About Me

Interview with Wintersun

Wintersun are back but only those that participate in the crowdfunding that started on the 1st march and ends on the 31st can access their new album “The Forest Seasons”. Jukka talked to Metal Imperium to tell us about all the details.

M.I. - When the band’s self-titled debut album came out, Jari described it as "Extreme Majestic Technical Epic Melodic Metal", after “Time I” he described it as “Universal Metal”… what’s the most suitable description for Wintersun’s sound in 2017?

Epic. This is the trademark of Wintersun’s sound. This can be heard in our music in such different ways: fast riffs, slow majestic moods, powerful singing, etc. We are epic !

M.I. - The band has announced a crowdfunding starting in March, supposedly in order to build a Wintersun Headquarters studio. How important is it having such a studio? Considering the economy is not at its best right now, do you think you’ll achieve your goal with the help of your fans? 

The crowdfunding was launched now on the first day of this month and we reached our minimum goal in less than 24 hours. We believed that together with our fans we can make it – and that what has happened! We couldn’t be happier at the moment! The thing is that 3rd party studios cost so much per day and we cannot afford them with Wintersun type of massive productions that TIME II is. We could instead invest to our own studio through our crowdfunding with the fans to ensure future album releases with the best possible production and efficiency. This is what we wanted to tell our fans transparently and to show where the money is going to finally get our from our “nothing is happening” unfortunate situation for real!

M.I. - There seems to quite a confusion as fans think you are asking them to finance your studio and you say you just want them to buy your new album… I don’t think that the post on January 25th mentioning the crowdfunding is very clear about it and I understand the fans’ disappointment. Please clarify the situation.

This is quite interesting indeed why some people are so negative on this. We are simply selling our new album normally through the crowdfunding. It’s even better for everyone to see in our case where the money is going! No one cares in their daily life or starts demanding to know where the money of a bought smart phone or whatever is going really. We are transparent and it’s the most honest way to be. It is nice to see though that majority of the people do understand this, which is totally normal of course.

M.I. - According to Jari “Building the studio is absolutely essential in order to finish TIME II and produce our future albums as fast as possible and with the best production.” Can’t it be done in a regular studio? Is it the best way to have unlimited access to your own place and record whenever you feel like it?

This is how it is. Even “regular” 3rd party studios cost a lot so through this crowdfunding we can make things way more better for Wintersun – and for the fans to really make future albums faster and in the best possible way!If you have a certain vision about an album, then you should aim for it without any compromises if possible or at least do it as close as you can. Unfortunately with TIME I and II this is not the case. Especially these albums are massive productions and to make them sound great, you need more resources that we have at the moment. Time I sounds alright but it’s 60% of what we wanted it to sound like so we do not want to make this sort of a disappointment again. Doesn’t make any sense to continue making music if it makes you just disappointed, right?

M.I. - What will happen if you don’t get the amount of money you hope to achieve? Will you still go forth with the project?

Well now that the campaign is going great, the album will be released! 

M.I. - This crowdfunding is a bit of “blackmail” (in the best sense of the word… if there is one! ) considering that people will have to donate in order to have access to “The Forest Package”. What does the package include exactly? How did you come up with this idea? Will this package also be accessible after the crowdfunding is closed?

This crowdfunding is selling our new album part of the FOREST PACKAGE that is a massive package. We wanted to give something truly special especially for our dearest fans and to keep the crowdfunding simple as possible without any used socks of Jari for insane amounts of money, hehehe. We wanted to give more actually for the price of 50€ what the package is really worth. It includes our new album “The Forest Seasons” with the best possible sound quality format, isolated tracks of the new album, instrumental version of the new album, remasters of the self-titled album with never heard intro, remaster of TIME I, live album from Tuska festival 2013 and an acoustic version of the new album song called Loneliness. This is a lot to offer! 

M.I. - Do you think the fans will buy the album even if they are not familiar with any trailers, cover and all that info that one likes to know before purchasing it? Why has the band opted for not releasing any of that yet? A little teaser would be extremely appreciated, I think!

