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Interview von: arne mit Kristian, am: 29.08.2003 ]

Wer Children Of Bodom und ähnliche, moderne Metal-Bands mag, sollte Norther unbedingt antesten. Band und Mitglieder sind noch recht jung, aber musikalisch präsentieren sie sich als alte Hasen. "Mirror of Madness" heißt der aktuelle Longplayer der Finnen und der ist frisch, treibend, verspielt, gut hart - einfach Metal! Der zwanglose Mix aus Death-, Black- und Power-Metal überzeugt von Beginn an. Die Arrangements sind wirklich gelungen, sehr dynamisch, unterhaltsam; einfach ausgereift. Härtere Parts und langsamere, deutlich melodischer angelegte halten sich in etwa die Waage und die Mischung geht auf.


Musicscan: give our readers a short briefing about norther, please. what are you guys doing right at the moment?

Norther: Well at the moment we are at Astia Studios in Lappeenranta to record our third album. After that we will be preparing ourselves to our upcoming European tour with Dimmu Borgir and Hypocrisy.

Musicscan: can you tell me how and when norther started, please. what was your motivation to build up this band?

Norther: Here is a copy of our biography, it should reveal things:
The history of Norther dates back to the year 1996, when Toni Hallio and Petri Lindroos started playing together under the monicker Requiem with two other guys. After a short split-up and loosing their rehearsal lair, the boys persevered and played as a trio wherever possible: at home, in Hallio's grandmother's attic (no joke!), in cellars, youth centers... Finally, in late 1997, the band got a rehearsal place in the legendary Lepakko through Alexander Kuoppala (Children of Bodom), a friend of the band. Obviously, the boys were thrilled and began an extensive search for new members, without much success. At this point, Requiem was informed that Lepakko was to be demolished and the line-up was again reduced to the duo of Hallio and Lindroos. After the instant shock, the boys managed to book a new rehearsal place in Nosturi and began searching new members to complete the line-up that was to become Norther. Many an aspiring player came and auditioned for the band, but none were deemed suitable for the band. Early 2000, however, a new guitar player was found in Kristian Ranta. The trio began rehearsing like there was no tomorrow and things finally started to flow for them. Kristian knew two guys, Sebastian Knight and Joakim Ekroos, who joined the band and a demo was recorded. At this point, the band also changed their name to Norther. The demo was good enough to land them a deal with Spinefarm Records so now things were on the roll... Nevertheless, certain things led to the discharging of the Ekroos brothers, so the line-up was once again reduced to a trio. It did not take long for the guys to find Jukka Koskinen and Tuomas Planman to finally create a stable line-up for Norther. And thus, "Dreams of Endless War" was recorded and the Norther warmachine kicked into gear. After the initial release of the album, the scene went ballistic over Norther. Although the band was plagued with constant comparisons to Children of Bodom, the overall response from the media and fans was overwhelming. Norther began playing shows in and around Helsinki and the buzz kept growing like wildfire. Being the prolific songwriters that the guys are, they almost had an album's worth of material ready before the debut was released in every corner of the world. Norther soon barricaded themselves inside the famed Astia Studio with producer extraordinaire, Anssi Kippo. The result is nothing short of breathtaking. "Mirror of Madness" is a step forward for the band, a logic continuation of the onslaught that began with "Dreams of Endless War". It is a step towards more of an old school-type of sound combined perfectly with their intense approach to modern death/black, a mix made in metal heaven. The fury and sheer frantic energy of Norther's delivery is simply stunning. "Mirror of Madness" forces the listener into uncontrollable bouts of headbanging with it's outrageous catchiness and -to put it simply- all-out brutality. Norther are ready to take your head off and will waste no time to do so.

Musicscan: what was your reason to choose espacially this heavy kind of music? i mean it's very hard to please technical...

Norther: We have always liked a bit faster and more furious music... We also liked a bit more technical music so we wanted to play it also ourself. Faster music kicks more ass!

Musicscan: what have been the past of bands members in the metal-scene? have you been in different bands before? you seem to be very young in age, but what is your background? how did you come together to form norther?

Norther: The biography should also answer some questions here. All of us had some earlier bands but definitely nothing serious, so Norther is first a bit more serious band for all of us.

Musicscan: what sets norther apart from the rest? what is different about your band? there are lots of metal bands outside playing a similar style. what are the strengths of norther?

Norther: Our music is really melodic, melancholic and epic. Lots of catchy riffs and so. I think our strengths are that we have a really strong group, we are really good friends and the chemistry in the band works really well. I think that we are also starting to be quite good live band and getting better all the time.

Musicscan: you surely remember your first rehearsels. how did your sound developed since you started?

Norther: In my first rehearsals I had some crappy distrotion pedal and a crappy guitar... Nowadays things are a bit better :) Hopefully that can also be heard on our records.

Musicscan: who influenced you when you were coming up? ...and are there any bands right now that you are interested in?

