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Black Light Discipline
Interview mit Toni & Janne [Black Light Discipline], Januar 2012, mailer

Mit den Aufnahmen zu ihrem zweiten Longplayer "Against Each Other" begannen Black Light Discipline bereits Anfang 2011. Doch erst jetzt – ein gutes Jahr später – lassen die fünf Finnen auch die Öffentlichkeit von den neuen Songs kosten. Warum hat das Backen bloß so lange gedauert?

Hello and happy New Year! Did you have a good start into 2012?

Janne: Hi! Yes, we had a great start, because we just finalized our new album and sent it for pressing.

Are you completely satisfied with the final result of your second album "Against Each Other" or did you already find something you would have done in a different way nowadays?

Janne: We are really satisfied about it. We just tested it in the local pub here in Kuopio and heard that it also works great with a bigger PA-system. So the result is good. At the moment it feels like we wouldn't change anything, but hey, we just got it out from the oven!

You've started to record the new CD in the beginning of 2011, but the release had to be postponed. For what reason?

Janne: Well, we have a habit of testing and maybe thinking too much. So it took quite a lot of time when we made something. We decided to change the already ready result. Also Toni got a bad flu which was raging in Finland during last year. He wasn't able to sing for maybe three months. And my laptop, which was used for the recordings, was dropped to the floor and broke, so it had to be fixed. Bad luck seems to follow us and so it did within these recording sessions as well.

I read that you actually had material for two full-lengths albums when you started recording. How did you decide which songs end up on the new album?

Toni: That was easy, we just tested them all and took the ones that worked best. Also we tried to think about the whole album and which kind of songs work inside one album the best.

Some people have criticized the song alikeness on "Empire". Where do you see the band's musical development on "Against Each Other"? What has been the musical focus this time?

Toni: We think that this album is more versatile than "Empire". Musical focus is the mood of the songs and what kind of feelings they awake in the listener. We also wanted to create catchy, energetic songs that will make you nodding to the beat.

Which are the inspiration sources for the lyrics?

Janne: It's like our emotional chart during couple of years. There are songs being written when we were pissed off, like for example "Against Each Other" and "Red Rivers". But there are also songs with more positive and hopeful content, for example "Waiting For The Rain" (might not seem like that at first) and "Closer To The Sun". We like to exaggerate a bit with the lyrics, make them sound maybe bigger than the original idea behind it. Also we want to make the listeners to be able to relate to the lyrics.

To what extent are the songs connected with each other?

Janne: Well, they have been written during two, three years, so I'd be lying by saying that we were thinking about the album's full picture for all the time. We think these songs go well together and the order of the songs is thought through, so that one links well to the next one.

How did you choose the cover song "Self Control"?

Toni: We made a contest about the song on the band's website and Facebook account where we asked for ideas from the fans. The idea for "Self Control" came from a Serbian fan. Janne got interested about it and started making some demos. With the first demos it immediately fit well with our style, so we just had to do it. I maybe had the most difficulties thinking how to make this sound like a BLD-version, but it worked out really well.

With "Aggressor", "Walls Inside Us" and "Serene" you have released three singles. Is there also any new music video planned?

Toni: Yes, we will release a music video for "Walls Inside Us" before the album is published. We just got a message from our director that he's really excited about the material and this video is going to be cool! That's good, because we were freezing our asses off for two days shooting it in Helsinki. Director is Jesse Jokela, the same guy who also directed the video for "Tides", so we already know it will kick ass.

Are there any anecdotes to tell us about the recording sessions? Which problems did you have to overcome?

Toni: I was recording the very last vocals alone at my flat. There appeared quite a lot of pressure on that point, because we had a real rush to get the album ready due to my long-term flu. I was yelling very loudly between the intakes (fucking hell, shit, mother fuckers etc.), and also the vocals were really loud. But the time was like 10 pm and my neighbors on the other side of the wall were maybe having dinner. They must have been thinking "Fucking Hippie, shut up!". [laughs] Earlier, also during the vocal recording, every studio headphone and pop filter were forgotten to Janne's place and we had to find those needed gears from our rehearsal place. The result: In one square meter area there was Janne, me and the recording and vocals station back to back, because of the short cables of the low quality ear buds. That was really tragicomic.

Why did bass player Iiro Saarinen have to leave the band in September 2011 and to what extent did this influence the album recordings?

Janne: He was really busy with his work, so that affected his motivation. Another thing was the fact that we had difficulties getting a perfect sound out of his equipment. At that point it seemed to be a good timing to change the bassist. We got a temporary bassist, Toni Hintikka, playing for the album. Later we found Jani Rissanen as a new bass player for BLD. The album recordings actually processed faster when we changed the bassist, because Toni Hintikka was able to practice and record the songs quickly. He did excellent work.

How did Black Light Discipline and the new bass player Jani Rissanen find together?

Janne: Jani was already a friend of us before he joined the band. One time I met him in a bar – what a surprise – and told him that BLD chose Toni Hintikka playing on the album and for the couple of upcoming gigs. Jani was quite verbal about his interest in that job, hehe. So a bit later we decided to ask him. I got in contact with Jani asking "Do you remember what we were talking about? And if so, were you serious?". Jani came to the training session and right away we knew that he fits well with us. Of course we kept him in a doubt for a couple of gigs (just to be mean and not to make it too easy for him), before we asked him to join BLD more permanently.

Production and recording was done by yourselves, Janne Tolsa was responsible for the mixing and mastering. Why did you choose him?

Janne: Janne is a good friend of us. He's playing in Turmion Kätilöt and we have been gigging with them many times. We know that he can make really cool kicking sounds for the album. It also helped that Janne's studio "Note On" is located in Kuopio, so we were able to go there at any time when we wanted to have some more impact for the mix. We did that a lot, so we thought it would be the best to approach him with presents, like Whiskey bottles etc., to make him not losing his mind with us.

Will you ever self-produce an album again?

Toni: That's possible. The advantage is that we can decide things on our own and keep the original ideas with the songs. If we find a good producer, we'd also be interested in trying to work with him. Let's see what the future will bring.

Checking out the current album cover, for me it looks like a mechanical egg and sperm. How do I have to interpret that in context with the album tracks?

Toni: You got it right, the cover is as it looks like. It's the idea of a constant battle in human life, starting from the seeds, "Against Each Other".

When do we get the chance to see Black Light Discipline live on stage in Germany?

Janne: We were over there in September playing in Berlin's club K17 on that Suomi-Darkness-happening. Now we have recovered from it and definitely want to come there again. We just need someone organizing gigs in there, hopefully we find the right contacts, because we are ready!

How would you continue the sentence "Music is…"?

Toni: ... a state of mind which is summary about everything around your life.

Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken from promotion.dansemacabre-group.com
Website Band: www.bld.fi

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 03/12 / www.zillo.de
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