First, how are you?
Great, thanks! It's been a great tour so far!
You are currently on tour. After Europe you are heading to USA and Canada. Are you looking forward seeing your American fans?
Yes, touring US and Canada is always nice.
Which summer festivals will you play this summer?
Couple of shows in Europe and one in Finland.
In a couple of days you are coming to Croatia for the first time. In 2015. you were forced to cancel due to personal matter. What do you expect from this visit and what can your fans expect from the show?
Actually we've been there 2 times already, with Satyricon 2006 and with Dark Tranquillity 2010. Both shows were really good so we are looking forward to Zagreb show already! We'll play Winter's Gate and then some more.
On this tour you are promoting your latest album Winter's Gate. Will you play it in Zagreb?
Yes we'll be playing it all.
Critics said that this album is a sort of step into something new for you. That you've explored the darkest parts of death metal. Mainly because you've never done an album like this. What do think about that?
Reviews and feedback has been really good. It's a different album of course with only one long song and there are new kind of elements there, like black and doom metal.
I've been following your work for a few years now and I must say I was intrigued when I heard that album will be conceptual and just one song divided into several parts. I think it's amazing and really bold. Please explain our readers how did you come up with the idea to make an album like this?
We first got the idea when we were listening to Edge of Sanity's Crimson one evening after rehearsals. We all have loved that album and we started talking that it would be cool to try to do something like that; just one really long epic song. That's how the project started. Therefore it's really cool that we got Dan Swanö to mix and master it!
Were you affraid that audience and critics might not like it?
Not really. We mainly make music for ourselves, the kind of stuff we love. Our record label liked the idea from the start, so we were confident that it's going to be cool.
I've listened to your album a few times and there's a lot of going on. Many varieties from slow, dark moody piano and acoustic guitar parts to fast riffs, clean spoken vocals to brutal growls. Was it difficult to record such a masterpiece?
Recording was about the same as with any album. Composing and arranging was a bit different when you have only one 40 minute song, so the arc of drama is a bit different.
Please tell our readers how did writing and recording process go?
We composed most of the stuff in 6 months but some riffs are a lot older (one from 1997!). We all did some parts and then started putting them together, and it all went pretty nicely and without too much pain and struggle :)
You come from Finland (one of the most beautiful countries in the world, I've been in love with it for so long), the land of ice and snow, an amazing history and great mythology. I assume those things are inexhaustible source of inspiration?
We love our country of course, and the nature and history and culture is affecting everything we do. I'm sure our music sounds very Finnish in many ways, especially the melodies.
How did audience react to concerts where you played Winter's Gate album only?
It works nicely live. People are watching and listening to it very intensively so it's a bit different than playing the other songs.
You've been on a world metal scene for over 20 years. When you look back what can you tell about those 20 years?
We've been around for a long time and are very fortunate and lucky to get this far – and be still together. We were just kids when we started the band:) We love making music and playing shows so that's why we are still doing this.
You guys are one of the rare bands that hasn't changed line-up much. Do you think sticking together is a key to success?
In last 18 years there has only been 1 change in line-up as Ville Vänni left and Markus Vanhala came in. Stable line-up is usually a good sign when it comes to bands.
When it comes to touring, what do you prefer? Small venues and clubs or big fastivals and big stages in general?
Both can be good. Small crowded club can be more intense and you get a better connection with the audience. Big festivals are special too.
Winter's Gate is now almost two years old. Do you have plans for the new album? Can you reveal some of them?
We have some demos already done so I have a good feeling about the next album. If all goes well it should be out next year.
And last question. Do you have message for our readers and Croatian fans?
Come to see us in Zagreb! Will be great show for sure and once in a lifetime chance to see Winter's Gate live!