Tuomas Saukkonen is certainly one of the busiest bees in the metal scene. I met Tuomas for the interview on the Dark River Festival in Kotka back in August. When others are busy enough by supplying one band as mastermind with music, Tuomas has no less than three. Ok, perhaps thanks to the pandemic he had the opportunity to produce new music with Dawn of Solace and Before The Dawn next to his main band these days, which is naturally Wolfheart. In our interview he revealed his Wolf Heart.
At the shores of the Dark River
When tradtional concerts were hardly possible, he played several, very intimate cabin acoustic shows with Mikko Heikkilä as Dawn Of Solace. But finally he is back on stage and touring with Wolfheart. Quite at the end of the festival season, Wolfheart hit the stage at the Dark River Festival.
Our appointment was set as: ‘after the gig’. I wasn’t aware that he would be in quite a hurry as he was to play two gigs in 24 hours in Kotka and Oulu – a six-hours-plus ride by car. Then again he needs to wait for Mikko before they both could hit the road. But Mikko is performing with Kaunis Kuolematon here even later at the today.
“Three minutes, that’s now!”
As Wolfheart’s gear seemed mostly packed, I approach Tuomas seeing when it would fit him. He asks me to come backstage in 20 minutes so he could take his dinner first. When then I arrive he had not really started, still being in the middle of several other things. “Ok, well, three minutes?” – “Please, take your time. I can wait. Really.” – “Yes, ok. Five minutes then. Sit down?” He shows to the seat next to him. I sit down and while he gulps down some bites: “I’m not really hungry, but I haven’t eaten yet. Today.” I nod trying to persuade him to slow down. “No, can’t. We need to be in Oulu by twelve tomorrow – noon – to set the stage at QStock with Dawn Of Solace.” It’s 5:15 pm and Kaunis Kuolematon have not even entered stage. “Tough schedule!” He nods and chewing he puts his plate still largely filled aside. “Really, take your time”, I assure him. “I said three minutes. That’s now.”
Perhaps you have seen Tuomas only on stage with Wolfheart so far. Then you might imagine him in this situation to be a grim looking man with a low voice speaking in way his words would sound like an order. Push away this image. The man sitting next to me is a different one. The slight tension I felt eases, apparently he is feeling unwell being late. His voice is as friendly as his smile as I agree to begin (knowing he would deny anyway to continue his dinner).
Ghost provides the perfect atmosphere for the darker topics, Tuomas and I speak of now.
Dark Clouds Gathering
Let’s jump back in time. In spring 2020, Wolfheart was about to set sail touring the USA and Canada in an incredibly big and cool line up. Wolfheart had been rising on an incredible speed, signing with Napalm Records only approximately one year earlier. Now they wanted to promote their newest release in North America as they had just done in Europe – with enormous success. As we all do remember only too well, a certain virus spread and everything stopped. Wolfheart – just like many other bands – had to cancel tours, reschedule, postpone and repeat this wicked game over and over. “You were furious …”– “Yeah!”, he says and can laugh about it now.
“One week before the tour, I quit my job already in Finland. I gave away my flat. And then bang. Border shut”
“…for understandable reasons. However, surprisingly soon you came up with new music from all your bands. Did this new situation trigger some sort of creative explosion? What happened in the depths of you?”
“It wasn’t very inspiring at all. But it gave me a lot of time. That’s the thing that triggered. Because I had” he hesitates counting the years in his mind, “for the past seven years, I had not that amount of time in my life. There was always, either I was working in the studio or it was a tour coming or I was on a tour. It was the first time that I knew I am gonna have like half a year empty in the calendar. But it didn’t bring like any … The first half a year, I didn’t do anything. I was just waiting to get some good news. Maybe we get on tour. Maybe. Because the album release was completely destroyed by the no-tours-at-all time. I was supposed to stay in North America for a longer period after the US tour. I was in a relationship with an American girl at that time. I already had the keys for the apartment. One week before the tour, I quit my job already in Finland. I gave away my flats. And then bang. Border shut. I got the key in Finland. And I like, ‘ok, I don’t have a apartment. I don’t have a job. And I don’t really have money!’ Because, we invested a lot of money for the touring and the visas and tax waivers, and flights, merch. – We still have about eleven boxes of merch in the North America. We’ve been just hoping that maybe we have a tour coming and we rather sell them there. Shipping to Finland is like 3.000 Euros. So it’s just first half a year I was just waiting to get better news tomorrow. This will go over. This doesn’t happen. But then when I realize, nothing is gonna happen for the better, the only thing I could do is, write music. It wasn’t inspiring.”
