MARIANAS REST - Fata Morgana | Nico & Jaakko on new album, touring and more | INTERVIEW
After appearing on a metal raider with their debut album just over five years ago and a successful follow-up, this band is ready to cement their place on a melodic death metal landscape. This episode is dedicated to Marianas Rest. [Music] Hello, all you Metal Pilgrims and welcome to the new episode of our interview series with our today's guests Nico and Jaakko of the melodic death metal band Marianas Rest.
The three of us will be speaking about the band's upcoming studio release Fata Morgana and the creative process behind it, the atmosphere in the band, where the band sees themselves in the future and much much more. Yet, as always, before we start I'd like to take a moment and ask you to support the efforts by liking, commenting, sharing this video, and of course SUBSCRIBING to Metal Pilgrim channel on YouTube or any other social media you actually hang out at, to be able to submit your questions for all future interview guests, stay tuned with the updates, and be among the very first ones to find out what is inside the latest rock and metal releases! Here you go! [Music] [Applause] [Music] MP: Hey how's it going guys? How's everything in Finland? How are you guys coping with all the madness? NM: Somehow, one day at a time. JM: Yeah I'm just starting my vacation so it's a good kind of madness going on now. MP: Good for you man, good for you! I actually cannot complain, I literally just ended my vacation, it's my first work day today. I'm glad to hear
that everyone's safe and sound it seems like. Because you guys have an important date coming up very soon. Marianas Rest is actually set to release their third studio album Fata Morgana on March 12th! Congrats on finishing it up! Could you guys talk just a bit about when you actually started working on it and how was the creative and recording process like? NM: Well, I think we started pretty much after Ruins. There was maybe a month or two that we didn't do anything, then we started slowly making the demos and I think it was written maybe a year ago already. And then we had a little production camp that we do always before an album with our producer, where we go through with the songs, what they need and and then we entered the studio. I think it was April. The lockdown had just been lifted in here.
So we had a little bit of luck there. The songs were ready before the epidemic started in Finland and then the studio was just after the lockdown. So we had luck I think and nobody of us got ill so in that sense too, the whole disease didn't affect the production. MP: It's good to hear, and can you say that pandemic had no effect on the music itself and the lyrics at all? MR: You could say that because the lyrics were written mainly before the whole thing too. But if you look at them now, well you could see them in a new perspective. That's true, because
there's a lot things about isolation, that sort of stuff. MP: Absolutely, so while you actually started speaking about this. Can you share some of the lyrical lines that are actually running through it? Isolation being one of them obviously, but overall this the album's lyrics are pretty heavy, I gotta tell you! MR: Yeah, that's kind of our thing, we are not happy guys. Outgoing and like to have a good time, but we filter all the nasty things and all the bad things going on in our personal lives, and filter it through our band, so we don't have to think about it too much. We can just focus on having good time when we are together. But yeah. lyrics have a lot of really personal things.
At least there are allegories of those things there. And it's a kind of story. It is about how a man after a mental breakdown, or a woman, doesn't have to be a man, a person, picks up the kind of the pieces of his former life and takes a long trip to exile, path to exile, to the edge of the world, and tries to figure out what went wrong, what led him to take the journey in the first place. And he finds out a couple of things on the path, and in the end... well I don't want to say what happens to the guy, you can make your own interpretation.
Many people have said that he dies or kills himself. I don't think it's like that, maybe he just starts a new life, begins anew. So it's definitely an open-ended on this one. MP: I was actually able to listen to the album at this point, and I can tell you, it's been on repeat in my player for a couple of days now.
I actually enjoyed it a lot. I think it's a great combination of this melodic death metal and at the same time with these infusions of gloom, and melancholy of doom metal at the same time. This is just my kind of stuff, I enjoy this kind of stuff. So what are some of the major influences for you that were on the development of its sound specifically? MR: Specifically sound, I think well we try to make this how these modern doomish bands like Katatonia or Swallow the Sun and this and then. Mix it up with more traditional heavy guitar sounds and this organic growling type of sound. I think that is the
main idea. But I remember that we had one of the newer Paradise Lost albums as a sound reference. MP: Obsidian! MR: They have really deep thought in the drums and big echoes and that sort of stuff. MP: The last Paradise Lost is just amazing I think. I actually spoke to Nick Holmes a
couple of months ago, after the release, and told him the same thing. It's just a brilliant album! And do you actually consider yourself a doom metal band or you don't try to put any labels on yourself? MR: Well, definitely no labels. I think the whole genre labeling is the thing for the marketing people. We just play music.
