Interview with Stala&So

stala_so_logo_iso_musta

Stala&SO was founded back in 1997 and since the beginning is known for melodic rock tunes and positive attitude. The band is fronted by by their charismatic vocalist, Stala. Other musical projects sadly forced the band to be on hold for a while but now they are back with even more energy than ever before.
The band is strongly influenced by the 70’s and 80’s glam rock bands, such as Sweet, T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust -era David Bowie, although Stala&SO shows their fans their own image and style and infects them with positive vibes through the shows.
And those 5 great guys found some time during the sessions in the studio where they are busy working on their second album, to answer some questions for us, so here they are.
“This is the show by SO” – enjoy it!

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Some people think you look similar with Sammy Aaltonen from Private Line. You had a chance to meet each other at Trash Fest. Are you friends or just mates from music bussiness?
Sampsa: We’ve known each other for many years now. We are brothers with different mothers.

You are part of Stala&SO now, and there was a period of time when both of you were in Lordi. Do you think you could still be in that band (as far as I know one other member of Lordi is also in other band) or are you fully devoted to Stala&SO? Would you ever think about any collaborations with your ex-bandmates?
Nick and Sampsa: We are fully devoted to Stala & So. right now. We are also very busy with the other things in our lives too, so we really don’t have time for other bands right now. For the collaboration question; It would be really cool to do something with the Lordi-guys at some point, but at the same time we really don’t see it coming, at least not in the near future. But never say never!

Does the fact that you and Sampsa finished the same subject (studies) makes any argues between you two in studio about the production stuff?
Sami J: Well, we would argue if we were not producers just because that’s what brothers do sometimes 🙂 But yeah, it’s not that much of an argument (it might seem like that to an outsider tho 🙂 rather than it’s trying to come up with the best possible solution for any given problem.

I’ve heard you have sheeps. How did you come up with an idea to have those animals?
Pate: I live in my grandparents old farm so it is kind of must to have some animals. Of course you want to hear I love sheep… and that’s So. true 😉 That’s also why couple of them are singing in our previous album!

Do you play any other instruments except for a guitar and bagpipes?
Pate: I play banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, tin whistle, low whistle, bass and harmonica.
If so, how did you learn to play those instruments?
Pate: Just by being interested in music and playing much.
If you were a woman, with which Stala&SO member would you like to have a date?
Pate: Absolutely a group date with Hank, Stala, Nick and Sami J.
Sami: i wouldn’t date any of those broke ass motherfuckers, hahaha!!
Nick: – I would propably date Pate, because he is a country boy and I like the peace in the countryside. And the work in the ranch is not totally strange to me..!
Stala: Pate on Mondays, Nick on Tuesdays, a day off, then Hank on Thursdays and Sami on Fridays and Saturdays. He needs double the attention. Sundays I’ll rest.
Hank: Pate, because he’s body is so sexy.

8
During the tour, there must have been some funny situations. Can you remind yourself some of the funniest ones?
There is constant laughter and joking going on when the five of us are in the same table or dressing room or van or wherever. Many times the most hilarious things happen very quickly and they just keep on coming, so it is very difficult to remember what are the MOST funniest. For example: Hank + smoked beans = Dangerous quantity of greenhouse gas.
If everyone of you had to describe each other with few words, what would you say about your bandmates?
Stala: Friend, leader of the pack, very charismatic lead vocalist and So. cute! Can be a bit percy at times.
Nick: The rock solid foundation of anything and everything. Stala’s left hand since the beginning. He might have been some kind of mysterious monster in his former life!
Hank: an awesome drummer, an awesome friend. Plays like an animal. Other half of our solid beat. Drinks beer like all the drummers.
Sami J.: Very talented, good looking and great lead guitarist, a friend you can trust. The baby of the band.
Pate: one of the great rock guitar players in the world with his Gibson Les Paul and his old and beaten Marshall-amp! A true partner in crime. Mysterious dude who sometimes ia a farmer, sometimes Captain America.
Tour questions: Does anyone of you snore or have smelly feet after every gig? Who spend the most of the time in front of the mirror?
Sami is the biggest snorer but Pate smells like cowhouse all the time.
Sami J. can’t pass a mirror without posing at least a few minutes in front of it.
What would you do, if you were changed into a girl for a week?
Pate: I would marry a rich man and try to get his life insurance money.
Sami: fondle myself, a lot.
Nick: I would propably just be amazed by my tits!
Stala: I would spend my time in the ladies room.
Hank: Give some love to all the guys in the world
Who is the biggest joker in the band? Who’s got the biggest sense of humour and who has the best contact with fans while on and off stage?
Stala has the best contact with fans. We are all quite good contact takers on the stage, off stage we are just shy boys… We are all jokers, it’s 24/7 “Muppet Show” to be on tour with these guys. Humourwise we are pretty close to one another.
Who’s the “mascot” in the band? The baby for other band mates?
Mascot: Our tour bus “Ritva”. It became our shelter and mascot on the recent tour. It served us well so we just have to take her to another spin!
Sami J. is the biggest baby we’ve ever seen.
If you were a book, what title would you have?
Cross-dressing tips for the middle-aged men.
Who’s the biggest flirt in the band?
It has to be Hank of course!
After European Tour this March, what are your plans for the nearest future?
Rehearsing, a new record, domestic gigs and possibly (and hopefully) some gigs outside of Finland. Next single will be out in 7th of November. Album will be out in February 2013.