The wrong kind of chaos
“I’ve been talking with a lot of musicians and songwriters. And everybody says the same: It destroyed the creative force for a while. For everybody. It’s just this turmoil of bad feelings and disappointment and frustration. And that doesn’t bring good arts, like sadness, loneliness, joy. Those emotions are much easier to turn into an art. But if you are frustrated, pissed off, angry, or completely lost, like what’s gonna happen to my life now? That’s the wrong kind of chaos.”
“The time eventually gave me the opportunity to start writing music and when I started, I did the first one – I think this was Dawn Of Solace –. I never came off from the studio mode.” His eyes ask for comprehension. I frown and do understand. I have had my share of vastly destructive frustration. Tuomas frowns in reply now and continues: “… because there was no tour coming. Usually you go to studio. Then there is a tour. This is not part of the studio mode. You go back to touring. Nothing happened on the touring side, so I went to studio with another project because that was the only thing I had.”
“So it looks like it was really a creative time because of the pandemic. But it was quite a struggle to keep the mood in a certain place that allowed me to create music.”
The sound check echos from the main stage, musicians and stage people pass us by, busy setting the stage for the bands playing later in the evening. It seems like a faint memory of normal knocking on the backdoor of our consciousness. Normal? We will address this later.
Waiting in the bubble
“So did you find a way to translate all those unwelcome feelings that are so hard to turn into music? Did you find a way to channel them?”
“Luckily, there was enough good days” he says with confidence written in his face. “Ok”, I reply. “There was enough good days between the bad days. I could focus on the good days to turn those into music.” He pauses one moment. “It is very hard to force those emotions. Like every day you hear it on the news. It’s not like you can forget there is a pandemic. Every week, we had like meetings in Zoom or Skype with the management and agency and everybody telling the same: ‘Nothing is gonna happen. Everything is cancelled.’ So every week you get reminded it’s like, ‘wait!’ You have to wait. But there was enough good days you could like go into the bubble. But when you have like 700 days …” He looks at me waiting for my reaction. As I spend most of those days nearly in isolation, I say nodding: “Don’t tell me.” We laugh both and Tuomas continues: “You have like a one out of seven is a good day. That means that I have like, in that one seventh I can make three or four albums. That’s enough good moments.”
“I don’t want to underline the shittiness because everybody had it”
“This is incredible. I really admire your attitude.”
“But”, Tuomas adds laughing: “Luckily, we do this interview now! Because now things look better. Now it’s easier to look back and be more positive what happened. But it was really shitty time. I don’t want to underline the shittiness because everybody had it. Everybody struggled a little different. It doesn’t matter if you’re musician or if you’re a regular person. It affected everybody. And it took something good out of everybody’s lives.”
That’s a welcome bridge to my next question. I agree it hit everybody and everybody in a different way. Each person individually. Consequently each group was affected too and again uniquely. “So how did your bands go through this? How did they experience it? I imagine it a true challenge to cope with it individually and in the group, band. Entirely unthinkable things happened.”
“We were really happy in one perspective. We were talking about – for a long time – at some point we need to take the step that we all quit our main jobs and just focus on the music. In that one ten- months period in that we did 140 gigs and still maintained our jobs that was the worst.”
“We didn’t lose income from the regular life”
“How? How on earth???”
“That was worse! Especially Joonas is a CEO in the company where he works and doing a North American tour and every like time zone that we went he had a different wake-up call just to check that everything is running on the company. But we were talking for a long time that at some point we need to take that step. It’s not good for the band because we are so worn-out all the time. We just need to take the leave but we didn’t do it yet. So when the pandemic hit, everybody had a job.” He senses my unspoken question about his situation, nods and goes on: “I have a good reputation in the gardening industry.” Again he seems to hear my doubts if industries is fitting my idea of the branch. “Yes, there is one. In a way. But I, I found a job in like one hour. But everybody had like a regular life. It didn’t have like and impact on the regular life. When it comes to income and stuff like that. So we didn’t lose income from the regular life. What we lost is the investment on the tours and stuff like that but I know a lot of bands that was their main source of income, what put the food on the family’s table, paid the rent, paid the cars. So I am really happy that we didn’t take the step. Because everybody went back to work. We went to this waiting mode; just see what is next month? Maybe we get to tour on the fall. And the lives just kept going on in the background. It was a lot easier that way.”
“True. But it still took away your opportunity to express yourself on stage which is a major thing to a musician.”
“To me, a lot less than to others.”
“I missed more the feeling of being on the road”
“So you’re more on the creative side?”
“Yeah. Like, I?! … The gig today. When the mood is correct, I can enjoy huge amount. But it’s very delicate thing to me because I, I don’t ever consider myself an entertainer. I don’t go on stage to enjoy being on the front. Like if the sound on the stage is good, and everything goes well – it sounds like I am diva – but in a right mood and in a good mood. Then I can enjoy the music and then I am really happy on the stage. But when I lose the connection with the music and I am just standing there playing and and …“ he is searching the best words to express his emotions “and there is a staring and I am just there to do a job, then I feel horribly out of place. So I didn’t miss touring that much. I missed more the feeling of being on the road. Like every morning waking in another city. You get to see so much of the world. I never really appreciated until it was taken away. How much you can get to see the world and meet people and everything like that, that was what I was missing more than being on the stage.”
“I noticed that I could live without touring. I can’t live without travelling. Which I never did before. I was never much of a traveller because the touring took me to places, continents. There is many cities, that I visited dozens of times. I didn’t realized that I am more like a traveller than a touring musician.”
I can’t hide my surprise any longer: “Really interesting!”
“Yeah, it taught me certain things about myself, also. I could survive without the touring. I wouldn’t survive just staying in Finland.”
Before The Dawn’s latest single: “Downhearted”
The wolf mother, the wolf heart and the wolf’s home
It is difficult to switch over to the next topic from here. “I came across a sculpture in a shopping mall here in Kotka yesterday. It shows a wolf mother with two human babies. My first thought was: Romolus & Remus here? Why? Then I read the tag. “Äiti Maan Lapset” – [Children of the World’s Mother] I was never aware how close the Roman and Finish mythology are here. And that triggered another a train of thoughts about northern legends, how the Finnish differ from the Scandinavian and so on. “I read somewhere you see the spiritual home of Wolfheart in the North. How far in the North?”
“It’s more I would narrow it down to Finnish mythology. The Finnish mythology differs quite a lot from the, especially from Norwegian. That’s very well documented like in history. In Finland, it is very scattered. Especially when I was writing the theme album, about the mythology. I really realized how less information there is, like people didn’t know how to write when the stories were told from the beginning from village to village. And when the crusades came from Sweden and brought Christianity, ah by force, they brought the literature but they banned all the writings about the pagan stuff. That kind of erased a lot of the mythology and stories.”
“I would place Wolfheart in the, … hm… It’s also regional, the Finnish mythology. Different area in Finland have different like perception when it comes to Northern lights and creation of the North and the sky and which gods. I would Wolfheart’s origin”, he still buys time to word his thoughts, “in a map but also in the mythology in the east side of Finland. The Karelian area, where my family is from.”
Although Tuomas’ handwriting is undeniable in the music of all his bands, cohesion is not to mixed up with stand still but development
In the heart of nature
Many people especially in the continental Europe are not really aware that Finnish mythology is not Edda-related. Is there any part of the Finnish mythology you feel more attached with than others in terms of referring to it musically with Wolfheart?
