THUNDERSTONE is a Finnish classic, though after the release of “Dirt Metal” back in 2009, they seemed nearly forgotten. Now, with Pasi Rantanen back in the vocalist’s saddle and Atte Palokangas at the drum kit, the band has released an absolutely phenomenal comeback album. They’ve already toured parts of Europe and North America, and next year they’ll be supporting SONATA ARCTICA‘s upcoming tour for their latest album. Today we have the playlist of bassist Titus Hjelm‘s life for you!
1. The first song you remember hearing as a child
My mother was a ballet dancer, so my first music was all classical from her side and PINK FLOYD and jazz from my father-in-law’s side. The first “song” I really remember that stuck was Aram Khachaturian‘s “Sabre Dance.” I still get a certain vibe when I hear it.
2. The first song you can recall ever really and truly loving
Ah, difficult! Must have been the same, “Sabre Dance,” but in terms of popular music it was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” for sure. I saw the video on New Year’s Eve in 1983 and threw up out of horror and excitement. If that doesn’t make you remember a song, nothing will!
3. A song that you loved as a teenager/reminds you of high school
VAN HALEN were such a big thing after 1984 and “Jump” and “Panama” were school disco favorites (in addition to DURAN DURAN…). So, although I’d already discovered DEEP PURPLE, and KISS had been a fav from the beginning, VAN HALEN brings back most memories from school.
4. The song or band that got you into metal music (or the current genre you play in)
So many to choose from. KISS, initially, of course. They were just so outrageous at the time. Musically, it was DEEP PURPLE that soon became my all-time favorite band, and remains so. I can’t name a single song, but “Machine Head,” “Burn,” and “Come Taste the Band” were the most influential albums. I love Tommy Bolin’s guitar playing on the latter.
5. The most recent song to get stuck in your head
Sia’s “Chandelier.” I get goose bumps every time that chorus starts. I never listen to radio, so I got lucky when I friend played me the song. Such a great video too.
6. Your guilty pleasure song/band
“Guilty pleasures” are problematic because they assume some homogeneous taste from which we can say something is crap, aka a guilty pleasure if you like it (that’s the sociologist in me talking!). But since you asked… I avoid guilty pleasures by avoiding radio and MTV (do they even play music on MTV anymore?), so I don’t really know what would be a good example. I did like Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” and have been listening to that on YouTube a couple of times. It has the classic metal chord progression (I–VI–VII), so it works for me!
7. The first album you bought with your own money/the first album you were really excited to own
I bought KISS’s “Rock and Roll Over” from a friend for 25 Finnish marks (about 4€) in 1983. The LP was bent so that there was a scratch every time the needle made a round. I still have it. It’s a great album.
8. A song that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a hot beverage
Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah.” Another goose bump song.
9. A song to blast at full volume while you’re on the road
Many to choose from, but BLACK SABBATH’s “Neon Knights” is infectious. It just bloody moves forward!
10. The song you’d most like to be played at your funeral
Oh wow. Can’t decide whether I’d want a tear-jerker or a party song. Probably my fav 1990s band BADLANDS’ “In a Dream,” which is a ballad but one with hope (just ignore the religious references).
Interview by Bear Wiseman