Hanna Tsepesh: Moro Jani! Thanks a lot for accepting our invitation for this interview. For the first questions can you tell to us little bit about THE SOULS history and introduce yourself and the other members?
Jani: Moi! The Souls is a powerhouse rocktrio from Kouvola, Finland. It was formed in 2007. Or "finalized" could be another term. You see me (vocals/guitar, 26) and my brother Toni Orpana (drums, 22) has been playing together for 18 years or so...
And there's been a lot of various line-ups along the way. But since the first jamming session with Antti Takalo (bass/keyboards, 27) we knew we had found our bass player.
It's not only about the music but chemistry between the band members as well. You need to get along in order to make it work. For us it's never been a problem to travel for hours and sweating like a pig in a car. Good times. We played under the name "Sister Morphine" before but there was another band in America (one album has-beens all of a sudden after 15 years trying a 'comeback') and somehow they got our MySpace page deleted. So we figured it's better to change the name and actually Antti came up with "The Souls".
Hanna Tsepesh: What are the inspirations to create the lyrics for THE SOULS?
Jani: They are reflections of time. The things I see, feel, think or hope...
But they often tend to have many layers within. I hope everyone finds their own perspective in them because the picture ain't ever gonna be the same.
That is because the journey has been different. So I could say the inspiration is me, you and them.
Hanna Tsepesh: what are your favorite bands?
Jani: There are so many good bands and artists out there and it's very hard to name only a few.
I think it's very important to listen a lot of different kind of music. And my favorite ones changes almost daily.
But of course the first ones I got into from my father’s record collection are still in great value today:
The Rolling Stones, Cream, Hendrix, ZZ Top, The Beatles, AC/DC, John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Bob Dylan, Mountain, Chuck Berry, Canned Heat, J.L. Hooker etc...
Right now I'm into one cool funk collection. Next week I might be playing some stoner rock or maybe some Finnish folk music in my stereos.
Hanna Tsepesh: When you start playing guitar? You have any guitarist that you admire the most?
Jani: I started playing at age of 6. I took couple of basic courses to learn the basic chords. After that I've been learning on my own and by listening the records.
So it's obvious that I admire many guitarists but I can't name only one.
Hanna Tsepesh: You have new album call “The Grand Confusion”. i like to say that is not style that i listen very often but i am very surprised with The Souls talent. You guys make a cool rock and little different that i usually listen! For people who don’t listen yet this album, can you talk little bit about it and what the band wants to accomplish with “The Grand Confusion”?
Jani: "The Grand Confusion" is our debut and its rock album. There are good songs, melodies, riffs and action. Hard pumping bass and that asshole in drums beating an old Ludwig-kit like non other. My brother, always...
We recorded twelve songs in twelve days and finally dropped out two. And it was also mixed in five days if I remember correctly... So also the way it was cut varies from the most of the stuff is recorded nowadays - where everything has become so over thought and overproduced. I'm not saying' it's not good to think but you can't forget "the feeling". If you polish for example the songs too much you'll find that after the grinding there's nothing human left. It has become dead in a way. So sometimes it is just the best to let go, let it flow and it'll come to you. I feel "The Grand Confusion" was recorded in just that way.
I think we had a good selection of different kind of songs and still were able to keep it inside this tight circle. The first one always lays down the foundation and from there you artistically branch out and grow along with it. For me it's an important album 'cause in a way it sums up everything from the beginning. It is a negative of what we ever wanted to be, what we were and who we are.
The album is a good ending for chapter one. Definitely!
Hanna Tsepesh: Cool! The band feels proud with the final result? Also, you have all the lyrics and songs when you start to record the album? It was an easy process for the band?
Jani: Sure we are satisfied. It was our first time in the studio but it came out pretty easy. Most of it was recorded on the first or the second take.
All the songs were familiar from the rehearsals and we had played them on gigs too, so we just played them. Of course these are only one version of the tunes and I think it's only a good thing if you paint always a little different picture inside the frames.
Music is about freedom and you should try to reflect and react to the things around you. That's why I love live gigs so much. And there is couple of good chops on the album too.
We are very happy that we had a chance to work with Pekka Laine. He is also a music enthusiast so he was great in finding a few improvements in the songs.
So yes, it's a good opener and I believe the next one is taken a little bit further. Whatever that means, try see it coming'...
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Jani: Actually really well. Good reviews and a lot of positive feedback. It has been almost overwhelming and it feels good of course.
Also, (like always) some criticism but in a good way. Somehow it always make me feel like "Oh, well I'll show you some. Here it comes!”
But, of course you can learn from the criticism too...
A lot of fan mail and people saying "Thanks for being here. You made me smile! Great music ".
Those little things are important for us because it ain't always easy but we've been very lucky and we try to do good, mama!
Hanna Tsepesh: What are the future projects for THE SOULS? You guys are thinking to make a Europe tour and next album?
Jani: We're doing gigs, working with the new songs and start recording our first demos of this year soon. Sure it would be nice to make it to outside Finland. You know.. Especially if it happened during the first album.
But at least between the second and the third one. If not, I eat my own shit.
And yes, of course there is still the second album on our way but... right now I think it's going to come out next year. All in all trying to get wiser and keep on keeping on.
Hanna Tsepesh: Great new! Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Jani: Well, I just figured out what kind of a song should open our third album. Or what it represents on the album. But that isn’t going to help us 'til the time takes us that far (if ever). Not that anyone really cares but anyways...
Moi, thanks for reading. Cheers!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much for your answers! THE GATES OF METAL wishes all the band a great success and we hope to see you guys at Portugal very soon…
Jani: Thank you very much! I'm sure it would be nice to play in Portugal, hopefully we'll get there soon. Take care!
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome Jani! All the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
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Publicada por THE GATES OF METAL Webzine