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Spiritus Mortis interview: Vesa Lampi,vox and TM,bass answering …
first of all, congratulations for your debut! It's a very interesting album I described as a perfect mix of Epic Doom and NWOBHM, do you agree? would you like to introduce the band to our readers and explain why It took 17 years to release it (I mean with such a sound you should have get a deal at the first demo!)?
- T: We are doing what we like to play and what we like to hear. If it ends to sound like the album, then we must be doing something right… It took so long time because we were so lazy.
- V: Yes, mix of Epic Doom and NWOBHM is said quite right, I think. And if you think it’s perfect mix, that’s cool! Spiritus Mortis was formed in late summer of 1987. Founding members were TM and Jussi. At first V-P was only a temporary drummer but as usually shit happens and temporary became permanent. But in early ’90’s Finland was not ready for SM’s grim world. When nothing really happened with the band and studies, ”real jobs”, army services and so on came into picture SM almost dried out in late ’90’s. For awhile in late ’90’s Tomi Murtomäki was in band as a lead singer but when original SM trio found me to vocals things started to roll again. In January 2003 SM decided to go to studio to record debut album without any clue if any label will ever release it. During these days Vellu Yli-Mäyry informed that this will be his last recording with SM. Few days of dark clouds and icy rain but SM decided to find new drummer. After trying couple of drummers during the spring we found Jarkko “Sepi” Seppälä. New chapter begun. After sending some samples of metal to come, couple of labels approached and two of them offered record deal in the summer of 2003. SM decided to choose Rage of Achilles.
Your lyrics reminded me of early Slayer/Venom stuff, is it right or there are deeper meanings?
- T: I suppose you mean the “tongue-in-cheek-lyrics” of “Flames”? They weren’t meant to be taken seriously. And yes, those are VERY influenced by Venom…
- V: In my lyrics there’re almost always some relation to “real” world. I just disguise stories to warrior, evil and stuff and so on …
How goes the songwriting for Spiritus Mortis? How did you manage to create such a particular sound?
- T: Someone makes a good riff and we play it, then we decide that “this must be verse” then somebody else comes up with another riff, “this must be chorus” and so on. Or somebody comes to rehearsal with whole song. We arrange the songs together so we can have more ideas.
- V: Good thing for SM is that we have four songwriters. And everyone has their own style to compose. Albums soundworld is created by Marko “Snake” Ketola. He knows just what SM is all about and knows what we can do or not to do.
Can you name the 5 bands that influenced you the most? Apart from that, where do you find inspiration for writing? maybe movies or books....
- T: Black Sabbath, Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Manowar. I listen music from hard rock to hardcore-punk and I try to steal any good idea I can find. I haven’t written lyrics for a while but my lyrics were influenced by horror and action movies. Movies like Mad Max, Terminator, Punisher etc. I like to read about warfare so some of ideas came from WWII. And of course my main inspiration is Kobe Tai.
- V: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Motörhead and the Doors. For me also movies are deep well of inspiration.
Let's talk about the Finnish scene...It seems that most bands over there are influenced by power metal and Stratovarius. What do you think about power metal in general and the finnish scene? There are bands like yours in the finnish underground?
- T: I liked Helloween back in 90’ and I liked also the early Stratovarius. But Stratovarius hasn’t written new song since “Visions”… Other power bands, I haven’t heard enough to have a rock solid opinion. In Finnish music scene they are few good bands. I have to mention Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri, they are both friends of ours and good bands.
- V: Well, I’m not huge power fan at all. I guess I got overdose when Helloween’s Keeper I&II were released. I listened them very intensively back then. Nowadays bands doesn’t move me at all. And when some of them try to be battleaxe wielders, knights of some kind, it makes me laugh because I don’t see any connection to that kinda warfare and music which ain’t so HEAVY. Finnish metal scene is quite wide today, of course Stratovarius clones still pops up from somewhere but there are bands quite original aswell. Real heavy weighters are few in number now but interest is slowly increasing.
Did you hear that Timo Tolkki was stabbed sometimes ago? What do you think about "hoolingans acting" in music?
- T: I fucking hate those assholes who throw rocks or bottles to band. ANY BAND! They all should be castrated. If you don’t like the band then get the fuck out and let the others who might like, enjoy them.
- V: Yeah, that’s it!
In more than 15 years of career you played live a lot for sure. How is the band on stage? Did you ever play outside Finland? Are you going to make a tour to promote the album?
- T: We have been compared to freight train. On stage, we show how we love what we are doing. DSR II was the only time we played outside Finland up to date. No tour because nobody has arranged any. I hope we have manager who takes care the business side but so far Vesa and Jussi has been doing that.
You now have a long career, with the present experiences what would you change of your past choices? Your worst mistake in the whole Spiritus Mortis career?
- T: Thing I would like change is to got an decent vocalist and good drummer earlier. And to have been more active on music front, I mean sending the demo tapes to record companies and so on… Worst mistake: Not getting an decent vocalist and good drummer earlier J
Why did you sign for "Rage Of Achilles" and how are they working for Spiritus Mortis?
- T: They offered us the best deal at that time. We liked when they promised to send us 120 copies of the album so we can sell them on gigs.
- V: I had heard good things about RofA before and when we talked about the deal, label seemed to be professional enuff and all the things were agreed in honest way. Everything what has been planned to do are done, so everythings going just fine with the label. No complaints!
What about your future plans? Are we going to wait 17 years for another release?
- T: To have some pussy…
- V: TM are you getting desperate! That must be seventh time you mentio that in interviews! More gigs for sure, second album is coming out until June 2005, so in studio in January 2005. Hopefullt some kinda tour in Central-Europe in 2005 … we’ll see!
Any solo project or something?
- T: Some therapy projects. I like my music slow&heavy and fast&heavy so me and my brother have an “HardCorePunkVenomThrashSpeedMotörheadHeavyMetalRock'n'Roll” project called Lampaanvapahtaja.
- V: Watch out for Sintronic! ‘80’s heavy metal today! Great bass player and so on …. By the way, I play bass … h ah h hah a ….
Would you write a soundtrack for a horror movie if you were asked to?
- T: Of course. We love horror movies, especially the ones by Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento.
- V: Yeah! Certainly! It reminds me when friend of mine heard first time “The Throne will fall” track from SM album, he said this is like from some creepy horror film!
Top 3 Best albums of 2003 apart from Spiritus Mortis?
- T: Is there any? I don’t even remember any album that was released 2003…
- V: TM, you are forgetting Reverend Bizarre’s Harbinger!
Ok thanx for the interview guys! Something you want to say to all your italian fans out there?
- T: Visit our homepage www.spiritusmortis.com and download samples. If you like metal HEAVY then you like us!
- V: Yeah, all you metallurgs in Italia buy SM album and make us rich! Cheers!



