Finnish Fire
CoC interviews Jarno Taskula of Evemaster
by: Pedro Azevedo
There may be quite a flood of Swedish (or Swedish-sounding) melodic metal right now, but Evemaster, from Finland, are rather unique in a way. The main reason for that is that there is essentially only one person writing and playing all the music: Tomi Mykkanen, accompanied by Jarno Taskula on vocals. Their promising debut _Lacrimae Mundi_ [reviewed in CoC #32] is out now on KTOK Records. The following is my interview with Evemaster vocalist Jarno Taskula.

CoC: Can you tell us some of the recent story behind Evemaster and what led to your signing by KTOK Records?

Jarno Taskula: We just got our CD _Lacrimae Mundi_ out and we are awaiting reactions from the underground people right now. As far as we are now, we are positively surprised. We sent our demo _In Thine Majesty_ to many labels and got some interesting answers from some of them. KTOK Records went a bit deeper than the others, so that is why we are where we are right now.

CoC: How do you manage to make your music work being just a two-piece band? I mean, it mustn't be easy for a band to work having only two members.

JT: You are right, and the fact is that Tomi Mykkanen does all the music from beginning to end by himself, and the same goes for the lyrics. I am only the vocalist, but of course I give some feedback to Tomi Mykkanen about the music, lyrics and especially arrangements that he makes. Although it's sometimes very hard and time consuming to create a song, it gives Tomi 100% freedom to make the music he believes in without any interfering comments from other composers in the band (which would happen if we had a full line-up).

CoC: Your album _Lacrimae Mundi_ mixes some styles, namely, in my opinion, some Swedish melodic death/black and some doom here and there. Do you agree?

JT: Yes, _Lacrimae Mundi_ mixes some different styles and that is what Evemaster's music is all about. We create metal that has intriguing emotional melodies, but still has a very aggressive touch and dark feeling in it, both music-wise and lyric-wise. That's why we call it dark metal. In my opinion we didn't use any pure doom elements in _Lacrimae Mundi_. I know that "Equinox Nocturne" is a slower song and that's where you got that doom thing, right? Although it's slower, it is not as oppressive as doom metal usually is.

[Indeed, it was mainly "Equinox Nocturne" that made me ask this question; however, I did detect a few other melodies that seemed somewhat doomy to me. On a side note, doomy sequences occur more frequently in Swedish-like metal than most people seem to notice (At the Gates, Opeth and Dawn being three good examples, and all of superb quality). -- Pedro]

CoC: Yes, that final track, "Equinox Nocturne", seems to me pretty much black/doom metal, though not very extreme doom-wise. How did that track came up? It's quite different from the rest of the album, in my opinion.

JT: Yes, it is. We had a discussion about a slower song, when Tomi started to write new songs for _Lacrimae Mundi_, and we ended up agreeing that it would be a really good idea to create one slower and longer song as a final track -- since all the other songs are by one way or another faster, the slower final track will make the whole album more interesting. And although the final track "Equinox Nocturne" is much slower (during the first eight minutes) than the other songs, it still has the same dark feeling and touch as the others; it is the darkest song we have ever made. When the song turns to the end sequence, it gets faster and faster and in the end it is almost as fast as some of our other songs, so it also has its aggressive side in the end.

CoC: What bands were your main influences?

JT: Musically, Tomi's influences are all the great metal bands he listens to. Yeah, that's a very standard answer, but Tomi doesn't want to create music in a way that Evemaster would sound like, for example, Cradle of Filth or Old Man's Child or whatever. He picks up some influences here and there and adds a big pile of his own ideas to create the music of Evemaster. The same goes for the lyrics. Actually, for our new release, Tomi is planning to write lyrics for a concept album. Of course we first have to find out what our next release's format will be... MCD or CD? So we will see... In the beginning, my main influence was Mille from Kreator and he still is, but I have also tried to add more emotion to the vocals to make them sound like -my- vocals.

CoC: Do you have a live line-up? Have you been playing any live shows?

JT: Well, we can't play live since we are only a two-piece band and we haven't found a stable line-up yet. We just got a positive answer from a local drummer for our next release, but there aren't any plans concerning tours.

CoC: How's the metal scene been going lately in Finland? More specifically, how does it feel being so near Norwegian black metal and Swedish melodic black/death, two thriving styles, whereas there's no specific metal style associated with Finland (not that there aren't some really good Finnish metal bands, though)?

JT: I don't mind that Finland doesn't have any specific notable style, because, in my opinion, most of the Finnish bands are aiming at originality with their music and not following the so called trend style. As I said, this doesn't stand for all of the Finnish bands. Yes, you are right. There are a lot of good bands in Finland, but they differ quite a lot from each other and I think that's very good.

CoC: Any plans of signing for a bigger label now, like your neighbors Children of Bodom, who are on Spinefarm Records and had an album released by Nuclear Blast?

JT: It would be good to get signed by a bigger label, but it doesn't have to be as big as Nuclear Blast. We just want to have a good budget for our next release, so that we don't have to hurry at all in the studio and we can do all the stuff we would like to do there. Of course it would be great to get a good deal from a big label and sell more CDs, but if we just get a good studio budget, it will sell quite well anyway, because the album will sound better. Of course the amount of album advertisement the label will do means a lot, but the most important thing is that it should sound great!

CoC: What are you planning to do after the release of _Lacrimae Mundi_?

JT: Tomi will concentrate on writing the new material for the forthcoming promo tape and I will try to help the label promote the CD as much as possible by sending promos to zines, radios, etc. and doing interviews. Of course Tomi will do some promotion as well, but we think that it is better that he has as much time to write new material as possible.

CoC: Any idea of what will change in your sound from now on?

JT: Our sound will change at least a bit, because we are going to use a session drummer in our forthcoming releases. Musically I am not sure, because it's Tomi who makes the music, but our music will still have its main elements: melody, aggression and emotion. I will try to use some different vocal styles now and then instead of screaming all the time. I like to scream, so that's not the point, but it's good to use varied vocals in some parts to make the music more interesting and original.

CoC: Would you like to add a final message to this interview?

JT: Visit our homepage, read the reviews of _Lacrimae Mundi_ and listen to samples; then, if you liked what you just heard, order the CD as soon as possible. Thanks a lot for the interview!

Contact: WWW:

(article submitted 1/9/1998)

7/8/1998 P Azevedo 8 Evemaster - Lacrimae Mundi
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