MG:Hi, Great to meet you, your new Album "Bear The Cross" getsreleased fairly soon how excited are you about its release.
Sami Mikkonen: The pleasure is mine I'm sure, great to be here :-D! Yeah, we're well excited about getting new music out there! I know everyartists says this in every interview regarding their new album, but all cliches aside I really feel we made our best effort so far.
'm not saying we reinvented ourselves or "tried something different this time"or anything like that. I'm just sayin' that this time we feel we're close to what we really are about: making music we all love to listen to and play, and we managed to capture it on record pretty well too.
Of course there's a lot of certain kind of progress to be heard by the attentive listener, but one has to bear in mind that even though themusicians on the record are on the older side of the fence hahahaha the band, the unit that produced the music is still only a tad under fiveyears old.
MG: Why the title "Bear The Cross"
SM: Well. Well, well, well. We tend to be of the school that the album name is found somewhere in the songs on the album, preferably there should be a "title song" on the album. We felt that "Bear The Cross" thesong represents the album pretty well, and you can find your own meaningfor the idea behind it too. Plus it made a great album cover as well hahaha!
MG: I see you released "Dead man Walking" of the new album what has the response been like
SM: Man, it's been overwhelming! People seem to really have liked what they heard. I mean, yeah. Unbelievably nice response.
Thanks! Is all I can say really.
MG: The Album cover is interesting can you tell me a bit about it and did you have any input into its design
SM. Yeah. The basic concept for the cover is from us, the drummer Janicame up with the basic outlines. Timo Wuerz is the artist who took it to the next level! I don't want to give a definitive explanation to the what the cover means, I'd prefer people can make their own conclusions,if you know what I mean. But one idea behind the cover in general is trying not to take ourselves too seriously but at the same time try to bring some kind of element of "danger" if you will to a genre that has become common household commodity in a way. Does that make any sense?!
MG: Looking at your website you have a lot of dates coming up but mainly in Finland are there plans to get to the UK and into mainland Europe?
SM: Plans? Yes!!! But coming back to Earth, hello... hahaha! Yeah,actually we have some plans for 2015 to gig more abroad. But that'sstill in the works pretty much, many ideas floating around. It all comesdown to the state of the music business and how it is in the verge of abig change, if not already changed quite a bit.
I could go on and onabout that topic, but it's a totally different story. Let's just say that if we're invited to come and the budget is right, count us in!Wink-wink.
MG: What are your Musical Influences
SM: Personally I draw from everything I hear, be it old Finnishschlagers, The Beatles, Marilyn Manson etc you know? But my three main influences are Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden and Iron Maiden hahaha! Eightieshard rock & metal is what it's all about for us. Strong melodies, big choruses, guitar solos and dual lead guitars. Bring it!
MG: Some of the best Metal/ Rock bands are coming from Scandinavia why do you think that is?
SM: Wow, tough call. It's gotta be in the soil. Yeah, in our DNA what weeat & breathe? Nah, just kidding. I guess they have just been in theright place at the right time after a truckload of hard work. Of course after writing stellar music etc. Metal in general has some kind of foot hold here in Scandinavia I guess, but then again UK for example isprobably where it all started from? May be it's because the winters hereare long and dark what makes us make that kind of music?
MG: Can you tell me what you have been listening to recently
SM: I've been listening to Threshold's "Subsurface" and "Dead Reckoning"quite a bit lately. I mean A LOT. Just started on their latest "For theJourney" that came out last Friday. Other than Threshold, I've beentrying to check out Accept's and Priest's latest albums. Oh yeah, and the few snippets from
Lenny Kravitz's new record. Love "The Chamber"btw! And Hevisaurus is big in our car stereo, the kids love them!
MG: Best and worst things about touring
SM: The best thing about touring is the gigs, the response you get fromthe audience. I'd say nothing beats the rush of playing live! The worstthings...well, the long distances obviously make touring gruesome at times.
But you can't get to the stage if you don't travel! It's not like the people will come see you at your rehearsal space.
MG: I have never been to Finland tell me why I should come to your country !!!
SM: Because you have a good chance to experience the best live show ofyour life when you see us play! And of course Finland is a beautifulcountry and all that... haha!
MG:Please describe Soulhealer in four words!
SM: Energetic, melodic, crazy, catchy. (I was going to answer this withour "slogan" Sin Chee Clearly Anymore but thought it's a bit too outthere hahahaha!).
MG: Thanks for your time and is their anything you would like to say to our listeners and your fans
SM: Thanks for the interview! Check out our new album "Bear The Cross"in a few weeks from your local music store or any (legal!!!) downloadoutlet you may use, iTunes, Amazon, what have you. Sin Chee Clearly Anymore!
Interview : Seb Di Gatto