About Me

Interview with Kaunis Kuolemanton

Finnish Melodic Doom act Kaunis Kuolematon have recently unleashed their brand new album "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko" via Noble Demon. Not afraid to cross musical borders, the band graced us with 9 tracks of melodic darkness, apocalyptic and destructive, depressive melodies. In order to promote their brand new and third studio album, Mikko Heikkilä talked to Metal Imperium to reveal all the details about this killer album.

M.I. - How did you come up with the name Kaunis Kuolematon? What were you thinking about when you decided it was perfect for the band?

Hi. There’s a kinda poetic way how the meaning of those two words show up in the Finnish language. It also walks hand in hand with what Kaunis Kuolematon musically represents. Kaunis (beautiful) shows out the melodies, vocal lines, the general atmosphere from our gloomy style. Kuolematon means immortal… music is immortal, music stays here forever, music never dies….

M.I. - The band members have been playing in several bands all over the years… why did you feel the need to create Kaunis Kuolematon?

Black Sun Aeon came to the end of the road and, after a short period, it felt there was still a flame burning inside of me searching for a way out. I already had 6-7 composed songs and bandmates were still hanging around from the past. It was a painless road to gather this group together. That’s why I have always felt that we are more friends than just bandmates.

M.I. - You believe the language is the mainstay of Kaunis Kuolematon and it would be difficult not to use your native language in your music. However, inside the album booklet there will be English translations, so that it is easy to follow you while listening to the songs. Why? Doesn’t the message get lost in translation?

From the beginning, I did realize writing lyrics in my native language was way easier for me to do. I was able to get much closer to the meanings of the lines and the certain words. I could get myself much deeper into songs. Translated lyrics inside the booklet have been made by Sami Järvinen who does have a lot of experience with these kinds of works, for being an expert in that area. So, lyrics are translated for original meaning as close as it has been possible. Feedback from the fans has been only good from what I have heard, ‘cause now they are able to get closer to the deeper meaning of the songs.

M.I. - What are your musical and lyrical influences?

Life, years that we’ve been gone through. Maybe that’s a cliche but it’s true. When it comes to lyrics, I’ve always tried to keep them as simple as I can, so I won’t get lost about the meaning. And then the music… We all have been playing in many bands and we know what we want to do, and how it should sound. So, I would say it’s experience that shows up from the style.

M.I. - The band has shared stages with Omnium Gatherum, Wolfheart, Cult of Luna, Vorna and October Tide, and has played festivals and headlined shows all over Finland, appealing to a large audience from many metal subgenres and is not afraid to cross musical borders to expand Doom Metal's stereotypes. Was this all intentional or did it just happen?

Honestly, we write the songs without thinking any further. We don’t like to put our style in any genre, because we have no boundaries, that’s the way we see it. If you write music, you just have to believe so much in what you do and trust your instincts. I have to admit that I have been surprised sometimes on how well we have succeeded in that. But like I said, you just have to believe in yourself. Follow your heart... 

M.I. - Your third full length album, titled "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko", was released on November 27th via Noble Demon. Being a heavy yet intense dreamlike journey "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko” will without any doubt land on several Best Of 2020 lists. How does it make you feel? What have the reactions to it been so far?

Reactions of us, or fans? In what concerns the reactions from the fans and reviews that I’ve read, I never thought it would be so good as it has been so far. We know that we are more than pleased with the album, but how that affects the audience… it’s only a plus on the top of the mountain so far. Curious to see where the path leads...

M.I. - "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko", whose lyrics are entirely in Finnish, was recorded at DeepNoise Studios, Finland (Bloodred Hourglass, Wolfheart, Dawn Of Solace, To/Die/For). What was your impression when you listened to the finished material?

There is not one way to put that on words. After hearing demos 200 times each of the songs the way is not that simple in the final end. That means lots of work, lots of time… so much wasted energy that one day you are ready to throw it all away. After recordings and mixing sessions you need to give yourself a break, and loosen the rope a little. After a short period of time, you are ready to jump in once and again… a little break gives you a chance to see the whole album in a new perspective. After all, we are more than just pleased with the result.

M.I. - What does "Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko" mean? What’s the message behind it?

The song is written and composed by our guitarist Ville Mussalo. It's A great opening for the album with Sub Idem Tempus. It's A song about superficiality, cupidity and the values that we are living on. Still, those are matters that never lead you to anything good… The curse of the circle of life.

