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In Words: Insomnium

- Ville Friman - Oct. 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Insomnium

Ville Friman - October, 1st 2009 (by email)

Finnish band Insomnium aren't nobody in the melodic death metal scene, now they are back with Across The Dark. Thanks to Ville Friman to spent time answering my questions!

How satisfied are you with the feedback you got for Across The Dark?

We are very satisfied. It seems that both the critics and fans really like the album and naturally that's very rewarding to hear after all the sweat and tears we put into it! For example, we took immediately the fifth position in Finnish charts when the album was released here in Finland. We also just got SMS from Tuomas of Nightwish saying that he likes the album a lot!

I guess it wasn't such a big surprise that the album entered the Finnish album charts, but it seems you were the only one who managed to keep up with the Beatles. How did you feel when you got the news?

Of course I was very surprised and thankful. It showed that you can actually sell albums even when you play metal instead of classic rock. Of course the occasion was worth of partying and if I remember right I went to see Solstafir and drink some beer!

How long did it take to write and record Across The Dark? And when did you decided to have some guests performing?

I think I had two songs almost ready in the beginning of the 2008. Then we worked the whole year with the album and entered the studio in the Spring 2009 (from mid March to end of May). We are quite slow at working, but I guess it shows in quality! It was already certain that we would work with Aleksi again wit this album (we started cooperation already during ATWW) and idea of Jules singing the clean vocals came to my mind in the Spring 2009 when I saw his main band's, Profane Omen, show live. I think the time was right for trying out finally the clean vocals.

Lyrically you use poets like Hölderlin, Edgar Allan Poe and other literature as inspiration... That's quite unusual, how came? And how did you get hooked up with these classic stuff?

I think that's because we are nerds and book worms! :) We are actually very academic band. For example, I have a PhD in evolutionary ecology and another guitarist, Ville Vänni, is specializing to become a surgeon at the moment. So, reading is nothing new to us and consequently sources of inspiration like these are natural for us. I think Niilo is especially interested in this fantasy / horror / science fiction stuff besides more classical literature. He graduated from cultural history few years ago.

Do you hope that people pick up some classic literature due to your lyrics?

Well, I don't see any harm in that but of course it is not the intention of being inspired by some writers. For example, even though I take lyrics very seriously in my own songs I don't always listen so carefully the lyrics of other artists. I think the music is more important itself for me and good lyrics are kind of a bonus on top of that.

Have you ever thought about taking a classic piece and create music to accompany it? A concept album based on some writings?

No, we haven't thought about it. It could be very interesting project but I think it is easier to just make more traditional albums as you can build up the story along the songs instead of being musically restrained by the story.

A European tour is already scheduled... First you play some shows in Finland and then the rest of Europe with Swallow The Sun and Omnium Gatherum. Looking forward to hit the road?

Definitely. I mean, we know all the guys beforehand and they are really good company both in music-wise and party-wise. I think it is also very cool to have a strictly Finnish package. We are also going for tour for the first time on our own without bigger main band, so it's also exiting to see how the turnouts will be like.

I guess you will focus on the new material, will you also add some old tunes? From the first albums?

I think we will play some songs from the first album as well. We had rehearsals few weeks ago and tried out Medeia, Ill-Starred Son and In The Halls Of Awaiting. However, the set will consists mostly from newer material.

What about touring outside Europe? Anything on the way?

We have some preliminary plans about coming back to USA in the next spring. However, this is still preliminary and we'll see how things turn out in the end. It would be great to visit US and Canadian soil again!

What are your plans for 2010?

Tour and try to start composing new material. Just keep it all going all the time!

You should really check out this band, if you haven't yet, and go to see them live. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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