“The ones that are closely connected with the nature. The natural things like in every culture is like the harvest, and that means who brought the water, who brought the sun. Those kind of things were hugely important. Also the forest god as bear, for example. There is a lot of kind of fairy tales, also in Finnish mythology. Those are really cool stories but they don’t really make sense. There are stories with a little bit like a ‘broken phone’ [children’s game] issue when it’s been told too many times. So that’s ok?! But then there were the ones that actually make sense, when there wasn’t that much knowledge about how people have an explanation for certain things. So everything that is directly connected with the nature.
This reply is to me a critical piece in the puzzle that makes my image of Tuomas’s personality. “It seems to close the circle. You have a passion for gardening obviously”- “Ahm, yah.”
“…which is in a way creation or rather shaping nature, then you have the spiritual approach to nature that you work on with your music so I suppose from that that you really love to spend time out in the nature.”
“Yah. I didn’t have that much of a spare time … until the …” – It is obvious what he refers to and none of us is too keen to utter the damn thing again. So we both laugh and jump on. “…the past two years. But yeah, always, when I have time, I see different like AirBnB cabins off the grid ones that don’t have electricity, or running water. I would like to buy one myself but this is not really the time I would invest on anything. I need to see where the world is going. But that’s something that’s gonna happen at some point. But yeah, fishing, being in the nature, and I do love the gardening side.”
Tuomas and the baby trees
“Because it’s not only gardening that I do. Sometimes I do like a planting project in the forest where we put those baby trees there … so it’s not just like being people’s like housing areas. It building this like yard kind of thing. A lot of stuff actually takes me to nature, more like building the nature that also I would enjoy more. But as an employee you don’t get to choose projects.” – We’re both laughing. – “The best ones are for example where I am assigned to plant 10,000 baby trees and I am in the forest.”
“So you can spend a lot of time in the nature and will have experienced at first-hand how it has changed within our life time already.”
Tuomas, however, is still all in his passion for reforesting projects and takes us all the way to one of his first ever projects: “Yeah. What I actually do enjoy and the guys” he takes a look around but his fellow band-mates have left already, “I don’t know if they hate it. Probably it’s just started to be a little bit annoying. I usually drive always when we do gigs in Finland. And always if we go to like different highways I have been working at then …like this today when we go to Oulu there is one project on the way to Jyväskylä that I handled all the planting.”
– If you have a notion, the odds are, you are hitting the bull’s eye. But let’s hear out Tuomas’ story: “It was like seventeen years ago. And now the trees that I planted were all like this high [his arm shows little above his knees] are like this thick [he shows the width of his arms], and I always need to point out: ‘Hei guys, …’ and they are like ‘We know already!’
“I really enjoy knowing that my hand work has actually continued life”
His tone reflects the missing enthusiasm of Tuomas’ friends for his passion. It is a pity you cannot hear him telling this story as he is not only smiling and laughing but clearing looking at it with an admirable portion of self-irony.
“I really enjoy like seeing the places I used to work like ages ago, like I am old enough to use that word! When I was like 17 I used to work in that certain park and now I see the trees grown into actually full. And I really enjoy knowing that my hand work has actually continued life. It is not like you build something somebody buys it and eventually it gets broken and then it’s thrown away. You are building something that is connected to the whole environments and it grows and has its own life.”
“Is it also about leaving your footprint to the next generation?”
“Kind of, yeah. I would like to do that when I finally have the cabin and I have few acres of land, and then. … But yeah.”
“You do leave your footprint to the world with your music. Your music will stay even once you will have died. It is immaterial but a footprint. Much longer than we all live.”
