Join Date: Aug 2010
well, the google-translator one is clear enough!! thanks!
here's a rough translation of the spanish one, i'll just post it as it is (sorry for the wall of text)
After a few inconveniences with my recorder, I could finally transcribe the interview with Mathias, from Turisas. I know a lot of people are going to the show for them, and it is clear that they are quite an interesting band.
With his strong accent he answered politely to more questions, it was fun talking to him and I hope itís fun seeing them live.
This is the first time Turisas comes to Mexico. You have 3 albums and have been in the scene for years but itís the first time you play in a Latin-American country, right?
Yes, thatís right, and weíre very excited. Weíve never been to Latin America and weíre sorry itís just one tour date because we would like to have many more, but we hope that in the future we arrange our schedule and we can go back. But yes, weíre very excited; we know itís going to be amazing.
Well, this is also part of a big tour; youíre playing 30 more shows in the US and Canada with Cradle of Filth, but here the audience will be much different. Do you have any reference about the Mexican audience?
Iím sure itís going to be very different to anything weíve seen before. We always hear stories about how crazy people get and what a great place it is to play.
I canít really say what weíre expecting because we donít know, but we are thrilled; our shows are always really energetic, weíre a band that goes onstage every night to kill and we believe Mexico will be better than that. Yes, we canít wait.
I read that Stand Up And Fight will be released a few weeks after your show here. Are you playing any of your new songs?
Absolutely. The thing is, although the album will be released later, this tour cycle is to promote it already.
I donít like it when bands have a new album and they donít play it, but keep playing the songs Iíve heard a million times before from the previous albums.
Donít worry, weíll play new songs, although no one has heard them before; of course, weíll also play classics, the singles and the rest, it will be well balanced.
Also, weíll play the new songs for the first time in Mexico, we havenít played them yet anywhere else, and Iím really glad the debut is in Mexico; a country that for us will also represent the first time weíre visiting.
Turisas is a band that is in its midpoint in its career. You still do some tours as a support band like this one with Cradle of Filth in the US, but now you also tour as headliners.
When you look back, how does it feel to know youíre becoming headliners?
It feels really good, we do a lot of touring as a support band, we played with Cradle of Filth before so we know itís going to be good, but yes, weíve done a lot of touring in different formats and for different audiences.
We know the audience for Cradle of Filth may be different from ours but we also know that in Mexico, we have a good group of fans. And it feels good to know that we can headline some tours now, but itís been a while since we last went to North America, so the tour with COF was a really good option.
With luck the new album will help us take the next step and go back in the future to play as headliners.
I read that, particularly some magazines, call your music ďBattle MetalĒ as if that was a sub-genre of metal. I know musicians donít like to label their own music but how would you define Turisas if someone who has never listened to you asked you to?
(Laughs) Well, the Battle Metal thing is more like an inside joke that came up with a guy from Dilemma (apparently itís a magazine but I canít find any references online) but we have so many influences and so many different elements in our music that I donít think it fits in a box. Thatís why it doesnít bother me if they call us ďBattle MetalĒ, itís more like a joke.
But youíre right, I donít like to label my music in detail because then I would say weíre something like Symphonic Viking Metal with Folk influences and funny lyrics and that would confine us to a very tiny box and thatís really bad for creativity and the exploration of ideas.
I prefer to simply call us a metal band. And even a rock band because that gives us more freedom to do whatever we want to do and move in the directions we want to.
You know, itís more the pressí job to analyze, categorize and put labels, lets just say doing that is not our goal at all.
For some strange reason, thereís a great connection between Mexico and Finland. Mexicans love Finnish bands, however, our countries are completely different. We donít even have snow!
So tell me, how do you see Mexico? Not necessarily as a musician, but personally.
Well, I see it as a very interesting country which, as Finland, has had very difficult times. Being in the border with Russia is not exactly the easiest geographic position, as it is in Mexico being next to the US.
I think that geographic situation makes different elements of the character of people come out, itís like a survival quality. And when I think of Mexico, I think of this enormous, legendary and beautiful culture and at the same time itís a complex mix of European tradition, for example. That kind of hybrid gives place to a unique culture, proper of Latin America, although each country has its distinctiveness.
You were saying for instance that you donít have snow, and from that, it irks me when some stupid people say that, for example, you canít enjoy this or that kind of metal because you donít have a contact or a cultural reference to it or whatever, and we donít have anything to do with that mentality. I donít need a Latin background to enjoy Mexican music.
