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In maart brengt Spinefarm het derde Wolfheart album uit, als zijnde het muzikale vehikel van de muzikale duizendpoot Tuomas Saukkonen, genaamd ‘Tyhjyys’. Toegegeven, we moeten nog wat oefenen op die albumtitel, maar nog voor we er iets van gehoord hebben, hadden we half januari een inleidend gesprek met de veelzijdige muzikant die we al sinds jaren volgen, vlak voor het concert van Wolfheart met Barren Earth en Insomnium in de Biebob. We stappen op de tourbus en klinken op het nieuwe jaar terwijl het volgende gesprek zich ontspint met Tuomas…

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

First of all, how did you manage to get on this tour and how do you feel by that, since it is a Finnish happening…
I am really happy about this totally Finnish combination. The whole crew is Finnish, the bands are Finnish, the tour manager is Finnish… that makes it a lot easier to communicate. Everybody is talking in their vernacular language. It makes a lot of things easier, especially when you get drunk and stuff like that (chuckles) and everybody knows each other quite okay already. Sometimes it is not so easy when you have eighteen guys in the bus and in the backstage and the venues every day you see the same faces, but now, when you know the people you are going to tour with, it is a completely different thing. I cannot even remember how we got on this tour. When I knew that we were going to release our third album around March, I started to contact a few agencies I knew pretty well and this was the first tour they asked me about, so the contracts came around pretty quickly.

Talking about that third album, I have not heard it yet, but what can you tell about it at this point in time?
The new album is going to be more various than the previous ones. Mainly because of our drummer (Joonas Kauppinen – Vera). His skills and talents have made it possible that I even write faster songs now, because we have a drummer that actually can play that kind of stuff. Also because of this faster and heavier songs, the contrast with the doomier songs will be bigger now. On this album I did not want to do any keyboards myself, I wanted maybe somebody else to do it for having a fresh approach. So we had the keyboard player from Finnish band Shade Empire (Olli Savolainen – Vera). The guy is super talented, making orchestrations, a movie soundtrack like soundscapes. So that is a convenient new element we have in the music now.

So it will be more multilayered?
Yes, but I would not use the word ‘symphonic’, but richer. At least to my ears, I am not the right person to analyze the music, I am way too much inside the music myself. But it is a convenient new layer on the music that keeps a convenient different range and mood on the songs also.

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Now it has been a while since you skipped all the different projects and canalize them all into Wolfheart. Do you feel more comfortable with that still?
Yes, it is easier but the only challenge I am going to face at some point: with a lot of different bands I was able to create a lot of music. In the busiest year I had three albums coming out. So the only thing that I am a little bit concerned about now, when I focus on Wolfheart only, I cannot do so many albums anymore. So how am I going to keep myself occupied?

I guess you can always bring one project to life again…
Yes, there is something coming up… I am working on a project, not really for this year, but maybe for the next one. I will put all my energy in Wolfheart now, with main focus on that band. Music-wise it is not easier now. To me at least, I am putting elements from Black Sun Aeon, from Before The Dawn, from all of my bands in it… it is now colliding in one style.

Which tours did you do in the wake of the former album ‘Shadow World’?
We toured with Swallow The Sun, it was also here at the Biebob. I did not want to tour with Wolfheart when the first album came out, because it was a completely new band, I did not have a real label, I released the album myself, so I did not know how to arrange it. In the beginning I even did not have a band in the studio, so the plan was from the beginning to have the first tour after the second album and then see how things go.

The band seems to be pretty consistent, I remember on the second album, there were already riffs from Mika, the other guitarist…
On one song on the new album there are riffs from both Mika and Lauri. The bass player. Lauri, his main instrument is guitar and he has really cool ideas and riffs. This time Mika was pretty busy at work and they were expecting their first born baby, so he was really busy with that. He did all the solos on the album again and we did one song together with him and Lauri, but for the rest I did the composing completely myself.

We still had a nice chat about the touring, the title and so on, but we will focus on that in the interview about the album ‘Tyhjyys’ next month… always a pleasure to talk to Tuomas!

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