1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
During the past weeks, we have been busy with many things. We released our first music video ever, updated our website (at eternaltears.fi), had a new merchandise shop online. And now, we're busy answering to the interviews. And of course, we're waiting for the new album to come out soon.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new material and howÂit differs from previous recordings?
I can't say the overall sound on 'Saivon Lapsi' is radically different from the previous albums. When you listen to it, you can still hear it's Eternal Tears of Sorrow who's playing and no-one else. Let's just say it may a bit more melodic in many ways and there may be some surprises. But in general, it's the seventh step on our musical path and a natural way to expand our sound. It usually takes a year or two to really "understand" an EToS album, so I'm not 100% competent to describe it completely. So, you'll have to ask me the same question again in a year or two.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
On this album, we combined the Angelheart story that we've had on two previous albums and the northern theme that we had on our first albums. The result is a combination of stories of which many are related to the Angelheart/Ravenheart story. In short, the story has always been about a battle between good and evil and how it affects the main characters as well as other people who experience a lot of war, revenge and death.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
We had a band called Andromeda in 1992, there were four members who were going to play in EToS later, including Altti (bass/vocals) and I. Andromeda split up soon and we had several projects for a couple of years. In May 1994, we finally had really good material and we were recording a new demo tape but didn't have a proper name for the band.
At that time, we very much influenced by the British doom/death metal genre and bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema so I suppose we thought "we need a name like that". One thing lead to another, and the three of us decided to call ourselves "Eternal Tears of Sorrow". And that's what we've called ourselves for nineteen years. There are some people who call the name "emo", which is very weird because the whole "emo hardcore" thing didn't even exist in 1994 when we came up with our name.ÂThe meaning of our name? I suppose our name has no deep meaning as such. It's a melancholic name and so far we've found only one band who tried to call themselves EToS, too.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Two gigs come to my mind. The first one was in Paris in 2000 when we played for two thousand people and even though most people hadn't heard of us before, they seemed to like our show and our music. The second one was in late 2005 here in Oulu. That was our comeback gig, the first gig after our 3-year break in the early 2000s. It just felt amazing to come back.Â
Our live show is energetic. It may have something to do with the fact that we don't do gigs every week, not even every month. So, every live show is something really special to us and that's how we get the energy for our show.
6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
No, we don't have them yet, because unfortunately we've been too busy with some other responsibilities we're obliged to. But we'll start planning them soon. We haven't played a gig for more than a year, so it's going to be exciting to start doing live shows again.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal?
The overall response has always been really great. We're always excited to hear fan feedback from all around the world. People from countries such as Saudi-Arabia and Iraq write to us to say we inspire them, that's something that's really hard to understand - but of course it is wonderful to receive feedback like that.
8. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Janne is very busy with Tarot, Turmion KÃ€tilÃ¶t, Lazy Bonez and other bands. Mika is working hard with Mors Subita and some other projects. The rest of us, we have projects and bands but at the moment, there's nothing to tell you about them. We will let you know when something interesting happens.
9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
That is a difficult question because we never think about music consciously. We just write new songs, listen to them and then decide whether they are good or not. We'll write new songs one song at a time and see where they lead us. It's going to be really interesting to write the next album but we'll take it slow, we're in no hurry. So, I don't think our new songs are going to be radically different from our previous albums but I'm sure they will have something new.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We've been influenced by hundreds of different bands. But in the 90s, there were two bands that influenced us profoundly. Paradise Lost and Edge of Sanity. Both bands did things their own way, mixing influences most of the other death metal bands hadn't even heard of.
Lately, I've been listening weird stuff, or more like weirdly versatile music. Ambient, black metal, old progressive rock, Scandinavian folk music. Norway has been one of my favourite countries this year, especially Kvelertak and Keep of Kalessin.Â
11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Personally, I'm into science fiction, the Uralic and the Germanic languages, good movies, writing stuff and all the other interesting stuff that keep my mind away from music for a while.
12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the interview and hope to see you at our live shows!