Monday, April 25, 2016

interview: STUD

STUD is traditional metal from Finland. Their debut Out of the Darkness came out in 2013 and their sophomore album Rust on the Rose in 2014. However, that’s not the end of the story: the origins go back to 1986, the year of the band’s first single. Really? 1986? from Finland? This should be a good story, right? You bet! Read on.
You are in Helsinki, right? How are you in cold, cold Helsinki?
Yes. We come from Helsinki, Finland. Actually, due to the change in climate, the winters in Finland are shorter than they used to be. A lot less snow, and the average temperature is higher than before. Of course, it's all relative, what appears to us as a nice winter day, may seem as an unbearable freezing cold to someone else. What's more important, is that the global warming is a really alarming thing, and we all should be worried about it. For metal music, the dark winter nights seem to inspire a lot of bands. And there's a lot of bands in Finland that play metal. In STUD we rather build up from the positive vibe, though. Actually, our music goes through many different moods.
What is the history of your band and who are the members of the band; who is answering this interview?
Hi, I'm Mika Kansikas, the guitar player and songwriter for STUD. I'm the one answering the interview. Here's our bio:
PRESENT: Original line-up Ari Toivanen (vocals), Mika Kansikas (guitar), Pasi Hietanen (bass, replaced by Jyrki Partanen in the current lineup) and Stenda Kukkonen (drums) met in February 2012. Soon enough, they decided to record an album. There was some cool new songs, and loads of great songs left from the 80s, from the time they first had a career in music. The recordings continued through spring and summer until the record was ready in September.
STUD decided to publish a single prior to the album. A single containing "Lovers in the Night" / "Out Of The Darkness" put STUD right back on the map, and earned airplay in several radio stations around the world.
STUD's debut album "Out of the Darkness" contains 11 songs, and it was released 18th October 2013. The album have gained loads of great reviews and airplay in 20+ countries. STUD has a contract for worldwide promotion with Metal Revelation, which have also helped to gain a wide audience in social media. The album is available worldwide both in CD, and through digital distribution. With the reception of the debut album and gigs followed by it, it's clear that there is still place for melodic, guitar-oriented hard'n heavy rock, in the style STUD is known for. And the audience growing.
In March 2014 STUD started to record their follow-up to "Out of the Darkness". The recording process was similar to the debut, but the goal was to make an album that could take the band to the next level. With another 11 songs, they have a good chance of doing just that. The band is very pleased with the end result and can't wait to have it available for the fans.
The name of STUD's second album is "Rust on the Rose", and the release date is set to 31st October 2014. The first single "I Don't Know" was already released in May and introduced STUD to new audiences by getting some rotation in Australian radio. With the title track as the second single, released just before the album, STUD brings another portion of radio-friendly, melodic hard rock to the fans all over the world. The band invites everyone to join their journey in the Rock'n Roll World.
PAST: STUD was founded back in 1986, when four musicians who had already played in several different bands teamed up to form one of the period's most aggressive, skilled and loudest rock bands.
The band chose to sing in Finnish, which soon established an interest in several record companies. On the very same year the biggest record company in Finland, Finnlevy published the first STUD-single "Mä Haluun Elää" / "Viimeinen Yö", which later became a collector's item among record collectors around the world.
After publishing the single, STUD toured frequently. They also appeared in famous Finnish TV show MTV3's Levyraati, and got some airplay on radio as well.
The original line-up was ultimately short-lived, and as a new singer came in, the language was changed to English. In 1987 STUD attended Finland's Rock Championship contest, where they achieved a place in the finals, which was quite an achievement for a heavy rock band.
Touring expanded across the border, when STUD among the few Finnish bands toured Estonia's largest cities, at a time when Estonia's independence was still around the corner.
At the end of the decade, after a new change of singer, STUD planned to record a full-length album, but failed to make a deal with a record company, since new, darker music, had increased popularity in Finland.
STUD made their last gigs in 1989, after which the band broke up.
How do you explain your sound and how is it now in comparison with 1986?
STUD's music is more towards traditional heavy rock, however, we have quite wide range of songs from fast, double-bass-drum metal to hard rock and even couple of ballads. We have our own sound, lots of guitars, powerful drumming and memorable melodies. Our two albums both have some great tunes, but there's a small difference in how they sound. The sound on our second album Rust on the rose is a bit brighter and more modern. It's a little heavier as well. The core of our sound was already built in the 80's when we started. We were pretty good already back then. With today’s possibilities in recording and making music, it's amazing what you can do yourself, without having a huge budget. Back in the days there was not so many bands, but less possibilities to promote yourself. Today it's the opposite, lots of bands and many channels for promoting.
What are some places to hear your music? Where do you do your recordings?
You can find STUD's music in e.g. Spotify, Amazon and iTunes. Our two albums are there to stream or download. The CD is available through our website, just drop us a note. The basic tracks for both albums were recorded in Magnusborg studio close to Helsinki. After that we recorded and mixed the album in various locations. I'm responsible for the production, our great friend Puke Kataja is to thank for the engineering. The albums were mastered in Chartmakers. At this point we are working on the next album. We almost have all the material for it, and we're doing the demos now. Some of the stuff we put on a demo will end up on the album too. So it's really inspiring to work on them.
How did you get into music and how was it for you in Helsinki, especially in the 80s?
All of us in the band have a long history in music. We've all played and listened a lot of different styles. Rock and metal has always been the coolest thing. The energy, great musicians and great songs. It wasn't easy to find players to a band back in the days. That's why it many times evolved from a group of friend who were eager enough to spend hours at the rehearsal room to gradually become skillful players. I think it was easier to find audience for rock music earlier. Today lots of the kids are interested in rap. At the same time, it's great to see some fans that come to our gigs now who've seen the band already in the 80s.
What support do you like to see for Stud?
It would be great if the people who are into the kind of music we play could check out our albums. There's some great stuff on both of them. If you dig it, please let your friends know too. Our Facebook-page is the place for our fans. Let us know how you feel about our music. At the moment we're doing gigs in Finland, but we aim to do shows outside of Finland as soon as we can.
Do you plan to tour?
The next album is our priority for near future, but after the summer we will be doing some gigs. To support the new album we'd like to do something bigger and do as many shows as possible. Hopefully we could break the ice and play for our fans in different countries soon.
Have you achieved your dreams? Was it ever fame and fortune?
We don't do it for the big money. What would be great is to be able to tour without going totally broke. We know that there is lots of people around the world that can enjoy our music, so we try to reach those people. Unfortunately, we are still a small band wanting to get bigger. We're working hard to achieve that. At the same time, being able to make two albums and now the third one, is a dream come true for us.
What are your views on the lyrics for your band?
With the songs we're demoing for the next album, the lyrics are having a much bigger role than before. While it's really great to come up with good lyrics, it at the same time raises the bar higher to always find out something interesting to say. It's now more like telling a story instead of just gathering together bunch of words that sound cool. It's a new inspiring element in our songs. The lyrics mean a lot to many people.
Do you have any news?
We had a change in lineup, when our bass player, Matti, decided to leave the band. I called my old friend Jyrki Partanen and asked if he could join STUD. In a week we got a green light from Jyrki. In addition to being a great bass player, Jyrki is also very good at background vocals. At this point we feel that the band is in the best shape ever. Thanks so much for Christy at Metal Bulletin Zine for having the opportunity to do this interview. Thanks also to all STUD fans around the world. Rock on!

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