» Tapani Kangas - Celesty
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Mat: Since you’re a new band on the scene could you please tell us something about yourselves, the formation of the band and how it came to have both this constellation and its musical direction?

  • Tapani: Celesty, formerly known as Celestial, was formed 1998 by drummer Jere Luokkamäki. He had dreamed about a band for a long time. First line - up was totally different than today, but original members are Jere Luokkamäki and Ari Katajamäki. 1999 Tapani Kangas, decided to join the band guitarist. After few weeks of playing Tapani, Jere and Ari started to have an idea what kind of band they are looking for. After a short time they decided to fire members and replaced them with new members.
    At summer 1999 Celestial went to studio, and they made a short demo for themselves, and after a short listening they decided to fire that time vocalist. Year 2000 didn´t start so well: Tapani and Ari went to the army and there was left only Jere, Ari and Tapani in the band. They changed name Celestial to Celesty and Jere, Ari and Tapani started looking for a functional and first- rate line-up.
    At spring 2000 Tapani found guitarist J-P Alanen, and he decided to join the band. J-P already knew vocalist Kimmo Perämäki, and Celesty asked him to participate with the band. Kimmo joined Celesty, and at autumn 2000 Celesty booked studio for their first demo. Demo ``Warrior Of Ice´´ was released at spring 2001, and name Celesty began to sound familiar in people´s ears. Jere found keyboardist Juha Mäenpää at spring 2001, and now Celesty started to be what the band had been looking for.
    After couple of gigs with Sonata Arctica, and some smaller gigs in Finland, they went to studio at March 2002 to make their second demo. ``Times Before The Ice ´´got a great receiving everywhere, and band also noticed the huge difference between the old and the new demo. Record companies also started to contact Celesty, and Celesty signed a deal with Arise Records at spring 2002.
    Celesty will enter into Fantom Studios (Fin) for the recording of their debut album in August 2002. During these recording sessions Celesty will record a cover of a Helloween´s track to be included in the album ``The Keepers Of Jericho´´- A Tribute To Helloween Part II

Mat: Obviously you’re very young but I still think that your music has the sound of a way more mature band. What is your musical bakground that is the reason for this? Have you had some sort of education or is it more self-learned?

  • Tapani: I think that one reason for that is that we have a group that is getting along with each other, and we all have our personal “abilities” and everyone is bringing something for our music. We are a team. Not a bunch of “individuals”. Of course all of us have had some “project” bands before Celesty, so i guess that is one reason why we sound experienced.
    It was easier to “play together” when everyone have played with some other group earlier. Some of us have had somekind of training for playing your personal instrument when we were younger, but mostly we are self-learned, and i personally think that self-learning is better in someways, because you can practice music you like.
    At the moment only J-P (our lead guitar player) is going Music school beside his normal school.

Mat: The Finnish scene seems like an never-ending source for great melodic metal and of course you’re being compared to bands like Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. But how do you feel that you differ from those, and what do you think is the reason for this Finnish succesful concept?

  • Tapani: Well of course if someone says that “youre as good as Stratovarius” we take that as an compliment. But if someone compares us to them like “you sound like Stratovarius” i have to say that, that person has lost his hearing...hahahaha...Of course we have fast drumming, guitar solos and high tone vocals, but i think that Stratovarius sounds like STRATOVARIUS and celesty sounds like CELESTY.
    Lots of people have asked about the “Finnish recipe for powermetal” and Idont know it...there is just lots of great powermetal and metal bands here in Finland. The only answer i can give to you is that we have born with metal in our hearts!

Mat: And now some questions about your awesome debut-album. How did it happen that you were signed by a Spanish record-company? Arise Records have loads of great metal bands signed but how did it happen in your particular case?

  • Tapani: Well Javi from Arise contacted us about the helloween tribute album, and asked that would we like to join that….and of course we wanted IT IS HELLOWEEN!!!! one of our greatest musical influences!!!!!
    He heared our music from our website and contacted us. Soon after that
    we sent our demos to them, and they offered us a record deal. We thought that if we have a european record label, it would be easier to get your music heard in Europe. We also like that Arise Records is not so ”big” record company.

Mat: How has the album been received in the media so far and are you satisfied with what you’ve accomplished? What are the major differences and evolvements compared to your previous two demo-albums?

