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Interview mit Olli Vänskä [Turisas], 05.10.2013, Oberhausen/Tourbus

Mit "Turisas 2013" veröffentlichten die finnischen Viking-/Folk-Metal-Götter kürzlich ihr viertes Studio-Album. Einige der neuen Songs präsentierten Turisas im Rahmen des Heidenfests live auf der Bühne. So auch am 5. Oktober in Oberhausen, wo ich Geiger Olli vor der Show zu einem Interview im Tourbus traf.

The Heidenfest-Tour is almost over. How have been the shows so far?

Olli: Quite good, I think, even better than expected. These are the first European shows in more than a year. We recorded a new album, so it's also like testing the new stuff live. I am very happy and we're continuing from here to the UK for more shows. Then we'll meet Ensiferum in December to play with them shows in Finland.

How do the fans react referring to the new songs?

Olli: Generally good. There's a lot of new stuff, but I have no idea how many of our core fans are visiting the Heidenfest. But the reception has been good. It's fun to play. We also invested in a new stage show. We have our own lighting lady here with us and it adds a lot to our performance. These are the best shows we have ever done in Europe.

How many of the new songs do you play every evening?

Olli: I think, four or five. [laughs] We swap the songs a little bit every evening. Actually we have the perfect setlist for 45 minutes, but our singer Mathias likes to talk so much that we fill an hour with our show. The tour organizers hate us. [laughs] We just have to play save and not overtime.

Do you have a favorite live song?

Olli: There is a new song called "We Ride Together". It doesn't really sound like anything we played earlier. It's like putting Freddie Mercury, Steve Harris and Michael Bolton on the same horse… Somebody called us the muse of Folk Metal or the queen of Folk Metal.

What has been the musical focus during the songwriting process for the new album?

Olli: Basically there was no guideline. The earlier CDs "The Varangian Way" and "Stand Up And Fight" are concept albums. Maybe we were a little bit tired with that, to set the story first. We wanted to do the new album production a little bit faster and get rid off the concept thing. The new album doesn't sound like "Battle Metal", it doesn't sound like "The Varangian Way" and there have even been times we thought it doesn't sound like Turisas at all. I didn't expect this and it's cool for us that others say they didn't expect this. Many fans want us to play "Rasputin" and "Battle Metal" until the ages are over. Although the new album doesn't sound like anything we've done before, it's still very Turisas-like…

Why did you choose this kind of simple album title "Turisas 2013"?

Olli: This is us now, this is where we stand now, this is Turisas at this time – not trying to follow any album we did earlier. I think it's basically a much more interesting name than "The Great Northmen From The Valley Of Death" or shit like that. It makes you think, at least. Of course people have the right to choose if they like it or not, but sometimes you have to do something completely unexpected.

You've created a music video for the song "Ten More Miles". To what extend did you contribute your own ideas?

Olli: We've done it with Jukka Salo, but if you ask me about the video's story – I have no idea. [laughter] It's like showing a guy from the same family in different times. There are a lot of cool ideas. It's also very bloody and our label was afraid of it and didn't want to put it on its own youtube channel at first. And now we have more views than they have!

You're known for your war paint and wearing coats on stage. Isn't it a pain in the neck to get the colors all off every evening?

Olli: Even on! Maybe it takes 45 minutes. But you warm up your fingers with putting on the stage costumes. The actually painting takes around 10 minutes.

Do you do it by yourself?

Olli: Absolutely. Sometimes I ask myself why we don't just play in some shorts and band t-shirts, drink beer five minutes before the show and then just take the instrument, go on stage and take life easy. In Europe you regularly have good showers with warm water, but in the States we always have to go to a motel and share a shower room which is also expensive. But we go to bed fresh and clean every night. I couldn't go to bed just with a quick wash. [laughter]

There are so many bands taking part in this Heidenfest. So is there party every evening or do you sometimes also go to bed early?

Olli: I try to, especially as I have a cold for a couple of days already. Our drummer is known for getting here in the early hours. I think it's not a party band in this bus. Other bands like Equilibrium and Suidakra might to love partying more…

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken & (c) by Stephanie Cabral
Website Band: www.turisas.com

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / www.zillo.de
copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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