An Interview with Jaime of Metalvox webzine (Sep 2005)

1 - I must confess that Aarni is not only an excellent band, but a creative band, we can easily see that it is not like the most part of the bands which do this kind of metal. Aarni is innovated and with a lot of interesting things to show us not only about the music, but about the art. What do you think about it? Do not you think that Aarni has some differential?

MW: Well, why intentionally copy other bands or styles? I can't see any point in that, even if it is done in "homage" to your favourite band. When I first started to write my own music I and everyone I knew considered it important to have an original style. But I guess the "differential" in Aarni comes from composing, playing and selecting the artwork etc. with serendipity...everything seems to fall in place spontaneously. We just go with the flow... I think it is a pity that most bands appear to be afraid(?) to show their own personal ideas and style, instead opting for a pathetic conformity.

2 - Tell me about Bathos. How was the release and the recording?! Was it difficult to do?

MW: The most difficult part was to draw the hieroglyphic lyrics of 'Niut Net Meru' - the recording felt pretty easy, perhaps because I don't think I am a perfectionist. I don't care if a recorded part sounds slightly off; disorder adds character to music in my philosophy. Some songs on Bathos I pretty much composed on the fly, others were more carefully thought out. Most frustating as always was the mixing; hopefully with the next album the mixing will be done in a professional studio. Also the new material will be more complex than Bathos, so it will unfortunately take a longer time to compose and record. Just one song has been more or less finished currently. Aarni also takes part on two upcoming tribute compilation albums, so we'll have to make exclusive songs for those too...I feel extremely busy at the moment :(

3 - I think that is not so easy to find good musicians with the same preferences who do not have other projects. Do you agree? Was it difficult to find the musicians to play at the band??

MW: Not very difficult as I play nearly everything myself. Vilpir of Umbra Nihil played most of the drums on Bathos, and on the next album too. The third musician was genius A. Frankenstein, who sang on two Bathos tracks. He was interested in taking part, although he usually doesn't listen to metal or such. I agree that it can be hard to find musicians who share your preferences - I have experience in that. It is one of the main reasons why I decided to do everything I possibly can in Aarni by myself: composing, playing, recording, writing lyrics, selecting/drawing artwork etc. The extra amounts of work seems a small price to pay for independence and not having to compromise because of other people's limitations.

4 - What do you think about the Brazilian scene? Do you think about playing here?

MW: I'm not familiar with the Brazilian scene or even the Finnish scene. I'm not interested in actively following the "world of metal" or any other music genre. I try to listen to as little music as I can when composing my own record, because I don't want any distractions. Currently Aarni is strictly a studio band, with no interests in playing live, despite some requests. I don't believe in gigs as I have no particular need to meet other metal or whatever music fans: I don't wish to be part of any community. Perhaps Aarni's music has been aimed at a certain elite and not for the mass-market. Or perhaps I am "just joking"? Find out for yourselves, the information is there...

5 - Which countries know about your work? Tell me about the booked shows (it can be at home or abroad) and about some countries that you would like to visit.

MW: Like stated above, Aarni has no booked shows. No countries know of our work, but people living in various countries do. At least I've received mail from individuals living all over the world. I have no wishes to visit particular countries, but would like to visit other planets. If any extraterrestrials read this - please get in contact asap!

6 - Why did you make a mix with the name of the lyrics? Some of them in english and some others in another language? Do not they exist in English or it is because of some other reason?

MW: I use the language most closly related to a song's subject. I try to take a lot of care with my lyrics as I think the message of a song is very important. Aarni features both obvious and hidden messages in the lyrics. I despise banal lyrics in music - sadly most metal bands and even classical music seems to have poor, idiotic and worthless lyrics, not to mention pop music... Another reason for featuring many languages is that I consider myself an amateur philologist. I've been interested in languages since childhood. And I want Aarni to have an international audience, therefore I don't stick to just one language, not even English (which I consider a rather poor tongue for various reasons). Also like you said, some matters can't be translated into an Indoeuropean language like English - the mindset and vocabulary appear too different.

7 - Do you use drugs to give some kind of inspiration?

