Tuesday, 3 March 2015

INTERVIEW: Ensiferum

Just last month Ensiferum launched their new album - One Man Army - at us, and what an album it is! Their epic folk-infused black metal has been around for over two decades, but with this new album they have released a more accessible collection of incredible tunes, than before.

Following the release, Femetalism had the opportunity to speak with Emmi Silvennoinen, keyboard player in the band and talk more about the album, Scandinavian folk metal and the bands hectic summer of festivals.

Congrats on the new album - can you tell us about the album?

We started to work on these new songs quite long time ago. Our guitar player Markus Toivonen got some really good ideas and melodies and we started to work on them together. This time we wanted to add more heavy metal riffs and sound into our songs. Our producer Anssi Kippo helped us out to find good spices for the album we wanted, I guess we didn't find how to do them by ourselves. He really kicked us to give our best when recording the album. We also got very exciting songs to record, like Two of Spades and Bonus song, somehow I found them as a booster for this whole recording process. With the album cover we wanted to have some new vibe, but still wanted to keep the same guy on it, who has always been on our album covers. We are really happy with the result.

How has the band progressed from 2012's Unsung Heros to One Man Army?

I think we have been working on these songs somehow better this time. We got enough time and Anssi Kippo really gave us the boost we needed. We wanted to focus on the songs themselves and make them sound unique, our songs. Anssi has an analog desk in his studio, and with that we got a bit different sound as we have previously used. We are very happy with the result.

One Man Army is said to be more mainstream than previous, is this a fair summary?

Yes, I think so. The melodies are powerfull and some even quite catchy. There are some real heavy metal riffs, but also some songs are maybe easier to listen for people who haven´t listened our material before.

Ensiferum are often compared to Tyr and Korpiklaani.  There is a rich folk metal scene from your part of the world - what is the Scandinavian folk metal scene like from your perspective?

It's nice to see Scandinavian folk metal bands, especially Finnish bands, are doing well all around the world. I'm proud to be part of this, and its nice to see people are loving this kind of music, and getting inspirations from Scandinavian bands for their own music and all their lifestyles.

How do Ensiferum stand out from other Finnish metal bands?

We do music we want to do. We want to express ourselves with our music and it is great to see if other people like it too.

The tour for One Man Army travels all over Europe. How are the band preparing for 2 solid months of travel?

We are on the road 2 months total, Europe and North America. Its important to take care of own health also when touring. Sleeping and eating well, including some easy sport activities are keeping me sane. If I have time during the day, I like to go for a walk, move thoughts out from the touring life, and maybe do some shopping! =)

Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum are huge names in melodic death metal. What can fans expect from the shows?

We are good package together, the bands are a bit different style of music, which makes the evening sound more interesting, I think.

We’re looking forward to seeing the new material at Bloodstock, UK in August. What other festivals are you playing?

We are still working on the summer festivals, but at least we are coming also to Wacken, Hellfest, Summer Breeze and Party Sun. Im really excited to play new material for the festival audience.

What makes playing a festival different to touring?

There are usually more people who hasn't heard of our music, and festivals are a place to show all we got. We want to play new songs, but definitely not forgetting old hits and party songs!

What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

I'm waiting to get feedback from the new album from our fans and new listeners. I think its the best album we have done so far, so I hope you all like it as well! =)

Huge thanks to Emmi of Ensiferum and Andy at Metal Blade Records for the interview.

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Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.