Svart Records Artist- Sleep Of Monsters Interview is up !!!!
Interview done by Ike
1. Sleep of Monsters has a couple of Albums under the band now and The common theme is Death Rock, 70's Occult Rock and Prog rock. Were did the Idea of the band come from as it's a major stylistic change from Babylon Whores?
I basically quit music altogether after BW, but Sami Hassinen lured me back during one drunken night. What happened after that pretty much evolved on its own – we knew we did not want to play run-of-the-mill metal, but the end result on our debut album “Produces Reason” was sort of a surprise for ourselves, too. The female vocals, for example, came almost by accident, but afterwards we realized how well they complement my rather monotonous output.
2. The Finnish elements are there for sure You can hear Him, Amorphis and Beastmilk ,This Empty Flow etc in the over all presentation but there is a much more Epic and Theatrical element in the music was this something that happened or Planned all along?
As I said, we really didn’t have a conscious plan – the word “epic” sort of makes me think about bands like Rhapsody and Manowar, heh, which we were definitely not trying to emulate. But I guess that the keyboards and female harmonies add something larger than life to it – especially as the subject matter of the lyrics is not often exactly day-to-day stuff, either.
3. Svart seems like the perfect home for the band how has the partnership been so far?
Yes, they are the only label in Finland (and one of the rare few in the world, too) who have both the resources and the courage to put out something that is not just milking one trend or another. Without labels like these, there would soon be just Idol stars and reunions and rap…
4. Sleep of Monsters is a band I think would be made for Film or a long Form DVD if you could do a full DVD of " Poison Garden" what would you want it to look like and represent?
Heh, maybe something like Kenneth Anger’s “Lucifer Rising”? Well, we just made a video with director Herra Ylppö for “Golden Bough”, so that’s a start. Just give us more money! Well, we wouldn’t mind if somebody wanted to use our music in their movies, too.
5. The crooning vocals mix with the choir and female elements give you that 70's arena rock vibe of bands like Queen, Cheap trick, Pink Floyd and Yes . Would the band want to create a major stage show for this album as don't you think it would work well?
Simply: yes. We’re currently operating on a shoe-string budget, but we have our own theatrical lightning engineer, Teemu, taking care of projections and lights, and with the three ladies on stage, there’s ample potential to fill larger stages, too. I think our release show last Saturday at Tavastia looked pretty nice.
6. Were did the name Sleep of Monsters come from?
Word play: if the sleep of reason produces monsters, as Francisco Goya formulated it, then it’d make sense that Sleep of Monsters “Produces Reason”, too. And that was the name of our debut! (I already used the pun in an old BW track called “Radio Werewolf”.)
7. The more I listen to the new Album I hear a lot of Soul and Motown element as well am I mistaken?
You’re probably right -- I have to confess that I’m pretty ignorant what comes to Soul, but I bet the ladies add to that vibe… And maybe the horns on the few tracks, too.
8. What's your thoughts on Underground music in 2016 does social media and digital formats help a band like Sleep of Monsters or does good PR and Performing really push the band to that next level?
That’s a hard one. When I started out in the 90’s, it was just tape trading, letters and zines. Nowadays it’s easier to have your stuff available, but it’s also easier to get lost in the abyss, in the bottomless cornucopia of shit available. I personally love physical albums, with artwork and lyrics you can dig into, and would rather have wanted our album NOT to be available in Spotify – also because the profit-sharing is so twisted it’s enough to make anyone a raving anti-capitalist. But I’m too nihilistic to really want to fight against it – I guess that’s modern times for you, same as the pirated MP3 downloads. What comes to good agents, they definitely help… We’re still looking!
9. If in a few words you were to explain the band to someone that never heard you before . What would those words be?
We’re the kind of band that everybody will praise in the 2020´s when we’ve long since broken up!
10. There is clearly a Metallic heritage to your music but like many bands Ulver, Anathema, Tiamat etc it's just that . Has Metal music in general become to limiting to express your visions now?
I guess I’ve never really felt any limitations apart from those set by my own complete lack of musical instruction – I mean, even in the beginning, I didn’t give a shit whether they called BW Punk or Metal or Goth or whatever. The funniest thing was, however, when some people considered us Death or even Black Metal! The term that seemed to stuck was Death Rock -- and ten years later the new wave of death rock kids started writing me how we don’t sound like Christian Death at all. Duh. Now I bet we’re soon going to be accused of jumping on the occult rock bandwagon. Well, I still have the left backwheel from the first occult rock bandwagon in my garden shed!
My vocals have always been sort of same; I’m really not a screamer or a growler. Maybe I felt there were new avenues to explore with SOM, but with “Poison King”, the first song off the new album, it felt invigorating to have some heavy guitars again… I’m all for more!
11. What makes Finland be one of the more interesting musical exports world wide . Most bands from there have very special sound and style?
That’s a hard one, too. I guess we Finns are sort of a peculiar people. It used to be that we were quite parochial and anything but hip, and even sort of proud of it, but sadly, the younger generation seems to be hip to a lot of things. I’m pretty sure that will eventually make us very boring.
12. What Bands or Musical Creations are impressing Sleep of Monsters as of late?
My musical tastes varies with my moods, and sometimes I might go months without really listening to anything. If I look next to my turntable, the last records I seem to have played are Savatage’s “Dungeons Are Calling”, Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush”, Dead Moon’s “Stranded in the Mystery Zone” and Bowie’s last one – and if you ask the others, you’d get anything from Aphrodite’s Child to Devin Townsend or whatever!
13. Where do you see Sleep of Monsters heading musically as this experimental journey seems to grow with every release?
Hmm. I guess I’ve always been a bit allergic to the word “experimental”. I mean, I’m a guy who likes Ramones! I definitely do not want to explore the artsy-fartsy world of industrial fridgewank. Or jazz. I think you will hear more gothic ballads. And maybe our own “Stairway to Heaven” and “Hotel California”, if the muses favor us. And as I said, I’d have nothing against some good, crunchy riffs again!
14. If there a theme or story Behind " Poison Garden" as it very clearly sounds that way?
Already since the mid-90’s I’ve wanted my lyrics on a certain album to interconnect and juxtapose and analogize each other in a way that they will definitely start forming themes and stories. Yet I’ve always been reluctant to pick just one story or one interpretation –– I’d rather love to think that each listener, if she/ he just lets the songs speak to her/him, can hear a story all of her/his own there.
15. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here
Nama nama Sebesio! Thank you for your interesting questions, and the best of luck with Absolute Zero!