Spiritus Mortis interview, Vesa Lampi, vox and TM, bass answering ….
In my opinion your gig at DSR II was one of the festival's highlights. How did you experience the show? I guess it was the biggest one for Spiritus Mortis so far...
- T: Biggest one, yeah. Good show. We played some of our more up-tempo songs in purpose so people might remember us better…
- V: Yeah, it was great! Very nice to play there! What can I say … I have a feeling that audience will remember SM from that gig. Also Albert from Reverend Bizarre was amazing, well, we are crazy Finns!
Sir Magister Albert's guest appearance has been awesome, very impressing! Have the guys from Reverend Bizarre been travelling with you? Are you good friends with them?
- T: We did “tour” with them and Minotauri, four gigs in Finland. But to DSR they came day earlier to sell their stuff and so on. Friends, I hope so…
- V: They are like brothers to us, brothers in arms, I might say. It’s been really a pleasure to get known RB guys and we’ll certainly do Friends of Hell II –tour someday … hopefully someday in Central-Europe too.
Have you watched some of the other bands, too? If so which one did you like the most?
- T: I watched only Nortwinds, I liked them. And I would have liked to see Orodruin, we missed because they played so early…
- V: Yes, it’s was a pity that we missed Orodruin! Shame on us! Well, While Heaven Wept was my favorite and also Wall of Sleep. Did I see other bands …. Bit hazy but I must have seen something … seriously speaking, I kept moving so fast all the time that I really didn’t have time to concentrate so much.
And what about the festival in a whole, please tell us about your impressions you got from the venue, atmosphere, audience, country, etc.
- T: Atmosphere was really cool and relaxed. I keep wondering because I heard that there was no security guys, if this kind of thing was arranged in Finland we should have had security from armed forces…
- V: Venue was great, roadies were great, audience was great, atmosphere was just amazing … I’m already planning to come again next year, hopefully I get some money to it! Never been in Germany before and I liked the tidiness of the country, and of course the beer prize was good too!
How come you haven't done any more gigs before or after DSR II? Wouldn't that have been an obvious option once you travelled such a long way?
- T: Nobody arranged any gigs… Really, it was difficult to arrange even this short trip because we all have our daily jobs.
- V: Lack of contacts, I think. Hopefully something could be done in future, While Heaven Wept is in the same record company, Rage of Achilles, so perhaps next year when we both will have new albums out …. We’ll see, we’ll see ….
It is said that Spiritus Mortis are in existence since 1987. That is quite a long time - how old are you guys? Why has it taken so long to release your debut album?
- T: Jussi and Vesa are 35, VP and I 34. Sepi the Lefty is the new guy, he’s only 21. It took so long time partly because we were so lazy that we didn’t bother to send the
demos to any companies. And nobody came to offer us a deal to rehearsal cave… And mainly it took so long because nobody understood back then what we were about.
The first signs of life I perceived from you were the Demo 2000 and "Forward To The Battle", which I purchased in one package from Black Tears distro. What can you tell us about the time before you joined the band - who was the singer, why did he leave and what about the old material? What was the band sounding like then and were there any releases that have to be mentioned?
- T: Vesa…
- V: Ok, I’ll do some talking … Original SM trio, Jussi-guitar, TM-bass and VP-drums, was formed in ’87. They recorded bunch of demos back then and still nowadays SM plays couple of tunes back from late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. TM used to sing but somewhere in late ‘90’s Tomi Murtomäki came in but the time wasn’t right for SM and things didn’t move anywhere. I came in picture in late ’99 and for some reason rest of SM decided that I should join the band. What can I say about early SM … it sounded more raw than SM today. Maybe something to do with improvement of playing skills!
How did you get the job as the singer in SM? Have you been in any other band before?
- V: Actually the guy who is behind the soundworld of SM debut, Marko ”Snake” Ketola once asked me, in bar table of course, how come I haven’t ever tried to do vox in SM? So I talked with Bros Maijalas and rehearsed with old demo tapes and so it all begun. Me and VP used to have band called Worroar … well it was back in ’80 and early ‘90’s … I also played guitar and sang in Kharon and …. Well, there’s plenty of different kinda projects … Nowadays you have to be warned about Sintronic! Great project which plays ‘80’s style of metal! By the way, I play bass in that band.
I really liked the Demo 2000 with its great tracks of melodic Doom but was pretty disappointed when listening to "Forward To The Battle", as in my opinion those tracks sounded like average Metal songs without too much inspiration incorporated. The doomy approach seemed to be lost somehow. Have the band been satisfied with the recording? What do you think about that demo today?
- T: We got an nasty habit that we are so proud of what we are doing J The meaning of D2K was to finally do a REALLY good demo in real studio, good production etc. FTTB (and HOT) was recorded by my computer at the rehearsal cave and it wasn’t meant to be published. But we liked them so we distributed them…
- V: FttB ain’t too good at all. Situation before recording FttB was like this, Vellu Yli-Mäyry had just joined us and I guess we were a bit too much dazzled to the way he handled the drums, so all the tempos went too high. He is amazing drummer! Compare ,for example, the tempo of the “Forever” album version to FttB and you’ll see the difference! SM were really lucky to get Sepi to replace Vellu because he is as good as former one and a bit more heavy style player.
How did the deal with your label Rage Of Achilles come about? Do they give you the support you deserve? For how many albums are you signed to them?
- V: I heard that they liked the Demo 2000 back then but when I sent some tastiers from album to come RofA came involved. Of course we are talking about still “undergroundish” label but all the things gone just fine up to date. More money needed for promotion for sure but as I said label ain’t EMI … We have two album deal and the second one will be released until June of 2005.
Let's talk about the album now. The artwork really looks special, i guess your the first band having a chandelier on the cover! What's the idea/story behind it?
- V: You know, when you enter to cathedral first you look up and see chandelier, then you wander around and see bizarre medieval statues and so on … back to the door and watch back again and you see the whole hall and as you see in the back cover, it took some time ‘cause candles has burned and melted.
There's some cool, gloomy pics in the booklet. I really like the look but I think they don't reflect your sound perfectly because they're very dark and sinister which your music is not all the time. Also I miss the lyrics. Any comments on my statements?
- T: It was RofA idea. We would have liked some changes but there were problems with Internet provider and those changes never went through by email. But I am happy with the result.
- V: Actually, we sent the pics but layout is made by RofA. Well, I do think that pics tells you something about SM … You are not the first to say about missing lyrics! That was our plan all along to have covers as simply as possible. But I guess we have to print lyrics next time, so many have mentioned that.
How were the reactions from press and fans so far, are you satisfied with it? Have you done interviews for some bigger magazines already?
- T: Reaction has been mainly positive. There are some people who don’t understand “the tongue in cheek” lyrics of “Flames”… We have done a couple of interviews after the album but not to bigger magazines like Metal Hammer or so on.
- V: Yes, I’m pretty much satisfied to reactions. For some reviewers it has been a bit of disappointment that we play such varied songs, not 45 tempo doom all the time, ha ha ah ha … but that’s SM! But some of them have really got the point right! Variation of songs are the strong point of SM in the long run, I believe it strongly.
What was it like to record the first album after being around as a band for so many years? It may be different for you being the "new" member, but I wonder if the guys being in SM from the beginning feel a certain enthusiasm now that the band seems to get started in a bigger way. Do you feel excited about the latest development?
- T: I felt really proud to have the bastard born at last but otherwise it hasn’t changed my life a bit.
- V: Yes of course this bastard son of ours gives us more power to do SM for next few decades!
Where do you get your inspiration from for your songwriting? Do you listen a lot to other bands playing similar stuff? What are your favourites (bands and singers)?
- T: I listen metal from soft to hardcore and I try to steal any good idea I can find. Other bands of similar stuff? Black Sabbath, none else. My faves are BS, Venom, Slayer, old Metallica and old Manowar.
- V: My song writing is based totally on emotions. If I feel fucked up, usually it’s good time to grap a guitar on my hands and have a personal revenge for the society. I ain’t no nine to five kinda “office” composer at all …. My life long faves are Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, old Rainbow, Motörhead and of course the Doors. Jimbo is king! Well … I’ve heard some Dio back in ‘80’s also …
What's your opinion on what Manowar are doing these days? To me they're more or less a bunch of commercial posers now, but the old classics will always remain untouchable epics.
- T: I liked them really much up to “The Triumph of Steel” but after that I have heard only ONE good idea in their studio albums. “Warriors of the World” is a little bit of better but there is too many mellow songs at the start of that album. And their recent lyrics are like randomly generated from their early lyrics. Just take four words “Kill, Steel, Metal, Warrior” and you have an Manowar song…
- V: I have listened latest Manowar album only once and that’s enuff! For me “Kings of Metal” is their last good album. Couple of good tracks in “TofS” ‘tho …
Was "Mighty One" originally conceived as an hommage to Manowar? Have you thought about doing a cover version of one of their ballads instead?
- V: “Mighty” was indeed my own ego trip as first! But when we recorded demo version which can be found from “Hot Summer of Love” demo, it sounded so good that we decided to make a version for debut also. Song has got very divided comments, some people really adore it and some can’t get over the idea that some other band than Manowar could make a song like that! Believe or not, I made the original idea, played only by acoustic guitar, and lyrics in about 15 minutes … it just poured from some dark place of my mind! No way SM’s gonna cover Manowar ballad! But I have some own tunes ready for second album … we’ll see what happens.
Do you see yourselves as pure Doom or is Doom just one aspect of your sound? Do you care if an idea fits into a certain scheme when it comes to creating new songs or do you just let it happen like it comes flowing from your brain and soul?
- T: We play what we like and what we like to hear. I don’t care what people call that. But if you want to fit us into any genre then it shall be Doom. I can respect any other band that are “true”. To me true means to be honest with yourself. If you like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter if you are into stoner or into Reverend Bizarre.
- V: Yes, we do things just like we wanted … we can have up tempo songs, no problem there!
Are the lyrics important to you? What are the topics you're singing about, is there any song with a very special meaning that you'd like to enhance on?
- T: Lyrics can be about anything as long as they sound cool.
- V: Well, for me there got to be some more in them! Almost all my lyrics have some kinda story from “real” life behind. Painted to warrior or evil or what ever kinda form. “Vow to the sun” is funny story, I was watching old western “A man called horse” and suddenly I just had to write about Sioux Indians vow to the sun –ritual. Check out the film to understand what’s that all about.
Which are you favourite tracks on "Spiritus Mortis" and why?
- T: Hmm, I cannot say any fave track. But we are rehearsing some older tunes at the time to have some variation to set list. I have to admit that to me it is getting boring to play the same 13 tunes in every set list…
- V: Just quickly comes to my mind tracks … “Forever”, “The throne will fall” and “Mighty One”. All these are so much fun to sing and they went just fine in studio also. Damned, “In me” must be mentioned also!
What are your plans for the next months, any more live shows to be expected? Have you already thought about another album?
- T: To have pussy… Hopefully more gigs so we can have some money… We are making some new tunes to second album, we have the already about 15 songs to choose. Old and new ones.
I think that's about it, hopefully my questions weren't too boring. Feel free to add anything you'd like to mention but haven't got the opportunity so far. Thank you for doing this interview!
- T: I think that I haven’t thanked enough those who made DSR happen. So, THNX! and SUPER! to Jochen, Roman, Frank and the nameless stage crew.
- V: Yeah, thanks for you too! For all people who’ll read this, go and buy our album!



