Power of Metal.dk Interview

Interview with Wille Naukkarinen - Ghost Brigade, November 2014

"IV - One with the Storm" took you guys 3 years which for you all is longer than usual, why was that?

It was a lot of things happening at the same time. For starters, our original bass player, Janne, decided to leave the band in 2012 and concentrate more on his family. Me and Veli-Matti had played with Janne for almost 20 years in different bands so to be honest, it was a big deal. We weren't really sure if we wanted to continue without him and so we had to take some time off to figure that out. That break took six months. Meanwhile, me and Tommi had another band, we recorded one album and played some shows. Also, negotiating a new record deal took some time as well as rehearsing old and new material with the new members. So it was just a lot of things combined that delayed everything. The writing itself took the same amount of time than before, though.

How would you compare "IV" with the first 3 albums? Are there any changes?

Yes. I would say it's musically richer, more thought out and more layered than anything we've done before. It's also more diverse than anything we've done before...more extremes. But I also think it sounds strongly like Ghost Brigade, which is of course a good thing. So I guess we managed to change without losing the identity.

How has Joni Vanhanen affected your music?

Joni comes musically from a totally different background compared to the rest of us so him bringing his own influences, opinions and visions to the table have really made a huge difference. It has opened everyone's eyes to new possibilities and new approaches to arranging and writing. We're lucky to have such a talented guy in our band. Ghost Brigade, for me, has always been hard to classify musically. You have so many different styles.

How would you categorize your music?

Someone wrote “alternative metal” in our Wikipedia page and I thought that was pretty well put. We ourselves consider genres and categorizing totally useless so that's why we've never even bothered making up one for GB. It is what it is and in the end of the day, a good song is a good song despite the genre. What are the band's influences? Musicwise, way way way too many to mention and an impossible question to answer. I mean, we all have very varied taste in music so it would be honestly impossible to write anything here that would make any sense to your readers. They'd just be more confused, ha ha. I've been listening to for example Rush, Röyksopp, Imperial State Electric and Bolt Thrower today so you know, it's very varied. And same goes for all members. Outside music, the main influence is life itself of course.

"Departures" seems like a very catchy song that could be great for rock radio, is it easier to write a song like that or are epics like "Electra Complex" more natural?

I like writing both kind of songs because both are challenging in their own ways. A simple song is not necessarily an easy one to write. But if I really had to choose, I'd say that I feel more home writing and performing songs like Electra Complex. In my personal opinion, that song is one of the best I've ever written.

What are your touring plans?

We're doing a few Finland shows in 2014 and 2015 and an european tour in February 2015 with Agrimonia and Talbot. Then hopefully a lot of festivals next summer!

Thank you, Wille for answering my questions and for "IV - One with the Storm" which is an amazing album!

Thank you Rob for taking the time to do this! We appreciate it. Elämä on tulta.

Ghost Brigade - IV - One With The Storm

Label: Season of Mist

Website: ghostbrigade.bandcamp.com.

Album Review

Manne Ikonen - Vocals
Wille Naukkarinen - Guitars
Tommi Kiviniemi - Guitars
Veli-Matti Suihkonen - Drums
Joni Saalamo - Bass
Joni Vanhanen - Keyboards

Guided By Fire (2007)
Isolation Songs (2009)
Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (2011)
IV - One with the Storm (2014)


Interviewed by Rob Pociluk