M.I. - Do you express your own feelings and emotions in your lyrics?

Mostly, yes. Sometimes you need to put some color on it, but usually ideas come up from our own experiences. Life is not always like dancing in the snow, but it’s not that dark place either. There's always a way out from the darkness even if it doesn’t feel that way every day.

M.I. - According to the band, the album sounds bigger than the previous ones. The people that heard the album, have said that you´ve grown, once more, as a band. Elaborate on this, please.

That’s great to hear you feel that way. I can’t tell you what’s the main thing behind all of that. We just try to do things better every time when we start to compose new material. Inside the band, we have seen that we’ve grown as a band, but together we have years behind too, so that’s understandable in a way. Comparing previous releases… we have more knowledge of what we really want from this band. We have grown to get here together, that would be the main point of it.

M.I. – The stunning and sophisticated album cover was done by Niko Anttila (Wolfheart, Sabaton. Who had the idea for it?

All glory for artist Mr. Anttila. We gave him some options to improve and that’s his way to put it out in the form of an amazing piece of art. It’s painted by using real paints and colors. Only the last format is digitally finalized.

M.I. - Ever since the last album “Vapaus”, the line-up has remained the same. Is the chemistry still there? How does the writing process take place?

Haven’t seen any changes so far (laughts) We have three active composers which make our sound so colorful, in a rich way, if you know what I mean. We are lucky to be in this kind of position. Usually some of us send the demo and, after, we decide on how we proceed. Ville has been the main man when it comes to composing. I am personally more focused on vocal melodies, arrangements and writing lyrics… but there are still some differences between the releases.

M.I. - Did you originally plan to release “Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko” in November or did quarantine give you more time to work on music?

That was the original plan. After we released the EP “Elämä ei tarvitse minua”, we decided to aim our next album for 2020. That’s always a long process to record an album, and it’s never been easy, as we know. So, you need to have plans already in the early days.

M.I. - This album was released via Noble Demon. How did this collaboration come up?

I was recording vocals for Dawn Of Solace´s Waves. I asked about publisher from Mr. Saukkonen when Noble Demon came up. I sent a message to Patrick and he was straight on it. Even that took some time to put everything together, but here we are. Very lucky about the contract, and curious to see where it leads...

M.I. - Kaunis Kuolematon performed a livestream show. What was the livestream experience like? Was it strange to play without an audience in front of you? 

The idea felt strange. Imagine yourself on an empty stage without an audience, only cameras. But everything changed while walking to the stage. One of those experiences that we won’t ever forget. And should be lucky that we were able to make that happen. Feedback was also surprisingly good, from what we’ve heard.

M.I. - What’s the most rewarding thing for you as members of Kaunis Kuolematon?

...is that I’m able to express my feelings and different kinds of emotions throughout the music. This truly fills my needs. And I’m happy and proud of it.

M.I. - Now you have a new label and you’re working with All Noir… how different are things for you? Is it good to rely on someone else’s expertise and help?

We were on that point where help from the outside was needed. There were lots of talking that we couldn’t carry this by ourselves much longer. Things needed to be changed. So, we are really glad this signing with Noble Demon happened. Huge thanks to Patrick who signed us in his fast growing roster.

M.I. - One of your release shows scheduled for the 28th October was postponed to 2021. How damaging has coronavirus been to you?

This is not a good thing to anyone. And it’s really sad we are in a state like this. We had confirmed shows at the end of this year but everything is now cancelled. Postponed to next year… We are not making music for living but still…. this is not good at all. Hope this will turn into a good thing at some point and heading back to “normal” again. Weird times I must say.

M.I. - What’s the best way for fans to support bands these days?

Best way to support bands is sharing the links, videos, sites related by using different social media channels. Listening to music, buying the merch and of course: BY LISTENING to SYTTYKÖÖN TOINEN AURINKO AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!!!

M.I. - What can fans expect of Kaunis Kuolematon in the near future? Any plans for a tour or gigs?

We have lots of shows confirmed next year, but we just have to wait and see... how things will turn out… One day at the time and believe there’s better future ahead.

M.I. - Feel free to share a final message with the Portuguese fans and readers of Metal Imperium Webzine.

Take care of your loved ones and stay healthy, stay safe. We are not going anywhere, music never dies, music stays forever. We all need to focus, to beat this malicious disease and believe in a better tomorrow. 

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca