Hell Spawn



Hell Spawn » Interviews » SPIRITUS MORTIS

The opening song of their new album says it all : "Forever going, never stopping, never surrendering". Perfectly describes the longest lasting doom metal band from Finland. Hear "The god behind the god"! Behold Spiritus Mortis!

Third full album, third label. How much bad luck can a band have! Does it feel that the bankrupty of Rage Of Achilles and Black Lotus slowed the band down a lot? And does it worry you the same thing might happen again now?
Teemu: No. At least my life doesn't depend on playing music, to me this is a great hobby. But! I gotta admit that all the trouble finding a new company that pays us money pisses off a little. If something happens then it happens.
Jussi: Well, it could be nicer to write new songs than try to find new label, but shit happens, mon ami. This slows down but do not stop SM-panzerwagen. Firebox has done their job professionally, they have good ideas and they have good connections.Some history about new record deal (you will found familiar things in this story); All this started when I make some business with owner of Firebox (Rami Hippi) like "I would like to buy some Fallen cds from Rami and he liked to buy some splits which we make with Gates of Slumber". Split was released by Chilean record company and we have some talk that they would have released also our next album.Surprise surprise chileans have some serious problems too and I told Rami that we have some problems with them and we do not have any record company for next album. Then Rami have an splendid idea; how about SM and Firebox deal? This took me surprise, because Firebox is so far away us like almost 30 miles! So after deals with British, Greek and Chilean companies now we have deal with company which lives town next to us!

Biggest change is the vocalist, what happened with Vesa? Tired of the struggle?
Teemu: After the fall of BLRs Vesa lost his interest in music so we let him go.
Jussi: Shall we say "middle-age crisis" with him...

His replacement is quite impressive! Sami Hynninen has the most varied and expressive voice for singing doom metal! He's no stranger for you, he already helped out some backing vocals on the first full cd. Was it there for an easy choice?
Teemu: During SM/RevBiz gigs at 2006 there was some drunker babble about "youre gonna sing on next record". When the time came, then at first we tried some local guys, mainly because thought that long distance between us and Sami would be a problem. But when it came obvious that Vesa's and Tomi's (who sang on 20-years tour) boots were so large to fill, we contacted Sami again. And he was interested! And I suppose Jussi will tell you that  Sami is "the Best for the Best" .
Jussi; That`s correct. But it was Kari who first time say "Sami would be great singer also for SM", after Sami has sung Jimi Hendrix`s  "Hey Joe" in tour bus in our "20 years of SM"-tour. We think "this man could sing also SM-songs" maybe sooner we have thought him "only" as doom-singer. It is not easy to sing in SM, local dudes tried but they failed. Not for everyone who has just song Paranoid last Saturday in karaoke.

Spiritus Mortis' music always has been a blend of doom, classic heavy metal and the more extreme stuff, no different on "The God behind the God", allthough I got the feeling this is your most true and traditional doom orientated piece of work? What's your opinion?
Teemu: We play something that we ourselves want to hear, like I like my mysic fast & heavy  and slow & heavy. But I suppose that at "tGbtG" we wanted to show that after all the trouble we shall rise againm stronger than ever. It is rather funny because most of the tracks we wrote after "Fallen" were thrown away so songs on "tGbtG" are mix between very old songs, even from 1987 and some new songs from 2007.
Jussi; You are right! Now SM sounds as I always wanted it should sound.  First album is more Heavy Metal and second one has some flavors of hard rock like Deep Purple. Great albums, but now all is in good balance in SM music. And I like those more serious lyrics too, not just "comic-book"-style anymore, but I personally also like attitude of this one; "Ultimate in body and soul Every cell hard as diamond Every thought crystal clear Unbending Unbreakable Forever going Never stopping Never surrendering Extreme in brilliance and courage" Right attitude for Heavy Metal!

