24 June 2024

Finntroll – 20-12-2015

[schema type=”person” name=”Mathias „Vreth“ Lillmåns & Mikael „Routa“ Karlbom” country=”FI” ]

The Finnish folk metallers Finntroll have played in Turkey for the very first time as the support act for Epica and Ankara has been one of the cities of the tour. This was surely exciting for the Turkish Finntroll fans as we have been expecting Finntroll for a very long time!

Before the band’s show in Ankara, I had the chance to interview the vocalist Vreth and the guitarist Routa and there were lots of laughter and jokes involved!

My first questions were about the band’s impression about Turkey and the shows in Istanbul and Izmir.It’s been great so far. Great production and the audience as well as the venues  have been really good!” stated Routa. I wondered directly what kinda feedback the band got despite being a support act for a very different band with a very different fanbase. “We didn’t notice that (the difference) on the shows. The people have been really welcoming so far” added Routa. It was also interesting to hear the band’s thoughts about Turkey before playing here live. “I have been on holiday in Turkey before so we knew something about the country before. But when it comes to playing a metal show, I didn’t know what kinda metal scene is here as well as what kinda metalheads, venues and production..” said Routa. Apparently, the guys didn’t know that they had a huge fanbase in Turkey as Routa had an interesting story: “We actually met this Turkish guy at Brutal Assault festival and he said that there is a huge Finntroll fanbase in Turkey and we were quite skeptical .. but it’s been really great!”

Did the trolls enjoy the show in Istanbul or Izmir more? According to Vreth, this was hard to answer. “I liked the venue in İzmir. It was exactly like the venue in Gothenburg, it was like coming home” to which Routa agreed as well! But it seems like both of the shows have been really awesome which is great to hear! Sadly, the band had no chance to do some sightseeing in either cities as Vreth stated that they only flew and then had 2 hours to sleep.

Since the latest album ‘Blodsvept’ has been released 2 years ago, I surely wondered if there was any update on the upcoming album. At this point, there was a lot of laughter and jokes about stars being in the right position and the guys saying “it will probably be a metal record” when I asked them about the direction! 😀 Vreth stated that they have some ideas and Routa added: “Tundra [bassist] started doing some songs. I have a couple of skeleton ideas in mind. It’s on the process. If stars are in the right position, then we will go to the studio late next year”. Apparently, everything might change once  the guys go to the studio as according to Vreth “when we go to the studio, we work in one way but then that way changes  completely[during the recording process].”

Some Finntroll fans might know that Vreth has another band called Magenta Harvest and this made me wonder if he gets inspired generally/lyrically from his other band when he performs with Finntroll. “Both bands are really different from each other. Recording process for Finntroll is like you never know what’s gonna happen. With Magenta Harvest, we know exactly what’s gonna happen”. When it comes to lyrics though, there’s a common person : Katla – the lyricist of Finntroll! According to Vreth “Katla has done about 40% of the lyrics of Magenta Harvest”… and does Routa have any side projects? “Not anything that has been recorded! We have this ‘project’ with Tundra that has been around for 16 years and then we have this stoner rock band with Skrymer [guitarist] but it’s hard to do anything because he lives in Germany and I in Finland”.

2015 has been a year of firsts for the band. When I interviewed Routa in 2013 about where the band wants to tour, he stated that South Africa was one of the dream countries and they have toured there recently. I wanted to ask the same question again. “We have never been to Greece. I don’t know why but there has been like we have always tried to play there and something went wrong. Before Turkey, Greece was planned but it was cancelled. Touringwise, it would be nice to tour in Asian/Middle East areas; Turkey (again), Russia and in smaller cities as well. Actually in Russia, we are kinda guinea pigs. We know the tour manager really well and trust him. He always puts us in big cities and [the shows are in] then some random places far away and we have that in January/February 2016, which is gonna be quite weird!” At this point, Routa stated that “Central Europe is so…” with a hesitation and I had to fill his sentence with “boring?” with laughters as it’s quite clear that the band has toured in Central Europe like crazy and looking for some new countries to tour!

So what are the guys’ favorite songs to play live? Vreth’s favorites are the old stuff – especially from the first album-. “We are playing ‘Svartberg’ on this tour and it’s my favorite song to play live.” On the contrary, Routa likes the “’Blodsvept’ stuff.“We haven’t played the songs from that album so much so they kinda feel like new” which makes sense! But the songs from the ‘Nattfödd’ album also are Routa’s favorites. Are there any songs that the band hasn’t played live but wants to play live or any unplayed songs that the fans keep on requesting?  According to Vreth, “Those off-track songs would be nice to play live”. Routa added: “We have played pretty much everything, but there are a couple of songs that work really well in the album but they don’t work well live. Maybe because we can’t sing that well like in the studio [laughs] so we skip them. And now with Heikki [drummer], we haven’t rehearsed all the songs so we have to play what he can play. I mean he can play everything but he needs a couple of days to rehearse.”

Any highlights of 2015? “What the hell happened this year?” was the response I got which made us laugh.. again 😀 But surely, the show in South Africa was definitely the highlight.Vreth adds: “Iceland show and of course the cool European tour with Profane Omen and Hatesphere again. Lots of friends.”

Do the guys have favorite albums of 2015? Vreth’s favorites are the new Ghost album: “It’s such a good album; there’s not a single bad song in the record” as well as the new Mgla album. Routa has been listening to the new Arcturus album a lot and he stated that “there are 2 great songs but the rest of the songs are like ‘guys, you can do better than this’ or maybe I was expecting too much.” Vreth thinks the same about the new Dødheimsgard record.

New Year’s Resolutions of Finntroll? “Make love, not babies. Drink beer and worship Satan” are Vreth’s words which make us laugh again.

Any last words to Turkish fans? “It’s really great to be here and hopefully, we will be back here again!

Special thanks to: Century Media Promotion, Vreth and Routa


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