Interview with Turmion Kätilöt — “We sing about people to the people.”

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Finnish industrial metal sensation TURMION KÄTILÖT is on a roll. The band recently signed a record deal with the legendary metal label Nuclear Blast and was announced to support NIGHTWISH during their European tour. On top of that, TURMION KÄTILÖT is also releasing a brand new album, “Global Warning,” on 17 April 2020. We had the opportunity to talk to MC Raaka Pee and Shag-U about the release of their upcoming album.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview and I’m sorry I couldn’t be there in person! How are you guys doing? 

MC Raaka Pee: I have a boner, but you cannot see it because you’re not here [laughter]. So, everything’s fine. 

“Global Warning” is set to be released in a month – how are you guys feeling about the upcoming release?

MC Raaka Pee: It’s partly exciting and partly something different. We don’t have any expectations about the release. I think it’s the best TURMION KÄTILÖT album so far, in my opinion. The strongest one and… it’s solid. Solid pussy in a midwife’s… Well, you know what I mean. 

Shag-U: It sounds like a whole album, not just song-by-song. 

MC Raaka Pee: And it sounds different, I think. 

Shag-U: A little bit bigger. The sound has evolved, in a way.

MC Raaka Pee: So, the best one…

I actually agree. I’ve seen in a couple of interviews where when people ask you about your sound, you mention that you write the songs you like. Why do you think the sound is so different in “Global Warning?”

Shag-U: The sound has changed throughout the years. 

MC Raaka Pee: The production mostly stayed the same. 

Shag-U: Yeah, but it’s more like the sound changes because we want it to, not because somebody says so. 

MC Raaka Pee: It comes with instinct. 

This album is also going to be released through Nuclear Blast. Before, you’ve mostly released records through your own labels. What effect is this going to have on your band in the future, with a big label behind you?

MC Raaka Pee: We expect that we gain the benefits of a big machine behind us.

Shag-U: Nuclear Blast wanted the full album from us but they haven’t taken any part in producing the album or making the music. They wanted it to sound exactly how we wanted it to sound, so basically, what they are doing… like you said, the band can be selling their own products, making their own products, and marketing their own products. We want to focus on the shows and they want to focus on everyone hearing it. 

MC Raaka Pee: I think they are the right institution to sell it, because, if they like it, they can sell it. 

Shag-U: They seem to be really, really professional, so it’s nice to work with them. 

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah. We need the money so we can buy diesel… and then we need a motorbike [laughter]. Actually, the conversations between us and the label have been great… I think this album almost feels like my dream coming true. Let’s see if it happens. 

You also have international fans, but the Finnish market in particular knows you; now because of Nuclear Blast, you’ll get some new international fans who haven’t heard about you before. What can you tell them about TURMION KÄTILÖT? What do you guys usually write about, since your lyrics are often in Finnish? 

MC Raaka Pee: Me? I sing about you. [laughter]

Shag-U: You laugh about it, but still, it’s true. [laughter] The themes that we sing about in our songs, they are everyday situations. Of course, they are a bit hidden under metaphors and rhymes, things like that, but still it’s everyday situations, everyday feelings, everyday moments, from different perspectives. 

MC Raaka Pee: And the devil and the god between that. God can be the devil. We don’t mix any religion in our music because it’s all about the feelings and all about humanity. 

Shag-U: And all about love. 

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, because being human is about love

I don’t remember where I saw it, but in an online store’s pre-sales for your album, it said “Global Warming,” and I think there are a lot of people out there who might make the same mistake. Did you intentionally choose the title as wordplay, or what is the story behind the title?

MC Raaka Pee: Fuck yeah, we chose the title that way because we want to be seen and if it gets warm… in Finland, we don’t really get angry about that [laughter]. We have plenty of cold. 

Shag-U: And if you have noticed our stuff before, we always want to point where it hurts, so if somebody gets angry or anxious about anything because of the name, I think it tells more about them and more about the situation when you look outside the window than about us. If we draw some kind of emotion out of people because of the name, I think the name has done its job. 

MC Raaka Pee: Yes, and as the rule from when we first started as a band, we have always been “punkish,” so we want to shake people. Listen and learn and watch and look at what is in your home and outside of that. 

Shag-U: We don’t want to judge anyone. That’s not our purpose. 

MC Raaka Pee: We are just singing about what you do. What people do. It’s people’s music. We sing about people to the people. 

Do you think, in a way, that makes this a concept album, or is there a general theme to the lyrics as well?

MC Raaka Pee: I think our album production is a continuous process. It never stops, so I think our albums are basically a timeline. “Global Warning” is just one stop. For us, it’s a bigger concept. 

Shag-U: It’s like one part of a bigger picture. 

On the previous album, you also included some songs in English. Now you’ve gone back to an album completely in Finnish. Was there any reason for that?

Shag-U: We have never sung songs in English because of some kind of marketing trick or because people abroad would like to hear it in English. We sing songs in English because we wanted to sing in English. To be honest, this time there weren’t any songs that in any way sounded English. 

MC Raaka Pee: We didn’t have any English lyrics. 

Shag-U: Nuclear Blast told us that, even though they are not taking any part of the production, they have no reason for us to make any songs in English. They want us to be 100% true to ourselves and do what we want 100%. So we did what we wanted. We wanted to sing totally in Finnish and there’s no bigger picture in that. It’s simply what we want to do. 

Since this band has done both, do you feel like there is a different approach to writing in English versus Finnish, or does the language not matter?

MC Raaka Pee: I haven’t written much in English, but I have been analyzing and “tasting” those lyrics, so it’s mainly about the song. If the song has the potential for English lyrics or another language, then it goes that way. But I personally only write in Finnish. Shag-U maybe can tell more about that. 