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Any message for your Polish fans?
We are really waiting and hoping that we could come to Poland and play for you guys. Keep on rocking and spread the world.
And keep your nails polished 🙂

Stala&So new song “Rock until I’m done”:

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Interview with Gared Dirge from Lord Of The Lost

Garet Dirge1

On your EP there are seven rare unreleased songs for example rocking cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or an orchestral and cinematic version of “Dry The Rain”. Does it mean that you can start recording new album, without looking back for past and ballast in the form of unreleased songs which have been requested by fans for a long time? Is it a new chapter for you?
Gared Dirge: Well, i wouldn’t consider those songs as ballast or any sort of oppression. It was rather an attempt to shorten the wait for the new album for the fans so they don’t “starve” until we finally released the new album. Actually, the recording for “Die Tomorrow” had already begun at that time. Especially in case of “Bad Romance” it felt like the end of a chapter because we had waited a long time for the permission to release it. So one of the biggest wish of the fans was finally fulfilled and we/they got ready for something completely new!

It’s unusual to hear gothic band singing their own version of a pop song. Tell us where did the ideas for covers comes from for you and where are you looking for inspiration when creating new music?
GD: The idea for “Bad Romance” in particular came indeed while being completely boozed and hearing that song by chance. Since Chris is a huge sucker for Lady GaGa, he suggested to do a cover of it and the others immediately agreed. As for inspiration, any music we like has an influence on us. Be it pop music, be it classical music. If we like it, it also finds a way into our music.

Where did the idea for making such a controversial music video as “Beside & Beyond” came from? Haven’t you think about such idea as risky? In the end it’s availabe to watch (for example on YouTube) for “+18” watchers.
GD: We assumed in advance it would become an +18 video, but we accepted that because this idea was the only idea that perfectly mirrored the lyrics and the emotion behind that song. There was some skepticism here and there like “Do you support domestic violence against women”, but i guess in the end everyone understood what we were trying to tell with that song and video and that we do not in any way support stuff like that.

You already made around 60 episodes of “TV Of The Lost”, have you thought about releasing DVD and put there some of those backstage videos?
GD: You never know… Up to now there are no plans to do so with the TVOTL episodes. They have grown to over 8 hours of pure nonsense by now, and i guess no one would survive watching so much bullshit at once. But if we were to put out a live DVD, some kind of backstage report (independent from TVOTL) is always a nice gimmick for the fans. Let’s see…
LOTL2
In artistic area, do you occupy yourselves with something else for example: writing, painting etc. ?
GD: If you wanna call it “painting” what we’re doing to our bodies when going on stage… But no, not at all. We’re all musicians through and through.

Can You describe in a few words members of Lord Of The Lost?
GD: We’re a bunch of sexy guys having more fun at what they’re doing than the gothic scene has ever allowed… A common goth-boy-band you might say. wink

Is there anyone you would like to cooperate? Any bands, producers?
GD: Lots! There will a few surprises in the future, you will see!
LOTL1
You’ve released new album “Die Tomorrow” on 31st of August this year. It includes 2 CD’s and it’s released limitedly. The album is promoted by videoclip to a title song “Die Tomorrow” that was published on 10th of August. Fans might be suprised of the mixture of genres you put into that album. You mix gothic music with pop, death metal with disco, industrial with electro. But what can you tell about this album to people that have never heard of your music before?
GD: I guess, the mixtures you’ve mentioned are able to perfectly describe this album to someone who has never heard us before. We’re not very good when it comes to categorize music, because in some way it just restricts oneself. So to all of you who haven’t heard our music before: If those above-mentioned genres don’t scare you off, just give it a try. wink

Between January and February 2013 you have plans for “Darkness Kills” CO-Headliner Tour. It’s located all over Germany. Do you plan any gigs outside your country? I’ve heard you had some contacts with organizer of Castle Party in Poland.
GD: Well, actually we plan to play all over the world sooner or later, but it’s always a matter of booking contacts you have and how cost-effective it is. You don’t wanna lose all your money just to play in, let’s say, Japan.

