This interview with guitarist / vocalist Hyrde "Antti" Hyyrynen and guitarist Pekka Olkkonen from the Finnish metal band Stam1na was done by Paavo Alander in February 2004.

So what’s up, how are you feeling and is it too cold in the winter?
Antti- Fine thanks for asking, the winter’s been nice and chilly in the backs of Kouvola

Pekka –Good, as always, in Helsinki we won’t complain about the Winter.

Some basic stuff; could you give a short biography (or long), who’s in the band and what do they do in it?
Antti- Well Stam1na (that’s 1 instead of i) is all about the three of us wich are me, Antti Hyyrynen (Guitar, vocals), Pekka Olkkonen (guitars) and Teppo Velin (drums). Pekka does a lot of our songs and I do some too and I also write all the lyrics, damn it! The bands been active for about eight years now and it’s been all very nice and now we’re really famous. We’ve released a lot of promos and EP’s the newest being Väkivaltakunta.

Pekka- To me our stongest card is great soungs and our recognizable sound.

Your music has become heavier and straighter while in the beginning it was more Progressive, why?
Antti- Because nowadays we like to play progressive oriented metal in our native language. So the change has been quite gigantic, yeah right..

Pekka- Natural progress.

The lyrics can be understood in many different ways depending on the listener and they’re very well composed, what do you try to achieve in them personally, is there any major concept in them or are they more song oriented?
Antti- Whenever I grab the pen/keyboard I don’t really think. I don’t care a lot about writing at all, I spend most of my time figuring out how to fit words, sentences, meanings, combinations of words together with the song. So I don’t have that much time in writing grand scale poetry or such. But I do like to scream rude words without cursing, and I’m going to sing about meat in the future too.

What’s the point in your music? what are you trying to achieve with it?
Antti- We’re already doing it: new, different sound. This stuff is something that you haven’t heard before, and still people like it the first time they hear it, even their daughters love it. And we all know that girls listen to this type of music very carefully.

Pekka- To share our passion with as many listeners as possible.

Ok…. what do you think about the current state of metal and where do you feel closest in it? What’s been spinning in your stereos lately?
Antti- Heavy shit’s coming from everywhere quite nicely. I’m a regular watcher of Alternative Rock wich come every Sunday from Viva Plus, old Slayer and then some new stuff for the next three hours.

-We’ve thought VERY CAREFULLY in where we fit at the current scene and we can be VERYWELL LABELED as an Heavy band from Lemi (a very small village near Lappeenranta)

Pekka and Teppo listen a lot of heavy metal, and some wigly wigly music and some Jazz.. I like to blast metal quite often too.

Pekka- Diablos ”Eternium” has been recently played at my household

You have been gigging a lot lately, have there been any repeating negative/positive stuff that you’ve faced? And could you list the three best gigs last year?
Antti- Reception has been fucking awesome at every gig we’ve played, even if they’ve never heard us before. The greatest gig must’ve been the straight edge evening we did in Lappeenranta, and our Poltetut Kylät-tour with Mokoma is an everlasting memory.

Negative stuff has been very rare, but it does bother when somebody who’s playing the same night drinks up your beer and stuff, there are quite unbelievable idiots running around free, believe me.

Pekka- To play live is the best thing there is.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration?
Antti- Flesh. Or the abscense of it, or if you get too much of it, when it fights against you or when your own flesh fights against you. Sometimes the stupidity of society and countries. Human.

Pekka- To create and represent yourself, to do what you want to do.

Why did you choose metal as your tool?
Antti- Nowdays you have to shout at people, and as obscene as possible. It’s better than to hit them.

Pekka- It wakes up strong emotions in me.

Should borders be removed?
Antti- That is a question that a lot of people are thinking about. More about it later.

If humans were removed aside from their position among other living animals and you were given the possibility to give the ”powers” of humans to any animal or plant, which one would you choose? And why?
Antti- A seagull. It can already fly and live in ultimate misery. The seagulls would think about their stuff and learn how to live.

A seagull's beak is like a pilot's broom, you could break down borders with it (-Don’t ask…). I’m a pilot myself and have been taking flying classes for years, some day I wish I could fly like an seagull. There’s a lot in common with me and seagulls.

What record company would you most like to work with?
Antti- I think we all find out about that sometime soon….. Ok Guinness world records I think.

Who would you like to see on the producer chair next time you walk in the studio?
Antti- We’ll see it later, wait! OK, Devin Townsend could definitely do his job. He's our main man. And maybe Virve Rosti, I have one of her records. We’ll see what happens, Devin or Virve.

What’s happening next with Stam1na? Gigs, records and wild nights?
Antti- Spring will be quite full booked, DEX entertainment are selling us like cheap meat and we’re planning to do a lot of inspiring stuff. New material is coming up so fast that we haven’t got the money to record them all so we try to focus on what really matters and so on.

We’re spending our wild nights with the interviewer from now on.

Pekka- Riiiight…

Thanks for the interview.
Antti: No, thank you.

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