Interview With Sami Hinkka Of Ensiferum

Hey Sami, Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, how are you today?

Hey man, you ok, I’m good

It’s been 3 years since we lost spoke

I know, its crazy, In a way its hysterical , my day is ok, hectic, but you know due to the corona thing, we cant do much, but I do walk outside, sometimes I walk around 20 kilometres a day.

So you must be a fitness freak

No I’m not to that point, but I do some Yoga, its part of my daily routine, at the moment success is not there haha

Your 8th Studio album “Thalassic” is scheduled to be released on July 10th,  can you tell me about the songwriting and production?

For us songwriting remains the same, For Thalassic its a bit different from what we have done before. The Lyrical theme had on this album, I had been doing a lot of interviews for the last album Two Paths, many journalists were asking “is it a concert album”, I said no, and I Was thinking to myself that it’s a thing that we never made a theme album, sometimes I’m like fuck it, i’m not a songwriter, i’m a guitarist, so I introduced this idea to the others and they liked it, So I was walking near the ocean and I got this idea for this album, and we made it, there are lot of research we did and great mythology that I had collected , but we couldn’t put everything, so I’m leaving it for other bands hahaha

So this time someone ask you is it a concept album, you can say Hell yeah, you want it you got it 😀

Hahahaha so true man

“Thalassic” has been taken from the Greek word which translates “of or relating to seas”, Is this a Greek folklore, you have setup as a concept?

I thought it was English, obviously the root is Greek. So I was going through dictionary to find something new, and finally found this and gave it to the band, they were like how do you even pronounce it, its not English, I said man this is an English word, It’s almost like saying “Classic” you know “Thalassic” it’s not that difficult,

But it’s a cool name for an album, Yeah its not like The Warriors of the Nordic, or cha doo doo or blah blah blah, its easy 😀

Pekka Montin is a new Keyboard/Vocalist for the band, can you tell me about Pekka, how this new addition happenened?

Four of us were together for 15 years, but we don’t want to have a fifth member just because we want to add a member, so we all decided if we bring another member this fifth member should not be just an addition but he should bring something we don’t have, We have guitarists , vocalists, songwriters , production, drums, so we were thinking what this new guy can bring to the band. We thought we need a clean vocalist to be added, but its not new we had this early days as well, so it was not like early years, where we should go to a record store and put the add, need a guitar player for a band, call this number at this time, as back in the days we had only landline. OR we can put an add in music magazine, now we can put a public announcement, so we said we want a keyboard player and also who can do singing, but we didn’t mention whether it should be a woman or man or what kind of singing style we are expecting, and we got 100’s of applications, that was crazy, the people who applied are ones who can kick our ass musically, why are these people apply to our band, we are a crazy band, everyone who applied for this is fucking good. The Pekka was the one we liked and he is known to us, he is not from the capital though, he send some samples to us, like Helloween, Manowar and Judas Priest type of stuff, is it ok? We invited him for a couple of rehearsals, every one needs a good chemistry and he came and he played a couple of times, he is a great singer and amazing keyboard player and he comes from a progressive background, he brings a big perspective to the band, that’s the most amazing thing, also the new member is someone who gives inputs, not someone who sits in the corner and we tell do this this and this. We are not like some bands where one puts all the ideas and others just follow, In Ensiferum, everyone has to come up with ideas that’s what makes it the band.

There should have been a lot of background work for this album, is that the reason for a 3 year break since Two Paths?

Ahh we were doing lots of tour, actually we were touring until end of January and then lot of composing was happening, and spend sometime in home before we got in the studio for Thallasic, Its like this cycle always, touring in support of the album before we get into the next album. Lets see now as Corona is on the verge I don’t think we can do any tour this time, so we probably will start writing again

I have a lot of free time and got bored so I was listening to a lot of Industrial metal stuff, I really love them, so I was thinking of doing a solo album, and also in November we released an album with De Facto my other project, so something is been going on in these times.

I have two jobs,  one as a nurse and other as a kindergarten teacher, so if no band I can still have a job for a living. There are lot of people struggling at the moment.

What has happened in the last 3 years, did you went through anything exciting, travel, or fairy land ?

Last 3 years oh oh that’s a lot hahaha, Two paths tour around the world was fantastic, but now we cannot do, when I look back I have hearts in my eyes saying fuck that was good time. Music and touring is a big part of my life, everything is kind of fulfilling even when I’m not on the road

Would you like to talk about anything that was exciting and memorable over the years?

The best moment so fresh would be once we made Thalassic album before sending out to the label, we were sitting and listening to it, and we felt that it was phenomenal, that is amazing. So we sat on a sofa drinking some cold drinks listening to it and got tears in the eyes, that is something special we did, we have accomplished, that is a special moment.

Being a folklore band, how do you as a band look In the happenings of the modern times?

As a band I don’t know, everyone is individuals, as a person, i’m amazed by the science and technology that is ruling the world, as a musician I think it’s a phenomenal thing, back in the days its hard to do things, but now in a matter of two buttons you can do a lot.

But for some reason I love the 70s and 80s era a lot than now

Me too, me too, don’t get me wrong, there were lots  of great moments I still cherish about those days.

What would be your favorite folklore of all times?

On a personal level it will be Kalevala, It’s our national epic of Finland, we have to learn this  in school, and you know stories that has been told around the campfire, I think everywhere its carried on, you know it didn’t have copyrights hahaha

Would you guys would like to do a fairy tale album in the future?

Ahh anything is possible, we never had that idea, but never say never, this album Thalassic we never thought we would do, and here we have tada, I would not say something we never do, lets see, lets really see, sometimes the crazy ideas are the best.

Do you have a message for the fans?

I know its crazy times, but try to enjoy and take care of yourselves, take care of your loved ones, check out the cool music and fantastic album that is coming out, I really hope to see you all on the road, hopefully sooner

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