Shag-U: For me, writing in English… the song has to sound right. When compared to my other projects where I mostly sing in English, like there can be certain melodic parts that sound like they need it. There are some things in the English language that you can do, with melody-making and things like that. In Finland, because we have so many Ks and Rs in our sound, and letters like that that you won’t hear in any other language, it makes the music and lyrics more unique, and of course, because it’s our native language, you can temper much more. And well, to be honest, don’t you think it’s a little bit sexier as well?

[laughs] Sure.

MC Raaka Pee: What? Louder!

Shag-U: I think she’s blushing already. 

How did this album come together? Was there anything different in the song-writing process or was it much the same as in the past?

Shag-U: I’m not the main composer so I think this is more for you, MC Raaka Pee

MC Raaka Pee: There were a few songs, like “Sano kun riittää,” that were really personal for me as a composer, so of course, I wanted them to be on the album… I didn’t demand that this song needs to be on the album, but everybody else liked it in our band. It raised “Global Warning” to another level for me. I’m not going to tell anyone why, but it did, and maybe you can hear it. There’s some kind of deep love in it. 

Shag-U: In my opinion, when you compare it to the “Universal Satan” album, the previous one, this came out a bit more naturally, the sound. There was more heart. I think the whole band was more “in it” in a way. 

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah.

Shag-U: Not saying that we weren’t in the previous album, but even more than that. 

MC Raaka Pee: I think our approach in comparison to the previous album, “Universal Satan,” was indeed more natural because, before that, we didn’t know what TURMION KÄTILÖT is with Shag-U as part of the band. Now we know. [laughter] We had to do some exploring before that and now we don’t need to explore anymore because we know what we are doing. 

You mentioned that “Sanoo kun rittää” was very personal. I won’t ask about it, but do you feel like it’s difficult to open up through music, or is it also a natural process?

MC Raaka Pee: It’s like suicide to open up yourself to the song and let everyone else hear, but they don’t actually know what the hell you’re going through in that song. It’s a method of life mostly, to survive from bad things that everybody has to handle in their lives. So I channel that in the music. 

Shag-U: It’s like a remedy or salvation or something like that, to be able to write yourself out into the song. 

MC Raaka Pee: And when you sing it a hundred times, you realize that, yeah, I can do this. You realize that the trick is to keep breathing.

Shag-U: To be honest, it’s really difficult to explain it in any other way than just singing it out and people will understand it in the way they want. If somebody asked me why I wrote this or why I wrote that, I can’t really explain it better than just showing the lyrics again and saying, “Read them.” That’s the most sincere and naked way to say it and show it. 

MC Raaka Pee: The lyrics mostly, for me, they are metaphors to say something. Those who know will know what I want to say. It’s for my family and loved ones. It’s personal. 

Now, your Finnish tour has unfortunately been postponed, but there are already some new dates. You also have one planned in Jäähalli, which is a pretty huge venue. I’m assuming it will be a bit of a spectacle. Is there anything you can tell us about why people should hold on to their tickets?

Shag-U: If you’re a fan who’s been with us for a long time, from the first album or any time before, it’s going to be something very new. Of course, there’s going to be something familiar from TURMION KÄTILÖT, but still, I think this is the first time we’ll get the whole stage to ourselves. This is the first time we can do exactly what we want, where we want, how we want. 

MC Raaka Pee: We are going to use a big pile of money [laughter] to get exactly what the fuck we want. It’s going to be a show that will look like TURMION KÄTILÖT without any disruptions or compromises. 

Shag-U: The greatest disco of all time. 

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah. It will look like us, how we want to look to you. That’s the difference. 

Shag-U: If that’s not reason enough… 

You also have a tour coming up with Nightwish in November/December. Do you have anything to say to the international fans about why they should go see you play?

MC Raaka Pee: You shouldn’t [laughter]. If you come, you will come to something fun.

Shag-U: You will see something that you didn’t really believe would happen at a NIGHTWISH concert. 

MC Raaka Pee: We are trying to be… like a mother, but the other side of the mother. 

Shag-U: [laughter]

MC Raaka Pee: And I don’t mean the ass [laughter]. We don’t want to be the ass. It’s all about entertainment and fuck can we do that!

Shag-U: We are really good at entertaining people. If you want to be entertained…

MC Raaka Pee: You will not cry. You will smile. 

Shag-U: Then after that, you can enjoy the glamor of music from Nightwish. And when you go to a concert, do you really want to see two bands that sound exactly the same? 

Not necessarily. 

Shag-U: Do you want to see Nightwish and Nightwish 2.0 on the same night?

Nah, I just want to see two really good bands, I think.

MC Raaka Pee: There you have it!

Shag-U: Then you should come!

MC Raaka Pee: We will make you smile. 

Alright, guys! That’s it for my questions. Do you have any last words or thoughts to share with the readers?

MC Raaka Pee: These are the first! Not last. 

Shag-U: This is only the beginning. 

MC Raaka Pee: People! If you ever are going to experience the power of disco, you need to rely on it. Disco has a concept of counting beats and your heart is beating also. Do you count those or do you let it beat outside and be guided by the power of ecstasy? 

Shag-U: Now we are going deep [laughter]. Don’t worry about this situation going on with the viruses and stuff. It’s boring, but it’s not the end of the world. The album is coming, shows are coming, we are coming. 

MC Raaka Pee: The warning is… global? But the music… is Finnish.

Interview by Laureline Tilkin
Photos by Susanna Raitamaa

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