Ahead of the release of Ensiferum’s new album One Man Army (our review of which can be read here), we caught up with guitarist/vocalist Petri to have a chat about it.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Hi, I’m Petri from Ensiferum and I play guitar and do growling vocals in the band. The band got started 20 years ago and the aim was to make very melodic heavy metal with folk influences and main inspiration came from bands Amorphis, Iron Maiden, Dark Tranquillity and those can be heard in our music still today.
You’re currently getting ready to release your new album One Man Army. How did you approach the writing and recording process?
This time we started from scratch so we didn’t have any leftovers in our desk drawers. We wanted to add more heavy metal into our songs and that way make it more fun for us to play and to our fans to listen. Our producer/recorder Mr. Anssi Kippo helped us to achieve that by giving us more than just a great sound and by kicking us in the studio to get the best results out of everyone. The recording itself went without any bigger problems or delays so the process was pretty easy in the end. Even doing long days in the studio the classic happened, we started to run out of time so then had to work through nights until morning light as well.
Did you do anything different compared to past releases?
Mr. Kippo has a analog desk in his studio so we used that on this album so that’s new to us and that way we could get a bit different sound to what we were used to. It took a bit longer to get the sounds right but it was so worth it. The sound is just amazing and fits perfectly to our new songs. Otherwise we followed the same procedures as on the previous albums.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to get right?
Descendants, Defiance, Domination was the song that needed the most work – getting all the pieces fit together was a challenge and few times we were almost giving up on it but after a while getting back on the horse it finally started to sound right to us and now, it’s one of my personal favourites on the album.
Any interesting tales from the studio?
The most coolest thing what happened in the studio was when Netta Skog came to do her vocal parts and she baked us buns and made a cheese cake. That’s Rock’n’Roll, right?
One of the songs, Two Of Spades (which is my personal favourite on the album), featured a guest vocal performance from Finnish disco legend Frederik – how did that collaboration come into fruition?
That came up in rehearsals after we figured out that we are going to that disco part to that song and Frederik is a family friend of Markus Toivonen and he was our natural choice for that song and he said yes. He is really well known in Finland and he got the voice and moves, he is a real entertainer.
On a similar subject, if you could collaborate with any artist or musician in the future, who would you choose?
Maybe Frank Sinatra cos his voice is just great still today.
If you could choose an animal to represent the band, what would you choose and why?
Hmm..interesting one this is..let’s go with a cat=they eat and sleep all day and play all night.
If you could replace the soundtrack in a movie with Ensiferum’s music, what film would you choose?
I bet your readers are shouting Lord of the Rings but nope, I’d go with Steven Seagal’s Killswitch.
And if Ensiferum could put their name to a product, what would it be?
We already have one and that is a dish brush and it also has our logo on it. Cool huh?