Unshine is a very original metal band from Finland, so listen and enjoy. A big thank to Harri for answering our questions

interview UnshineHello Unshine, could you introduce yourselves?
Hello Spirit of Metal, we are Unshine from Finland, the land of powerful nature gods. ’Dark Half Rising’ is the name of our third druid metal album, which will be released on the 23rd of August via Massacre Records. It is a thematic album, with an almost documentary historical story from the borders of France, the forests of Ardennes.

How is born Unshine?
The band’s origin is in Helsinki, where four of us, Susanna, Jari, Stibe and me started the whole thing around 10 years ago. A little bit later Teemu joined in as a bass player. First we made a demo tape and just for fun - decided to send it to some German webzine, where it received actually a very nice review and after that we got couple of them more. So, it was great to realise that yes we do have our own style and it’s pretty nice to continue on that road, which we did then.

You had aleready released 2 albums "Earth Magick" and "Enigma of the Immortals", that sounds very unusual, how could describe your music?
It’s pretty much mixed up blend of metal styles, but it has also many musical influences from elsewhere. We have a traditional belief in memorable melodies, which often are pretty dark and melancholic of course, blame on the Finnish winters. The albums, however, differ from each other quite much and I believe and hope that this progress will be continued. Like Mother Earth annually does, we also want to renew our outfit.

Who writtes the songs, lyrics and musics?
Most of the music and lyrics come from my head, but also Susanna writes song (and lyrics) now and then. The basic arrangements of a song are usually ready when I come up to rehearsals, however, the arrangements and especially instrumental arrangements change sometimes considerably. We test the songs for quite long time, before they will be allowed to enter the album.

Where do you find your inspiration?
The answer lies in your next question: Nature, basically. Nature spirituality is a way of life for me and I can not imagine any greater source of inspiration in the whole universe. Another source of inspiration is for example, good rehearsals or a good gig. Those moments when you feel that the music of the band played together turns almost in to a living, invisible and magical entity, like a powerful spell, and everyone involved in to that moment can direct that spell.

You talk a lot about nature, is that the " the finnish way of life"?
That is true, over 70% of F
interview Unshineinland is covered with forests, we have tens of thousands of lakes and lots of of open semi-natural areas, so most of the Finns have grown a natural relationship with nature. On the other hand, nowadays especially young people tend to move in to big cities like Helsinki, which might distract them and the forthcoming generations from nature, unless the development changes at some point. Along with the the desolation of countryside and the lifestyle connected to it, I think these are very worrying issues. My house is 23 km from Helsinki, capital of Finland, and I kept a small break in the middle of answering this interview for to go and eat some blueberries in the middle of a forest. So, that’s how close we live to nature.

A lot of woman fronted bands are using usually near a "soprano" voice, and Susanna has a very specific voice; do you believe that's a important part of Unshine's chemical?
There would be no Unshine without Susanna, she is so important part of our music and the band. Her voice is really unique and quite different from most of the other woman metal singers. Susanna has gone through some training with soprano singing, so she can easily handle those parts also if needed in some songs.

Now you are releasing your third album "Dark Half Rising", could you tell us more about that one?
It is an epic theme album connected to real events in Iron Age celtic society. The place of the events, the Ardennes, is partly in France, which might be interesting to you. Basically, it is a story of those people who defended their homelands from the invasion of Romans during the time of Gallic wars.

Musically, it is much more metal album than our two previous ones, the guitars and drums are mixed in the front. The song arrangements have been crafted very carefully and every song in the album is very different from each other, they all represent different perspectives and the musical style between the songs varies a lot.

The album is definitely our best so far and although I have listened it over thousands of times, I wonder how we can exceed our own expectations with the music after this album.

How far Dark Half Rising is different from your 2 first albums?
As it is a theme album, it has quite specific lyrics that dig in to the history of celtic Europe, Some texts have heavy symbolism written all over them, but some are more straighter and this time, we also have a song which is sang in Finnish language. As an entity, we tried to make the song order logical and such that it also represents the storyline. The songs are musically much more heavier than our previous ones.
interview Unshiner>
The Cover of Dark Half Rising is such different also, why that choice?
We do not like repeating ourselves and this concerns also the album covers. Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove made great work with the action-packed cover art, he produced an image that totally represents the album theme. When you announce ’druid metal’, people expect green colour, fairies and trees on the cover. Well, it was our conscious choice not to do it this time. With our next album or whatever, it can be a totally different thing.

There is a lot of metal bands in Finland, is that an advantage or not?
Yes and no. It is a privilege to be part of Finnish metal army, because word ’Finnish’ is usually connected with word ’quality’ in the world of metal. However, in Finland, it has become almost impossible for smaller bands to to get gigs here, because the supply is so overwhelming. It is a very natural choice for bands like us to head straight in to abroad instead.

Do you have previous gigs? or an European tour?
Few years ago, we made quite a lot of gigs in Finland, then the conditions changed and suddenly it was not so easy to get gigs anymore. We made European tour in 2009 and we hope to get on a similar thing quite soon with this album. Of course, we would very much like to give a concert in the area of Ardennes, preferably in the middle of forest, remember to tell this to you local organisers...

For those that don't know your music yet, do you have a message for they want to hear you?
Check us, you might well turn in to a druid metal head and if you do so, we’d like to hear from you. Check our site at www.unshine.com, there you find our FB site and lots of other stuff.

A few years ago, I was thinking "metal music? that's just noise !" Do you have a message fot those kind of guys as I was?
Yes: You will still have some time to grow up and to expand your world view. But don't worry, you do not change your own mind, the world around will do it for you. A couple of years ago I did not understand why somebody could listen to music from a vinyl. Now, I buy 99% of my home music in vinyl format.

And at last, where can we buy your albums?
Please, check our websites for that, the album should be available in almost all of the commercial online music stores. If it’s not there, you have to demand this from your local dealer or you can write to us and we’ll help you.

Thank you and druidic blessings!

Kiitoksia Harri

interview réalisée par xavier74

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