Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Interview With Taatsi done by Patrick
Here is a new interview with Taatsi from Finland they have one demo available through Forever Plagued Rec and getting ready to release their debut cd "Amidist The Trees" through Forever Plagued Rec. this is a band to watch out for if you enjoy mid-paced black metal with some atmospheric elements
take care and read on
Interview with A (Guitars, Bass, Vocals and Programming) for Taatsi. Done by Patrick.
1. Metal hails A. When did you first discover Metal music? Who were some of the early, first bands you listened to?
Hails Patrick! Glad to be a part of your zine.
I remember being in preschool, and some boys next door had Iron Maiden posters on their walls, and I got at least the KISS "Destroyer" vinyl for birthday from my mother when I turned five or six or something, which I still have. So those are my earliest memories of listening to metal
2. When did you first meet M (Guitars), was it long before you all created Taatsi? What does the band name mean to you?
I knew some local BM-guys I’ve met in a record store, whom also knew M, and when I went to some death metal gig in ’94 or ’95, I met this guy who had the Ulver-logo drawn on the sleeve of his leather jacket (I was a huge fan of early Ulver), and then we got talking, and during the next few years noticed we have a lot in common. We tried out some band-stuff in maybe ’97 which never really went anywhere.
What we do now with Taatsi is basically the same thing we would be doing in ’95, only with slightly better equipment and skills. But the same feelings and enthusiasm are there.
The name Taatsi comes from a sacrificial stone located in Northern Finland, and the name fits our music perfectly, since the lyrics usually deal with the ancient relations of man and nature, without any specific mythology in them.
3. How did you all come in contact with Forever Plagued Rec.? For the readers who have never heard the band how would you describe the music?
We promoted our demo "Season Of Sacrifice" to some labels, and one of the labels which got interested in us was Forever Plagued. During the past six months or so, I’ve learned that he is a very dedicated and honest guy, who has a lot of respect in the underground, so it looks like we will stick with him in the future as well, if he likes our future material.
For someone who has never heard the music I would describe it as Atmospheric Black Metal in the mid-nineties Scandinavian vein. I think when we describe our music as "Nature Mystical Black Metal", it describes the sound quite nicely
4. How long did it take to write the songs on "Amidst The Trees"? Do you both take part in the writing process or does one member usually handle everything?
We work pretty fast with all our material. Speaking for myself, I usually get an inspiration, and compose some melodies accordingly in one or two evenings, adding guitars and additional melodies later, but I would say a typical Taatsi-song comes into being in just a matter of hours. The lyrics and vocals might come later, but the music writing and recording processes are very fast when the right feeling comes forth.
With the songs composed by M, he usually has some riffs ready composed by acoustic guitar, and he records the electronic and acoustic guitars at my place. Then I add some additional synths and so on, but the base-melodies are always his. In the future we try to keep things as much as possible 50/50.
5. Who usually handles the lyrics? What are some topics you all write about?
So far, I have made most of the lyrics for the recorded material, but M also contributes with some lyrics, which I usually edit for my own purposes, since I am the one performing the vocals.
As I started describing above, the lyrics deal with the majesty of nature, with some folklore / fairy tale influences here and there. Usually the lyrics have a more deeper psychological twist into them, dealing with personal symbolism arising from nature, and the eternal relations of man and the woods he lives in.
We both grew up in areas around Helsinki where we still could play in the woods as kids. Although I’m not really from the "countryside", I spent a lot of my weekends between the ages 12 to 18 trekking and hunting in the woods with my grandfather (who was a gamekeeper), and M still spends his summers in the woods of the North, so we are not unfamiliar with the forest. I’ve lived pretty much in the downtown Helsinki for the past 10 years but visit nature quite often for contemplation and inspiration.
6. How has the response been so far from the fans who have heard your music? How has the response been from the press?
So far we have got only positive reactions straight from people who have heard the music, and decent or positive reviews from the online press.
7. Taatsi is a two man band, did you ever search for more members to join the band or do you prefer to keep it a two piece band?
