Seven Gates of Hell with LORD FIST

16. dubna 2015 v 15:54 | RaznAgul |  seven gates of hell interviews
The aim of the open series of the blogzine´s Seven Gates of Hell interviews is to introduce the bands and their music that struck my metalhead´s heart and soul recently. In seven questions, the gates are open for those who make their music of true metal spirit, pure dedication and of what I understand as underground approach and aesthetics.
Today, the seven gates open for the hearth-propelled metallers LORD FIST from Finland. With their rich legacy gained in extreme metal bands, four years ago they leaned towards something heavier with the fist. They started playing traditional heavy metal and they do play it in a truly smashing way! In January they came with their debut album "Green Eyleen". The band´s guitarist Niko Kolehmainen was kind to answer the interview´s questions.

I. Believe me or not, heavy metal bright present dwells in its glorious past. Or at least this is a view of an old metalhead in charge of this blogzine and seems to be the credo of the Finnish headbanging horde LORD FIST, too. Hey, guys, why did you choose the path of playing traditional denim jacket music? What are your music inclinations and tastes within the band?
"Of course, everyone in this band has grown up with metal music and that might be the sole factor that brought us all together. In those adolescent years it's typical to seek for people who are interested in the same things and for us it was definitely extreme metal. Everyone had their own tastes even back then, but Darkthrone, Bathory and that stuff definitely were the things we had in common. We were 17-19 years old and in a small town there are not many people of the same age as you into those things, or at least were not then, six years ago or so. At the time we met, we already played in separate bands except Eetu and Pekka (cousins by the way) who were both in a black metal band called Faustian Pact. We started spending more time with each other and a few other like-minded guys and formed a close circle of friends which we still have. In the summer of 2011, all the bands were somewhat "on hold", so we decided to try something out together. At those times we met, we found traditional metal again with less well-known bands such as Manilla Road, Pagan Altar, Cloven Hoof, Heavy Load, Gotham City, Crimson Glory etc. Traditional heavy metal sounded so fresh after years of listening almost exclusively only to more extreme styles, the direction for LORD FIST must've come from there.
We're still all metalheads, everyone has their own inclinations, but still seeking for new bands and following the ongoing era of underground metal pretty closely. What comes to other styles of music, it's always a fabrication to say "we listen to everything", but today our collective taste is really quite versatile. When we drive to shows and listen to CD's there's definitely metal, but very often also progressive rock, 80´s indie rock, blues, trip-hop, post-punk, folk and several styles of electronic music. Also some hip-hop or rap, but it's mostly from that late 80s/early 90s era."

II. Are you comfortable with playing traditional heavy metal in Finland of today? Who is your fan base growing out of?
"Metal in general is quite accepted and even embraced in Finland, and even though we clearly consider us a part of the underground side of the metal scene, there's no real reason to be uncomfortable with doing anything that you like. The most uncomfortable thing must be that there's too much metal music in Finland in general and people who are not familiar with the polarization of the metal scene often might think we are part of that generic shit metal movement, that is 90% of all the metal bands in Finland. We have nothing to do with them. I'm not talking about every succesful mainstream metal band from Finland, but the hundreds or maybe thousands of bands who are desperately trying to be like them.
The aforementioned underground is very strong even though smaller in numbers. Here our followers are mostly young underground metalheads and some passionate old-timers, mostly those who have witnessed the "golden years" of metal in the 80´s and still after two or three decades have the undying love for that traditional sound. Today, it also seems that the underground punk and metal scenes have come closer to each other. For years, punks have enjoyed some of the metal bands and the other way around, but today it's also allowed to be shown. In the 80´s or 90´s punks in Finland might've had problems going to metal shows or metalheads to punk events, but now we are even playing gigs with punk bands."

III. Roughly a month ago, you kicked out your debut album "Green Eyleen" punching with a fist of excellent heavy load music. Each of the eight songs on it really blew my head off. I like their easy-going melodies and rich guitar playing that build their metallic strength. First, I had to wrestle with some of the way-out vocal parts, but then I ended up enjoying them as some kind of weird seasoning of your music. Do you consider LORD FIST´s vocals and vivid guitar playing as something that makes your music distinctive in the heavy metal scene?
"Definitely. Perttu's rare voice and unique delivery is one of our trademarks. The other one is the guitar work that I'd describe as "persistent", haha. What I mean about that is that the guitar work is constant. There really is no moment where the guitar lays back and only supports the singing with some lazy power chords. We try to make every riff a well-thought piece that is a solid part of the track, but also has a potential to stand out as it is. For me it's probably those first five Megadeth albums where the guitar work is exciting and challenging almost every second, whether there is singing going on on top of it or not. I was always very impressed by that. Anyway, people have clearly noticed the effort that's been put to the guitar arrangements so it's very rewarding. For me it's really the only way. I wouldn't let any boring riffs (boring for my taste) go on a record and less willingly I'd like to play them live over and over again."

