The Finns' sophisticated dark music has stood for the finest Melodic Death Metal since the band was founded in 2013.
For the new and sixth album „King Of The North“, band founder Tuomas Saukkonen, singer, guitarist and main composer, once again delved deep into old Norse lore, myths and legends.
Hi Tuomas, I'm glad you didn't let the Covid mess get you down - I know and appreciate the band since the debut album. How have you used the time since the spring of 2020 for Wolfheart?
„I went back to my old day job as a gardener/landscaper when US borders were shut in Spring 2020 right around the time our previous album came out. First half a year was just basically waiting if things would get back to normal and when it started to be clear that it will be a longer stay in Finland I started writing new music and first came the EP ‚Skull Soldiers‘ and last winter starting from early fall 2021 we kept busy in the studio working with ‚King Of The North‘.“
This time it's about exploring Norse mythology - what would you like to tell the readers about it?
„‚Wolves Of Karelia‘ was the first fully theme album I have written and I was very excited about working this way and with the new album I wanted to dive a lot further in Finnish and nordic history. The whole album is a theme album about Finnish mythology and each song is about certain god, demigod, belief etc based on old folk lores and writings. For example ‚Ancestor‘ is about the king of the forest. A bear. A bear was believed to be born from the stars and being a forefather for men.“
Who of you guys composed the lion's share of the new song material?
„I wrote all the music and lyrics but my co-producer Saku Moilanen from Deep Noise Studios had a big role with vocals. Specially with ‚not so growling style‘ vocals. He also did all the keyboards and orchestral elements so his hand work plays a big role.“
How did your collaboration for the new work go in these difficult times?
„3 out of 4 band members live in Finland so most of the time it was really easy. We had to wait pretty long to be able to fly Vageliss from Athens to take part with the album recordings. The guest vocals for the album were done by Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage and Karl Sanders from Nile and both did their part in US which went super smooth. With modern technology you could basically work with anyone from anywhere but I still prefer to be in the same room and share the chemistry if possible.“
Were any Ups and Downs during the songwriting?
„Songwriting went really easy and fast. Only the overall mood was different since there was a lot of uncertainty about how things are going to go with the album release, will there be festivals coming, are the tours still out from the table around the release time etc. Questions you don’t usually need think and you are just 100 % excited about the new album and counting days to get back on the road.“
Your catchy and visionary sound with Wolfheart seems deeper rooted than ever - what would you name as your very own roots?
„Hmm … I have always loved catchy Metal/music that has also some deeper layers and meaning. Old In Flames, old Paradise lost, Dissection specially when it comes to cold but beautiful mood.“
Nearly everything has changed since Covid - the world, the music business, the societies - how much have you changed, how much have your views on true art changed now?
„I value art a lot more and that I am able to still do what I love. I think I took a lot of things for granted but the past 2 years have shown that a lot can stop in just a blink of an eye. I also grew to be more patient. Things don’t have to happen in instant after 2 years of waiting.“
Which styles of music do you like to hear nowadays then beside Metal?
„I listen to very little music on my free time. I still write at least 20 songs each year for either Wolfheart, Dawn Of Solace or Before The Dawn so a lot of my focus is in the new stuff I am working with. I however always listen to music when I am at the gym but that is more aggressive stuff like Decapitated, Anaal Nathrakh, Whitechapel etc.“
Anything you would like to add?
„I always say this to fans in the end of an interview but this time I really mean that I am very much waiting to see you on tour!“
© Markus Eck, 25.07.2022
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