How born TUONELA? Why did you decide play this musical style?
Well, I had a nameless band in the end of 1995 with Ebenoth. We played a couple of months harsh Trash/Heavy-influenced Death Metal until the Spring of 1996, when TUONELA was created. In fact, we used to play different kind of music but in the course of time our stuff and musical style changed very much. It was naturally for me. Our early stuff was extremely raw, just like the true and original Black Metal was meant to be. At the time we had many members in TUONELA but 50% of those were kicked out from the band because their attitudes and musical influences. Our debut demo entitled "Metsän Pimennossa" was fast and raw as hell, but our second demo "Peikkometsä" was slow and melodic. I don't think that our material changed too much. The entireness was almost perfect except the drums. There was supposed to be a session-drummer but he just couldn't make it. That cut a lot of the studiotime and most of the "finishing parts" had to be cut from the material…
Speak us about your demo. What is called? - You mean our 2nd demo?
Well, I already told a lot in the previous answer, but I'll tell more. As I said, "Peikkometsä" is our second strike and it was released in the end of August 1998. Output includes 5 epic and melodic tunes of pure Finnish Black Art! Demo has sold now nearly 200 copies so far, only a few copies are left…
After this demo. Do you have another production? Tell us about the band's new stuff.
Yea, we have another production after long silence. "Glacial Zephyrs Beyond the Vastlands" is title and it will be five-song promo. New material is fast, raw, epic and melodic, mixture of old and new elements. We'll send this promo til' several labels and it will be only for promotional usage. Some labels have already offered some sort of "bigger" deals which have been unfortunately rip-offs or rather shit.
Why did you choose this name? What does 'Tuonela' mean? Which is the actual line up?
The name TUONELA is taken from Finnish national epic, »Kalevala«. TUONELA means Hades in english and as you can imagine, Hades is a place of death. Considering our bandname along with the lyrics whichare mostly based upon dark and bizzare parts of our mythological world, it fits exactly. The actual line-up is : Ebenoth - vocals, guitars Nogothrim - vocals, bass, synthetizers Utukxul - drums
Your lyrics speaks about... What things inspire you?
Mainly our lyrics deals with things and subjects like death, blasphemy, misanthropy, anti-christianity etc. Our older lyrics were more satanic and all of those were written in Finnish. I personally get my inspiration from the dark side of nature and natural phenomenons. And also surrounding daily life inspires me, as well.
What bands have influenced to you? What bands do you like to listen lately?
List would be very long, but some of these "influenced" bands are : old BEHERIT (first LP's, not the electronic crap), ARCHGOAT, BATHORY, POSSESSED and the true MAYHEM (with Dead on vocals). I still listen also very much Death and Trash Metal stuff and I should mention bands such as CARCASS, AUTOPSY, IMMOLATION, CENTINEX and NOCTURNUS. I've been listening very much old Death Metal LP's lately, and of course those above-mentioned bands. I am not sure what has influenced Ebenoth in his work, but he's a great fan of BURZUM.
Is very hard to emerge as a metal band in your country?
I don't think so. We have here tons of different metal bands in here Finland and in my eyes it isn't hard at all to emerge as a metal band.
Where have you played? What bands have shared stage with you? What bands have a good relationship with you?
We haven't played many gigs so far. We didn't have at the time enough members, but now we have full line-up and maybe we'll play more gigs somewhere in the future. Hmm…those bands, which have shared stage with us, are quite unknown ones like GOTHMOG, THRUDHEIM and NOCTURN. We have very good relationship with those groups.
Finland, is a country where there are good metal bands. Do you consider that this competition is good? Tell us about your national scene (bands, zines, labels, distr., gigs).
We have a lot of great bands like HELWETTI, BARATHRUM, BEHEXEN, MUSTA SURMA, WARLOGHE, CLANDESTINE BLAZE etc. These bands have really potential and attitude. We have also tons of crap bands, which are playing some sort of neo-avantgarde "Black Metal", but I don't care about those. I want to keep those faggotts out from my life.
What's your opinion about bands like BARATHRUM, DIABOLI, GATES OF ISHTAR, THY SERPENT, and the others bands of your country?
Hehe…didn't you know that GATES OF ISHTAR is hailing from Sweden? However, BARATHRUM and DIABOLI are undeniably Black Metal pioneers in Finland. THY SERPENT is also quite good and original band, I have personally very good relationship with Sami."
Talk us about the band's ideology, your Gods.
At first, we all are heathens, and only "common" ideology is anti-christianity. I can't speak on behalf of others, so I'll speak about myself. I've been always heathen, lived without chruch and christian faith. No christening parties, no confirmation, no prayers. Do you understand? Christianity has no meaning in my life, to me it represents only the pathetic mentality and the lost ability of humans to think for themselves. We have state church, church tax and church elections in here Finland, and you cannot move your ass from the chruch until you got 18. Sufficiently reasons to hate church. I don't believe in God, but despite the fact, I'm not atheist. I don't see any reasons to scribble my personal beliefs and ideology in 'zines.
Which are the nearest plans to Tuonela?
I really don't know…keep fighting for metal!
Thanx !! Your last words.
Thanks to you Julio for this proper interview!!! "Glacial Zephyrs Beyond The Vastlands" will be out very soon, and I'll inform you when we release some new stuff!! Readers, "Peikkometsä" demo is still available for 5$!!!