A Finnish double header!
Good day to you gentlemen, our first double header of the series! Please feel free to duck in and out of the questions as you wish… Number one – What was the best new album you heard in 2016?
Juhana Heinonen: “Russian Circles – Guidance”
And what about old stuff – did any reissues grab your attention this year?
liro Karjalainen: “I’ve been listening some Devin Townsend. And I will continue with it”…
JH: “Not yet, but I like original stuff more than the reissues. The old stuff is more of a raw deal and real sounding. More EVIL!”
What was your non-musical highlight of the last twelve months?
LK: “I bought a motorcycle earlier this year, and I’ve been cruising with it whole summer. It’s been awesome. It makes me feel free”.
JH: “I did run my first marathon in April. The pain after running was Mucho Grande Bueno, but I was determined that would do it. YEAH!”
Congratulations to both of you! Although I have to say at my age a Motorbike seems more of a sensible option than marathon running… Away from music, what have you found particularly disappointing about the wider world in 2016?
LK: “Almost every day there is some shit in the news about this sick world. Greediness and stupidity against each other can be seen every single day and everywhere. And some people don’t respect nature at all.. So, I try to concentrate on the music and on other hobbies”.
JH: “Everyone is addicted to their smart phones and to social media”.
Both very valid point, and points to which there doesn’t seem to be any quick fix on the horizon! Back to music. Do you think the music scene – and our sort of music in particular – is in good shape at the minute?
LK: “I think bands are still making good music, that’s for sure. Metal is a marginal genre and the music business in general is taking steps to a new area because of streaming et cetera, and no one knows what happens in the future. Probably bands are going to make records in the future too, but what will be the way to release albums, I don’t know”.
JH: “Metal music is more popular than it has ever been. The scene comes and goes, but the fans will keep it alive”.
Yes they do! And more power to them! Did anything disappoint you musically in 2016?
LK: “No. We recorded a hell of an album with Re-Armed and had great shows in Europe. Of course there is always something that you would like to fix afterwards, but I don’t like to focus so much on things that are already done”.
JH: “Generally, AC/DC with Axl Rose. It`s not the same band anymore”.
It’s certainly seeming more that way, with only Angus left. On to more pleasant pastures; Which practitioners of your own musical role impressed you most this year?
LK: “Before the tour I took some drums lessons from Rainer Tuomikanto (perhaps best known for his work with Grave Pleasures – Ed.) and got some really nice tips. I am trying to evolve with my playing all the time and looking for new ideas from other drummers -plus the internet is full of good advice”.
JH: “For me it’s the same every year: Alex Webster, Billy Sheehan, Wictor Wooten and Cliff Burton… That’s where I get my inspiration from again and again”.
What’s the best live act you’ve seen this year?
LK: “We were touring with Dust Bolt in Spain recently and their energetic show was really worth watching”.
JH:”Rammstein at Provinssirock 2016. Simply an amazing live performance”.
You can pretty much always reply on Herr Lindemann! And what does the next twelve months hold in prospect for you?
LK: “We are taking it easy after touring, but will promote the band in social media and do some interviews. And maybe it’s time to write some new material. Next year we have planned to undertake tours in Asia, maybe in Europe as well. Let’s see what happens!”
JH: “Working, chilling, running, playing bass and taking one day at the time. The road to roam is still unknown”…
Enigmatic, but probably very wise! Moving away from Re-Armed, Which band, if any, do you think is primed to break out into the wider consciousness in 2017?
LK: “Re-Armed (laughs)! I think Dust Bolt should be on that list!
JH: “Probably Assemble the Chariots, because they have bad-ass live show and they play furious extreme metal. Cheers to them!”
We’re fast approaching the festive season – best night for a party – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve?
LK: “For me Christmas is a time to calm down with my family and the time when you take everything nice and easy. New Year’s Eve is the day when you celebrate with your friends”…
JH: “Definitely New Year`s Eve, because it’s the day when you celebrate with your friends. Happiness, rockets and drunken people”.
A nice mix. Especially rockets and drunken people! We’re not going to ask for a New Year’s Resolution – but what musical feat do you hope to attain next year?
LK: “To reach bigger audiences with our latest album The Era of Precarity which was released this (Northern) Autumn, and overall we would like to get more attention for our music. It’s definitely worth it!”
JH: “Supporting some great band on a European tour, or to play at huge festivals”.
As I always say at this point – you never know who’s reading this stuff! Promoters of Europe – pay attention! Finally – Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily?
LK: “If you haven’t yet listened our latest album The Era of Precarity or haven’t seen any of our live shows, you should definitely check us out. You have not seen a circus like this before(more laughter)”
JH: “If you read this, thank you and remember to check us out on Facebook. Cheers!”
You heard the men! Get to it!