Let Me Dream interview from Qvadrivivm #1 (1999)

Interview: Helenius

Let Me Dream are one of the oldest bands in Finland; they've been around for 10 years now and there's certainly no sign of quitting. Started as a amateurish metal band Congestion, they've developed their style during the years more into the gothic direction, and thus created an own unique style.

If you don't know anything about this band, check out the biographyat their (outdated, but anyway…) website: http://www.multimania.com/gore/LMD.html and then read this interview, which was answered by their bassist/vocalist Marko Tuominen, the man with the "moose" voice...
Was that actually the intro to this intie? Damn.

The latest LMD release is an ep called 'The maze'. This is apparently (and hopefully!) new material and not a re-release of the demo with the same name? When can we expect the new album?

-'The maze' is a completely different version of the song. Other songs are very heavy, previously unreleased 'Into the deep blue sea' and two older live songs. So, softer and more brutal stuff in the same package… 'Greyscales' is hopefully released soon. The cover layout is being finished at last and it's been said that the album would be released in November. We have also an extra video clip with the album. One can hear the whole range of LMD music on the album: from melodic goth-influenced metal to nearly black metal.

Two years ago you recorded a demo entitled 'Mortal but so divine', but it was never released officially. How's that tape nowadays?

-It was recorded at our rehearsal place, so the quality is not the best possible, and actually it's not available anymore. For some reason there were some information about the tape… So, it's only a reh.tape.

You did a video clip of the song 'Medley rain', where did you get the idea for that? There aren't actually so many places where it could be shown and it's rather expensive as well…

-Well, a video clip is the dream of every band and as we happened to have the professionals of that branch in the band, and we also had a possibility to shoot a video, it was decided! The script was made influenced by the lyrics, I think. It was shown a couple of times in Jyrki (a national commercial music show…), and abroad at least in Greek Metal Hammer show, in Estonian TV and a couple of others. Of course we will have a home video type of thing coming sometimes… or maybe not! The making of video is so fucking expensive! We spent money so much that I don't even care to mention the exact sum! Or, let's say that the cost was five-numbered and the first number wasn't one!

You visited the aforementioned Jyrki a while ago and played live there. How did it feel to be in the same show where they show video clips of Nylon Beat and Backstreet Boys? It's the only place to show your video in Finland at

the moment, but… Was it worth the "sacrifice"?

-It seems that Jyrki is changing or then we just had good luck! I was a bit nervous, 'though due to some incredible hazards I had been on TV three times before. It felt quite lucky as well, and what was best, was that the gig went pretty well! Certainly it was worth it.

The record deal with the French Adipocere Records went down the drain, so to say, and excluding some copies of 'My dear Succubus' cd, you didn't get anything from the label… After that you've released LMD stuff via your own Succubus Records. Haven't you got any interest from other labels or do you feel that "when we do it ourselves, we at least know what to expect to get"?

-Adipocere did their job well, at first; they paid the studio costs in time and everything seemed to be well. Now we haven't heard anything from those assholes for a year or two, but I guarantee they will hear from us, and that won't be anything to do with the word "thank you"! Boycott Adipocere, if they even exist anymore! The interest from other labels was surprisingly little, but of course it's a nice change to release our own stuff by ourselves. The experience was definitely useful.

Succubus Records has also released your friends', Medieval Art, material. Are you looking for to release other bands' material as well, or is Succubus a kind of "inner circle"? What kind of bands would be suitable for Succubus?

-At the moment Succubus concentrates really only on LMD and MA, and other bands to be released are not planned. We have some distribution as well… If we would "sign" others, they should be great as a band and co-operative as persons, and because this is rather rare combination and we don't have enough time nor money, there's no problem to do the decision!

Nowadays Let Me Dream consists of six members. How/when did you think that you should "recruite" more members? Talking about band members, the Finnish guitar hero Jarno Keskinen (now in Kenziner) quickly visited the band a couple of years ago. Anything to tell about this? His solo stuff didn't fit LMD's concept, eh?

-Since the beginning we have thought about having another guitarist, but not until now we found exactly the right person, Juhana fits in his place perfectly. Despite the experience in playing, the character was maybe even more important matter in this case. Keskinen had different aims, musical taste different enough and otherwise he was more into solo career. But good luck and everything to Jarno anyway. Kenziner is a fantastic band, and personally I'm awaiting the new album enthusiastically! We planned to get a different vocalist for about two years, because my vocals weren't not "that" popular among people, but only after the third attempt in advertising in magazines, we got a couple of candidates, from whom Tuukka, former band mate of mine, pulled the longest straw due to his strong voice and a character that fits well on gig situation.

