In this team where everybody has different metal tastes, when we all agree that we are before one of the albums of the year, we know what we have to do... an interview.
Cause, hell yes, even the most picky ones ended up thanking the Nordic Gods for having the chance of discovering MORS SUBITA's new creation `Into The Pitch Black´, available worldwide from April 6th on thanks to Inverse Records.
This brutal Finnish band is led by guitarist Mika Lammassaari, known from Eternal Tears Of Sorrow and Wolfheart, along with drummer Ville Miinala (from Thyrane), Mika Junttila on bass and the ferocious vocals of Eemeli Bodde.
It’s been a long time since 1999, when the band started its activity. Things must have changed a lot since then... Could you tell us a bit about your history? What was the goal when MORS SUBITA started its journey?
Mika L.: — Well, it was a long time ago and digitalization has made everything very much different. Back in the day we had the shittiest gear possible, to record demos we used a C-cassette player. But we loved every second of it, playing together and only practicing at home. It all felt amazing.
One of the highlights of our DIY process was when we realized we could use a 2-deck c-cassette player to record two guitars on top of each other. That was a true heureka-moment for me, and that's the way most of the early demos were also made.
So, considering our goals we only did what we could, so we rehearsed our asses off and honed our skills as much as possible. Our main goal was to record a full-length album and maybe get to play some festival gig. Those seem like pretty modest goals now, but back then without any know-how, money or contacts, those seemed like lightyears away to achieve.
Three years after the release of `Degeneration´, your third album is finally ready to see the light of day. Listening to `Into the Pitch Black´, it feels like there is a lot of hard, careful work behind its tracks... How long did it take to create it?
— About 1,5 years in total, but at the same time I also wrote another album + some music for a Finnish movie. The writing process was pretty natural and straight forward like the previous two albums. I wrote all the music and Eemeli takes care of most of the lyrics. We rehearsed more than ever before hitting the studio, so that of course helped to carve the precision in our sound. We've had this line-up together now for 5 years, so we knew our potential better this time, and I think we managed to use it in the best possible way.
We know you guys are also involved in other bands, which probably interferes in your agendas and may also affect creatively. How do you cope with that?
— Mors Subita is a completely different musical entity so the ideas pretty much never collide, at least with my compositions. Of course you have to sometimes think more of the schedules when both bands are active, but everything has worked out pretty smoothly thus far. Creatively these bands don't really interfere with each other. But I can only talk for myself of course.
It is also clear when listening to this album that MORS SUBITA’s sound has grown incredibly. What were the differences between this creative process and the previous ones?
— Only the fact that we rehearsed a lot more than for the previous albums. Third one's the charm as they say. We've grown to sound ourselves more and also finding the right audio engineer (Stefan Pommerin/Illusia Productions) didn't harm the process. He even increased the industrial elements for this album which we liked a lot.
One can either bounce back or fall into the pitch black. There's always still hope however stalemate the situation might seem.
Lyrically, where does inspiration come from? What are the thoughts that make you start writing?
— Everyday realism and human fates. The turbulence that happens in life is a good enough creative force to draw from.
The cover art fits the music perfectly, and seems to hide a deep message too... What’s the concept behind it?
— The mastermind behind the cover art is Heino Brand/Brandmerkk.
Eemeli: — The lyrical content revolves around the faults of humanity. People having their lives torn apart by terrorism, an individual trying to struggle through depression, the concept of fear, etc. The spectrum is so broad on this record that the listener really has to dig into the lyrics and find out what each song is about. The front cover gives you a picture what the record is all about. A person floating in a pool of water. Dead and surrounded by dark colors and some dystopian elements in the background.
You guys just released the second single “Into the Pitch Black”, a very intense track that shares name with the album. Why was this song/title chosen to represent the album and what does it mean to you?
Mika: — The name of the album refers to the breaking point of the human mind. One can either bounce back or fall into the pitch black. There's always still hope however stalemate the situation might seem.
“As Humanity Weeps” was a wise choice as first single, it leaves no one indifferent, and the video makes the impact even stronger!
I was very impressed when I found out on YouTube that the band was directly involved in the video’s production, not all bands care about this things nowadays... What can you tell us about it?
— I think the visual interpretation of the music is very important. We've always had very clear vision about how we want to present our band in the videos, so it was time we took more control of the process ourselves. It's tons of work and errors are bound to happen along the way, but at least we're putting 100% of our effort in the band.
As a melodic death metal band that has made it to the charts in Finland (which sounds completely extraordinary for us here in Spain), what’s your view on the current music industry?
— I think metal music is becoming less popular in Finland nowadays. We're going back to the underground. This is kinda exciting considering what happened last time when metal became unpopular, in the 90´s. Most of my favorite metal music was created during that period, so I hope that the unpopularity will create new interesting music.
Business wise, the situation is not as fortunate. It's harder to book gigs or get any kind of acknowledgement of the major industry players as a newcomer band. As the tools of recording and publishing are within everyone's grasp, getting recognized is becoming harder and harder. DIY and major financial risks are the new way of supporting and getting bigger as a band. But you also need luck as much as earlier. No guts (+ luck), no glory.
Having this in mind, is your country still the promised land of metal or has it changed?
— We have the most amount of bands per capita, some 650 per one million habitants. So, we have a lot of potential for sure. Probably this figure will decrease over time, but hopefully this will create more quality as the quantity falls.
After the album release, you will be touring Finland and Japan... Any plans of making us a visit too?
— We truly hope so! Spain is beautiful, the food is amazing and the audiences are crazy.
In general, what can we expect from MORS SUBITA in the future?
— We hope to keep growing and tour the globe as wide and far as possible.
Only one last thing: Congratulations! Because, as hard as it is to stand out nowadays, you guys have truly blown us all away with this amazing new album. Thank you for that, and thank you so much for your time!
Anything else you would like to add?
— Thank you very much for the kind words and all the support! We hope to play in Spain as soon as possible! Keep the metal flowing!
Interview by: KRIS M.
More info: morssubita.com