TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This short introductory interview with the Finnish heavy metal band Grendel was made through e-mail by Panayiotis Papandreopoulos in July 2004.
For how long have you existed as a band?
Well, we started in summer 1999 so we have been together for five years now. We all were friends in the same school so it was quite easy to find the right people.
What is your main inspirations for composing lyrics and music?
I think that songs have to sound perfect in our ears. Nothing else matters. Good guitar riff is always good guitar riff but that alone doesn´t make a good song. Everything has to click together. When you have six guys playing in the same band it´s obvious that sometimes we have to work hard to find right tunes. But mainly I think that our songs come quite easily. What comes into lyrics, our singer Mikko Virtanen would be the right person to answer to that. But if I´m not completely wrong, the lyrics that Mikko writes, somehow reflect to his own life. Not directly but still. And of course you can sense some Finnish melancholy in our lyrics.
How do you compose the music? Do all members participate in this or is it just a few members' task?
Usually someone comes up with one or two guitar riffs and that´s how the song gets started. And then we play those riffs over and over again and we think what could fit with those riffs. And yes, everyone participates.
Why has your former singer J.Blom left?
Shortly, J.Blom had some changes in his life so he couldn´t go on further with us.
What are your future plans?
Since 1999 we have made four demos and two self-financed EP´s. That´s fairly much. At this point we would be ready to make our debut record but we´ll see what happens. I would like to see us playing live more and more and hopefully we´ll get few gigs after the summer is over. Now we have two persons here in Finland who are trying to sell us to play live. And of course we continue to make new songs.
Why, although you are a promising band and Grendel has been selected as "The Unsigned Band Of The Month (04-2004)" at LetsMakeSomeNoise.com, hasn’t any record company shown interest in signing Grendel?
Actually a few record companies have been interested but they didn´t work out. We have sent our promos all over the world but the answer is the same everywhere. There´s so many unsigned bands out there, trying to get that deal and record companies can´t sign any new bands because they already have a lot of bands. And I guess the music business generally is in some kind of crisis. On the other hand we´ve got great feedback from e-zines, radios and from people who have written into our guestbook so this gives us strength to go on.
By releasing your music by your own means, has the great advantage that you have much freedom and zero pressure but no financial support. What do you think?
Yes, we have freedom to do whatever we like. And what comes to money, we´re not here for that. Of course we´ve spent a lot of money within these five years but to me it ain´t that big deal. Sure it would be nice to get something back someday.
Do all of you live at Helsinki? Since all members are in the mid 20s are you students? What are your hobbies?
Yes, we all live in Helsinki. Actually we all have some kind of day/night job. At this point only our keyboardist Juha Terrilä studies. What comes into hobbies, I play in two other bands at this moment. One is a Mötley Crüe cover band and the other is more like a Finnish rock/pop band. So music plays quite a big role in my life. I also read now and then. The other guys also have a few other bands. Juha Terrilä plays keyboards in a band called DRIVE (www.driveontheweb.com), our drummer Jarkko Piipari plays in a band called BEGRIM (www.begrim.com) and Mikko Virtanen sings in a band called THE SINKAGE (www.thesinkage.cjb.net).
What sort of difficulties do Grendel face?
As you can imagine, it´s sometimes hard to get all six guys to our training place at the same time because we all have our day or night jobs and of course other activities too. And as I said earlier, I would like to see us playing more and more live but it seems to be hard to get gigs at the moment.
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