||INTERVIEW WITH TURISAS
Rock City, Nottingham
10th October 2013
Xander: I'm here at Rock City with Olli from Turisas, hej!
Olli: Hej, how are you doing?
X: I'm good how are you?
Olli: Well third show of the tour and I'm very excited for tonights show. I'm sorry I'm eating a doughnut, it's not very rock n roll!
X: That's quite alright, does it taste good? You don't normally have this sort of cake in Finland right?
Olli: Yeah, but we don't have this so much.
X: BUT, I bet you'd like it a lot more with salmiakki on top right?
Olli: Yeah, oh you know salmiakki?
X: Yeah but I don't like it though.
Olli: Really? That's actually funny there was a marketing thing done for a salmiakki ice cream and the Japanese guy went "eurgh" and the German guy went "bleugh" and the Finnish just went "ummm, that's alright". It's a specialty for us.
X: I've had Fisk, that's horrible.
Olli: Oh yeah, Fisherman's friend and vodka!
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X: Well the UK tour is straight off the back of the Heidenfest Tour!
Olli: Yeah we did 17 shows back to back, no off days at all! There's pretty big bands; Equilibrium, a German band Suidakra, a young FInnish band called Frosttide and then Ensefirum and Turisas co-headlining. Really really nice experience.
X: It looked a great tour!
Olli: Yeah! It didn't come to the UK this time though, I think we played the forum in 2011 but they didn't do it this time for some reason. But it's good for us that we are doing five headline shows in the UK now, it's been a while. I think this is our fourth headline tour here now! The longest we did I think was 18 shows which is pretty rare for a band from Finland, we were pretty privileged!
X: Wow, I think that's rare for any band playing in the UK to do that many shows!
Olli: Exactly! But is was really interesting playing something like Plymouth White Rabbit, all these really small venues, Wrexham etc. But that is fun, it's a great opportunity and as you say, for any band! The UK has always been for us basically the first country we broke through outside Finland, or In Finland! It's always been a special market for us.
X: So how about the highlights from the Heidenfest Tour?
Olli: Hmm, the Paris show was really good! The venues there are really big, between one and two thousand. Oberhausen (Germany), Tilburg in Holland was this big old factory, Turbinenhalle, I guess it was some old factory or power plant. It was all about this folk/viking/pagan/battle metal genre, a lot of people in leather pants and drinking horns. A lot of drunken Germans, it was a really good tour for us.
X: Did you play somewhere new to Turisas?
Olli: Umm, I think we've played nearly all of them before, I can't remember the new ones. But it's fun here in Nottingham now, "I know this place man".
X: Yeah it's one place that every band usually plays each tour, and even the big bands will play here too.
Olli: Yeah it's impressive to see who's been playing here. Even Slayer and fucking Mumford And Sons! Haha, it's right up our alley, Turisas, Mumford And Sons, Ed Sherhanhan what ever, the fucker with the acoustic guitar. Do you like him? It's a bit whiney stuff...
X: Nah not really, but I like Frank Turner!
Olli: Yeah! Who's this new guy, Jake Bugg?
X: No idea? I don't listen to mainstream radio...
Olli: You don't even know him? He had a UK number one! I don't really listen to that, but there's always someone who's gonna save rock n roll folk rock!
X: Well whilst you're on tour, what's your drink of choice?
Olli: Well, before the show I'll have a Smirnoff vodka, but we don't get wasted or anything like that. We don't do those Finnish Fisk or salmiakki liquorice stuff, normally we prefer to get some good local ale. In Bristol there was a guy who came to us after the show and said he had a metal bar, it was closed but he could take us there. So we went and there were about 20 people and they had a massive selection, and I'm not talking about stuff like Carling. It was a really good English pub with metal tankards hanging up for the regulars. I think our keyboardist, Bob, came in at about 8am! So that was a good night. We're also kinda filming material for our coming music video for 'No Good Story Starts With Drinking Tea' song, I know it's a bit blasphemous in the UK to say that, there was a reporter that brought us Yorkshire tea, he said it's the BEST in the UK. Whos know about that? But at least better than Earl Grey! Do you drink tea?
X: Well I don't mind tea, but I'm not really a hot drink drinker, but I do like Earl Grey and regular tea.
Olli: But it is kinda special to the British though, you guys appreciate the tea. This video is just a collection of things that have happened on the road, it's kind of punky. There's a lot of stories about drinking wine from ash trays and shit like that. We did, in Portugal! Absolutely!
X: Ewww! Was it clean or dirty?