I think your cultural heritage doesnít determine what kind of music you should listen to, Mexico has the same potential than any other country to develop folk metal, Viking metal or Battle Metal bands in its scene. Actually, it doesnít matter where in the world you come from because at the end of the day good music stands out on its own, not because it was created in a certain place.
Thatís very interesting, because the music scene in Mexico is very wide, you can hear all kinds of metal because weíre close to the US and because European bands come; but thereís also the idea that you canít play Viking if your not Scandinavian.
In that sense, I got the question, why use an accordion? Itís not typical in metal; yet, with what youíre saying, it makes sense, especially since metal is essentially doing whatever the hell you want. How did you come up with the idea of using this instrument?
Absolutely. That happened because in the beginning of the band, in the 90ís, we shared the rehearsal room with a Folk band, it was like dancing music for older people and they had an accordionist. And it must have been in the early stages of Turisas, around the 98í, when we were still rehearsing, trying to make a few demos; so, we invited him to play his music in some of our songs and it worked really well because the accordion has a very funky and folkloric sound that fit perfectly with what we were doing.
Then, years later when we were recording Battle Metal we invited him again to record the accordion in some songs, just like the session violinist we hired for that same record. And then, when it was finally done, we realized it would be a huge waste trying to reproduce these sounds through a keyboard, because, at the end of the day, these sounds were directly linked to the use of these instruments, not synths, so we decided the band should have both instruments as an integral part of the concept, and thatís how it started.
Now that the metal world lost Peter Steele, Dio, when Judas Priest and Scorpions announced their retirement, as a musician and as a metal fan, what bands do you think could take their place?
Thatís a tough question because it would be trying to speculate whether one day there will be another Metallica, for example. They are great bands and itís hard to imagine that theyíll have successors, although on the other hand we see bands like Muse who became huge after opening a tour for U2. Now they sell out arenas and everything, theyíre huge.
Iím not keen on the theory that now with the Internet and downloads itís not possible for a metal band to become huge. I do believe there are bands that will remain active for decades to come, they may be bands who are just starting or some who have come a long way, but to decide which one is very difficult because itís all hypothetical.
There are some in the most Pop side of the spectrum, like Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium, that get on Billboard every time they release albums and so, but itís hard to know if that is sustainable, or if itís more about bands that grow tremendously and then flop.
I would rather think that bands that last are those that build their careers step by step and not in brutal explosions that might not last.
Ok, and with all the changes in the lineup throughout the years, do you see Turisas still playing in 15 years? Would you like to still do this in 15 years?
I think the most important thing is to do it as long as you enjoy it, as long as it lasts. As long as the motivation to do it is that, then it is fine; if you donít enjoy it anymore, even if itís the only thing you know how to do, even if it leaves you broke, if you donít enjoy it, stop doing it.
If youíre doing it because it gives you good money, or because thatís how youíll pay your rent, but you donít enjoy it, then it doesnít make sense to do it.
I donít even know if Iíd want to tour by the time Iím Lemmyís age, I think itís admirable to tour at 65 with everything that implies. I think it depends on whether you want to and if you can do it. Today I would say yes, that I want to do it forever, but the truth is that physically you have to be well, and how Iíll be in a few years is something I donít know. I have the deepest respect for bands that stay strong 15 or 20 years after their top moment, and that are still there because they enjoy it. Thatís the case of Annihilator, for example; we went with them on tour on 2007 and by then their top moment had gone, but Jeff Waters is still doing it and has no ego problems, heís the most laid back and nicest guy I know and every night he goes onstage and performs because he still enjoys it and he doesnít give a damn if his band is not so big anymore. He just loves what he does and he still does it for that simple reason, and that for me is praiseworthy, because if I were in that same situation, I donít know if Iíd like to go on.
Finally, I donít want to sound stupid but, when I look at your website, I canít help but remembering Mad Max.
Do your stage personas have anything to do with Mad Max or is it a coincidence?
(laughs) Well, we had the same look for a few years and now with the new album we thought it was time to turn the page and start a new chapter, that also included designs for new stage costumes and this time we wanted something more timeless. And youíre right; itís some sort of design that shows the future meeting the past and has elements of movies like Mad Max.
However, I think it also has a big influence of great old cinematographic productions, epic films from the late 50ís and 60ís like Ben-Hur or Spartacus, real epic movies not like Pirates of the Caribbean and those from now that lack that kind of real production.
Thatís were the idea comes from, itís not like we sat down to watch Mad Max and thought, ďThatís what we wantĒ (laughs) itís a combination of all the elements I mention.