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Interview mit Mikko & Juha [Reflexion], Februar 2010, mailer

Reflexion melden sich dieser Tage mit ihrem dritten Longplayer zurück aus Finnland. Die Platte wurde schlicht und einfach auf den Namen “Edge“ getauft und scheint diesmal einen Tick kantiger und rauer zu sein als die beiden Vorgänger “Out Of The Dark“ (2006) und “Dead To The Past, Blind For Tomorrow“ (2008). Den Hintergrund verrieten mir Reflexion im Interview.

How are you doing? Had a nice start into the new year?

Mikko: The year 2010 started with a couple of gigs which were the first ones with our new line-up after Ike Leskelä joined our band as a drummer. Now we`re more than ready for the album release and upcoming gigs.
Your third album “Edge” will be published soon. Are you completely satisfied with the result and did you achieve all the goals?

Mikko: We`re absolutely satisfied with the album. We finally managed to get our own sound into a record and got rid of those little blemishes which plagued our two previous albums.

Juha: „Edge“ is a honest and unpolished picture from our music at this very moment. The goal was to catch the feeling that the songs have when we write them or play them for the first time together. Usually the spirit of the songs is polished away before they actually make their way to the album. This time we decided not to repair the little mistakes, and yes it can be heard on the tracks. This time the record is really played basically with the one-take-system.
One goal of producing a new album should always be to get a step forward. Where do you see your personal step forward and development of Reflexion?

Mikko: The songwriting process has developed and nowadays we have more confidence about our doings and courage to try differect approaches.

Juha: Reflexion is nowadays a more mature, hairy, smelly and bald band. We know what we want to do and we have absolutely zero pressure in the process of writing music. You can hear the change on the new album.
The album is simply called “Edge”. What`s the meaning behind this title?

Juha: It`s simple, short, sounds good, fits to the feeling of the album, fits to the atmosphere in making the album and mostly it fits to the raw soundscene we built on the album.
Where did you put the main focus on referring to the music?

Mikko: Well, there are some songs which are heavier than others, but the overall sound of the album is quite more rock and maybe with some influences of traditional heavy metal stuff like Black Sabbath etc.

Juha: It`s much more a simple rock album. The ones that liked the first two Reflexion-albums can easily hate this new one, but the ones who hated the first two albums can easily love this one.
Can we find some kind of redline within the lyrics or does every song stand for its own?

Juha: There are no redlines on this album. Themes or redlines can easily turn to bullshit in wrong hands. The lyrics on this album contain no hidden magic, no covered codes, no beautiful fairytales, no selfdestructive messages or any woodoo shit at all. They are the evening news written in the songs we compose. They are a very, very shitty day after hearing a close person to me has a deadly disease. A love story that makes a friend to wake up from a lowest low to brightest glow, from the highest hope to end of rope. The lyrics are basic reality and a fork in the eye of the kindest busdriver.

If I got it right, you have produced the album in three different studios (Mastervox, your own studio & Parkstreet) in Oulu. Have you done most of the producing by yourself and how did it proceed?

Mikko: It`s produced by ourselves, and Tonmi Lillman, who played the drums for the album, had also a quite big impact on drum arrangements.

Juha: Well, selfproducing is just a fine sounding word invented to replace the fact "no producer". I`m not a producer, none of us is. We decided to make an album without a producer in order to maintain the "demoish" feeling in the songs. All producers hate "demoish" sounds. We love them. We managed to get a unique sounding album, and most of all we don`t have anyone but ourselves to blame from the shitty sounds. And in that perspective the album sounds perfect. Tonmi had a big part in the sound that we have on the album. He did a great job.
Where do you see the advantages and disadvantages of selfproducing?

Mikko: You can do everything just like you want to do and experiment a bit more things, but you also lack from those extra pair of ears of an external producer.

Juha: The bad side is when there is no one to blame from the shitty sounds, and the beauty of it is the fact that with a little fight you can do something really sick on the album without anyone filtering it. That`s great!
You have been supported by Hiili Hiilesmaa as well. Why did you choose him for doing the mixing and how was it to work with him?

Mikko: I have always kind of liked the way he does the things and as we now had a possibility to work with him, we decided to try how it works. And all I can say is that he was the perfect guy to do the mixing for this album.
Which anecdotes can you tell me about the recordings?

Juha: Recording this album was a hard, but rewarding process. The fact that our line-up changed before the recordings, forced us to think more about the future of the band. We faced the fact of not having the same tools and basis we used to have, and I think it`s one of the things that made this album unique. Working in our own studios made the atmosphere more intense and down to earth. I can`t remember any funny anecdotes, I never do. When I work with music, the funny and relaxed me disappears and I become a serious asshole. Of course the shitty band humour stays, but no outsider would find that anything but funny.
How does a Reflexion-song usually come into being?

Juha: The acoustic guitar finds a melody that has been murdering me for months, even years. The guitar vomits the melody to the air and starts to grow its spores around it. I play it to my phone or computer. We play it on our rehearsal boot. If it works or has something that has a seed that might wake up some feelings in us, then it could be a potential song for us. If not, it continues to haunt me.

What are your personal highlights on the new album and why?

Mikko: We have already played a couple of new songs live and some of them seem to work very well – both live and on the album. For me those songs are "Generation Kill" and "No Roots On The Ground".

Juha: „Generation Kill“ really has something in it. I also like „On This Dawn“, because it`s the only stadium song on the album.
One song of the new album is called “Blind For Tomorrow”. Is there any connection to your 2nd album?

Mikko: Not actually, it just came up when we wrote the text for that song with Juha and eventually ended up as a title for that song.

Juha: The line just appeared on the lyrics and I couldn`t get rid of it anymore. So I decided to put it on the title. It really fits for the song.
There is also a cover of a The-Cardigans-song included. How did this come about?
Juha: „Long Gone Before Daylight“ is one of my abosolute all time favourite albums. The songs are all great and „Couldn`t Care Less“ is just one of them. It could have been any other song on the album.
And what about a guest vocalist on the new album?

Mikko: Marco R.J. is a vocalist of the Finnish thrash metal band Maple Cross – where by the way our drummer Ike also happens to play – and he did the backing vocals for "Generation Kill" and it really worked out!
You`re playing some shows in Finland and Russia in these days. How many of the new songs have you already presented live on stage? How have been the reactions so far?

Mikko: At least half of the songs we played in gigs during this year were new ones and the reactions have been great. Somehow it feels like these new songs hitted a bit harder with the first try than the older ones did when they were played live for the first time.
When will you finally be back on the road here in Germany?

Mikko: Hopefully soon! We don't have any concrete plans for the tour at the moment, but it might be that we do some festival shows during 2010.

How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?

Mikko: …lifestyle.

Juha: …a curse and a blessing.
What are your plans and whishes for the year 2010?

Mikko: We hope doing lots of gigs and it might be that already in the end of the year we're writing new material. Great vibes with this thing at the moment...

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken & (c) Vesa Ranta / taken from reflexionmusic.com
Website Band: www.facebook.com/pages/Reflexion/5631319981

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 04/10 / www.zillo.de
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