EMQ’s with SOULWOUND

EMQ’s with SOULWOUND

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Kouvola, Finland based Metal band, Soulwound. Huge thanks to drummer, lyricist & composer, Janne Huusari, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Name’s Janne Huusari, I’m the drummer and lyricist and one of the composers of the metal band Soulwound. The band is the direct result of me, and my brother Niko (guitar) learning to play and jamming with some friends back in the 90’s. The band solidified in 2005 when we settled on the name and released our first demo in 2006, after which we began playing live shows. We’re currently on our third full-length album, and our younger brother Mikko (guitar) has also been in the band for the past two albums.

How did you come up with your band name?

It’s taken directly from the tracklist of the digipak version of the “Obsolete” album by Fear Factory. We had a really hard time coming up with a good name that wasn’t already taken, and out of all the suggestions we had, Soulwound stuck.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Kouvola, a town in southeast Finland. The local scene was really thriving when we began playing live in 2006, with plenty of bands and venues, but since then, almost all of those bands have called it quits and many venues have closed down.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We just released our third full-length album, called “The Suffering”, in September 2020. It was originally supposed to come out in May, but then the coronavirus outbreak threw a spanner in the works.

‘The Cult Of I (Official DIY Video)

‘Pleasures’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Probably the classic metal we listened to as kids, everything from Metallica to Slayer. Those formative influences serve as the foundation for our sound, but of course, we have plenty of other, even heavier and more modern influences that we like to throw into the mix.

What first got you into music?

Music itself, namely my mom’s vinyl albums. I’d have her put on some stuff like Black Sabbath, Van Halen or Iron Maiden for me back when I was too young to even use the record player myself. In fact, I don’t remember ever really listening to children’s music. I went straight for the good shit, and “Master Of Reality” by Black Sabbath left an ever-lasting impression on me.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I’m gonna go off the beaten path here and say that I wouldn’t mind doing something completely different from the intensely physical metal drumming I do with this band. As a big fan of the Silent Hill game series, I’d love to play drums for Akira Yamaoka in some kind of a project.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

This answer is far from inventive or surprising, but Wacken Open Air springs to mind immediately and I don’t think it needs any introduction.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Hmm, either we haven’t really received anything weird or I’ve just completely forgotten about it.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Fuck trends and what other people like. You are not a sheep and society is not a herd. You have a brain with the capacity to form your own views and opinions, and you’re squandering it and doing yourself a major disservice if “fitting in” and following others is a priority for you.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Dimebag Darrell. His death shocked me more than any other celebrity’s death, especially considering the fact that he was known for his friendliness and fun-loving nature almost as much as his insane guitar skills. And who knows, maybe Vinnie Paul would still be alive as well if that tragedy hadn’t taken such a toll on him.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Both the creative expression and the live experience, which are completely different things but equally satisfying to me. What I hate is that not only is playing music a stupidly expensive hobby, but it’s also really difficult to do it effectively when every band member has a job and different schedules.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d like artists to be compensated better for their music. Of course, digitalisation has destroyed record sales, but who knows, maybe things would be different if record labels had immediately tried to adapt to it and somehow monetize file sharing instead of trying to fight it and maintain the status quo.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Oh man, that list would be way too long. There’s no way I can even narrow it down to ten, but I can point to three albums that I listened to as a little kid and are pretty much responsible for my love for heavy music: “The Number Of The Beast” by Iron Maiden, “Fair Warning” by Van Halen and “Master Of Reality” by Black Sabbath.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I love the convenience of digital music, and I actually listen to music mostly as MP3s while running or streams on my computer. That being said, I also like having physical CDs and looking at the artwork and reading the lyrics. I also like the sound of vinyl, but I don’t have a record player myself. Cassettes, on the other hand, I consider to be a completely shitty format and I’m glad I no longer have to bother with them.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I can’t really name any one gig that would be the best, but the most memorable one for me was when we got to play in a decommissioned mill in the Slovenian mountains on our European tour in 2014. That was an absolutely fantastic experience that I could have never anticipated.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We don’t play music for a living, and I like the fact that we don’t have to deal with any of the pressures of trying to make it as a professional musician. We all have jobs, and I’m a translator by training and profession.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

You know, I’m such an introverted and antisocial hermit that I’d rather not even have any sort of formal dinner party. I prefer a relaxed setting and people with whom I can relax and be myself.

What’s next for the band?

It doesn’t look like we’ll be playing any more shows this year (2020) and there’s no telling how the coronavirus situation is going to develop, so we’re probably going to start putting together songs for our next album. We already have plenty of rough ideas to work with. If things go well, we’ll do another European tour next September.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our Facebook page is where we post our latest news and information. As regular working dudes, we simply don’t have the time or the energy to create a big social media presence for ourselves by constantly pumping out content.

www.facebook.com/soulwoundband

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Now there’s a question I’ve never though about. In fact, it has never even occurred to me that people could consider them to be anything but biscuits, as that’s what they’re called in Finnish. I’m partial to the raspberry variant, personally.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you! To all the readers who made it this far, please check out our album “The Suffering” if you’re into aggressive and intense metal with an uncompromising attitude. This stuff is coming straight from the heart and I believe you’ll be able to hear it. Cheers!

