Band: MOONSORROW
Country of origin: Finland
Style: sublime pagan metal
Questions by: Kai Mathias Stalhammar
Answers supplied by: Henri Urponpoika Sorvali (guitars, keyboards, drum programming) and Ville Seponpoika Sorvali (vocals, bass)


Well, here we go Ville! Here's the interview for MOONSORROW and the first question regards your band's past? When, how and why it all began?

[Ville] I and my cousin Henri formed MOONSORROW back in 1995 plainly for the sake of expressing the paganistic concept we had on our minds via music. We had already several projects going and this was supposed to be just one of them... now it clearly seems it is not. Yeah, I have never learnt to be brief with this biographical stuff, but now I think I made it (sorry for all of your hungry readers).

It seems like "Tama Ikuinen Talvi" doesn't appear as the first-ever tape you've released so far, right? If so, please tell us few words concerning the demo you've made your debut with…

[Ville] Whatever makes you think so, it is correct. We recorded our first demo already in early 1996, and although it was never released due to several severe obstacles, we still do have an official debut before "Tama Ikuinen Talvi": "Metsa", recorded in 1997 and consisting of 2 epic compositions of less polished pagan metal + those obligatory introes and outroes. I know people who seriously dislike the tape in question, but at least it fits my taste well...

Can I assume that "Tama…" is a huge development if comparing to your debut?

[Ville] Yes you can, alongside musical (instrumentwise) outcome also concerning the whole production. What I meant when I called "Metsa" less polished was just that; we didn't have any Korg N-series synth but some "Nintendo-Yamaha" and the only "studio" we had in our use was Henri's eternally blessed garage having that fancy 4-tracker. Perhaps you know what I mean... and perhaps "Metsa" would've sounded more alike with "Tama Ikuinen Talvi" with this better equipment...? Anyway, what comes to the compositions themselves on "Metsa", I really like them, and I would not like to compare our releases that way.
[Henri] And who knows... Maybe we'll re-record the songs some day because they aren't so bad in my opinion either. It's mostly the production which sucks on "Metsa", not the compositions. We'll see...

Certain bands playing black metal nowadays make numerous attempts (most often in vain) to create more personal any easy-to-recognize stuff, while others just blindingly embark on the path their favorites constructed… Whom do you reckon yourselves to? If you ask me, I'll say that MOONSORROW stands somewhere in between - your music is not typical at all, although it bears strong reminiscences of early ENSLAVED…

[Henri] Well, what can I say? I'd place our first attempts of making music to somewhere between unoriginal and extremely unoriginal, while our newest efforts offer a certain mood which could be easily recognized as pretty "familiar-sounding", but blended with chunks of originality. And what comes to the "Enslaved-thing"... well, you're not the first one who has noticed something like that. I, however, really like older ENSLAVED, and in some way I find it very irritating when people name bands of whom they think we sound like... but in a way I also find it somehow flattering. Anyway, our goal is not to copy other bands - a thing which will be proved in the future. But as always, it is the audience who judges that, not the composer, right?

Why did you choose Finnish as the language for your lyrics? Any plans to write few verses in English in time to come…?
 
[Ville] The decision was quite natural to me simply because I love the Finnish language and its magnificent expression value. Also it is only logical to use Finnish when dressing a Finnish band's paganistic concept into words. Of course I can write in English whenever it suits MOONSORROW (our earlier lyrics were in fact English-written, but they weren't done by me anyway), yet I don't feel any special urge of doing it in the nearest future. I have been reminded a few times that Finnish doesn't sell, but that can never be enough of a reason for me to turn my jacket...

Lots of contemporary bands unleash CDs without having even one single demo tape behind them, however it strikes as MOONSORROW is another kind of band… even though a CD would be nice!

[Ville] I think so too (heh). Frankly, thanks to our wide and slightly reckless promotion for "Tama Ikuinen Talvi", we got some labels interested in us and thus we are now a signed band. We will record our debut album for a promising Swedish label called Plasmatica Records, and it will hopefully be out somewhere in the following spring. What comes to the bands releasing CDs without demos, I think it's not worth it. Most of them will just bring a long-term disgrace upon themselves when letting their lack of experience shine through the fancy disc.

