The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




Next month Australia will welcome back Finnish folk metal legends Finntroll who have been pioneers in a genre that is looked upon as a fun, atmospheric style of music. Their last album "Blodsvept" released in early 2013 has been well received by fans and critics worldwide so we are looking forward to hearing these songs live. We caught up with vocalist Mathias "Vreth" Lillmåns to discuss the tour and the album.

Andrew: Hi it's Andrew from the Rockpit, how are you?


Vreth: Hi I'm well. I just woke up!


Andrew: What time is it over there?


Vreth: It's actually pretty late, I was practicing the night shift last night so I've been sleeping in. So I just woke up so yeah it's 2pm.


Andrew: So what's been going on with Finntroll so far this year?


Vreth: Actually not that much. We toured a lot last year, at the beginning of the year we had a few festivals, we had that 70,000 tons of metal cruise. We had a small Finnish tour, I think it was 6 shows maybe and a Sweden tour with 4 shows. Then it was holidays for 2 months and then we just started the festival season so we played like 2 festivals so far. So that's all we have been doing.


Andrew: Next month you are coming down to Australia, what can we expect on this tour?


Vreth: Well I don't really know, it's going to be a fun, cool tour. Last time we were there was about 3 years ago?

Andrew: I think 2011 was the last time you were here.


Vreth: Yeah exactly. We have changed a bit since, we have the new album and toured with some new local kind of bands and stuff like that and showed them a bit of history.


Andrew: Have you been playing much off the last album at all?


Vreth: Yeah pretty much. It's been well received so we've been focusing on that part a lot but of course we play from all the albums.


Andrew: And how does the new stuff match up with the older stuff? Do you find the fans embrace it just as much as the older stuff?


Vreth: Yeah it's been really good. It's wierd because on the part of the tour where we had a small mini tour in Europe where we put on some really different kind of shows, we had really different kind of lighting, we had really different stage costumes and stuff like that and after a month people really knew the songs already. So it was really cool actually, never this early on have people known these songs this well.


Andrew: Well it's a fun album so I can understand I suppose. I heard that you will be playing the entire Nightborn (Nattfödd) album in it's entirety later in the year to celebrate it's 10th anniversary. Is that true and how do you think that will go?


Vreth: Yeah that will be pretty interesting actually. We haven't been playing much from that album last year and the years before because in 2004, 2005 and early 2006, the rest of the band before I joined concentrated a lot on this album. And played lots and lots of songs from it and just decided that we would concentrate more on the new stuff and just play 1 or 2 or maybe 3 songs from previous albums. And there's lots of songs we haven't played in years so it's going to be something different, the set is going to look really, really different.

Andrew: So how do you view that album now? It's been 10 years, obviously you joined the band a little bit after. But how do you view that album compared to what you have done since?


Vreth: That album is an important album for the folk metal scene. That was like a turning point for the whole scene because it wasn't really that known, folk metal. I wouldn't really call Finntroll a pure folk metal band but for the folk metal scene it was an important album because that's when folk metal started turning more mainstream in some kind of way. And especially for people in central Europe and also in North America because we were the first folk metal band to go overseas to play in the States and that was with the Nattfödd album in the package.


Andrew: Currently do you think folk metal is more popular now than ever before then?


Vreth: Well I have to say I don't think it is than ever before, the boom was like in 2010-2011. At least when you check out our gig schedule's and the money we had left in our pockets when we came home from tours, that's when it feels like we were on top. It sort of feels in Europe that it's going down a little bit and well, we have new territories like you guys now and America where it's still catching up to this trend. But I think the best times for folk metal has already passed in Europe.


Andrew: It's pretty popular over here I think. There's a few bands in Australia that are sort of trying to do the whole folk metal thing and I think it's popular over here.


Vreth: I think we played with some of them!


Andrew: Do you remember the bands at all?


Vreth: I remember a band called Claim The Throne.

Andrew: Ah yes I know that one, they are a good band. So a lot has changed over the years since the band has started, how much do you think has changed in the last few years especially since the last album that came out before (Nifelvind). Has much changed in the band at all or do you still do the same thing?


Vreth: The music has changed pretty much. A lot of stuff going on since the last years and we have sort of once again taken a tiny step away from the whole folk metal scene again and with the last album with the music and everything. I think also we are more interested in writing different songs and a little bit more interesting, at least for us. In the beginning we did more simple, punky stuff, now it's more like a little more content in some way.


Andrew: A little bit more complicated and a bit more variety I guess?


Vreth: Yeah exactly.


Andrew: And do you think the fans prefer that or do you think the fans prefer to have it stay the same all the time?


Vreth: Of course there will be puritans who want us to do the same exact album over and over again but it seems like the statistics show that we get more and more fans all the time with the new music and the albums have gotten better and better reviews than before. When the first 2 or 3 albums came out, the reviews were like, eh what is this?


Andrew: Haha!


Vreth: They didn't really know what they were listening to. Now it seems like we are gaining fans all over the world and that's a good sign. People really liked the last album, that's really, really good.


Andrew: Yeah I have been listening to the last album quite a bit lately and it's a really good, grooving album and it must translate very well live I think.


Vreth: Yeah it really does and I think that's why it sells well. It was well received when we started the European tour.


Andrew: So like we said before, you guys will be coming to Australia next month. You've been here before so how do you find the crowds in Australia compared to other countries?


Vreth: We really like Australia, it's so nice to come back because there's a good crowd but people are really, really friendly. People are into the music but sometimes you get this rude vibe from the audience or just really aggressive or something like that. But there it's really chilled and very relaxed, really good and friendly atmosphere. We really, really liked it there. It's so wierd because sometimes we can't get that good vibes, usually it's more like they were really into it, they were singing along really well or they were like very aggressive moshpits or something like that from different parts of the world but in Australia it's like genuinely nice atmosphere at the shows.


Andrew: Yeah well we are looking forward to seeing you guys here next month, I think it's going to be a fantastic tour. So thanks for taking the time to chat to us, it's been great!


Vreth: No problem!


Vreth spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe May 19 2014





Interested in an interview for your band? e-mail prefers to interview live or via skype or phone but will consider e-mail interviews