MP: That's a good one. So how do you guys usually divide responsibilities when it comes to writing new music? Who is responsible for what in the band? Is it a collective thinking or one person is responsible for music and then there's lyrics coming in after that? How do you guys usually go about it? MR: Well it's a very democratic process, I think. At the very beginning me and the other guitar player, or our bass player, we do some very very rough demos that have some sort of a glimpse of an idea, maybe a short part of a song, maybe a verse, maybe a chorus, but that's pretty much it. And then we just start
playing it with the whole group. Democracy is a good thing, first everybody brings their own stuff, their own influences and their own perspective to the songs, and then we just chop them up and build them again, maybe a couple of times, maybe more, before they are ready and nobody has too much love for any of the songs. If you love your stuff too much, then you don't want anybody to break it down and build it up again, but we don't have that problem, we just mix them up and until everybody's satisfied at least in some level.
MP: So it sounds like you guys actually are working as a band on them instead of having one or two main writers and then everyone else follows. This is a pretty cool thing, and do you guys usually do it in the studio, in a garage or exchanging files over internet in a new way? How do you guys usually go about that? MR: Well ,the first demos, they sometimes go through emails or something like that, but I as soon as we're starting the brainstorm or song starts to get together a bit, then we just start in our rehearsal room. I don't personally like throwing stuff about through the internet. You have to feel the song to be able to know what it needs. MP: I agree with you I'm all for this more old-fashioned way, because this is the way music is supposed to be enjoyed and this is how it should be written, if you have a possibility of course. If band members live all across the globe it's a little bit trickier.
MR: Different things work for different kind of bands. This seems to work for us but many bands all bands did develop their own stuff and style, whatever works for them. And on this record you've also invited Lindsay Matheson to join you. How was it
working with her actually? MR: Well it was a joy. We got in touch with Lindsay because our producer had worked with Lindsay before. And when we figured out that some of the songs need some extra kick and thought that we need a siren kind of female locals, a beautiful kind of echo from somewhere else, then we got in touch with Lindsay and Lindsay luckily was on board straight away. Everything went really well, I don't know if we had to change anything she recorded, because she recorded the whole thing in Canada and we were in Finland. So that that was something new for us, but we didn't have to change anything straight away. MP: She's a great singer, I loved her singing since way back, and hearing her on this record was actually a surprise. I didn't read that it was Lindsay and I was listening to
the album, and I was like "Oh wait I know this voice from somewhere", and then I actually went back and was like "Ah, that makes sense". MR: I was kind of intimidated to approach her because of what she had done before, and she's a big name, but she's such a nice person. You cannot not like her. MP: Hopefully you guys will be able to hit the stage and invite her at some point.
To hear those songs actually performed live with her would be very very fun. And while we are on topic of of guest musicians Timo Virkkala once again performed cello for this record, how about giving him at this point a permanent bam member status? This is the second time right? [Laughter] MR: You are not the first one to suggest that, maybe we will, who knows. He's a great guy and actually it is like he would be in a band. When he comes to the studio everything is just so easy and he knows what we are aiming at too, so didn't have any trouble this time, as did on the first time neither, and everything just flew naturally.
MP: I think his cello infusions just fit very organically with your music which is interesting, because it doesn't always happen so. I actually enjoyed it very much man. And can you guys, just the two of you, agree on a favorite track by the way or it's some impossible one? MR: No, I don't think we can agree. MP: All right can you can you agree to
disagree on a favorite track then? MR: You go first. Well now that I have had to listen to the album quite a few times I think the title track is my favorite one. MP: Okay I'm gonna be with you on this one, this is my favorite track from the album. MR: You are both wrong! [Laughter] Best track is is The Weight. MP: Why so? MR: I love how the song develops. The start is
probably the heaviest thing we have ever made, and it has this cool blade runner kind of key parts, which I personally love. And I get to growl from the bottom of my belly, and then it just starts rolling and never stops, until it stops in the end. Has this layers coming over it. I don't know, I just like this
sort of.... Would you call it something like post sludge? MP: I think Nico just likes the Fata Morgana because the guitar part on that one is just wonderful. It's very captivating in a way. NR: I think the song has air on it, it's the kind of... I don't know whether you call it verse parts or whatever, where the bass growling cuts down and it starts flowing on. If I had the second best would be the title track too, so you're not completely wrong! MP: All right, nice, guys. Good thing that you're a part so you don't
start brawling over it. So what are some goals you guys set for yourself as a band this year? Any plans to support the album with the tour? Obviously it's hard to predict anything, but maybe an educated gamble and guess would suffice on this one. [Laughter] MR: Well we sure hope to get there. It's hard to make even an educated guess now because everything changes from week to week. And the one thing we can kind of sure about is that we are going to keep busy, and we are going to play the new songs live, and you get to watch them in a way or two. Everybody once gets to see them
but after that we are making plans after plans and see which ones of them start to work. Maybe it's writing new material, maybe it's getting on tour, we just don't know at this point. MP: Writing new material is always great, but I personally, and I think that millions of metalheads around the globe, at this point are just extremely eager to see their favorite bands live in a real concert. And again as I understand you guys are referring to an online event if nothing else will be confirmed, but I think that and this is great for the time being right but we all do hope that real life concerts and festivals, and beer with a stranger, or cranberry juice, no one cares what you drink, but those will resume soon and we will all have actual livee concert experience once again. MR: I enjoy working in the studio also, but live shows are the reason why we do this. I think I can speak to the whole band when I say it. MP: I personally hope to
catch you guys live, hopefully with Lindsay, that would be absolutely amazing, somewhere on the road, preferably in Kyiv, Ukrainee because I'm I'm Ukrainian myself. If not, somewhere else in Europe MR: We hope to visit, never been to Ukraine. That's on my bucket list. MP: It's a gorgeous country, guys, would love to show you around once you are here.
