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Interview: Scorngrain

Pure metal...interviews

Hearing ScornGrain's latest release "0.05%" was my first experience of the band and it is an album that, for me, is more memorable than many others because it is slightly outlandish. Anything out of the ordinary sparks my curiosity so I demanded some answers to my burning questions from vocalist B.B.Enema.

Mixing industrial with thrash metal is quite an innovative idea. How did you come up with it?

I am not sure. Our drummer mister -E- and guitarist Dr.Mike just started to work together without an aim I think. They wrote songs and got the idea of mixing some weird noises in it. We are often related to thrash-metal but I must say that kind of real thrash is quite far from us. Both guys who write songs are really into it so the influences are of course quite clear.

And how did you manage to find like-minded bandmates?

Well, it happened that both -E- and Mike we studying in the same town where I live and since they didn't know anyone else they asked me to join the recording of the first demo. I am always open for new things and as the songs just sounded so fucking weird of course I wanted to be a part of that. I had some problems at start since I have mostly done some BM stuff in the past but we found a clue for the doing quite fast. Then the bass player, comrade Herman, recorded our demo and did bass as a session member on the first album "CyberWarMachine" so he was a member in that sense since the day one. Another guitarist A.I was also around right from the first gig we made.

It's quite a commercial risk for a label to sign a band that plays such an unusual style of music. Was it difficult to get signed?

It wasn't that hard to get signed as we did only one demo but I am sure that it was a risk for the label and I would assume that they have still invested more money on us that we have sold the albums but its not about that I think. I know the guys very well and every release they put out must have something they really like. I am glad that it happened with ScornGrain since everything's been good with Dynamic Arts. Also I am not sure if we are doing that unusual stuff. Basically it is just extreme metal.

And how has the press reacted to your music so far?

Usual way like it does with any new band. We have had some great reviews with this new album but also very low points. I am suprised that German media haven't been into it more but perhaps the promos haven't got into right people. I am sure that everywhere there's people who like well produced music with something a bit different that on everyday recording that comes out. Anyhow I am very pleased even if I don't believe in reviews generally. Its allways just an opinion of one editor. It is like that if we would get ten out of ten from a big magazine with thousands of readers. That's fine of course but another editor from the same magazine could have given us zero. That's misleading I think, magazines influence people too much even if they wouldn't buy an album because of some praising words.

It always pisses off reading reviews where I can clearly see that the guy has absolutely no idea of what he is writing. I respect all music. If one puts his soul into it and it's produced well it simply cannot be shit. As long as there is one person who likes it the way the band does it's just a matter of an opinion.

What about audiences? Have you played much live and how do the crowd react to you?

We haven't had that many gigs. Few better ones but usually it is something like playing right after the bar opens its doors. Many times people comes to say it went ok but of course I would like to see more people listening us. We had this one gig after the first album and there was honestly a one person watching. That didn't mind that much since he went absolutely wild. We played the songs best we could and banged our heads together with him for forty-five minutes or so. That was great and surely one of the best memories I have from that period of time. We had also a good gig in Russia. It was kind of like an indoor festival with other Finnish bands. People told me that harder music really works on Russian crowd and it was great. People were really loose and there were lots of them. That was something that is hard to beat.

Do you have a definite idea in mind of what you'll end up with when you start rehearsing new material?

I don't at least. First time I usualy hear the song it is more or less finished but there is lots of things that happens to it before it gets finally recorded. Because of the distance we have we don't rehearse that often. We simply wait until there is something to play and after that start to figure out how and when to rehearse.

Do you bring your own almost-complete ideas to the rehearsal studio or does the band work more as a unit?

The songs are often almost ready before we start to rehearse them so we do not work as a tight unit in that matter. Actually I must say that 0,05% turned out amazing if considered how little we rehearsed. Of course it would be great to take a month or two off before entering a studio and really get to finish songs but we all have to work for living and surely we ain't making a dime out of the band. Also, I think we all are, -not old, but reached our personal level of skill with the instruments during the years so every day rehearsing is not such a must.