Norther: There have been many influences but to mention some: Stratovarius, Megadeth, Slayer, In Flames Childrend of Bodom, Waltari, and so on... there are many. The latest CDs that we have been listening with the band are: Arch Enemys newest, Evanescense, Raised Fist, new Dimmu Borgir... etc.

Musicscan: did you always had people who supported you? right from the biginning? i can imagine that it's pretty hard for a younger band to get recognition, because everyone's focussing only on the big ones...

Norther: At least we had some friends who have always believed in us. It was a bit hard to get things going but just a lot of rehearsing and as many shows as possible and things start rolling.

Musicscan: do you think those modern and successful metal bands such as childrean of bodom, in flames,... opened a lot of doors for younger bands coming up. i think it's easier to find a record label today and stuff like that. how did you find yours?

Norther: I think the fact that these bands are famous among the scene has also helped us a lot. We have been supporting CoB a few times and the welcome has always been warm. I think that it has helped us here in Finland quite a lot. We recorded our first demo in 2000 and then one day when we came to our rehearsal place to rehearse there was just this one note on the table which said that "come to the Spinefarm office on monday to sign a deal".... we were quite amazed. We have almost always shared our rehearsal place with CoB so I think they had something to do with our fast signing...

Musicscan: you're using a lot of elements of different styles. is it planned to be more varied or/and natural happened? how do you go about writing a record? what is your main focus creating new songs onto?

Norther: I think our music comes out quite naturally, we just write songs and hope that they will turn out good. Usually me and Petri compose some riffs either at home or at our rehearsal place. Then when we have enough riffs and melodies we have these rehearsals where we gather these together and so Norther songs are born. Then Tuomas adds his stuff on top and Jukka figures out his bass lines.

Musicscan: if you would summarise the message and atmosphere of norther's music in one sentence. what would it be?

Norther: Cold and windy winter night with lots of snow... maybe that says something.

Musicscan: are the lyrics equally important to the music? do all band members identify? by the way: what are the topics you deal with? unforunately i onyl received a promotional copy without everything...

Norther: Maybe they are not as important as the music but they are still important. At least so far all the guys have been satisfied with the lyrics. Our lyrics are quite much about some shitty feelings and so. There is also some drama in them... but also real life experiences and so.

Musicscan: are there any messages that you guys are trying to get out into the scenes?

Norther: Nothing political at least, we just want people to enjoy our music and get kicks out of it. Maybe it can be therapy for someone and good drinking music to someone else.

Musicscan: can you take one typical norther song and explain what you hope people are getting out of it.

Norther: This is a hard question... Ok, let's talk about Blackhearted: It's a story of a guy who is just fucking everything up... maybe someone can idetify with this story and get some relief... or then not... The music is melodic and basically I hope that our melodies give people some good vibes and so...

Musicscan: what is the song you guys feel especially proud of (whether compositionally, lyrically,...)?

Norther: I think we all like almost all our songs so there isn't anything which would rise significantly above the others.

Musicscan: what's your self-understanding of norther? what does your band stands for? what are goals you are reaching for?

Norther: I think we have a good group of idiots here and hopefully we could tour around the world as much as possible, play gigs in clubs and on bigger arenas, see many countries and hang out at some studio every once in a while. Our goals as players are to become better and better with every CD and as composers to compose better and better songs, hopefully this is possible :)

Musicscan: where do you see norther in the grand scheme of metal music? you don't fit nicely into one genre i guess...

Norther: I think we play some kind of melodic death metal with a lot of different elements from many styles.

Musicscan: you surely read press reviews for your release. what are comments you can not feel familiar with? maybe some comparisms or something like this...

Norther: Well sometimes some reviewers seem to listen to our CD so that they listen to only one song and then say that this is total crap... Maybe I'm wrong but I think that a good CD reviewer should listen to every CD at least 3 times, maybe more, and really listen to it, not as a background music. Mostly we have gotten realy good response everywhere so there is nothing to complain about.

Musicscan: what kind of people are into your band? have you ever thought about it? where do you see your potential listeners?

Norther: There are many kind of people among our fans, boys, girls, men and women. I think that our music fits to many different people. Mainly our listeners are metalheads but there are also many "normal" people buying our CDs.

Musicscan: what kind of mix you see as your crowd while playing live? is there any chance to see you supporting your new record here in germany?

Norther: Hopefully people who like to "party" at gigs, a lot of headbanging and jumping and so. Yes, we are going to play following gigs in Germany with Dimmu Borgir and Hypocrisy.
30.09.2003 HAMBURG - Markthalle
01.10.2003 HALLE - Easy Schorre
19.10.2003 STUTTGART - LKA Longhorn
20.10.2003 NüRNBERG - Löwensaal
21.10.2003 KöLN - Live Music Hall

Musicscan: your biggest wish to happen for the band?

Norther: Hmmm, that we would do well and succeed. Play good gigs and record good CDs.

  Norther Bandpage
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