AMORPHIS :  Interview with Niclas Etelšvuori 

 mail interview  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo__    11/12/2003    

organized by Mr. Niclas Etelšvuori and GryphonMetal     


                                                                                                                           LIVE REPORTAGE  

Niclas and Dalia  -at Abart Music Club 03.11.2003 - tour with Paradise Lost                   pic taken by Stefan 



Rock, metal, instrumental, eclectic, a bit "folk-ish": lots of facettes in order to describe  Amorphis' music, but what is the real soul of Amorphis and what could be the future evolution of the band?

  The real soul of Amorphis is that all the guys in the band come with ideas and we start experimenting with them in the rehearsal room. You never know how something new will sound after we jammed on it for a while. In general I think the Amorphis sound on the last 3 albums has been more specified than before and I think thatís where the basis are for the Amorphis sound at the moment.


What does it mean ďto play togetherĒ as group in Amorphis: what is your collective attitude  and which are the spaces left free for the individual personalities?

  To play together means for me that you donít just go out and perform your own parts but you go with a unit, when the drummer makes a move I follow or the other way around. That way the songs live a bit every night and that makes it more interesting for the musicians and for the crowd.


Though i prefer the "old good growling" , concerning the new sound direction i like Tuonela and in particular Divinity and Summer's End, and i know for certain that this is the opinion shared by many. what makes these two songs so special in your opinion, and still so modern?

  They both have very strong melodies.


Far from the Sun: honestly,  top or flop? critics are divided isnít it?

  Critics are always divided unless they were I would be worried. You canít please everyone and why should you. I think the reviews for Far From The Sun have been overall good. When we go and perform those songs live thatís when we get the real feedback that matters.


What does it mean for you the term "Northern"? i was told that, since Far from the Sun  is melodic , melancholic, cold, Finnish and bla, bla, bla, it is therefore "Northern", as well as other albums of yours . But isn't all this one of the worst clichťs ever seen?

  Perhaps it is. If we would live in Portugal would it be southern?


If you should present and explain Amorphis to a person totally profane, having the opportunity to show (with listening) only one song as symbol and coat of arms  of the group, which track would you pick up?

  Day of your beliefs, itís new and it has some elements from the bands past.


What are your impressions about the latest tour together with Paradise Lost?

  It went really well, we only played with them in Scandinavia and Switzerland. They are nice guys and we get along really well, maybe in the future we do more shows with them. The rest of the shows we did was headlining so we could play twice as long. For a short set it very hard to pick songs, it always feels like there is something missing.


What lands would you play , in which you have still not been there with Amorphis, and, related to this, is it that difficult to gather a good number of dates in England?

  We play anywhere where organization goes to proper manner. Itís been quite hard for us to get to England I donít know why. Last time we had to cancel because the label couldnít get the album out and it would have been too expensive to go there without any support from the label. In any case it is always expensive to go on tour to anywhere from Finland because we are up here in the corner.


We would ďinvestigateĒ  more  about your bass and about your playing technique; the scales and chords you prefer; 5 and 6 strings...

  Iím a pretty straight forward rock bassist and I have only 4-string basses. The only time I would have wanted a 5-string was for the Moonspell recordings, it would have fitted in there very well but there was none so the 4-string had to do.

Iím very much into drums, I tend to follow more what the drummer is doing rather than the guitars and of course there are exceptions in every song. If the drums and bass lock together the result is a more solid groove and thatís the key to rock.


Oh and now please tell us the biggest quantity of details possible and allowed concerning your cooperation in  The Antidote, Moonspell's latest (kicking ass imo) release !

  I felt honoured when they approached me, it sounded great to do this cross ďEuropean collaborationĒ. Since we were old friends it helped out a lot, and they were coming to my neighbourhood. I rehearsed all the songs from a demo cd that they sent me. We never had an opportunity to play together before the studio, so I had to go straight to the studio. It was fine because we had just finished the work for the Amorphis and the Verenpisara albums, so I was kind of used to the studio atmosphere. In the studio we went through the parts with Pedro and Ricardo and then recorded the track. It all went very quickly and we all were very focused on the album so I donít really remember all the details of that day, except that we ended up at their apartment for Portuguese dinner. I think itís a very good album from what I know the guys have been busy promoting it all over the place. I hope it will take Moonspell to the moon and back.


  To separate the Flesh from the Bones isn't the name of a course of applied biology, but the name of a band which is one of your side projects, where you play bass as well! Only, the music is "far from Amorphis": here we deal indeed with an extreme brutal Death/Grind Core. Obviously i can be interested, and, however,  the titles of the tracks included in  the upcoming EP, "For those about to Rot", are all a program: Infected Rectum,  Rotten Vagina, Genital Massacre, among others , without forgetting  Fistfucked ītil Death. Anyway, for what i have heard downloading the  files available on the band's official page , that music really f*ck you till death!!. Recorded and mixed in  Helsinki just few days ago, when will this EP  see the light ? Please tell us all you want about this project!

  This was something that Iíve been talking about with Pasi for maybe two years now, that it would be fun to make something really brutal. We had some ideas but we didnít really have a clue what they would sound like. Then we had one rehearsal and went into the studio and recorded everything in one day. I recorded and mixed it and now itís ready. What made it even more fun is that we managed to do it so fast, but I guess by talking about it for so long helped us to create our vision without wasting too much time. Now we are in the process of looking if anyone wants to release it or maybe we will release it by ourselves, we donít really know yet. I just hope people have as much fun listening to it as we did recording it. Even though itís not even out yet there has been a few people who has taken it too seriously, thatís not the point itís pure fun!


 Finland, musically, is...

  Tough question, I think itís veryÖÖÖÖÖnorthern ; )


Slayer are one of your fav bands. But damn hey. are Slayer really that goddish? why do you admire Slayer?

  I was 13 when saw the Hell Awaits video for the first time, I was totally blown away because the intro was so cool. Soon after that came Reign in Blood which blew my mind and is still one of my all time favourites. I just got it re-mastered and it still blows everyone else away. They have been making albums for over 20 years and still going strong, you just have to respect that.


About burgers being one of your fav foods i couldn't agree more (maybe cause i'm a Scorpio too!) But what about other fav tastes in your everyday food? spaghetti , pizza, goulash, potatoes in every sauces, and nouvelle cuisine franÁaise...cheese, mushrooms?

  I eat almost everything. I was a very lazy cook but Iíve started to like it more. I have just made my first ever meatloaf.


If you would be a scientist, which kind of experimentations would you improve? and in which field: biology, astronomy, medicine, chemistry....?

  Iím a bass player so I would start combining all the different sciences to see what happens. But what is essential for our planet is important and in many places I think it would be about time to clean up. Itís more of a regional thing which form of science needs improvement.


Now our typical gryphonmetal -last- question :  the Game. To the bands we interview for the very first time we propose the Game of the Tower: there is a very high tower, and,on the top of this tower, 3 bands are waiting for you. you must kick down 2 of them, saving only one. The 3 bands for you, Niclas, are:Children of Bodom, My Dying Bride, Six Feet Under

  Children of Bodom

  Thank you very much Niclas !!


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