Biggest exception to my previous statement is opening track "The Man of Steel". What an ass kicking, overwhelming anthem! This is one to, fist in the air, scream along with. It sounds very spontaneous, but was it so?
Teemu: This is old one, music was written back in 1987 but Sami's performance and vocal arrangement lifts this up to a completely new level. We heard the vocals and lyrics at first time in studio so at least I was stunned about "cheez, you could thing like this".
Jussi; Previously this track was called "Welcome Black Death" and it was encore song in SM gigs before Rise from Hell (yes, there is SM before Rise from Hell). And it has to be encore song, because sometimes I lost my glasses in the end end of the song while furiously head-banging. Those jolly and wild daze of youth :)

Something you've always had was the contrast between the more light hearted subjects and more dark. It couldn't be bigger than the one mentioned above and your titletrack! How's this explained? Written in other environment, other atmosphere, other mindset, other circumstances? Or dual personality;-)?
Teemu: I like my music variable so we try to do albums and especially gigs with lots of variation in songs, like fast song, mid tempo song, slow song etc. For example at live, slow songs puts fans like into kinda trance and faster ones keeps them rocking and smiling. BTW you can smile even at doom gigs...
Jussi; Most important thing is that there is some feelings in music. I am "power and glory" or shall we say "Highway to Hell" man, I do not like this "whining and crying", "I am lost, I do not have any milk/future/money" loser attitude. Listeners can find that contrast you said in lyrics; there is songs about the end the world, love song about dead bride, fighting for your life with no retreat no surrender attitude, some theological thinking about God and two songs about booze and pussy :)

You have another logo to come along with this new release (actually since the "When the wind howled with a human voice" single). Quite a 'heavier' look, isn't it? And the 't' actually bring a Reverend Bizarre element into it...
Teemu: I liked the old SM logo very much, you know instantly whats going on :) Maybe RevBiz comes through Sami , he did again a great job with new logo, it his handywork. It's also something like a new beginning to us, new logo and all.
Jussi; I like this new logo very much; a lot of tiny little details to watch.

Demo's, splits, 7 inches are quite common in the doom metal scene, but you keep releasing cassettes as well. Mostly as a limited edition. From a nostalgic point of view, when you were tapetrading in your younger years?
Teemu:  A few. Mostly we send Spiritus Mortis tapes around. But no foreign contacts, mainly because we were so lazy and there were no Internet at the time...
Jussi; Before release of first SM album, we sell over hundred demos in CD-R and cassette. Not trading, but we bought and recorded a lot of vinyls and cassettes.

Some of the demo tracks returned later on an album, or in another shape. But some didn't and certainly on some tapes of yours is pretty exclusive SM stuff. Any chance you will compile this on a 'regular' cd someday or do you prefer to keep this as a sort of treat for the real followers?
Teemu: We have planned that when our albums are released as vinyl, likely 2LP, then one side of LP will be filled with special stuff, like old demos and live versions. No plans about cd, probably not but never say never...
Jussi; Yes, some plans to publish them with local Metal association. Sometimes it is bit painful to listen those demos; more desire to play weird music (nobody knows those days what kind music we were playing) than play it always right. But this is one problem in music today; you can fix what you have played so much in studio with Pro Tools that everything plays nicely right. I do not feel that it is meaning of rock`n`roll to play just right all the time.

I know you don't play live a lot, but maybe with your new vocalist (and not forgetting also another guitarist) this will change because new members bring a new vibe in a band? Or did bandmembers never held you back from extensive touring?
Teemu: We try to play live as much as possible, playing live is one of the main things I do this. Most of the gigs/trips have been great so they give me motivation to do this since making money is ever expected. Sami doesn't like playing live but I suppose that he is more relaxed now because he has "just to" sing and perform. It is fun to play old songs because new voice and new arrangement brings a whole new life to those songs.
Jussi; This year is and will be busiest one in history of SM; a lot gigs! Also some releases  next autumn;  first and third album in vinyl (12"), in this version of first album will be some bonus songs (old demo, live and cover) and in the version of third album will be the best possible quality of sound what you can get in vinyl. And do not forget our split with Fall of the Idols!

You're active since 1987, actually truly doing your own thing, that what you really want to do. It's a path you (hopefully consciously) chose. I guess you'll keep following that or is there some big ambition hidden in you?
Teemu: Like I wrote, this is great hobby to me and,  since most of the gigs and trips have been great, they ares also kinda therapy to me.  And Doom what thou wilt shall be whole of the Law...
Jussi; My personal goal is simply make good music, which I myself like to listen. Not by genre, not by fashion or trends, just good music.  



Related Items

CD of the month


Category 7
Metal Blade
Cd van de maand Juli 2024

Previous CD of the month

Cd van de maand Juni 2024

  • CCN Systems NV
  • Instath BVBA
  • Combell NV
  • Knowledge BVBA NV

© 2002-2024 Hell Spawn, all rights reserved.

Hosting and customn CMS made by VideoStore.be and Igor VC