DEATH FROM FINLAND
1. Hello! Your band is very obscure, even though you released a demo in 2011 very few infos appeared on the web... So could you make a little introduction, so that our readers get somewhat teased by the doom appeal?
Hello G.! First of all, thanks for this interview. From the very founding of the band we have been very focused on what Vainaja is about, and how we want to display ourselves to public. It is all about telling a story, so our debut album “Kadotetut” is a concept album taking place in 19th century rural Finland, based on sermons by a local preacherman Wilhelm. You can read it in our biography and the lyrics. The idea for the concept rose during the process of composing the album – we noticed the songs had a common lyrical theme. We wanted to compose an album that could be the heaviest one ever written in the Finnish language. We released our debut single/demo “Kahleiden Kantaja” in late 2011. You should be able to find reviews of it all around the Internet.
2. Your first demo shew the band developed quite varied atmospheres, it could be dark and monolithic, it could convey some class, or penetrate more infernal emotions. Did this reveal the whole palette of moods and atmospheres you could touch, or could there also be other things in the future?
You are right about that! The main aim is to have dynamics in our music, so that we use some crushing death metal riffs with slow, monotonic doom metal parts and also use melodies. In our album, we also use a lot of ambient-like intros/outros and acoustic passages to make the album appear more like a story, with a beginning and a grim ending. So we have not gone the usual way by just putting the songs in an order with best ones first, with no-one caring about the last ones. No, you should definitely listen the album through in a row, as it will gratify you in the end.
3. Your new song "Valon Lapset" has a more Death-metallish appeal compared to the first demo. The opening theme reminds me some obscure death metal bands who were influenced by INCANTATION 10 years ago... Would it be safe to say INCANTATION would be one of your influences, or it's a rotting coincidence? (Will the forthcoming album globally sound a bit more death metal oriented compared to the demo?)
Well, I know Incantation, but I would not say that it has really influenced our song writing. I personally have been involved in death metal since the first years the whole thing really started, so that kind of riffs really come naturally. And yes, the album has lot of death metal there, but it is just one part of what we do.
4. Listening to your music, I feel quite a lot of early MY DYING BRIDE (Their early recordings, the first Eps and the first album, when they played Death metal influenced music, with deep atmospheres from under the grounds, and with some nicely composed guitar parts)... There's more than a single similarity... This can't be a coincidence this time! Tell us more about your love for early MDB!
I could say the same as with previous question. I cannot say that My Dying Pride has influenced us much either. Maybe unconsciously?
5. And the "Cursed" album of MORGOTH? Is this perhaps a record that tickled your infernal belly?
I have never had the pleasure of hearing this album, so no again, sorry!
6. On a more concrete point of view, do you think you could use fast patterns (Or even blast beats) one day? Since some of the band members used to play in Death metal bands in the past, do you think it would be some kind of "regression" to play fast music again?
As we founded Vainaja in 2011, it was only fresh and interesting for us to explore slow and heavier side of metal music, after playing fast paced metal for several years. We found out that it is only a matter of expressing yourself, and it depends on what kind of feelings you want display. Going fast is usually about aggression, going slow gives a much wider spectrum of desperate and doomy feelings. And all this also depends on melodies of course. We have one song where we actually have a few seconds of blast beat, so going faster every now and then could be something that we could use. The tempo depends on what direction we want to build our songs.
7. Your band moniker Vainaja sounds pretty easy to pronounce for a word in the finnish tongue. Was it hard to find a good word that doesn't sound too complicated?
Well, yes it was. But as soon as we discovered that we actually could use word “Vainaja” (means “deceased” in English) it was nailed, and we were wondering how come no one hadn’t used it before!?
8. When you are composing songs, how does it generally happen? I mean, I'm more used to this matter for faster kinds of music, such as death metal or maybe grindcore... So does a doom metal band sometimes begin from a rhythm idea, or it rather generally comes from a guitar riff? Do you think playing the riffs of older death metal bands in a much slower manner might be a good way to find new doomy themes?
This is an interesting topic, and I have a really good example of this. We have one song in our album called “Verinen Lähde” (“Bloody Fountain”) which has riffs that were played in our previous band Demolisher. However, that song was very fast paced staccato style death metal. This Demolisher-song never got ready or recorded, and one day we got this idea of slowing the riffs down and using them as basis of a Vainaja song. And it worked out pretty well! And yes, many times the rhythm patterns are very important. Guitar riff can sound quite monotonic and dull when played slow, so making it work well and sound interesting, good drum arrangements are needed, as well as interesting vocal arrangements.
9. Is your rehearsal place located under the surface of the ground? It could be nice to hear your music in a small, dark cave.
Small dark cave is the place to listen to our music, or maybe even a very big dark cave with nice reverb and more space for the audience. Electricity is a must so that we can play LOUD! So, unfortunately our rehearsals happen above the surface for practical reasons, haha…
10. One of the band members used to be a part of
MORDICUS, a Death metal band that released an album entilted "Dances from
Left", this recording might awake the memories of some readers.
I really cannot say anything about that, let the listeners hear the similarities if they can. There are of course many bands in the background, we did not emerge from nothingness, but this does not really matter. We are focused on what we are doing right now with Vainaja, and the past can be forgotten.
11. Current members of the band also play in Demolish (Death thrash). Since the music of both bands was released on the finnish label Deformation Recordings, I wonder if this label isn't run big a musician of the band? Could you tell us more about this label?
Deformation Recordings was formed just to put the Demolisher album “Plague District” and Vainaja’s single “Kahleiden Kantaja” out in a proper way. We concentrated on digital release (you can buy these from iTunes etc. and listen in Spotify), so only small print was made for promotional purposes. After Demolisher album was released, we put the band on a break, and I do not see that we want to continue it anymore.
12. If Vainaja was a fruit, what could it be? The burning fruit of temptation? The cold fruit of nothingness... Or perhaps something more concrete, such as an apple or a black strawberry?
A rotten cloudberry.
13. Your first album "Kadotetut" is now recorded and mastered. When can we expect to hear the whole piece of doom? Have you got label contacts to unleash the obscure affair on planet earth?
We have signed a major deal to release the album through Svart Records from Finland. It is going to have both CD and vinyl releases later this spring 2014. Svart was definitely our best choice to go with the release, as they have pretty good distribution and they are concentrated on putting out vinyl, which suits well with the idea of concept album. From the very start of making this album, vinyl release was in our minds. The album is clearly divided into A and B sides. Also, Dan Swanö produced two separate masters to be used in vinyl and CD, so we will get the best possible sounds from both formats.
14. This is all. Tell us about your future projects, and conclude. Thanks for the answers.
We are now solely concentrating on the album release, and we are working on it’s graphics right now. Everything should be ready within a week or so to be sent to the record company. A short mini tour is also planned to support album release, and who knows, maybe we could play in France too?! Check out preview song “Valon Lapset” from our debut album (from Svart Soundcloud, or our Bandcamp site), that song might be the most death metal song found on the album, but it’s a good preview of what’s to come. Thanks for the interview, G.! Remember to taste some rotten cloudberries with bloody jam sauce, yammy!!
Web page: http://vainaja.bandcamp.com