IV. Which one of the songs on "Green Eyleen" would you choose as a tale-telling about your music and why?
"The title track of the album. It very well represents what LORD FIST is about. Strong and memorable melodies and riffs give birth to an outflowing, somewhat positive energy, but it doesn't make it less credible. It doesn't take off the seriousness of the music. You can still focus very intensively on it and get carried away with the images and thoughts the music summons in your mind. Lyrically it's also a good example of our music. Very high-flying imagery that can take you elsewhere in a different place, but in the end the whole concept of the lyrics is carefully reflecting the world we see, and our fears about where it might be getting to."

V. Who is Green Eyleen, by the way? Is it that chic riding a motorbike next to the bloke in the green countryside depicted on the cover of the album? What is the story behind that scene?
"It's a sci-fi-influenced tale that takes place on future Earth where overpopulation and mass-consumption have caused nature's resources to dry out. Structures of the civilized world are collapsing and the world is turning into a post-apocalyptic battlefield. Up to this part it's a pretty standard scenario, but then comes the Eyleen...
Unkown civilized and more advanced species from another galaxy have created huge spacecrafts that resemble artificial planets with their own ecosystem. They have sent these crafts to look for other intelligent forms of life across the space. One of these crafts, the Green Eyleen, will find our planet Earth and come to rescue the human population. The capacity of the spacecraft can only hold a tiny percent of the remaining population so they have to choose their passengers. They select the passengers they think have the best overall qualities for co-existing with another lifeforms. Needless to say this method is in conflict with mankind's natural instinct for survival.
The song "Green Eyleen" tells about the arrival and departure of the spacecraft. The sequel track "The Well of Ganchul" concludes the story and portraits the human population's fate on the craft after it had left the Earth. The message of the song might come out as eco-fascist, but that really wasn't my focus or intention when I started to work on this concept. I presented it to our singer Perttu and he wrote the final lyrics and the vocal arrangements. The best part is that if Green Eyleen came tomorrow, I wouldn't care to bet for myself or anyone else to get on board."

VI. Night spectres, witches, headless riders, your lyrics abound with these ghastly things. What do you think heavy metal music should tell about?
"I don't want to set limitations, really. The gap between singing about cars and girls to let's say... occult or satanic themes, for me is already pretty huge, and it's not unusual that those themes to appear on the same record, which I've always found funny! For us, the only rule is that we don't want to go mundane. We are rather heavily escapist with influences of sci-fi, fantasy or horror, and through those collections of images, we might (and usually do) deal with bigger and deeper themes which concern our own lives or the society."

VII. There seem to be plenty of heavy metal bands out there who put out their debut record but then dwindle in their efforts. Hopefully, it won´t be the case of LORD FIST, as your music is really a bash! Your debut is quite a fresh matter, but anaway, what are you now on? Just promoting it?
"Yeah, we'll do gigs here in Finland like always and this year we're also fortunate to do some foreign festivals. In January we already played Metal Assault in Germany, in summer we'll take our first trip to Sweden and in September we'll go to Greece and play Metal Rites Festival with Jag Panzer and other great acts. This is definitely the kind of development we're happy with. We'll also start to work with fresh tunes and probably next year we're already recording the new stuff.
Some of us will probably work on other bands also on the side, at least I surely will. I have already written a handful of tunes for my new death metal band that'll explore my love for some of those more brutal, filthy and uncompromising elements that cannot be dealt entirely with in LORD FIST, as they shouldn't be. This week, I have also rehearsed with a doom/stoner influenced band that'd been on hold for a while, but now things seem to be moving forward again. In these bands I'm playing other instruments and I love it how it keeps this music "hobby" fresh and exciting."

Thanks for the interview, you have my full support!!
"Thank you very much for supporting new underground bands, cheers from Finland!"


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