20.12.2006. NORTHER Studio Report
NORTHER - interview with Heikki Saari & Petri Lindroos, December 2006
After a busy summer playing the festivals and being featured in the movie and on the soudtrack of the Finnish detective motion picture Vares 2, Norther have spent part of November and December in the Sonic Pump Studio in Helsinki re-recording some songs on the sound track and new songs for their upcoming EP 'No Way Back'. I asked Norther to hold a studio diary and to pen their impressions down for Tartarean Desire. The following lines cover a large part of the answers that they gave via email, instant messenger and face to face.
Please describe the Sonic Pump studio in your own words? Why did you choose it?
Sonic Pump is a top end studio in, just 15min by tram from the centrum of Helsinki. Sonic Pump Studios has recorded also many great bands and great sounding records, such as Amorphis, The Rasmus, Nightwish, Apocalyptica, Wintersun, Ensiferum, Amoral, Bleak and much more. The reason we chose Sonic Pump, was it's availability. We had to book the studio in just two weeks so Sonic was great target, not only that it was available, it is in Helsinki too.
So the secret it out, you will be releasing this record on King Foo entertainment.. They are more famous for their management than for being a record label... Can you please tell me the story behind this?
As the plans have changed, this EP will be made in co-operation with Suomen Musiikki OY, Mr. Kari Hynninen. King Foo is at the moment releasing some various albums in Finland and europe, such as Tarot. King Foo Entertainment also released the Vares 2 soundtrack in Finland, which came out on 5th of January.
But today you are no longer working with King Foo as far as management goes.. why? how does that affect the release of the record?
Because of various coincidences, our co-operation with King Foo Entertainment as a management saw it's last days on the end of year 2006. Our ways parted on december. We are happy to say, that this doesn't affect in any way releasing of our new EP "No Way Back".
Currently we are handling our connections by our own. Jukka has been very active with this.
So this record features the sound track for the movie Vares 2. Can you please explain in detail how you got involved in this project?
Yes the EP has a new re-recorded versions of both songs heard in Vares 2 movie. The director of the movie, Mr. Aleksi Mäkelä contacted our former management, and this way we get to record two songs at Astia Studios for the movie.
The movie is coming out in a few weeks.. Will there be a release party?
The movie came out on 12th of january, so there was a release party on 11th. we had a great time back there! the afterparty was at top end restaurant called Lux, in the very center of Helsinki. Everything went well, and everyone was happy to get to drink their asses off for free! Except me... i've promised to myself not to drink any alcohol drinks on January. And yes, it seems that every goddamn great party is on January. Well, on february i'll be more drunk than anyone! ;)
How do you think this movie will affect the career of Norther?
Even though we couldn't represent our selves behind the name of Norther, but as a band called Dante Hell in the movie, I think this is a great boost to the band! Especially now when we get to release the new EP. Norther has had always some problems to pop out in Finnish media, so hopefully this will boost things up a bit. At least the movie was the "most seen movie" in Finnish theatres on it's release week.
What about these problems to get on tours? Any details?
We've been contacted by various representatives and getting some good offers, but nothing to ascertain yet. hopefully we'll get a tour or two this year. we are really working on it ATM, and i hope we'll get to set things straight and hit the road on spring, or at late summer!!
What is the detailed plan for Norther for the next 5 years?
Record a shitload of records, and rock like hell!! ;) Pete: Well, we are definitely going to do so many tours and festival gigs as just possible and maybe few albums more too within the next 5years. and definitely get drunk as hell everyday too...
Now for the studio part and the next EP: I heard that you decided to record it in a snap of fingers... Why was that so sudden?
We had a meeting with Mr. Hynninen (Suomen Musiikki OY), and we're just talking about this big metal expo in Finland, and some bands that are releasing some new stuff around that time.. i think it was me who first said, that we should get to studio too, and record something to release for the beginning of the year.. so, we decided to hit the studio, in three weeks. Kride and Petri composed a few songs in just a couple of days, we trained a bit and i started banging drumheads at Sonic Pump on 11th of december
why is this recording a secret?
Is it? How come? Did i say too much already? :D
Pete: how are you dealing with staying in Sonic Pump since the end of October and going back in with Norther? Is the studio your new home?
Hah! I think Pete handled it great! he was the on in the studio for six or seven weeks straight, with two bands! Pete: Hehehe...Yes, it really is my new home!!!! and actually I didn´t never even leave from there in between the recordings cos we started to mix the Ensiferum´s album "Victory Songs" at the same time when Norther started to record the " No Way Back" Ep.
I already heard 'Frozen Angel' and a song which name is gone from my mind last summer. They were recorded at Astia studios (i think) are you going to re-record them or are they going to be kept the same? As far as I remember those songs are already on the soundtrack...
Yes, it's a great song. :) "Frozen Angel" and the other song "reach out" were re-recorded at Astia Studios later on january, so there's some new little tricks on the songs. We tried to record everything as it is on the soundtrack release too, people need to recognize the songs. Actually i played my part just the same way for both of the versions. so mostly the change is in sounds, clean vox and keyboard stuff. these ep versions we're also mixed at Studio Fredman (where Till Death Unites Us we're recorded and mixed too).