Olli: I think at that point we didn't care, it felt like a good idea!
X: Crazy! OK, well I spoke to Mattias of Finntroll last week and asked for his recommendation of where to visit in Finalnd, he said Lapland. Where would you recommend?
Olli: Well there's a lot of good stuff in Helsinki, I think probably every metal band in Finland would say the Suomenlinna fortress. But yeah, Lapland, whether it's in the calm period during the winter and you basically can't see sun - it doesn't really come up, or in the summer time - but beware of the mosquito's, it's a kind of swampy, a lot of nature there with deers, so definitely have a lot of mosquito lotion! But yeah Lapland, that's definitely something that's unique in Europe. In winter the sun doesn't go up at all and in summer is doesn't go down, it's a place of extremes!
Turisas - 'Ten More Miles'
X: Great tip with the cream there! Lets talk about the video for 'Ten More Miles', that's a bit… interesting! There's a kind of…
X: Haha yeah I guess it is! So tell us some more about this video!
Olli: To be honest I don't know the real story but it's happening in the past and the present day. Theres a guy who shares his bloodline with a dude who pillaged in the past. He gets possession of this sword in the modern day in Finland and gets a bit aggravated at a business meeting and whacks some heads off! The label [Century Media] was scared because there's lots of bloodshed in this video so they can't publish it on their YouTube channel!
X: I did notice that it was on your account and not theirs!
Olli: Yeah, but apparently YouTube is alright with a little bloodshed.
X: Well there's not that much really, it's not like it's graphic, it's just implied!
Olli: Yeah it's not that much, there's some beheadings and some cut throats going on, stuff like that. But I was happy about it, there was some nice comparisons between modern technology; when you swipe the throat at the same time a guy slide a picture on a tablet, I think the director, Jukka Salo, did a nice job there.
X: You enjoyed shooting it?
Olli: Yeah it was fun, it was a very long and cold and rainy day in Finland so that's something we share in common with the UK!
X: Speaking of weather, I caught some of your videos in the snow and taking an ice bath, thats crazy! Have you done that?
Olli: Yeah absolutely! We did an australian festival in the summer and we wanted to do a memorable greetings video so I did the speech standing in icy water!
X: Oh that was you!
Olli: Yeah! At first I went in there but basically couldn't say anything, got out and chilling out in about -5 degrees naked, and they said OK let's do one more take, and my body temperature was going down so getting used to it. I can tell you, your willy goes into hiding at those temperatures! But then I dipped into the water at the end and then into the sauna, it's fun. But it's kind of a nice experience, it gets your body to work properly and gets your blood flowing. There are a lot of people dying from this all the time because they go from 100 degree sauna into zero temperatures.
X: Isn't that a sport?
Olli: In the sauna is a sport, and there's people dying from that as well. There's a lot of extreme stuff going on in Finland!
X: I could never try it!
Olli: You should!!
X: Even the Baltic in the summer was too cold for me!
Olli: Ah come on! Come, sauna, go steaming outside and roll in the snow, dip into icy hole, good fun! You can take it slow.
X: That sounds worse, we'll see! I like it hot, and my favourite track form the new album is 'Greek Fire', tell me about that!
Olli: It's kinda of a menacing death metal.
X: Yeah it's really evil sounding!
Olli: Yeah. Greek Fire was a kind of napalm substance that they used in naval battles in the Byzantine Empire which is mysterious because nobody really knows what they used in the recipe, and it's really nasty stuff apparently, so they basically used ancient flame throwers to blow up ships. So it's kind of about that and of course the lyrics are not that straight forward there's more to it. But we're going to play that tonight and there's a good stage show with some evil fiery kind of stuff going on, we're using this cool smoke steam that has a really good effect. We were lucky that we could take the production up a bit on this tour and do a proper stage show with our own lighting technician, I think it's going to be really nice for the audience. And it really adds to the drama and enhances it, because are music is very dynamic, not only just bom bom bom death metal beating but theres soft parts as well and I think the really good lights add to that.
X: Wow sounds great! This will actually be my first time seeing you!
Olli: First time, really? So what are your expectations?
X: Well I've seen clips before, of course, so I imagine lots of energy and singing along, but you can't really feel that properly until you're there yourself.
Olli: We'll throw in maybe four or five songs from the new album, and some stuff from the very first album, 'Battle Metal', and something from between the two albums. We try to keep it interesting for both old and new listeners, I definitely had a good time in Bristol the other day and in London was a blast, so I don't think you will be disappointed!