Impaled Nazarene are currently getting ready to release their incredible twelth album Vigorous And Liberating Death and we were lucky enough to catch up with frontman Mika (also known as Sluti666) to ask him a few questions. Check out what happened below…
Could you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Sluti666, vomit at Impaled Nazarene. We formed in November 1990. We have released so far 11 studio albums, one live CD, one double live DVD, one MCD and five 7″ EPs. We have played tons of shows all around the world. There have been good times and bad times, line-up changes, disasters and victories on this crazy ass ride. We have never changed our style, we have never split-up and come back to do pathetic reunion thing. We have just kept going our own style without giving a fuck about everybody else.
So you’re currently getting ready to release your incredible twelfth studio album Vigorous And Liberating Death – could you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process for it?
We all write music but never together. Everybody writes at home and then we meet at the rehearsals to see what we have come up with. Since we have been doing this so long, usually the song is 99% ready when we start to check it out. Everybody knows what to write. We sometimes maybe cut a riff or change the tempo of the song but very rarely. The actual recording process was fast and easy. Drums were done in two days last December. Then in January guitars took three days. In February bass was done in a day and vocals in two. The whole process including mixing and mastering took us 13 days in total. And these were not even full days, for example I went to the studio right after work and did most of the songs in four hours.
Were there any tracks that were more of a challenge to complete?
I had serious writer’s block when I started to do lyrics. I was (and am) so fucking happy with the Road To The Octagon album so when I started to think what I should write, I was pretty lost. I cannot really start writing anything before I have a album title. It took ages to figure it out but then when I finally got it, the concept was pretty much there. With music we had no problems.
Are there any interesting stories from the studio?
I sang the album 100% sober…
Which track are you most proud of?
It is too hard to name just one track. I think the first three songs are really strong. The whole album is fucking strong.
My favourite of the album is Flaming Sword Of Satan – could you tell me a little more about that one?
This was penned by Arc Basstard (bass). This was one track where we did radical tempo change, it was originally as fast as it is in the end of the song. Then we just tried it slower and it was like a revelation. It’s totally made to play live. It took me sometime to figure out how to sing it and then one day last summer, I was jogging at 6am and was humming it silently and was like “That’s it, fuck me sideways.”
I thought the artwork for the album by Taneli Jarva was awesome – did you go to him with a specific vision for how it should look or did you give him free reigns?
When I asked him if he was interested of doing cover for us, he said yes but instead of doing any pencil drawing, he wants to paint it on canvas. Something he had never done before. I said whatever you want to do, I just mailed him lyrics of Flaming Sword Of Satan for inspiration. He did not hear any music. And it is fucking fantastic piece of art. It is different from all the photoshopped covers of today.
Have you got any plans in the works for a tour?
No. We cannot do any extensive touring because we all work normal day jobs. This is why we only play on weekends and public holidays. We have six shows in Finland coming up and seven festivals (Italy, Croatia, France, Ukraine, Holland, Czech Republic and Germany). It is total pain in the ass that we cannot go on tour but that’s the way it is.
If you could play a show anywhere, with any band, what would you choose?
I have this twisted dream of playing in Vladivostok in Siberia and going there by old Tupolev plane so that it would be more than horrifying experience. And from there another show at Anchorage, Alaska. With Slayer, of course.
How do you feel about the stereotype that Finland is “all about the metal”?
Well, you don’t really see it here. There’s no metal music programs on tv. Mass media does not cover any of this unless you are Nightwish. There was this “metal” boom like 4 or five years ago when lots of metal clubs popped up and it was all about Nightwish version of “metal”. About 90% of these clubs have closed down. We do have lots of bands but you can count it on fingers of one hand how many of them are actually successful. Our government does not support this kind of music at all.
How do you feel about the fact that nowadays everything needs to be so politically correct, just in case you accidentally insult someone?
Two songs on the new album deal with this subject. Sananvapaus (Freedom Of Speech) and Riskiarvio (Risk Assessment) are both about the very sad state of Finland. Or you can say that about the whole Europe for that matter. Freedom of speech is pretty much dead. The whole EU is spiralling down and fast. It is so fucking sad.
And if Impaled Nazarene could put their name to any product, what would it be?
Razor sharp barbed wire which would be exclusively used in public hangings of greenpeace members and employees.
Cheers for the interview! Hopefully I’ll be able to catch you live in the future some time!
Thank you! Remember children: Drink vodka and be free!
You can read our review of Vigorous And Liberating Death here.