Hi there, how are you. Congratulations to your great third album “Hope”. I have a lot of fun with the promo. My favourite tracks are “These Hours of Despair” and “The Empty Skies”! Please describe the reactions of the label and maybe some media-people in your home country to the CD so far – if you have any reactions so far?
RAIVIO: Thank you. Well, there hasn´t been many reviews of the new album yet because the promos have just been sent out, but people in pre-listening sessions and people that have heard the album has been blown away by it.
Some of our readers may never have heard about you. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography.
Raivio: Well I put the band up in year 2000 with our drummer and we started to look for good musicians to play with us cose we had few great songs already. So it took about three years to find the right people to join the band and do the first demo. The demo "Out of this gloomy light" got us record deal with the Firebox records and we made album "The morning never came" pretty soon after the deal. After the first album we did many and many great gigs and got great reviews about the album, so people start to get interested about the band and gave us a good opportunity to make the second album "Ghosts of loss" that rised at position eight in official Finnish album charts. After those two albums and many festivals and tours in Finland we have reach the point for third album "Hope" and new deal with the Spinefarm records.
Any bandmember are playing in other bandprojects?
Raivio: Our bass player plays in a band called Atakhama and our singer is singing also in a band called Alghzant. There isn´t many other projects going on at the moment anyway.
Tell us something about the new record, which would be released in Feb 07. What are the differences between your second work “Ghosts of Loss” and the new record? In my opinion you use more “melodic-rock” guitars now; may the tracks are more comfortable for the media?
Raivio: I wanted to make songs for this new album a bit more melodic than in "ghosts" that was really depressed album. Well, this new album isn´t really a joyride either , hah, but it has a bit more light in it, though there is maybe our doomiest song in it so far. Maybe this album is more easier for people to listen but I never think what people want to hear, I write what I want to hear.
Which one is your favourite song from the new album and why?
Raivio: Well, at this moment I like "These hours of despair", "Justice of suffering" and "Too cold for tears". Those songs are the best samples what this band is about.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them. It is may a very sad world you live?!
Raivio: I don´t like to explain my lyrics much cose I want people to make their own opinion about them. But lyrics in the "Hope" are really important for me.
How was the recording session with Jonas (Katatonia) and Tomi (Amorphis)?! Who has the idea for a project with this guys?
Raivio: We were playing in a same festival as Katatonia last summer and our singer just asked from Jonas that would he want to sing in the new album and Jonas said “Yeah why not”! So it was easy as that, hah. Then I tried to think who would suit to sing the cover song and Tomi came to my mind because he is also a great singer. So I gave him a call and he was up to it right away. Jonas did his job in one hour and Tomi did the same thing, so everything worked out really good in the studio, well they are professionals so it was easy. Both guys are super nice, so I cant be more happier about the whole thing.
Where do you get your inspirations from for the deep, dark, depressive way in your sound? May not only the dark winter nights in the north of Finland are the inspirations?
Raivio: Well, the winter here is so fucked up that it really has a big influence in our music. But you just need to watch some news from the television and look around you to find out how we are running towards the end of the world, so there is lots to sing about. Of course the women are endless path to write about too, they make so much trouble in mans life, hah!
AND What are your musical influences in your opinion?
Raivio: Of course Iron Maiden is a big influence, but Rush, old Marillion, My dying bride and Type O Negative are the ones that has influenced me the most. Of course Duran Duran is one them too, yeah!
Are you sad or proud if people always said, that your sound is not typical like the whole finish bands (HIM, Negative, Nightwish, 69 Eyes) and you play a sound like My Dying Bride; very British way of Doom/Gothic!?
Raivio: People seem to find out our music as a mix of British and Finnish sound and I think that it´s a good that we can take the best part of both things and make our own Swallow the Sun sound from it.
How important is it for you to play live on stage? Is it possible to see you in Germany, next time?
Raivio: Usually bands that play doom or death/doom are pretty boring on the stage, but in our case we are much more live band than one to listen from the album. Live is the most important thing for this band because after you´ve seen us live you get what this band and music is about. I really hope we could start touring this year big time, so I think we will play some gigs in Germany soon, really hope so!
You´re very successful in Finland charts, media etc. How would you explain that and your fans in Suomi? I think all the people in Finland are metal/rock-Fans! You have a lot of bands there.
Raivio: Yeah, we have had good success in Finland and I think its because we have made so many great gigs and festivals around here. We have so many great bands and metal people here that it almost impossible to understand, almost everyone play in some metal band and that is great of course.
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best wishes to you all. The last (boring!) standard question: Any last words?
Raivio: Thank you for the interview. Hope to see you really soon in Germany and bring your friends too, cheers!