pretty sure that people should be into what you do. And if they don't.. Well, it's not the end of the world either. 

There are many young bands who try to ply the “old school death metal”. Most of them are not really good, but we can find some good bands which understand what it is about. Do you know any bands which would be able to “bring back the old days”? 

Markus: Extreme metal was originally a movement to break all the rules in music. To push the boundaries and to experiment. To do something unexpected and new and to shake the world in the process. Sometimes it feels like it has turned totally around in these days. Instead of breaking the rules people make 'em, you know! "Death metal cannot sound like that, you cannot sing of that, the covers should look like this and that and whatever you do - never wear a shirt of this and that band!!" Ok, you can go on so, but there is a risk in it that you play "safe metal" instead of "extreme metal" while doing it. Yes, it might sound brutal as fuck, but if it is written ONLY to match the expectations of an already existing audience how does it differ from any popular music out there then? Other thing that is often missing are the songs itself. People get so carried away by the sound that they just "sound right", but don't push the music any further than this. How many Entombed/Dismember -clones you have heard in past 20 years just, huh?! Crank the HM-pedal to max, use the certain drumbeats and get a certain vocal sound and it will sound super after two rehearsals! But that is just the beginning. Then you need to be able to write something as mind-blowing as Evilyn, Eyemaster, Contempt, Skin Her Alive, Dreaming in Red, or Casket Garden were. Their hype was not created by tonality, but through superior song writing. To bring back the old days, huh? Well, I'd like to mention Temple of Void at least. They write amazing music, but do not go for the most obvious solutions. New Pungent Stench album Smut Kingdom is a marvellous piece of superior tunes as well. It was written long time ago, but is still as relevant today than it would have ever been. That alone should speak volumes of the tunes!! Patriarchs of Evil by Varathron is great as well and very old school. Chthe'ilist, Sacrificio, Graveyard (Spain) and Voidhanger could be ones to check out as well. 

Are there any albums which have caught your attention recently? 

Markus: Transcending Obscurity released the new Arkheth album, Twelve Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew, which i think is a marvellous record - free of all clichés. New Necrophobic album is pretty damn good and so is the new album of Master's Hammer as well. Right now i am listening to the new Aura Noir album on the background and definitely enjoying it. 

Antti: Well, I've been listening lately to more traditional heavy metal and hard rock like Michael Schenker Fest, Visigoth and No Hot Ashes, so I don't know so much about the more extreme side. I liked the new Pestilence album, Master's Hammer and also the new albums of Finnish bands Galvanizer and Mormânt De Snagov. 

Markus: Galvanizer should be added to the list of last question's bands, by the way! 

Do you know and listen any Czech bands? 

Markus: We are all big fans of Master's Hammer, definitely. They are one of the most unique metal bands of past decades. We were also on tour with Diphteria from Prague last December. We all got along really well and they are a great band. Cheers to lads, if you are reading this!! 

Antti: Personally, I'm quite interested in Czech bands. They seem to have their own special kind of flavour in metal music. Besides those which Markus mentioned I've also been listening to a lot of Root, Törr, Gutalax, Avenger, Malignant Tumour and Cult Of Fire. 

What are SADISTIK FOREST´s plans for the next few months? 

Markus: Well, we missed more or less all the festivals for this year as the album announcement came out that late. We decided to capitalize that by writing new music, now as we do not have to rehearse for forthcoming shows. We have already two brand new songs ready and a hefty amount of new riffs on the stock. It is clear that people do not need to wait for six years for the follow-up of Morbid Majestes. 

Thank you for the interview and I wish you many sold albums, hundreds of crazy fans and tons of great ideas. 

Markus: Thanks for the very thorough interview and interesting questions Deadly Storm Zine! To all the death and grind heads of Czech Republic - please, do check out our new album and keep supporting death metal in general. We aim to unleash hundreds of crazy ideas for all the great friends out there, so stay tuned and stay wicked!! JAMA PEKEL!!! 

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