Here's some kind of a general question: is the band only a hobby for you or, perhaps, something more? A job? A way of life? Destiny…?
 
[Henri] It would be cool to call MOONSORROW our destiny, but unfortunately the band is really just a hobby to us, although a pretty dear one.
[Ville] At least it can never be my job, because the basic requirement for a job is getting enough money for a living from it. It will always be only free time that I put into MOONSORROW, but be it anything, I like the way it is.

Now let's move to another kind of your activities, i.e. Meathooked 'zine. Say anything you feel you need to in order to let our readers conceive what it's all about…

[Ville] We launched Meathooked into action in 1997 mainly because we were tired to the current zine circles and wanted to give some life to them, and I think we accomplished the first part of our mission well with our debut issue which came out in 1998. I hope it gave most people a clear picture of what we are doing; we are here to support the voice of underground music and independent thinking, without forgetting some quality that most of the underground is lacking. Currently the preparation of our second issue is at the final stage and we hope to have it out to astonish soon.

What are you guided by choosing bands to make an interview with?

[Ville] At first, all the editors have free hands in choosing their interviewees, so I can only speak on behalf of myself, but it's obvious that all of us interview only bands whose music is pleasant (be it more or less a subjective view then). What I consider after deciding whether a band deserves an interview with its music is that has the band something to say or not. We all prefer independent thinking, because it makes the interviews more interesting to read (and more motivating to prepare).

Finland's acts seem to prevail in your zine. Why so? Does it happen because it's a way easier to meet / interview 'em?

[Ville] Yes, I could say that we have interviewed so many of our landmates because they are more easy to get in touch with, but the other half of the truth is that they really deserve to appear in Meathooked. We are not strictly Finland-oriented, this is just what has happened. Who knows if we someday publish an issue without a single Finnish band, it just depends on the state of the local underground.

The first issue contains plenty of articles covering various topics and I'm wondering what was the reason for including them into the zine? Did you compose 'em to vary Meathooked's contents or you just couldn't stay silent anymore (regarding certain subjects)?

[Henri] I assume that you are referring to the essays I wrote into the first issue of Meathooked, right? Well, what comes to the "Extinction is natural" -text, I still stand behind my words. At the time I was generally so pissed off to the "modern society" and all this cultural imperialism, destroying of nature, consumerism etc. etc. things. Know what I mean? Basically it was just that I couldn't keep my mouth shut on certain topics. Nowadays I'm still as bittered, but maybe in a more mature way. Anyway, that text can be expouned in as many ways as there are readers (three?). Another thing was this text of tax money. It was written more like in a debating way, and not with a "pissed and furious" -attitude. I just wondered by the time how stupid things people's tax money are spent on. I must, however, confess that when writing the essays I was going through a mental crisis - something that every single person needs to do sometimes to mature and grow. Nowadays I may have some different views on certain issues, but most of the opinions I expressed back then still belong to my world of thinking. Anyway, may we have your opinion of these articles? ( a) these ones appear as well written ones, b) I mostly share your views – ED)

The paper's quality and layout's design are truly awesome! How do you manage to reach such a splendid result?

[Ville] Well, I had a really lousy program in my use, so it has certainly come as a surprise when people have liked the layout so much. I just had the vision of making Meathooked visually a bit different, and it seems that I accomplished it somewhat despite of my limited possibilities. What comes to the paper, well, money talks. It was slight waste (plain stupidity economically speaking), but at least Meathooked #1 is a nice thing to hold in one's hands and it looks good too...

When will we be able to read through the second issue? You see, the first one has been out for a while (more than a while, I should say!), so…
 
[Ville] Oops, I think I already (kind of) answered this one... To cut it short, we do NOT promise anything, but we hope to have the whole thing ready for printing this summer. As always, only time shall tell.

