OCTOBER 6th 2017


Welcome to Metaltitans, we are here with Jakke Viitala, guitarist from the Epic Cinematic Metal band CRIMFALL.

Interview By: Metal Mom

First I must ask some basic questions, just in case others don’t know the band name…. how did you come up with Crimfall for the name of the band? I looked it up on Google, and it was nice to see your name came up first.

The name for our band comes from two words, grim and fall. So, it means more or less 'sad autumn'. We decided to replace G with C as it looks better and more unique when written like that in the logo...The word combination also describes our music pretty well. We use seasons as one of our key themes where autumn is the most visual and symbolic one. It has beautiful dying colors as the nature is preparing itself for the most harsh and dark season.... winter.

 Can you tell us how each member came to be in the band?

Jakke Viitala (Guitar, Orchestra) –
I'm the founder and mastermind behind this band. I compose and produce all of our songs and play guitar plus write the orchestration.

Mikko Häkkinen (Vocals) -
Mikko joined me right after I actually decided to make a demo. We were working in the same company back then and it does not take that long for two metal heads to find each other. I asked if he wanted to do some music with me as I was impressed by his great voice and a sharp pen (when it comes to writing lyrics). So, he is the guy who is writing all the stories for us.

Helena Haaparanta (Vocals) -
After Mikko decided to make music with me I needed a great.... I mean the best singer for the clean vocals as well. I found Helena by googling the singers in Finland.... when I heard Helena's stuff in her previous band, I decided that I need her for this project... and for some reason, which I will never know, she wanted to give it a try. We did not even meet in a real life before she actually came to our home to sing for our first demo.

Janne Jukarainen (Drums) -
Janne was also found from the internet. Napalm records signed us after the demo was given to them and we (me, Mikko and Helena) needed some people to play instruments such as drums in the studio. Janne made perfect job with 'as the path unfolds.' and we asked him if he wants to be part of Crimfall in the future. And here we are.

Miska Sipiläinen (Bass) –
Miska joined us a bit later. Bass for ATPU was played by Mr. Trollhorn, but for obvious reasons he was only a session member.... so, we needed a bass player for our album release gig. Helena knew one young but talented bass player from the school who actually nailed my 'try to play these tracks as good as possible' - test perfectly. So that is how we found our missing member for the live lineup. 

Being a guitar player, do you remember the first guitar you ever got? What kind was it, and who bought it for you?

The first guitar I got was an acoustic guitar by Landola... a small one. Which I still have. My mom made me play guitar as drums were too loud for our apartment. Of course, she wanted me to be a classical guitar player (which I actually played for many many years), but I pretty early on realized it was not what I was looking for.

Did you know as a child that this is what you wanted to do with your life, be a musician?

I remember drawing pictures of KISS when I was 5 years old or so... so I might have had a dream about being on stage and playing guitar a front of gazillions of crazy fans.... but I never actually driven my life to that direction. It kind of happened automatically by meeting right people in a right time. The friends who have believed in me.

Are you self-taught or did you take lessons to learn the guitar

I took lessons for more than 5 years for acoustic guitar, but the electric guitar stuff is more or less self-taught.

You are about to release your newest album “Amain” August 25th through Metal Blade Records, this took 6 years from your last “The Writ of Sword”, why so long?

It was never intentional for it to take this long but it was also a blessing to have all this time to really deep fry the songs. First of all, we found ourselves once again without the financial support of record label. The music of Crimfall require time and resources to build properly and we were seriously lacking resources making it really time-consuming process. This led to some frustration inside the band and Helena decided to take a break and do some completely different music for a change. Luckily, we managed to lure her back once we had the songs in good enough shape.

What can people expect to hear from this album?

People will hear an EPIC and huge album that takes the listener to a journey through the stories and places no one has taken them before. There is so much happening in the album that is impossible to explain it any better here. You just need to experience it!

You have two vocalists, is it hard to decide who sings which part of the song?

It is not actually that difficult. Nowadays when I'm writing music, I hear the song with all the instruments and vocals in my head even before I write anything down. Of course, arrangements will change quite a lot as these ideas are not always as good in a real life as they sound in my head. I also like to write everything as a package.... not like “here is the band let's put some orchestration on top of it.... maybe we even need some vocals”. No! I want to compose our music as a complete thing where all the layers are supporting each other.

Who writes the lyrics, and where does the inspiration come to write them?

Mikko writes all the lyrics. The most important inspiration for them is the music itself. With Crimfall it is composed to create strong mental images of vivid atmosphere and the lyrics are there to support that. We try to tell the stories of the defeated, the grim and shunned reality of war. How it is a tool for controlling the masses, sword of religions and hidden thrones.

I listened to your first release, and I must say it is really refreshing to hear something original and so well put together .. do you yourself have a favourite on this album?

On this album, my personal favorite is the 16-minute song Ten Winter Apart, it pretty much has everything Crimfall music is about for me.

There is so much in your music, it must take a long time to record and mix, how long does it take from start to finish?

The previous 2 albums took 9 months to finish, but this one was a beast. It took almost 2 years since the first note was recorded until the album was mixed and mastered. The time spend for recordings was more than one year alone. We had 1600 tracks which all were recorded and edited by yours truly.

Do you plan on touring after your release of Amain? If so, can you tell us where that might be?

We do have plans, but unfortunately nothing that we can confirm at the moment. We will update our website and facebook as soon as we have something to tell. Some cool random gigs can be already found from there.

Do you have plans for more videos to be released?

We released music video of “Until Falls The Rain” which most likely will be the only one from this album. Maybe some live videos later... you never know.


Who was the artist for the album cover? Can you explain the image for us?


The cover painting was done by my friend Tuomas Gustafsson. He is a crazy talented mother fucker. The cover follows the trend from our previous releases where we have dedicated the image for one of the seasons. First album was using inspiration from a summer with it's warm colors and such. Second one took us towards winter and now we have rain theme which symbolizes spring. I don't want to over explain the cover since I want the listeners to find their own stories from it by listening the album.

What is next for Crimfall?

Next, we start promoting the album by touring. And slowly maybe working on some new material. But first some gigs!

When you are not working on band stuff, what could we find you doing?

Daily work! Hah, I work as a senior sound designer in one of the biggest Games Companies here in Finland. On top of that I do live pretty normal family life in a country side with boring hobbies such as sports and games.

Now for something completely different, what is the scariest movie you have seen?

Hmmm... I watch horror movies once in a while. For me movies without paranormal elements are usually scarier than too over the top stuff. But what would be the scariest one? RING 1 was pretty scary when I saw it for the first time. It has some of the paranormal stuff there, but it still felt like this could happen to me... if you know what I mean.

Is there anything you would like to add here that I might have missed asking you, but you would like people to know?

The album is out, the music video is also in youtube. Make sure you check them both. And see you on tour!!!!

Kiitos (Thank you) for taking the time to do this interview. We also would like to wish you much success with your new album Amain.