Finnish metal is more than H.I.M.,
Nightwish and Stratovarius. Torture Killer live up to their name with
their really groovy, brutal and aggressive death metal. They have already
sold a lot of records in thir home country. Now they stand on the edge
of an international breakthrough, with a little help from a new partner.
Front man and producer is no less than the death metal legend Chris Barnes,
famous from Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under. How has this affected
the band? We asked guitarist Jari Laine about
this and other things.
David: How do you feel about working with
a legend like Chris Barnes?
Jari: Honoured, that´s pretty much all
i can describe it with. He´s been an influence not only to us
but the whole death metal genre so obviously working someone with
that status feels a bit unreal, surprising, honoured and unexpected.
What impact has he had on the sound?
David: What can you learn from him?
Jari: Song writing in general, he comes up
with these cool vocal patterns all the time and that should be a big
help for us in the future when we start arranging the new songs. He
has a perfect vision for the rhythm and the flow/drive which the song
needs and we are definetily going to use that to our advantage in
David: What can you learn him?
Jari: I don´t see it that way and i couldn´t
give you an answer for this one. I think he feels this as a breath
of fresh air, giving him new drive with his main band SFU - and if
this is the way to help it, awesome.
David: Is he going to be a permanent member
of the band? -on record? -as a songwriter? -on tour?
Your split record with Sotajumala reached top ten on the Finnish charts.
Why do you think that metal, including even the more extreme subgenres,
has become so popular in Finland?
Jari: That was a surprise, not that it would
take too many copies to reach that singles chart but still. Metal
is doing pretty well in here, but it´s the more modern style
of melodic stuff usually. Death metal has never been too big in here
so that´s why it was a bit of surprise, then again labels use
that in here all the time - release singles that cost half of the
price of a "regular" single just to get it on the charts,
that´s kind of a trend in here these days. But still i´m
sure this was the first time a band singing about raping a corpse
does it. But you can´t deny that even we are a small country,
there are a lot of people into metal. I guess bands like Nightwish
are more acceptable for even normal people and through that they might
come interested in the aggressive stuff aswell. Not that i would expect
any death metal fans to appear that way.
David: Are you afraid of becoming too mainstream?
David: What are your expectations on "Swarm!"?
Jari: You know, i think we´ve exceeded
all our goals with this band already so were just going to take everything
that comes out of this as a positive experience. Of course i hope
that people will enjoy the album but at the same time i know some
people will not. I care what people think, but i don´t worry
myself too much with it.
David: Have you got a lot of extra attention
in media because of Barnes?
Jari: So far things are looking good, but we
expected it when Chris joined in so it´s only natural. That´s
what i would feel if he had joined another band instead of us. But
like i mentioned above, it will also put us on some peoples hatelist
- so it´s not all positive. So far so good anyways.
David: Which are the most important ingredients
when writing a good death metal song?
- Jari: It needs
to have a good meaty riff in it. Brutal vocals and a catchy vocal rhythm
- i´d say that´s about it, put a speedy part there aswell
and then get back to the juicy main riff.
David: Where do you find inspiration to
- Jari: It´s
just regular death metal topics really, no message, no statements -
just plain gore/horror/violence short story, it´s what i like
about death metal - it goes with the music and all you need is a bit
imagination, i watch a gore flick every now and then but i don´t
see that as an inspiration that much.