Interview

ENSIFERUM (2018 - English Version) - Sami Hinkka (Bass)

Sometimes interviews could be hard. But not this one. First of all because at Hellfest, it's like summer camp. And Sami has a bucket full of French white wine, which means he's in a good mood to talk about Ensiferum and his new band Metal de Facto.

SBM: Hi Sami it's nice to meet you again. So you're here at the Hellfest for the... second time if I'm right ?


Sami Hinkka: The third time actually.

Oh I missed one, sorry about thatÖ So your third time here at Hellfest! So how do you feel?

Very good, I arrived on Thursday at the camp with my friends and itís a fantastic festival but I already knew that: the first time we came here I took a walk in the area you know, to scent the atmosphere. It was as fantastic as I remember. Itís fantastic to see how everything works, the infrastructure, to have time to enjoy the decorations, all the boutiques. Itís a really good festival.
And as my tour manager says, itís really rare to have a free weekend. We play on Sunday but I really have the chance to go to the festival early.

It allows you to take a little break from checking out all the applications youíre receiving. How is it going?

I think Iíve checked something like a hundred applications and now Markus, our guitar player, has done six or seven more. And here Iím drunk and I donít have an internet connection so Iíll start again next week. Itís going well, thereís no rush in it but itís great, the quality and the quantity are just amazing.
For the rest of the guys, weíve been together for 13 or 14 years now so we can make it sound like Ensiferum, so the person who will hopefully fit the band will have to bring something more, something we cannot produce. We can arrange keyboards, we can arrange orchestrations so the priority will be the singing.
To be honest, Markus and I are not Marco Hietala from Nightwish, weíre not that good, so that might be the priority thing in our list, weíre not really looking a great keyboard player like DreamTheater or something. Our music is not really done for mental masturbation you know (Laugh).
Well sorry Iím talking to much! (Laugh)

Oh no problem! I like it thatís cool. So with all this checking is the band composing stuff right now or are you too busy? Maybe with new blood the album could sound fresher ?

Yes exactly. But you know we always have some unfinished materials from the previous album so there are a couple more ideas and after the festivals weíll go to the rehearsal room and check out our new ideas. But finding, if we find it, a new person is something that we need so the band could be fully functional. We talked about it and we agreed that a new person could be good to get our music to a new level. So letís see!

And Iím looking forward to hear your new sound! With Ensiferum but also about your other band Metal de Facto which is recording itís album ďImperium RomanumĒ. How did this project or band start?

First itís not a project itís a real band. It all started with our current guitar tech, Esa Orjatsalo who played in a Finnish power metal band called Dreamtale, I donít know if youíve heard about them.

Maybe by nameÖ

Last autumn we were sitting in the van and I said that if I could sing like a proper singer, I could even give up on playing bass which is the most important thing in my live. Thatís something Iíve always admire. So we talked and said that it would be cool to do something together, and he said ďI have some raw songs and rhythmĒ.
So we talked about that and we had a very strong idea of the band, it will like every album will be a themed album BUT the band has no theme, itís just us. But on every album we focus on one theme, an era, a mythology, but weíre not binding to it. This will not be like Wikipedia just telling History.

Anyway thatís how we started that. Then he sent me the demos and has an idea about the singer so we meet him and thought ďThis is our guyĒ. And yesterday they finished all the drums.

Yeah Iíve seen that on your Facebook page!

Oh great, itís still a small thing you know. Next week theyíll start recording the guitars, then the vocals andÖ well the thing is that we donít have a label so Iíll try with my own, Metal Blade, weíll show them the demo first in autumn when the album will be ready.
We already have a manager and a booking agency, itís a kind of crazy situation for the band who havenít released anything.
In the beginning of next year the album will come out and we will synchronise the touring with Ensiferum.

Which make sense actually ! But youíll work twice harder!
Why have you chosen the Roman history or mythology for your first record? Thatís not the most reached era. Usually you talk more about Vikings! (Laugh)
The only band I know which do this is Ex Deo.


Actually yeah we toured with them recently.

Oh yeah thatís true! Sorry I forgot about it...

No problem! Well to answer your question, itís a classic historical era. You have Greeks, Romans and so on. Esa actually already had the idea and I said ďFantastic! Letís go for itĒ but I didnít know about Ancient Rome so this is also the beauty of this band, I love that on every album, on a personal level, I get to dig into something I donít know, to study and read.

Oh my God youíre a very serious man!

Yeah but I like it!

And when will we have the chance to hear so stuff ? Maybe will you release a single in the months to come ?

I think itíll all comes down to the label depending on when theyíll want to do the promotional things, even though we have the booking agencyÖ Itís crazy!
Now music business is not about music anymore. It sounds really sad but true, I donít want to be cynical but itís all about connections and pure luck.
AndÖ sorry what were we talking about ? (Laugh)

Well you lost meÖ HumÖ Oh yeah the single !

Oh yes thank you! Well our booking agency already has a clear idea of when weíll do the Finnish promo and the Finnish tour. And then the European booking agency, the management and the label. I hope weíll get it. I donít want to sound too cocky here but I really hope weíll get a label but in music business youíll never know. But Esa and I have some connections, he worked with Korpiklaani for over ten years and heís a professional sound engineer who recorded albums for many many bands.
So we have a shitload of connections already and thatís an incredible advantage so weíll see.

Thereís no reason for you to fail in there you have all the cards!

Yeah but itís also luck, so weíll see.

Iím confident. And as time is running short, I have to ask you some short questions and you have to answer honestly.

OkÖ

Donít worry thereís nothing personal! (Laugh)
So letís go! What is your favourite Ensiferum album? And donít say ďThe last oneĒ itís too clichť! (Laugh)


Oh if it cannot be the last oneÖ letís seeÖ

No I was joking you can pick the one you want!

Well of course Iím very proud of the last one but in a way, ďVictory SongsĒ will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first whole album I made in a proper studio with a band and you can hear the young guys enthusiasm in it. So ďVictory SongsĒ.

Ok next one, a tricky one, your favourite song?

In all time in any band?

No just Ensiferum.

Fuck

(Both Laughing)
I said it was tricky!


And thatís tricky.
HuuuuuummmmmmÖ Once again, one Iím very proud of: ďVictory SongsĒ.

Ok! Damn it weíll have to cut short so last one: Favourite song to play live.

ďGuardians of FateĒ! Oh thereís a lot of old stuff!! I donít like the new album!! (Laugh)

Sure you do heís great. Thereís one I didnít like, and I tried, it was ďUnsung HeroesĒ.

Yeah that one is really different.

Yeah totally!
So we have to finish. I leave you the final words if you want to say something to the French fans.


Well thank you all, enjoy the Summer, remember to love each other and drink you fantastic wine and eat the best ďfromageĒ (in French without any accent) in the world!
 
Critique : SBM
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