Interview with Riku & O.J., Catamenia (May 26, 2005)

Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?
Riku: Thank you! It was back in 1993, when I and our ex-vocalist Mika wanted to form a band just for ourselves, to play just for a fun. Few years after, in 1995, we noticed that we could record a demo and see how everyone else would like the music we were playing. From that moment Catamenia was born. Shortly after when the first demo received good feedback, we planned on getting to the studio again, and record our second demo “Winds”. That happened during the year 1996 and led to the contract with Massacre Records.

How has your new album been received by the media?
O.J.: So far the feedback has been great; most of the reviews I’ve seen have been good. Also the fans seem to like this new album as well so everything’s going just great.

I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?
O.J.: Great riffs, lots of aggression and catchy melodies.

Riku: And if we have to say one category, we play Melodic Nordic Metal.

Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?
O.J.: I believe that long and dark winter we have is a big influence to the band. I really can’t see us playing stuff like this if we’d live in Africa or some other warm country.

Riku: Yeah, definitely. Usually when I make new songs, it's during the winter, because during the summer time, I just can't get hold on the proper creation mood.

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Riku: Example “Verikansa” and “Perintö Pohjolan” are songs which tell about the Finnish Winter War. They are tributes for all our soldiers and veterans who fought in that war and defended this country to keep its independency. Mainly all the lyrics are telling different stories from different aspects about winter, cold and north.

Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?
O.J.: Album was produced and mixed by Kari Vähäkuopus and Kari Ilmarinen at Mastervox Studios. I’m really pleased to the sounds and mixing of album. Every instrument can be heard clearly and the whole album just rocks.

Riku: It was really easy to choose the studio and producers for the new album, because our previous album “ChaosBorn” was also recorded there. Kakke and Immu know our music, so the general concept for the sound was found quite easily fast. Most important the atmosphere in the studio is awesome when those guys are producers. Maybe the reason is because they are our friends also. It's so relaxing to go to record album to Mastervox Studios.

Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
O.J.: Cover is done by the same guy who’s done all the previous Catamenia album covers. It has become a trademark for us to have wolf on the cover; this is the 6th album with same theme. It’s good to have something that people can recognize us from. And wolves look better than squirrels or rabbits. I don’t know what kind of message those would make to people buying the cd.

Riku: One correction. Thomas Ewerhard has done all our covers except the cover of “Morning Crimson”.

Do you have any touring plans?
O.J.: We are going to do a short tour in Eastern Europe at the end of may. Hopefully there’s going to be other gig as well, we’re all really waiting to get to play new songs live.

Riku: There have also been some discussions for the bigger main European tour, but nothing confirmed from that issue yet, so cannot say really anything.

How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?
Riku: As in every business there are good and bad days. We've had some problems with Massacre Records few years ago, but that is all in the past now. Nowadays the co-operation goes smoothly, and everyone's happy. Hopefully in future also, the co-operation will stay in the same shape as these days, and not only when new album is being released.

The internet is a very important source for many music fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
O.J.: I think that a good website is really important for bands to have nowadays. We have really active website and we try to update it as often as possible. It’s also a great way to be in contact with fans; most of our band read and write to our forum on daily basis.

Riku: There are also few not so good things in internet. Example our new album flooded to the internet already 6 weeks before the release. Would be naive to think it would not flood to the net, but that was way too early. On the other hand, it's the best promotion band can get, but the biggest victim in the end is the record label. They lose lot of money.

To finish things off - could you pls. make an all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?
O.J.: Really hard to name just five albums, my favourites change from time to time. But these are my favs at the moment, in no particular order:

  • Necrophagia – Goblins Be Thine

  • Motörhead – Bastards

  • Turbonegro – Apocalypse Dudes

  • Carpathian Forest – Strange Old Brew

  • Pestilence – Malleus Maleficarum

…And of course Winternight Tragedies, heh.

Riku: As O.J. said, really hard to pick up only few fav albums. But here's the recent list:

  • Immortal – Sons of Northern Darkness

  • Hypocrisy – The Arrival

  • Norther – Death Unlimited

  • Old Man's Child – Revelation 666: The Curse of Damnation

  • Soulgrind – The Origins of the Paganblood

Catamenia - Winternight Tragedies

Album out on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Catamenia.