Yes true, our plan was to release a lot of samples on the first day of the campaign and that’s what we did. Now during the campaign we launch a multi part documentary of making the album that has even more music inside, so there will be a lot to hear during our campaign!

M.I. - The official website that shows up when searching google wintermadness hasn’t been updated since May 2011. Is Facebook your main page now? The one through which you keep your fans informed?

Our Facebook page is our main band homepage at the moment. We had www.wintersun.fi in use but it was hacked and now we have focused on using the facebook entirely since there all the actual is happening in a interactive way!

M.I. - The band has been formed for over 13 years now but only has 2 full-lengths released. Is it because it started as a side project?

Actually 1 and a half albums until today! 
It started as a side project but it was Jari’s main purpose all along. Wintersun is something precious and therefore brings out music that is really thought through in the best possible way. I’d say like a book author, it takes a longer time to make a full album but the outcome is pure genius, if you know what I mean. Quality over quantity.

M.I. - The fact that the band has well-known musicians has made it easier for you in signing to Nuclear Blast?

No, this is not that case. Yes there might be some all-star line-up bands but in Wintersun’s case it was and is all about the music of course. We wouldn’t have been signed if the music wouldn’t have had potential.

M.I. - Some band members are in other bands as well, does that affect Wintersun somehow? How do you work through the different schedules and tours?

This doesn’t affect on Wintersun’s schedules. We find the best ways to keep the band active, especially now in the future way more than before.

M.I. - According to Encyclopaedia Metallum the band’s lyrics are about Winter, Emotions, Space, Dreams, Death, Time. Does the same happen with “The Forest Seasons”? Why are these the themes that attract you the most?

I think these themes are the most epic and the biggest questions there is. That’s why these themes touch us the most. Epic band, epic lyrics as well !

The Forest Seasons has these elements as well. On this album there as certain focus on every song since it’s a unique season (spring, summer, autumn and winter). 

M.I. - The new full-length album “The Forest Seasons” is 53 minutes long and follows the concept of Vivaldi's “The Four Seasons”. Is Vivaldi an influence? How important is classical music for you?

Vivaldi’s influence is the actual four seasons. Musically no. We have very unique four songs on the album focusing on each season though merging nicely together for a full album.

M.I. - Considering the new album is Wintersun’s version of “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, will you play the whole album live or will you mix it with older songs?

We might do both, though now on the summer festivals at least we will play old and new material.

M.I. - The band has already been contacted by some festival promoters… how intense will this Spring and Summer be?

Shows are being booked at the moment and we have now ten summer festivals coming up. Autumn is still open but soon we will know more what will happen, hopefully touring as much as possible!

M.I. - Wintersun are coming to Portugal in August to play at Vagos Metal Fest. Have you ever played in Portugal? What’s your opinion about the Portuguese fans? What about our weather and food?

It’s going to be the first time in Portugal for Wintersun, and that is great! August is going to be a great month to come there due to the warm weather and amazing food you have. I know personally since been in Portugal, warm weather means warm people and sunny food that is good raw ingredients to make great food!

M.I. - Jari and Kai used to play for ArthemesiA which is a band I totally love. In fact, I used to be in touch with Valtias and my leg tattoo was inspired by the band’s logo. Has that project been put to rest permanently? I search for the band occasionally but no updates show up, yet I still have the dream of seeing the band play live someday… dreams never die! 

Jari was in Arthemesia, no one else from Wintersun. I do know some of the guys in the band and heard that they have disbanded unfortunately. They made cool material so that stays alive at least! Yeah, maybe one day they might make a comeback, how knows!

M.I. - Please share a message with your Portuguese fans and readers of Metal Imperium Webzine. Cheers!

Great to be part of this nice interview and thank you for interviewing Wintersun! Truly excited to play at Vagos festival and in Portugal the first time in august. Check out our crowdfunding campaing via Indiegogo! We’ll see in August with a new album out!

Questions by Sónia Fonseca