Interview with Spiritus Mortis with Vesa Lampi - vocals, TM - bass and Jussi Maijala - guitar. (Rage Of Achilles - Suburban) Spiritus Mortis was formed in 1987, why did it take you so long to release your first album?
"TM: We were so lazy. Nobody came to our rehearsal cave to offer us a deal…
Jussi: Why should we hurry? For me SM is more like a lifestyle or entertainment, not a project with a five years plan.
Vesa: “I guess the band was more like a hobby in the early days for the guys. Fortunately original SM trio kept going and as I came in … it was late 1999… I kinda took over the promoting stuff and so on. Things begun to roll. Rage of Achilles was already interested in us with our Demo of 2000 but as they heard we were in studio again they contacted us and so begun our co-operation with RofA.”

Are you happy with the end result?
"T: “Mainly yes, maybe a little bit of too polished but I can live with that”.
J: It sounds heavy, so it is like SM.
V: Yes, I am! Bastard son has finally born! After almost 17 years of pregnancy. Of course everything could be done better and better as technically speaking but in overall I’m satisfied with the result.”

You probably had a lot of songs to choose from? How has your sound changed or stayed the same from the demo recordings?
"T: Sound isn’t that much changed over all the years because we are still the same players, only we have developed a helluva lot as players. Still we’re not virtuous but anyway… We have better vocals of course.
J: Not too many because our policy is make a few but all good songs. Compose them to the one perfect monolith. Not like ‘we made 40 songs for our record’.
V:Well, the band existed from ‘87 and we had about 30 songs to choose from for the album, that ain’t much! But as Jussi said, all the songs are on that level we could have chosen differently and still the album would have been great! On the next album we also will experiment with old and brandnew tunes”

What was the most difficult song for recording in the studio and explain me also why?
"T: For me it was “Death Walking”. Somehow there were tune problems with bass and guitar. We found it out only after the guitars were recorded, so I got to rework all the bass parts.
J: We have played those songs so many times that there was not any bad problems. Think yourself; we have played "Rise from Hell" since 1988.
V: “Mighty One”. We used so many tracks while recording it and to keep everything all together and have a point all the way was the hardest part, not overdoing anything. Also I had some problems with vocals too, in the last possible moment I decided to remove all the verses and redo them all again. Also this one was the most interesting song to record.”

Since I didn't get any lyrics, I am curious of course as to what your lyrical base is for songs. I'm assuming from song titles like “Rise from hell “, “Flames”, “Death walking” and “Mighty one” they are antichrist-related?
"T: Personally I don’t like the brainwashing the church give you, but also I don’t like satanistic lyrics and imagos of some black metal bands. These lyrics which I wrote are heavily influenced by Venom, by this I mean they are not to be taken so seriously…
J: You can not think a band like SM sing about love and flowers. Maybe ‘I love tanks’ and ‘Flowers of evil’.
V: Basically, almost all my lyrics are about daily life’s shit, believe it or not. Real meanings are hidden in warrior or evil kinda stories …. Well, actually you don’t have to know anything more about them! “Death walking” and “Mighty One” are mine and I wouldn’t say they are antichrist-related! Takes too much time to tell the stories inside out. So if we’ll meet someday and you buy me a beer or dozen maybe I’ll tell you what went thru’ my head when writing these!”

The last song on the album is a Savatage-like piano-classic ballad, can you give me a reason why a lot of epic metal bands like classical music?
"T: To get more epic feel? Actually, I don’t know. Classical music was heavy metal of the 15th/18th centuries!
J: I find same kind of all or nothing attitude both in Heavy Metal and in Wagnerian-style classical music. BIG MUSIC.
V: Yes. Again Jussi’s right! Getting smarter day by day …. What can I say, humangous feelings can only be expressed by heavy metal or in classical music and it’s just fun to combine these two elements.”

Explain the name Spiritus Mortis? Do you agree it suits a power epic doom band?
"T: At first we were known as Rigor Mortis. But in USA there was also a band with that name so someone got us mixed up. So we had to change our name. Spiritus Mortis can be freely translated as ‘spirit of death’.
V: Yes, I have heard often that people like the name! I guess it’s a good name for us and it gives straight away a hint what kinda music we play.

What is the benefit of having a label behind you? Was it easy to find one and why Rage of Achilles?
"T: They have a hell of a lot better contacts to outside the world, so the promotion is better.
V: Promoting is the key thing here. RofA was easy for us to find because they contacted us! When we had two offers in our hands, then it was easy to choose for the English label RofA. I don’t want to go into details but RofA-paper was better!”

Which were the bands that influence you the most? What are the bands you enjoy nowadays?
"T: Influenced by Celtic Frost, Venom and Black Sabbath. Nowadays I listen to music ranging from HardRock through Thrash metal to HC-punk so I cannot give any exact band. As long the music is good I like it…
V: “Personally speaking: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Doors, Motörhead …. I still listen to these bands nowadays. Couple of new bands that I listen are Reverend Bizarre, While Heaven Wept …. Not so much trendy shit like Limb Bishit or what the fuck was it … hah hah ha ha …”.

