Status Abnormis: The Toilet ov Hell Interview


Hey guise, think back to when I forced you to listen to a track by Finnish industrial/technical death-thrashers Status Abnormis on a Tech Death Thursday of last year. It was my favorite among several wonderful tracks from their 2013 full-length Call of the Void. Remember how great that was? Well good news everyone: Status Abnormis has finished work on their next album Amor Fati due out later this year (which they kindly let me listen to, rest assured it will blow you away); and they agreed to do a Toilet ov Hell interview!

Each of the members of the band participated. Here is the legend:

N: Nikke Kuki (Guitar, lead vocals, backing tracks, production)
J.K: Jere Kyrö (Guitar, vocals)
J.A: Joel “Joke” Alasaari (Bass, vocals, mad synth drones)
A: Antti Teirioja (Drums, percussion, lyrics)

Hello there! I want to introduce your band to all the readers of the Toilet ov Hell. Can you give us a brief history of the band, for example how you all met and started out?

A – Status Abnormis began as Nikke’s solo project around 2009. I joined as a lyricist in the spring of 2011 I think, and sat on the drum throne a few months after that. Joke became the bassist and Jere took up the second guitar soon after him. The recordings of Damage Control EP began in the late fall of 2011 and the rest is history.

How much touring has the band done? How far has the band traveled to play live?

A – We haven’t really toured at all actually and all our gigs have been within Finnish borders. The longest trip we’ve done for a gig is around 350-400 kilometers.

J.A. – Yah! it’s all been single gigs here and there for more or less interested audiences.

The vocal performances on Call of the Void (both in variety and quality) are the best I’ve heard on a metal album in over 15 years. How are the vocal duties divided? Are there any artists whom the vocalists would cite as influences?

A – Nikke is the main vocalist and does most of the work heard on the albums. Jere and Joke are doing more and more with each album, they both have some lead vocals on Amor Fati.

N – My biggest influences are maybe Layne Staley, Devin Townsend, Phil Anselmo and Jonathan Davis but I take spices to my fucked up voice from everywhere. I adore personal voices and unorthodox approach of using your vocal chords.

(From their 2013 masterpiece.)

Status Abnormis does a terrific job of standing out from the crowd in the modern metal scene. Can you describe the writing process of the album? How does a band like yours fit in so well yet maintain such a unique identity?

A – Nikke is our main songwriter but we all contribute to the material. Our albums begin as a number of rough demo tracks Nikke has made by himself. Backing tracks and other arrangements are added and I generally start writing lyrics once the songs are “ready”. Additional arrangements are often made during the recordings if something is beyond our skills or works better than the original.

N – My goal is not to compose something different on purpose. It just happens and there are 4 different people with different tastes in music. Maybe that is the reason for our unique sound.

What can the fans expect to hear on the upcoming album Amor Fati later this year?

A – The fans will recognize the album as one of our making but of course it’s different from our previous efforts. The building blocks are still the same but this album has an emotional depth to it that Call of the Void didn’t have. The dark moments are darker and the beautiful moments are more beautiful.

N – It sounds like us but I’ll bet that people who liked our first EP the most won’t like Amor Fati so much. I could be wrong though. This time I tried to push myself to the next level with the vocals.

J.K – We went full “we can never top the extremity of CotV” – mode after finishing the later album, but we managed to go more extreme in versatility and the same old full-on chaos.

J.A. -Modern metal marching forward.

(Single from their upcoming 2015 album.)

I’d love to visit Finland but I’ve never been there so I’m not convinced it’s real. But let’s just say that it is… what is the metal scene like there? Is there a bigger push for avant garde material over there?

A – The Finnish metal scene is quite strong and varied. I wouldn’t say that there’s a push towards stranger sounds, every genre is represented evenly but most musicians here seem to appreciate individuality and approve of the things that set them apart from others. Thrash and traditional death metal have been on the rise lately.

N –  Nobody wants us to play gigs haha.

J.K – People want us to play but we might just be too lazy to promote our stuff. We live in Jyväskylä, and the “scene” here is mostly based around the local bands; Lost Society, Frosttide, Prayed and Betrayed and so on. Look it up.

J.A. – There’s a bunch of small death metal bands playing to almost empty halls we included. I’m not personally that involved to any scenes but I have made observations and it seems the black metal related stuff is much richer in people. Also the avant garde/obscure metal here is often toying with black metal or having their roots in there, like Jumalhämärä and Oranssi Pazuzu to name a few. Also I’d like to recommend Circle (and all related projects like Arkhamin Kirjasto, Rättö ja Lehtisalo…), Opium Warlords, Abyssion and Obscure Burial.

Are any of you beer drinkers? Do you all have some beer recommendations for the readers?

N – Murphy’s, Guinness and Közel Lager for taste, Sandels or Koff for getting dizzy ass funky.

J.A. – Punk IPA from brewdog. Drank one this Easter at the bonfire, tasty liquids yees.

A – I’m not a heavy drinker but Közel Dark is pretty good. If I can’t see through it, I’ll probably like it.

J.K – We are beer drinkers yes, but there’s also this one tradition which we have around our friends who have done technician/promoting/marketing stuff for us. Usually after a gig we go to crash at our friends place, and the first thing we do is crank up a one liter bottle of Tapio-viina, which is a basic vodka named after the forest god from ancient finnish mythology (folk metal as fuck). Then everyone takes four mouthfuls from it and passes it on. It’s called “Tekniikan tasottava”, the Technical Equalizer.

What do you find is the best shameless or shameful method of self-promotion? Which is the most successful outlet for you to get Status Abnormis’s music out into the masses?

J.A. – Playing music live is the best way and probably the most successful, although shameful at times.

N – I don’t like to promote myself but sometimes you just have to. It is a shame that people don’t promote smaller bands in social media that they like so much nowadays.

A – I think we would be more widely known if we took the whole promotion thing seriously. Small bands can’t really count on anything but their own work even if it’s made easier by the million different shades of social media.

J.K – Tinder.

The production on Call of the Void is stellar!  But I have a confession:  I don’t know the first thing about gear… but many of the readers here do!  Can you tell us about the gear that the band uses?

N – We have inexpensive mics, decent instruments, middle priced interfaces and Cubase as DAW. We record our music by ourselves and I’ll do my magic in the mix and most of the time it works.

Keep your eyes open for the new album Amor Fati (which I will surely be reviewing); but until then I absolutely urge you to check out Call of the Void, available on Bandcamp.  Status Abnormis has an active presence on Google+ and Facebook. They like +1’s and stabs.

(image via)

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