MW: I guess it depends on your definition of "drug". I don't use any chemical substances to give myself musical inspiration, because so far inspiration happens to us by itself. So I don't really need to search for it. But occasionally I get into transnormal states of consciousness for other reasons and by various different methods. I like to call myself a practical occultist and this also reflects into Aarni both intentionally and unintentionally. Aarni is a natural part of my abnormal life.

8 - Some people can call your band like a doom metal band and some others can call it like a 'stoner' band, by the other hand there are very few differences between 'stoner' and 'doom'.What do you think about it? Which kind of metal could you call Aarni?

MW: Good question. Like you can read on the Aarni website, there have been many different and astonishing descriptions of my music. Bathos certainly features some little parts which could be called 'stoner' because they more or less resemble Black Sabbath's classic groovy 70's style. And there's slow "doom metal" parts, as well as prog rock parts etc. I like to use many different musical styles - that's what we consider artistic freedom. And not just metal, either. Therefore I feel it's difficult to describe Aarni's music as just this or that. Here's a current favourite of mine: Antinomian Music. We don't like to be called being "doom metal" or any other such restrictive genre denomination. I don't even listen to doom much anymore as I have passed my teens aeons ago :)

9 - Correct me if I'm wrong, but you rarely (or never) do conscient compositions. Can you explain us which are the differences between do the compositions "normal" and unconscious compositions?

MW: Well, I don't know exactly what you mean by unconscious composition, but the usual Aarni method of songwriting seem as follows: first I think of the theme of the song, general message and style. Then I come up with riffs or melodies we like (I have many riffs & melodies in storage constantly, I use only a small fraction of those on recordings) and then I try to meld the parts together into a song. Sometimes we spend a long time pondering it, sometimes I just act impulsively and intuitively. I don't enjoy composing 'formula songs' like in commercial music - that's too easy and predictable, in other words boring. I prefer a stream of consciousness approach to musical composition as we dislike logic and rationality. But the lyrics I do write with much deliberation, nearly always before composing the song itself.

10 - I had saw very interesting drawings at your works, so I can conclude that you don't like only the music, but other kinds of expression like drawings. Who made it!?

MW: The cover artwork of Bathos was painted by Tuomas Mäkelä (of Jääportit) at my request. I wanted a colourful and a bit of a psychedelic piece of art with certain symbols and features. The other images in the booklet have been taken from various sources; some are copyright-free occultish stuff, while all the nice drawings have been drawn by Aslak Tolonen (of Nest and Shape Of Despair). The fractal images have been generated and coloured by myself. Yes, I wanted the artwork to complement the songs, therefore each song on Bathos has individual artwork, with the mariginal decorations hinting at the more or less hidden message of the track. Hopefully the next album's artwork will continue this pratice - although it will likely be darker.

11 - I saw so many colors at the CD cover and correct if i'm wrong but some persons when are under the effect of some drugs, in the most part of times he sees everything much more colorful. Can it be the reason of so many colors?

MW: Yes it can...certain states of bodymind boost your senses, therefore visual signals like colours seem brighter and swirling. On the other hand, some people have said they enjoy looking at Bathos' artwork when in a supernormal state - interesting and delightful: also candy-like. That's the other reason we wanted to have colourful artwork: to fool children into buying the record instead of spending their money on candy. Candy is bad for your teeth! With the money I made from Bathos I have bought lots of candy.

12 - Looking at Aarni's site I saw an interesting thing at the band part. You put a picture of each band-member but when you put pictures of Doomintroll and Mistress Palm you put an 'exotic' picture. Why? Does it have any meaning?!

MW: But I don't think the picture of Mrs. Palm is exotic. It's just a photo, although taken with special equipment. We had to use an expensive camera with a Kirilian lens and rectoplasmic spectral range. The picture of Doomintroll is also a normal photo. The reason it looks like a drawing is because Doomintroll looks like a drawing.

13 - Thank you for the interview!! Say something to our readers!!!

MM: Thank yourself for this opportunity to speak shit! Question authority, do your own thing fearlessly and fuck the rest.