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31st
Mar 13

Omnium Gatherum

The Beyond Interview
ENGuest: Markus Vanhala

Markus Vanhala (Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium)

Markus Vanhala
Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium
Foto: Pierre Brost

Markus Vanhala (Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium)

Markus Vanhala
Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium
Foto: Pierre Brost

Markus Vanhala (Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium)

Markus Vanhala
Omnium Gatherum / Insomnium
Foto: Pierre Brost

(NC-Pierre) How are you, You'll recover from the recordings for the new album?

(Markus Vanhala) Already full hassle and we’re going onwards with busy promotion for the new album, and we’ve already toured Japan two weeks and are in the middle of extensive Finnish album release tour now. The new albums doing really good among the medias and fans so it’s all good here at the moment! It’s nice to play in this band really!

(NC-Pierre) You have already your own style of "melodic death metal", there are bands influence you in your music?

(Markus Vanhala) The jokeful but also lil bit truthful tag we have carried around for a while now is called “Adult Oriented Death Metal” which pretty much sums up what our music is about. Melodic Death Metal with influences from AOR, traditional Heavy Metal and even Progressive Rock and athmospheric electro and pop. You can hear our more extreme metal influences as well as our love for Journey, Marillion and their kind. The bands we are influenced by, are way too numerous to mention, but easier it would be say some bands that made me form this band back in the mid 90’s and those ones were Amorphis, Death, Sentenced, In Flames, At The Gates and Edge Of Sanity. Finnish Inferno Magazine just had a competition for people to invent new genre name to OG stuff and the winner answer was “Epic Totocore”, haha.

(NC-Pierre) Do your benefited from the fact that Markus now plays also at Insomnium, be it in your awareness, contacts, or from a technical and musical point of view?

(Markus Vanhala) There are yes and no’s in the case. Of course OG maybe lil bit more and wider audience via Insomnium fan base but there’s also some schedule hassle with fitting the both bands tours et all. Makes my life really busy, but i like to play and travel so it’s pretty ok situation for me still. Music is always too a learning process so there might of course be some subconscious influence and learning via Insomnium song writing involve. And vice versa, it seems that in new Insomnium will be some my work, as in fact there were already a lil bit on the latest one…

(NC-Pierre) The songs on the new album are 100% Omnium Gatherum, it recognizes on each song. As you respect the fact that the songs sound not recurring passages are included, as you create it that the songs always fresh

(Markus Vanhala) I’m trying to balance between not repeating myself too much, but still sounding trademarked OG style and keep it still fresh. But i think we have found our musical path with the latest three albums, and just evolved that path. Trinity of brutality, melodicness and progressivity touching your soul, that’s the recipe i try to achieve.

(NC-Pierre) Your current album "Beyond" was released this week, how is it so feedback from the press?

(Markus Vanhala) The Feedback have been awesome indeed, haven’t actually seen bad review or at least not many. We even had a coverphotostory in biggest Finnish metal media Inferno Magazine and charted to top10 in album chart in Finland and have had many ”album of the week/month” nominations, so i’m happy that it seems that people have fallen deep into my piece of honest and heartful work of art.

(NC-Pierre) What's behind the title of your new album "Beyond"?

(Markus Vanhala) Lyrically told “Beyond*” is mildly a concept album, but still everyone of the individual songs has it's own story to tell. The main idea and culmination point of the album is the understanding of duality from the point of oneness in existence. This idea is approached from different angles which allows the individual stories surface from the main idea. Of course the lyrics are about the life itself. The duality which emerges as an illusive reality in one's being. The duality that is ever present in human relations, the duality of sadness/happiness in the circling of the day and night and so on. All this is seen as one wholeness and the understanding of this is the key to understand the both the whole concept and the individual songs.

(NC-Pierre) How is it with your time to rehearse, songwriting and touring since you are in Insomnium?

