Finnish harbingers of melancholy and death Hautajaisyö get set to release their latest opus 'Matkalla Kohti Hautaa' this February 2nd 2018 through Inverse Records!
Hautajaisyö are one of Finland's most promising metal acts to emerge in the last five years. Their lyrics deal with such themes and concepts such as life, death, love, failure, mental illness, sad tales of human nature, euthanasia and domestic violence.
So ahead of the release of their eagerly awaited second album, we reached out to singer and frontman Janne Partanen to shed some light on the new album, the past, the future and indeed the present of Finland's deepest, darkest extreme metal secret.......
First off tell us a bit about yourselves. Who are the members of Hautajaisyö and where are you guys from?
Hello we are Hautajaisyö or 'Funeral Night' in english. We are from a small (23,000 population) city of Iisalmi that is in the middle of Finland. Band is Janne in vocals, Sami guitars, Ville guitars, Simo bass and Teemu in drums. Sami handled the recording and mixing of the new album.
Could tell us a little bit about the formation of the band, how long you have been around, and how you guys got together?
Me (Janne) and our guitarist Sami have been playing together over 8-years in different bands. We formed Hautajaisyö in the burning remains of our old band (REDEYE) in late 2014. After the first album Ville joined to play second guitar. He played in a thrash metal band called Sinmate, also from Iisalmi. When we started to record this new album our original drummer and bassplayer left the band. Ville´s old band Sinmate was also broken up, so we asked their drummer Teemu to join our band. Our bassplayer Simo played in Sami´s other band and was happy to join Hautajaisyö.
Damn it was a hard few days, we had just recorded drums for the album and lost two members and few gigs were on the way. Well the guys did a great job to pick up the pieces in record time. We decided to record all the drums again and start over the new album. In fact our original drummer plays in the first single of the new album, but in the album Teemu plays the drums.
For the people that haven’t heard of you guys before, how would you describe your music to them?
We play melodic death metal and melancholic thrash metal. There is also a hint of black metal in our songs. Our songs are simple but has catchy melodic riffs, we blend a lot of thrash metal elements in our music. Main goal is to be aggressive and depressive at the same time, yeah its a odd mix but what can you do. Vocals are sung in Finnish and with a low death metal style growling, with some clean shouts and high screams. Our songs tell about death, waiting of death, suicide, failure, loneliness, love and hate.
So a bit of Slayer, bit of Cannibal Corpse and a bit of country music ”my wife left me and dog died” attitude.
What are some of the band’s main musical influences?
There are lots of great music that has someway moulded us. Our crew likes different styles of metal and I believe you can hear it in our stuff. Lots of Deathchain, Napalm Death, Sotajumala, Slayer and Cannibal Corpse has played in our ears. Also I am a big fan of Finnish hard rock and few of us listen to Slipknot, black metal and even Alestorm.
When we started Hautajaisyö we decided on a few ”quidelines” for our music and we try to do everything keeping them in mind.
This February 2nd, Hautajaisyö are getting ready to release “Matkalla Kohti Hautaa” the follow up to your self titled debut album through Inverse Records.
Has your sound changed or evolved, do you feel, since the release of your debut album ‘Hautajaisyö’? If so how has it changed or evolved?
Biggest thing is the in the first album we had only one guitarist and the new material has been made for two guitarists.
It has made our music more of everything, because I like that we sound similar on the album and live. Ville, Simo and Teemu all bring their own style in the songs and made great songs even better.
This second album "Matkalla Kohti Hautaa”, the songs were all also tested and polished in live shows that is always a good way to make the songs better.
I believe our style is more clear now and there are no "filler” songs in this album.
From the first album we tried a lot of things and there are few songs we don't play live, because they don't fit the band. Yet the first album has great songs that we love to play live.
Does this new album capture the essence of Hautajaisyö in Your opinion?
Yeah it does. Songs that make people mosh-pit, make them rise their fists up in the air and shout and lyrics that make some people cry. Aggressive and depressive like life itself.
Is this the release you are most happy with so far?
We are so proud of our album, but new material is on the way and I can tell you some evil and epic songs are coming to the next release.
Always try to push your self more and more when making music.
You released this album through Inverse records. How this this come about?
Inverse Records has released all of our music, so it was a good choice. We wanted to get the album out as soon it was ready and Inverse Records was best choice for that.
It a good company for smaller band for get your music to people.
What advantages does working and releasing through a label have?
I have worked them (record labels) with some of my other bands and have no bad thing to say about them. They help us out as much we needed help, they support our band and believe in our stuff. This album is the first that we print a physical copy of the normal digital release.
It there any themes or concepts both musically and lyrically running throughout the album?
Our bands main focus is to sing about normal life, the horrors of it and all the pain it has. Many times real life problems are more horrifying than anything you can invent.
Death is in the main point, because we all will face it. From death we can go to sickness, mental problems, suicide, lose of a loved one and depression.
The new album has a song called 'Lähdön Hetki' or 'Time To Leave in English'.
