Interview with Joni (Growling vocals & guitars), Kivimetsän Druidi (October 15th 2008)

Power of - I am pretty sure most of our readers do not know your background, so could you start by telling us a bit about you and your musical background…

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - We founded the band with my brother in 2002, but it was more like just a small project at first. It took us like a bit over one year until we decided to start playing gigs and then we gathered all the people around us. Since then we've gone through quite a few member changes and at the same time our music has developed with every new member joining the band. Today we sound aggressive, but at the same time very melodic... in the beginning we were more into folkish elements and not so much into speed and brutality. He he.

Power of – The album will be out shortly, what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - We're eagerly waiting for the feedback from the audience, the people around the world. After our entire debut album will be released in quite a few places around the globe. I really don't expect anything, but of course I hope for the best. ^^ So far we've got both positive and negative feedback, but I really think that's very good thing. We'll see what the future will bring to us.

Power of – How has the response been so far?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - As I mentioned earlier it has been both positive and negative. It's not like everyone should like our stuff. :P I think it's impossible to make music for everyone, but many have liked a lot and it really makes us feel good. After all we make music that we'd like to listen ourselves, so it's nice to see there are people out there with the same kind of musical taste.

Power of – What would you tell a total stranger, if he asks what kind of music you play?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - I'd say we play fantasy metal. Then I'd explain that with that I mean that our lyrical expression circles around fantasy- and middle-ageish themes; we tell stories from fantasy world with our songs. Then I'd describe that this fantasy-theme goes deeper in our music as we keep the freedom to mix any kind of music we like into our songs. We have beautiful, melodic stuff in our music, but at the same time we sound very brutal, aggressive and heavy. Our songs are very versatile and they have a unique contrast in them. Then last but not least I'd recommend this total stranger to take some merry feelings with him while listening our album, 'cause our music is not some dead serious, but some merry entertainment.

Power of - Who has produced and mixed the album? How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - Esa Orjatsalo from Sevik Audio recorded, mixed and produced the album. Final result shows some signs of hurry we had while making this debut album of ours, but after all it really sounds quite interesting and we are satisfied with the result. On our live gigs you can expect a bit more brutal sound, though. ;)

Power of - Tell us a bit about artwork…

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) – The artwork got its idea from the lyrics and lyrical themes we have on the album. All the stuff on the booklet is drawn as we wanted it to emphasize the fantasy-theme we have. The cover of the album sort of gathers together what our music is about. Contrast between the guys and Leeni-Maria, dark sound, battle-themes in many lyrics and fantasy-stuff.

Power of - Kivimetsän Druidi – any special story behind your name?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - Actually there is. The name was chosen in a hurry when we were uploading our first song on the Finnish mp3-site. We needed a name there and I just picked it from the fantasy novel thing I was writing that time ( I might continue in writing it some day :P) and told it to Antti. We both snickered for the name and decided we'll change it later. Well... here we are now with that name and we're quite happy we didn't change it back then. It's unique name, nothing that pops up behind every corner and even though it might be a bit hard for some foreign folk, it has some mystique in it. :P

Power of - What’s the ambition for the band on a longer term?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - We all would like to make our living by playing in a band and touring. So I guess I have to say our ambitions are connected to that. We'd like to be as major name as possible. Aim low and you certainly don't get anything more... Aim high and you might end up reaching at least something, right? No, seriously, we'll see what future brings to us, but of course it would be great to earn a living as a professional musician.

Power of - What are the best and worst trends in metal today?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - Hmm... Hard to say. I'm quite like politicians in these matters as I let everyone choose their own style they want to listen and that's why I don't really see any bad trends in metal. For me it is totally okay if someone likes to listen mix of punk and dance with growling vocals, even though I wouldn't care less. But best trends then... well... I like some stuff made by the newish thrash bands in Finland. Then I also am forced to say that this "folk-celtic-nordic-slavic-add what ever you like that sounds 'nuff folkish to you" -genre is also quite fascinating. ^^

Power of – You are told that you are going to take part in an experiment where you have to live seclude for a month, and are allowed to take either 5 books or 5 albums with you. What do you choose and what would you have taken along with you and why?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - One month? Hard question, but I think I'd still take those five albums. Three of them Metallica's, ...let's say "Master of Puppets," "...And Justice for All" and the latest one "Death Magnetic." I'd choose these because Metallica just happens to be so awesome band and first two of these albums I'll never get bored. "Death Magnetic" is such a new album that it would be quite easy to spend one month listening it 24/7. Hehe. Two to go then... "The Varangian Way" by Turisas. Simply one of the most interesting albums made in last ten years. Last one then, maybe something lighter, ...nah, make it Slayer's Reign in Blood. That's the one for the moments when I'm really pissed of because of my one month of isolation and need something how to use all the adrenaline. There. :) 

Power of - Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?

Kivimetsän Druidi (Joni) - Thank you for the interview. For all the readers out there: See you all on tour and remember:  Rock'n'Troll! ;)


Kivimetsän Druidi - Shadowheart

Album available on Century Media Records.