Friday, October 10, 2014

Dead Samaritan Interview

Variety Of Death Zine Interview 2014

V = Valendis Suomalainen
M = Marko Saarinen

Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

V: We've been playing some gigs and so on. The guys are also working on some new riffs and ideas, so the coming winter will be spent rehearsing new killer songs!

M: Like Valendis said, playing gigs of course. But even more importantly we’ve been working on the album promotion ‘cos after all if nobody knows you, you don’t get any gigs. And since we know we have a good quality album on our hands now, we need to keep on forging the iron while it’s hot and make more good music.

In September you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

V: In my opinion with ”The Devil Tunes” we have defined our own, unique style. We know what we're doing and aren't afraid to try new ideas. This time we've also put extra effort on the production, as we really wanted this album to sound good.

M: Yeah, the reviews we’ve had so far have kept saying we’ve developed something recognizable. I suppose most of the elements have been in our music before, now we’ve just found a good balance between different atmospheres and tempos. You can hardly ever emphasize too much the word “dynamics” when it comes to metal music.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

M: Some songs concern the individual’s need for freedom and rebellion, like in songs “The Devil’s Tune” or “Raise a Riot”. Some just simply depict gruesome stories that I hope would spark the listener’s imagination (“The Madman’s Portrait”, “In for the Kill”). One thing that has always come up in Dead Samaritan songs, is releasing your anger, and I’d say the song “Out With Your Feet First” does just that, which is natural as it’s dedicated to Dirty Harry etc.
Other themes we write about are war, greed for power, religion and stuff like that. If the topic is more serious, we mostly try to write them in a way that would give you something to think about. The lyrics have to fit the mood of the song too, and we definitely have our serious and not so serious sides.

V: We're not stuck with any certain theme. I myself am into occult, old legends and horror stories, which can be clearly seen in lyrics written by me. Some of our lyrics are pretty serious (like, for example ”Last Man Wears the Crown” which is basically a story of someone so blinded by his will for power and glory that he destroys the whole land he wishes to conquer and ends up ruling an empty, barren waste), but there are also those that are not to be taken quite so seriously. When Marko sent me the lyrics for ”The Devil's Tune” I was laughing like, dude, seriously? “The night is getting hotter with my Thunder Hammer”, whaaaaat? The song in question is one of my favorites from the new album, though – it gets me in a good mood.

The band was originally known as 'The Beauty Of Ding', what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dead Samaritan'?

M: In 2003 I felt the band was changing from the melodic Gothenburg-esque direction to a more thrash-oriented and more aggressive direction, and as our first guitarist had to be sacked at that time, I also wanted to get rid of the name “The Beauty Of Dying”.
The moniker “Dead Samaritan” had been lingering in my head for a while, and there actually was already a song by that name, it just has never been recorded. To me the name “Dead Samaritan” is something really, really cold, nihilistic and declarative.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

M: Dead Samaritan is very furious onstage. If you don’t break a decent sweat playing live, you ain’t worth buying a ticket, let alone watching.

V: Dead Samaritan is at its best on the stage. Our live shows are very energetic and we tend to give our 100 % best every time, no matter how big the audience is or what the venue is like.

Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

M: No published plans to discuss now, but something’s always in the works. You’ll find out about our doings just by following us on Facebook and such.

The new album was self released but the band has worked with a label before, are you open to working with another label again in the future or do you prefer the DIY approach?

V: We like to keep our options open. It's pretty damn hard to get a deal with decent terms with any label these days, at least for a rather unknown band like us. If such a good deal was available for us, then why not. But we rather do everything ourselves than get stuck with a bad deal.

M: Personally I’ve been let down, even betrayed by label folks so I’m very cautious about them, and I like the idea of holding all the threads in our own hands. Of course you have to work a lot more when you go DIY but you also get all the reward, and besides punk bands have always done these things themselves, why couldn’t we? I love making music so much so I’d do it anyway, money or not.
I detest all the money-grabbing people who say they’re in it for the music but who in reality just try to rip you off every time they can. But like Valendis said, if the right choice came up, why not hook up with a label too.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?

M: We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback, and we’ve received a lot of enquiries to come and play abroad. Which we’d be more than happy to do!

Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?

V: I've also been a proud member of a doom/death-oriented band called Herem since 2005. With Herem we are currently working on our third album.

M: Our second guitarist Matti Viholainen plays in a sort of a dance music group and our drummer Janne Honkanen has some less serious side projects. I personally have been toying with ideas of a traditional heavy metal band and a very dirty Motörhead-esque death metal act, but haven’t yet turned it into flesh so to speak.

Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

M: Remains to be seen but at the moment I think we might have some more pure “one-string” death metal, punk and rock ‘n’ roll influences included. We’re going to keep the main idea pretty much the same as long as it feels good, but of course we try to top ourselves every time we make a new record. Meaning we’re just gonna make better and better songs.

What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

M: We’ve been heavily influenced by bands like Carcass, At The Gates, Deathrow (GER), Overkill, Exodus, Accept, Judas Priest and so on, but we’ve also caught a lot from old style rock ‘n’ roll, punk and such. I listen to a lot of different styles of heavy music mostly, but it could be pretty much anything, and mostly it is dark-spirited. It could be anything from Nekromantheon to Nick Cave, from Primordial to Portishead, from Dead Kennedys to Bathory, from King Diamond to Anaal Nathrakh etc. Lately I’ve been listening to Hatriot, Vanize and Dick Dynamite & The Doppelgängers.

What are some of your non musical interests?

M: Sports like European football, then nature, antiques, comedy, Scottish whisky and the female mind. The latter will always remain a mystery.

V: I'm a boring bookworm.

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

M: A huge Thank You for making this Dead Samaritan interview possible, so cheers, and keep your metal hard! You can do that by getting your hands on our Devil Tunes album.

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