guys! Yeah, for sure we’d have a lot of stories from our
history together, if they just weren’t too juicy to tell
in public. Well perhaps I can share one anecdote: our
bassist has the long-run history of recording his share of
backing vocals without his pants on.
Maybe we can
share some more if we get to meet in person and we can get
you badly drunk, and that night would produce some more
events worthy of anecdotes, haha…!
SAMARITAN has been described as Melodic Death Thrash metal,
but your subject matter is quite different from the typical
Melodic metal band. How would you describe your music?
maybe at first we sounded more like your typical melodic
death metal band, but when we changed the name to Dead
Samaritan in 2003, we implemented some more thrashy elements
and more aggression to our sound. Today I’d rather
describe us as death metal with some major thrash and heavy
metal influences, and some melodic leads added on top of all
that. The key things for Dead Samaritan in 2012 would be
aggression, groove and melody if I had to sum it all up in
3. I can´t
really resist to ask you about this: Today is common (in
comparison to long years ago) to see more and more female-fronted
bands appearing every day. What makes a band special? What
is that vital ingredient that separates DEAD SAMARITAN from
that pile of "poser" and uninteresting bands??
genuine, for sure. We do this ‘cos we simply love doing
this! And I think being genuine and true to your-self makes
the band special. The listeners would hear it immediately if
you started making music without having your heart in it.
Eventually all the posers will leave the hall.
For me it
doesn’t really matter if the singer or any other band
member is female or male, all that matters is that he or she
has to have the heart in what he or she does, and Valendis
definitely has her heart in making metal. Of course since it’s
a very male-dominated scene, every time you see a female
band member, you notice it since it’s not THAT usual, but
to me they’re just like everyone else, they do the band
thing because they love doing it.
But to return
to your last question, I think we differ from the rest
because we are genuine and we can write songs that can stand
out from the rest. The ingredients are familiar for sure,
the key thing is how you mix them together and how you
perform the music.
must say that I hate this whole "female-fronted"
labeling that seems to be so trendy in the metal music scene
nowadays. I started practicing this type of vocals long
before I even knew of any growling girls, so I really can’t
say I’m following anyone’s steps here – and I believe
it’s the same for most female musicians. We’re just
those people, who don’t want to be mere girl friends or
fans – we love music, we’re good in what we do, and that
is it. I’m also very tired of always being compared to
other female vocalists only because of the gender, totally
forgetting whether we even sound a slightest bit alike.
Forget all that "ooh, a girl" bullshit and listen
to the music – that’s the best way to understand what
Dead Samaritan is all about! J
4. You have
finished the recordings for the new album coming in a few
months.. How was the writing/recording process, any
development since your previous songs?
say there’s been a lot of development, and when the album
gets released, you will hear it – well if you happen to
know our demo stuff anyway, haha. The writing was pretty
much my responsibility, but of course the other members put
their effort on arrangements, and our second guitarist Matti
did write some extra solo stuff for himself. I always try to
make my songs as finished as possible before bringing them
to rehealsals, but this time we used some half-ready ideas
too. Some was even written while already recording the songs
and with that our co-producer Henri Virsell was a huge help
as usual. Since it was our first full-length studio session,
it felt enchanting but also very exhausting. And when you
got to hear how the songs were coming to reality in the
studio, it was very exciting.
also new is that on the coming album I’m responsible for
some lyrics as well as vocal arrangements. In the past Marko
has done most of those, too, and as our styles are quite
different, this might bring new kind of variety to the songs.
In the future we might also hear songs with lyrics done by
even whole songs written by the bassist (Eero) or Matti. I’d
also suggest that Valendis might do most of the lyrics in
5. It would be
interesting to know how many hours a day you rehearse? Does
anyone of you spends time for self-improving by working
Marko: I can
only speak on my own behalf, but it really depends. You see
since I have a day job and I do writing work for Finland’s
biggest metal media imperiumi.net too, I have to juggle
between my mandatory duties and the band stuff. But I try to
rehearse guitar every day if possible and the time for that
varies every day, sometimes I can rehearse even seven hours
on one day if I just feel like doing it.
