Finnish cinemascopic metallers Crimfall inked a deal with Metal Blade Records on February 27th. They are ready to release their third album, AMAIN, on August 25th, 2017….an endeavor that took six long years. AMAIN is said to be Crimfall’s most ambitious album, combining their familiar symphonic folk metal sound with fresh inspiration, grand orchestrations and beautiful melodies. Crimfall started 10 years ago, when guitarist Jakke Viitala sought out the most talented musicians to realize his vision of making music with no regard to rules. Bloodrock Media had the chance to ask Jakke Viitala some questions about their upcoming album, tour plans, and just some random questions that shine a light on who Jakke and Crimfall are.
The official video for “The Last of Stands” can be found here
BRM: Crimfall was signed to Metal Blade earlier this year, what was your reaction when you received the news?
Jakke Viitala: To be honest we had kind of mixed feelings about it. Of course we were super happy about the fact that the 5 years of working with the album finally paid off. But on the other hand this was already our 3rd record deal and on some level it did not feel that special this time.
But after working with Metal Blade for a few months we couldn’t be happier to release AMAIN with these guys. Now we know how it is to work with one of the best and most respected metal labels out there. And NOW, few months after the signing, it finally feels that we actually got one hell of a partnership here.
BRM: Your third album, AMAIN, is set to be released in a little over a month, what was the writing process like for this release compared to the others?
Jakke Viitala: On a high level, the writing process itself was not that different compared to our previous albums. But we took the whole thing to a complete new level. We really worked hard on the arrangements and small details… as long as it took to make the songs work perfectly.
The way we work is pretty straight forward. I write the songs by doing accurate demos with all the instruments/orchestration in the right place. Then Mikko takes over. He listens to them and based on what we have discussed, he starts to work on the lyrics. And when the lyrics are ready, we will start to arrange the melodies with Helena. Usually I already have some idea about them, but Helena either makes them better or creates something completely new.
For AMAIN I had a bit bigger role with vocal stuff. My daughter was born during the writing process and lots of things were composed with baby-friendly acoustic guitar. And off course when working with acoustic guitar, you end up doing more melodic stuff than with electric guitar.
BRM: Did the band pull from any new areas of inspiration for AMAIN versus As the Path Unfolds and The Writ of Sword?
Jakke Viitala: The biggest sources of my inspiration is still our nature, culture and the music around me …especially the movie scores. And of course I want to try out different things. I’m always thinking how some sound or arrangement has been created by John Williams for example and is it something that I want to use with our music. I think the core Crimfall sound is still at the bottom of AMAIN. But the album has it’s own mood and tone based on what were the most important things for me when I was writing it.
BRM: Crimfall is known for amazing visual live shows, what inspired you to take your live performances to the next level?
Jakke Viitala: Crimfall lives for the live shows! That is basically the thing that keeps us going. There’s no better feeling than to go on the stage when the intro is playing and the audience starts shouting our name. And after the show when we have given 110% of ourselves, we are already thinking how to give 5% more next time. Of course it would be awesome to boost the spectacle with live orchestra and pyros, but let’s be realistic. We barely can afford for our own mixing dude or other visuals… so unfortunately these plans have to wait.
But with the given resources, we do the best we can to improve our show… step by step.
BRM: How has Crimfall grown or changed as a band since getting their start in 2007?
Jakke Viitala: The core line-up was “locked” pretty early on and we are still together. Since then we have grown at least physically.
But seriously… I think we are much better musicians, with a stronger self criticism today. Not everything we do, is pure gold anymore. So we have to dig deeper and work harder to reach our goals. And because of this, everything we do sounds better nowadays. And when the quality of your music raises, it boost your self confidence… which then can be heard and seen both in the studio and on stage.
Also as we have been working with the same group for 10 years…. did I just say 10 years?! Damn that’s a long time… anyways… working so long with the same people makes the band chemistry really good. When I’m writing new songs I already know what kind of instrumentation will work the best, what kind of grooves our drummer would like to use in a certain part of a song for example. That is a thing you cannot achieve in one night.
BRM: Who are the three bands that Crimfall would love to tour with?
Jakke Viitala: Not kissing anyone’s ass here, but we have never toured with a band that we would not want to tour again with. I mean… when you put tons of metal musicians on the same bus, backstage, venue… what could possibly go wrong :D. So… We would love to tour with any band out there. If the bands will match with the audience’s taste of music, everyone wins.
But to name a few, I must say that Moonsorrow has a special place in our hearts. We spent 5 weeks in the same tour bus with them which made us pretty close. We also live in the same area of Finland and meet each other every now and then. Such a nice fellas!
Now I’m speaking for myself, but Myrath from Tunisia is one band that would make a great combo with us. I love their music, but they also have a strong connection with their own heritage by their music.
The last one… hmmm… Warduna is known for their strong thematic elements, beautiful music, intimate mood and great live performance. So even their music is different from ours, they have many similar elements with Crimfall.
BRM: When did you decide that music was going to be your career? Were there any other options?
Jakke Viitala: Career is bit strong word in this case. I still consider music an (expensive) hobby for me. But I remember when I was 5 years old or so drawing a picture where KISS was playing on the stage . So I guess I already knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. For me, there is no other option for music. It is a way of life. Something I must do. My daily work is also more or less about sound and music as I work as a Senior Sound Designer here in Finland.
BRM: Do you have any other hobbies or interests outside of music?
Jakke Viitala: Music takes the lions share of my free time. But when possible, I try to do something completely different, just to reset my mind. I play sports, biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, hunting… play video and board games. Pretty normal stuff so to speak.
BRM: Are there any smaller, unsigned bands that you absolutely love that our readers should check out?
Jakke Viitala: Unfortunately I don’t have much time to browse through new bands and rarely find something that catches my attention. And if I find something “new”, the band has usually been signed already.
BRM: Are there any plans for a US Tour any time soon?
Jakke Viitala: That’s one thing on our to-do list. Touring in the US is pretty expensive, but with the right line-up, we hope it would be possible in the future.
We appreciate Jakke taking the time to speak with us and we look forward to the release of AMAIN in a little over a month, as well as hopefully seeing Crimfall live in the future on a US tour!
Want to know more about Crimfall or AMAIN?
Mikko Hakkinen – Vocals
Helena Haaparanta – Vocals
Jakke Viitala – Guitars
Miska Sipilainen – Bass
Janne Jukarainen – Drums
2. The Last of Stands
3. Ten Winters Apart – pt1. Far From Any Fate
4. Ten Winters Apart – pt2. Song of Mourn
5. Ten Winters Apart – pt3. Sunder the Seventh Seal
6. Ten Winters Apart – pt4. Dawn Without a Sun
7. Mother of Unbelievers
8. It’s a Long Road
9. Wayward Verities
10. Until Falls the Rain
#crimfall #amain #metalblade #vikingmetal #folkmetal #symphonicmetal #bloodrockmedia