Can you comment on Kride's words: 'we wrote Frozen Angel ' to be a hit single?' What are the ingredients of a hit single?
I guess this is dark sense of humour, right? :D pop sells right(like Britney is rich as fuck!), and this is the most pop'ish song of Norther! Pete: Hit single!!! So cool term... But it really is a Hit song and the ingredients for a hit song are fucking great guitar riffs, awesome vocals, outstanding bass-lines, keyboards that make "The Final Countdown" sound so crappy and drums that make your heart beat faster than the speed of light!!!!!!!!!!!! That´s the way I´d go...
Kride, you sing in clean vocals on 'frozen angel'. Is this going to be the case on the other new songs?
Currently there are two songs on the EP, that include clean vox. Well.. I'm not actually the one to answer this, but I think guys have some various ideas in mind all the time. :) concerning "no way back", the songs we're put together very fast, because of the tight schedule. Next album it'll be different i think.
What is the composing pattern? ( who does what, in what order, how does it work?) What inspires you?
You mean how the songs are put together? first Kride/Pete/Jukkis/Tuomas whoever bring the first demo version of the song to rehearsals, or mail it to other guys as an .mp3, everyone listens to it and gives some feedback, we'll get our opinions together (new ideas etc).. After that various things are being changed, i start to compose the drum parts, Jukkis his basses etc etc.. at the end everyone does his own composing part. on Krides songs, i get to do whatever I wanted which is cool of course, but when i call him like.. "what do you say about idea like this blabla", he's like "do whatever you want man, you're the drummer, not me!".. ok.. :D with Pete it's different, cos he has a shitload of great and awesome ideas! I always call him, and we'll get to our rehearsal lair to figure out the drum parts together. i play the songs a few times with the demo tape, demonstrate some various ideas i have, and then Pete says what he has in mind. :) That's the way it works!
Can you pin point the different steps you had in the recording and the main difficulties you had? How did you solve them?
The first song was Krides new song, which is pretty different Norther, that too.. Kinda "Scream"- like song, a midfast Norther bang. :P this happened to be pretty difficult song to play.. We had norther pre X-mas party the night before, so i was feeling a bit "dizzy".. We also had some problems getting drums to tune (the sound was totally fucked!). It was Sunday, so no music store was open.. i called to Amoral drummer Juhana, and he had some thinner unused extra drumheads. next day after changing thinner heads, everything started to sound pretty good. after all I finished recording drum parts in two days.
Are you going to video tape any material when you are in the studio for future documentary purposes or what not?
We have some video stuff from studio yes, and some nice videos from past year we've collected for later release maybe.. some insane drinking and partying mostly. :D
What are the lyrical themes of the new record?
Pete: Pretty much the same as on the albums before too. Mainly about kicking people’s asses, misery, longing, suicide You know, the usual stuff!!!!
Now about the songs. Can you take the tracks one by one and write a sentence describing each? ( who wrote it, why, how, what's it about, what makes it special , what instruments are used, etc…)
The ep begins with Varer2 title songs "frozen angel", which is pretty popish Norther songs. some good growls, screaming, and chorus is totally sang by Kride. Second song is I think the fastest song in norther history, sick ass punk metal track. This song is totally nuts, not to be taken too seriously.. :) There are some very cool bass stuff, sick ass drumfills and guitar solos. The last scream is also fucking great.. :D third song, the ep title song, is a slow ballad. Melancolic starting and ending with a nice clean guitar melody. Pretty original norther ballad track, this too. fourth is "reach out", composed by Pete. it's the track made for Vares 2 movie too, and part of it can be actually heard on the rehearsal scene of the movie. last track of the ep is Krides new song, the "scream" -like song, with a catchy chorus and some clean vocals.
Are you going to make a new music video?
We got to shoot a new video of "frozen angel" on the shootings of Vares 2 gig scene. it's available to download directly from Norther home site, or from our myspace page: myspace.com/norther. also youtube has this video on share by various users.
How about a new Norther DVD?
No DVD release to be released in near future.
What was the impact for Norther of being featured on the Spinefarm Heavy Karaoke?
I don't think that affected a lot to Norther.. The song on the bandoke DVD is released. I don't personally know why they pic up that old song, or how the DVD's been doing in selling, but i guess ok. At least the release party was mad!! ;)
Can you tell me anything about the Norther Christmas party?
Well.. We had very good time over there! the capacity of the bar was something around 125 persons, and what i heard, there were total of 110 persons in. which was absolutely great! We did 9€ below the budget, and everyone seemed to like Vessabooli, so it was great! Hevikaraoke was there too. Some pics can be found from our site.
How about the new Norther record deal?
we're now trying to get things on the run by our own, some continuations are being discussed about all the time.
"greetings to fans": GREETS FROM NORTHER EVERYONE!! LISTEN TO GOOD METAL, BUY NORTHER SHIT AND HEADBANG LIKE HELL!! LETS MAKE THIS THE FUCKING BEST METAL YEAR EVER!! ps. Don't forget to drink plenty.
This interview was done over several weeks both on the internet, phone and face to face. Thanks to Heikki Saari, Petri Lindroos and Jukka Koskinen for everything.
- Audrey Dujardin
Read the article in its original context here!