You know the line “death to false metal”? What is false metal in your eyes?
"T: To me false means “not doing what you like”. In life you got to do sometimes some things you don’t like too. For keeping a balance, I try to play the music I like.
V: Basically, I don’t give a shit what others do and play but some of those ‘shield, sword, knights’-power metal bands really suck! I just can’t figure it out how that kinda music which smells like a dentists’ waiting room has anything to do with good old sword of steel! Makes me laugh only …”

What are the immediate plans for Spiritus Mortis? Do you already have a tour in preparation?
"T: Live through Finnish cold and dark winter and have some pussy. Hopefully some gigs to bigger and better places.
J: No panic. We don’t have to hurry. Ask after another seventeen years.
V: Doom Shall Rise II is the main goal right now. We will show that first of all SM is definitely a live band! Hopefully we ain’t too loaded …. Have to have some festival gigs for the summer also. Also Friends of Hell II tour with Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri must be done! And in January 2005 SM hits the studio…”

Is there an active Finnish metal scene? Can you name some bands that you think could rise out of anonymity?
"T: What metal scene? Back then Finnish metal scene was laughed at. But now some best-selling Finnish artists are Heavy Metal bands. Some bands that are worth of mentioning are our comrades-in-arms Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri.”
V: Yes, nowadays bands rises like never before here in Finland. It’s a good thing! Hopefully our friends from the same rehearsal cave, band called Masquerage gets a chance to show what they are like! Really talented players in vein of Running Wild and Helloween.”

So how heavily are you into Finnish culture, religion and mythology?
"T: Blood, guts and beer. That’s it.”
J: Things like that doesn’t influence my music directly but off course things like that has given marks in my view of world.
V: Yeah, nothin’ further to add!"

I have already taken much of your time. Anything else you want to add to the above?
"T: Hopefully we get a chance to play in Belgium in future and see all you metal maniacs there. At the meantime buy our record J.
V: Yes! Make us rich and famous, we already are bold and beautiful …. Hahah ahha …. Cheers Belgium, see ya in future!”


Abandon All Hope

After expressing some concern that Hot Summer Of Love might have taken the head clean off my shoulders you must be delighted (or perhaps disappointed?) that I have returned in one piece. With no further ado, salutations and welcome, Vesa, to Abandon All Hope. Is life treating you kindly?

Thanks Danny! Yeah, life's a bitch and then you die. Seriously, things are going just fine right now. Things with SM are finally going the way I have hoped so long and I have beer enough here in SM rehearsal cave where I'm doing this!

Hot Summer Of Love is the latest addition to the Spiritus Mortis discography. As it stands, it is essentially another demo but with nine songs and good ones at that. Are you satisfied with the results? Do you feel that this recording cements the working chemistry within the band?

Well, I have to say that I've been amazed how good feedback we've received about HOT! It was never meant to be "demo" at all, just a kinda notebook markings for SM use only. Songs are pretty good, I must admit, although production ain't super. HOT was recorded at our SM caves computer system, not real studio conditions at all. Asking about chemistry I guess this is the place for some announce: Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry decided to quit SM due to some differences in musical interest and due to other commitments. He certainly played in debut albums recordings. We have now new guy on drums, Jarkko Seppälä. No bitter feelings shown during HOT sessions and so on all was just fine but Vellu made his own decision and we have to respect that. He was superb drummer for us but now we have even better. h ooh he ho ho oho I hope Vellu reads this some day! Hail Vellu and thanks for 2 and half years of your commitment!

Please explain how the unusual choice of title, the artwork that features a rather unfriendly looking tank and the songs all come together. The combination strikes me as contradictory rather than complimentary. Is there any correlation the listener should be aware of?

. Ha hhh hha hahh hahahhah h.. .You are definitely not the first who asks about title and cover! Bullseye for us! Well, you know, SM sound can be described pretty well with Königstiger tank .. heavy, noisy, slow . Did I say heavy already? Title makes nice contradiction with cover indeed! Only pervert mind thinks that the days when you need a tank , that the days are from Hot Summer of Love! This brilliant idea came from bros Maijala, not from me like they always tend to say, god dammit! Idea for the intro came from bros too. It's from some Finnish movie and roughly translated to english it means: " When you are beating me up, does it bother you if I'm masturbating?" and people usually thinks I'm crazy!!!!

Do you think we will bear witness to another petty war in the summer of 2003?

I guess we are, too much wielding the sword already, no turning back anymore.

In the past, you have been likened to Finland's equivalent to Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath. However, in some respects you may have smashed this charge with arguably your most varied demo yet. CD closer, The Mighty One could very well be the glorious sister hymn to Manowar's Heart Of Steel and then there is an interesting rendition of Trouble's The End Of My Daze. It seems that you are spreading your wings. Any comments?

I don't know. Certainly, after I came into band, much more versatile songs has been made but I see that as a normal development, not planned thing at all. In my opinion, that's SM's strong point! At least, if you compare SM to doom-metal bands in general. Gives us listeners from metal genre in general, I mean. As you mentioned Mighty One, it was actually my ego trip song but in some point it turned out to be SM track. We have recorded it also for debut album but we'll see if it's gonna end up in it. The end of my daze was made for Trouble Heaven online tribute, www.Trouble.de , if I remember it right! Very good boogie for SM!

I think you have chosen some interesting titles for songs. I wonder, how important the lyrics are to the overall Spiritus Mortis experience?

Lyrics ain't the most important thing in SM's way to make music but the way I perform them should give the necessary feel to the songs. Sometimes I got it and sometimes I'm close ha hah ha.. Of course lyrics have to have some meaning for me but don't waste your time searching for an answer to what is the meaning of life from SM lyrics!

Please share some insights into what was going through your mind when you penned the following:

- Leave Me, Glory of dying in the battlefield! Not much more I can say about this one.. warrior's dying and he hopes to meet his maker.
- Killing Machine, This is about when you hurt somebody and afterwards feel like a real criminal. Exaggerate the things you've done I guess you have had some bad hangovers too? ha hha ha . I'm sure of it, you are Irish!
- Vow To The Sun, This idea came directly from movie " A man called horse", old western from 70'. I recall that leading roles Richard Harris was an Irishman ?.. Anyway, I had to stop watching the film and just took the pen in my hand and wrote this song. Find out more from that ritual yourself! Sioux warriors were real warriors!
- Death walking, Warrior stuff also! In "Leave me" guy wishes to meet his maker, in this one he is caught in the middle and stays here as a walking death. Believe or not, this one has also personal explanation but it's far too long story to tell!

No doubt you are pushing for an album deal after fifteen years of existence and if ever you deserved it, it is now. Please tell us how agonisingly close you have come to this end only to be piped at the post by our very own Mourning Beloveth. If not Aftermath what label would you be happy to work with? I believe there are four interested parties!

.. ha hah ha hh.. Yeah, I don't know exactly how close we were to sign Aftermath but still Mr. Holm is interested about SM stuff! We are so in the middle of things right now that I don't feel too comfortable to discuss about any names of labels. That much I say that Firebox Records has offered us a deal but we are waiting for offers from some other labels too. In few weeks I can reveal label and release date.

Spiritus Mortis has taken advantage of past opportunities provided to them by compilations such as with Psychedelic Fanzine and the pending At The Mountains of Madness Volume II. Have you any plans to participate in any split 7" series, such as with Metal Coven, like country mates Reverend Bizarre, Minotauri and Heathen Hoof to bandy about your name?

Some unofficial discussions have been with RB's Albert to do a split but our first priority right now is to finish this SM debut thing. Still you'll never know what will happen in the future.

Do you value vinyl? Has it a place in Heavy Metal today?

Personally, I value vinyl high. I have about 500 lp's and I will never trade them to cds! Of course cds are much more easier to handle and cheaper to post to some mags and so on .. .h e heh . I'm not sure but I think all Motörhead albums has been released as vinyl too, so vinyl have it's place in Heavy Metal still!

Has the band had much experience of touring and playing live? Having spoken to both Ari and Albert I imagine that the Friends Of Hell Tour would have been one of the more colourful journeys on the road from your recent past. Please share some thoughts on it with us.

