First and maybe the hardest question would be how you guys feel about the absence of Juhani? The Band split up, the memories of him and so on?
Of course it was devastating to all of us in the band and naturally to Juhani's family, friends and fans around the world. I think, breakup of COLOSSEUM was unpleasant event, because in my opinion, somehow we had just find our way to work together and the way how we should improve the music of COLOSSEUM. I hope that COLOSSEUM would have been in shape that we could been able to play more gigs. We got great gig offers and had opportunities to play around the world, but always something happened and plans failed. We planned also filming of a new video, but unfortunately it left undone. I always remember Juhani in good light; he was unbelievably great composer and lyric writer. He had some mighty resources to compose and write texts with ease and forthright ways.
In the beginning of recordings of each album, what was the most important thing that brought you together in the studio and more to ask what inspired you to write and perform such dark, sad and melancholic melodies and lyrics?
Each of us had and some of us still feel great deal of need to create something. We had made great efforts and had invested in recordings of COLOSSEUM from the very first demo tape. That's why it was pretty clear that we should do so in the future also. We directed our concentration to pre- and post production states a lot. In the studio we tried some unusual instruments to apply some new kind of voices and atmospheres, which we had never heard before in this kind of music. Some of those experiments succeed, others didn't. COLOSSEUM also used strange chords in the music, and through that I've learned much about different playing techniques, which I never knew before and I couldn't use those. Invariably I liked every single demo tape that Juhani send to me. Only one track was dropped off from chapter 3.
What kind of music you listen outside of what you are making?
There are times when I don't listen anything at all and that could be weeks or even months. But when I become inspired to listen to music, I try to explore as many different kind of music as I can. I've listened music of Pink Floyd for years now and that is very influential band for me. Of course I listen to many other bands too, than mentioned above. Usually musical style that I listen most is turning to metal.
What is the main message that you want your listeners to get from your music and lyrics?
We don't have and had any kind of specific message and certain philosophy to bring forward. Our main lyric writer was always Juhani and probably he had his own visions and nightmares, which his written lyrics are based on. I think the most important thing today is that listeners, who like the music of COLOSSEUM, will find and then contemplate suitable meaning for words. And I hope that all who are listening to music of COLOSSEUM could remember Juhani and his remarkable spirit and pay attention to musical skills he had. Also we hope that listener could find always new elements and layers from COLOSSEUM's compositions and arrangements, so the song could be different every time you listen to it again.
Sumerian Myths is one of the bands lyrical themes, a history of people whom they couldn't have their own history written and the Babylonians adopted and modified their history later in the years, why the 'Sumerian Myths' was one of the themes? A loss of a history? Mankind without a history? An existence which never had been existed? Or about a simple human life these days?
The best person to answer this matter could be of course Juhani himself, because COLOSSEUM was his project and mainly he wrote lyrics. He was extremely interested in mythology, ancient gods, and stuff like that. He read much about those things and was much more aware about those, than I am. His sight and imagination in these kinds of things reached far more further to distant dimensions than anyone else's.
Desolation is a state of a complete emptiness and feeling nothing but the void around which would be still nothing but to feel the despair, what DESOLATION brought to the music of COLOSSEUM and why?
Dark melodies, tritonus chords, disturbing images, visions and words, putrefaction of minds, infinite nightmares, contrast between empty reality and deformed time and space... Also, we started to use trumpets, cellos, flutes, violins and the saddest organs we could find in our compositions. Those instruments merged with slow tempo, heavy guitars and growling vocals brought right amount of melancholy and sadness to the music of COLOSSEUM. That desolation brought us together to studio and we managed to record those albums we did.
What do you think about the Funeral doom music world these days; don't you think most of the bands don't even believe in what they are saying? And are you just a musician or you really feel that despair inside of you?
I believe that every person if he/she was playing in doom band or not, believes in those things which are real and appropriate to person's state of affairs at correct time and place. I cannot imagine that I could compose anything without feelings, and in my opinion despair and sadness are the most comfortable feelings what comes to song writing. That kind of state of mind usually gives ability to create the most depressive and saddest melodies, which I especially like. And however I do not consider myself as very joyful person anyway.
Which part of your songs is more important to you, music or lyrics?
Both are the most important things of course, and these two things are very difficult to tear apart and it's difficult to try to understand the whole without one. I did all technical things, recordings, mixing and mastering for COLOSSEUM, so at the time of recording sessions I considered music little bit important than lyrics, but during the mixing sessions there was time when I concentrated on lyrics more than music itself. Today, I cannot, in any way separate COLOSSEUM's music and lyrics from each other.
'Towards the Infinite' along with all the other songs in the second album with its sorrowful and deep saddened melodies really touches the heart of every listener specially the people who truly believe in funeral doom and its deepest impacts in their lives, how was it for you? And can you tell us if there was something really going on with Juhani's life or yours connected to these kinds of feelings?
Probably we couldn't have done any heart braking and touching songs if those kinds of feelings weren't familiar to each one of us at least at some level. I have learned that feeling sadness, agony or any kind of anguish does always affected band's performance in a positive way. At least to those bands who are playing doom.
When you show the sorrow and loss, what it is exactly your opinion that causes it? What motivates it?
Actually, I didn't quite understand what you are asking. State of affairs is constantly altering and where all that sorrow comes from is purely coincidental. Death is always present in some way and whole state of this world is completely oppressive. At the moment when you open your apartment's window or door to another reality, only what you will see is corruption, violence, madness, confusion and disorder. Amount of money in your wallet determines you. Bands are fall into decay because of some kind of destruction or disaster and you are living for only to see how your friends fade away, one by one and never coming back. I cannot see the light.
Sadness brings hopelessness, hopelessness brings despair and despair brings the heaviest matter which is death, did you ever feel that yourself?
I think I have brought enough pain and misery to this interview in the previous questions.
Suicide and sudden death is so common in many of the doom metal bands, what can you tell us about that. And is there any deeper reasons?
I am not aware and don't have any kind of experiences about that. I cannot say anything about that, sorry.
And as the last question: What life is to you and how would you describe it.
Existence is suffering, and life is not worth living if you've lost all reasons to be and when reasons are no more, weary desolation is constantly growing and soon your life and all around it becomes unbearable.
Thank you very much for this interview.