- Fascinated By Death And Sadness
suiciders are back! With the new album Crimson, they proved us once again how
nice sad melodies can sound and how charming the sound from the cold country
is. So, it was clear that after this new piece of melancholic music, we were
curious to know more about the guys from Finland. The lyrical head of
Sentenced, Sami Lopakka, was so kind to calm our curiosity with interesting
facts of the northern metalband.
Woodhouse and Waldemar Sorychta were
trademarks of Century Media bands so far, but one by one the bands changed
their studios. Crimson was recorded again at Tico Tico with a new and different
producer, so did you get what you expected before the recordings? Yeah, I
really could say that! We were looking for something new, as we did the Down
and the Frozen album at the Woodhouse studios. We wanted something different,
actually, we were in four different studios before we made a decision and we
really got what we expected.
How did you live the change of Sentenced
through the years? Was it a personal evolution for the band or were you just
bored of playing the same and decided to change your style after a while? I would say
that it‘s more a question of progression. Somehow, we always wanted to make
some other things for the next album, it has been a constant progression from
album to album and from year to year.
We heard that Janeli Tarva is coming back
with a new band. Do you still keep the friendship with him? Yes, I see
him like two or three times a month and we are studying at the same university,
so we are kind of in touch, we are not very close but we see each other from
time to time.
On Crimson, the theme of Suicide is not
so much present like on Frozen, but the lyrics are still sad and dark. How do
you get along with themes like suicide, death and depressions? Those are
things that we are really just fascinated of and interested in. It has been
always the way that we could write songs and lyrics. The feelings come up very
naturally, there are really dark and negative things always included in the
lyrics. On the new album suicide has a less attention than before and we wanted
to have a wider variety of different feelings and thoughts. And as the songs
are very different, we felt that they have to be also different from each other
in the lyrics. There are themes like selfhate, despair, depression and things
like that.We wanted to have more themes than the one of suicide like we had
In Finland winters are very dark and it
seems that the dark mood influenced you in your lyrics and music. Is winter
making you sad? Not really,
I kind of like it already, I‘m some used to it. It is pretty hard sometimes in
the winter when the sun comes up just for a few hours a day, when it‘s very
cold. It‘s only a good inspiration for the music. I don’t see the clima here as
that negative, I like winter more than I like the sunny summer.
So, kind of darksoul? (Laughing), yeah, kind of
How and when do you feel comfortable and
right to write songs, lyrics? Is there a special time of day or of year? It is for me personally always easier in the
wintertime. And it‘s also usually in the evening or at night. Writing a song in
the morning is something I could never do…
Now the melodies of Sentenced sound
softer and also more varied than on frozen. Is there a special reason for that
change? No, not
really, we just waited to see what comes out and these kind of melodies came
out. But I have to say that in the new album we concentrated on building up the
melodies in the best way, so that we could really put them on the album. We
worked a lot, specially with the chorus melodies, we wanted to make the chorus
stand out from the rest of the song, so that the melodies of the chorus were
always a bit stronger than any other part of the song.
So, like catching tunes for the ear? Yeah,
sounding good for our own ears at least. And some of the melodies turned out to
be very catchy.
On Frozen you choosed a mix between
suicidal lyrics and melodies which sound rather happy and not kind of
melancholic or sad. What was your idea behind this strange mix? There was
this idea of having a contrast between positive and negative and actually when
you mix up suicidal lyrics and happy musical feeling, it‘s something really
twisted and it was kind of interesting. In the end it‘s showing the thing that
death is actually a happy event. On Drown there are really dark melodies and
lyrics as well, so we were just trying to see what comes out if we mix together
The album titles of Sentenced are always
very simple and short. Why that and what do you assiociate with the word
Crimson? We like to
have open titles, so when you just have one word on the cover, it is easier to
make up a personal interpretation of the word. For me, Crimson is more or less
the color of blood and blood could be seen as a symbol for life, death, love,
hate. So there‘s a lot of room for personal thoughts and we like to keep it
this way rather than having a very specific title, like „the rotten bones of
jesus" or something like that.
So it‘s just a symbol for something… Yes,
Crimson is a color, so it reflects the whole atmosphere of the music and
lyrics. We never have a theme album, we always mix different things within the
same album, so the title‘s cant be so specific.
After a new album is released, we used to
hear from the bands that „this album is the best so far, I‘m really happy with
it…", so do you think that Crimson is the best album of Sentenced? Yes, I do
(seems happy…). But it has always been like that. It helps me, when I feel that
the latest one that we have done is the best one. At least it tells exactly
where we are with the band at the moment. And Crimson tells it better than any
other album and that’s the reason why it‘s the most satisfactory at the moment.
So it‘s a kind of good evolution in your oppinion? Yes, it is,
we are going in the direction that we really want to go. I also have to add
here that I don’t have any regrets about the other albums either. We always did
exactly just the thing that we wanted. We never tried to kiss anyones ass to
sell more records or anything like that.
do it just for you? Yes, it has
to be just for ourselves an than we see what happens with other people.
On the Crimson cd you have also a
videoclip of the song Killing me killing you, do you enjoy recording videoclips
and how was the recording of this one? We don‘t
enjoy it very much, specially this time it was pretty hard and we went to
Cold!!! Yeah, it
was very cold, we went to source of the arctic sea to shoot the video and it
was like -20 degrees…
be terrible to stay there in T-shirts!
was, and with the freezing wind from the sea it felt like -40!!
like hard work… Yeah,
it took all day, like eight or nine hours and we had to take little breaks all
the time and after one shot we were freezing. It was pretty much work in that
music, what takes your attention? Is there any special hobby for you?
really have any hobbies, as the band takes so much time, but one thing that I
do when I have time is to collect movies, I‘m a movie freak I have to say and I
have hundreds of them at the moment…
right thing to do in dark winternights is to watch movies…Yeah, it‘s enjoyable..
your personal idols or persons you look up to? I don‘t have any specific idols at the moment.
I used to have idols about ten years ago,when we started with the band, like
Iron Maiden, James Hetfield of Metallica, Slayer and so on, but now, they
aren‘t really musical idols for the band. We even tried to avoid them..
build up your personal music… Yes, to come up with something original, that hasn‘t been done already.
A lot of
people call your music as „Suicide metal", what you think about that? It‘s just a
title that people have come up with, but I don’t think we play it that much.
It‘s just that people have always to create some categories, where they can put
you in. I wouldn’t say that suicide is how you could tell people what our music
is: I would call it as melodic metal music with really depressive themes and
your personal favorite Sentenced song and which one do you think is the saddest
one? It‘s very
hard for me to name any favorite song from the new album, as they are only
ready for a couple of months and I‘ve only been playing them for about six
weeks. But up from the earlier albums, I think my favorite is „The Rain Comes
Falling Down". It‘s really sad and atmospheric and it has this kind of
depressive atmosphere, the kind of stuff I like the most.
While technology and science are going
forward so fast, what do you think would be the first big invention of the 21st
century, or what do you with it would be? I would
wish that they would take back some of the things that have been already
created. I hope that we could go back to an older position.
plan to go on tour now? We start here in Finnland first and play here at least 10 shows and we
will have some shows in the United States,we have planned to go to festivals in
the summer allover Europe and in Finnland we have a lot of festivals as well.
We planned a big headliner tour for 9 weeks, so we will go on tour, but nor