Well.. SM has been around for 15 years so some gigs has been made! Yeah, FOH gigs were great! It was very nice to finally meet guys of Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri. Thay were all crazy! The first gig in Turku was a kinda gathering magical event. Of course it was raining. We all felt like doing some real history of metal here in Finland! Hopefully the same bunch someday storms to Europe like northern warriors did few hundred years ago. Nicest thing I recall from FOH gigs is when we played near to SM hometown and RB guys were sleeping over in my penthouse. Friend of mine, who actually sang some backvox in SM debut, and I were bit loaded and we would not let RB guys sleep at all before they had to go to train station early in the morning I have got some criticism about that stunt later!

Whilst you were not on the bill for Doom Shall Rise had you been approached to play the festival? Do you see a potential place for Spiritus Mortis in such future events?

No one ever asked SM to play in DSR-festival. Certainly we would have taken that gig! Maybe next time. SM is at their best when we play live. You have to see us sometime!

Speaking as a music fan are there any bands you would travel across countries just to see them playing live? Only last year I travelled from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Monza in Italy to witness the mighty Manowar at the Gods Of Metal. And let me tell you, it was worth every effort!

Certainly if I would have money enough I would travel across countries to see band like Manowar! Actually I have seen them once where it was? . Damned in Turku with Motörhead and Dio! Nice evening it was! I have been privileged to see Black Sabbath 3 times live already but I hope to see them again and again and again.

Have you any regrets as a band? Has being a musician had any negative impact on your life?

SM should have been more active in a field of promoting long before I came in band! But what the hell.. debut is coming out and nobody or nothing can stop SM anymore! Only negative impact on my life as being musician is that I'm always broke! Like Lemmy says: . "I'm so bad baby I don't care!" Playing keeps me sane and that's it! Gives more that it takes!

In an effort to get further inside your head you must endure this trial by fire!
- Are you the hunter or the hunted? It depends if I'm on my paranoid mood or not! Both I say..
- Are you an optimist or a pessimist? When I'm optimist it turns to pessimism in next 5 minutes and vice verca.
- How would you like to spend your last hours on this godforsaken planet? Dancing cheek to cheek with Britney Spears! Song would be Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath. Suddenly the moon explodes and that's it..
- Is there life beyond the grave? Haven't seen yet.. There must be something
- If you could bring one little something with you what would it be and why? Case of beer, just for in case.. he eh hheh hehh heh ho ..

Mortality aside, I think there is plenty of life in this old dog yet. Thank you for sharing some of your valuable time. Please close with your predictions on twisting and turning fate that is Spiritus Mortis. Good luck! Just wait a while for Spiritus Mortis debut album Soon the day will come!


Hard'n'Heavy France

1. Who Are You?

Don't ya know? We are Spiritus Mortis! The band was formed in the end of 1988, if guys remember it right! We were the first band in Finland to be called as a doom act. Founding members were TM - bass,vox , Jussi - guitar and VP - drums. The early SM lineup gained cult following by good reviews of demos and helluva lot of gigs. Realfurious ones! When nothing really happened with the band and studies, "real jobs", army services and so on came into picture SM laid low in late '90's. I came in picture around 2000, I recall, and present drummer Veli-Matti joined SM in late 2000.

2. What about your music?

In the early days SM sounded a bit like Celtic Frost meets Venom. Or something like that. I got to say that Black Sabbath has been always one of the biggest influences to the band. Gods! But SM always sounds like SM! The best way to describe SM music is to picture in your head herd of rhinos running towards you. Of course you stay frozen and can't run away! Heavy!

3. What are your current activities and plans?

We have been doing some promotion for about two years now with Demo 2000 and Forward to the Battle demos. Lot of reviews around the world and pretty good ones I must say! Also couple dozens of record labelshas got SM demos. We have got an offer from some Finnish label and several foreign labels has been interested in us but we'll see whatwill happen....... If we won't get decent deal this autumn, we'll make new demo for sure and do same helluva "mailman operation" as with Demo 2000 and Forward. I'm sure the world will hear about us in future in one way or another! At least when we play live somewhereand unleash the hell in SM way...........


Hellride Music

Spiritus Mortis
by Chris Barnes

Finland's Spiritus Mortis make their brand of dark, NWOBHM-tinged Doom Metal the old fashioned way - with sweat, talent and passion. Both their Demo 2000 and Forward to the Battle demos are a pleasure to listen to... heavy, epic in scale and, as singer Vesa Lampi likes to say "...like a charging herd of rhinos...". Some savvy metal label has got to sign these guys. Hell, if I had the bread, I do it myself! Guitarist Jussi Maijala and singer Vesa Lampi talk about the band's history, their recordings and what they think of the current state of heavy music.

Hellride Music: Spiritus Mortis has the distinction of being the first Doom act ever in Finland, with it's roots going all the way back to 1988. Give us a rundown on the history of the band. I know there were other singers before Vesa joined in 2000.

Vesa Lampi: Spiritus Mortis was formed in the end of 1988. We were the first band in Finland to be called as a doom act. Founding members were TM, Jussi and VP. Totally different and unheard in Finland. The early SM lineup gained cult following by good reviews of demos and helluva lot of gigs. When nothing really happened with the band and studies, "real jobs", army services and so on came into picture SM laid low in late '90's. I came in picture around 2000, I recall.

Somewhere in the end of 2000 Veli-Matti joined SM... rest is history .. ha ha ha . Yes, TM formerly sang in SM and what can I say.. he sounded like his bass! And then there were singer called Tomi Murtomäki. Very good and talented vocalist indeed! He's style is more or less like D.Coverdales and I guess it wasn't satisfactory to all. Maybe he was a bit too shy on stage also... at least if you compare it to my chaos act! ..ha hah ha..

Hellride Music: The band has recorded many demos between 1990 and 2002. Looking back on the early years, how would you say the music is evolved? How would you describe the bands sound back in 1988 and how it sounds in 2002?

Jussi Maijala: Always heavy and slow, earlier we sounded more like slow Celtic frost or Venom. Now Spiritus Mortis sounds like Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II Ausf. B "Königstiger" - tank with 88-mm cannon, heavy and destroying everything who dare to resist.. well .. little bit megalomania makes your life more interesting. Sometimes our tank sounds like its another track is broken.

Vesa: Well... as I have been close to SM through all it's history I can say that the basic SM sound has not changed a lot. We still play many songs from late '80s and the only change is that the soundwall is even bigger than years ago! Like very fat rhino running or herd of rhinos, depending which song we play! Of course the band itself has become better and better. Even technically! At least the last 2 years ,or so, with Veli-Matti on drums has been great time of development for SM. Still basically I can say that the world changes, SM won't! And we are proud of it! Someone could say that no progress but we do exactly what we want and we don't run after always coming and going trends! It's very sad to see bands that do it... No soul...

Hellride Music: I hear a noticeable difference in approach between Demo 2000 and Forward to the Battle. Demo 2000 seems to be more reminiscent of Trouble meeting epic Dio-era Sabbath, while Forward to the Battle has a NWOBHM feel along with it's darkness. What led to the different approaches between the two albums?

Jussi: More songwriters, Vesa makes some good songs too and make our music more versatile. Darkness is always with us.

Vesa: I've heard that one before! Demo 2000's songs are very old, kinda basement of SM, if you see what I mean? Veli-Matti joined SM couple months before Forward's recordings took place and that's for sure one reason. We made half of Forward's... songs while kinda adjusting V-M to SM. He brought us "old guys" also so much fresh ideas that Forward's... songs turned out to be the way they are! Even the double bass drum part in one song!! As a very talented musician and technical drummer he gives us much more possibilities to compose songs than days before. There are also my songwriting and that also makes Forward... maybe little different than Demo 2000, for sure. Another thing is that if we would have done Forward... in the same studio than Demo 2000 it would be much closer to Demo 2000, I'm sure of it! Good thing is that both demos have got great reviews around the world. That's nice!