You have played more than 60 gigs during six years in Finland, which is quite much from a band of your size. Most likely you aren't the typical Finnish metalheads who only complain that no one arranges gigs etc.? How many of your gigs have been self-arranged?

-An old cliché is that, no one will pick you up to play a gig or to record an album. In the beginning most of the gigs were self-arranged or we "suggested" ourselves to somewhere else. Nowadays we're even asked to come to play live! There have been many gigs, but if we would have kept the pace, there would have probably been twice more gigs!

Connected with the previous question, you used to arranged some gigs under the monicker Feast Services years ago, but not anymore for one reason or another. Why did you start to arrange gigs more "officially" and why did that activity dry out?

-First I was in a some kind of music association, but because metal gigs weren't too popular there - 'though other crap gigs had only a couple of dozen drunks as audience and were very unprofitable whereas lots of people went to metal gigs - I thought it was better to start my own thing. Some of the gigs were rather big or otherwise remarkable; f.ex. the famous gore show by Impaled Nazarene, Amorphis, Sentenced, Fleshcrawl(Ger), Eternal Darkness(Swe), Crypt of Kerberos(Swe), Afflicted(Swe)… Whatever came to my mind! Suddenly there weren't that much people at the gigs anymore, and when I lapsed into arranging extremely unprofitable gigs of Neljä Ruusua, Neon2 and Kirka in Riihimäki - where you can't get people to come to gigs except threatening with a bayonet - I lost all the interest in arranging gigs, and that interest hasn't yet come back! The activities are partly, though, continued by RiEMu and Succubus.

What kind of memories, anecdotes, coincidences etc. do you have concerning Feast Services?

-My favourite is the Impaled Nazarene gig sometimes in '92-'93 at Riihimäki Sportshouse. Luttinen, besides the firebreathing, threw fly larvae mixed with blood and pieces of liver to the audience! Everyone was almost weltering in blood and the cops, that quickly visited the place, thought there had been a massacre or something! Cleaning the place was another thing then… And who was obliged to do that…? Then, DarkThrone during the same period of time was quite memorable as well. Mostly when I think of the gigs, I remember the unbelievable amount of work! First you have to make and spread ads and flyers, possibly pick up the bands at the harbour, maintaining order, removing the equipment after the gig and cleaning, accommodating the bands, more cleaning and then calculate the unprofitability of the gig! Surely, if you want to get profit, you shouldn't arrange gigs, at least here in Riihimäki! I received some merits after the best gigs, but no one remembers those gigs anymore, and that's only a good thing, if you ask me!

Nowadays you're arranging record fairs more or less regularly. What does it take to arrange such event and how big have these fairs been?

-The fairs take place in Hyvinkää, Lahti and Hämeenlinna; Riihimäki is handled by A.A.R. (whatever that may be -ed.). For Finns only: Seuraavat messut muuten Hyvinkään Wanhalla Villatehtaalla la 22.1.2000 (hah! Mitäs menitte kysymään!). The fair will be in all these places once a year, which is very good pace to keep up the interest. The marketing of the fairs is a bit more demanding than that of metal gigs, but otherwise it's quite the same. The thing, how you make the fair succeed, is totally some kind of far-out magic. Strange that it is, we've succeeded in all the aforementioned towns, 'though we've had failures, too. In Kuopio there was a quite small fair, and in Lappeenranta we couldn't get it working from here; nowadays the local City-Musiikki handles the fair there. Among record fair, and smaller record sales, Lahti/Hyvinkää/Hämeenlinna are the biggest.

More gigging...

You've played gigs in almost anywhere and the other bands have varied from Movetron (a shitty dance band…) to Barathrum. Aren't there any place or situation where LMD wouldn't play live?

-In the beginning small gigs at youth clubs were cool and interesting, on the contrary to these days! Nowadays it's better to play "real" gigs than bang your head to the wall! Despite of that we don't any negative attitude towards any places especially. But, there are people that I myself don't like to be in contact with ever anymore!

