MAY 24th, 2014

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal entertainment worldwide. We are here talking with the band INSOMNIUM from a sleepy little town out of Eastern Finland. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.

Ville: No worries, it's our pleasure really.

1. First, let’s just say, it may be a sleepy little town (Joensuu) that you have rose from, but you are by no means a sleepy band-- in fact, you are more a melodic death metal one. What made you decide to start a death metal band?

Ville: I think there was always something with combining melodies to more aggressive riffing and technicality that appealed to us. I mean it all started from Metallica, but I guess Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates made the biggest impact for me. I just loved their ability to combine riffs and melodies and tie it together without compromising the heaviness of the music too much.

2. Do you think that you guys have mastered your sound because you have been together as a band since 2002 (for the most part), where a lot of bands change members?

Ville: Well at least the members who have written the music are still here, so in that sense, yeah. But it's not the whole truth as our new guitar player, Markus, composed a couple of songs for the new Insomnium album as well. But he is a really talented musician and kind of adapted our song-writing style easily. I guess time also makes a big difference. We've been experimenting and molding our sound already for a while. Being consistent and keeping a certain level of writing music helps. We've always been very critical of whatever we do.

3. Tell us how each of the band members came to be in INSOMNIUM:

Niilo Sevänen (Vocals/Bass) -
Ville Friman (Guitars/Vocals) -
Markus Vanhala (Guitars) -
Markus Hirvonen (Drums) -

Ville: Niilo, Markus H. and I put the band together when we went to the same school. Our first "gig" was a pretty awful performance in some school spring concert, but that's how it all started! Markus Vanhala joined Insomnium in 2011 to replace our prior long-time guitarist, Ville Vanni. So he's been on board for a good couple of years.

4. You have toured with some pretty amazing bands, including Enslaved, Amorphis, Katatonia, Satyricon, Ghost Brigade, and Dark Tranquillity. Do you have a band that would be your ultimate dream to tour with?

Ville: Now that you ask, I would love to do a tour with revived At the Gates to just see them play live every night!

5. You have a new album about to be released (Europe Apr.28, North America Apr.29), called ‘Shadows Of The Dying Sun’. How did you arrive at that name for the album?

Ville: I came up with it somewhere in the autumn. It's a metaphor for life in general. All life in this world is because of the energy of the sun. We're just mere reflections, or vessels, of that energy that will soon fade away. And even the sun is dying. It won't be up there for infinity. Everything dies and that's just how it goes.

6. Who was it that created the lyrics? Was there some inspiration that helped to create them?

Ville: Niilo, our singer, and I have written the lyrics. Like always. Inspiration, you get that from everywhere. I mean, if you just look around you see that not everything is right and you can put that to a form of a story. Books, movies, comics, poems, documentaries, you name it. It all comes down to something you can relate to yourself and a message you want to convey to people. We put a lot of effort into our lyrics. We don't want to match strong and powerful music with pointless nonsense. Or that's at least what we are trying to do anyway hah hah.

7. What can your fans expect to hear on this album? Is it similar to your 2011 release, ‘One For Sorrow’, or something a little different?

Ville: I think it's a natural continuing for ‘One for Sorrow’. Bit more diverse and progressive effort. We also tried to do everything we can better and just write good songs. There's something new there as well, but we haven't shed our skin or reinvented the wheel. To me it just sounds like Insomnium hah.

8. You have 10 tracks on this album-- was it hard to pick just 10 tracks? And how did you go about deciding which ones?

Ville: We only left one track out as a bonus song so it was easy process. But it would have been difficult to cut down any song of the ten we now have on the album. All songs are good and have their place in the entity.

9. Did everyone create their own riffs/drum blasts for the album, or does one person create it all? Does the band come together to practice and get it all down?

Ville: I wrote around 75-80% of the music and our another guitarist, Markus Vanhala, wrote the rest. Niilo contributed a couple of riffs to the song "The River". I do make drum demos and everything to just give people a kind of overview of what I'm looking for. But of course everybody brings in their own influences and way of playing, so the ending result is always much richer and layered compared to original demos. So it's pretty much individualistic visions that are complemented by rest of the people in the band. Nowadays we do not rehearse that much. But of course, when we have a studio booked, we get together and play all the new songs live to make sure that everything works in its simplistic form. It's also a good way to try out different things and arrangements fast!

10. Do you yourself have a personal favorite track on ‘Shadows Of The Dying Sun’? And why this particular one?

Ville: I think I like all of the songs and I don't have any particular favourite. If I had to choose, I would probably pick the album title track or "Promethean Song".

11. I love the artwork on this album, who created this for you?  

Ville: Artwork was created by our good friend Wille Naukkarinen (Soulvarver media), who also plays guitar in a great band called Ghost Brigade. He's done artwork for the past 3 Insomnium albums. His graphical style definitely complements our music really well!

12. Did you give the artist the idea, or did he come up with it and you approved?

Ville: Wille pretty much came up with the idea. The original cover did not have the sun before I suggested it to him. Just a good example of how different views coincide sometimes in a constructive way. But as I said, we worked with him already for awhile so we know we can trust him!

13. Was there some kind of inspiration for the album cover?

Ville: Yes, basically it depicts the dying sun and the world coming to its end. Or that's at least my interpretation. But everybody can view it as they like.

14. With the release of your new album in April, do you plan on touring to support it?

Ville: Yes. We will start by doing some festivals and one off shows during the Summer. We'll do a full headlining European tour in the fall, and then try to go pretty much everywhere. Australia, Asia, USA and so on. We're working on these as we speak.

15. Where would you like to tour first?

Ville: Personally, it does not matter too much. But it's quite natural to start from Europe (and of course Finland) first.

16. Have you ever thought, in the years of being in a band, that you wanted to do anything else? If so, what? Or has this always been exactly what you wanted to do?

Ville: Well, I've always done something else besides the band. Unfortunately, playing music just doesn't pay your bills. I have a doctoral degree in evolutionary biology and I currently work in the Imperial College London as a researcher (UK). I love doing both Science and music, and I think I enjoy both more when I have the opportunity to switch a bit and not only concentrate on one thing for the whole time.

17. Is there anything that you would like to add to this interview that you think people should know about INSOMNIUM ?

Ville: Thank you for the interview and if you are interested, check out our new forthcoming album at the end of April. We already have songs out on YouTube. Go check them out.

Thank you (kiitos) for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans.

Ville: No probs, our pleasure!