Since I listen for first time their fabulous record of the year 2011, called "Harsh Realities", which I have in mind to interview to this explosive Grindcore band from Finland. As often happens with most Grindcore bands, Death Toll Boys 80k are very friendly and approachable people. That became clear when Tomi, guitarist, accepted the interview. And the interview is here. Enjoy it
Puro Ruido: Hello how are you? Greetings from Córdoba, Argentina
Tomi: Hello! Thanks for asking, we are mostly doing fine here. Firstly we would like to apologise to you that it took so long to answer this interview. We hope you can still find use for this.
PR: Question, without exaggeration,that make all fans of the band: there are chances to release a new full lenght soon?
Tomi: Yes. We are planning and making material for an LP at the moment, but it is a slow process and there is no guarantee when it will come out.
PR: Honestly, I think "Harsh Realities" is one of the best Grindcore albums of the 21st century. How was the process of creating and recording that album? For some reason, I have always believed that it was created and recorded in minutes. It sounds so natural, so spontaneous!
T: Thank you for the kind words. Making Harsh realities was actually a very long process. The songs were made during a three year period. The oldest songs can be found on the 2008 demo cd-r and the newest songs were merely finished for the studio. After the album was recorded it took about a year before it was out, because we had some misunderstandings concerning the artwork etc. We also took very special care for the mixing of the album and for the song arrangement and the spaces between songs. We wanted it to hold the tension from start to finish.
PR: Let's talk about the present of the group. Are on tour? Have played in other European countries in 2014?
T: We are making a one week tour in England and Scotland this summer (2015), but besides that it has been a bit quiet. In 2014 we played at the Maryland Deathfest and in 2013 we had an excessive Eurotour with Perikato (hc/punk fin). For me being on tour is one of the best things about playing grindcore: going to new places, meeting awesome people, playing live every day and getting a really good touch to it. You live in a bubble that consists of the tour van and the venues, it is very care-free life.
PR: This year you played at the Maryland Death Fest. Tell us that such a positive was that experience
T: MDF was absolutely awesome. All the arrangements worked fine for us and we got to see lots of bands that come rarely to Europe. My personal favourites were Dropdead, Unholy Grave and Archagatus. It was great to meet the guys from Archagatus since we have made split with them and all. Seeing Unholy Grave was very special for me since it has been one of my all time favourite bands and I had never thought I could see them live. And now did it twice! Our own gig went smoothly and we sold all our records so I guess someone must have liked it.
PR: Let's go to the beginning of the story. How, when and why Death Toll 80k born?
T: Death Toll 80k was formed by me and Oula in the spring of 2005 after our earlier band Grotesk (Jori played in it too!) had split up. We wanted to continue to write and play our own music. In the beginning we didn’t have very clear vision what kind of songs we wanted to make. There was grind elements mixed with Celtic Frost style riffs and some thrashy stuff. The band evolved into what it is now, when Jori (2007) and Ville (2009) joined the band. I think that right now we have a very clear vision what our sound is and how we want to develop it.
PR: You have anti-war lyrics, lyrics that show you as a guys really committed with the situation that the world is experiencing today: war, capitalism, pollution, etc. You think the Grindcore is protest, as taught us that teacher named Jan AG?
T: To me grindcore is a protest, but it is up to every band to decide what it means to them. You can state your protest in many different forms. Some do it very straight leaving no room for listener to interpret the lyrics. Others take more complex approach and the message can differ from people to people. However, to me it is very important, a requirement, to have lyrics with meanings. It doesn’t matter how you put it, but at least try to make a change, otherwise it is completely pointless.
PR: Continuing with the previous question, I tell you that here in Argentina, I have met people involved with Grindcore bands, and have right wing ideas; fascists, to put it more clearly. I don't know if in Europe that happens, you will tell me if that happens there or not. What go is that it seems an incongruity playing Grindcore and be fascist. But better give me your opinion on the matter.
T: We are definitely against all forms of racism, fascism and inequal treatment of people. I think the problem here in Europe is more common with gore grind and (black)metal bands than grindcore bands. With gore grind it is usually chauvinism cloaked in “humorous” lyrics, but the black metal scene is quite openly racist.
PR: Let's talk about music. Last year released a split with Sete Star Sept. There is a Split in mind for this year, or next?
T: There will be splits in the future, but right now we are concentrating on the LP. We can train so rarely that it makes making new songs a very slow process. That is why we rather concentrate on the LP than splits at the moment.
PR: Tomi, you play in any other bands? I read that you play, or you played in a band called Grotesk, band of which I could not get information.
T: Grotesk was a death metal band we had some ten years ago. We recorded some songs, but they were never released. There’s really not much to say about it. At the moment me and Oula play in a mincecore band called RUST. We have made a split LP with Agathocles. It was released by Bringer of Gore records. Oula also has two noisecore bands Meatwash and Beerterror. Jori and Ville play in heavy/speed metal band Speedtrap. Ville is also involved in Perikato which plays hardcore punk and Kohti Tuhoa which plays d-beat and Hard Action that plays hard rock.
PR: At the end of the 90s, early this century, Grindcore lived a great time with bands like Nasum, Rotten Sound, and Insect Warfare living their best moments, releasing unforgettable albums. In the current scene, you see a Grindcore band capable of doing something as fabulous as what those bands did at the time? I think you are going to be one of the best bands in the history of the genre, but the question is for you to give us your opinión
T: Thanks again for the kind words. It is always hard to predict the future. To me Insect Warfare has been a big milestone in grindcore’s history and their 2007 LP has had a really big influence on us. I have never personally listened very much either Nasum or Rotten Sound but, I recognise that they have made grind more well know around the world. My personal favourites from the past are ROT, Fear of God, Unholy grave and Warsore. From the more recent bands I’d like to mention Sakatat, Violent Gorge, Six Brew Bantha and Arroyo.
PR: Tomi, the last question. Is the music industry dead? I ask you because you have put your full lenght in free download through your Bandcamp account
T: Music industry has changed a lot, but I’m not sure if have ever really been part of it. So far we have released all our records through small DIY labels that specialise in grindcore music. We have been planning for a long time to put all our past releases to bandcamp so that people who are interested can download them for good quality. That way people who don’t have the option to buy the records can also enjoy them.
PR: Well, that’s all. Thank you very much for your time, bro. You want to add something?T: Once again, sorry that it took this long to answer and thank you for the interview.