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Interview - CONVULSE - For me it seems the humankind is getting worse day by day and year by year.


Interview with legendary death metal band from Finland - CONVULSE.

Answered vocalist and guitarist Rami Jämsä, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - CONVULSE - Deathstar (2020):
https://www.deadlystormzine.com/2020/11/recenzereview-convulse-deathstar-2020.html

Ave CONVULSE! Greetings Finland! I hope you are doing well even in these difficult times. You released your new album Deathsta; this year. The album immediately got me mainly thanks to the mood. The first word that comes to my mind is melancholy. How the album came about and where did you want to move when compared to your previous work the Cycle of Reveng? 

Hi and thanks for this interview. We started to compose new songs after Cycle of Revenge has done at spring 2016. Afterwards I think Cycle of Revenge was a significant album for us, because it made possible our further progress that lead finally three years later to Deathstar album. We had gradually found our style to express our musical ambitions and also how to play as a trio. We didn´t make any conscious decision to play with certain style and I am sure it can be heard on Deathstar too. We just played together and decided to see what ideas start carry on further. We rehearsed years weekly and it was quite soon clear that we would like to record and mix this album in a same analog studio, where we did Evil Prevails album. 


I remember you as an old classic death metal band. But on the new records you have completely changed your style. Personally, I understand that, I would not want to play the same thing over and over again, but I still can´t help asking. Why? You wanted to evolve, or did you get a new stimulus? Let´s talk about your new thing. Deathstar is a really colourful album. It is interesting and will definitely suit people with a rich imagination. How did you create the record? Or rather, how do you compose new material in CONVULSE? 

I am the main composer and bringer of the musical ideas on our band. For me it has always been quite impossible to write certain music which style has decided in advance. I can´t put myself just in one formula and go on forever with it. On the other hand, I´m also very lucky man, because every time I take the guitar and play, I found myself on creating some new riffs or melodies. Lately I have noticed that I have haunting melodies inside my head and it has lead more melodic approach on music I make. How do we compose new songs? Well, some melodies come to my head out from somewhere. I pick my guitar or piano and start to play it. Then I go to our rehearsal studio, I introduce my idea to Rolle and Juha. Then we start to jam this idea together. If it works, we will go on with it and play and play it again with various ways. Some songs come quite ready in one or two rehearsals. Some songs take year to find their final form. 


I really enjoy the crystal sound of the new recording. Who is signed under it? Where did you mix the record and who produced it? 

I am huge fan of an analog technology. There is an analog JJ-studio near of my hometown. Juuso Nordlund is a well known musician and recording engineer in Finland and I have pleasure to know him a bit. Juuso has ran his studio since 1980 and it is full of the best analog equipment from 80s including 24 track reel to reel tape recorder and analog mixing console. I love to work with Juuso, because he satisfies my ambitions perfectly. We used several tape echoes and vintage microphones to produce timeless sound of Deathstar. It took about 4000 e to cover studio recordings and mixing sessions, but it was worth of every euro. I have to say also that we didn´t have a record deal when we started to make Deathstar album and we produced it with the band´s money and it cost totally 6000 e. 


The author of the cover is Jan Yrlund. Why him? The Earth motif, wrapped in barbed wire, which is great! I have to say, it gives me goosebumps. How did you and Jan get together? He also plays in IMPERIA, if I am not mistaken? 

I had an idea of an earth collapsing and perishing to our egoism, greediness and nationalism. The suddenly I saw my old friend Minna´s painting called “Strangled” and it visualized my thoughts so well that I asked Minna´s permission to give her painting to Jan Yrlund, who could breed the idea further. I knew Jan from the 90s when he played in thrash metal called Prestige (and plays still). Jan has also made two album covers for my previous band When the Empire Falls. So I knew and trusted him perfectly and the result is magnificent. 