And finally tell us about Meat Hook Productions and the bands whose stuff you release…

[Ville] The roots of Meat Hook Productions date back to 1995 when I and Henri "released" our first musical effort called MASTURBORY. Since that there has come out 26 different demo recordings under MHP's banner, and humbly saying the quality has constantly gone for the better (concerning the start there were no options). If I may, I can introduce our releases - shortly, of course (for longer descriptions and more articles just ask for our free distribution list):
MEAT01 – MASTURBORY "The Perkeldemons Of Hareb-Serap" MC. Morbid blackened grinding metal quite far from where we are standing now. Sold out.
MEAT02 – AHTI "Pohjantahti" MC. Our twisted metal versions of Finnish folk songs, check it out if your religion doesn't forbid humour. $4
MEAT05 – LUNAR WOMB "Planets" MC. Maximally minimalistic new age synth music, roughly bringing together BURZUM, NEPTUNE TOWERS and THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL (sorry, I took it straight from our mailorder list). $5
MEAT06 – NEKROAALTOUUNI "The Cannibal Spawn" MC. We have also experimented dis-hardcore, but I think it's of no interest here. $4
MEAT07 – WOODS OF BELIAL "Thy Unholy Pentagram" MC. The rehearsal tape of our most unholy signing, Black doom in the no-man's-land between DARKTHRONE and ABRUPTUM. $4
MEAT08 – THORNFROST "Upon The Faustian Throne" MC. Our proud creation of aggressive black metal in the vein of MARDUK and EMPEROR. $4
MEAT09 – LUNAR WOMB "The Astral Grief" MC. I left the project and it instantly started to sound better... $5
MEAT10 – KHARADRAI "Shadows Of The Sea" MC. Minimalistic ambient on the same lines with BEHERIT’s "Electric Doom Synthesis". $4
MEAT11 – MOONSORROW "Metsa" MC. $5
MEAT12 – UROSPUU "Into The Misty Forest Of Ents" MC. Perhaps the worst demo in the world, unbelievably unmusical morbid black / grind / doom. Sold out.
MEAT13 – WOODS OF BELIAL "Baxabaxaxaxaxabaxaxaxaxa! 666 Yndstr Draconis" MC. Horrifyingly atmospheric and oppressing piece of industrialized black doom for individual tastes, I think it says it all. $5
MEAT14 – GOREWINTER "Battleblack" MC. Brilliant black metal with melodies and diversity, don't miss it. $5
MEAT15 – GOREWINTER "Winterholocaust" MC. GOREWINTER’s debut being raw black metal with brutal sounds. $5
MEAT17 – LUNAR WOMB "The Sleeping Green" MC. It shall be (a) great (improvement). tba
MEAT18 – WOODS OF BELIAL "Deimos XIII" MC. Same as with MEAT17. tba
MEAT19 – KHARADRAI "Millennia" MC. Darkly atmospheric horror ambient, something different (and great). $5
MEAT21 – MOONSORROW "Tama Ikuinen Talvi" MC. $5
MEAT22 – MIKHAIL ATOM "Astroepos" MC. Our only foreigner act (from Russia), performing excellent hi-fi ambient. $5
MEAT23 – UNHOLA "Mina Olen Tie" MC. After the great black metal piece "Mustan Syvyyden Tuulet" we signed this act for one demo, and it's as far from disappointment as one can ever get! $5
MEAT24 – GOREWINTER "Buried By Night" MCD. Our first release on CD format and really suitable for that. $9
MEAT25 - KHARADRAI "Hexapteron" MC. Always improving... $5 (special edition still available)
MEAT26 – MASTURBORY / UROSPUU split MC. Yeah, the re-release of MEAT01 and MEAT12. $5

As always, your last words…

[Ville] I raise a chalice to you for this brilliant interview, and I hope my terse answers will please you and, most of all, your readers. I encourage all people interested in MOONSORROW, Meathooked or Meat Hook Productions to get in touch and perhaps to check out our demos and the forthcoming album. May the pagan flame burn forever!
[Henri] I only raise a fist before Ville's face for he had answered to so many questions without me. Anyway, thanx for the enjoyable interview, and keep on doing this quality work! Our true gods we cherish, may the false one perish!!! Hail!!!!!


MOONSORROW / Meathooked ‘zine / Meat Hook Productions contact –
Email: wille@pp.htv.fi