It tells about euthanasia. You are sick, lost everything just waiting when you die, suffering and begging for help. But in Finnish laws you cant get any help. You must suffer in pain until you die.
We made a sad music video of the song, hope you go see it.
Hautajaisyö is all about the suffering and distress of normal people. Lots of the songs have really deep meaning to me and stuff that happened in my life. Friends getting killed,sick, mental problems...this is my way of staying somewhat sane.
Is the album in anyway connected or is it a follow up to your debut or is it a completely new chapter and new album for Hautajaisyö?
First album is like a prequel to this second album.
Its the night of funeral, mood is more waiting and even aggressive. Why is this happening to me?
Lots of song about mental problems and suicide.
And now the Second album is that you are on your way to be buried, this is more sadder and depressive. You understand that you have to die or are you already dead. So the albums have lots of the same themed songs and even few songs are connected to another. In the future I would love to make a concept album collection where I take a few old songs, make new songs and connect them to a story. Maybe make a music video of the collection? Time will tell.
Tell us about this Album. Where was it recorded and how long did it take to complete?
We stared the recordings at 2016 in our local schools music class.
But the rerecording was done in our practice place. Guitars and bass was also done there and also in Sami´s flat.
First off, single vocals were recorded in Sami´s Sauna room and rest of them in the practice place, and I think I fixed few stuff (tracks) at my own flat.
We did the recordings and mixing ourself and mastering was done by our good friend Lassi Pitkänen, who has done lots of work with us in different projects.
We toured a lot in the 2017, so we tried to do the album always when we had time.
Sami did lots of work, started few times over, but hey we did get the recording done, about a month later than we wanted. So the album should come in 22.12.2017 but 02.02.2018 is also ok, because we needed time to make album, artwork and polish the mixes.
So it took us a while for us but it was worth it.
And best thing is that it has not eaten into our motivation.
What expectations do you have for this Album?
Well we hope the album brings more people in to our music and gets us more gigs.
Just to release it is a victory in my opinion and everything after that is a bonus!
Of course it would be great if the album sold so good and people would like more stuff from us.
Well we will make more music even if the album won't sell, but its always great to play to people that like our music.
You mentioned earlier that you have played tracks from “Matkalla Kohti Hautaa” live. So,what has the reaction been like from the fans and followers of Hautajaisyö?
We have toured 2017 with songs from this album and all the songs have been tested live, before recording. Its our way to make songs. We demo new songs and practice them so that we can play them live. After gigs we make adjustments and polish what needs to be fixed. People have really liked our new stuff and our single songs from this album have come to be our most requested songs.
'Vain Tuhkasi Sinusta Muistuttaa' or 'Only Your Ashes Reminds Me Of You', is a epic song to end our gigs. It almost always makes even me wipe tears from my eyes. Its a really important song for me.
Could you explain what “Matkalla Kohti Hautaa” means when translated to English?
'Matkalla Kohti Hautaa' means 'Journey To The Grave'.
It can be a physical road that you walk to a grave or metaphor for life.
You sing in Finnish, your native tongue, and even though I cannot understand what you are saying as I don't speak Finnish myself I still feel a connection with the intensity of the music and aggressive vocal style.
With this said, has there ever been any pressure for you guys to sing in English from either PR/Record companies, promoters or peers and is singing in English something you would ever consider?
I am a bit of a dic(k)tator so no one tells me what to do!
But seriously, we have the luxury of doing whatever we want. I beleive Finnish is a good fit for our band and will stick with it. But because we have more fans other countries than Finland, we want to give them something also.
Thats why we have recorded a cover song from Amorphis that is in English.
Hautajaisyö,It will be released with the next music video that is coming this year. I have already promised to translate our lyrics to English when I have time to do it. But officially with I think we will stick to Finnish.
Regarding live shows and tours. Will you guys ever venture over to Europe the U.K and Ireland at any stage? Is this something you’d look into?
2017 we played in Estonia and try to get some gig this year also.
I would love to visit different countries with Hautajaisyö. Lucky for us we just made a deal with the promoter 'Addictive Playground Productions', so I must ask them to try to get more gigs in Europe, U.K etc.
Ireland would be epic because I have always wanted to visit there.
Who knows what the next few years brings to our band.
So whats next for Hautajaisyö in 2018?
We'll start with few gigs and doing lots of promotion of 'Matkalla Kohti Hautaa' (this is like my third interview today) then at march we are again back to studio and record a new single
'Sinä Olet Helvetti' or 'You Are Hell'. We will release it with a music video and a with the Amorphis cover song. Then we hope to get more gigs so we can test new the songs live.
And if I know my crew, we will back again to record stuff in late 2018.
Must do everything before we all die!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, I wish you guys all the best for the future.
Thank you for the interview and the interest in our music. It means a lot to us that you want to share our music to new people.
Hope everybody checks our music and feel free to send us feedback and messages over our facebook page. Oh and Share the depression!
'Matkalla Kohti Hautaa' releases this February 2nd, 2018 through Inverse Records and can be pre- ordered and bought via the following links:
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