Interview with JUDAS AVENGER
by Hombre Rancio
Hello friends, today I have the pleasure to talk to Judas Avenger, a Finnish true Metal Band. They have just released a new album “Judas Avenger”
Hi guys, let’s talk a little about the beginnings of the band. How was Judas Avenger created?
Pekka: I wanted to form a true heavy-metal band with the people I trusted and knew. No dayjobs, no kids and wifes, no bullshit. JUST METAL. All band members are full professional, educated musicians and you can also hear that from the record.
It´s played well, and the songs are good and complex.
The band truly lives for the music and they do not have time to do anything else.
We created a firm, not just a hobby. We created a True Heavy-Metal band and now there´s no turning back!
How was the design and creation process of the album?
Ville: I composed these songs by channeling my passion for metal from a very deep place inside. The process took about a month.
Pekka: I composed all vocal stuff and re-arranged the lyrics a bit. It was an easy process because Ville composed all the songs from scratch to the end.
What are your musical influences?
Ville: Well I have to say that Mr. Devin Townsend has been a great influence to me. There are of course many others like Chuck Schuldiner, John Petrucci, Jari Mäenpää and so many more. I prefer metal over everything else, but there is a time and place for jazz, classical, pianomusic ect. in my life.
Joni: Personally, I’m a big fan of all kind of 80’s rock and metal, from Dire Straits and even Michael Jackson to thrash bands such as Megadeth and Overkill. And of course all the rock giants from the 70’s: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow…
Pekka: All true metal. Bands like Judas Priest, Manowar, Savatage etc etc. I do listen lots of soundtrack music too, but with metal, it´s just mostly good, old and new heavy-metal music. I like dark, moody and aggressive music.
“Judas Avenger” is your new album, what are we going to find in it?
Ville: Six very different, yet somehow the same kind, songs of true uncompromising metal.
Pekka: Technical and complex heavy-metal music. In the future we probably go towards more straight-forward stuff.
Tommi: The debut EP has lots of different moods. Judas Avenger is more straight-forward 80’s-style metal song, Hell Nation is pure ass-kicking with thrash elements, Empire of Dust which is more rock-oriented, Dying Wish is like calm before the storm with melodic guitar leads, Night of the Banshee has this haunting atmosphere and Divine Darkness with it’s progressive style and darker sound.
For me your music is true metal and raw, please tell about the guitar work in this album?
Ville: I put all my heart and effort on making the guitars on the album as heavy and sharp as possible. There was quite a lot of learning to do, since I did the guitars for the album completely by myself.
What themes do you touch in your lyrics?
Tommi: This was the very first time I wrote any metal lyrics at all and the band was pleased for my work, so I will continue to write lyrics for upcoming songs. For the track “Hell Nation” I came up with an idea, where Hell’s troops are going to kick mankind’s ass. It’s quite brutal song with fast-paced riffs and “End of the world”-lyrics.
Writing the lyrics was different for this song, because I intended to use these lyrics on another song, but we agreed to use them in this one and it came out great. Idea for “Night Of The Banshee” came up when Ville sent us demo-track titled “Dracula”. I thought it was somewhat haunting song and the demo title gave me an idea to use some mystic creature from folklores and such. There were many intresting subjects, but the Irish folklore creature Banshee was the one that caught my attention. The song tells about Banshee, who brings despair and death to the people it faces. I wrote the lyrics quite fast, in less than hour if I remember right.
I am very excited with the voice of Pekka Montin, it’s a amazing vocalist. When I listen the voice of Pekka I think in Halford, Scheepers and Geoff Tate, what do you think about this
Pekka: thank you. In my past bands I´ve been compared to those singers. I have a trained voice but I do not like to sing too soft, you know? I like to break my voice too and do lots of raw, theatrical stuff.
I like to do my own thing, and not to copy others too much. I have dark, aggressive and diverse way of singing. I just do my own thing and usually people love that, sometimes not. That´s the singers life. I guess I want to sing with good technique with the same time as I break my voice a little bit. I love Jon Oliva, Eric Adams and Rob Halford….those old fashioned, true metal singers who sing with their whole body and put their heart in to it!
How do you see the Finnish underground scene?
Ville: There is quite a lot of talent and good bands yet to rise in peoples awareness!
Pekka: Lots of good music but that´s it. The bands have their dayjobs, familys and things like that, you know? Underground music is pretty much about having fun with hobbies but when it comes to doing music professionally, it lacks and that´s why it´s called underground music. It just doesn´t go anywhere and maybe that´s the whole idea! Haha! Still, I usually love what the bands do with themselves.
It´s all about having fun with hobbies, keeping the culture alive and that´s ok for me.
I sill just hope that there would be more bands that really dedicate their whole life for the music, not just 50% of it. More bands who really TRY.
Joni: I see it slowly dying, I’m afraid. There are probably more new bands in Finland than ever before, but people these days have such an easy access to all kind of music, videos, live clips etc. via their computer, that local shows of local bands don’t seem to really interest anyone, excluding only the hardcore music fans. And that small, but really dedicated group is the lifeline of most new bands need.
Define me the sound of Judas Avenger. I find in your Work: True metal, Judas Priest, Occult metal, Nwobhm, its funny, passion and raw for me.
Ville: Judas Avenger is our metal voice and we honor our heroes by playing the truest metal that we can!
Pekka: Complex. Not ready, but good enough to kick ass. This is just the beginning.
We are planning to do an album per year so we are growing, fast.
My favourite song is Dying Whish. What is yours?
Ville: Heh, do I really need to pick? These songs are all precious to me and they work in different situations. Personally my favorite solo on the record is on Empire of Dust.Joni: I’d say my favourite one is “Hell Nation”. That song is just one mean piece of music!
Pekka: I hate them all, and myself too. Ehm…What? Haha, just kidding! I do not have my own favourites, I´m afraid. For me it´s the whole picture, all songs and certain kind of mood. I hope people will enjoy the whole album or hate it!
How can the fan get your album?
What are your future plans?
Pekka: To do this band professionally and improve ourselves and the band with humble attitude, but with respect to the work and for the whole metal culture.
We just do our thing and we´ll see where that leads in the end.
Now we are just focusing on the work.
Thank you very much and congratulations for your great work. If you wish to add something, go ahead…
Stay metal and be the person who you really want to be. That´s what we are trying to do. Thank you, Hugo.