TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the guitarist Jyri Vahvanen of the Finnish fantasy metal band Battlelore was done through e-mail in July 2002.
Hello, how are you doing?
I'm fine, thanks for asking. I'm just working with new clothes for our
It has now been some months since the release of your debut album,
has the response been like so far?
The response has been very good. I knew from the beginning that we are
to be a band for the fans, not
for the reviewers. All the feedback has been very clear: some people
us and some people haven't find
any point from our music. It was a little bit risky to do so versatile
as "...WTSL" is, but I believe that
it was a right decision. So far we have had awfully many "true" fans
it's always nice to have that kind of
respect from your work.
The cover art was done by Ted Nasmith who is rather famous for his
Tolkien illustrations, was this a natural choice for you?
Well, first we asked John Howe to do the cover art for our album but he
very busy because of the LotR-
movie and he couldn't give us a permission for his earlier works, but
promised to do our second album's
cover. We all like Mr. Nasmith's illustrations very much, so it was
ask his painting for the album
How come you have this very strong fascination for Tolkien, what do
think make his writings so special?
Surely he is a pioneer when we talk about fantasy books. Everybody are
copying these things what he
invented. All this Middle-earth subject is so enormous that it really
your breath away and it's hard to
imagine that it's all made by one man.
The obvious question, what did you think about the first Lord Of The
Rings movie compared to the book? I guess you are really looking
the next one?
Of course the book is much more deeper and fascinating than the movie
opinion is that you can't
compare 'em. The book and the movie are two different things and I
want to put 'em in the same
category of judgement. The movie is fantastic and I really look forward
the upcoming parts of it.
You, or possibly the label, decided not to print your lyrics with
cd, how come? What are they about?
Hmm... this is strange. I have never seen a copy of our album without
lyrics. There are two kind of releases
of "...WTSL" the digi-pack and the jewel-case and both includes the
Are you sure that you don't mean
the promo-cd? Obviously there aren't any lyrics in promo-cd. [Editor's note: I ordered my copy of the album from an online company who seems to have lost the booklet somehow...]
How do you go by when composing songs within the band? With seven
members I guess there are a lot of different opinions?
Yes, there are a lot of different opinions but after all it's quite
make songs. It's a long process but not
so very hard. Usually I make a basic structure of the song with guitar
then we just add everybody's ideas
and elements on it. And when we go to the recording studio, we make
40% of the song in there. It's
usually I or our producer Miitri Aaltonen who have the final word if we
any disagreements about the
You have recorded two demos called "Warrior's Tale" and "Dark
what is this material like compared to the album?
The demo material is always demo material. Bad sounds and poor
short time and all because
you do not have enough money. Nowadays our songs aren't so fragile and
"thin" any more and our sound is
much more mature. We have learned a lot in the past few years.
The second demo got you the deal with Napalm Records, were there any
other labels who offered you a contract?
There were a few little labels who offered some poor deals for us so it
easy to choose Napalm's offer.
Are you happy with the work Napalm has done for you so far? What do
think of the other bands on the label?
We are very pleased for the Napalm's work with us. Napalm Records have
great bands like Tristania,
Sirenia, Vintersorg, Summoning, Abigor and many more. They also have
some German / Austrian bands which aren't so familiar to me but I think that their quality level is
I would say that the keyboard is the most important instrument for
Battlelore since your way of using them makes you stand out from most
bands, do you agree with me on this?
Yes, I agree. It is kind of weird 'cause I make all of our songs with
and add synths afterwards but the
final result is always based in synth.
You have now played some live shows for the first time in your
career, what has it been like? What can the crowd expect from a
The live playing is always the greatest stuff in music business and our
gigs have been very successful. I
have heard that our songs work very well when we play live and some
likes 'em better live. The
crowd can expect raging live act with fantasy gear like swords, axes,
banners and flags, live fire etc. You just
have see us live and I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
I think that you were once a member of Horna under the
Skratt, am I right about that?
You miss a little. I was one of the Horna's founder and I used name
Moredhel. [Editor's note: mistake noted :-)]
Your two female members have been or are still members of two bands
called My Sweet Sorrows and Elderthrones, could you tell us a little
My knowledge about My Sweet Sorrows is very small so you have to ask
one from Kaisa. It's some
kind of melancholy gothic pop. Elderthrones is melodic blackmetal or
paganmetal as they describe it.
You have now found a new guitarist called Jussi Mononen to replace
Tommi Havo who left the band earlier this year, could you tell us
about him? Has be been playing with any other bands prior to joining
Jussi is our old friend and very good choice for a BL's guitarist. He's
great person and his motivation is
very high. It's pleasure to play with Jussi. Jussi plays in a band
Cabal. I believe that there's many bands
with the same name but this Cabal comes from Lappeenranta, Finland and
play very aggressive metal. I
actually can't categorise 'em.
Has any of the other band members been involved with other bands
Kaisa, our female singer have a few projects with some other bands and
male singer Patrik plays in a bands called Ruoska and Reduced To Ash.
What do you all do when not playing or composing music, do you go
school or work?
Most of us are still studying. Patrik have a permanent job and I and
consecrate fully to our band and
What albums are the most important ones to you in the history of
This is a hard one... Usually people ask your favourites but the most
important albums for me in my history
of metal are: Immortal "Pure Holocaust", Rotting Christ "Thy Mighty
Contract", Runemagick "Supreme
Force of Evil" there's a few to mention.
What plans and goals do you have for Battlelore in the nearest
We are going to start our second album's recording in the end of this
and hopefully we could do some
European touring in next summer.
Now to my very own right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:
a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".
c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.
e) Death penalty.
f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.
Any final words for your fans?
Come to see our gigs if we tour near you and visit our website:
Links of interest: