“RED MOON ARCHITECT” Interview by Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela
Red Moon Architect is a melodic doom metal band originating from Finland’s gloomiest town, Kouvola. Their debut album ‘Concealed Silence’ saw the daylight in October 2012 and was greeted with excitement among metal fans all around the world. Red Moon Architect’s second album ’Fall’ was released in March 2015 via Playground Music. Dark, atmospheric, mysterious and melodic… DOOM (Funeral) at it’s best. Time to find out more about these guys… Let’s go… Saku Moilanen is waiting !!!
So honored to have this chance to have a moment with You Saku. How are You doing ?
A bit rough morning, but generally speaking I’m all fine, thanks!
As always I´m curious.. Would You tell us a bit about the history of Your band ?
At first, this was just a kind of an experiment. In bands, I had only played keyboards before Red Moon Architect and wanted to see how it would work out, if I played and composed as much as I could by myself. Also this genre was a bit mystery for me. I played bass, drums and keys on the first album, but soon realised that I needed to upgrade this to a full band. My musicianship isn’t strong enough to deliver on all instruments, at such high standards that I have. Also playing live is too awesome to just stay in the studio and release solo albums with featuring musicians. I think the key to our sound is our lead singer Anni. She’s been onboard from the beginning and the band wouldn’t just be the same without her. We studied together back then and after few coincidences she ended up singing on one song that I had wrote; “Realm”. After that we’ve had some lineup changes in the band, but now it feels like we’re stronger than ever and everything works just great.
Since we all know (Funeral) Doom isn’t exactly the most popular and biggest selling genre… My guess the start of Your career must have been a real struggle, to get noticed by soon-to-be fans, media, critics, record labels etc…. Or was it ?
I feel like it still is a bit. Media and critics have always praised us from the beginning and we have slowly grown our loyal fanbase, which is nice. You’re right about labels. This isn’t really top10 list -type of music. Tracks are long and it sets its own challenges when it comes to music videos, radio etc. But the most important thing for us as a band, is to get our music out there for people to find it. As long as we’re able to do that, we’re all good. Luckily, funeral doom has its own very enthusiastic fans. As long as we keep releasing good music, they’ll find us for sure. We’ve also got a lot of messages from people, that usually don’t like metal music at all, but for some reason like us.
In Your music You create a very dark, heavy and gloomy atmosphere, almost like there’s no hope left for anyone… But then add some very beautiful and clean melodies and female vocals to bring back the light and hope… How difficult it is to tie all those different elements to a tight, very diverse package ?
It all comes out naturally. I compose what I feel. Ups and downs, light in the end of the tunnel. I’m really emotional person and those strongest emotions I try to capture in our music. Combining those dark and beautiful elements in songs is important, as that’s how I feel and see when I’m in that mood. Not everyday though, I have my good days and I even smile sometimes, haha. But when it hits, depression is almost like a beautiful place that’s easy to fall in love to.
Has everything gone according to Your plans so far or have You had any major setbacks ?
Nothing has gone as planned. I didn’t plan to change our male vocalist on every album, for example. I’ve made some longer term plans about the band’s future, but they tend to change when time goes on. And of course, we have to react to the things that happen around us. Right now I hope we could soon book some gigs / a tour outside Finland, but we’ll see. We have to get our new line-up tight and play few gigs in Finland first. After all most of our fans are here. We’ve got some offers from Estonia and that’ll be most likely our first trip.
Are You a dark, frustrated, melancholic and bitter person Yourself since Your music sure gives me those kind of thoughts… Should I be afraid of You when I see You coming down the street ?
Your description is pretty much on point, but no, you should not. With friends and people around, I’m most of the time pretty much a normal guy. Those demons get loose when I’m alone with my thoughts. I think this is the case with most of the people who struggle with the same type of problems.
Tell us a little about Your songwriting process, what inspires You and where do You get all the ideas ?
Like I mentioned, I write my songs about my emotions. That’s the only source of inspiration for me. That’s one reason to why I compose the songs in a short period of time. When the inspiration is there, I have to use it. Now it’s been more calm few years and I haven’t actually wrote a single song for RMA. I always record all of my ideas right away. Most of the time they work. If not, I just throw the whole song to trash bin. There’s no point of re-writing some riffs if the basic mood isn’t there. I’ll just try again next day. Return of the Black Butterflies album didn’t took much more than few weeks to get full demos without vocals. When I write, I have my computer and all instruments around, so I can grab a guitar or keyboard in a second if I need to. It’s important for me to work fast so I don’t lose the inspiration.
How would You describe Your music and You who make the music have changed during these years ?
I would say we have grown, or could I say matured over these years and three albums. With three adjectives I would describe our music as heavy, beautiful and comforting. Weird, when you put it to words like that. That’s how I experience it. I would love to hear how other people have felt after listening, for example, this new album of ours.
Your 3rd album “Return of The Black Butterflies” is about to be released May 19th… What can we expect ?
49 minutes of our best music to this date. I love all the songs equally as much. For me, this is the sound I’ve aimed to, for the last five years or so. I just didn’t know it until now. Songs represent the core of this band just perfectly. Anni has done phenomenal job with her vocals, our new singer Ville brought his massive growls and the soundscape is just huge.
What have been the most memorable, positive, rewarding moments during RMAs journey so far ?
Everytime we get a new album released. When we get people’s reactions, it’s so rewarding. Process of making a new album is so huge and frustrating, many people won’t really understand. When you have the music and the lyrics, you’re not even halfway there to get the album done and released. That’s why it’s awesome to see everything was actually worth it.
Any secrets You want to share… Just between us and maybe some 50000 others reading this ?
Well… I’ve been working on an idea of a concept album for a few years now. Maybe that’ll be the next step. But don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.
Any last words (not literally) to the Family of MHF, Your fans and Your soon to be fans ?
If you’ve read this interview to this point, thank you! You should really check out our new album on Spotify, as well as the physical copy. We’ve found a great graphic designer, Gogo Melone, who has made just beautiful art for our booklet. We’re really proud of this album and hope you’ll like it as much as we do!
Red Moon Architect – Tormented
FB page: facebook.com/RedMoonArchitect
Concealed Silence (Debut 2012)
Tormented (New single 2017)
Get Your copy right here:
Red Moon Architect band members:
Saku Moilanen – drums, keyboards
Ville Rutanen – vocals
Matias Moilanen – guitars
Anni Viljanen – vocals
Jukka Jauhiainen – bass
Thank You so much..
Santtu “Rebel” Kaskela / MHF Magazine