For a long time wanted to interview this band. For one reason or another, always postponed essential to do the interview: ask the band if they wanted to do the interview. The issue is that one day I wrote, and who answered it, nothing more and nothing less, Jari, whom I admire from Adramelech times. Jari is who was responsible for answering my questions, and doing this interview somewhat unforgettable.
Puro Ruido: Greetings from Cordoba, Argentina! How is everything over there?
Jari: Hey brother, its quiet and easy going...normal daily life i suppose."
PR: Let us start. Are you working on new songs? There's a new album on the way? How good was it for you this year is almost over?
J: "We´ve been taking a break since the previous summer so its been over a year of hiatus. I felt I needed a break from writing and the band. I´m recharging the batteries so to speak. For that reason nothing has really happened for us - I have been slowly starting to write some new ideas again for the past few months. I have one song pretty much ready musicwise that i like, and thats pretty close of being finished and one that im working on when time allows. Writing of "Phobia" was exhaustive, its a tough job to write one good song, not to mention a full album. And even if im fairly satisfied how it all turned out, it did show signs of exhaustion towards the end. When you spend so much time on working with every detail, music and lyrics - its pretty much inevitable. I was really really happy with "I chose death" EP, and wouldve wanted to keep on releasing smaller releases and focusing on the best ideas - but we owed one album to the label and there was no way around it. Now were free from all contracts and can choose what to do. But like I said, i do have some ideas coming together...not sure when we are ready to work on those as a unit yet, but we are in no hurry - it will take as long as it will take. We just want to make sure the new things we come up with are interesting to us and worth peoples time to take a listen."
PR: Let's go to the beginning of the story. As I read in Encyclopaedia Metallum, Torture Killer started doing covers of SFU. However, as far as I know, the reality is that did covers of SFU and Obituary. At what point did you decide to write your own songs? What prompted you to do it?
J: "Yeah thats right, we also did a number of Obituary covers too. The first show we ever did was only with SFU songs though. A friend of ours arranged a concert and asked us to play a set, he knew we were doing covers, so we figured since we have the lyrics available it would be best to do those instead of Obituary where you have no lyrics available and have to make up most of the vocal delivery. It was after that show we felt we should try to come up with our own songs with the same kind of groove oriented approach and see what would come out of it. One song turned into two songs, then three..and now here we are."
PR: Speaking of SFU, how did the possibility of working with Chris Barnes on the album "Swarm!"? Barnes traveled to Finland and entered to the studio with you? Or worked on using the internet to send songs to each other? That album was released by Metal Blade, so I guess that Chris had some influence on this
J: "No he didnt come over, we sent him demoes of the songs and he worked with those and recorded em separately in Florida once we tracked down the music here in Finland. It was one of those surreal moments in history, a script of a hollywood movie if you will - one day you just get an e-mail from him offering his help with the band. He had read somewhere about us and our problems with the line up and just reached out to us... I guess he felt flattered about the history we had up until that point, being a tribute kind of thing and felt this was the right thing to do. He has worked with Metal Blade all his career and that came along as a bonus... you just couldnt do an album with Chris Barnes and put it out on some small label we were signed at the time. All in all, we had our feet on the ground during the whole duration of his visit - even at that point we didnt give too much thought where all this would go, if anywhere...we knew booking tours or shows would be pretty much impossible - we just took things as they came. I dont know if people expected us to blow up in fame and fortune or not...we were just happy we could do an album with him. It gave us exposure for sure, and he was really cool and humble with us during the whole time. It was flattering to co-operate with a high profile scene icon, i jammed his tapes when i was a teenager so getting to do something with him was definetily something none of us were prepared for. "
PR: Jari, I must confess that I am a fan of Finnish Death Metal for many years. As such, I'm a fan of Adramelech. Well, I know that you are part of Adramelech since 1999, so I'd like to know if there are chances that Adramelech back into the ring or not
J: "Yes i was involved with the last years of Adramelech. I joined in 1998 and was with Jarkko, the main guy until the end. I´ve asked Jarkko a few times over the years if he´d still be interested in doing it but he´s an isolated person with a family to take care of. I feel bad about how it all ended, i think the band deserved better. The sound of the band had changed from the early recordings which i consider the true spirit of Adramelech - it wasnt because i joined, even if i did write something with the last album...Also Jarkko wanted to explore different approaches. His writing style is very unique. Like i said he is a weird personality and that comes across in his writing, you cant replicate that. Also he switched from vocals and bass to drums because he couldnt find a drummer, which resulted new vocalists who were really good, but different from the real Adramelech sound. I really wished he would come back and do something, but it would have to be his ideas, not mine... Ive told him if he ever wanted to do something, Im here to help. Despite all what happened, my early years in the band were one of the best times of my life. Me, him and Ali had a vicious fire in us, too bad it didnt manifest into something that wouldve stand the test of time as well as the early albums did. Back in 98-99 Death Metal wasnt doing too good, other forms of metal had more exposure and bands played a different style which made us even more hungry. The 1999 album Pure Blood Doom did have some really good ideas, but maybe the album production was a bit too modern and didnt have the right "feel" to it. Im still hoping one day Jarkko would change his mind and do something to give the band a final release that would embrace the athmosphere of the early albums."
PR: Speaking about Finnish Death Metal, always I have thought that the Death Metal that is done (and it has been done) in your country is something absolutely brilliant. The sound, the style, the atmospheres, all that does that the Finnish Death Metal is something unique. There is some motive especially for which the way that you have of doing Death Metal is so special?