We have been sometimes talking about adding a drummer or another vocalist, but have always come to the conclusion it’s better to continue as a two piece. So far it has worked perfectly since we think very much alike when it comes to music like this, and also have a very democratic and understanding
8. Are there any musicians (past or present) you would like to work with?
Maybe some old local friends with similar musical tastes, but people have a lot more going on in their lives these days than when we were teenagers, haha.
9. Taatsi comes out of the great metal scene in Finland, what is your opinion of Finlands metal scene?
We both had contacts in the Finnish BM-scene in the mid-nineties, making zines and so on, but we have no real contact with the scene that is more known abroad today, only some old friends we still meet face to face, who do play in some "bigger" BM-bands.
There were some really interesting guys in the Finnish BM-scene still in the nineties whom are no longer with us, due to suicide or something.
About Finnish metal in general, I really have no interest in all the really big bands, but have some nice memories of the early material of Beherit or Impaled Nazarene, even this is something I rarely listen to today, but do respect a lot.
10. Who are some of your all-time favourite bands from Finland? Are there any new bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
My favourite bands / records are made by my friends, like early Wintermoon and Wanderer. Beyond that I would say early Beherit, Archgoat, and Nidhoggr (with whom I had good contact with).
I am interested in the newer material of bands like Black Crucifixion, maybe the readers should check ‘em out?
11. Are you or M. currently working with other bands or solo projects?
We have both been involved in a lot of projects over the years, but the most notable ones on our part would probably be in M’s case the bands Wintermoon and Jatunheim, in which he was a founding member during ’94-’95.
In my case one band I would mention is TKNKNTJ, a name I came up with in the mid-nineties, and also recorded some demo-songs during those times which never made it anywhere. In 2008-2009 we formed a good line-up with some old friends and recorded two demos under the TKNKNTJ name, which will hopefully be released this fall of 2014.
I continue to write new material for both Taatsi and TKNKNTJ all the time.
12. A. you handle the vocals for the band, when did you first singing/growling? Do you do anything special to keep your throat/voice healthy? Who are some of your favorite singers?
I don’t remember when I first tried the BM-vocals, probably in the early nineties when I discovered I can’t growl, haha. I really don’t do anything special for my voice, I just let the vocals flow out in the way I think suits the music.
My favourite singers when it comes to BM that come to mind are Quorthon of course, Vorph in the first few Samael albums, Garm in his mid-nineties-days, Proscriptor of Absu, Aldrahn has always been totally awesome.. From the newer records I totally admire the vocals in Teitanblood and Vastum (which is DM but a great band anyways).
13. A. you also handle the guitars for the band when did you become interested in playing the guitars? Are you self taught or did you take lessons when first starting out?
I never learned to play the guitar or the drums properly in my teens, although I played around and recorded with both, but my guitar skills upgraded a bit when I started composing music with keyboards in the late nineties, and played guitars on the backgrounds of this more synth-oriented material, and this is how I still compose the music of Taatsi usually. With TKNKNTJ I compose the material with a guitar, but I never jam just for the sake of it, so my skills develop very slowly it seems.
I guess M has more professional background in guitar playing from his days of learning the instrument, at least he plays better than me, hah.
14. Who are some of your influences/favourite guitarist? Do you play any other instruments?
Well, again, what comes to my mind right now, in the BM-world I really enjoy the guitar work of Equitant and Shaftiel on the early Absu-records, this stuff uplifts me from year to year. Also the newer stuff of Katharsis sounds great. Also Vicotnik and Carl-Michael Eide have always been great musicians in my opinion, as well as newer stuff by the guys Teloch and Blargh.
I do a lot of programming with music software, so I do play the keys in that sense, but other than that I don’t really play any other instrument than guitar. It would be great to play in a "folk" band of some sorts, where every member has his/hers own little role..
15. Thank you A. for taking the time to fill this out, do you have any final words for the readers?
Thank you very much for the interview, this was actually the first Taatsi-interview I received. I urge the readers to check out our music, and support our label Forever Plagued Records!