“Yeah. I do enjoy that fact. Hopefully. Humans have a tendency of like taking down of whatever they want or whatever they feel like. If possible what I have wanted to do already, the cabin has been on my bucket list for like ten years, to have a certain amount of land and plant my own baby trees and see there is a forest before I die. That would be a lot more meaningful to me than seeing something that I built, that somebody else designed and paid, that is part of more like landscaping, planning and business. And industry but just creating a forest. Even if it is only a small one. I would leave that as a footprint over anything else. Even like music. Because that would be … how can I explain it? Music is – I have like no control how people perceive, or understand or hear it. I appreciate it a lot that people have made this connection with my music. But it is not in my hands. And I don’t know how it will last in longer periods of times. It’s still in some way entertainment.”
Impression of the cabin streaming concerts, Mikko and Tuomas gave during the big pause
“A forest is a forest!”
I am trying to stick to this point as metal is so much more than entertainment. But Tuomas continues leaving me no chance: “Because a forest is a forest! To me.” He notices my try to raise my point, however, there is no space for doubts in his view on the matter: “Ok, I have my point of view about having your own forest and being able to say ‘that’s mine’, he says smiling over his self-ironically over his win in our battle of words.
“Like ‘that’s my doing’?” I ask.
“Yeah, that would so solid and straight forward and there is no way you can misunderstand or have your own like interpretation. Forest is a forest. Those trees, I planted those. And that’s mine.”
“I am a simple guy in the core”, he adds laughing.
When Tuomas spoke of his forests, I saw in my mind what had happened to ‘my forest’, or the spruce plantation I used to play in as child. It grew right next to my parents’ house and was planted in the 1960’s. It used to be a dark place perfect to play and cool in even the hottest days. The trees had grown with me, some were harvested to leave more light for the remaining trees. But the heavy storms of the past decades tore holes. Then the draughts of 2018 and 2019 came and the remaining trees died one after another in 2020. Within a few months only they were all dead. What an insane world we live in, when not even a forest is a forest?
The Skull Soldiers and the War in Ukraine
I fail pushing those dark images form my mind and say in sort of a trance-like voice: “And then you wake up and again the world is put upside down only in another, just as dramatic way. I am speaking of course of the ongoing war in Europe. How do you feel now about your EP Skull Soldier [which is deals with particular biographies from WWII]?
“That … well, first thing was a shock. And then it started feeling really weird. Like going that deep into the Finnish war history and seeing similar things happen again. I tried to avoid all the political stuff when it comes to the music and stuff. I am like that. And that album was mainly documenting the history not having my own agenda in the theme. But of course our Eastern neighbour doing again what they have done so many times, now it’s a different country but of course it casts a huge shadow over the whole Europe. And of course it is just the radical people in Russia that’s been talking about. Also like threating Finland a little bit.”
Too much knowledge
“It started to feel really weird. Especially having so fresh memories about things I read. What I mainly read was the interviews of the veterans. Not the history books. But how regular people experienced the war in the front or staying home. So I knew a little bit too much what is the situation now. How people are handling like, what they are experiencing like now in Ukraine. It was a little bit too much knowledge that I could connect with the current situation.”
“When my work started in May, 17 of my co-workers were still stuck in Ukraine. Most of my co-workers are Ukrainian. Only one guy stayed during the winter. The rest – they always go to their families in Ukraine. The war shut the border. They couldn’t come and some of them are fighting. Some of them are … but they are not allowed to leave.”
Wolfanger dedicated “Ashes” to the Ukrainian heroes
“So this is also the reason why you came up with the Ukraine solidarity Wolfheart shirt so quickly?”
“Yeah and also the Petrov [Petro Solovey], who is the singer of Wolfanger, the Ukrainian band, he did the guest vocals for the Skull Soldier EP. And we hosted that cover competition, Wolfanger (click here to watch the “Ashes” cover) did a cover of our song called “Ashes” which is a song for the fallen war heros of Finnish soldiers in the winter war. And they dedicated version in the Youtube interviews to the Ukrainian heroes. And they have this like documentary footage, on the video of the bombings and stuff like that. Now we see the same pictures. But in colours! Because it is taking place now! And we were supposed to play with them in Ukraine. So that’s the least that I could do. But it feels like I did nothing seeing the news and what is going on.”