Thank you very much for your time ! Any final words for polish fans?
GD: Thanks a lot for your support! We’re looking forward to play Poland. One day, our tour bus will also lead us to you! Stay tuned and see you soon!

Interview with Unzyme

Unzyme
If you had to describe the story of Unzyme the funniest way what would you say?
It all began as an innocent experiment that seriously got out of hands and led to the discovery of biomechanical pop, which would soon lead human race to a bright, cybernetic future.

If each of you had to describe every band member in few words what would you say?
Joona is the ideologist, artistic leader, megalomaniac and cyber hippie. Ville is the evil genius, biotechnological expert, throb controller and technical engineer. Mary is the voice of NHAAA!!!, the steampunk rocker and unicorn lover.

What is the best in being in a band?
It’s the community that has formed around it. It’s those encouraging words I hear from my fans. It’s the overwhelming, intoxicating and generally just unbelievable feeling of actually having fans! Seeing my vision and long term plan become reality is very rewarding. Doing something I really love, and finding out that nobody else actually does this kind of thing.

Do you try to keep in touch with your fans and if so: how do you do that?
Definitely. That’s one of the reasons we do this. We document our implementations very well, and sometimes even let the fans see and hear new songs being played live at the Unzyme Proving Ground. We ask for our fans’ opinions about things we’re about to do. We talk with our fans on Twitter and Facebook, but there is a lot more going on at Unzyme Laboratories, where we recruit our most active fans to. The true mission of Unzyme Laboratories is classified information, but what I can tell you is that we extend human capabilities through cybernetics, molecular genetics and music. Head on to http://www.laborant.in, if you want to get involved in some groundbreaking activities.

After recording an album do you still spend time together or you try to avoid each other?
Yes, we spend time together even when we’re not working on anything Unzyme-related. For example, we explore abandoned buildings. That’s actually how Ville and I met originally, through a Finnish Urban Exploration forum. We also do some normal things, such as watch movies, play games and throw parties.

What would you do if you were not in Unzyme?
I would probably concentrate more on photography. I used to be a very active photographer, but recently music has taken over. I still take photographs every now and then, but considerably less than before the band.

Are you getting along with other bands or you’re not friends at all?
I get along pretty well with everyone. I’m not too territorial. I guess it’s a skill that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. I always try to make friends with other bands, but sometimes when you’re on a gig, you need to concentrate on your own thing, and there isn’t much room for social chatter. So it’s not always the best environment to get to know other people. I do reach out for other bands, and some are quite receptive for the ideas I throw to them. I don’t like to think about other bands as competitors, they’re more like friends to work with.

I always wanted to be like…
MacGyver. And I’ve pretty much succeeded. I don’t drink any alcohol, I hate guns, I always carry a Swiss Army Knife with me and whenever I get locked in a room by the bad guys, I try to break free by making use of the stuff that I find around me.
Brainforest-Album-Cover
Your debut album “Brainforest” was released in 2010. How long were you working on this album and what did you expect from the audience after publishing it?
It took a bit over two years to finish that album. One or two songs were from 2008, but others were composed between 2009 and 2010. At the time we didn’t really know what to expect. We only had a tremendous urge to get it out, to take the first step. We got some positive reviews and felt like it was a success. Our audience in 2010 was probably about 2% of what it is now, so back then we didn’t get too much feedback from the listeners. But as time went by, we got more and more attention. It was really comforting to hear that people were actually listening to our music, and that they actually thought that it was pretty unique and enjoyable. As an artist, you’re eternally in doubt of the quality of your art. Even when somebody says that it’s “good”, let alone “awesome”, you don’t necessarily believe it. You only think about how it could be done better. Now, at the brink of the second album, we have bigger expectations and more internal pressure than before.

