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Samy Elbana Lost Society - Interview
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Lost Society

Now with 3 albums under their belt, Finnish thrashers Lost Society are steadily gaining ground in the European metal scene and are becoming part of the great thrash metal resurgence of bands who are bringing a more aggressive and modern twist to a classic genre. We spoke to Frontman Samy Elbanna about the new album "Braindead" and the evolution of the band.



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Andrew: How are you doing?

Samy: I'm doing very good thank you, how are you man?

Andrew: I'm doing very well, thanks for your time today. It feels like yesterday when your last album "Terror Hungry" came out, now you have a new one "Braindead" which is about to come out. How is the feeling about the new songs within the band?

Samy: Yeah it's been crazy how fast things have been going but right now we're so stoked that the album is finally coming out, like 3 weeks now. This time around we are so stoked about the material, I think this album is really going to show the listeners what this band is all about.

Andrew: Yeah we had the privilege of listening to this album in the last few days and I love this album, it's great but it's a little bit different to what you've done before. It's not quite as fast as the other stuff and the first lead single "My Antidote" is a slow but very heavy kind of song so I guess you were trying to go for something different on this one.

Samy: Yeah it was actually cool when we started writing the songs for this album around the end of 2014 and basically I think you can really see that after playing together with this lineup for 4 years, almost 5 years, that we've kind of developed in a way that we can now introduce a lot of new elements into the music openly. We're just basically open minded in trying new things and just evolving as a band and I think this time around we were ready to do something like that. But it wasn't one of those conscious decisions where we said to each other that after 2 fast albums, now we gotta make a slow one. It was more just naturally when we started writing the riffs, it just so happened that a lot of them were a bit slower and then we were eager to try some melodic stuff and stuff like that.

Andrew: You still have a few fast ones on there, you haven't changed in a completely different direction altogether. There are still some thrashy ones on there obviously.

Samy: Oh yeah of course because I mean, in many ways of course there's a lot of new stuff but we are definitely not abandoning the roots of what this band is. That is as equally important and always will be.

Andrew: When I listened to the album, the one thing I noticed is that there seems to be a lot more focus on the songwriting aspect more than just creating a thrash metal record. Was that the case this time around?

Samy: I would say in some ways yeah because we have the 2 albums that are just fast from beginning to end so we wanted to focus on songs much more than ever before so that they just are as perfect as can be. We just wanted the whole album to be a story basically from start to finish, that it goes through a lot of different themes, a lot of different moods and just to see all of the riffs and everything are just as killer as possible.

Andrew: One of the songs that stands out for me is "Only (My) Death Is Certain". It's a very epic kind of song and there's almost a progressive elemet in there as well.

Samy: Yeah very true. Since I was a kid, Iron Maiden has always been one of the biggest bands for me and that is a band that pulls off the epic tunes with "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and stuff like that so I was so stoked that we were able to write something like that. I would say that at this point in our career, it was the first time that it was actually possible to do something like that because we've matured so much as songwriters and as a band together. So I mean when we did that, it was just a couple of hours at our rehearsal place, we're just writing some riffs, writing a song and then the next we know, we have an 8 minute song on our hands which we're so excited about. Because it went through a lot of things that we had never done before and it has such a kind of apocalyptic theme through out the song.


Andrew: As far as the creative process is concerned, how do you come up with ideas and how do you turn them into songs?

Samy: For us it's just that we play a lot individually when we are at our houses and so for me personally, I just have a guitar all the time somewhere and it's just one of those things where you never know when inspiration hits and some small idea just comes to my head. Like for example, my phone is filled with recordings of me just mumbling a riff or something and then once I get a guitar in my hands, I just turn it into something and then like many songs that got their form from something like that. So I think it's crazy to see the process of how you can turn a small voice recording into an epic song like "Only (My) Death Is Certain".

Andrew: Yeah absolutely, it's an interesting process. What kind of influences did you have for this record? Like musical influences or stuff that you were seeing out in the world?

Samy: Well for me it was in 2 things because of course lyrically speaking, this was probably the first album where I really focused on the lyrics and I noticed that basically after the songs had been written and I started making the lyrics that I actually had in my head that I wanted to say. So lyrically at least, a lot of the inspiration came from just observation of what I've been seeing around us and it's more old school for the Lost Society name that we're talking about a lot of that kind of stuff. And then musically it's a mixture of a lot of things because I mean while we're on the road playing shows, a lot of ideas and things just gather up in our heads and when we get back home and we get the guitar, it will be that we just start writing 20 riffs at that time and then of course sometimes you don't get any riffs for a couple of months. So that's also one of those things that is really hard to explain when or what motivation hits for writing riffs.

Andrew: Well because you have been so creatively active the last few years and putting out an album almost every year, it seems like you are not running out of ideas at all.

Samy: Well no because it's one of those things that we've always said with Arttu (Lesonen) our other guitarst, that riffs are just something that you can never run out of and it's one of those things that will always somehow come up. It's always basic for us that when we've written all of the songs for the album and we're hitting the studio, like a day before we go, we start already writing a new song and we're like, 'Oh shit this is even better than the ones before!' It's riffs, they just keep on coming!

Andrew: [laughs] Well it's a good problem to have I guess!

Samy: Oh yeah exactly, it could be worse!

Andrew: I hear that you are going to be on tour with Exodus who I am a big fan of as well, so that should be a fantastic tour!

Samy: That's really going to be one of the coolest things ever because first of all, we're so stoked that we're getting back on the road because the last time we did a full length European tour was at the end of 2014 so it's going to be cool to be back on the road. We've met the guys a couple of times and Exodus are one of the biggest influences on us, I mean they are one of my favorite bands. So it's going to be really fucking cool and I'm sure we're going to destroy every single place [laughs].

Andrew: [laughs] That's good to hear! Just on the back of your last album "Terror Hungry", how did those songs play out live on tour?

Samy: Actually they came out really good! We had been playing them for a year before we introduced them live so they came out really good and they already had these small places where people could actually sing along and chant and stuff. But I'm really looking forward to bringing in these new songs because it's already a bit of a challenge, we have to work really hard to make them perfect for the live setting.

Andrew: Yeah I think these songs will play out really well live, just listening to them they just seem like they will be great live songs.

Samy: Oh yeah definitely and these songs have the most kind of possibilities for people to get into it, to scream out the words and just party more. I would say these songs have that possibility more than ever.

Andrew: Well I hope the tour with Exodus goes well for you and congratulations on the new album, fantastic stuff. Thanks for your time today!

Samy: Oh thank you very much dude!

Catch Lost Society on tour in Europe with Exodus, tour details can be found at HERE.

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on January 21st 2016