You've played with a couple of foreign bands (Vibrion and Midnight Configuration) as well, during their tours in Finland. Anything to tell about these events? These bands differ musically from each other quite a lot…

-The communication with Vibrion was a bit difficult, because only one of them spoke English, and none of us spoke Spanish at that time. The Argentinians were amazed when we boozed through the night and sang Matti and Teppo in the small hours. In the morning we opened new bottles and continued… Midnight Configuration were more close to us because of the language. They drew audience at gigs quite well and we got along with them very well. After the gig in Tampere, again during the small hours, I received a quite questionable merit from the Englishmen: a guy who is most drunk they've ever seen drinks "shots" with two hands one after another… Hmm, this memory wasn't that much music-related! Well, MC certainly appeals to goths, and they are a brilliant band!

When LMD plays, one can notice both, metal fans and goth fans in the audience. During the years your music has become more goth-influenced and -like, 'though I wouldn't necessarily label your music as gothic metal, or gothic rock. Is it sort of difficult to be in the middle of two different genres, because then the praises and critics are doubled? Which do you prefer and listen to, metal or gothic rock?

-I think LMD is more metal in the new album! Still, there are goth elements left more than enough. At times we were very "poppish" band, but nothing to do with the radio chart crap! As the categorisation is always there, the label "gothic metal" has been the most described one, so we took the freedom to use that label when defining our music. Well, a couple of years ago a goth (you know; the one and only in his/her sort…) complained me, that LMD aren't allowed to call their music with the term "gothic", because it's not! So, I told that it's not our categorisation, but others! Many metalheads think LMD is too poppish! Our upcoming second album 'Greyscales' has also some poppish stuff, but f.ex. the song 'Into the deep blue sea' is almost black metal! Our expression consists of many dimensions and is interesting, we think. I have never listened to goth stuff much, sometimes I listened to "normal music for the calm people", but now I enjoy doublebass heavy metal and black metal á la Stratovarius, GammaRay, Cradle of Filth, old Covenant (The Kovenant is NOT good!), Emperor, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, also Sinergy and Therion are great. Some kind of gothic/black metal symphony -project would be interesting…

Is it possible that a LMD song could be done influenced by a certain line or part of lyrics, or do you follow the traditional "music first on which the lyrics are arranged" -pattern? Koskela (Jani) mainly copmposes the music and you write the lyrics, or? Have the new members brought any change to this?

-Of course a song can be influenced by lyrics, but for me the music is much more important than lyrics. Nowadays the lyrics are like a "necessity", because personally I don't have much to say anymore! Music comes first mostly, that is. Jani is responsible for making the songs, 'though I'd have some songs as well nowadays, but they aren't simply accepted! Apparently they are so crap!? Anyway, some parts I've done in the new album have been praised. Juhana composes songs as well, but we don'thave enough time to rehearse them. Nowadays our drummer Janne writes most of the lyrics, and Jani writes often lyrics for his own songs.

The song 'Julia' (from 'Medley rain'-demo/mcd) tells about the classic love story of Romeo and Juliet. The song is dedicated to a woman, if I've understood correctly? Because the lyrics of the songs have never been published, could you tell if they nowadays focus on expressing a certain emotion or mood, or do you plumb the whole spectrum of human emotions?

-'Julia' is certainly dedicated to a woman, who "takes care of my house" nowadays… All the "love songs" that have been released recently, have been written many years ago, so at that point of time those feelings were more present. When you've written once about a certain subject, the next lyrics easily follow those! Yes, the whole spectrum of emotions has been gone through, 'though happiness doesn't appear in any of the lyrics, how surprising! If the band would like to take more songs to play, my lyrics would deal with self-criticism, observing humanity (my own and in general) and Sentenced-like "suicide notes". Because nothing seems to be particularly bright or positive, it reflects directly in the lyrics.

Why did you choose to change your name to Let Me Dream? Are you a bunch of dreamers, eh? There are/were some other "me"-bands in Finland as well: Whip Me Nicely, Kill Me Gently, Watch Me Fall, Bleed Me Tears… Yet LMD was probably the first, as far as I know.

-Well, we are not a bunch of dreamers… It was Jani's idea, and I have never figured the meaning behind the name. In my opinion everyone can think and ponder what it might mean. At least the direct translation in Finnish is not that good in my opinion… Sometimes some wiseguys usually suggest the direct translation. At least Let Me Dream is more original than Congestion.

As Congestion, you used to play Celtic Frost's 'Dethroned emperor', but have you played other cover songs at gigs or rehearsals? What do you think about covers and tribute albums in general? What would be the tribute album LMD would be at its best?

