interview - HARD AND HEAVY Magazine

Dark greets! Pepsi or Coca-Cola? He-he :)
Terve. Home-made blueberry juice, than you :)

Currently, you guys are working on new materials. Howís the writing process going so far? Did you manage to finish some of those songs yet?
Weíve been slowly and steadily working on new songs. At the moment there are 6 new songs finished, and I still have 2 songs in the works that I really want to finish before Iíll lock the contents of the forthcoming full-length album. Also, we havenít done any lyrical, vocal, or other non-instrument sound work for any of the songs yet, so just the bare bones of the songs are in the works.

Are there going to be some major changes in Nestís sound, or..?
I donít think there will be any major changes, but I bet youíll be able to notice some development. Itís up to each listener to determine whether itís good or bad. Nevertheless, weíve followed our instincts thoroughly and not done anything else than what we have wanted to. This time around it seems that our themes have moved slightly away from the peaceful side of nature to the more aggressive ones. This time around there will be more stuff about things like the hunt and survival in the wilds, in addition to the familiar tranquil vistas and fantastic lore.

Whoís there with you now, T. Saxell, or there are going to be few more people included in the writing process?
T. Saxell will be doing his part on the bass, vocals, and in any other area that we may think of. Laurie Ann Haus from Todesbonden, Autumn Tears, ex-Rain Fell Within, etc. will also be contributing her magnificent vocal talent to the new album Ė but it might not be in a way people normally expect.

What comes (is being done) first Ė lyrics or music?
The music, almost always. On occasion I may come up with some words independent from the music, but this doesnít happen often. We use so little lyrics, and even less vocals, that this works out quite naturally. Personally, Iím not interested in the usual concept of lyrics and vocals in music, so I tend to favor all other styles over normal singing, not to mention verse + chorus structures. Iím very interested in doing lyrics in the shape of ďfragments of talesĒ. I mean that only short excerpts of stories are provided in the lyrics sheet or in song, and the listener has to use his or her imagination to complete the story.

Youíre going to start recording in summer of this year. Did you had a chance to pick up the studio yet?
We hope to start recording this summer. Thatís the time when the kantele sounds best Ė a thing that is quite dependent on the climatic conditions. Summer is warmer and more humid, so the wood of the instrument responds better then. We wonít use an actual studio. Weíll record everything here at my home, ďthe shelterĒ. I have good enough equipment to do it, and I have been studying recording, mixing, etc. quite extensively for the last couple of years, so it yields presentable results. Itís just so easy to do everything at home without constraints with time, money and whatnot.

Are you guys playing live?
Weíve played live only two times, and we donít have any gigs planned at the moment. Weíre not that much of a live band, but if there are interesting and enjoyable opportunities, weíre game.

You are playing kantele, traditional Finnish instrument. Lots of people over here havenít had a chance to see one, or even hear about it, so can you do the honours and introduce it?
Well, itís basically a mix between a flute and a jackhammer. No, seriously, itís something akin to a horizontal harp. Itís also the Finnish national instrument, known from our national epic The Kalevala among other things. It is an instrument of a solitary person, played mostly alone or to a small audience. It has a relatively quiet sound that is very high-pitched Ė crystalline, if you will. Iím very fond of it. Itís the only instrument that Iím always eager to play, no matter how tired or uninterested I might otherwise be. It would require much more space to discuss the instrument in more detail, so if you want to know some more about the kantele, thereís this one link that will serve for startrers: < >.

What fascinated you about it?
From the first time I laid my fingers on it, I immediately fell in love with itís unique sound. I also wanted to play something out of the ordinary. I guess I felt there are enough guitar, bass, drums, synth, etc. players in the world already Ė not that thereís anything wrong with those instruments. I was just drawn to something different. And as the kantele is our national instrument it had a special appeal for me. Iím not sure how well non-Finns can grasp this feeling, but let me assure you, it is indeed something special.

What other instruments are you playing, or have been playing in the past?
Lets see if I remember them all. Iíve played at least Lapland drum, bodhrŠn, tin whistles, didgeridoo, some synth and bass. None of these are as serious as the kantele, though. I canít play any of them nearly as well as I play the kantele. I play them whenever I feel like it, and just for some fun. The only other instrument that I actually play well enough that I have courage to put on Nestís songs is the Lapland drum. Itís a frame drum similar to the Irish bodhrŠn, though played with quite a different technique Ė and I donít even use the correct technique. I play it with my hands, whereas itís normally played with a stick with one end shaped like a mallet and coated in reindeer skin.

You have joined The Mist And The Morning Dew some time ago Ė how did you actually get into this project?
Some time ago I was asked to play the kantele on Shape of Despairís latest album Illusions Play. Shape of Despair is another band of Jarno Salomaa from The MistÖ I donít know all the gory details, but I assume that he liked my contribution enough to ask me join Mist. Iím a fan of both of these bands, so it was naturally an honour to first play with Shape and then to be asked to join The Mist. I will be playing the kantele in Mist too.

Now you are working on background music for ĎThe Hammerite Imperiumí. Can you tell us more about this?
The Hammerite Imperium is a large fan mission campaing for the legendary Ė and not to mention original Ė sneaker game Thief 2. Iím a huge fan of this game so I was greatly honoured to be asked to join as a musician and sound guy. The music I write for this project is quite different from all my other endeavours. I mainly do very slow and backgroundy ambient stuff that is probably closest to the stuff bands like Raison díÍtre, Sephiroth, etc. produce. So far I havenít used the kantele at all in this project, but I might do some small parts with it too.

Can you live with your current, Information Tech, job?
Luckily yes. Iím currently a programmer, graphician, jack-of-all-trades in a small IT firm. I get all my income from this job so I can keep my musical ventures away from all monetary hassles. I like to keep my music totally separate from the god currency, because nothing kills my inspiration more effectively than having to think about money when dealing with music. To paraphrase, my job is my living, but my music is my life.

Do you like to play video-games? If so, which ones?
I do play some games. Mostly fantasy-oriented role-playing ones, old Amiga games, something with an unique approach, etc. As you can read above Iím a huge fan of the Thief series. If anyone is interested in sneaker games like Splinter Cell, I deeply recommend you try Thief. What could be better than snatching loot from under yet another fat noblemanís nose. Nowadays I donít have too much time to play, but I try to make time every now and then.

Do you have any other interests other than computers and music?
Plenty. Iím very fond of visual arts, though unfortunately I havenít had too much time to draw or paint lately. Iíve done some logos and cover artwork for some bands in addition to digital art and traditional painting. Iím also very fond of venturing around the countryside with a bike or otherwise and to just roam around Finnish nature. Spending time with friends is also important, and should never be neglected.

And, for the end of this interview, Iíd ask you to leave a message for our readers. See ya later!
Thank ye for this interview. I wish all the readers of this fine Ďzine all the best for this coming spring. Donít let the increasing sunlight cheer you up too much :) Should you happen to crave for more info about the band that is Nest, hop over to: < >.