(Markus Vanhala) In side of OG and Insomnium i still play in two bands, Wolftrap and Malpractice. And to be honest none of these bands ever rehearse so i’ve been thinking that maybe i should form a new band that would be hanging in our rehearsal room and just doing rehearsals ’cause i really miss those sessions. Infact we’ve been talking many times with Janne (the former OG bassist), that we should form a true old school swedish death metal band in the name of old Entombed, Grave & Dismember and that surely gonna happen at some point! BOSS HM-2 guitar pedal to the max to bring some Sunlight! I’ve been playing now two years in Insomnium and we’ve had one (1) rehearsals and we had three (3) rehearsals with OG before going to studio to record ”Beyond”. It’s mostly that in OG i wrote and demo record the music ready at my home studio and send it to the other guys to polish, arrange and rehearse ready at home. Old men livin’ too far away from each other without too much spare time, that’s the reason for this.

(NC-Pierre) Who writes the songs, and as you get into the song writing of your songs?

(Markus Vanhala) I wrote the music for 9,5 songs of 10 ”Beyond” songs, Jope co-wrote ”Sonic Sign” with me and that was cool. Jope is a good sidekick on guitar section and i love the guy, i’ve been playing already about 10 years with him in Malpractice band soi t was easy to get him on board to OG after ”New World Shadows” release..

(NC-Pierre) How did you get this time of the songwriting of the songs on "Beyond" proceed?

(Markus Vanhala) I took over one year break on composing any music to OG after ”New World Shadows” just to recharge the creativity batteries and when the new music started to flow then it really flew soon. It took something like 1-2 months time in December and January to roughly write the music for the new album which was the fastest creativity peak i’ve had ever. It’s just waiting that the night arrives and usually i’m composing really late in the evening and night. Because i’m a vampire. Well not exactly. It’s ’cause it’s just that in the night there isn’t hurry anywhere, is silent enough, my restless soul rests a bit and i have the right state of mind tuned to the OG show.

(NC-Pierre) On the new album there're also songs where you are a little quieter passages and clean vocals appear in "Who Could Say"! How did it happen, did that come automatically or is it been calculated and you wanted just sometimes a little variety in your songs have?

(Markus Vanhala) It came from Jukka’s throat and i thought it was good. In fact every OG album where Jukka is singing there’s at least one song where’s some clean vocals. Those are just for giving a lil extra spice on top. Nothing calculated or commercial.

(NC-Pierre) It can probably not always avoid the finds parallels in music, but in a song "Formidable" is a melodic tune at the end (3:52) of the song that sounds like a Ghost Brigade tune! Is that you have noticed or was aware that when you write the songs?

(Markus Vanhala) I don’t know about it’s Ghost Brigadeish. For us it was more like HIM or To/Die/For, or Annihilator gone beautiful. Infact the ”working title” for ”Formidable” song was ”Sentenced” named by the band as i thought the song is having some Sentenced vibe. Well it don’t have anymore at all in the album version.

(NC-Pierre) What are the plans for this year, how about Festivals and a tour with shows in Germany?

(Markus Vanhala) We’ve been touring Japan and Finland now after the new album release. Probably going to Japan, China and Korea again soon in coming months and there’s also some Finnish festivals booked too. We had a hassle with our booking agency and after that we parted ways with ’em, so that’s the reason the European tour have been late. Bad timing indeed. But now it’s 90% sure and official that we’re touring Europe in August/September, news with that tour hopefully coming really soon!

(NC-Pierre) Thank you for your time an this interview. I hope I can catch you soon on tour in Germany again. Will you still something to say to our readers and your fans?

(Markus Vanhala) I’m sure you all love the new old school death metal band of Janne and me that will be formed somewhere in time, haha. Until that, and after that, enjoy Omnium Gatherum and ”Beyond”. That album came purely from the heart! See ya on the tours folks!

Autor: Pierre
Magazine established by Pierre Brost in 2003 with Michael Hohmann
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Magazine established by Pierre Brost in 2003 with Michael Hohmann
Designed & Programmed by Pixelizer - Creative Media & Web Design