Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

Interview with Viljami Kurki — “Life is a rollercoaster of feelings.”

Known from PROFANE OMEN, guitarist Viljami Kurki released a heartwarming single and music video recently, named “Muistathan sen,” featuring his daughter. With this new single, he announced new material featuring songs about his daughter and about having children in general. We had the opportunity to talk to Viljami about the new project. Read the complete interview here.

Hi Viljami! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. How are you doing?

Why thank you, thanks for having me. It’s been a weird few weeks – a lot to do and different kinds of feelings. Of course, it’s been wonderful to have some new material out and so on. But I also had to let go of my cat who was getting so old that having him around any longer would have been selfish. He was already 19 years old, so time just caught up with him. Life is a rollercoaster of feelings, but I guess that’s the main point of all this. 

You recently released a new single “Muistathan sen”; for those who don’t speak Finnish, what is the song about?

I did. I think the message in this is remembering the good moments. Everybody gets their share of unpleasant things in life, but thinking back about something you cannot change is just a waste of time. It’s kind of a happy song and when I was doodling it on an acoustic guitar on the couch, my daughter came up to me from her room and said that it’s a nice song and I should make it ready. 

To my understanding, this is a whole project and you have some more songs for us. What can you tell us about it? What is the idea behind it?

Yes. I actually wrote 3 songs for my daughter. After we played the “last show” with PROFANE OMEN almost a year ago, I felt really empty music-wise. I didn’t feel like getting back on metal music anytime soon, but the need to make music as a means of self-expression has been, is, and I guess will always be a part of me. These 7 years I have spent a lot of time with my daughter, so it felt natural to find my inspiration from that time. All the good times and adventures we’ve had together so far. I wanted to give her something special to remember her early years by.

I thought after PROFANE OMEN was done, you wanted to have a little break from music. Did the extra time give you some inspiration to do this?

Well, to be honest,  I didn’t want PROFANE OMEN to end. I guess none of us did. It just got too difficult to make everything work so it was our only option. I’m hoping that we will do one more show one day before we’re too old and tired to make it properly. Time will tell. Getting over the fact that something that was such a big part of my life ended was and is tough. So I really had some time off of the distorted guitar. 

We’re living in dark times, so it was definitely heartwarming to see a video like yours. Was that the goal of the project somehow, to have some more fun and warm songs out there?

It’s nice to hear that the video and the song have reached people’s feelings. I can’t say that it was so much my goal to make people happy if I’m honest, but it sure is a nice byproduct. I guess I wanted to remind myself of the things that really are important in life. 

Your daughter also played her first harmonica solo – was this always part of the plan? Are you teaching her music?

I think this was also a natural development in things. I’ve always believed in happy coincidences when making music. Of course, she’s been watching me making music and that has awakened her interest in it. But I would never force her into music or to an instrument. The first time she got her hands on a harmonica, it seemed that’s something she really enjoys, so
at some point, it just made sense that she would play her first solo on this song. I want to present her as many options as I can, how to express herself, and naturally, music is the one that I know about the most.

Since she’s a big part of the music, did you tell her about your plans? How did she react to the music video?

Yes, she’s been producing me the whole time (laughs). And the video was carefully scrutinized by her before the release. I made a video clip of the same kind for relatives at Christmas three years ago, just acoustic music on the background and videos of her doing all kinds of fun things. When she saw it, she almost cried because “it was so nice.” And she was four years old
at the time. So I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of emotion in that little girl.

During the last PROFANE OMEN show in Lahti, you invited your daughter on the stage – how was that experience? Does she like your music in general?

That was something she wanted to do since she first saw us on stage when she was maybe 2 years old. But it took her a few years to muster the courage to get on with it. Of course, it made me super happy and proud that she forgot her jitters and did it. It shows how she processes things carefully before rushing into anything, but how she also can overcome fears and doubts. She’s not been a fan of metal music, other than FINNTROLL
I guess every time I asked her opinion on PROFANE OMEN songs, she was trying to be polite (laughs).

For this particular song you chose Jules Näveri, who we also know from PROFANE OMEN, to sing the song. Was there any reason behind this choice?

Yes, of course. Besides PROFANE OMEN, Jules has always been practically my best friend and he is also the godfather of my daughter. When I was thinking about the vocalists for these songs, Jules was the only choice for this one. Who would be the better one to sing this song about advice in life, than the godfather she adores?

Do you think having children, in general, inspires musicians to write a different kind of music?

I don’t know. Maybe. I’ve always done other kinds of music also, like for example, my first solo album, “Lauluja vapaudesta,” which I released 7-8 years ago. But I’m pretty sure everybody changes with children. I’m still hoping that there will be a metal music project or band that will make me want to do it again, but now it was time to do something completely different. Shredding solos, death metal growls, and thrash metal screams wouldn’t make that good of a lullaby anyway (laughs).

What can you tell us about the next songs you are going to release? Can we expect other guest performances on there as well?

The next one to be released will feature Mr. Mikko Herranen on vocals and it is going to be a really delicate song. If this one was an advice for life in general, the next one,“Pieni valo,” is about those feelings that arise, when you suddenly realize that the early childhood has passed and how fast children grow up. It’s maybe about looking at my daughter with my eyes as a father. Hopefully, it will also present something to relate to for other people too.

Lastly, do you have anything you’d like to share with your fans/our readers?

Life passes fast. If you want to do something, get on with it. Don’t waste a second. Care for your children – you made them, they are your biggest responsibility. Thank you for the good questions and for letting me have a say.

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