Hellride Music: Where were the two demos recorded and who did the production and mixing duties? Did the sessions go relatively easy?

Jussi: We recorded Demo 2000 in PopArtikkeli-studio in our hometown, Alavus. Everybody did they heavy duty and told their own opinions. We have played those songs so long that sessions were quite easy. The wizard behind the soundworld was M. Ketola.

Vesa: I had been in SM for only couple of months before going to studio and I rehearsed songs by 4 tracker from old demos, also other songs too, removed former vox tracks and so on. You know, standing alone in rehearsal room and shout the lungs out! Actually I do that often nowadays before gigs. We had only one training session with whole band before going to studio, I recall... The playing went easy because guys had played those tracks a couple hundred times. My part was easy too, actually I was surprised how it turned out! Actually the first song "All the Words Were Spoken" is the only vocal track I've ever done in studio which I've been completely satisfied afterwards ... Did I really say that?!?! Completely.. I don't know, but close anyway! Forward... was recorded by ourselves with our own computer recording system. That's why Forward... is, soundwise speaking, from another planet comparing to Demo 2000. Not bad but too weak I think. Tempo's in some of the tracks are too high.. I guess we were too excited about new drummer who could really play! No problems while recording, anyway!

Hellride Music: Let's talk about the songwriting in Spiritus Mortis for a bit. Can you give us a general description on how the songs evolve? What serves as inspiration both lyrically and musically?

Jussi: I play guitar, play more guitar and try to make guitar riffs with ones I want to play myself. Not too complicated ones because I just don't want to play such kind of riffs, usually they are too artistic so I don't enjoy playing them and I think that crowd won't like them either, people don't catch them, they can't remember those riffs, can't sing with them in the shower or dance to them in the car. Do your Jazz Odyssey at home, don't tease people. After the creation of riffs, I introduce them to the boys, usually if they start to jam with me, the riff is good enough for us. Usually TM and Vesa make most of the arrangements. Our goal is that the song goes like a freight train!

Vesa: I have never thought about myself being real musician. I can't read notes and stuff. For me songwriting is strongly connected to feelings, emotions. If something goes badly wrong or I'm just pissed off then it's right time for me to pick up guitar and have my revenge on society! The grim world flows to the guitar and unleashes hell. I might say, no 9 - 17 office kinda "musician" at all! About the whole process I can say that all the riffs or whole songs someone introduces to rest of the band goes through the ' SM grinder and it turns out to be SM song! We play and play until it sounds like a rhino running... Inspirations to lyrics comes from daily life's shit which always comes ahead and movies are another good source for me. The other side and, you know, everyone has a darkside in their minds so .. that's very interesting.. SM can't sing about " boy meets girl under the moonlight..." ..well ... if the moon suddenly explodes then it's more SM!

Hellride Music: Vesa, you have a tremendous voice, I'm sure you've heard that before. It has a "Classic" feel to it. Who do you consider inspirations vocally?

Vesa: Thanks Chris! You know, I keep hearing that day after day.. Hah ha ha .. Seriously speaking my style might be slightly different comparing to bands nowadays. I mean those growlers in black metal and so on bands and those M. Kiske clones. I have always thought myself being a blues/rock singer and that's my strong part, I guess. I always try to include some theatrical feel to vox lines. I don't do vocals, even in studio, strickly keeping in mind was it excactly the right note but if it sounds good and has a right feel to it then it's good! My all time favorites are I.Gillan, R.J.Dio and J.Morrison... well I have to add that everybody doesn't like me!

Hellride Music: On that same subject, how do you feel about so many of the bands in metal today using the "cookie monster" vocals? Do you feel they are in danger of sounding all the same and thus becoming interchangable?

Jussi: If I want a sound of rottweiler, I buy a dog.

Vesa: Cookie monsters indeed! Everyone has right to do whatever they like but I don't like that style. Yes, they really sounds the same, song after song! Band after band! I believe that they try to sound dangerous and threatning and so on but , sorry guys, I'm not afraid! Ha hah .. They make me laugh every now and then. But as I said, do what you want, main thing is to make music from your heart.

Hellride Music: Who do V-P and Jussi consider as inspirations for their approach to guitar playing?

Jussi: I stopped listening music 1995 so I don't know or play fashion stuff. I'm doing my own shit, which sounds good to me. Inspirations? Remember that Königstiger.'eh?

Vesa: VP has blown his head off with such heavy stuff like Beatles, ELP... well of course I've seen Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin CDs in his hands..
I'm glad you didn't ask what Veli-Matti listens!

Hellride Music: How do you guys feel about the Doom scene worldwide? Who do you currently admire out there? Also, give us your feelings on your Doomed countrymen, Skepticism, Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri.

Vesa: In generally speaking I think doom scene is very honest and creative Worldwide. Just think about those mainstream bands and that bullshit what they make just for money! And one after one there comes worst and worst clones .. Good business for labels! So little to do with music alone. I haven't heard Skepticism's music at all, I'm sorry to say! I must check it out some day. You know, we have done "The Friends of Hell Tour" with Reverend Bizarre and Minotauri and we had some good times... I can't remember for sure but I've been told so! Ha ha ha.. What can I say about them . crazy muthas.. Reverend Bizarre is the doooooom act! God damned, once I thought SM would be the slowest playing band in Finland but then I heard RB and after that SM songs felt like speed metal. They have that kinda dedication to the doom scene that it must be admired. Everyone who thinks, for example that Stratovarius is heavy metal, should listen RB's debut! That's HEAVY.

Hellride Music: I never hear about the females of Finland. No one ever says, "Oh, Finnish chick are the hottest!!". Once and for all, give us your feelings on Finnish chicks. Hot or not?

Jussi: Königstiger is more beautiful. No, just more bad humor.. Northern beauties are the best. Gentlemen prefer blondes!

Vesa: Don't you know why Finnish chicks ain't the hottest? Well .. Because here in Finland is always so cold! Hahh ha . more bad humor! Well .. They have some hot parts.. organs.. and . you know . . the fireplace where to throw a log... in Winter when it's cold.. outside I mean... How bad humor can be?

Hellride Music: How will Spiritus Mortis finish up 2002 and what are your plans for next year?

Jussi: Conquer Mars before Russians do it. Well, I think that we play more heavy metal. I mean we do not have so clear plans what to do, to me rock `n` roll is for fun, not planned by Soviet-style 5-years plan.
Vesa: Some festival gigs on summer but the calendar is empty after those ones. Gotta get some more! We have connections to some Finnish record labels but we'll see what will happen . debut CD maybe. Also a couple of foreign labels have shown some interest but we'll wait and see, I'll let you know what happens! If we don't get a decent deal this year we'll certainly go to studio and make some earthshaking new demo!

Hellride Music: Thanks for the interview!! Any words you'd like to leave us with?

Jussi: Vorwärts, Panzers!

Vesa: Jussi are you drunk again?... World changes, Spiritus Mortis won't!

Read the Hellride Music reviews of Forward to the Battle and Demo 2000

Purchase Forward to the Battle or Demo 2000 at the Hellride Music Super

Listen to a Real Audio sample of All the Words Were Spoken

Visit the Spiritus Mortis website at www.metalprovider.com/spiritusmortis


Metal Extreme
Spiritus Mortis interview

T= TM,bass
J= Jussi Maijala, guitar
V= Vesa Lampi, vocals
Answering questions..........

1- It seems that "Forward To the Battle" is doing very good in the underground...am I right?

T: Yes, we are quit surprised how much attention and good publicity it has get. They also liked our other demo, demo2000. Especially we are surprised how much they admire our playing abilities :)
V: Yeah! Press has taken it pretty well! Good reviews around the world. Although I had some worries about it because songs were mostly written in few months. That's really fast songwriting for SM! Usually only few songs a year. And also new drummer had just entered SM's grim world. But youngster did fine job! Also I was concerned a little 'bout the soundworld because we recorded Forward in our rehearsal cave with TMs computer system in very short time. Actually in one weekend! So it has been great to see that people has seen thru' little poorer production and have noticed that songs are still good. Former demo, Demo 2000 has been made in real studio and it reveals SM soundworld better.