Wolfanger feat. Tuomas Saukkonen – solidarity matters, obviously.
“As you’ve been travelling so much probably you can help me with one thing. I have been travelling to Finland for more than ten years. And I have seen quite a lot of other places all over too. To me it has always seemed like the WWII – and what it meant to the families – is still way more present in the people’s minds in Finland than in Germany. Could it be?”
“Do you have any idea why so?”
“Well, Finland is a very, very young country. Like huge part of us is becoming independent only is during the 2nd World War. That is like, basically the history begins from the war era of our time. Germany is different. There is certain national shame still because what happened was more complicated in Germany. In Finland it is also huge like a hero story. Imagine what happened in winter war when you look at statistics. Our tanks. Was it like 30 tanks? It’s in Wikipedia and I don’t remember it now. But odds for the Finnish army to stop Russia were close to zero. And still we did it. And of course it brought some of the biggest heroes of our history. And I remember what my father’s side family has a big farm in the Karelian area. And when the border was drawn, it is only 7 km from them. So when I was growing up and we went there I saw always the signs: Border zone.”
The canon pointing towards Russia
“Have the current events of war changed your feelings regarding the border now?”
“No, not really. I am not afraid that Russia might invade. It brings more pain to me to think about the Ukrainian situation. I read a little bit too much in that sense. Like I shouldn’t know what happens when an army leaves a village and what they can do and what that causes in people in the long run and how look back on those horrors 40 years later. That’s something I wouldn’t want to think about now. But I don’t see my father’s home area any less save now.”
“But I remember there is one hill that still has a canon pointing to Russia. That is left there as a monument for the fallen people. And I was playing on that hill several times. And I was always wondering about the canons. It is very present. It is not like we talk much about it. Or praise it too much. But it is the biggest event in history in Finland and it less complicated then in many areas in Europe. We were just defending our independence and our country. There is nothing complicated about that. And we are quite simple country.”
“We don’t have much things in the history …”
“You underestimate yourselves now. And you don’t take yourselves too important. But you are.”
“But that’s the Finnish way. Being humble.”
The quiet generation
“I don’t know.” He pauses and then: “It might have to do with this war, also. I did some reading about how it affected the people, also. A lot of people just see as there was the miracle of winter war and how sisu and so and all those cool things. But that whole generation of men when they came home. They didn’t have anybody whom they could talk to. They all have the same traumas and issues that the American soldiers have when they come home from Afghanistan and can’t cope the regular life anymore. But that Finnish generation just had to get that done. That generation became very quiet. And we are just more or less this ‘getting-the-job-done’ kind of people, than talking about what happened and healing themselves. So I think that kind of stuff had quite a big impact on those. And their kids they just saw how their parents were. That was the way people coped that trauma. They didn’t talk much at all in many of the cases, just trying to keep the family and the farm running and things in motion. But they never really recovered from that. When you have that kind of a trauma, it goes on to the next generation also.”
You must have taken yourselves very, very important if only that one time when you achieved your independence. Because otherwise there was no independence.” “Yeah, that’s true. I think it is more like the aftermath of that.”
“Definitely that normal is gone”
“I feel the need to stick to those dark topics, as I found someone to speak of it but I’d shift the focus to the future. Near or far. In the past three years, so many things have changed fundamentally with unimaginable things actually happening, I suppose there is no way back to what was normal still in 2019. Do you think we can make it back there or will we have to find a new normal, new ways however profoundly different ones?”
“I’m trying to keep my focus in the very near future at the moment because so many things are uncertain. I wouldn’t want to how to answer the question actually, because naturally we don’t go back to normal. It is not just the pandemic. But also the whole Russian-Ukrainian thing will last long. It will have a lot of long-term effects. So that time and that normal is gone. We could go and get quite close to that. So many things now in the near future set so many like obstacles, boundaries. What happens in China and Taiwan? Is NATO going to take some part in Ukrainian situation? And will that escalate in some way? What about Belarus? There is so many like question marks. I am just trying to go by like one month: If we get to do the European tour that is in October, I am super happy. And then I think forward from there. So I don’t know how to make a bigger picture at the moment. Just trying to do my best in the long-term. But definitely that normal is gone.”
