An Interview with Aruzz in Issue 1 of the Shroud Of Woe Zine (2003)

Aruzz: Hello Master! How's it going? Please, tell our readers why did you decide to found Aarni and why did you decide to play for many people 'weird' music?

Master Warjomaa: Hello, it's going just dandy! I decided to found Aarni after playing in a local gothic metal band, where I wasn't able to get as much musical input as I would have liked. As I had pretty defined musical ideas and material accumulated since the early 90's, I decided to pursue my vision in full without having to compromise with other band members - that's why Aarni has been a solo outfit for me, although I do use guest musicians on the forthcoming album.
As for the "weird" type of music, I've always felt a bit uncomfortable with having to restrict myself to a steady rhythm and/or chord progression - which are after all a pretty recent convention in music, having largely developed only from the 17th century to the present. I don't like to limit my creative freedom. Besides, having a steady rhythm is really just required for dance music. Metal stems from rock 'n' roll, which is at least originally music for dancing. However, most of Aarni's music isn't intended for dancing (except maybe some of the more soppy songs) and so using unsteady rhythms is even more justified - although it has to be remembered that probably only under 50% of Aarni's music uses "out there" tempos and such.

A: I suppose you are at the stage of composing material for your upcoming debut full-length, right? So, how is the progress?

MW: Yes, that's right and the title will be 'Bathos'. I'll begin concentrating fully on the album in late April. Let's say 30-100% of each song is complete so far, both music- and lyrics-wise. I've got an abundance of material, so I'll have to choose the songs for the final release - which currently seems to clock well over 70 minutes in length. So it will be value for your money, even in the unlikely event that some of it should be filler material :).

A: What can you tell more about the album? Can you tell us some song titles?

MW: Well, I think 'Bathos' will be less "out there" and slightly more melodic than the Split CD material - at least when measured on the Aarni scale. There will be slow songs, faster songs and the usual folky as well as the schizophrenic stuff, so don't expect a pure "doom-metal" album - for me that's only another restriction. Lyrics will feature at least the English, Latin and Ancient Egyptian languages, a few more or less tentative titles for the songs include 'Kivijumala', 'V.I.T.R.I.O.L.' and 'Squaring the Circle'.

A: Markus, you work also for the new Finnish doom label Firebox Records which has just released two albums, from My Shameful and Until Death Overtakes Me. How is the atmosphere inside the company? Do you think that Rami Hippi is able to promote these in the way they deserve?

MW: The atmosphere is just fine and I see no cause for any conflicts or arguments looming in the future, becase the label is Rami's brainchild and so he naturally makes all the executive decisions. I'm confident he is able to promote the bands on Firebox and what's more he of course doesn't have to do it all by himself - the burden is shared by other employees such as myself.

A: Do you know how many copies of your split with Umbra Nihil are sold? It was a really cheap CD. As far as I know in USA the End Records were selling it for $4, right?

MW: Yes, and it was our wish to have the split priced cheaper than a standard release, to encourage people to check out the two new bands. I understand that The End did those steep discounts to increase their sales - and it wasn't only the split that went for 4 dollars. Also the albums from the label's own bands like Agalloch were sold at greatly reduced prices. And of course distributors are free to sell the albums at any price or give them away for nothing if they want - they had already paid Firebox for the shipment and I and the Umbra Nihil lads had gotten our royalty payments.
The Pressing of the Split CD was 550 copies, or which about 300 have been sold directly or sent to various distributors so far.

A: Were you on any of the gigs during the Doomination of Europe tour? if so, how was it?

MW: Nope, we poor artist types are only rich in creativity and so don't have the means to travel through Europe :/.
Having tours dedicated to doom-metal is of course a very positive thing, but I personally prefer to listen to music at home, I'm not that keen on gigs, festivals and such.

A: You come from Finland - a country with great doom traditions and also a strong doom scene. What can you tell about it comparing contemporary conditions (with such bands as Shape of Despair, Skepticism, Dolorian, My Shameful) with the old ones (i.e. Unholy, Thergothon)?

MW: Well, what can I say, in my opinion the situation is better now simply because there are more artists out there making more varied music!

A: What was the best doom album of 2002 according to Master Warjomaa? Which albums do you most anticipate in 2003?

MW: I enjoyed Reverend Bizzare's debut album...there weren't that many doom releases in 2002, but in 2003 (besides the albums already released) I look forward to at least the new My Dying Bride, Candlemass, Pantheïst, Shape of Despair, Jääportit and Opeth albums.

A: Thanks Master for this interview. I hope your album will be even better than the great demo!

MW: Thank you and I hope that too!