Deathstar is for me a complex work in all aspects. That´s the way I like it and when fans get a beautiful piece of music. But sometimes in metal we forget about lyrics. What do the lyrics in the newalbum represent? What I like most is the idea in the song Deathstar -We have connected our nations to express our hatred. I often say this when I open the newspaper in the morning. Who is the author of the lyrics and where the inspiration came from? 

I write all the lyrics and this time all the songs except “We sold our soul for rock ´n roll” are dealing with the same theme. As you look back in history and especially last 10 years, I see a very bad progress. We have all keys to collaborate and to love each other and solve worldwide problems and issues. But what we do about it? For me it seems the humankind is getting worse day by day and year by year. 

This new stuff has death metal basics, but you can´t resist rock, progressive metal and a lot of other things. Sometimes bands that do the same have their music fragmented, difficult to understand and chaotic but you managed to avoid this on the new record. The album is really easy to listen to. It´s like a trip to the stars, I´d say. In addition, the songs have a melancholy touch in them, which perhaps nobody can do better than the Finns. How do you explain that? Do you think it´s because of the environment? Personality? Or is it historically inherited? 

It´s very hard to explain. As I said before, I don´t plan my and our songs beforehand. Of course, our surroundings, history of society and as well personal history has an effect for our output. We can´t either forget all the music I have listened to for a decades with very open mind. 


Live performances are an integral part of every band. How is it in CONVULSE? Do you play a lot? Do you go on tours? And how do fans perceive your change of style? I was supposed to see you at the Czech Symbolic festival this year and I was really looking forward to it. You will come next year? 

I love to play live shows and travel all around the world. We always try to make some free days around selected shows we play. Convulse is not our day job and we have quite small children at home, so we can´t do long tours in this personal situation. Of course this covid-19 situation makes impossible to play even those few selected festivals per year. Symbolic festival is deferred to 2022. Let´s see when this all comes better. Mostly we play World without God set on live shows, but we would like to perform new tunes as well, but you can´t fit everything for 45 minutes show. Ideal situation for us would be two shows. One for the classic death metal songs and one for our newer songs. Perhaps they are classics 2040 and we play them then. 


For me, good music is one that can evoke certain emotions in me and to which I want to return. Deathstar is an album that literally enchanted me. I often think where this world is heading to. I would like to be positive, but I can´t manage to do that. How do you perceive the direction of society, music, technology? What do you think our future will be like? 

I share the same worry with you. I have decided to try my best for my family and local surroundings. It is something I can do. It´s my way to see some hope and positive progress. Deathstar album ends to hope, love and good wishes for my son. It´s worth to go on and believe everything will be good. 


What was the first impulse that you started playing music? What were the beginnings of CONVULSE? Please give us some reminiscent thoughts of metal in Finland during the 1990s. 

Weleased Resuscitation of Evilness exactly 30 years ago. World has changed a lot and lot of things are more complicated these days, but running a band is still basically the same as before. We practice together, write new music and hope somebody is interested to release it. I have the same enthusiasm today as back in 1990. We found new music death metal 90´s and now it´s called old school death metal. Those days we had a big metal boom in Finland and we had several young metal bands in every town. Now we still have some mature metal bands, but much less new kids playing metal music. Rap and hiphop a is big thing in Finland now and it´s ok for me. Younger people make music more with computers and it is also a part of this evolve. 

Where will CONVULSE go in the future? Do you have a dream, an unfulfilled vision for example? And what are your plans for the near future? 

We have started to make new songs and if things keep on interesting and fresh, we will do 6th Convulse album some day in future. I don´t see any good reason to bury Convulse as long as new songs keep on coming. 


Thank you so much for the interview, I appreciate a lot. It has been a long time since a band hit me right in the spot and got me in the right mood. I wish you much success not only with Deathstar. Good luck to you in private lives as well. 

Thanks a lot for this interesting interview and sharp points from Deathstar album. All the best wishes for all of you as well! Take care, stay safe and give a chance for a new Convulse album Deathstar.

Recenze/review - CONVULSE - Deathstar (2020):

https://transcendingrecs.bandcamp.com/album/deathstar
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