Ahead of Whorion’s show at Satan’s Hollow in Manchester (you can see our review here), we caught up with Ep Rautamaa, the band’s guitarist/vocalist and songwriter, for a chat. See what we talked about below, which includes how their Fall Of Atlas EP was formed, playing live and an unfortunate tale about a rabbit.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the band?
My name is Ep Rautamaa. Whorion is a five-member band and we play technical death metal with a symphonic atmosphere.
At the start of the year, you released your debut EP Fall Of Atlas. Could you tell us about the writing and recording process of it?
Actually the Fall Of Atlas songs are quite old. I started doing material for Whorion in 2009 and back then, there was nobody that could play that kind of stuff. So it was pretty hard, especially in Finland because that kind of music isn’t common there.
So it all started as a solo project?
Yeah, it was me in my bedroom for a long time. I wrote the first single we published, The Great Mass Suicide, in the fall of 2009 and I thought to myself “this is it, this is the way I want to go”. So then I started to put the songs together and then when I tried to find players, people would listen and say they liked it, but then I’d show them the riffs and they’d go “I cannot play those, it’s too fast and too technical.” All bullshit like that – basically nobody wanted to practice them.
But now we have really good guys in the band. We got everything together in 2013 – I found guys that could play everything, so we practiced together and got a session drummer, Ukri Suvilehto, who’s a really talented young drummer, and we did the Fall Of Atlas EP together. I also got help from a band called Tracedawn. There’s a keyboard player called Vili Itäpelto, who’s another really talented guy, and we got him to do all the symphonic stuff, so together we got the album to sound how it does.
Were there any songs that were more challenging or difficult to get right?
When I start to write a song, I always try to write a song from scratch, like from the first riff to the last riff. It’s a really long process, it took one month to put one song together and then I had to put two songs together in the following month because we had the recordings coming! But it’s a long process to do just one because there’s so many elements and I’m the only one who writes the songs.
And which song is the most fun to play live?
I have to say for now that for the Atlas songs, it’s Vortex of the Dead because it’s one of the more technical ones. There’s lots of melodies together and double melodies, but I just like to play and sing together. It comes to me naturally so it’s my favourite song to play live.
Moving on to the subject of live shows, you’re currently on your first UK tour. How are you finding the UK so far?
Well, we had two really bad shows – they were both quite a disaster because they didn’t do live music often and the venue locations were really bad, like nowhere nearby the town centre or where the metal scene is. But at the rest of the shows, there has been really good people, really good sound engineers, venue owners…and the people who have come were really into the music and gave us a really warm welcome. I’m quite surprised how good this has all turned out!
Hopefully tonight will be one of the good ones, Satan’s Hollow is a really good venue.
Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I’m all about Satan!
What can those who haven’t seen you before expect from the shows?
I think our live performance is cold and tight. We are so confident about our music that we want to deliver the feeling that we give on the EP in a live situation. If you like it on the record, then you’ll love it live.
Which show has been the best so far?
For me personally, the show at The Snooty Fox that we played a few days back in Wakefield. It was a really nice show and one of the best we have played. The place is just amazing – you cannot go wrong with The Snooty Fox!
Any interesting stories from the road?
I killed a rabbit yesterday.
How did that happen?!
I was driving to the place we were sleeping, it was in the middle of nowhere at some family’s place. I saw a cute rabbit and was like “oh, look at the rabbit…shit, I’ve ran over it!”
We’ve also been drinking a lot on this tour of course, but I think what happens when we have been drinking is best not to say!
Some stories are better left untold!
Yeah! But we’re going to write a tour report, so maybe the nasty things can come in there!
If you could choose an animal to represent Whorion, what would you choose?
An animal?! Fuck…that’s a really hard question. I think a bear because we are all big guys and are a little bit clumsy but also really dangerous when you get close.
And bears sometimes hunt and kill rabbits as well!
Yeah! (laughs) I think a bear is a good representative.
And if Whorion could put their name to a product, what would it be?
Well, I always wanted a dildo but Ghost already did it. So I don’t really have anything to suggest, I’m not really a material guy.
The Fall Of Atlas is out now and can be purchased from here.