Interview: Alase Band

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Some listeners are easy to catch on famous names. Write ‘Metalica’ and they’ll read the article. The situation is similar to that of mushroom-pickers. Some of those pick only mushrooms they know well. There is nothing wrong with that, even I like picking tasty mushrooms which are familiar to me. Nevertheless, there is one more group of listeners, and it’s not that small. There are people, who likes discovering deep forests, mapping unmapped places in the dim light. Those people come out of the forest, carrying unseen mushrooms, for the feeling of satisfaction when you say: ‘I know this one. It’s a tasty little beast…’ or ‘I know this band. I’ve known even before they became famous!’ worth it.

Czech and Finnish people have something in common. They are a passionate mushroom-pickers…  and they love good music. I belong to that small group of seekers. And this time, I wandered in Finnish woods. Would you like to be among those, who fully enjoy the pleasure of finding something new? Excellent. Then I recommend ‘Alase’. No, it’s not a well-known band. No, it hasn’t got a full-length album so far. However, they are good. Very good if I may say so. Watching their work progress is a pure joy. And even more joyful will be the moment of saying: ‘Oh, you mean Alase? Sure, I’ve known them for a long time. How comes you haven’t?

A small interview with founder of the band on Obscuro.cz. Meet Janne Lunas:

– When I say Alase band, there will be blank expression on faces of Czech metal fans. Could you introduce this band to Czech listeners?
Alase is a project band from Finland. Our music is a melting pot of various metal genres but the main focus is in the melody and atmosphere. The lyrics are in Finnish language. We use different vocalists on each song and we release one song at a time. This idea brings a lot of extra versatility how the songs can sound like. Actual band members live across Finland and almost everything is done remotely in DIY style.
– You are an excellent guitarist. Did you play in some other band before?
Thanks! Well, I want to say that me and Mikko Häkälä form a guitar combo where we are sharing duties like composing, and we both play leads and rhythms. We complete each others competence and that way it sounds like Alase.
Me and Mikko both played melodic death metal in band called Chromatic Dark before we together founded Alase. Already during Chromatic Dark times we built our way to work on songs and in Alase it has evolved forward from those days.
– I know you have a new drummer, Janne Kusmin, who is known from Kalmah. Will there be any other changes or is this a final lineup for now?
I really hope this is the final lineup! I am very happy about all the members and lyricist Anni involved in our band. Markus Hirvonen has also helped us a lot delivering us great vocals, vocal production, and even some keyboard work.
– Finland is a land of many metal bands. Is founding and promoting a new band difficult?
I can only tell how it has been for me as it is too difficult to speak on others’ behalf. Founding Alase went easily as me and Mikko H. were already the song writers in our previous band. Our first bass player Jukka was also in our previous band. And by great luck my new working colleague Juuso happened to be a great drummer and shared our interest to this kind of music. Then I got this crazy idea to make each song with different vocalist. This way we did not need to start seeking for the most difficult member to find which happens to be the singer – if you want to have a great one!
Promotion of the band by yourself is very hard work and definitely not easy. It is damn difficult to get a person to have the first listen to a new band as there is so wide range of bands in Finland and in the world available nowadays. Then the first listen needs to be a great experience. In our case all the songs are pretty different to each other and if the particular song does not match the listener’s taste they will not necessarily finish it.
– You recorded some very promising songs featuring well-known singers. How did you come to working with Mikko Kotamäki, Markus Hirvonen or Ville Saloranta?
I have known Mikko K. for many years and Markus H. for about a couple of years – I just asked if they are interested on participating to our thing and fortunately they both said yes. 🙂
I actually saw Ville Saloranta for the first time when we recorded Ari Nieminen’s growling vocals to song “On jatkettava” at my house. These guys are in the same band project “Inho”. I have known Ari for many years and via him we got also Ville to do the clean vocals to the song. Vocals from both guys ended up to be great and also a new friendship was born!
– You often change styles. The last song ‘On jatkettava’ was much harder than those you released before. Are you going to keep switching from lyrical, melodic themes to more aggressive ones?
We like to variate a lot what we are doing musically. We don’t want to get stuck to only certain kinds of songs and we are not interested in repeating same things all over again. We love to explore our minds and abilities to create music.
– Your texts are in Finnish. There are some bands, which use their native language, e.g. Kuolemanlaakso, Moonsorrow or Korpiklaani. They managed to make their way through and now they are famous outside Finland as well. Do you think, you’ll repeat their success using Finnish, or are you going to write some lyrics in English as well?
At least for now we are going to continue using Finnish only in our lyrics. We don’t like to say “never” so possibility for some English texts in the future is not declined. Time will tell if we will become famous or not. I have been surprised how well people who don’t understand Finnish have still welcomed our music!
– When is your debut album coming out?
There has not been any talk about debut album yet. We have been releasing one song at a time – as digital single releases. We have lyric videos of all five released songs in our YouTube profile and all songs are also available in different streaming services. This has been comfortable and easy way to release our music. But there has been a lot of questions about releasing a CD. We don’t know yet how and when but it would be cool to release a CD even though it is probably not economically reasonable nowadays. Feel free to have a look on our beautiful lyric videos that Sakke Paavola has done for us and check all the songs out!
 images: Alase Band
 translation: Toni Střítezská

O autorovi

- spisovatelka, nakladatelka, publicistka - reviews focused on Finnish metal - Rubrika: Finský koutek

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