-I haven't played much the Celtic Frost –cover because I wasn't at the band when it was recorded/released. Other covers we've played: Kiss – 'Heaven's on fire', Motörhead – 'Shoot you in the back' and Fields of the Nephilim – 'Laura', these are what I remember now. Playing cover songs, at least in rehearsals, is fun, if there's ever time for that. Actually, it would be nice to hear bands play good old tunes at gigs besides their own songs; sometimes the own songs are way too unknown for the audience… Tribute albums are OK! Sometimes they're being released too often and some of the bands cannot reach the level of the original. The albums of my own favourite bands are so great that it would be difficult to perform a song from them convincingly. Judas Priest is my ol fave band, so it would be great to cover them, 'though it's completely different compared to LMD. A vert hard question to answer to…

First you were only a session member in LMD, but then you became a permanent member. How did you meet the other guys in the first place and why did you want to join the band?

-Yes, originally I was asked to play only on 'Bed of the ancient river' -demo, which sounded like fun. I rehearsed, we went to the studio and in the end I became a full-time member, which I liked, because I didn't have any other worthy project going on. Janne told afterwards that the other guys had thought that I'd stay in the band after the studio, which happened; they thought that I could actually play, heh heh… At first I thought that I could sing as well…

Your first band was Blind Reality in the end of the 80's which was some kind of speed metal, and the enthusiasm in metal was probably bigger than playing skills… You did a couple of demos at least, but could you reveal the background of that band for us?

-Blind Reality was speed/thrash metal at its worst. Almost the same group played also under the names A.N.Z.A.C. and Post Mortem. At least my own playing skills weren't that good – not to say they are now, but then it was completely horrible. I still have to say that on the 'F.B.T.O.'-demo my shouts sound very funny, metal at its best. Also the current LMD vocalist Tuukka was member of Blind Reality at one point of time. We did a couple of demos, but I don't have anything to say about them now… After BR I had some funny and short projects, and some not so worthy stuff!

As an old metalhead you've seen the the development of the Finnish metal scene at a "box seat", so to say; as a band member and gig organizer. What's been the best time in the Finnish underground scene, and why?

-The best time naturally was the beginning of the 90's when I arranged gigs as well. Although previously I said that job was fucking hard, I think there is something good to remember in them anyway. At least the gigs got a lot of attention and sometimes also audience. On the other hand, nowadays I think that there are again people who'd like to see more gigs and the scene in general is much more "reasonable" than about a decade ago. The good ones have been separated from the bad ones! By the way, somebody talked with Ville Valo (HIM) and said that Ville rememberd the metal gigs in Riihimäki…

Thinking more precisely, I think we're living the best times right now!

What the fuck happened to the paper fanzines? Internet rules nowadays, but is it the only reason…? The best fanzines of all times?

-Internet came to my mind first, too. I haven't read fanzines, in paper or 'net, for years, 'though the've continued their good work through the hard times as well. Making a fanzine is also quite hard work, so there aren't too

many editors these days, I think. I don't know which have been the best fanzines…

What do the members of Let Me Dream do except play in the band?

-What would the others like me to answer? Well, I'm working in the client service at a toxic waste company, Juhana works as a head of the department in computing business, Janne is doing logistics, prior to the military service Jani worked as a sound technician, Jari is doing his civil service and has worked in the media field as well and Tuukka is a "freelancer" at the moment.

Future visions, wishes, greetings, etc. Let the dream come true!?

-'The maze' ep was released in the beginning of November, and the new album is out soon as well. We're planning a new video clip and in the middle of November we'll start a "tour" (with Two Witches, Medieval Art & Morningstar, for example) on weekends only in Kuopio, Valkeakoski, Riihimäki, Tampere, Vantaa… I hope that we could soon start rehearsing songs for the next album, which will hopefully be released sometimes in the beginning of next millennium. I think that's it. Buy the new album!


Deicide interview from Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

The Past Is a Lie

Interview: Kuronen

The Stench of Redemption is the name of a Deicide album. With its melodicity, after the nondescript bowel movements and contract killers that preceded it, the album in question is stimulatingly capricious. But we are not interested in that.

We are interested in the Moment, the snap of time, the minuscule Zeitgeist, the train wreck of an era signalled by the release of that album. Yes, we are interested in the Hoffman case. As prompted by the title and Glen Benton’s rants at the time, it did take its toll. Remember, no line-up changes had happened since the inception of the band. Since, there have been some alright. In the following, Glen Benton talks about the time things started to go wrong with the guitarist duo, flushing down a (partly) glorious past with no sign of respect or gratitude. Take it as a humorous aside, a pitiful vignette, or one Amon brotha media-talking to two others, whatever you may wish. It is here for reasons not wholly explicit.

