Having played some of the biggest stages in the world, alongside some of the renowned names in the metal music industry, these Finnish Folk metallers ENSIFERUM has left no stone unturned. With their new album, ‘One Man Army’ out, the band is on a tour now. Speaking to the bassist/vocalist, Sami Hinkka, here’s the exclusive interview we did, just when their new album released-
MJM. You released a new album ‘One Man Army’ in February this year. How do you compare this album with your earlier releases?
Sami: It definitely more aggressive album than previous one. We also thought that previous albums lacked the energy we have on our gig so we wanted to capture the live energy for this album. We cut down the amount of tracks, didn’t use drum triggers, recorded everything in as long takes as possible (compared to how bands usually record stuff in few seconds bits) and we even used some analogue equipment to get more dynamic sound and natural groove for the album.
MJM. ‘One Man Army’ entered many charts; #1 in Finnish album charts in first week of March, #167 on Billboard’s Top 200 Current Albums Chart, #19 on Billboard’s Hard Music Chart, #36 on Billboard’s Independent Albums Chart and #9 on Billboard’s Heek seekers Chart in Canada. How was the overall reception of the album?
Sami: That’s true, it hit charts in many countries so big thank you for everyone for your support!
Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we never had so awesome live reactions for a new album on album release tour than we have had this time.
MJM. Ensiferum is one of the earliest folk metal bands from Finland. What inspired you guys to play this form of music?
Sami: It all started when Markus wanted combine power of metal and melodic folk music. Of course, our musical horizon has become wider during these years but those are the cornerstones of our music even today.
MJM. You are on ‘One Man Army’ European tour with two other great Finnish metal bands, ‘Insomnium’ and ‘OmniumGatherum’ followed by a North American tour with another amazing Finnish folk metal band ‘Korpiklaani’. How has been the tour so far?
Sami: European tour was a blast! Lots of sold out venues and great people!
We are actually now on the North America tour now (sorry about the delay). Seems like the same story continues here. Lots of awesome gigs, awesome fans and incredibly fun travel party.
MJM. Emmi is not playing live for your ongoing tour and Netta Skog who used to play in Turisas is filling his shoes. You have played live with her before and she has joined you for this tour. How has been the experience playing with her so far?
Sami: Netta is amazing musician and extremely wonderful person and she has done good job filling Emmi’s shoes.
MJM. You will be doing Russian tour in April as well as Summer Festival Circuit. Tell us more about those gigs.
Sami: Russian shows were really good, we have an enthusiastic fan base there and they always put up a wild night. I’m looking forward for summer festivals a lot. Good music, sunshine, cold drinks, happy people…it’s just like a vacation but you still get to play for huge crowds.
MJM. Coming back to your new album, tell us about the song writing and recording process of ‘One Man Army’.
Sami: As always the process was slow and took few years to finalize songs, but that’s how we work. Recording the album with Anssi Kippo was great experience! He is such an amazing professional and great person. He totally understood how we want to sound (we said it should sound like very tightly played live album). He has the best working miral in the world. Average day in the studio lasted 14 hours and that went on for six weeks but I never heard him complain! His passion for music was really inspiring and working with him was absolute pleasure.
MJM. What does the title ‘One Man Army’ signifies? Why did you choose this as the album title?
Sami: Let’s put it this way; human beings are herd animals but it’s mandatory that a person can still stand on their own feet.
MJM. Finland is known for folk metal and melodic death metal bands as well as some skull crushing death metal bands. What do you think is the reason behind so much talent coming out of Finland?
Sami: I really don’t know. Maybe it’s the long and dark winter? People don’t have anything else to do than sit in rehearsal room? Hahaha!
MJM. Lastly, are you guys planning on touring India sometime?
Sami: There are lots plans for 2015 and 2016 to tour around the world. All confirmed gigs can be found on our official sites. And if you want to see us in your city, then keep on harassing your local promoters.
MJM. Any last words for your fans?
Sami: If you haven’t heard One Man Army, check it out. Enjoy the summer and stay metal!
MJM. Thanks a lot for taking some time out and doing this interview with Metaljesus Magazine and best of luck for your ongoing tours.
Sami: Thank you so much! All the best!
Connect with the band-
Aumkar Lele (Metaljesus Magazine)