Check out Tammy’s full review of “The Suffering” here:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Soulwound: The Suffering

Soulwound: The Suffering
Inverse Records.
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Running Time: 48:10
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
9/10

Hello lovely people. Today I have the amazing privilege to review Soulwound’s new album “The Suffering” which was released in September via Inverse Records. It’s the third album from Soulwound, who formed in the 90’s, and come from a small village called Myllykoski, Kouvola, in Finland. They offer fast, brutal aggressive metal with a hint of old school.

Their motto (which I love) is “fuck what anyone else thinks”, and to be fair, it is spot on. One thing I’ve learned in my life is, it’s human error to judge. We don’t even realise we do it sometimes, but we do.

Personally, my family never really understood my passion for metal music. My mother calls it the ‘Devil’s Music’, which I accept, as it’s her opinion. Doesn’t mean I agree though! Nor will I waste energy debating to try change her mind. Instead, I’ll go sailing in my music bubble boat, ready to press play on this album.

‘The Waste Of Life’ opens the album. There’s definitely some suspense, and my instincts screamed at me that something was coming. As the track developed, I found myself waiting for the unknown. I’ve never heard any Soulwound until now, so I had no idea what to expect. Then BOOM! Absolutely crazy fast, they launch some meaty guitar solos into the mix, along with gut erupting vocals. Oh! I may not have known what to expect but by this point, I felt extremely excited.

Wasting no time at all, track ‘Ritual Cleansing’ appears. The drums made me dribble, they were so incredibly intense and fast. Wow these guys have some huge balls that’s for sure. My face felt like it had been set on fire! I was barely inside the album and had already started jumping about like a chicken who’d lost its head! This track had got me thinking, “I am unsure if I will be mentally sound after listening to this album in its entirety!”

The next track, ‘Pleasures’, is perfectly placed. I REALLY enjoyed the deep doomy gloomy vibes here. Vocalist IIkka Valkonen’s range and variations have me in absolute awe. It’s a weighty 6 min track, with some belting guitar work, especially when the solo comes flooding in. Why have I only just now heard of these fellas?! ‘The Cult Of I’ follows this, and you really feel their passion in it. They are drip feeding us bit by bit throughout the album, adding something a little extra, something a bit different, totally opposite to ramming it all in straight away.

‘Meat Puppets’ keeps the consistency going after ‘Hivemind’, however it’s more together than ‘Hivemind’. I am not lying though, when I tell you I kept running out of breath as I listened. I just kept getting smashed repeatedly, it’s absolutely relentless!

I couldn’t have begged harder for, or been happier, when ‘This Hatred’ arrived. It gave me just a moment to take everything in, because ‘Error In The System’ broke me a little. I am astounded that a band has managed to do this to me! They literally are the full pudding. Well, for a few moments anyway, before they slaughter you up all over again. You can’t deny that these guys fit their own personal mould. They are literally peeing on everything, claiming ownership.

The last tracks on this monster album are ‘Apex Parasite’ and ‘Death Of The Sun’. And they literally left me speechless, I no longer have any words! They do calm it down massively at the start of the final track, but they make it work. I actually preferred this after what I’d just gone through. I felt all sway-ey and black metal-y with ‘Death Of The Sun’. However, I got a feeling they would close the album the same way they opened it, and I wasn’t wrong! Around 6 mins in, I was getting bashed to hell again 😅 I contemplated taking a break, just to go put my face in a bucket of ice!

Well, what can I say?! That was intense. All hell broke loose in my lounge. Soulwound’s music is created and crafted by guys who know what they like and know exactly how to bring it. They mention “It will probably take repeated listens to take in all the details embedded in the songs” I see no problems with this statement, I have stored it into my playlist anyway, y’know, so I can do all that to myself again!

‘The Suffering’ seems to me to be an evolution of Soulwound’s journey. Go and check them out.

And one final thought. Let’s be more accepting of others liking different things. Don’t make anyone feel outcast because they like a particular something that you don’t. One day in the future, humanity will accept others, regardless of race, religion, likes, or dislikes. Let’s carry each other. ❤🖤

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Waste Of Life.
02. Ritual Cleansing.
03. Pleasures.
04. The Cult Of I.
05. Hivemind.
06. Meat Puppets.
07. Error In The System.
08. This Hatred.
09. Apex Parasite.
10. Death Of The Sun.

LINE – UP:
IIkka Valkonen – Vocals.
Niko Huusari – Guitars.
Mikko Huusari – Guitars.
Join Järvenmäki – Bass.
Janne Huusari – Drums.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.