Since it is nigh to impossible to find any info on the band on the Internet could you tell us something about Vainaja? So, who's in the band and the history of the band.
The reason for the lack of information is that Vainaja hasn't been around too long. But that of course doesn't mean that we've materialized from nothingness. The band members have played together since 2006 in a band called Demolisher. Our guitarist has also a history as one of the founding members of 90's death metal band Mordicus. After going deep into technical death metal and focusing on a narrow musical area it was time to do something more organic. The three of us went back to the roots of death metal and doom, and it all started without any plans or thoughts of what the audience would think. We're now deeply focused on this band. One can surely hear that on the upcoming album.
'Kahleiden Kantaja' is your debut release if I am not mistaken. Does the title of it have anything to do with your band name which apparently means 'deceased'?
Not exactly. Kahleiden Kantaja translated into English means Chain Bearer. First of all the words sound really sinister in Finnish, but there's also a message. Not a political statement, but the title is more or less about the suffering that every single person faces today. Greedy people rule the world and animal instincts of the human race have come to the surface. Where's the humanity going to be in 2100?
Is there a specific reason that your lyrics are in Finnish? And can we expect lyrics in English in the future from you?
The raw articulation of Finnish language suits heavy music really well. We have no plans for English lyrics. In a way it's also an exotic thing for us, since every band in our past has chosen English automatically. It's obvious that English is the common language of the metal business, but as you can see there's a bunch of bands that do it with their own language. Since Finnish is our mother language it gives us the strength to create deeper lyrics and stronger feelings. We can imagine that Finnish sounds really brutal if you don't know a word we're growling.
Seeing that, like I said, 'Kahleiden Kantaja' is your debut release why only opt for two songs clocking in at only about nine minutes?
'Kahleiden Kantaja' is just a two-song showcase of what Vainaja is about. We wanted to release this single in order to gain exposure in the media before releasing the full-length album. It gives an impression of what our music is about. In a way we are satisfied, since most of the reviewers criticize that two songs are not enough and want to hear more.
Seeing you play death/doom or doom/death if you like I somehow expected longer songs. Why settle for the shortness?
It is easier to compose lengthy songs when one plays slow paced music. We think that it's actually much harder to write compact doomy songs. As a matter of fact, it doesn't matter how long the song is. Slow paced music isn't just normal-tempo music played slower. It depends on the feeling of the composition that we want to express. You never know where the song will get you as you start composing and arranging it, and the actual length of the song is often not thought out at all. We actually have longer songs on the forthcoming album, one reaching almost ten minutes.
Unlike many of the current death/doom crop you have quite a bit of death metal in your sound and thus reminding me of Ophis, of current bands, and Rippikoulu, a band of yore. So what are you main influences music wise and also non music wise?
We are not too familiar with Ophis, and Rippikoulu we know just by name and have heard their music very briefly. We'd say that neither of those are a part of our influences. Then again, we cannot name any particular bands. It's the late 80's till 90's death metal scene that has influenced us a lot, as well as some doom bands. Wouldn't it be a cliché to say that Black Sabbath is our influence? Anyhow, it has influenced our song writing. Our method is to work as much as possible together in the rehearsal room. For us it is the interaction of each band member that really matters. This works best for us, and it is the opposite for making the songs alone in your home with computer. This way the personal feeling and the atmosphere really merge in our music.
Okay, you now released the two track EP, what's the plan for the near future?
At the moment we are finalizing the mixing of our full-length album. The plan is to release it by the end of the year through Deformation Recordings, or alternatively look for a label that could release the album as vinyl version too. After the album is finished, we start working on new songs that are already been made.
Dan Swanö did the mastering of 'Kahleiden Kantaja' and he did a damn fine job. How did you come into contact with him and what is the reason you contacted him to do it?
We are very familiar with Dan's work in and on various projects, and he is the best man out there to get the heaviest sound possible. Mastering is the last step in recording process, a very important step, so it is best to have someone who really knows what to do. And yes, Dan did great job!
Are there any bands you would really want to play live with given the chance? And also bands you're rather not?
Should Tom G. Warrior become active and need a support band for some of his projects, we would gladly play with Celtic Frost or Triptykon. We'd play live with any band that fits our theme, so it is not essential to sort out certain bands we would not play with. Also we've been waiting for ZZ Top to contact us for collaboration.
Will there be a chance to catch you sometime soon live? I would think that to be in Finland and not mainland Europe, right?
Yes, we have plans to do a few gigs to back up the release of our debut album. At the moment we operate as a trio, but for the live gigs we would need a second guitarist, so anyone interested can contact us. We can play anywhere, but due to the vocal language and our location, Finland is a good place to start.
Deformation Recordings is a small label. I can imagine you are on the lookout for a bigger label are there any labels you'll specifically be interested in?
Yes, we would like to have a label with wide distribution and possibility to release the album on vinyl as well. We are not looking for any specific label, but anyone interested can contact us. And it does not have to be a big label, as long as it has the devotion to this kind of music and the willingness to gain exposure for the release.
How has 'Kahleiden Kantaja' been received thus far?
Reviews outside of Finland have been very admiring. Interestingly enough, the Finnish reviews have been also very accepting, but also suspicious about the language. It seems that the Finnish language can still be a barrier for some metal music listeners in Finland. There has been metal in Finnish for many years, although it hasn't been this kind of doomy metal, apart from Rippikoulu. We think certain bands (not to be mentioned here) have in a way ruined the whole idea of making metal music in Finnish. That is something we want to change.
That wraps it up from my end. Is there anything you would like to add?
Spread the word that Vainaja is rising from the dust, giving a change to run but in the end confining you into our parish.