SOURCE – Under The Red Cloud is finished and ready to come out on September 4th. How do you feel about the finished product?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – I feel very strong about it, I honestly think it is one of our best albums, even that’s clichee to say that heh, but really, I’m really happy with songs, production, and sound specially is better than ever before. It was also great to work with our producer Jens Bogren for the first time, he made us work like animals. Looking forward to hear what other people are thinking about it!
SOURCE – With the success and rave reviews of the last release Circle, does that increase your expectations for this album?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – We are trying not to take any pressures from latest works when we start to focus on new material, we just start to compose and focus 100% what we are doing right now.
Some pressure might come up when whole album is ready and mixed, and you are listening that for the first time how it is gonna be and you cannot change anything anymore, then you start thinking what our fans are thinking of it, and is it better than previous one and so on. But we feel very good about this, so we are not worring too much, we know that we did our best.
SOURCE – Is it ever hard to keep up the energy and creativity after so many years?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – No, as we still love what we are doing, making music, even more than when we started. And being able to live with music we can focus to the band fully. When or if this starts to feel boring some day then it is time to quit. But so far we are thankful every day that we can still do this after so many years.
SOURCE – That sentiment comes through in the music of each Amorphis album, and Under The Red Cloud is no exception. So can you tell our readers what you have going on professionally outside of Amorphis?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – Well professionaly we are all having this as full-time job, we are not doing anything else for living. Most of us are having some small studios where making some music-projects once in a while. And some of us having families, so normal things… of course things happening in our personal lives are affecting to music we write.
I can remember clearly different phases in my life when looking at our discography, it’s like diary to me, as this band has been part of my life way more than half of it.
SOURCE – Obviously your band has gone through a lot of changes. Tales From the Thousand Lakes sounded a lot different from Tuonela which sounded a lot different from Circle. Where does Under The Red Cloud fall on that scale?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – I personally think, and also some of our friends think, that this sounds like there is all the elements we’ve had in a past, and same time there is something new what we have nevere been before. It is very hard to say myself, as all the albums are so “close” to me but this kind of feeling I do have. Definetily this one is heavier album than we’ve done in years.
SOURCE – In your opinion what has been the biggest contribution you personally have given to the music world?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – Me personally or the band…hmm it’s easier to answer as a band. I think we were one of first ones who added folky stuff to metal, as these days there is lot of pagan bands who are making little bit similar thing I guess. Also we have always wanted to go forward and make unique music with as high quality as we can, and not got stocked to some style which has been most succesful for us, but tried to do something else. Maybe some of our fans have opened their minds as well to different kind music-styles with us as well, never know…
SOURCE – Have you experienced any differences in how the foreign press treats you and the band compared to how native press and media treats and writes about you?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – Not really, I think in Finland media is more interested how we are doing elsewhere and foreign media how we are doing in Finland. Of course in Finland we are more known band among “normal folk”, but we are always focusing to music with media, never about personal life.
SOURCE – Let me ask you something different. World financial crisis is hurting people during the last years. How does it affect the music industry and is there a reason for the rise of illegal downloading in your opinion?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – Well the rise of illegal downloading and streaming devices started already before these days bigger financial crises I guess, but with these times I would have more sympathy for that that I maybe had when all this started to rise. It is really hard guestion when it comes to this overall, world is changing and people aren’t buying that much albums anymore, less and less, so of course it is not good for the bands until something better than Spotify comes up, not to mention illegal downloading. It is just so easy to have everything from the internet and I can understand it perfectly. There should be some solution in future for this, as bands need to get payed someway, or budgets for the studios and so on are disappearing, and that will affect to quality, which people are anyway expecting from the bands more and more.
So I’m not judging anyone, just thinking that this is hopefully temporary phase before something comes up which is cheap and easy for listener and musicians still are able to do this 100%:ly. But someone said that during crises people are more open to cultural things like music, I don’t know.
SOURCE – Will you be coming to the South America and Brazil to support the album?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – We’d love to, I hope there will be some dates for that early next year or so! Still don’t know to that far but I’ve heard that at least there’s been some talk about tour in South America. Keeping my fingers crossed, we’ve had great time there before.
SOURCE – Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Tomi Koivusaari (Guitar) – Thank you for this interview and of course thanks to our most loyal fans there, cheers!