  • Tapani: Well the reviews have been mostly good, from 9/10 to 5/7 stuff like that. But of course there has been some ”not so good” reviews, but you have to remember that the review is always just an opinion of that person who is reviewing the album. The differences are that there is new songs of course, and we also have developed as musicians.
    We also had more time to be in studio, we recorded our ”times before the ice” demo in about a week or so, now we were in studio a bit over month. So of course you can hear the difference although the quality of our last demo was good. We also have a new story about four elements….

Mat: Where do you get your musical and lyrical inspiration? I’m sure from other bands of course, but do you use other sources too and if so, which ones? What are the major topics concerning the lyrics?

  • Tapani: The lyrics and the story are written by myself and Jere (our drummer), and everything is made by ourselves. We dont use any ”ready” stories. We created the world and the people in it ourselves. But of course we have read fantasy and epic stories like Lord of the rings and Finnish Kalevala. But those influences are not seen in the lyrics. I personally think that we have managed to create an interesting storyline with interesting characters…
    Our musical influences are , Gamma Ray, Helloween, Stratovarius, Rhapsody and Manowar. Every member has their own personal influences, and you can read them from our websites biographies.

Mat: And since we’re on the subject, who’s mostly responsible for the song-writing, lyrically and musically? Is this a one-man job or do most of the bandmembers participate?

  • Tapani: The music is mostly made by Myself and Jere, we usually bring a song to rehearsals, and then we start to work it together with the band. For example if Juha has a good idea for a riff, then of course we will use it.
    The lyrics and the story are written by myself and Jere. No one else participates in lyrical process.

Mat: What’s the situation in the band right now? Is there anything special coming up or is it more of daily-basis-routine? Can we expect a tour soon and even see you on some Swedish stages? Do you already have any festival-gigs planned for the coming summer?

  • Tapani: Well we dont have a booking agency yet, so we dont have so many gigs at the moment but i hope that we manage to get a tour manager soon. But at the moment we are discussing about the festivals of next summer in here Finland, but nothing is confirmed yet.
    But i really hope that they contact us from Sweden Rock, isn`t that a big metal/rock festival in there? We have sent them some mail about it. We would really like to come to Sweden to play! i guess there is lots of Metalheads there that would like to listen to some POWERMETAL!!!!

Mat: And before we end this interview some short questions:

Cereals or porridge for breakfast?
-Well i would like to have porridge, but it is so “hard” to start to make it every morning, so i'd go for cereals, they are easy and fast.
Electric or accoustic guitars?
-Both! You can make lots of different kinds of music with both of those, so Isay both of them are equally good.
Listening personal non-metal choices?
-I listen lots of different music styles, but they usually are “played with instruments” but every music is good, i honestly can say that if somebody composes music, it is worh of existing! Some of my favourite “non metal” bands are for example Offspring and other Skatepunk bands , and swedish ABBA, i admire Benny and Björn for composing all that HIT material!
Evening with the girlfriend or out with the guys?
-It depends, but when you are living together with your girlfriend, then i`d choose out with the guys! ( i relly hope that Merja (my girlfriend) doesn`t see this...hahaha :)
Sauna - pure heaven or a hot sweaty hell?
-Pure heaven! For example in summer Nothing is more relaxing than after hard days work you go to a Sauna and just sit there and relax. After the sauna you drink couple of ice cold beers outside and just watch the world go by!
Tour with this band if you can choose anyone you like:
-Well my personal favourite would be Manowar, but i think our music style is a bit too different, although we take influences from them.I think maybe Gamma Ray, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody or Stratovarius would be great. ( I just noticed that there is all of our musical influences in that list...hahaha....but is hard to decide, they are all great!)
Yesterday’s left-over pizza or a nice home-cooked meal?
-These really are tough ones....Nice meal is always great, but so is pizza! But i choose home cooked meal...maybe mashedpotatoes and meatballs,
and some brown sauce....hmm...i noticed that i just got bit hungry, maybe there is some yesterdays leftover pizza in the fridge....hahaha...

Mat: And finally - any words of wisdom or funny facts about the nearest future
you want to share with the readers?

  • Tapani: Well i hope you enjoyed reading this interview, i sure enjoyed answering to it. And also remember to check out Celesty`s new album “Reign Of Elements” in your local music store, and if they dont have it, then grab the owner from the head and tell him to order it...or else!!!!
    But always remember to keep your sword up high for METAL!!! I hope we meet someday...somewhere...until then STAY METAL!!!!!
    Best regards. ~Tapani~

That was all I had for now, Tapani - the staff at metalcovenant.com wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!

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