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Interview mit Andras Miklosvari [Winterthroned], Juli 2015, mailer

Die Metal-Szene in Finnland scheint unermüdlich – immer wieder spuckt sie neues Leben aus. So verbirgt sich auch hinter Winterthroned eine noch recht frische Band, die derzeit an einer Promo-EP feilt, um sich zukünftig mit ihrem Nordic Metal mehr Gehör zu verschaffen. Winterthroned, das sind Niko Nyman (Gesang, Gitarre), Janne Aarto (Lead-Gitarre), Joonas Jussila (Bass), Joonas Salminen (Schlagzeug) und Andras Miklosvari (Keyboards, Moog). Letzterer verriet im Interview, wie die Band entstanden ist, warum es sich noch lohnt, physische Alben auf den Markt zu bringen, und mit wem er gerne einmal die Bühne teilen würde.

Andras, so many good metal bands are based in Finland or Scandinavia in general. Concerning this, how is it possible for a young, new band to angle for people’s attention nowadays?

Andras: Well, that`s very nice to hear! Nowadays, you really have to stand out to give a positive impression because there`s so many bands out there. Personally I think quality matters the most. If the audience like you, that’s cool, but you mainly do it for your own satisfaction. Let`s see how it goes.

How did Winterthroned come into life?

Andras: Basically it all happened in Hämeenlinna a few years ago under a different name. It was originally a project by Niko (Niko Nyman, guitars & vocals, main songwriter) or something like that. He started out the whole thing by penning "Fate of the Warrior", a song we still play to this day, plus we even re-recorded it. But anyway, after several line-up changes we are a good team now.

To what extent is the coldness of the band’s name been reflected in the music style?

Andras: We eat frost flakes for breakfast! [laughs] Honestly, I have never really thought about it. I think you can tell we`re a Finnish band by listening to our music. Or at least something Scandinavian I hope. So, it`s a fitting name in my opinion.

Your part in the band is playing the keyboards. What has been the crucial factor for you personally to become a musician and what do you especially like about playing the keyboards?

Andras: That`s correct. I guess it`s mainly because of my dad. He used to listen to a lot of keyboard-driven rock music back in the days when I was a kid. The Nice, ELP, Deep Purple, Europe etc. – stuff like that. I got hooked on great music! But when I have come across Dream Theater`s “Images & Words” in the 90`s, it had a profound impact on me to start playing for sure. It`s a versatile instrument that provides you plenty of room for experimentation and suits for different types of music at the same time. Not the same thing over and over again.

How does a Winterthroned song usually come into being and what’s your role in the songwriting process?

Andras: Niko writes the songs. I mean, he`s been responsible for the majority of our musical output so far, although we (the rest of us) add our own flavor to the songs. He isn`t lazy for sure, usually he turns up with complete songs, so we don`t really have half-baked ideas lying around! So, when we`ve got something new, then we start rehearsing in it, changing things around if needed – because they have to work live obviously.

Is Winterthroned a democratic band when it comes to making decisions?

Andras: I would rather say that we all have to agree upon certain matters.

At the moment you’re working on an EP. What’s the current state of it?

Andras: Indeed. It`s already recorded to be exact. The mixing will be done soon. I hope we can put it out by autumn. We`ve got an idea for the cover art and an updated logo as well. But yeah, so far we`ve managed to do what we wanted to get done with this promo release.

In times of streaming and downloading is it actually still worth creating a physical CD?

Andras: Look, there have been so many discussions and debates about this subject, pros and contras and so forth, but at the end of the day it all boils down to your personal preference. Either you like physical copies or you don`t. Many people still buy records even though the old system is clearly not in the best shape right now. I don`t think it will ever recover. Merchandise and tickets still sell if the band is known and good enough, so that should be one`s focal point nowadays. But anyhow, you have to do gigs and spend money on gear, transportation and all that. You make music because you love making music and it rarely pays off – but that`s not the point. Physical formats as a whole still hold a large share of the music industry’s overall revenue pool just like streaming services. It might be attributed to the vinyl resurgence. It ain`t all black and white. But one thing is for sure. Most bands don`t make money off record sales. They never have and they never will.

What have been the challenges in the recording process so far?

Andras: Dealing with time constraints. That`s the biggest challenge. To capture the best performance possible within a given amount of time.

Who’s helping you out production wise? Where do you see the advantages and disadvantages of self-producing?

Andras: Well, it depends what we call producing. I have to mention a couple of guys as far as the recording process is concerned. For example, Jarno Hänninen at D-studio in Klaukkala. He`s the studio manager and Niko`s boss because he works there as well. Very convenient. And also special thanks to Sami Mäntylä who played the drums for us in the studio as a session member. The advantage is that you do whatever you want and thus nobody`s breathing down your neck. About disadvantages...well, you have to finance everything by yourself and that`s why making a record takes more time and a lot more effort in every way.

What are the inspiration sources for the lyrics and who takes care of them?

Andras: Generally Nordic themes. To be honest, for us it`s more about the atmosphere we create rather than the actual meaning or sentiment behind the lyrics. Niko was responsible for the lyrics on the EP but for the full-length album we`ll put our heads together in order to come up with a loose concept. It doesn`t matter who comes up with ideas as long as we stick to the best we have.

How do you handle inspiration blockades?

Andras: By reading, maybe. But I believe you can`t write stuff for order. I have never had that so called "block" luckily. Of course, sometimes I don`t write anything nor do I touch my keyboard but I do other things instead, you know.

The band can also be seen live on stage every now and then. What’s your concept in there?

Andras: I try not to think too much before the gigs. But as for the band, once we`re on stage we try to nail the songs. It ain`t rocket science. The more you rehearse the tighter you get. But we don`t wear furs, warpaint, bunny ears and whatnot if that`s what you mean! [laughs]

With which other bands would you like to share the stage some day in future?

Andras: Uh, that`s hard because there`s a lot of them! It can be any good band really, famous or relatively unknown. We`ve already shared the stage with great Finnish bands like Whispered, Kivimetsän Druidi or Vetten Äpärät – just to name a few. So, I would go with Falkenbach and Saor maybe.

Last but not least: How would you continue the sentence “Music is...”?

Andras: …"a higher revelation than all Wisdom and Philosophy." [Ludwig van Beethoven]

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken & (c) by Iiro Laitinen / Northern Solitude Entertainment
Website Band: www.facebook.com/winterthroned?fref=ts

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