CRIMSON SUN, the melodic metal act from Kotka, is finally back with a brand new album named “FATES”, out on 24 January 2020. We had the opportunity to meet up with the whole band in Helsinki and ask them a couple of questions about it. Read the entire interview below.
Hi there! First of all, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. How are you guys doing?
Everyone: We’re are doing fantastic, thanks for asking! Ready to release this next work of ours to the audience. We’re eager to hear/read the reviews.
We are here to talk a little bit more about the upcoming album release of “FATES”. I find “FATES” a pretty appropriate title, but I was wondering if it somehow connects the lyrics? Is it a concept album?
Miikka: The songs are more or less stories about people and the world around us, so “FATES” nicely sums up the lyrical side of the album. For example, the song “Fate of Nora” is about me finding myself in a situation where I had two roads to go [down] and needing to make some big choices. The song is not entirely about that, but that’s the influence and inspiration. The song can be interpreted in many ways. I hope this answered at least some part of the question (laughs).
Jukka: I think a lot of the lyrics are the same, that they are written from a really personal perspective, but with metaphors, so you can interpret them with your own experiences, hopefully.
I think the biggest surprise for me was “The Beast Within” since it was inspired by CrossFit. Who came up with that idea and why?
Jukka: The fittest guy.
Antti: I’m guilty of that. The idea first came out as a joke. I started to write a song with uplifting lyrics, like faster, harder, but then I thought that maybe if I combined these lyrics with my hobby, CrossFit, maybe this will work. If someone didn’t write the CrossFit word in the press links, I don’t know if anyone would have noticed that it’s a CrossFit song. It’s just an uplifting song.
I personally didn’t notice before it was pointed out to me. (laughs)
Antti: Yeah, if it wasn’t pointed out, you wouldn’t know. Of course, if you are into CrossFit, you might find these little nuances that remind you [of CrossFit], but that’s not all that it’s about. I wouldn’t say that it’s all about CrossFit, but it’s about getting over obstacles and winning in life.
Miikka: That’s what we like to do.
Another thing that’s surprising to me is how most people say that Finnish bands are very melancholic and have sad music, but you guys have, especially on this album, a lot of uplifting songs. How did you create those and how do you differ from other Finnish bands in that sense?
Miikka: I think for some reason we like these uplifting feelings a lot. To me, I think some of the best music is the kind that makes you feel better and feel strong and keeps you going.
Jukka: We have lots of different kinds of songs. We have uplifting songs like “We Are One” and “The Beast Within,” but we also have a song where the world ends (laughter). It’s a little depressing, I think (laughs). There’s a little bit of Finnish melancholy in there too. At some point, you have to ruin the party (laughter). Every Finnish party ends with that.
Antti: The end of the world.
Jukka: First we have some fun and then we just ruin it. By ending the world (laughter).
I was also surprised by “Trailblazer,” which had a very power metal vibe that even reminded me a bit of Sabaton.
Sini: In the lyrics or melodies?
More in the melodies.
Sini: I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s nice to hear.
Antti: Sini was responsible for the lyrics from the song, but the composition was done by me and Joni and we did the core of the song… it was pretty straightforward, double-bass and really in-your-face attitude, and then when we added the synthesizers and went to the studio and produced it and it came out naturally this way. Of course, the lyrics and melodies make it a really punchy song.
Miikka: It also not a secret that some of us are long-time fans of power metal (laughs).
Antti: There’s no shame in that.
Jukka: Everybody has elementary school power metal. You can’t hide it. It’s just there.
It’s definitely not a sin. You guys said you wrote the song together. How do you usually write songs in general? I hear you sometimes write at the mökki, or what is the process like?
Miikka: With this album, I guess Antti and Joni can answer about most of the songs, but we definitely went to the mökki and locked ourselves up there for a week and really wrote two songs. We basically did nothing else but hang out, had a fireplace burning, and wrote those two songs, “Overcome” and “Distant Stars.” That was a really long mökki process (laughs) and as you may know, Finnish mökki is usually about sauna and beer, but we barely had any of that.
Did you do that on your debut album as well or was it a new thing?
Miikka: That was a new thing for us.
Do you think that’s part of the reason it sounds a bit different?
Antti: Usually the writing process is that one person does the core of the song, so it has the rhythms and riffs and basic ideas, and then we all compose it together, arrange it together. Then we take it forward and make the lyrics and so on.
Joni: I would say that one reason it sounds different is because, as Antti said, the debut album was basically one person making the core of the song and we made adjustments as a band. This was the first time me and Antti really co-wrote, sitting together in our rehearsal space, and made the songs. I had a guitar, he had the drums, and we just went with it. It was a new situation, for example, for me to write songs.
Antti: Yeah, it was really productive and really efficient. We are definitely going to do it for the third album.
The debut album was released quite a few years ago already. Why was there such a long time in between?
Jukka: We had a lot of things happening in our personal lives at that time. People changed houses, bought houses, changed relationships, had babies. Life happened.
Antti: All those things made the writing really difficult and we didn’t have that much energy or passion to write new music, so there was a delay. Then when we got the process started, the writing process went really well and the rest of the waiting time has been…
Miikka: …negotiations with labels and that kind of stuff. Not directly composing/making the album -related stuff.
Just finding the right people to work with.
Miikka: Yeah, the master of the album was ready in April of this year, so the actual publishing process has been really long.
You’re all ready to release the album now, but how would you describe the sound of all the songs together to people who are interested?
Joni: It’s easy for people to categorize metal bands. This sounds like this, this sounds like that, but I would say we definitely have our own sound and we sound like CRIMSON SUN.
Antti: The songs on this album are really energetic, really catchy, in-your-face songs. There is nothing the song doesn’t need. There are two guitar solos on the whole album and it’s basically just melodic and verse-chorus in your face.
Jukka: The lyrics really get under your skin, because most of them are from personal experiences with metaphors.
Miikka: Yeah, I think many people can relate.
I think that’s most of my questions. Do you have any last thoughts you’d like to share?
Miikka: Yeah, we have an album release show on January 31st in Helsinki at Bar Loose, stay tuned then and check our social media where we’ll be posting the show.
Jukka: You are all very good people!
Miikka: Yes, all of you listeners! And readers!
Joni: Please give your honest opinion on the album. It’s better than no comment.