SINDROME:  Interview with Mika Kröger    www.clik.to/sindroma
by dalia di giacomo       - 11/05/2003 -  mail interview





we are speaking with Mika Kröger, bass player of Sindrome a new emerging band from Finland. first question: Sindroma is Sindrome now?would you present us your band?

Sindrome plays gothrock with heavymetal influences and has been together since 2001.The persons behind the name are : Juha Kröger : lead vocals, Ilkka Räsänen : guitar & vocals, Teemu Tenhunen : guitar, Marja Tyni : keyboards , Markus Tikkanen : drums, and me, Mika Kröger : bassguitar


will be this line up the stable one for Sindrome?

Well, i have pretty good feeling about this line-up,let’s hope it will last. There’s no need for any changes in the line-up, since there’s very good relationships within this band. Actually the only one change in the line-up since 2001has been teemu’s joining in the band in june 2002.


are band competitions that useful for emerging bands? or is it a waste of time and energy?

I would like to believe they would be useful, but at least the local competitions are just for the free studio time, which is often the main ”award”. It’s a whole different thing with these national ”Rock SM” (rock finnishchampionship) and ”Ääni ja Vimma”, which sometimes bring out new hit bands. If you’ll make it out to the finals you may achieve something, but othervise, you just gain experiences.Which is useful.


Now you are working on new stuff isn't it? So another demo, "Shooting Stars", will soon released as successor of "No Relief"

Yeah, We already recorded ”Shooting Stars” but we lost the tracks from the computer before the final mixing, so that demo was left unfinalised.But , we are now planning to record a 2-3 songs in june or july . Somewhere later this year we’re also going to record a demo in norwegian studio located in Drammen.or was it Drummen?.But that’s planned to do somewhere like october-december.. This all means that this year will propably include 3 releases from our band, 4 if the henry’s pub’s gig 30.10 2002 was good, but we haven’t heard the tapes yet. Busy year coming.

Just to give an orientation, many compare your style with bands like Sentenced and Charon, but listening to your mp3's (see the webpage http://www.clik.to/sindroma) one understands that it's not completely true, there are a lot of melodic chords anyway in your music, supported by a gothic rock base, so how would you define your style and what's new in it? and which is your image and your message?

I have never liked to define our own music to people, but maybe in short we play gothicmetal with heavymetal- and rock’n’ roll-touch.We like to break the walls between different categories of metal so there can be found some really wicked solutions in arrangements and compositions, and the fact that we have two singers taking leads in most of our songs separates us from the other bands in our scene. We have never wanted to play with any images, we are ourselves like it or not. No pretending or acting. As well we have never wanted to be messengers, our songs are based more or less in our own lives, or the lives around us. And of course, many of our songs are about this feared man with the scythe. Since death is natural part of everyone’s life.

you will face soon 3 important gigs 16.5 2003 Riistavesirock, Riistavesi8.8 2003 ,Kuopio, "rockin' in finland, rollin' in norway" with 2 Norwegian bands2.9 2003 Henry's pub with Downstream which are your expectations?

I personally expect every single gig with great passion, so it’s hard to lift one above another. Propably the gig with Downstream at henry’s pub. We have never played a gig there with Ilkka, so it will be nice to go there to kick some ass in our full strenght. But obviously the focus is now in the next gig.


which are Sindrome's features in order to be able to carry out, if necessary, a hard and long tour?

Like I said before, we have great spirit within our band, that can’t be wrecked by some hard long tour. After a gig there are friends travelling in the bus, not musicians.And of course right amount of booze would be one feature.


is Finland really that "Heart of Darkness", that kind of cradle, promised and wonderland for all dark souls?

That kind of misanthropy and depression is deep in Finnish blood. And of course the lack of sun for many months and cold cannot be unaffective to us..So yes, Finland is Heart Of Darkness. Perfect substratum for metalbands singing for sorrow.


how is the underground scene there, and in particular it is hard to emerge, or are there many opportunities cause music is very followed and appreciated?

Sadly many great bands always stay in the shadows without gaining any bigger success.For Attempting to rise above the others, in my opinion, it requires unique style, good luck and right timing.

is there solidarity in the music field among Finland , Sweden and Norway?

Honestly, I don’t know much about that. I believe it’s pretty much that Swedes do their own thing, Norwegians their own, and the Finns do their own thing. All of these countries have an unique musical scene which is appreciated by the others.

i proposed a similar question to Nightwish (see Nightwish interview) and i'm still waiting for a reply ;P, so i try now with you- very simple: ask yourself a question and give us then the answer!

Q :Is it hard to ask myself a question?

A: Yes it is

how did you and your band react at the news of the recent passing of Finntroll guitarist Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta?

It’s always sad to hear that young and talented person has died, but to be honest i had never met the guy,so compared to the losses we all had last year,it really wasn’t so big thing. But my condolences to his relatives and friends in their grief.


is it difficult for an emerging band to get a good studio, and which is the studio in which you would like to record?

It is easier than the bands usually weep about, actually it doesn’t cost that much to record a demo. But without the recording deal , a full album is almost impossible to record. I like this Kuopio-based studio Studio Sound, but of the other studios, I would be interrested of Tico-Tico or Finnvox. And obviosly i’d like to hear what would we sound like when produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa.


production quality, very often, is the biggest problem for underground bands...

Yes it is, for example we produced our demo ”no relief” and when it’s about  your own music, it needs an impartial aspect to hear the things that could be done better.On next recordings we are definetely using the producer outside of the band.

why have you been interested in becoming a bass player? which aspects of this instrument do fascinate you?

Since the kid i’ve always loved the heavy, powerful basslines, and felt like it was the instrument i’d definetely love to play.Or maybe the truth is the typical story : No one else wanted to even think about playing the bass, and i was forced to play it? :o)


naughty question, is it true that bass players are the "secret dream" of many female metal fans?

Of course we are. I see those worshipping lusty looks everytime i’m on the stage. Or maybe I’m the one dreaming :o)


what's better in your opinion: dreaming a beautiful life or living a beautiful dream?

Of course living a beutiful dream. What do you achieve by dreaming? Nothing.


which characteristic should be the most important for a band : patience or aggressivity?

Aggressivity.You must make yourself heard.It’s terrible to be so patient that you just wait for the right moment forever. ProBably the moment will never come with too much patience.


And finally our last typical gryphonmetal question we are proposing to every band we interview for the first time- The Game of the Tower: there is a very high tower and on this tower three bands are waiting for you, and you can save only one, the other two you have to push down, letting them fall. For you Sindrome the 3 bands are: Type o Negative - Stratovarius - Amon Amarth

Tough one. Well, even if our band is often cathegorized as a gothic metal, I personally have never cared so much about Type o Negative,which doesn’t mean the band would be poor, so maybe they would fall first. Then stratovarius…after ”Visions” they haven’t done any good albums, so they would fall next. And Amon Amarth isn’t familiar to me, so i would force them to play to me, and then if they would sound good i would let them stay on the top, but if the result isn’t satisfacting, I would end up pushing every band down. Which would be breaking the rules of the game.


Thank you so much Mika!

Thank you too

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