- Hello Mikko, we would like to first thank you for interview opportunity. Let’s start off with an obvious one. Can you tell us, long story short, about the band’s history, how you started, what made you decide about the style of you music and all that?
Grendel was formed 1999 with a different name, and changed to Grendel in 2000. All of us know each other from school and I think some of us has even longer history, starting from kindergarten times. Jarkko (drums), Mika (guitar), Juha (keyboards) and Kari (bass) formed a project band, which name I don’t remember. Some time later they asked Jussi (guitar) to join in to at least have a jam session or two with them. After a while our friend Jarno Blom joined the group too, cause the band needed a singer. That line-up became the Crimson Sky. CS recorded a three-song demo, ‘CrosSection’, with a help of Nino Laurenne (ex. Antidote, Thunderstone) in a basement reherseal place/studio.
The only line-up change was when I (Mikko Virtanen, vocals) joined in to replace Mr. Blom in 2002. We always had the interest to get our music heard, and maybe to get some sort of a record deal to help with this. So we kept on writing new songs and releasing new demos. Nino Laurenne and his studio was always the way to go, cause it was so easy to work with him and he had good ideas for little changes for our songs (not changing the way we were, of course). Working with him has improved us greatly, and he makes better sounding recordings today comparing the “wicked” basement sound of our first demo. These demos and EP’s didn’t get us the record deal we wanted, so we made a decision to make our first album self financed. Luckily Firebox Records came along and distributed the album and with the second album, they were ready to make a deal with us.
- When will Grendel’s third album be ready and is it different than the others?
We’re going to start the recordings at the end of this month (September), but we’re not sure when the album is coming out. Hopefully the release takes place during Spring 2010. All the songs for the album are not ready yet, so even I don’t know exactly what kind of an album it’s going to be. Now it looks like it will be another step further from the previous albums. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s going to be faster, heavier more aggressive. A bit less clean vocals and more growls. Melodiousness is still not forgotten.
- What are Grendel’s future plans after recording the third album?
I guess our plans always stay the same: Make more gigs, get more fans, make more music, etc…
- Can you tell us about the Metallia Perkele tour in Finland?
Metallia Perkele tour 2009 is a tour around Finland consisting about 10 gigs with Finnish bands called Anger Cell (www.angercell.com) and Kiana (www.myspace.com/houseofkiana). We also have few visiting performances on tour by Ghoul Patrol (www.ghoulpatrol.com), Verso (www.versoband.com) and Coredust (www.coredust.com).
- There are so many metal bands in Finland these days, do you think it’s rather an advantage or a disadvantage to have so much competition?
It’s really hard to get the attention among all these great bands. It takes a lot of work to climb to the top. Naturally there’s also more interest towards Finnish metal bands in general, so it might make it easier in some category.
Thank you for your time. Hope to see you guys soon in Lebanon.
Thank you! I hope that too.