Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith the Editorial Head, how are you today Timo?
Timo: Actually, I am really good, thanks for asking. Also, thank you for this interview. Yes, I’ve been busy taking care of the last things before the release of the album. But these have been exciting times as have been the last 18 months since the recording started.
“Forthcoming Past” is scheduled to be released on the 25th of June, can you tell me a bit about the songwriting and the production behind the album?
Timo: I composed the first songs for the album in the fall of 2019, if I remember right. In February 2020, the songs mostly started to pile up, I composed the last two songs in late spring 2020. I usually do a demo version of the song in my home studio, practically all the instruments have been played (guitar, bass, drums, and synths) with vocals.
My friends Ari Hokkanen and producer Aleksanteri Kuosa also influenced the finalization of the songs on the album. Ari was responsible for completing the lyrics and together with Aleksanteri we arranged the songs and did some new composing work for them. Aleksanteri was also responsible for recording and mixing the album. Mastering was done by Juho Räihä. And a big group of Finnish metal musicians took part in making the record, a big thank you to all of them!
The album sounds more connected with life, and what has been going on around us, sounds like a perfect album for this time, this is just my perception, as a songwriter and the one who made this, what was the actual concept you set behind it?
Timo: In this album, I tried to bring out my own musical taste and show what kind of music has an emotional impact on me. The album definitely contains heavy sections but also slightly lighter songs, overall it sounds quite dark and melancholic. Perhaps it also best describes my own essence and feelings.
About the lyrics: about 30% of the lyrics are my own. Ari completed some of the lyrics I wrote and wrote full ones to some. My own lyrics and topics came largely from my own life and events.
This is the sole studio creation of yours, how did the thought of making it come to mind?
We released three songs under the name Endless Chain during 2019-2020. I used that time to learn how to work in the studio and got musicians involved in the songs, who then also participated in making this album. At the same time, I got to know Aleksanteri, his way of working but also as a person. After that, it was easier to move on to making this album.
So, I had a compelling need to make an album. I was also driven to make the album by wanting to make as good as possible studio-level recordings of my demos to hear how good they would sound when finished. We then went through the songs with Aleksanteri and found out that we had a good set of multidimensional songs that could make a good album ensemble.
The album features multi musicians as guests from other bands, with Ari and Samuli with the band has made this an awesome album, how do you feel about the album in its totality?
Timo: I am definitely proud of what we accomplished – a great, versatile album ensemble.
The project was quite long and it was done in many different parts, the first recordings in February 2020 and the last ones in November 2020, when Sami Yli-Sirniö from Kreator was playing two guitar solos. It was definitely one of the finest moments during this journey.
And Samuli, the drummer from Korpiklaani, although he was also a guest musician, he is definitely one of the most important contributors to this project and I don’t think this album would have never been finished without him. And our collaboration has continued since for making new songs.
And finally, Ari is my long-time friend and he definitely has words in his possession. He created many great lyrics that support the mood and the theme of this album.
“Forthcoming Past” the album cover has amazing artwork, would you mind telling me about the concept set behind the album Work?
Timo: All the artwork for the album and single releases was done by Slobodan Jovanovic, alias Slobicuss Doomicuss from Serbia. I met him through Mikko Heikkilä (Kaunis Kuolematon, Dawn of Solace), who also sings on this album. Actually, I asked the artist himself the same thing and he told me this: “I was inspired by the theme of the lyrics. Main cover art presents different emotions, struggles, and experiences. Every person on that cover presents a chain of life that contains love, passion, pain, the inner fight, and everything else that can be inside one person.”
Can you tell a bit about the history of how it all started, and when you started your musical journey, and how was the journey throughout?
Timo: I think it was 2016 when we decided to start playing with my friend Ari Hokkanen for our own fun. While it was a casual pastime, I have to admit I was pretty lazy to learn and play cover songs. This probably drove me to do my own songs right from the start. Very soon after this, making music became my own project. Ari made his own contribution more to creating and finishing the lyrics.
I believe that in every band and project there are individually important and big factors that have a lot of influence on moving things forward. In my case, the first was drummer Samuli Mikkonen (Korpiklaani), who, after listening to a couple of my demos, joined the project and finally played all the drums.
Through Samuli, I became acquainted with producer Aleksanteri Kuosa. Aleksanteri is another one who has had a big impact on the completion of my album and music. He knew how to weed out extra notes from my compositions and finally got the most out of my songs. Through Aleksanteri, I also got many other great musicians involved in the project.
Finland has given varied types of music, especially the heaviest side from the Scandinavian country, with some of the iconic bands, how do you feel about the metal community in Finland, do you get good enough support from the local scene?
Timo: Well, I am such a new face and name in the music scene in Finland and even in Lahti that people don’t know much about me or the name Endless Chain yet. However, when making this album, I noticed that the metal scene in Finland is open and warm and that musicians from different bands, regardless of their band size or popularity, joined the project and contributed to this album, even if they didn’t know me before. That felt good.
What would be your next plans in support of the album, and any future plans lined up for you?
Timo: Next month before the album’s release, we’ll be releasing another single and video and I hope fans find it too. The first two singles have started to get plenty of radio play all over the world and I hope this keeps going. This way more and more new listeners can hear Endless Chain’s music.
The album, in my opinion, is really awesome, thanks for putting up an amazing album, I really enjoyed it, it’s mind-blowing on the whole, would love to hear more from you and finally what would be the message for the fans and the new listeners of Endless Chains?
Timo: Great to hear you liked the album, thank you! At the end of last year and now in the early spring, new songs have already been composed and we have already started studio recordings for three of them – the drums have already been recorded. And I have to say those songs are really “kick-ass” songs, I cannot wait to get them finalized to be heard by everyone. So, the project will continue, and new music will definitely come in the latter part of this year after the release of the album or at the beginning of next year at the latest.
Of course, a big thank you to the fans for warmly welcoming the first single releases and I hope they like the upcoming album as well. So, let’s remember the album release date of June 25th, 2021.
And of course, I say welcome all new listeners to follow Endless Chain on Facebook and Instagram. Happy and safe summer to everyone, Stay Heavy!