J: "I know what youre talking about... to me too it always had a weird, mythical appeal, which is very hard to explain. You can "feel" the atmosphere, the eerieness. I dont have an answer where it comes from, theres some dark melancholy in our people, and that comes out in music. The use of unconventional chords, time signatures, murky vocals, deranged melodies, the right kind of production...that is what signifies the finnish death metal sound."
PR: Jari, in an interview you said you do not have high expectations for TK Albums, the greatest pleasure in being satisfied with the end result. TK is a band made to have fun playing Death Metal, without worrying about all that is outside the music itself?
J: "Exactly. I think the most bizarre things have already happened to this band, so we have no expectations whatsoever with our future. The thing is, this is what i enjoy playing. If you like hunting or fishing, you feel good when you go out and do those things. Its the same with writing death metal for me. I have lots of other interests but i would be lying if i said this wasnt something beyond that. It is a huge part of what i am as a person. If i wouldnt do it, i would feel miserable - like something was missing in my life. All the other things come as a "bonus". The people i talk to, the shows we play, the interviews like this i get to do... theyre just the icing on the cake. When you really do something you like, and manage to come out with songs that you honestly think are good...there will be people who will pick up things in the music that they enjoy aswell. We are very fortunate to be recognised like this, even if we are not a big name in the scene. And Im grateful to the other guys theyre sticking around, enabling us to play those ideas on a good level."
PR: Continuing the previous question: where does the inspiration come from to write new songs? That is, each New album from TK maintains the essence, but there are always new things, showing that you enjoy doing what you do, but always looking to outdo yourselves. So I wonder if the inspiration is essential for you to choose the songs that will be recorded.
J: " Writing this kind of music is food for my soul, and it gives me happiness. Thats the first and foremost reason i play guitar... the feel when you first track down a version of a song you really like and listen to it...thats the exact moment i feel most rewarded. I think we have the right amount of criticism to realise that MOST ideas we come up with are NOT good, the song and the riff needs to have something that grabs you, some small little detail that makes the whole riff come alive...it needs the right pulse, so that it unvolunterily makes you want to nod your head or stomp your foot on the ground. I think you get better at it when you get older, a sense that says there is something to this idea i should work with...or and instinct that says that "its ok, but nothing special". I dont love hearing myself playing just any riff that we may have come up with...i want to play a riff and a song i really like. I think that way it really comes out in the music, not just playing through the motions - but really have an idea, a soul of the song, why it is written. About the feel when I write...Im definetily a "riff-guy", always loved the juicy riffs and the groove my favourite bands had...also some more moody, athmospheric passages within songs to give "soul" to the song is what i like hearing so thats what we try to compose in our own songs too. Im really glad you noticed that there are things changing in the sound, nothing too dramatic but still new ideas to try keep it "fresh" and interesting. We have had a number of songs that have turned out really good: Forever dead, Funeral for the masses, I bathe in their blood, I chose death, Phobia, Written in blood... but you just cant "over use" a good idea once you´ve done it already. The carbon copy of the same idea just wont be as good as the first one. Usually i start with a drum beat that i think has the grip and the groove i like, then just toy around with the guitar and try to come up with an idea that i think would sound good, try to close my eyes and "feel" where the riff wants to go. When you have a solid, good basic idea - in most cases the song pretty much writes itself to a certain point...then again you come to a part where you will need to decide if the song would require a new section totally, or bring it to the end with the existing main idea."
PR: You have always been a band with more Groove than speed. Do you think that way you can sound more heavy and brutal without the need to play insanely fast rhythms?
J: "To a degree yes, the thing is that with modern production i feel that whole purpose of having a blastbeat is kinda lost...when the drums are triggered and balanced so that every drumhit sounds as loud as the other one, we´ve reached a point when you go into a blast beat nothing actually happens in the music. In fact the basic drum beat sounds for somereason heavier than the blastbeat? For me, the blast was invented to give that huge push of violence, like an explosion in music - and now its quite the opposite? Late 80´s and early 90´s production didnt do that...you felt when it was time to be aggressive. "Harmony Corruption" may not be the fastest album on the planet, but to me - it is the most brutal one. You can also get lost with the rhythm thing really fast when playing with insane speeds. In some ways I think the essence of actual songwriting is a bit lost. You can do this insanely fast crazy shit basically up to no limit, but you loose the "song" in the process, i mean i kinda respect the technical talent involved but in the end - i dont see what it does. You might get a 10 second thrill out of watching it going "wow, that was impressive" but dont remember jack-shit after the song is over. Thats just my take of it though and people have different views about it - im not saying our way is the right way to do it - its just what we enjoy more. You might think playing slower, groovier stuff would be easier and in a technical sense it is - but in a way thats way more challenging aswell because you really need a good idea to come up with something even remotely fresh and interesting."
PR: Well, come to an end. You all played in different bands. Tuomo and Tuomas play in Demigod, for example. How to manage time not to overlap the duties of each one in bands where you play?
J: "Were good friends with all the other bands so that really isnt a probelm, none of the bands are hyper-active anyways, apart from Archgoat... We have a healthy respect for eachother i think...we know when some band books something so we know not to over-lap with that and just work that way..that has never really been a problem for us at any time."
PR: Ok, I think this is it. Of course, thank you very much for the interview, and hopefully we can enjoy a new album soon! You want to add anything else?
J: "Gracias for the interview brother, i really liked doing this one - really good, thought out, questions. All the best."