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In Words: Warmen

- Janne Warman - Jan. 2002 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Janne Warman - January, 15th 2002 (by phone)

The band Warmen is probably not known by every metal fan, but that might change soon. Beyond Abilities is the 2nd album of the Finnish band which is a kind of side-project of Children Of Bodom keyboarder Janne Warman. The debut Unknown Soldier was released in 2000 and now Janne & co. are back! Musically there was a slightly change, but the most obvious change is that this time there are less instrumentals. "Right, this time we have more vocal tracks. After the release of Unknown Soldier a lot people told me that they like the vocal tracks, but that they are not into the instrumental ones." Instrumental albums get more interest from musicians, but non-musicians often can't appreciate the songs. "To get an idea what Warmen is about you can listen to the instrumental Beyond Abilities. From the vocal tracks I would recommend Spark, but perhaps Spark sound too much Stratovarius-like... So listen to the other song Timo is singing... Singer's Chance." Musically there is a big difference between Janne's main band Children Of Bodom and Warmen, his solo-project which is more and more becoming a band which play music in the vain of Rainbow and Artension, but more powerful! On their debut Janne got assistance by Jari Kainulainen (bs, Stratovarius), Roope Latvala (g, Sinergy & Waltari) and the 2 vocal tracks were sung by Sinergy singer Kimberly Goss, so many thought this is an all-star project. But it became a band, even if there are new members, but some are still around like guitarist Sami Vitranen, drummer Mirka Rantanen and Janne's brother Antti who also played some guitar parts on the debut. The mainmen got joined by bassist Lauri Porra (also Tunnelvision). "We still work with different singers. This time Timo Kotipelto, Kimberly Goss and Pasi Nykänen (Throne Of Chaos) did the vocal parts." The relation with Kimberly is obvious, eventually Children Of Bodom singer / guitarist Alexi Laiho is also a member of Sinergy. "Timo ask me to play on his solo album which will be released soon. A chance I had to take and so I ask him, if he would sing one or two songs on the new Warmen album. I'm really happy that the did!" It seems that there is a fruitful co-work with the members of Stratovarius. "In the beginning we thought that the known guest singers will get us some attention, but if we want to play live we need a singer." If Warmen want to play live they have to work it out soon, coz Janne has to use the time when his COB colleague Alexi is busy with Sinergy. The new Sinergy album will be available soon and surely they will tour. "I have to use the time when Alexi is doing Sinergy, coz afterwards we will continue with COB. Actually at the moment it's chaos! I have no idea what comes next." There is no real schedule for the next months, so perhaps Sinergy will tour and so COB will have a time out... Or COB will continue the songwriting and start pre-production, if Sinergy will tour later this year. Warmen's plans are depending on the other activities. "But we think about playing a few shows here in Finland in April or May. If it works out for us we probably play elsewhere." There are talks about festivals, but at the moment it's all wait and see. "If we shall play a few shows, we will play together with Timo (Kotipelto), coz most band members are also playing in his solo band." But at the moment it's to early to tell anything. But playing Wacken open-air would be a huge chance.... "I already play there with 3 bands, but I guess you are right, if we get the chance we have to play there."
Musically Warmen are totally different to COB and it's obvious that the young keyboarder's abilities are beyond many others of this genre. "I studied in Helsinki for 6 years pop / jazz. When I joined there I learned that just 3 of the last class graduated the theory class! And it was really hard." But it was worth it, Janne is one of the most talented keyboarders in the hard rock / metal scene these days. "I first got in touch with metal when I got ask to play at the first COB album. Actually it was planned that I leave afterwards." Luckily it turned out differently and that Janne is still part of the band. He never got classical training, only the pop / jazz classes at the school in Helsinki and he never played in metal bands before. "I listened to some hard rock stuff." Janne started listen to some metal bands after he joined COB, so he didn't got influenced by any keyboarders from this genre. "If I had to name someone, then it's Jens Johanson of Stratovarius. He's a genius!" And also a very funny guy, not one of the self-centered ones, still down to Earth. "He is a great guy. Roland Grapow ask Jens to play on his album, the first one after he left Helloween, but Jens had to deny it. He was to busy with other stuff, but told Roland about me. So Roland contacted me and I was in Hamburg for a few days and recorded the keyboard parts." A huge compliment for the 22-year old Janne to got recommended by one of the best keyboarders! And a huge chance to make him;self known inside the metal scene. With the single Alone released by Spinefarm they might make it into the charts.... But Spinefarm isn't the world-wide label / distributor, in many other European countries it's Century Media as well as in North America, so not everybody will have the chance to get this single. But if you can get your hands on this single, get it! The cover version of the Heart smash hit Alone sang by Kimberly Goss is a heavier, more powerful version. Usually cover versions are not as good as the original, this one is as good, perhaps better... Nothing to complain soundwise about this album as well, recorded in their own Warmen Productions Studio and mixed at the famous Finnvox Studios by Mikko Karmila who is one of the best producers / engineers nowadays. This is a step forward for the band and an old unwritten rule in the music business is saying that with the 3rd album a band will make it or break it. At the moment the future looks bright and there is no doubt that Janne's talent as keyboarder and songwriter will make him big one day. Not just with COB, the shooting stars of the melodic death metal scene, also with his band Warmen or whatever the future will holds for him.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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