The Finnish up-and-coming folk metal band VERIKALPA is releasing their second album “Tuoppitanssi” on the 21st of February 2020 through Scarlet Records. In preparation for the release, we’ve had a bit of a chat with the band about the album, their writing process, and their future plans. Grab a pint, pretend you’re in a cabin in the midst of a Finnish forest with an axe in your hand and enjoy the interview!
Hello there! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You are about to release your second album “Tuoppitanssi,” how do you feel about the upcoming release?
Hey there! Yeah, we’re happy and excited about it. It’s overall more thought out and we took more time for the writing process compared to our debut album ‘’Taistelutahto.’’ We think “Tuoppitanssi” is better and maybe a bit darker but still happy in a way. Hopefully people dig it as much as we do.
For anyone who hasn’t heard your music before, can you tell us what VERIKALPA is about and how you guys met?
We met in different band projects and just kind of crashed into each other. We’ve been friends for a long time. VERIKALPA is a group of good friends having a good time playing beerful folk metal from Finland!
You’ve switched from Inverse Records, which released your first album “Taistelutahto” to Scarlet Records, why is that?
Inverse Records was a great label for us to release our debut album. Inverse wasn’t out of the question by any means for this record either but we felt that maybe we should try to get our name more international with a bigger European label. And it just happened that our current drummer Jari had released an album via Scarlet Records so we thought maybe we should ask what they think about our music. And here we are. Great folks at Scarlet Records!
Furthermore, you’ve had a new guitarist and a new drummer join the band, how did that affect the writing process?
Lineup changes happened just before entering the studio, so we had all the songs written and rehearsed before the new dudes joined us. Our former drummer did the drums for the record so it did help a bit which means the timing wasn’t too bad. It didn’t affect negatively in any way. Sami did the guitars, however, as a new member and it was easy because he’s a great guitarist and had already practiced all the songs before we even asked him to join the band.
What was the biggest challenge in writing and releasing “Tuoppitanssi”?
We didn’t change anything for our writing process and wrote everything as we’ve always done. Songs got their shape quite easily. If something could be said about a challenge it was probably the song arrangement took a little bit more time due to the songs being maybe a little more technical than they were in our debut album.
You chose to write all the lyrics in Finnish again, is that something we can expect on future releases as well or are you perhaps planning on including some songs in English? Perhaps even a third language?
At the very first steps when Verikalpa was born it was decided we would sing in Finnish and more precisely in the dialect of our hometown of Oulu. Basically how we speak in general. It just feels more natural and sounds good. For now, we have no plans to change that.
Given that many of your songs are based on folklore and Finnish tales, do you find a story first and then write music suited to it or do you write the music and then find a story that fits it?
Usually, it’s music first. The music itself tells the story with how it sounds. Sometimes the story comes up in the middle of songwriting but mostly after the song is fully done. It’s harder to think about a story you want to write a song about and then somehow dress it up with the actual songwriting.
What stories inspired you this time around to write the lyrics?
A lot of stuff. From all sorts of Finnish folklores to horror movies to history. All of the songs have their own tale of fiction about all of those mixed up.
Do you see the themes of the songs expanding in the future or are you going to stick to the beer-and-battle style?
It’s something we don’t think about too much. Beer and battle works for us and comes naturally. We’ll see what we come up with in the future.
How would you say “Tuoppitanssi” differs from your first album?
As we mentioned earlier it’s a little darker but still very melodic and heavy at the same time. The songs are fresh and much more planned compared to the ‘’Taistelutahto’’. For this album, we wanted to focus more on the synths as well and we also wanted overall a much heavier sound. We think we accomplished that.
Are there any songs from the new album you’re especially excited to play live and do you think they’ll be very well received in live shows?
We’ve played a couple of songs live already and people have liked them and they do work pretty well. It varies for all of us but maybe the title track ‘’Tuoppitanssi’’ and ‘’Tuonen Miekka.’’ Pretty excited to play them live.
What are your plans after the release? Any bigger tours coming up?
We have some shows here in Finland following the release. We have been contacted from outside of Finland as well and we’re excited about that, but nothing confirmed as of yet. We’ll see what happens.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers to prepare them for the album?
Stay heavy and get ready for the Pintdance!
Interview by Didrik Mešiček