2- Have you signed with Mastervox / Sinister Records?

T: Not yet, because it is a small recordlabel and maybe they concentrate to one band at time. (Reverend Bizarre)

3- Are there any plans of start recording a new album in 2002?

T: Hope so.... Hope to hear from Mastervox / Sinister Records soon...
V: Still delays after delays but there has been discussions that full lenght cd should come out this spring .... We'll see...... Sure thing I'll let you know the news when there's something more to tell!

4- How did you got Veli Matti to play drums in Spiritus Mortis?

T: Vesa heard his drumming and because V-P wanted to concentrate to play guitar, we decided to give V-M a try. And give him a chance to play in a good band at last :)
V: Well, I have known V-M by his reputation since -98. I heard so many stories of great young drummer in band called Athmosfear that one day I just went to see what's going on. The kid played fine but the music was not my "stuff". Still V-M was marked man from that day on. When V-P decided to leave drum seat I remembered V-M at once. I wasn't sure if his style was right to SM but anyway I just phoned him. Couple hours of training and I was convinced that he is SM's new drummer! Never really talked about with him howcome he decided to join us but I'm glad he did! Well I have to say that he is real musician if you compare him to rest of us. Actually it is good for a band to have one musician in line up!

5- I read that your live shows are really apporeciated...how are them?

J: Well, most of bands look like they want to get out from stage. We are old men that we don`t have to think or care any more how we look, we just go there and play it loud.

T: Maybe people like when they notice that we show how like what we are doing. Some people don't seem to like when were not "doom enough" but we like to have in the set list somekind of variation, ie. slow song-faster song etc.

V: First of all, for me live shows are the thing to me in music. I enjoy being on stage! To feel and see audiences reactions ....... You kinda live from it! It works both ways you know? Shows are actually very intensive and we have more versatile songs than usually doom bands have so nobody gets bored, I hope...... SM is massive band and I guess people remembers us although they wouldn't like songs much!

6- How would you describe the music that Spiritus Mortis is doing?

T: Heavy. Very heavy.
V: Yes, heavy is the word, man! Kinda dark, doomish, did I say heavy yet? Tales of dark indeed with metal influences...... but heavy anyway.......... Heavy...... Close your eyes and think about herd of rhinos running towards you ..... massive sound they make I guess....

7-Vesa...Why did you decide to join the band?

T&J: We don`t know... Shit happens...
V: What that supposed to mean? ..... heh he he ..... Actually I have known original SM trio ( T,J,V-P) since the day one. Always hanged around in same rehearsal places and so on. That's a bit of mystery to me howcome I haven't try to sing in SM untill 1999. Always liked the stuff these godzillas were doing ..... but better late than never! Actually M.Ketola who engineered Demo 2000 once asked me, in a bar naturally, why I don't sing in SM? There was singer in SM that time but anyway I got the chance to try and so it started. I felt at once that these songs are for me! They chose me to sing and dumped the other guy off...... Shit happens indeed!

8- How do you see the Finnish metal scene nowadays?

Jussi; I speak only about SM music.
TM; very much black metal and fucking nu-metal. Couple of good bands, like Timpe and Niskis.
V: Nowadays there are so many excellent metal bands in Finland: Stratovarius, Nightwish, Sentenced, Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus, Reverend Bizarre and so on.... Scene looks very good right now. Back in late '80 and early '90 situation wasn't so great. Nobody respected you when you say that you play in metal band. Bands have to gain some popularity first outside Finland and then they were noticed in Finland. Nowadays situation is fortunately changed. Well, we have so long and cold winter so the basic elements for heavy music is there naturally.

9- How important is rehearsing and technique in Spiritus Mortis´s music?

J: Technique is not important, it is just tool to make good music, it is not main thing to us.
T: Some bands seem to concentrate to show how good they are technically, then they forget the main thing, good songs and good music.
Rehearsing is important, especially when we are working with new songs. We try to keep the songs as short as possible but we arrange songs to the point that everybody in the band is pleased with them.
V:We rehearse , you might say play, about once a week. It's very important for me just to play and play.... We compose songs actually quite thoroughly. Play and play variations of songs or parts of the songs because it's important to us to reach certain feeling in a song. In our kinda music you just don't know how the song feels out if you have some chords or notes on paper. Actually V-M is the only one of us who can read notes, I guess! At least I don't know shit about notes and I don't care! We just play and play untill everything goes right and sound like the rhino, you know?
Of course you have to have some kind of playing ability. But techniques is not main thing in music, not even close, it's only a tool. Music is only mathematics if you don't have any feelings involved. There are so many metal bands which can play everything inside out up or down and reverse but they music, sad to say, only smells like dentists waiting room. So clinical and boring! I hate 'em. Music for musicians. Gotta have law against them! So I said earlier that V-M is our only musician and he have great technique. But it has been great to see that he kind of loses every now and then, piece by piece, unnecessary "stiffness" and "by the book playing" and plays the songs more like SM songs should be played. With dark and grim heavy feeling...... So what can I say more..... better to be bad musician with lots of feel and vision and sense of style than be a excellent one and don't have a clue what the point in music!

10- Which are the band main influences?

Jussi; I speak only about SM music.
T: Black Sabbath, Venom & Celtic Frost. Finnish short but cold summer. Kobe Tai of coz.
V: It's great that we all have different "fave" bands. Everyone of us gives something different to the band. For me Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and of course Jim Morrison has been always there. And of course blues! Blues is about pain, you know? My big bro taught me that!

11- Any final words?

J: Greetings from Ultima Thule. Land of 10 feet of snow...
T: Try to get in touch with our music, its worth of it.
V: Just wanna say that when we make our debut cd run to the record shop and buy it! And one for your friend too!



Spiritus Mortis interview
Comments including: Vesa Lampi-vox, TM-bass, Jussi Maijala- guitar and Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry-drums


1) (The Gear) What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars, Amplifiers, could you give me a run down of exactly what you have and maybe give some explanation as to how it fits together. What is your standard gear?

TM: Rickenbacker 4003 and Aria Pro II basses. Marshall JCM 800 amp and homemade cabinet. I use pedal to bass to have a little bit of distortion, something like bulldozer :)

Jussi Maijala: Epiphone (Les Paul-model) with Gibson-microphones, new guitar at last says boys. Laney 50 w tube amp, powerful sound, Tony Iommi uses Laney too, I guess.I don't use distortion, because I play so loud, boys like it (NOT!). Nothing extra for me, just keep it simple. Cabinet is some "nameless" 4x12.

Vesa Lampi: We have small PA in rehearsel room which I sing thru'. I think that is Roland PA-150 mixer amp. Peavey main cabinets and Lonely Star subwoofers. And of course Shure 58 mic. Couple of Samson and Sony mics also. System works quite well in training sessions and can be also used in small gigs too.

V-P Rapo uses Tokai 70's Love Rock model with Dean Markley SLP 10-52 strings. Also Slammer bass with strange finnish instrument called kantele attached to it. 2 bass guitars strings 5 gtr strings and 2 Landola nylon strings. You have to see that gizmo! Amp is 40 watt 6L6-type custom creature by H.Hämäläinen. Cabinet is ALT 4x12. Also Color Sound wah-fuzz-straight pedal. V-P uses selection of old Russian, Finnish and Saudi coins as pics.

Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry: Here you have my gear listed:

Stage set MAPEX Mars Pro:
16x22" KickDrum
16x22" KickDrum
8x8" Racktom
10x10" Racktom
10x12" Racktom
11x13" Racktom
16x16" Floortom
16x18" Floortom

Studio and home set:
18x22" KickDrum
9x10" Racktom
10x12" Racktom
12x14" Racktom

Snare: Mapex Black Panther 6.5x14"

Hardware: Premier, Mapex and Tama rack system.

