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Cryptid

Some two years after formation (the current line-up of) Cryptid hs managed to present a work, with which the Finnish threesome shows its identity. Naturally, their name triggers me to dive into the archives immediately and provocations like that need to be rewarded. Mikael (guitar) is obviously the engine of the band and tries to portray a clear image of the band. He gets assistance of his bandmates Mika (bass) and Ville (vocals), who takes matters a bit more lightly, which delivers a welcome and funny touch to the conversation. They sat down all three in order to tell who they are, what they do and what you can expect from them.

By: Ramon | Archive under death metal / grindcore

band imageIt took you two years to reach a level at which you found the time was ready to show yourself to the world. Do you have any more songs on the shelf?
Mikael: Yeah, the recording process took some time, drums were recorded already in summer 2008 and soon after that Joel (the previous drummer) left the band. But we decided to put the demo together anyways, it took time but we're all very happy with the result and the feedback has been very positive. I've written some new riffs during this summer and I am confident that soon you'll hear a couple more Cryptid-songs.

What gave you the idea of sending your demo to us, all the way in The Netherlands?
Mikael: Reviews are always welcome and I've read some good reviews and texts on your homepage, so of course we gave it a try.

Reasonable! You are currently lacking a drummer, as far as I can tell. Is there a closing solution for this, any time soon? Please don't wait too long, lest you'd become a paper tiger, which is a shame for both your talent and the songs you have ready. Not to butter you up, but to warn you. You would not be the first band to break down from this factor.
Mikael: We've been searching for a new drummer for a while now, and have noticed it's quite hard to find a good death metal -drummer in Oulu (Finland, LoM), or at least one who's not playing in fifty bands already. Some of our songs can also be quite challenging and the person we're looking for has to be fully motivated. But some great guys have been interested in the past few weeks and we're confident finding a drummer soon and start training again. Our ultimate goal is to get our set together and hit the stages in 2010.

Did the release of your demo had partially to do with the quest for a new drummer, to get your name out?
Mikael: Partially yes. As I mentioned before, finding a skilled drummer is not an easy task and it's good to have your name out there at some level and reach more listeners that way.

What are the purposes of this demo mainly, getting gigs, or getting a record deal?
Mikael: Maybe partly both of those things, but mainly just to release music we love and enjoy playing, and hope that other people like it too. We've been happy to get positive feedback and it motivates us to continue making new songs and train even harder to get some gigs in the future.

Mika: I also think the main reason to publish our first demo was the passion we and especially Mikael felt for the songs. We were confident that the demo would receive great feedback. It was also kind of a statement for those who weren't buying our hype around the record.

Yeah, it is always nice to have something you made, as a musician, I understand. You guys started when you were in the army, with your former drummer. Funny, loads of metal bands have war like themes in their music, you probably found it is not as romantic as it seems, right?
Mikael: Yeah, military service is mandatory in Finland and we both served for six months in Lapland with Joel. I have no part in writing our lyrics, but for me, the army was mostly a period of time you have to go through during your life. But I can't deny it wasn't a valuable experience.

Do you have a conscript, in Finland?
Mikael: Yes, we do.

Mika: When I was in army (a year before Mikael and Joel) I joined Random Mullet. It's funny how Finnish guys meet there and start having crazy ideas. But, you know, army is a fucking crazy system so it's not surprising.

Ville: How would it not be romantic to live in a same room with eleven guys for six to twelve months?

Hahahaha, not quite what I meant, but worth a quote. Back to the previous theme, the lyrics. Could you tell me what each of your songs is about?
Ville: I'm interested in writing lyrics that work on many levels and have multiple dimensions. Therefore I try to use a lot of metaphors and write in a way that touches both individual and universal levels. Some lyrics are just objective observation around some phenomena and some more personal introspective writings. Funny trivia about the lyrics is that when we first went to our rehearsal place, I was just mumbling some random words to come up with vocal arrangement and during 'Thirst's chorus I happened to growl this quotation of a famous beverage commercial aloud and we just left it there and modified it to our context.

Now we get to the big question, the one you wanted to answer all along, I assume. Yeti, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster… all of these phenomenons are considered as cryptid. Why do you wish to associate with it, or in other words, why did you pick this band name?
Mikael: I once read an article about different cryptids and found the subject very fascinating. Cryptids are mythological creatures, mostly created by people themselves. As said, what you fear, you'll create. But there is also a nice amount of mystery in the name and many interesting stories can be found, maybe some of which we'll share to you through our lyrics in the future.

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Do you believe in the actual existence of cryptids and, regardless of the answer, what is your favorite?
Mikael: Yes, I believe some cryptids have actually existed (some have been discovered too). One of my favorites is probably "the Gardiff Giant", a stoned giant-like creation made and buried into the ground by an atheist guy who was trying to hoax people to believe that there were once giants living on earth.

Ville: Santa Claus. He is believed to have supernatural skills to share Christmas presents to people all over the world in a one night. Almost everyone in Finland still claim to have seen him.

Good one. Did you know he is derived from a character of a Dutch holiday? The saddest part is, it was introduced by the marketers of Coca Cola, who wanted to have an American version of this holiday. But that's a bit too much rationalism, maybe. Do you want to translate the enigmatic character of the cryptid to your music?
Mika: Wow, pretty thoughtful question, haha. Even though some of the riffs are complex and some of the parts are kind of progressive, were are not translating anything. We aren't thinking so deeply, haha. But fortunately, the name Cryptid describes our music at least a bit.

Ville: Maybe we could dress up as different cryptids when we get to play live. Mika as Yeti because they have similar facial hair. Mikael would make a decent Loch Ness monster cause he spends so much time in the water. I'd be a Bigfoot with my size 45 sneaker.

I beat you on that one, with size 46 army boots, hahaha. You could also all go as Santa Clause. I will tell you what I want for Christmas outside this interview. I drift away from my questionnaire. What is your musical background, I can't imagine this is the first band of some of you?
Mikael: I've had a couple of long time projects (and childhood bands of course) on the way, but I consider Cryptid as my first real band, as well as the most important one. For the first time I've written all the music by myself, I put all my energy in it and I hope some others will enjoy it too.

Mika: This is not the first nor the last band for me. But I sincerely hope our band will keep going, because I would really like to compose something for Cryptid in the future. We'll see if Mikael likes the idea.

Ville: I've played guitar almost half of my life and had some different kind of bands across the years. Worth mentioning are my two other bands Seith and Dawn of Relic which are also active at the moment.

Allright, you can always send us some stuff and me, or my colleague will tell you what to work on and what to keep. You found us once… What has been the most memorable experience of the band to date?
Mikael: Completing our first demo 'Illusion Of Balance' this year, we put a lot of work into it and it took some time, but finally getting it ready and being both proud and happy with the result was rewarding as hell.

Ville: It would be great to remember when I joined the band. That sneaky bastard Mikael lured me into this and abused my drunken state.

If this is the only way he abused it, there's no complaining, right? Are there any plans to top that major experience in a near future?
Mikael: Of course, getting on stage as soon as possible would be awesome. But our band is still taking the first steps and I think we will be able to top that experience bunch of times in the near future.

I hope I gave you ample opportunity to tell about yourself, your band and the things that move you. Goodbye for now, hopefully we'll be talking about your officially released full length next time. Until that time I would like to give you the opportunity to close this conversation. Be my guest.
M: Thanks for the interview and your kind words! And readers, go check us out if you haven't yet, cheers!

Mika: And if you find our music fresh or interesting or anything, spread the word!

Ville: Stay in school kids!

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