Having reviewed their latest album ‘One Man Army,’ I jumped at the chance of shooting some questions toward one of Ensiferum’s band members. Since liking Norther back in the day I thought it was only right to pick vocalist Petri Lindroos. Armed with a few cheeky and cheesy questions to see if he’s got a bit of a sense of humour but there’s also changing of labels and of course the illegal download subject, let’s see what he thinks. .First of all, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions..
PL: You are so welcome!!!
AN: After listening to the new album “One Man Army’ I was more than impressed. However, I noticed there were quite a few covers on the album. What made you decide on doing a cover of ‘Rawhide’? As funny as it is, was there a reason behind it, or just because it was comedy genius? Also a possible Blues Brothers reference? In that case could I request “Stand by your Man” for the next album?
PL: Yeah, our label and management wished for 4 to 5 covers for this album and our time in the studio was relatively short so that´s one reason for picking all those covers. As for Rawhide, that song is just so great and we all got to know it from the Blues Brothers movie and it was pretty easy for us to transform that song into our style.
Stand by your Man, I´ll forward your wish to the band!!!
PL: The title came from the song itself and it´s more of a metaphor for today’s life that you live. All the everyday struggles and maybe sometimes you might feel that you need to be strong as an army to get through it all you know.
But that is just our thoughts on it.
AN: As for the album artwork, was there already an idea there? If so who came up with it? Or did the artist themselves produce it?
PL: The ideas started to flow when we decided the title for the album and I think we were driving from one festival to another when we really got the visual ideas of how the cover art should look like. All of us were shouting ideas in the car and then we sent those to the artist and in the end the cover looks just like we wanted it to look.
AN: Was signing to Metal Blade everything you expected and was there any “Bad blood” between you and Spinefarm after the changeover?
PL: No bad blood between us and Spinefarm, it was time for us to make a change. And the change has been good for Ensiferum, now we feel more alive and we made a great album and first shows here in Finland went very nicely consideingr that we played the new songs live the first time.
So far working with Metal Blade has been outstanding we are very excited to see the results in the USA of the sales of the new album and here in Finland we went to number one in the Finnish charts.
PL: Main influences came from the bands like Iron Maiden, Dark Tranquillity just to mention a few and the guys wanted to form a band that makes really melodic metal music with those themes. I joined the band after they existed already for over 10 years so I’m not totally updated in that matter.
AN: What do you think of metal having all these sub genres? For example Battle folk metal, pirate metal, Viking metal? Do you think it’s starting to get a bit silly? What happened to good old fashioned metal?
PL: Yeah, maybe there is too many sub genres, even I don’t know what to call our music that well anymore. We use this line nowadays: Heroic Folk Metal. Sounds pretty nice huh…I think this new generation of metal fans needs a specific title for all the different music so we older ones are out of the game a little bit.
AN: What was your first experience like at playing your first Ensiferum gig? Full of confidence or absolutely shitting yourself? Also what are your feelings towards your upcoming tour? Have they changed since then?
PL: I was absolutely shitting myself back in 2004, I´d only 2 weeks to rehearse all the songs and they were very different style than what I was used to play so I was nervous about how it´s going to play out. I´m very excited to get back on the road again because we didn’t do any tours last year at all. This time I am a lot more confident too!
It´s always bit nerve wrecking to go on stage when performing the new songs live the first time and that ice is now cracked and both shows went really well.
AN: How did you record the new album? Nowadays a lot of bands tend to record separately or did you go old school and record together as a group?
PL: The drums and bass were recorded together and all the rest separately. We´ve so many layers on top of each other in our music that recording old school way is just impossible for us. I consider our music also very demanding from the players so recording all at the same time would be really difficult.
AN: Speaking of tours, what’s your road food of choice?
PL: Hmmm..I try to eat more healthy food now but on the road it´s so hard to keep that up so burgers, pizza and kebab are the choices I turn to.
AN: Where has been your favourite place to play?
PL: I really loved the venue in Toulouse called Le Bikini, the sound on stage is so great that I could play there all night long!!!!
AN: And for the best crowd reaction?
PL: That is hard to answer but every time you get the crowd with you, that is so great feeling. Especially when we are on tour as a support band and we can get the crowd go wild during our set, we call that a slam dunk.
So far we have had really great shows all over the world so mentioning just one wouldn’t be fair.
AN: If money was no object, what would your perfect Ensiferum show be like?
PL: Bigger than Kiss, louder than Manowar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AN: What do you do to pay your bills back home as well as being in Ensiferum?
PL: This is my full time job and also the best job in the world.
AN: What bands got you listening to Rock and metal?
PL: Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer back in early 90´s.
AN: Quite a few bands have made that one album they’d like to forget, for example Motley Crue’s ‘Motley Crue’ and KISS ‘The Elder’. Looking back, are there any cringe-worthy songs or albums you wish you hadn’t made?
PL: Not really but yeah, there is few parts here and there what we would like to change in few songs but nothing we would like to erase from our history completely.
AN: How do you feel about illegal downloading and the way it’s changed the music industry? How do you consider it affects you as a band?
PL: Yeah, this is a hard topic so let´s say the most important things which comes to my mind. Illegal downloading isn’t good for this industry at all, it brings the album sales down and that affects to the recording budgets for the bands what means shorter sessions in the studio and that leads that quality (sound, production etc) will go down eventually. It also means that the artists don’t get paid for their work from the album sales what means that they might need to get a real job and haircut and that leads to that the band will not be able to perform live shows that much because somebody can’t leave from work.
So my dear reader, next time you´re about to download illegally, you´re just adding another nail to the coffin and slowly suffocating that band to death.
So please think twice and just pay the price.
AN: Just for fun: If you could pick two drinking buddies dead or alive who would they be?
PL: They would be Frank Sinatra and President Obama, that would so be a night to remember!!!
AN: Thanks again for your time and I look forward to seeing you guys at Bloodstock
PL: Thank you and see you all there then!!!
(Interview Charlene Rance)