Saturday, April 2, 2016

interview: Dead Samaritan

Dead Samaritan
Alright, it’s time to get to know these Finns a little bit better. This publication has been talking about the band for a while now, but the time for the interview is here. They have a cheeky-morbid name and they play extreme metal. Who they are and what they are you will find out right now! Thanks to guitarist Marko for providing such helpful and informative answers!
Greetings! What can you tell us about your city or nation and your band there?
Hi, and greetings from Finland! We are located around a city called Tampere, which has a nice and active music scene. There are also bigger and smaller metal gigs and festivals in the city every year.
We rehearse in a smaller town close to Tampere, as it is very cheap for us, and the distance to Tampere isn’t that big. I myself live a bit further away from the other members, but it’s not an issue, as I drive to rehearsals once a week, and that’s been a good rehearsing rhythm for us lately.
The metal scene in Finland is active and big, but clearly it is facing changes as we speak. It is more difficult for smaller or even medium sized bands to get gigs. Or if you get gigs, you don’t get paid or even fed at the venue or any compensation for traveling to play at the venue. When talking smaller gigs, you pretty much always need a surefire name to draw enough audience to get the expenses compensated, not to mention getting a full house. There’s simply been too much of bands and gigs for so long, so people are more selective these days.
We do gigs every once in a while, but only if the conditions are right and the opportunity is suitable for us. But to be honest we could do more live concerts, sure.
What is the history of your band and who is answering this interview?
My name is Marko, I’m the second guitarist and I mostly write our music (although our new songs will be more of a co-effort, it seems). Other members are vocalist Valendis, guitarist Matti, drummer Janne and bass virtuoso Eero, who also contributes to song writing sometimes. Janne and I are the only founding members left, but this latest line-up has been a solid one, as we’ve played together now since 2009. I personally wouldn’t like to lose any of these members.
We started under a different name in 2001, and took the Dead Samaritan moniker in 2003. We also adapted a bit more aggressive style that year. In the following years we faced some challenges with our line-up, and I had to finish my studies, so the band was on hold for more than a year before we started doing this again somewhere around 2008.
Dead Samaritan have played with some nice names like Swallow The Sun, Rotten Sound, Omnium Gatherum and Ranger to name a few.
In metal music there are many genres. What is yours?
Dead Samaritan is definitely death thrash metal, but we have influences from heavy metal, punk and even classic rock. Some ideas have even emerged from famous 80’s TV Shows’ themes!
I have been listening to your music. How many recordings do you have and where can people hear your music?
Glad to hear you’ve listened to us. We’ve recorded two full-lengths (The Devil Tunes in 2014, The Only Good Samaritan… in 2012) and four demos so far. You can find our records in Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and wherever. Or if you want the good stuff – as in physical recordings – I’d say Google is your friend.
What drove you to metal music?
My childhood friend listened to metal and lured me and our other friend to listen to it. And it didn’t take long when we formed cellar band. I was asked to play bass guitar then, and all I knew about the instrument was, that it looked like a guitar and it had four strings. Yet the very next day after that we already played Sabbath Bloody Sabbath!
I fell in love with traditional heavy metal first, but when I heard Metallica’s Fight Fire with Fire for the first time, I was flabbergasted. “How can they play guitar that fucking fast? I want to do that too!” So soon I discarded bass and switched to guitar.
Later during the 90’s when metal had been a bit “away” and I was listening more to punk, sludge and such, I accidentally bought Vader’s Sothis MCD. It totally blew me away and rekindled my interest in metal, it showed new quality metal music was being published.
What can people do to support your music?
Listen and buy our music, and come to gigs whenever were in town, and then buy our shirts. And of course you can always send us your greetings via Facebook, email etc.
Do you plan to tour?
We might do some shows later this year, but right now writing and rehearsing new music is the focus. We’ve been asked to do tours for a few times during the last year, but due to many circumstances (members breaking their limbs, getting kids etc.) in our private lives it hasn’t been possible now.
At the moment it is a bit soonish to talk about 2017, but hopefully we’ll have our third album under our belts by then, and that might open new opportunities, so who knows where we might end up next year.
Would you say that you play metal for fame and fortune? If not, why are you a metal maniac?
Metal’s gone into my DNA, and I think it has to be the same thing with the other members. Had it not, they wouldn’t have been doing this with me this long. Our style is so underground, so I don’t think we’ll ever make big bucks with this, but I wouldn’t mind getting at least some sort of reward for giving our hearts to this thing. But for me more important would be getting to play some bigger gigs and getting abroad again.
Some bands write lyrics about music or swords or violence or zombies. Are lyrics important to your band and what type of lyrics do you think work well with your music?
Lyrics are quite important to me. I mean our lyrics can be purposefully cheesy and tongue-in-cheek sometimes, but we always try to write them as well as possible. We’ve sang about swords, handguns, violence and zombies, and we’ll probably do so in the future, but even if we think the lyrics have to be good, they don’t have to be so serious every time.
I know that when Valendis writes lyrics for us, she usually goes the tongue-in-cheek way, and the same goes a lot for me. I suppose Eero goes a bit more in the traditional horror way when he writes lyrics, he’s stuff is the most violent too.
Some lyrics I want to have a bit more serious themes like religious madness or greed for power, but I never want to preach anyone, I rather want to encourage people to think for themselves and form their own opinions.
What else do you have coming up?
As already hinted, we’re writing new songs as speak. We have around five songs done now, but need a pile more to make it an album. Yet not to worry, we’ve rolled up our sleeves, so sooner or later the world will face the reality of the third Dead Samaritan album, and judging by the stuff already written, it will be our heaviest and best album so far, easily. For example you can already memorize the name of a song called Shadows of the Passed, it will kick some serious balls, and I so can’t wait to get to play it onstage! Thank you for your questions, and all the best to the Metal Bulletin!
Dead Samaritan

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