As a band we
can only rehearse together usually only once a week for now
since I live far away from the other members. I do know that
everyone of us rehearses independently, but also with other
bands (for example our singer Valendis has the death/doom
6. How is the
Metal-scene in Europe right now for you guys, specially in
Finland? Are you getting the gigs and exposure you think you
Marko: I think
there’s a lot of "competition" as there are so
many bands around. But I only think it’s a good thing
since as a metal fan you can choose the cream of the lot,
you know. And as it comes to us working our way through such
a big and strong metal scene, well we just have to make
great music and make sure people will hear it. We haven’t
been that active on the gig side due to many reasons, but we’re
working on it to get more gigs for Dead Samaritan, and this
debut album is a nice start.
bands are taking over the scene in good way. How do you feel
about Finnish scene? Would you change anything about scene
there or scenes around the world?
Marko: I think
we have a big, big metal scene, but I don’t care for most
of those most famous ones though I do appreciate the work
they do for Finnish music in general. But for me they’re
either too melodic or folk-oriented, and you can find some
real gems from the more extreme Finnish underground so dig
into that, if you want to hear the best stuff. Of course
most of the bands have as much chances as a snake has in an
ass-kicking contest, but that’s the reality, you gotta be
excellent and then you have to be heard and seen.
What I would
change in the Finnish scene… hmm. Well I suppose I’d
give some more visibility for the more extreme and more
interesting bands than those already seen every day in some
magazines and so on. If I had to drop some Finnish names in
addition to Dead Samaritan, I’d say bands like Ceaseless
Torment, Forced Kill, Hateform, Herem and Lie In Ruins.
want to change in the scene worldwide, well I’d kick the
shit out of hideous commercial bands like Brokencyde, Attack!
Attack! and such (crunkcore, crabcore or whatever the hell
you wanna call this awful crap), since they have nothing to
do with real metal, they just mix their techno and emo shit
up with some metallic elements and they are more interested
in how they look in front of teenage girls rather than
making interesting and genuine music. You got me angry now,
the past years Finland has produced mostly all sorts of
fantasy-themed power metal groups, opera metal and whatnot
that really is not my cup of tea. Of course there have been
some really great heavier groups as well, but they have
never gotten that much attention, at least not outside
Finland. Now it seems that Finnish bands are getting noticed
also in, for example, doom metal scene, which I find a very
inspires you to make the music you make? Tell us exactly
what message you are trying to get across with your music?
inspires me is the pure love for heavy riffing, different
atmospheres, the groove, and the feeling you get when you’re
playing a good song. For me the only message is "rock
hard and ride free", don’t let anyone tell you, what
you should do, or like. Be your-self and enjoy!
it’s impossible to try to explain the message I’d like
to get through with just words! Listen to the songs, read
the lyrics, come see the gigs – then you’ll sense the
energy of the band and see what it’s all about! It’s all
in the music.
Marko: When it
comes to lyrics, I always try to say something, but mostly
just between the lines. I just want to make people think for
How do you perceive the advances of technology and the
internet changing the music industry in the future?
much quicker today to spread your music than it was when I
was young, but I’m not sure if it’s any easier to make
your band heard because there are so many bands around. I
think metal heads are true music lovers since they usually
support the bands they like by buying their albums. Though
it has been seen recently, that record sales are not that
meaningful for artists anymore. These days your CD’s, mp3’s
and even LP’s are just the way to promote the band and to
make people come to your gigs and buy your merchandise if
you want to make your living through music. I really do hope
people would support their favourite artists by buying the
albums and showing up at the concerts instead of listening
to ripped-off mp3’s back at home.
One of the
advantages of today’s technology is that it is much easier
to share your musical ideas with your band members without
having to actually meet up, if the distances between members
I care is just that I can perform the music I love and maybe
some people will hear it and even love it.
10. OK guys,
thanks a lot for your answers, I hope my questions weren't
boring. I wish you all the best and good luck my friend,
DEAD SAMARITAN rules! Please, tell your closing words!
Marko: Thank you very much
for the questions. I give my best regards from Dead
Samaritan and I hope you will get your hands on our upcoming
album "The Only Good Samaritan…" ‘cos mark my
words, it will be a kick-ass album!