1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Everyone in the band has actually been unusually busy traveling around the globe this autumn which has been great and inspirational music-wise. In between these travels we've been preparing for live gigs next spring and promoting "Illumine", our new record. We also have a new lyric video coming up for the song "Into the Red Sun" (it has probably been released when this goes public though) which was animated by a talented young motion designer called Sequoya Finn from the US. We aimed for a little bit different lyric video than most bands in metal are doing and the result looks really pleasing, can't wait to show it to everybody!
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Yeah we released "Illumine", our second long-play a few months ago! As musicians everyone in the band is really open to all kinds of new ideas, there are influences from doom metal, soundtracks, electronic music and so on. Our biggest goal with music is to create something that sounds original but still somewhat familiar. I guess the best situation would be that when people hear our music they'd go "this sounds like Edge Of Haze" instantly. A friend of mine described our music as Gojira meets Hans Zimmer meets Swallow the Sun and I guess that isn't too far off.
As "Mirage", the first record, was more about the best songs we had written so far, "Illumine" was definitely more thought through as a whole. The songs on "Illumine" are a lot more mature and better written. We have also gotten a lot better in our instruments and as a band since "Mirage", as we were only 16-17 years old back then haha. I guess the songs are a bit heavier, too but on the other hand the softer parts are more atmospheric and beautiful than before. So to sum it up every aspect has evolved further since the last release.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
"Illumine" is actually a concept album that tells a story about a future dystopia, where everything is controlled by a higher power and the citizens only purpose is to fulfill their rulers orders and maintain their place in the system, kinda like in a futuristic communism. The album's protagonist is a man who sees a vision one night about his city burning, realizes how rotten the system is and decides to attempt an escape to the wild. The songs are divided into two groups, the first five tell about the protagonist's time in the city and the last five about his time in the wild, running away from the tyranny.
The idea behind the concept came from our drummer Janne, who was inspired by a book called "Escape from Camp 14" by Blaine Harden. The book tells a story about a North Korean prisoner who one day decides to escape from the labour camp he's been imprisoned to since he was a kid. On an universal level the album is also about courage and daring to stand up for yourself.
4.The band was originally known as 'Damage' what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Edge Of Haze'?
Damage was the name of the group in 2007-2010 when the band only consisted of me, Janne and our guitarist Lenno. We knew there were a lot of bands out there with the same name and we wanted to change it to something more defining and original. When our keyboard player Akseli and our former guitarist/singer Iivo joined the band in 2010 we knew it was a good time to change the name. Janne had this old demo called "The Edge Of Haze" which sounded right for the band. Actually, that demo is now known as "A Storm at the River", the track number eight on "Illumine"! Iivo then left the band in 2011 due you know, the usual musical differences and he's in Arion now if you've heard of them (if you haven't, go check them out). Markus then joined a few months later to fill his spot.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Hmm, this is a though one. It was pretty surreal to play in Nummirock Metal Festival in 2013, with bands like Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth in the line-up there that year and it was actually only our sixth performance in total. Another awesome gig was our album release show in Semifinal, Helsinki this August. The place was full of people doing moshpits and coming to the stage to party with us. We like to do pretty crazy stuff when we are performing, like jump around the stage and invite friends to join us there. The focus is still always in delivering the music to the audience but we try to put on the best and most energetic show as possible every time we enter the stage.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
This is not yet set in stone but we probably have a tour in Finland next spring with a pretty big Finnish metal act, can't say the name yet but we'll keep everyone updated on our Facebook-page! Every show we've planned for next year are pretty much in our home country but we'd love to play shows abroad, probably somewhere around Europe at first. We'll hopefully work that part out soon too!
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yeah, so far we've done everything by ourselves which has been great because we've had full control of our actions but on the other hand it has kept us very busy. We are looking for a record deal, and we have some really potential labels in consideration. Our plan definitely is to release the next record through a label to bring our music for more people to know!
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of the progressive, doom and death metal genres?
The feedback has been really flattering, actually so far we haven't seen a single bad review for "Illumine"! It feels really nice to read these reviews of people complimenting something so personal that you've created for sure. For fans of progressive, doom and death metal (like myself) I believe that everyone can find something for their likes on the album: "Drawn" and "Into the Red Sun" have more progressive vibe to them, "Crushed", "The Pyre" and "Unlearn" are more from the death metal side and "Rainfall" and "The Newfound Horizon" dig deeper into the doom world.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We've been already trying some new stuff out for the next release! I guess the songs are more to the point this time than on "Illumine", which has a lot of longer tracks such has "The Newfound Horizon" and "Rainfall" for example. And don't get me wrong, we won't be forgetting the longer, storytelling songs either as I for example am a huge fan of those kind of tracks if they're done well and with a good taste. Now we have also approached songwriting more from the lyrical and vocal point of view, as on "Illumine" the instrumental tracks pretty much already existed before we started working on vocals. We already have a shitload of new song ideas, probably 20 or something for the new release as everyone in the band is writing. I think it is great because everyone brings in something slightly different to the table and we can then choose whatever world we want to explore with the new music we're going to put out.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I guess some of our biggest influences since me and Janne founded the band have been Katatonia, Swallow the Sun and Devin Townsend. Lately we've been drawing inspiration from loads of different artists and bands: from modern metal acts such as Periphery and Sybreed for example, but our influences go all the way from post-rock to pop, jazz, classical and even funk. Lately I've been really digging the new Skyharbor-album, The Coal by Leprous and Toto's Mindfields-album. So basicly everything that we find enjoyable goes for us and can inspire our songwriting, despite the genre.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I myself like sports a lot and follow NBA almost on a daily basis. Everyone in the band likes to travel a lot too, as mentioned before, learn about other cultures and see the world generally. As a group we're really good friends, so we like to do lots of different stuff together when we're not rehearsing or recording, like go to the movies, have video game tournaments and just generally hang out and do stupid things. You can find out some pretty idiotic videos on our Youtube-channel that show evidence of this haha.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Generally a big thank you for everyone who has bought, listened or reviewed "Illumine" and supported the band, it really means the world to us! Stay open-minded for there is so much good music out there. Hopefully we'll see you in our shows in the future and if you see us somewhere feel free to come chat and hang out with us. And thanks to Doomed to Darkness for having me, cheers!