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Niilo Sevanen Insomnium - Interview
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As if Swedish band The Haunted wasn't enough for a tour to Australia, Finnish meodic death metal band Insomnium are coming along too for what will be a great metal tour in May. Touring on the back of their latest album "Shadows Of The Dying Sun", there was much to talk about so we caught up with vocalist Niilo Sevanen to chat about the tour and new album.



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Andrew: How are you?

Niilo: I'm very good and very much looking forward to coming to Australia. We've been waiting for it for many years and now it's finally going to happen so everyone is very excited about it. I'm sure it's going to be a fun tour.

Andrew: Yeah obviously it's your first time in Australia so I guess compared to your other shows around the world, what can we expect in Australia?

Niilo: We just asked on facebook from the Australian fans, what they want to hear so I think we're going to listen to the feedback a little and decide what we're going to play there. It's a good package and will be awesome to play with The Haunted, a band we have been following a long time. And hopefuly we should have some other dates on the tour as well so we should be in Japan and Taiwan and more. We don't need to travel all the way just to Australia, we can visit other places in that part of the world at the same time. It will be an interesting tour for us and I'm sure it's going to be a very good package for the Australian fans to see Insomnium and The Haunted at the same time. I'm sure they will be good shows every night!

Andrew: Yeah it's great being your first time and coming a long way half way around the world and you're playing with The Haunted, have you guys played with them before?

Niilo: We haven't played with them before, we don't know them at all. I have seen them live several times in Finland but I don't really know the guys but I have heard from other Swedish guys who have toured with them that they're nice people so I'm sure we will get along with them really well. Swedish guys are usually very easy going and nice so there's camaraderie between Finland and Sweden, usually the bands get along really well more or less.

Andrew: Now you are touring on the back of your latest album "Shadows Of The Dying Sun" and the album has been out for a while now so how has the reception been from the fans on that one?

Niilo: It's been very good. The album was released about a year ago and a lot has happened after that, we got really good reviews, good feedback and best chart positions that we have ever gotten. We are number 2 in Finland and number 18 in Germany which is great for a Finnish band and in the USA we were higher than before. Commercially it has been our most successful album, we've been on very good tours so clearly we have been higher with this album and everything looks very positive at the moment. We'll be in USA again this August-September as headliner so things are happening all the time and now we get to Australia which is great and we also really hope to go to South America maybe this year or beginning of next year. That's one place that we haven't been so all in all things are moving forward, we're getting new fans all the time so it's a very interesting time for us and there's a very positive vibe within the band. The label is also very happy with what's happening with this album so very good!

Andrew: That's good to hear because you guys have been around for a number of years now and it seems like you guys have been progressing pretty good. Why do you think the new album has been commercially so successful?

Niilo: I think we are thinking higher all the time, we work hard, we've done 6 albums. We tour a lot in Europe and North America and we get more fans and we get more coverage all the time so it's a slow process. The first 4 albums we did with Candlelight which is kind of a small label and now that we're with Century Media, things are happening really fast. They are a much bigger label and have more marketing to push us everywhere and they are a very good label in all that they do, excellent, professional and very nice people. So we have to give credit to Century Media as well. But I think with the latest album, the one thing that helps is we have a new guitarist in the band Markus Vanhala and clearly he has given a new energy to the band, something fresh as well. So he's an excellent addition to the band and also in composing and arranging the songs. It's a long process that we have gotten this far, it hasn't happened overnight and defnitely for this album. For the past 10 years we've been seeing every year [that we get] higher and higher with every album so it's a long process and at some point the hard work paid off.

Andrew: Yeah I think with any band if you put the effort into it, you'll get the rewards so that's a great thing.

Niilo: We've been touring with many bands and following along a band like Amorphis and Dark Tranquillity and bands like that and for the future would be very nice to [tour with] Opeth or Amon Amarth, of course Slayer if you can choose but we'll see what happens. I think we're going to do more and more headline tours in the future because we're getting more successful so we can tour around the world as headliners. But there are many interesting bands that we can still tour with so we'll see what happens.

Andrew: So take us back to the beginning of your career, who inspired you the most to get into music?

Niilo: Well I think in the beginning in 1997 when we started the band, we were listening to melodic death metal bands which were big in the mid-90's like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Amorphis and stuff like that. Obviously before that when we got into metal it was the classic stuff like Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura, stuff like that. Those bands were big influences in the beginning and with our first album it was kind of obvious who our influences are but by our third album we kind of found our own voice and own sound and we've kept doing that thing. But yeah those kind of bands gave us our beginning.

Andrew: OK cool! So as I said we're looking forward to seeing you guys opening for The Haunted in Australia and this being your first time, I think this is going to be a big deal. I know all the Australian fans really appreciate you coming all the way over here so thanks for taking the time to chat to us today! We will see you in May!

Niilo: Awesome, thank you very much!

THE HAUNTED with Insomnium tour dates:

Thursday 14th May BRISBANE The Hi-Fi
with Special Guests In Death...

Friday 15th May MELBOURNE The Hi-Fi
with Special Guests Orpheus Omega

Saturday 16th May SYDNEY Manning Bar
with Special Guests Daemon Pyre

Tickets on sale at Metropolis Touring.

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on April 14th 2015