DH: As a begin could you please tell me a little bit about you and your artistically development. How did Requiem start out?
Requiem was founded in Haapajärvi, Finland 1999. The band started first as a trio and the music was something like melodic death/power- metal with crowling vocals. The First demo "Gods of War" was released in the same year. In the following winter the original drummer Rami Repola was replaced by Jari Huttunen who was then only 14 years old! Also Teemu Hänninen (guitar) joined the band as a second guitarist. They recorded their second demo "Into the Night" in the summer 2000, and it included 5 very melodic neoclassical/power/death metal tunes.
In the autumn 2000 I (Jouni Nikula) joined Requiem as a new vocalist. It was because the band needed more clean vocals and high power- metal singing...! We filmed a live video "Into the Stage" and re-recorded the clean vocal parts for "Into the Night". After that we started to make new material for our third demo... But just before it was the time to enter the studio we signed the record deal with Sound Riot Records. After signing the deal we had some major changes in our line-up when our original bass player Matti Auvinen was replaced by Pasi Kauppinen and Ahti Komu in keyboards was replaced by Henrik Klingenberg. So, we played some thundering gigs with the new line-up and then we recorded our first full-album in the Watercastle studios, Jyväskylä, Finland. Now, here we are, doing promotion and things like that to get the things rolling...!
DH: Which musicians are involved in Requiem?
Jouni Nikula, Vocals
Arto Räisälä, Guitar
Teemu Hänninen, Guitar
Jari Huttunen, Drums
Pasi Kauppinen, Bass
Henrik Klingenberg, Keys
DH: Why did you choose the name Requiem? Do you want to express something with the name?
Requiem`s founder Arto Räisälä (guitar) came up with that name. He wanted to have something that`s short and catchy, and which also brings to mind some connections to classical music!
DH: Can you decribe your music style in your own words?
It`s something like melodic power metal with neo-classical and progressive influences. But anyway, I think you can call us just heavy metal. But of course the best way to categorize our music is just call us REQUIEM!!!! We have our own "touch" in what we are doing and we try always to make musically something personal and extraordinary.
DH: Your album is called "The Arrival". Can you tell something about the release. Where did you record the album and how long did it take to record it?
We recorded our album in Watercastle -Studios, Jyväskylä, Finland. It was engineered by Arttu Sarvanne, a great person to work with! The whole process (recording/mixing) took only two weeks, so you can imagine it was a very hard work and long days.... The album was mastered in the Finnvox -Studios, Helsinki, Finland by Mika Jussila.
DH: Do you have fun recording songs in a studio?
Of course! ...the athmosphere in the studio was pretty relaxed, even when filled with hard work.
DH: How did you get the record deal with Sound Riot?
They accidentally surfed on our website and listened to some samples from our demos. So, they sent us mail and asked us to send them some of our material. They liked it a lot and after some negotiations we made the deal!
DH: How important are the lyrics for you? Tell us something about the topics of your songs.
Of course the lyrics are important to Requiem. Basically the lyrics are inspired and lead by the athmospheres of our songs.
Even that our album`s cover artwork looks like we are an phantasy orientated band, BUT WE AREN`T. Here are some examples of our lyrics: The song called "Revival" is a song of irresponsible and it`s filled with pure anger. I wrote all the lyrics to that song in the following day, after a big part of my properies was stolen. It`s written with very impulsive touch without too much compromising.
"Broken Alliance" is a story of a town that`s been lost in time, devastated by an ancient civil war. By, the way, this song was called first as "Tower of Shadows" but we changed the lyrics after the W.T.C tragedy.
"The Invisible Touch" tells about my friend. She was at the time having some strong depressing feelings and it seemed like she was worrying almost everything... Like a scapegoat who was suffering that we others can live with a piece of mind.
"Masquearde" is based on the novel called Masque of the Red Dearth by E. A. Poe. It think that this song really succeeded to capture the dark and horrendous athmosphere what the whole novel is about! But I must say that in Requiem the music comes always first and the lyrics are witten afterwards.
DH: How important is your work as musicans for yourselfs?
It`s very imporatant! We are working really hard to reach some higher goals in our career. Of course we all have still our jobs or we are studying, but the music is a very big part of our lives! Especially mentally, it is great way express ourselves by playing great symphonic metal in Requiem.
DH: Can you tell us something about the gothic scene in your country?
Cothic scene??? I think you should call it metal scene instead! ...yes, here in Finland we have a lots of metal-heads and a great bands. I must say that the Finnish level in the quality of metal music is at the top of the world! There so many great bands and professional musicians around.
DH: Do you play concerts in Germany and how does a Requiem gig look like?
Requiem is a really LIVE-band. We really enjoy ourselves when playing live. We have also a lots of a power and energy on the stage. ...and what comes to playing some concerts in Germany. Yes, it would be great! Hopefully everything works out well and we are able to be touring over there in the near future!!!
DH: Are there further projects for the future planned (new releases, sampler contributions, ...)?
We are just now making the video for the song called "Broken Alliance". It should be something really beautiful but at the same time very heavy! ...and what comes to samplers, we are booked for the June`s issue of Powerplay magazine from UK. Our song "Broken Alliance" will be included to the sampler.
About the future... We have over a two hours of new material for our second album. It may be a little bit heavier than "The Arrival" and the new songs are very, very melodic. Hopefully we will get a good production on it!!! Be prepared for a true masterpiece!
DH: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?
Check out our new album "The Arrival"! If you like bands like Symphony X, Sonata Arctica, Helloween etc... you won`t be disappointed! Check out also our website at: http://www.requiem.kpnet.com ...you can find some samples from our new album there and some deeper information about Requiem too.
DH: Thank you very much for this interview and go on having fun and success with Requiem. Some final words?
Thank you for making this interview!!!! See ya` someday...!
for Requiem: Jouni Nikula, Requiem
for Dark Heart: Andreas Ohle