MR: We'll definitely be in touch. MP: 100 percent, guys. I'm conscious of your time so just couple of more questions if you don't mind. Is there one band you would absolutely die for to play on stage with? If you could close your eyes and imagine anyone... I don't know... you call up Metallica and they say "Yeah sure, why not?
Let's open a gig together". MR: Alice in Chains. MP: What about you Jaakko? MR: Does it have to be a band whose all members are still alive? MP: No, at this point I'm very curious whether it's going to be Queen or Motörhead that you're going to say. MR: Sentenced. It would be the one for me, but since that that probably isn't possible - Paradise Lost would be a good runner-up, I'd say. MP: I think that'll be actually a very cool mix, both of Alice in Chains and Paradise Lost. To see you guys live on
stage together, because the music, even though those two are very different in style between themselves, both of them will kind of fit very well the musical journey you guys are currently writing. MR: I think Chains is probably the most depressing band there is, and I mean that in a good way. MP: I think there are some bands who can compete with them on that one. [Laughter] MP: All right, guys, next one is is a fun one we usually do.
Can you can you tell us one musical guilty pleasure that you have? What do you blast when you are drunk and no one listens to, if it's not metal? Is it Justin Bieber or Backstreet Boys? MR: Well actually we bring our skeletons out of the closet. And under the stage after the show we play the closing song, when we get on out of the stage and so forth, it's Spice Girls'... what's the name of the song? Viva Forever! [Music] [ __ ] MP: Okay now this is the song that can compete with Alice in Chains on being depressive! MP: Maybe you guys should consider playing a melodic death metal/doom metal cover on it at some point! It would be interesting.
[Laughter] There has been some ideas thrown around, we'll see. MP: And then and then you give yourself a stage name, someone's going to be Ginger Spice, and so and so on and so forth. that's an easy one And the last one, this is something we usually do to close the episode, and absolutely would love to hear it from you two. What is one craziest or the most messed up touring story you can share with us? MR: Oh [ __ ] my father's gonna listen to this one! MP: What no! We are gonna we're gonna block the channel for him! MR: I think it had something to do with motorcycle clubs and penises. [Laughter] MP: Okay at this point if you don't elaborate, the visualizations in our heads are going to be way worse than it most likely was. MR: Well, I don't know can we tell this one. It's a bit iffy.
But you can tell the weird stuff that was on the disco meat market. And that sort of most of the weird stuff happens in russia. I think there was a disco with a locker, once you go into the bar where you hang your clothes, there was also these little boxes where you could put your guns when you enter this one. MP: Seriously? MR: This huge nightclub, there was this counter, a cold counter where was this dude selling meat at a nightclub outlets. That was weird! MP: Oh my God. So yeah you just like put down your gun,
lock it up in the closet, go buy some cutlets or I don't know some sausages? MR: And then dancing! And penises motorcycles! MP: Hope those two don't mix, because guns, sausages, and penises and motorcycles - this would be too much! All right, guys, Nico, Jaakko, thank you so much for your time! Any last message for the fans? Anything you want to share with them? MR: We will just hope to see you, everybody down on the road when all this thing blows over. And it will blow over! This will go away and we will have the best of times together! I hope both together, hopefully again. MP: Thank you so much for your time! Just as a reminder Marianas Rest's Fata Morganaa is out on March 12th, make sure you check it out! It's a great album! It's it's heavy, it's depressive, it's exactly what you need. Guys, thank you so much and keep rocking! Hope to see you on the road soon! MR: Thank you!