24 June 2024

Moonsorrow – 01-04-2016

[schema type=”person” name=”Ville Sorvali” jobtitle=”bass, vocals” worksfor=”Moonsorrow” description=”Interview by: Reija Myllynen” country=”FI” ]

Moonsorrow interview 1st of April, moments before the album release show for “Jumalten Aika.”

Interviewer: R

Ville Sorvali : V

R: At first I would ask, now that you have an album release gig in the evening, the seventh full-length out and… What are the vibes?

V: Well sure I am a bit nervous, you probably couldn’t imagine that after having done this for 20 years, you’d be nervous at this point, but I am always nervous, especially when I got to hear yesterday that the gig is sold-out.

After all, this is quite an amazing feeling, especially for the fact that the album is finally finished. It is quite an incredible relief that we got it done after all the hard work we put in it and it’s not just any record, but a pretty brilliant Moonsorrow-album. It seems to be the best and topmost feeling right now, that hey, now it really has come out, and I cannot do anything about it anymore.

R: Yep, you’ve been doing this for quite a long time indeed, and I was noticing that only now you did your first music video, why only now? Is there something behind the scenes?

V: We have never really thought about making an official music video, but now the album just happened to have a suitable song, and we found a good team, that is, all the pieces just fell into place.

R: Then about your influences or inspirations, I would like to know, and I got the impression that the 90’s Iron Man comics would had been one?

V: I’ve actually never been a comic books fan, although when I was younger I read a lot of that kind of stuff. But otherwise, the 90’s is right. We all (band members) were 10-20 years old at the time, and there were a lot of music, which still influences us, especially black metal.

R: Can you name any more influences if you consider the lyrics? I know that this is a horrible question, when they basically just flaps in the head, but I will ask it anyway.

V: You are absolutely on the right track in that those influences just comes from somewhere, and I don’t feel, for example, that other writers would have influenced as much, as the Finnish forest, to say, a clichély. So here where we live already comes lots of all sorts of inspirations.

R: What about this “Jumalten Aika” -album, how would you describe this album in comparison to the previous one?

V: Well, brought to what Henu (Henri Sorvali, [keyboards]) has said that while the previous record was like a bear, this is like a wolf. The truth is that this is somehow much more agile and more subtle, not necessarily physically as strong, but it outweighs it because you can’t be exactly sure what happens next. You must be a bit wary all the time, while with the bear you know a little better. I’ve never encountered either in the wild, which is probably a good thing.

R: I saw earlier this one interview briefly, which you gave on 29.3?

V: So yeah, this interview with Radio Extreme.

R: You spoke about the album’s theme, that there’s first the age of gods, where those stories come from, and then comes the time of men when people create those stories. Would you like to open this a bit more for us? Because it sounds very interesting and I’m excited to get to hear those songs… So is there a little bit more you could explain about those lyrics?

V: Well, we were thinking with the band that what would be the theme for this album, and we didn’t want to make any kind of a concept album, which would be a one story from the beginning to the end, but this is a bunch of loose stories which are interwoven through this age Moonsorrow 01-04-2016of the gods theme.

So the idea was to write about myths, but in a way that they are our interpretations of those myths rather than just some nice story straight out of “Kalevala” or “Edda.” In a way to bring a new perspective to those myths and to bring them perhaps partially to the present day and partially not quite. And trying to get inside the head of the people who have once written these stories, to understand that where those come from and what they really mean. There isn’t a need to take them very literally anymore nowadays, and with that I refer to all of the possible mythologies, including, for example, Christianity. Some great stories which have had their place in the Middle East 2,000 years ago and they have described what those people have had to go through and how they adapted to their environment. Just like the stories of the Edda tells us how the ancient Scandinavians have adapted to their environment.

R: Yeah, you told in the interview that it all sort of always revolves, like first is the age of gods, then it is the age of men, and then it starts from the beginning again. Is now the age of gods, or the age of men?

V: This is quite clearly the age of men. There’s nothing but greed and discord, and if we now look at this cyclical concept of time, which is in many mythologies, we’re close to the point when it all crashes, and then starts all over again. I don’t know, no one can know if that is really the case, my view is that the human race drives itself to self-destruction, and that’s it.

R: Yep, you had a long break, would you explain a little about the reasons for that?

V: We started to make this album pretty soon after the previous one, and at some point we realized that it does not go in the direction where we want to go, that this isn’t going to be the next Moonsorrow-album. I do not know if the material was bad in any way, or anything, but it didn’t sound like what we wanted it to sound. And luckily, at some point one of us said it first, and then we agreed that when it is frustrating to spend time like this, then here there is no other choice.

R: A break to reconsider?

V: Yeah, it was a break for reconsidering, and we were expecting just that divine inspiration that someone tells us the direction to go and then head there. It took little while, but at some point the idea became clear that we’ll do this kind of album.

R: I know that there are certainly a lot of things going now that the album is released; of course, gigs and so on. But would you tell a little more about those plans for the future? Everyone always says conquering the world.

V: I said conquering the world 15 years ago in an interview, now I have come to the conclusion that it can’t be succeeded so let’s change it a little to more modest goals. I do not know actually, now I want to just enjoy this album and the fact that it has been completed, enjoy the gigs and the fact that we get to play music for those people who want to hear it, hopefully as many times as possible before needing to even begin thinking about the next album. I really do not know what will happen next really.

R: Then about that songwriting-making process, I understood that your cousin (Henri Sorvali) makes the music and you do the lyrics, but how much you are refining these, together with the band, for example, when you have got music ready from there is there still things to do?

V: This time surprisingly much, in fact. Henu, makes almost all of the music in his home studio by himself. But when he had reached a certain point (on this album), he started calling us a lot and asked that if we can come to visit, because he wants our ideas on this. We all were there together many evenings with the whole band and sitting and looking for arrangements for the songs. That is, yes, they were originally Henu’s ideas but the final polishing was just teamwork.

Moonsorrow 01-04-2016

R: Yeah, and then when it is refined and polished and polished, then comes the lyrics don’t they? Or do they somehow come at the same time?

V: Well, the ideas of the lyrics were spinning around it all the time, that is, we talked all the time with Henu about what kind of a story is in this song so that we all know that we are going in the same direction all the time. Well, I wrote the texts, after all, only after the songs were done, partially for the sake of the arrangements. When you have choir with a certain number of syllables etc. …so that you know where on the song is the point where you need to get to these certain syllables, you must first see the whole track ready.

R: Then I think I’ll do the traditional thing, which is to let the word free … What else Moonsorrow does have to say for fans, etc?

V: I guess we can’t really say, on this particular day, other that THANK YOU. We have got, against all of our own expectations, Virgin Oil sold out in advance. You can’t be anything but damn grateful, this is just incredible.

R: Then the next step is to get the first place on official Finnish album chart.

V: Well, we’ll see about that. There’s a week until it’s revealed and I can almost guess it’s going to be someone other than us so there’s no point in expecting it.

Author’s note: Due the date of typing this interview, we have heard the news that Jumalten Aika actually made its debut on the first place of the Finnish album charts!

Special thanks to: Ville Sorvali and Century Media Promotion