0.05% is your second album. How did it compare with recording Cyberwarmachine?

The first album was far more spontainius and raw while this new album is more finished I think. There's not so many brain-farts than with the last one. Some have said it lacks of originality as the "Cyberwarmachine" was very bold and raw but this is the case with any band I know. Often the first album sounds best for a fan since it's the music really presents the band. Everyone, -except AC/DC ofcourse, tries to improve and do new songs that are better than even before. It's natural progression and I really feel that without it there wouldn't be any sense to keep going. You simple need to have new challenges to keep the motivation up.

You co-produced this latest album. Was it good to have that level of control?

Well actually there haven't been that much talk about it. Kimmo Perkkiö is very talented in what he does and has a great ear for things so of course we listen what he has to say and most of the times he is right if there's something going on that doesn't simply fit. Still we make all choices as a band so it's actually about what you wan't to think as producing. We had great chemistry in these recordings and everyone had a right to point their views. We had talked of getting a real producer in studio but it feels useless since mister -E- nor Dr. Mike could not give free hands on songs for anyone. The only good reason for a producer would be to get someone real big in the business and with these budgets that is not possible. We should sell far more records to even think about it and like I said -I really see no use for it since we have a good team that is able to create good sounding material. I could use someone to produce the vocals with me since I would like to know what I am able to do with it. Stretch to the limit you know.

And you worked with producer Kimmo Perkkiö again on 0.05%. You must like working with him?

Yeah, the chemistry works with him better every time since you learn to know people better. I can imagine the situation is same for Kimmo since he knows he can do, say or try anything that he thinks would be good for recording and also we are really having fun with him. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about our co-operation. Everything has been going perfectly and if it's up to me we will work with him with our next album too.

What about the artwork on the album? Did you have an idea about how you wanted it to look?

We had quite clear idea about the artwork but there was some problems with the first designer who wasn't at the end able to finish the artwork. We started the draw some pictures with mister -E- in early spring but not until few days before it went to the press the lay-out was finished. It was very difficult time since we had clear deadline and we didn't reach the first designer by phone or e-mail. He simply vanished and basically it took the whole summer get in touch with him. It really looked bad for a while but then we gave up and took a call for H.Villberg who I knew before of being a fine graphic designer. At the end it took about two weeks of hard work from him but we made and the result looks great. I really like his work with the album.

Each of your songs seems to tell a story. How do you come up with the material?

Myself and mister -E- wrote all the lyrics and we wanted to make kind of like an concept album. At first when new songs started to finish we sat down and came up with the theme about the darker sides of a human mind. Mad people are always facinating since the way they see life differs so much of our own. I have been interested for a long time to take a peep in the head of someone who in our eyes can be defined as psychopatic or simply mad. Why is their brain working the way it does. The name of the album kind of came from there. 0,05% of the population looses it either from drugs, abuse or whatever and the lyrics are about the theme. It was interesting to try to get inside someones head.

0.05% has very recently been released. Are you working on any new material at the moment or are you busy promoting the current album?

Both I think. We try our best on promoting the album ofcourse but same time we are doing new shit. There is some new songs we could start to rehearse but it's too early to say will they ever end up on an album. Hopefully we get something done this year since the time between "CyberWarMachine" and this new album was way too long.

What's next for Scorngrain?

We'll record few live songs this spring and try to edit a live video at some point. New material and gigs. That's about it. Hopefully we'll be able to do a tour of some kind but that's not in our hands. Right now we are working to get new web-hospice on-line and do some new shirts and shit like that. Also a 7 -inch would be awesome since I am really into vinyls but let's see what happens. Main goal is to get new and improved material done.

Anything else you'd like to say to your fans?

I am not sure if we have any fans, but thanks to everyone who's been supporting us this far. Hope to see you one day in audience. Stay mental pee-knees!

Interview © January 2007 Amanda Hyne

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