Hi Teemu. First of all Thank you for taking the time to talk To me and letting all the readers of Power of Metal get to know you and the band WINTERSUN a little bit better.
Hi Mia! Thanks for having me!
You have a huge fan base not only in your native country of Finland but all over the world, but for those of our readers that aren’t familiar with WINTERSUN; How would you define your music?
Wintersun is a unique mix of different flavors of metal, including influences from melodic death metal, black metal, power metal and folk music to movie scores just to mention a few. White all the three albums released so far have been a bit different from each other production-wise and also musically, they are all still share with similar majestic and melancholic melodies, and extreme attention to detail to arrangement and instrumentation. Wintersun is not restricted musically to do any one particular thing and on the future albums we are looking forward to explore again totally new musical territories. We like to call Wintersun EPIC METAL.
Referring to your latest album release “The Forest Seasons” from 2017 I can hear a lot of Power metal, and Symphonic Death Metal, But also the lyrics are very much “folk metalish”. The fans that has followed you know that this album was crowdfunded. Was this your choice to have such a broad variety in your music, or were you taking “fan requests” in deciding the sound of the album?
Indeed, there’s again a wide variety of influences on The Forest Seasons. Jari, who writes all the Wintersun songs, rarely tries to please others with his music, rather just sticking to making music that sounds good to himself and when his happy with it then sharing it with the rest of the world.
The forest theme of the latest album came about quite spontaneously as Jari was jogging through a forest nearby where his living. Some of the folky influence was kind of obvious fit to the forest theme but interpreting the four different season musically it made sense to build contrast with different musical styles and arrangements to give each season/song it’s own feel.
How do you work within your band writing your music? Who is the brain behind it all? Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music?
Early form of Wintersun started as a one-man project by Jari Mäenpää, and some of the musical ideas for the first album were already written around 1995. In 2004 Jari and drummer Kai Hahto recorded the first Wintersun album together and by the end of 2004 Jukka Koskinen had joined on bass and myself on the guitar to form a live band and to help working on the sophomore album (TIME I, released in 2012). All music and lyrics on all Wintersun albums have been written by Jari.
Some of your songs have many symphonic details and I wonder how that comes to life? Are there members of the band playing some additional instruments? Or is it all pre-recorded and mastered on a computer?
The orchestrations are made on the computer. Jari self-studied a lot of orchestrating while working on the the TIME I and II albums, being influenced mainly by epic movie scores. We are hoping that one day we’ll have a chance to also work with a real symphonic orchestra on some occasion.
Any new material / album in the making for WINTERSUN?
Jari is currently working on several new album projects side by side and we are all eagerly waiting what he’s going to come up with. From what we’ve heard the material sounds very promising! We are now starting a longer break from shows and taking time to put together our next release, while also planning to continue our crowdfunding project.
Well, now I (and our readers) have learned a little bit on how you make your music in recordings. How about your live shows? You have been playing some festivals around Europe this summer. What has been your best moment?
This summer we’ve been playing selected festivals and club shows celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first album’s release and it’s been great getting to play the first album back to back! Every show is somehow special but personally I’d say Summer Breeze festival in Germany and sold-out hometown club show in Helsinki were some of the most memorably ones of this summer so far.
And now you will be visiting Denmark for the first time ever at the venue Gimle in Roskilde August 30th with a headline show! What can the Danish audience expect from your live show?
This show will be our last this summer and also the last of our two-year long touring cycle that started in summer 2017. It will be a 15th anniversary celebration as well so we will play the full first album back to back plus some other selected tracks. It will be a very special high-energy show for sure and there will be some surprises as well!
And what do you expect from the Danish audience?
Really looking forward to to playing there for the first time! It’s supposedly going to be quite intimate show with good amount of people and we can’t wait to rock and have great time with the audience!
Can the attendants of your upcoming show in Roskilde, Denmark look forward to some new material from WINTERSUN?
That’s very much possible… 😉
Thank you Teemu, for taking the time to talk to me. Is there anything you would like to tell our readers about your upcoming show, and why they should experience WINTERSUN live?
Like mentioned above, this will be very special show, possible one of the last times we play all the songs of the first album in a while. We’re never holding back during our live performances but as we’ll be entering an undefined break afterwards with no other shows currently in the calendar in a long time, I think this show will have a very special energy and feel to it! We’ll be partying on stage and probably even shedding a few wistful tears after the show is over. Thanks for reading the interview and hope to see you at Gimle!
Our PowerofMetal.dk team wishes WINTERSUN welcome to play their first show ever in Denmark August 30th! You will NOT want to miss this! Our PoM team will be there for sure!
The forest seasons
Live At Tuska Festival 2013
Jari Mäenpää − lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar
Kai Hahto − drums
Teemu Mäntysaari − lead guitar, backing vocals
Jukka Koskinen − bass, backing vocals