“Perhaps Finnish humbleness is the key to adept to this new setting?”
“I am glad that I am Finnish. We are good at adapting”, he says smiling. “In things like this there is a certain attitude that is not even in connection with the history. It just always in Finland that you can go to this work mode. Things will need to get done and then we’ll see what happens.”
“The King” is one of Wolfheart’s latest single about the king of the forest: the bear
The album around song number one
Discussing all the history and politic topics leaves hardly time to approach some details of Tuomas’ creative processes. But one question is unavoidable. “You have three active bands at the moment.”
“How do you make up your mind when writing a song for which band it is?”
“Ah, I’ve been thinking about that same question lately. Because I have the Before The Dawn album pretty much written, and there are some songs that I could just give to Wolfheart and they would sound like Wolfheart. And I have that in every album that I made. I just start like I would raise my mind and start thinking very neutrally I could a lot of songs to different bands. But I just work one album at a time. I don’t write individual songs in that sense. I always, when I have one song ready, my mind starts building the album around that one …”
“So you don’t need to address that question as you always focus on one album and nothing else.”
“Yah, and one album might have elements that could fit for the other band. But it does not belong to anybody else than that band. I think it is mainly in my mind. Because I ask this question sometimes with my both sound engineers, Juho [Räihä, Soundspiral Studio] and Saku [Moilanen, Deep Noise Studio]. I’ve been working with both for over 10 years. They know what kind of music I write and do. And I ask like ‘is this too much of that or is it close to that’ But it has always been in my head also. I have a emotional connection with the songs. So I hear them differently, but I never changed. I have written over 200 songs but never had to change songs like take from album; like this is too much of Dawn Of Solace. I need to put this in that album. That never happened. And I don’t think it will.”
The tempo does not determine to which band a song belongs
“So you get into a sort of a mind-set of writing for this particular band and album now and …”
“just to make good songs and a good album; and make the album flow in a certain way. Sometimes a album needs a slow song. It doesn’t mean because of the tempo it should go to Dawn Of Solace that embraces that kind of music more. But I just wanna write good albums and when the album is done then I start – usually the next song determines which band is gonna get the next album. This is like ‘ahhh this is the best Wolfheart song ever’ then my mind clicks again and I start ‘this song should be on the third track and the first one should be this and this and I start ….ah …”
“It seems like a puzzle you put together piece by piece. “
“With sort of an auto-dynamic.”
“Yeah. There is always one song that is the trigger that starts the … what is the word now? Process! That leads to one album.”
Wow. Thank you.
“You’re welcome! Very, very interesting questions!”
Although Tuomas is in quite a hurry, our conversations goes on. Too often, interviews are none but aping the ever same set of questions to be replied with the information that could easier been gathered from Wikipedia or Wolfheart’s homepage. But what really keeps us talking is the urge to digest the gloomy times we live in.
Hurry, again. But this time: I have to run. I had to run to make it to Kaunis Kuolematon’s gig. I wouldn’t miss them and their intensive, gut stirring emotional songs fits my mood right now perfectly.
Little later, I see the guys next to the stage chatting with some of their friends. I approach the group. Ville is on the fly already and also Mikko is packing to leave, too. Naturally. Tuomas must be waiting already. Yet Mikko takes one minutes or two. “When you pass that certain forest near Jyväskylä, please say hello to Tuomas from me”, I ask him when he is turning to walk away. He turns back and smiles knowingly at me.
Let me end this intimate interview with “The Flood” – my favourite.
Follow Tuomas’ bands on his Instagram
and find their music & merch online:
Wolfheart: Wolfheart * Dawn Of Solace * Before the Dawn
Perhaps check out Wolfanger * Anneli Sippiläinen * DNS Deep Noise Studios * Soundspiral Audio