“They just stopped caring. Human being wise, they are a couple of racists and I can’t stand to be around persons like that. They have no respect for people that do the thing that they do. That’s been the way with me and them for years. We’ve always hated each other. They’ve always been jealous of me. Towards the end, they just didn’t give a fuck anymore. They stopped showing up to do tours and they started cancelling shows, telling me the band would be nothing without them.

“Our publishing deal is what finished them off. Our publishing deal with Roadrunner was split four ways, no matter who wrote what. Now in the new contract whoever writes what gets paid for it. So if you don’t write a song, you don’t get paid for it. Their contributions on Scars of the Crucifix were minimal; Eric wrote two songs, Brian wrote one. Publishing, they only got paid for that. When they got their first checks, they quit the band. Me and Steve got the bulk of the publishing because me and Steve do the bulk of the writing. They always told it wasn’t about the money – well, it was about the money. If they only had shown up with more material, they’d got paid for it. They always wanted to blame it on me. ‘Oh, I never showed up for practice and lalallaa.’ Well, I didn’t show up for practice until I absolutely and positively had to because I couldn’t stand to be around them. I did what I had to do for my own and Steve’s sake. I can’t stand them, man. I will never perform with them again.

“The things what they said about Steve’s dad dying were uncalled-for and totally inhuman. They do it to themselves. Now they’re dealing with law suits from this, that and the other, getting DUIs for drinking while driving. They’re in a lot of trouble and shit and they’re lives are fucking miserable. Guess what—it’s called karma. They treated me and Steve like shit for years, fucking us in ten thousand different ways. Now, they’re paying for it. They call Steve and want to come back into this band. They’re never coming back to this band. The band has always been me and Steve, and it will always be me and Steve. It will only get bigger and better because we got rid of the bullshit. Their quitting of the band was the best thing they ever did for the band.

“They’re a couple of fucking babies. They have to be sat like they’re couple fucking babies. And we’re men now. We’re not babysitting nobody. You don’t want to do your job? Somebody else will. That’s the fucking bottom line. Now they’re working regular jobs and finding out what’s it like to struggle in this life. They’ve never had that. They’ve always relied on their mommy to bail them out of every situation they’ve ever gotten into. They’ll have to stand on their fucking two feet and be men. I say good luck to them.”


Agalloch interview from Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

A Small Piece on Life

Interview: Kuronen

Upon interviewing Agalloch concerning The Mantle, I stress it to John Haughm and Jason William Walton that when the story has found its final form, I will have committed to the sin of calling names. In other words, I will have labelled, stamped and in doing so desensitised Agalloch music to some degree. This is a notion that they do not buy.

“Your words cannot ‘desensitise’ our music,” says Walton. “Nothing anybody can do or say will affect our music. Perhaps people’s interpretations of our music can be affected, but not the actual music itself.”

“Agalloch is an organization of atmospheres, thoughts, questions, fears, hopes, despair, textures, aesthetics, and spirit,” adds Haughm.

Life never ceases to be difficult, yet music seems to come easy to Agalloch—that music being their curious amalgamation of dark metal, post rock, neo-folk and a million other things. They say they know what they like and what they want to create. Consequently, it is not difficult for them to bridge the gap between life and music.

“No,” affirms Haughm. “Our music is a reflection of life. It may come ‘easy’ to us simply because we create only when inspired. We never consciously try to do this or that with the music itself. It just comes naturally.”

Some words from the Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello: “Whoever understands the game can no longer fool himself, but if you cannot fool yourself, you can no longer derive any enjoyment or pleasure from life. So it goes. My art is full of bitter compassion for all those who fool themselves. But this compassion cannot help but be succeeded by ferocious derision of a destiny that condemns man to deception. This, succinctly, is the reason for the bitterness of my art, and also my life.” Could these be words also uttered by those making art in Agalloch?

“I can relate to the first part of Pirandello’s statement,” Haughm says. “My perception is that Luigi was stating that the more one knows, the more prosaic and depressing life can be. I can also agree with the latter part of his statement which I perceive he’s saying that greater art is, both, a selfish expression of life’s bitterness, emptiness and frustration and yet also catharsis for the same. So this statement can illustrate some of the attitudes and motivations within the Agalloch camp, yes.”

Is losing hope in hopelessness the only way to retain one’s sanity? What is this cathartic negativity you sometimes speak of?

“I do not believe it can be adequately explained,” says Walton. “Either you understand, or you don’t. Passion is a goal in life, yet so is apathy.”