Interview with Jere Luokkamäki
Interview conducted by Bruce Dragonchaser
Date online: March 4, 2007
It's always very commendable when an artist coiled tight around a stereotype breaks free of its contours and carves a new mould from the material they already had. Finnish symphonic metallers Celesty is one such band, and as their genre-eschewing third album "Mortal Mind Creation" demonstrates, defying convention is a rewarding practice. Bruce Turnbull chats with founding drummer/composer Jere Luokkamäki to discuss this admirable transformation.
1) Hey Jere, thanks for taking time out to answer a few questions for the Metal Crypt. Congratulations on your new album "Mortal Mind Creation". It is a huge shift in direction from your first two releases, much darker and heavier. Was this a natural progression, or was this your intention?
Thank you for your great words, not only from me but also from the whole band and the entire group of people who were involved in the recording of "Mortal Mind Creation". Without all of them it wouldn't be possible. The whole album is totally more Celesty than ever before and we had these kind of dark feelings when we were recording the album. A big thanks goes to our new guitarist Teemu, who did all the work for the songs and totally gave his ideas to our new material. He did some good demos for the album and this helped us to work on the songs before going in the studio. We also had a real producer (Arttu) in studio that also gave a great deal to the songs and to the recordings. Also our Engineer Hansu helped develop the idea this whole album's sound is based on.
2) I can hear a lot of Angel Dust on the album. Are you fans of the German prog-power metallers?
Well, Personally I have listened to Angel Dust quite little, but one of their albums called "Enlighten the Darkness" was good and I think I listened it about 10 times, but really can't remember all the tracks - but if I remember correctly "Let Me Live" was a kick ass song! I believe it was our first Keyboard player who introduced Angel Dust to me; and also our first singer Kimmo listened to them quite a lot.
3) The Chronicles of Cryon continue on this album. What is happening at this stage in the story, and is this the end of the saga?
This saga ends in our next album and it will be huge ending. Of course there will be some shocking news coming up from the tales and characters plus there will be some new "worlds" included to be in the big part of the story. The saga ends soon but we will start a new saga after that, but keep it based on the same worlds and possibly some of the characters.
4) Celesty have recently changed labels from Arise to Dockyard1. Why did you decide to switch?
Actually this was something what we had to do, because Arise Records wasn't able to do as much hard work as we would have wanted. So we needed to find a new partner and we had some difficult choices. I think that the Dockyard 1 offered us the best deal. Now there is a possibility of a tour in Europe and maybe even Japan with some bigger band like Kamelot or Gamma Ray. Also a tour with our country mates Sonata Arctica or Nightwish would be nice. Not to mention the never forgotten Stratovarius; would be cool.
5) How is new boy Teemu Koskela fitting in?
Great! Teemu is a great guitarist, good friend and very loyal to the band. He isn't so crazy at this stage, but he has his own personality and he does lots of work for Celesty. He has some good points to bring up.
6) The Finnish metal scene is flooded with power metal bands that all share the same 'Finnvox' sound. Are you afraid you'll be swept under the success of bands like Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius?
Actually we used totally a different type of engineer this time and also the studio and the engineer changed. Hannu has worked a lot bands like Waltari, Amorphis, Norther etc. And he was something what we needed to get out from the "normal" power metal sound. I hope that we won't be swept under Sonata Arctica or Stratovarius. I hope that we could be something different but work also fully for the band and this way build our own style.
7) "War Creations" is an amazing song with a killer chorus. It is positively screaming for a single release. Any chance of a promo video?
Hahaha! "War Creations" is one of the new album songs, which make conflicts inside the band. I personally like the song a lot and YES there is a great chorus. I think also that the guitar solo is something what causes "cold waves" in my back ;) I think that our live video from our song "Unreality" is ready soon and there would be info in our web site as soon as it's ready. Let's see if we could make a professional video for the next album, and who knows maybe a single also, you know? But now the most important thing is the tour; next summers festivals and gigs all over Europe.
8)Your songs have quite complex structures. How does your writing process work?
Wow. This depends so much about the song's "feeling" like is it going to be a fast, mid, or slow song. Usually, we all bring some own cool riffs or chorus to the rehearsal and then we start to think some verses and vocal lines to the song. Sometimes we just use some creativity together and just play some "tuning music", or simply some of us have done the whole song in his home computer and we just need to think and play it together, and this way we start to build the song to Celesty's sound.
9) With Nightwish swarming the charts and having commercial success, do you find people now lend a sympathetic ear towards Finnish music, or is it just as obscure as ever?
That's a hard one. Well I think that because of these things, the media has noticed that Finnish music is something what people like to listen to and youth is one of the most important things for the future, you know, we all will be elders some day and I believe that pop music is metal in the future. Finnish is good in metal music because our land is very melancholic and dark. Our history is "shamans" and "elf's" and many finds our "Tales from the thousand lakes" very interesting. I think that Finland is one of the countries that bring something original to all the music genres. Like think for example Lordi, they won Eurovision and that was the first one for Finland.
10) Finally, there are so many bands doing the symphonic power metal thing at the moment, what does Celesty bring to the genre that will ensure you stick around?
Let's see. I really hope we will stay here, but nowadays these things don't just depend from the music; there are also things like good promotion and you need to take some risks. Also record labels and good management are very important things. Celesty would need some luck so some of the main bosses in the music industry could notice us as and would give us some help in our way to fame :)
Celesty is also nominated in category "best power metal album" in Metal Storm's official home page, www.metalstorm.ee. Now, all of you go and VOTE Celesty to win it :)
Well you heard the man. Log on and get cracking!
|Other information about Celesty on this site|
|Review: Reign of Elements|
|Review: Mortal Mind Creation|
|Review: Legacy Of Hate|
|Video: Fading Away|
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