You are currently working on your second album. Is it going to be similar to “Brainforest” or you want to create something different?
In a way it will be similar. But there’s no point in making “Brainforest II”. I read from a Röyksopp interview a few years ago that their albums are more about moving sideways than moving forward. Reading that was really a key moment on my artistic career, and I wanted to embrace that philosophy. Moving forward could mean to create an improved version of the previous album, which could work once, but repeating that same recipe eventually kills the band. Of course I want to create a better album than Brainforest, but at the same time take a slightly different approach. It’s very important to keep on trying different things, because otherwise the music could very easily become boring and predictable, even though the production quality would be great. It’s more important to have good ideas in a raw format than bad ideas in an advanced format. The new songs are poppy and melody-driven, just like before.
Lyrics are an essential piece of this album as well. You’ll hear lots of stories that I believe are worth telling. Our second album will be more concentrated than the first one, meaning less simultaneous layers of sound, and less competition between elements. Now we will give more room for each element, and concentrate on each moment as much as possible. There will be a bit more space and air in the overall soundscape. A few classical instruments have also found their way to our tracks, but fear not – biomechanical pop does require a decent amount of electronics as well. And I believe that I will always do songs that sound like Unzyme, regardless of how hard I try not to. I think there is still more work to be done on defining the sound than trying to break free from it, and I very much like the thing we’ve got going on here.

You produce your music by yourself. Is it hard nowadays for you to publish new music or you just play with new technologies?
Publishing must is the easiest part of music making these days. There are so many good channels to choose from. The hardest part is getting noticed and heard. Luckily I have a lot of internet marketing experience, which really helps, but one also needs to know the right people and also have a decent bit of luck. We are very technologically oriented, and enjoy fiddling around with knobs and buttons. We’ve spent endless hours with music programs and software synthesizers, just trying achieve the coolest sound combinations. We’re very much at home with all those devices, and it’s quite rewarding to play with weird biomechanical sounds and end up with a song. Composing itself is not that difficult – I’ve always been very productive, but it’s hard to choose the right songs to concentrate on. Even now there are about 20 songs competing for a place on our next album, and I’m constantly composing more. There are already too many tracks out there, so releasing a lot of new tracks doesn’t really make sense, but releasing meaningful tracks, even if it means releasing less, is always important.

What’s your biggest inspiration when you create music? Do you have or need any?
Photosynthesis is pretty inspiring. As well as science and science fiction in general. When I create songs, I don’t look for inspiration in other songs that much. It’s more like getting excited about a conversation, an event, a movie, a photo or something totally unrelated to music. I don’t want to copy something I like. Currently I’ve been very much inspired by Infected Mushroom. Usually, when it seems that a song is not progressing anywhere, I listen to some of my favorite bands and try to learn from them.

Did you have any hilarious situations during the recording session or gig?
Once, when we were going to get our new hazmat suits from the mail, the RPE (Refraction Particle Emitter) started to send some smoke signals. At the time, RPE was kept in a warehouse, because it was scheduled for maintenance later that day. There was a scout boy meeting at a nearby forest, and they saw the smoke signals. “S.0.S.”, it said. The scout boys entered the workshop and saw the RPE puffing away. Frightened by the hideous device, they left the building in terror. We just got back to the warehouse when we saw the scout boys running away. Later we figured that this must have been RPE’s attempt to escape. We admit that the RPE had been extensively used in recent experiments, and it was running at extreme temperatures (with the risk of a meltdown). Worried about the wellbeing of the RPE, we wired our computers to the core and started negotiating for better working conditions. Now it is happy to work with us again, but we do have to pay a dear price to keep the bastard running steadily. One has got to remember the cyborg rights, though.

With who you’d like to collaborate?
I could list like a hundred people or bands I would like to collaborate with. The greatest band of all time is The Pet Shop Boys, so working with them would be like a dream come true. Apoptygma Berzerk would also be one of the most interesting bands to collaborate with. Korn did a pretty good job with various producers on their album “The Path of Totality”, so maybe a rock band collaboration would be prolific. Moving even further away from the music field, I would like to collaborate with other science organizations and cybernetic engineers. The simplest form of collaboration could be to make a music video, but it could just as well be an experiment of sorts.
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What are your plans about becoming popular? Do you plan to become popular only in Scandinavia or do you want to be recognizable around the world?
I think that this tiny world isn’t big enough for us, or even this galaxy. Being popular in this universe might just do. Scandinavia is only the beginning. Jyväskylä is a good base of operations.

I never…
– Drink any alcohol, smoke cigarettes or use drugs.
– Wear clothes of any other color than green (except for the lab coat).
– Give up

What are your plans for the nearest future except for the second album?
We’re currently looking for technologies to remote control one of our computers. The goal is to be able to remotely switch between stage cameras while streaming an Unzyme experiment live video to the web. And we’re working hard to arrange more shows in European countries.

