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InterviewsNothing lost for Finlandís ToC

Posted on Saturday, September 25 2004 @ 17:18:38 CDT by Jedd Beaudoin
Heavy Metal ToC was Throne of Chaos. And still is, more or less, though the collective has shed ties to its darker roots and moved toward a more focused approach on its latest outing Loss Angeles. SoT's Jedd Beaudoin caught up with ToC's Taneli Kiljunen early this summer to discuss Loss Angeles and the band's history.

SoT: Since Pervertigo Throne of Chaos (ToC) has switched from Century Media records to Inside Out Music. Why the switch??

Taneli Kiljunen: Inside Out is releasing the record in North America and in Europe. When we did the licensing contracts for Pervertigo, they had an option for the album that was to follow that as well. When they heard the heard the new album, they didn't want to release it. Luckily, Inside Out was very interested in releasing it.

SoT: Why didn't Century Media want the new record?

TK: I don't know. I really don't have a clue about that. But I think that maybe our musical style no longer fits with Century Media's concept. In my opinion, Inside Out Music is the best possible label for our kind of music. They know the right channels to go through for promotion and they have a roster of similar bands. I think it's a very good thing that we have the deal.

SoT: Well, IOM is a label that focuses on progressive music rather than metal. Do you think that the band is more progressive these days?

TK: Yeah, definitely. But I have a problem with this term "progressive." I think you know , too, how people nowadays understand "progressive." I think that there's s a false perception of the term. If it's progressive, it has to have very difficult guitar parts and [imitates very rapid ascending keyboard line] brumpbup stuff. Very difficult structures, everything. I think that we are progressive but in a different way. I think that we are progressive in the right way.

SoT: I sense that a lot of Finnish bands are open to experimentation. You've got ...and Oceans, a band that experiments with a lot of different styles, other bands that mix up humppa music and so on. Is it true that there's a strong desire among bands over there to experiment?

TK: Well, to be honest, I'm not all that familiar with the Finnish scene. There are some really experimental bands and we've had a lot of successful metal bands from Finland but I think that the most successful bands right now aren't doing anything experimental. I think that they're relying on their formulas. Nowadays, if we have experimental bands from Finland, they are newcomers.

SoT: Now, did you start writing this new record right after Pervertigo or was there a long period of time between the two of them?

TK: There was a long period after Pervertigo where we didn't write any new songs. We started writing the songs about two months before we went into the studio. We would have started earlier but we had an unfortunate accident at our rehearsal place when a water pipe froze, then burst. Our entire rehearsal place was filled with water. We had a lot of damaged instruments. Plus, we couldn't rehearse for about three months. That's why we were only left two months for writing, so it was about a year before we wrote anything new.

SoT: Were you afraid that the band might break up?

TK: We were determined to continue writing new songs and doing albums. We never thought about quitting.

SoT: What was the first song that you wrote for the new record?

TK: I think it was "Mary Lou Is Dead." That's kind of ... the lyrics there inspired the lyrics for the rest of the album. It became very important in the overall songwriting process. When I wrote the lyrics with our singer, I really felt that it was a really powerful idea. I had so much to say about this "Mary Lou" that I can't fit it into one song. I thought that maybe we should take a big risk and try to do a concept album.

SoT: How would you describe that concept?

TK: It's a story about a girl named Mary Lou and it's a story about what happens to her in a crazy place called Gothamburg, which is an imaginary city. It's a terrible place to be but you can't get out of there. It's really violent and weird. But even I don't have the story clear in my mind but that's what I wanted to do for the listener, just give them some background information and some small clues so that there would be space for the listener's imagination. That's what I like the most, when I read books and watch movies, I really dig the feeling of using my own imagination to solve the riddle of what's really going on.

SoT: You have the song "Gothamburg," which will probably cause some people to think about Hamburg and Gothenburg, then the record is called Loss Angeles, which for Americans ... they'll probably think of Los Angeles. Why the title?

TK: That was the result of some heavy drinking. [Laughs.]

SoT: [Laughs.]

TK: Well, after our debut album, we got tired of the metal scene and thought that we should try to everything possible to be different from a typical metal band. That's why we were wearing really weird clothes in the band photos and why we have weird names for the songs and albums. Me and our bass player ... we were drinking beer after a rehearsal about a year ago and suddenly we came up with Loss Angeles and thought that it would be a cool name for the album. At first, it was spelled exactly like the Los Angeles in the United States. But then we wondered who would name an album that, then realized that we were the only ones that would. It wasn't really a heavy metal album ... so we decided that it was cool but it had nothing to do with the album. But then we had all the lyrics done for the album and I realized that one of the major themes on the album was losing someone or something and dealing with loss, which is why we added the extra "s."

SoT: This record is also credited to ToC rather than Throne of Chaos. Why the switch in names?

TK: We've grown out of the death/black metal stuff. That's one reason. The other is that Throne Of Chaos is a damned stupid name for a band. We'd thought about changing the name before but then thought that we shouldn't because we'd already made a name for the band. People knew us by that name but with this record, I thought, "This really doesn't fit with the music and the name sucks, so we have to do something about it." ToC probably isn't the greatest name for a band either, but we decided to do it that way so that it would be the same for fans. This is not a different band. We did not want to give that impression, that there's no more Throne of Chaos. It's the same band, we're still here.

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