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Interview: Korpiklaani

by Marin Soldatic

Korpiklaani is a Finnish folk metal band and has been at the top of the world’s Folk metal scene over a decade. They are known for their cheerful live performances and their truly love for alcoholic derivatives. Founded in 1993 under the name of Shaman, they changed their name to Korpiklaani in 2002, a name known to everybody. Bend refuses to use keyboards and uses authentic instruments to showcase their folk music more accurately. Under their belt are a lot of high quality albums and a new one called “Noita” is coming soon. That’s exactly what we talked to their guitar player Cane. Check it out!

Hi Cane, soon you’ll have a new album out so could you tell us something about it?
Hi! Yes, again we are releasing the best Korpiklaani album so far. Including ten incredible good songs, varying from fast to slow. Album is having very strong folky feeling from the beginning till the end. The whole band is extremely happy with it.

Can you compare it with previous releases?
Of course, the basics are the same. Jonne wrote most of the music again and we had the same producer, Aksu Hanttu, who has been helping us with our recent albums. Still I think that we made the huge difference with general sound. Guitars rock, but folk instruments are really shredding on this one. Our accordion player Sami Perttula was on fire with the arrangements, that’s why it was easy to find the balance and space for everything.

What does “Noita” means?
Well, you could say it’s means a shaman in traditional Finnish. Nowadays the meaning for the word is more like a witch or a sorcerer. Before Christianity shamans use to be very important people in every village, because of their healing skills and knowledge. You can find these “Noita” kind of people in almost every culture, not only in Finland.

Who did the album cover and is there a story behind cover picture?
It’s the artist, Jan Yrlund, who again made this cover for us again from Jonne’s idea. I think this was the seventh cover from him already. The picture is based on the “Ämmänhauta” song. It’s an old legend from Vesilahti, Finland. This “Noita” had a wish to be buried in the churchyard, cause it was not allowed for witches, they had to do it in the secrecy of the night. So in the cover four men is carrying the dying witch in the dark forest to bury her.

Can you tell us your personal favorites from the new record?
Album is still so fresh that probably the alltime favorites are still to come, but I’m enjoying for example “Lempo” and “Ämmänhauta” very much. There is great solos in both and also the lyrics are very well written.

How does the songwritting process go? Do you first write music or lyrics?
As I said, Jonne has been composing most of the music and the almost all the lyrics are written by an outside writer Tuomas Keskimäki. Usually music comes first and then we choose the text to it but sometimes it could be the other way around.

What are your lyrics about?
There are lots of different themes on this album. It’s not an concept album in any way. First one is about this band, second is again about the joy of life. You can also find song about love and of course beer. There is few more spiritual ones on the album also.

What music do you listen to and which bands influenced you?
I listen mostly all kind of old root music. I think my biggest influences we band like Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura, in the beginning of the ’90s, when I started guitar playing.

What is your opinion on Folk metal scene today?
Folk metal is doing great. Stronger and bigger than ever.

Do you think that metal scene changed a lot since time you were starting to play?
No, it has only got bigger.

You are signed to Nuclear Blast, are you satisfied with them?
Yes, we are. I guess it wouldn’t have been wise to resign if we weren’t happy.

Metal was very popular in Finland, can you tell us somethin about Finnish metal scene today?
It was and it still is. I must admit I’m little out from the Finnish metal scene, but what I know it’s one of the biggest scenes in Finland. A lot of new bands and albums coming all the time and that’s only a good thing.

Are you planning a big tour to promote a new record?
Definitely. First North America in May, festivals in the summer, European tour in the autumn and after that we are also planning the South American tour and Asia.

Your live shows are always a great, do you still enjoy playing live and going on tour?
Yes, I enjoy touring very much personally. If there is long breaks between the tours I start to get impatient to get back on the road again. I feel very lucky to be able to tour this much.

Can you make living out of music or you need to have side jobs?
No, I’m not working anywhere else anymore. Concentrating on this band now.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Maybe something you were never asked and want to share it with your fans?
I would suggest that all of you go and buy our new album “Noita” immediately when it’s released in the 1st of May. After listening to that come to our shows and tell us what you think about it. Hopefully we can make it to Croatia soon!

Thank you for the interview and wish you all the best!
Thank you!

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