You have some plans about second release. Tell us something about “the tube” project.
Yes, we have some special plans for the second album. It will be released in a couple of different formats. Physical record sales aren’t looking that good these days, so we decided to think about new ways of packaging music. A test tube with some cybernetic fluids in it sounded like it would be a cool thing to have on your, umm, record shelf, so we decided to try it. We still haven’t decided to produce a big edition of those, and are not sure of the accompanying products, but you can follow our thinking process via social media sites.

In previous life I was…
An alien.

How about the gigs? When and where can people see you this year?
Currently we’re aiming to get to play in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia and Albania to name a few. Our next experiment will be conducted in Turku, Finland, 7th of September, with our friends from Apples of Idun. The show will be streamed live to the web via our Ustream channel at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/unzyme-experiments

And the last one: Any last words for the readers of Black Water website?
Independent writer’s work takes a lot of time and commitment. We really appreciate that kind of unselfish thinking. Show your appreciation by reading great interviews, and tell the Black Water people who you’d like to see interviewed.

Thank you for your time. Keep on experimenting in the Lab!

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Unzyme “Brainforest” review

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when at first you didn’t like a song, but once you’ve listened to it few more times, you got literally addicted?
Have you ever found yourself on a accidental website reading about music genre you’d never listen to, because it’s not the music you used to listen and after a while you fell in love with it?
Unzyme is one of those kind of unexpected addictions.

Founded in late 2008, the band itself describes the music they play as biomechanical pop, which is a mixture of pop with electronica, indie and alternative music.
Their debut album “Brainforest” was composed between 2008 and 2010 and was released on 10th of October 2010 under their own label, Unzyme Laboratories.
The album consists of 12 unique songs that turns you on with catchy melodies and true and intelligent lyrics.

From the first beats of “Lose your place” you simply want to move along as the song goes. But when you close your eyes and listen to it wisely, the lyrics are very positive and makes you feel like you are really not going to lose your fight and you won’t show off your fright to anyone.

As you’re listening to the album, you hear songs full of lyrics that shows up a whole portrait of it’s author. Words written by someone that exactly knew how it was supposed to look like from the beginning. Strong and a bit perky yet the musical background makes it brisk together. And lyrics perfectly cooperate with the music whole the way.

The album ends up with relaxing sound of of instrumental piece called “Universal Constructor”. And after 11 songs with a powerfull kick it makes a listener chill out the best way.
Brainforest-Album-Cover
Brainforest
Released 10/10/2010

1. Lose your place 02:26
2. Everything is a lie 03:45
3. Jesus in my trunk 03:20
4. Another crossing 04:44
5. After years of ecstasy 03:56
6. Excuses ran dry 03:34
7. Crush this relic 04:46
8. Covered clearance 04:09
9. Terracentric 03:34
10. Trespassers 03:45
11. Anniversaries 03:11
12. Universal constructor 07:33

All songs has been written by Joona Nuutinen, except “Excuses ran dry” and “Universal constructor” that has been co-written by Ville Hoikkala.
Unzyme
Unzyme is

Joona Nuutinen
Lead Scientist
Vocalist, songwriter

in close co-operation with

Ville Hoikkala
Throb Controller
Rhythm Programmer &
Live Drummer

Mary Violet
Polytone Investigator
Live Keyboardist

Iconcrash “Enochian Devices” review

jaanipeuhu1

Inspiring, honest, deep and emotional. “Enochian Devices” leads us through a journey that many people identify themselves with.

TRUE WILL shows listeners all the emotions that every one of us goes through at some point of life. From fear and hopelessness, through anger and congestion thoughts to deeply hidden hope for better tomorrow.

CIRCLE OF SIGILS begins with a song full of burning anger and dissapointment caused by the fact that someone important for us is no longer the same person and that relations between two people once perfect changed for worse are cannot be rebuild again. But first two lines: “Rise after centuries of hate/ Stop, no need to be afraid of falling” gives hope that we are all able to move on even when we’ve been hurt. Further on the album we can hear songs fullfiled with hopes and fears of what would happen but ended too soon. Yet still it shows that we are getting stronger while we might see ourselves weak.

Enochian Devices 1

Enochian Devices 1

Enochian Devices 2

Enochian Devices 2

Deep, poetic lyrics, inspiring and soft but still strong melodies and charismatic vocals make this album one of the best ones I’ve ever heard in my life. It reminds me what I’ve been through in life and while it still hurts, “Enochian Devices” helps me get through, calms me down and leads my self-esteem back on the right track.