Interview with vocalist and guitarist Juho Patinen
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 10, 2019
Formed in 2009, Finland's epic, orchestral and melodic death/folk act Frosttide has had a successful but slightly rough road up to being one of the most promising metal powerhouses from the Finnish shores. With three EPs and two full-length studio albums in their recording history and a new album in the works as we speak, The Metal Crypt first became curious about them about a year ago after running across the band on YouTube.
The band's latest EP, Decedents, originally released in May 2018 by the band but re-released by Germany's Out of Line Music later the same year is what prompted us to contact the band. Frosttide's frontman, guitarist and vocalist Juho Patinen kindly stepped up to fill us up with all the information one needs to know about this trio's latest comings and goings...
Luxi: How's it going, Juho? Are you feeling pumped and excited as reviews have been pouring in for your EP, Decedents—Enshrined?
Juho: All good up north in Finland! The coldness has now truly reached us here and we have a ton of snow up to our knees! It feels great to read the good reviews and feedback from people!
Luxi: For many, Frosttide is part of a new wave of melodeath metal bands that take things on a very challenging level musically, making things sound big. Has it always been the goal to make this band sound as big, dramatic and pompous as possible?
Juho: It's something that comes very spontaneously. We didn't plan the sound to be this way and we have yet to explore many areas in our minds. Our sound is something that has developed over the years and we'll probably never stop developing, yet we think the bombastic sound is there to stay. We all just love crafting the sound so much.
Luxi: Were you trying to raise the bar with the Decedents EP, hoping to land a decent record deal or management deal with it?
Juho: The original plan was to put out something new for the fans and try out some new methods while working on the next album. Since the vision for the new album exploded while we were making it, we had to take a break in order to put out something new and buy some more time. It all worked out quite perfectly. We got new material to play at shows and the material was strong enough for us to get a great deal with Out of Line, which also gives us more resources for working on the new album.
Luxi: You are said to be the mastermind behind the band, composing all the music. Do you see this new EP more as the result of teamwork within the band?
Juho: I do write most of the stuff, but I don't feel comfortable calling someone in this entity a mastermind. We have never cared about whose name is written on the sheets and we've always just tried to work for the band. Felipe has now stepped through the door as a composer and I think it's a great marriage between two composers in the band. The final result, however, is always about teamwork and we do feel more like a real band than ever before.
Luxi: Jouni Valjakka from Whispered was behind the filming and co-directing your "Revenant" video, a song off this new EP. How did you start working with him and will you use his services in the future?
Juho: Jouni is a great friend of ours. He is tons of fun to hang out with, very creative and productive. He's aware of our band vision. It seemed very natural to ask him to cooperate with us on certain projects. We will surely work with him in the future!
Luxi: Obviously you find these videos great promotional tools because you recently released a lyric video for "Final Hour" from the Decedents EP. In this day and age, you need to be visible and be heard as much as possible because of all the competition from tens of thousands of bands. What is your view on this point?
Juho: We think that audiovisual content is the most powerful tool to promote music at the moment. It triggers more senses and is always more entertaining than just listening for many fans. It also is a great opportunity to add so much more to our concept. We love seeing epic things and bringing the music into a medium that can be seen as well. It's like the opposite of movie scores. There they bring atmosphere to the visuals with music. With music videos, album covers and so on, you can create the visual side for the music.
Luxi: So far, the band has released two very well-received albums, Blood Oath being the newer of the two and which came out in 2015. Have you started to plan your next album?
Juho: As I kind of hinted before, we are in good shape with the new album as we had started working on it before the EP. All the material is basically written, and we are in the last stages of putting the whole concept together. It's still, however, too early to say when we will get it released.
Luxi: Do you believe your new songs will be in much the same musical path that you laid down on the Decedents EP or do you want to leave room for some surprises?
Juho: For now, I can only say that there will definitely be a lot of improvements to the sound. Some of them on the same path as the EP, but some going a back to the early phases of the band. You'll definitely hear some new elements in the music too as we always improve as musicians whether we plan it or not.
Luxi: People have been hunting down your debut album, Awakening, for quite some time as the original press has long been sold out. Any re-release plans for that sought-after album?
Juho: I'm afraid I can't give a straight answer. From our point of view, it would be great to re-release it, but at the moment it's out of our hands. Hopefully in the near future we can bring it out for people again!
Luxi: Frosttide has a lot of experience when it comes to playing live. What has being on the road taught to you guys over the years?
Juho: The times on the road have definitely taught us a lot of how to work in a band. About the people surrounding you and dealing with them. There have been a lot of problems on the road and that has taught us to give our best when it matters (on stage) no matter what. The little conflicts here and there are unavoidable, but all our experiences have glued us together like nothing else would. We will never take anything for granted because of the amount of work and stress we have had to put in.
Luxi: What's been the strangest experience for you guys while on the road? What happens in a tour bus/van, stays in a tour bus/van ... ;o)
Juho: Probably the most bizarre and awkward moment was when our van's tire exploded on our way from Pratteln, Switzerland to Hamburg, Germany. We had about 600 km to go and the tire went "bam" and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere for hours. Our bass player at the time had his birthday on that day so we had no other choice than to celebrate right there. Fortunately, the other bands stopped by and gave us a few beverages and a bit of toilet paper! Unfortunately, the show in Hamburg had to be cancelled. One of the best moments on the road was our show in Tokyo. The crowd was so intense and passionate that it really pushed the band to perform. Certainly one of the strangest, yet greatest moments in our gigging history!
Luxi: What do you personally consider the biggest achievement of the band so far? Getting a slot as a part of the Paganfest tour in 2015?
Juho: This one's quite a hard question. I feel like we've already achieved a lot of great things, yet we have so many things still ahead of us. If I really have to name one achievement, I'll go back to 2013 and getting our first album released, then playing with the biggest bands in the scene in Europe on Heidenfest.
Luxi: As a recording unit you work as a trio, but for live shows, you have session players. Why have you chosen this way to work and not recruited a couple of permanent members to complete the line-up? Is it difficult to find like-minded people for the Frosttide team that truly understand what this band is all about?
Juho: I don't think it's too tricky to find good permanent members. Everything just works so well with the three of us at the moment that we don't see any urge to bring new members in. Hiring live musicians is the best way for us at the moment.
Luxi: How does 2019 look for Frosttide, gigging wise?
Juho: At the moment, we are putting most of our focus on the new album. There are certainly some shows coming and we will do as many as our schedules allow. Hope to see all of you soon on the road!
Luxi: What are some of your expectation from Frosttide as far as the band's future is concerned? Making your living out of what you love doing; playing in a band?
Juho: Well, that would be optimal, but it should never be the priority. Ours will always be the music and performing it as well as we can. We believe other things will follow when the most important ones are there. For now, we try to focus on making more great music and doing great shows.
Luxi: One last question; if Frosttide was one character in the world-famous epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, which one would it be?
Juho: Another tricky one! We'd rather be the whole diverse selection of characters. But if I have to pick one, it would probably be Aragorn. Ambitious, yet humble. A diverse combination of values.
Luxi: Thank you for your time, Juho. I wish you all the best with the band and may your road be full of pleasant surprises. You are entitled to the last comments, so go ahead...
Juho: Thank you for the interview! It was a great one. We hope to see you on the road sooner rather than later! Now would be the right time to get out your long johns and beanies for the cold and shove our CD in your CD players!
|Other information about Frosttide on this site|
|Review: Decedents - Enshrined|
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