I had a few questions for melodic dark/black metallers Shade Empire about their latest release Intoxicate O.S. and about their band experiences in general, and their plans for the future.
Why did you change your name from Enrapture Silence and what made you chose Shade Empire?
Enrapture Silence was totally different band with mostly different line-up. So after some line-up changes and such we decided to come up with whole new concept and with a new name also. Shade Empire was just one suggestion we had on intesive three hour name-thinking sessions and we decided to go on with that.
Does Finland have a good metal scene?
Yes, definitely! We have very large amount of metal bands coming up from every corner. One thing to notice is that there is almost every week at least one metal band on the top 10 on official Finnish charts. That fact should tell something about Finland's metal scene!
Your song 'Slitwrist Ecstasy' hit number 3 in the Finnish music charts. Is Finland quite supportive towards more extreme metal?
As I said, metal bands are not strangers on Finnish charts. Even extreme metal bands hit the charts every now and then, so one can say that Finland is supportive on metal. Almost every kind of it.
You've played live in Finland and Germany. Any plans to dominate more of the globe?
We have had some plans about touring or at least playing some gigs in Europe and Mexico. If we'll be able to arrange something that would be just great! After all playing live is awesome everywhere but if there's a chance to see the world as a side effect, what could be more fun?!
How does the song-writing dynamic work with six band members? Do you work individually or do the guitarists perhaps work together or do you all just jam?
Our guitarist Juha Sirkkiń and keyboardist Olli Savolainen do most of the actual composing work. They come to our rehearsing place with their ideas and then we just start moulding riffs to whole songs. So after all making a final Shade Empire song takes the effort of every member.
How do you come up with such dark lyrics?
All lyrics are made of our vocalist Juha Harju so I'm not the right person to talk about them. I guess he just takes ideas from his everyday life and revises them into lyrics.
What made you decide to sing in English?
We have decided to sing in English from the beginning because it's much more easier to operate outside Finland if you sing in language that in understood. Actually we had one song in Finnish on our debut album, but I think that didn't work so well. For a quite unknown band like us to way abroad is much flatter as the lyrics are mostly in English.
You changed labels to Dynamic Arts after the release of your debut album through Avantgarde Music. What made you decide to change labels?
Originally Avantgarde was to publish our second album too, but as Dynamic Arts got so interested and Avantgarde's interests were more on underground stuff, we decided to jump into DAR. Avantgarde had nothing against that change so there wasn't anything so dramatic in that issue.
How has making 'Intoxicate O.S.' been a different experience from recording 'Sinthetic'?
First of all we all are better musicians so I think the actual recordings went on easier than before. We also recorded the guitars and most of the keyboards by our selves so that varied also from Sinthetic recordings. The studio was the same in practise so it was easy to work there again with familiar producer. All in all I think that we have grown as musicians and our technical knowledge is better so the recordings went on more fluent.
Why should the people out there buy the album? What makes it special?
I think that Intoxicate O.S. has something to offer for all metal fans. It's very aggressive but you can also find electronic and symphonic elements attached to blast beats and such. Some have even said that Shade Empire has quite unique sound. If you like METAL and you open minded go get I.O.S.!
The artwork on your albums and the single are very different from the average black metal artwork. Did you have any input on that?
Actually we gave free hands to Jarno Lahti and I think that we made excellent work. We checked some incomplete versions and gave him suggestions but mostly Lahti made the artwork so stunning. Besides I don't see our music as black metal even we have some elements that are often connected to that scene.
The new album has been out for a while now - are you working on anything new yet or are you busy with other projects?
We have started to make some new material little by little. We want to concentrate on new material carefully now and want to pre-produce new songs well. Maybe we'll be ready for recordings next year, hope so!
Was it fun making the video for Chemical God?
Yes, it was fun but definitely not easy! Imagine yourself thrashing and head banging for eight hours straight like maniac. Yeah, our necks were aching 'a bit'! I must say that it all was worth it. The video looks stunning and we are more than satisfied with it! Big hails go to Ari Reinikainen who was behind the cameras and edit unit. He did superb work!
What's next for Shade Empire?
We are doing some gigs and busy writing new material. Nothing too big coming up at the moment.
Anything else you'd like to say to your fans?
Thanks for buying our albums, hope to see you someday on the road, perkele!
Interview © December 2006 Amanda Hyne
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