An Interview with Alexandar of Nocturne magazine (May 2006)

Greetings Master Warjomaa, could you please introduce to the people in Serbia the band Aarni?

MW: Greetings to you, too! Aarni plays mostly slow-tempo metal with progressive, folk, ambient and "experimental" elements. Our songs have themes about occultism, Discordianism, various mythologies, psychology, brain-change, total liberation, anarchism, Lovecraft as well as other subjects. Aarni's lyrics have mostly been written in English and Finnish, although we also use other languages such as Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Ouranian Barbaric, Enochian etc.
The band began releasing stuff around 1998 e.v., although we've been involved with music since the early 80's. So far Aarni has released a couple of demos, a split album with Umbra Nihil and in late 2004 e.v. the debut album 'Bathos'. Currently we work on our second CD.

Where do you find inspiration for music and lyrics?

MW: Well, simply put in life - in everything we experience, read, see, hallucinate and dream. In the patterns we see and don't see in commonplace objects and events.

Tell me something about the beginnings of the band and why have you chosen to play doom-metal? Do you consider Aarni a doom band?

MW: I guess that like every artist, our music is changing all the time along with our psyches. In the beginning Aarni played some kind of doom metal, but as our tastes have evolved we've been incorporating various other styles. We haven't "chosen" to play any certain style, instead we simply play whatever we happen to like.
I do not consider Aarni a doom band, even if we usually feature more or less slow metal, because Aarni is not about self-pity, defeatism, Christianity hangovers, teenage angst or graveyard romanticism. Musically however I think Aarni has been pretty strongly influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Candlemass etc., but we have a plethora of other influences as well.

On metal-archive I've read that the rest of the bend members are not real members but fictional characters. Could you explain this a little?

MW: Don't believe everything you read...of course Aarni has real members, otherwise our music and releases would be fictional too. The members don't manifest themselves usually as different individuals, but they form the same person.

Why Doomintroll doesn't have a photo?

MW: Because he doesn't have enough money. Seriously, that is a photo, but it looks like a drawing because he looks like a drawing.

Why have you called the band Aarni? A pretty unusual name.

MW: How do you mean, because it's not in English, that language of mediocrity? It's not at all unusual here. The name means a treasure-guarding spirit entity and everyone can interpret the meaning as literally or as allegorically as they like. Besides the name starts with two 'a's, so we get to be near the start of every alphabetical band list possible...

I really like the cover for Bathos, it reminds me a little of Cathedral covers. How did you come up with the idea for such a cover and who did it?

MW: I like Cathedral covers a lot, and I hope we can someday have a similar one with lots of little details you can trace with your eyes for hours...the Bathos cover was painted by Tuomas Mäkelä (of the ambient band Jääportit) based partially on an earlier artwork he had done. We wanted a colourful cover, because I feel very bored with the usual dark-hued album art most metal bands choose for some pathetic reason. But mainly we wanted that cover because to us it has a spaced-out, candlylike and pleasing feeling. THC green feels such a beautiful colour...

You work for Firebox/Firedoom. Please, tell me something about it.

MW: Actually I don't work for the label anymore. In the past I did translation jobs, net promotion and talent scouting for them. It felt interesting and I learnt many things about the music industry in general and its curious and often dismal realities. Firebox is a true indie label and because of that it occasionally suffers at the hands of the major multinational company-driven commercialism shit which seems so abundant in our world today. Luckily this all will end in late December 2012 e.v. - if you believe hard enough. Currently I have no ties with Firebox except a tentative distribution deal for Aarni's second album.

Which bands that are releasing for Firebox/Firedoom do you like?

MW: Mar De Grises at least...I haven't been really listening to much bands lately, as I have been trying to gather up the energy to record our own music.

Tell me something about your side projects.

MW: Not much to tell as I don't have any. I play lead guitar in Umbra Nihil, but I don't consider it a side project, because I'm not in any way in charge of that band's musical direction, style or songwriting. Aarni has been since the very start a "no holds barred" affair where anything goes, so I don't feel any creative restrictions which I should overcome in establishing side projects.

Which are your favourite bands?

MW: Currently they include Black Sabbath (as always), Camel, Van Der Graaf Generator, Gong, Opeth, Hidria Spacefolk, Maudlin Of The Well/Kayo Dot, Hawkwind, Current 93, Tenhi, Nemesis, Pink Floyd and Absoluuttinen Nollapiste.

Which doom song would you like to make a cover of?

MW: I cannot think of any right now, partly because Aarni's slow metallish music feels too close to doom anyway. I think a cover song should be something far removed from your usual style in order for the result to be interesting. Nonetheless, recently we did make a Skepticism cover song, but tried not to imitate the original too closely in style.

Please translate your saying "Visita interiora terrae rectificando invenies occultum lapidem" in English and explain the meaning.

MW: It's a rather widely known Alchemical axiom and translates as "visit the interior of the earth and by rectifying you will find the hidden stone". Such an allegorical statement can of course be interpreted in many ways - I take it as being an instruction to seek inside your psyche for valuable contents, ideas, repressed aspects and so forth. Or to debase yourself in order to learn completing things for your life and about existence in general. Or being a description about the Abramelin ritual of Hermetic magick, or the individuation process of Jungian analytical psychology. Or to go spelunking...

Plans for the future...

MW: Current plans include completing the recordings for Aarni's next album and somehow releasing it - we are currently unsigned and will probably self-release the record. After that work will begin on the third album, which has already been planned in some detail. We also would like to move to outer space, it would really help us to gain good things and to get rid of the bad.

Thank you very much for the interview Master Warjomaa. I wish you all the best with your future work. Some words for the end...

MW: Thanks and the same to you! Destroy authority and remember to wash your brain afterwards.