Cymbals: Zildjian
14" K Hi-Hat
16" K Dark Crash Medium thin
16" A Custom Projection Crash
18" A Custom Projection Crash
6" A Custom Splash
12" Oriental China Trash

Cymbals: Sabian
14" AAX Stage Hats
16" AA Medium Crash
17" AA Fast Crash
18" AA MediumThin Crash
20" AA Rock Ride
20" ?? Heavy Ride
16" AA Chinese
18" AA Chinese
8" AAX Splash

Evans Heads:
All G2 Clear
Except: Kickdrums EQ2 Clear
Snare G1 Coater
8" tom G1 Clear

Percussions: Latin Percussion
JamBlock High and Low
Cyclops Tambourine

Sticks: Fic Firth 5A or 5B

V: I must admit that when I first saw Veli-Matti's drum gear I thought at once that I'm so glad that I'm only a singer! Does he really need all these things?!? Drummers.... Drummers.....

2) (The Recording Process) Do you use any Software such as Cubase to record,or to refine your sound? Or when you recorded did you go to a Studio? If you went to a Studio what was the name of the studio and location? What do you remember most about your recording experience there? Would you have changed anything about your recording experience? How do you prepare for recording, do you do anything to get hyped up before going into the studio?

T:Sometimes at the Rehearsal Studio we use normal c-cassette recorder/player or 4-tracker just to have songs in somekind of better form (better than own memory :)). But when we recorded FTTB we used my computer and Cubase as software.

J: I just play those songs good and loud.

V: We recorded Demo 2000 in Pop-Artikkeli Studios in our home town Alavus. Wizard Ketola made helluva sounds for it and we will use that studio in future also.
So, TM mentioned that Forward to the Battle demo has been recorded by computer systems and so it sounds like! From another planet if you compare it to Demo 2000! You know, all the way digital process always kills something from music. Same thing happens if you use those digitalmultieffects in your guitar gears. Sounds always shit to me!

Always good to have "vision" how songs should sound when you go to recording sessions. You know, to know exactly what you are doing. Situation is different if you have money to buy a month studio time for couple of songs. Then there is enough time to change something in songs and so on. Actually, we made Demo 2000 in less than two days..... I guess.....

Well..... beer is always good to have where ever you go.

V-M: I pick up my Largest drums and put them together even I like more high-pitched sound. But it doesn´t work with SM. It´s important that sound is low-piched,
loud and sustained. I get that kind of sound by using huge drums and two
ply heads. Sometimes I use special items in studio, like LP´s JamBlocks.
Altought I generally save special tricks on stage.

3) (Influenced by) What bands if any would you say are your influences in music? Is there a specific tuning use set your guitar to?

T: At first we were very much influenced by Venom and Celtic Frost. But then we understood how good Black Sabbath is/was. Everybody brings their own influences to band. Vesa from Deep Purple, Jussi from Black Sabbath, I from Venom, V-P from proge shit and Vellu from these new heavy metal bands.

All guitars are tuned down to D.

J: I don't want to speak about another bands, they just do what they have to do, and I do my own shit..

I tried to tune my guitar to C, but then sound was too blurry.

V: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, old Rainbow, Jim Morrison ....... My lyrics are in generally speaking influenced by movies, books, darksides of peoples minds and everyday shitty things. I must admit that Veli-Matti has blown his head off with some technical jazz thing..... Somebody must guide the guy back in real world.... Ha ha .....

V-M: (laughing) That´s right. I love technical bands like Dave Weckl Band, Simon Phillips, King Crimson, Dave Matthews Band and other bands whose music is grooving and funky. But it isn´t technics only why I am interested in.

V: SM's strong point is that we all have kinda different backgrounds in music.

4) (Mic Positioning) Let's also ask, what your mic positioning are and how many you set up for a show, for example how many vocal mics, and mics on the drums? Do you use an effects processor for the vocals, could you let the readers in on how you get your vocals sounding the way you want to hear them. Is there any special settings that you prefer on your equipment.

T: No processor on vocal. In studio we used to have two mics on bass drum, one to high and another to low ends. And of course we used Jussi's old shitty Daion guitar as "space mic" on studio. It was placed in front of drums and strings were strapped with clothes ( to avoid feedback)

J: (crying) those bastards disgraced my old and faithful weapon.

V: When we do gig with real PA that always comes from some local firm. So actually I haven't ever been looking what the hell those guys do. Just to make SM sound big is the only concern. Only some reverb/delay in vox sound. Nothing else.

5) (Production) Who helped you to produce the album? Are you on a semi-prominent record label. Or are you self-produced? What are the pitfalls you have encountered as an Artist to achieve your goal of putting out an album? Specifically what has your overall experience been with Record Companies/Labels. What would you change about the major labels if you had the chance?

T: Marko Ketola helped us in studio. He kinda engineered and also helped us to produce the D2 cd-r.

J: We don't have any bad experiences about the major Record Companies, they do their own business, business is business as they say.

V: We have an record deal offer from Mastervox/Sinister Figure label from Finland. Well, we haven't sign yet but I guess in weeks. There has been talk about making first SM album in early 2002..... we'll see.... It's not easy nowadays to get deal because there are so many bands. You have to kinda "stand up" from the graymass. If you know what I mean... Hard to say what to change about labels but more courage to sign a bands that are not so commercial heading bands. They should take more risks with bands I think.

6) (Getting the gig) How do you set up your shows? Do you have a manager or do you manage yourselves? If you manage yourselves and have been successful at it, is there any advice you could pass on to up and coming artists on what the industry expects from you professionally as an independent Artist.

T: We're looking for manager. So far we have managed gigs by ourselves or through friends.

J: We should have professional manager.

V: Jussi! Now you are talking! My phonebills are huge! Well, when you reach the right person you got to be sure that you convince him that your band is the best in the world! Always gotta atleast sound like an pro on the phone.

7) (Marketing the album?) How have you been marketing your album? And is there any advice you would give to people about getting out their music? Are you going threw any promotional agencies to promote you music? What is the name of your distributor if you have one? If you have a distributor, how did you get yourself into a good working relationship with them? How many promotional CD's do you send out per year?

T: So far marketing has been just sending the demo to different webzines. Something like 40 promo cds has been sent.

J: You should have first class idols, steal their best ideas and develop your own style. Don't go after trends, you just look stupid..

V: Just sending demos around. Various webzines in Europe,States and South America. Never say no when somebody wants your demo. If it's good word spreads out a lot, believe me it's amazing how much I got emails from different places around the world......... kinda took me by surprise.

8) (Extra Items) Please could you rehash your CD discography for those who are unaware of the CD's you have made. AS well as any other personal side projects you have worked on and a run down of what they were.

T: We have two "official" cd-r demos. Demo2000 containing 3 songs and it is recorded in real studio . Forward To The Battle (2001) contains 6 songs and it is recorded in rehearsal studio with my computer. D2000 came out in the beginning of 2000 and FTTB in the beginning of 2001. Sideprojects, nothing at the time.

V: Well I play guitar in Normaalimäki, local beer'n'booze band. Real good fun doing gigs with that band. Crazy people...... There has also been heavy bands called Worroar and Kharon.

9) If you have any Mp3's online that are not on mp3.com could you give me a URL for 2 of them so that I can put them on the site to promote your band? Do you have a small image of the band also that I could link to or that you could email me, so that folks can see who they are reading about?

T: Mp3 and images can be found on our homepage www.metalprovider.com/spiritusmortis

10) (Environment and Lifestyle) Is there any part of your environment or lifestyle that effects the way that you play and the music that you put out. I know for some European bands, the places they play have allot do with their sound, and style. Tell me, about yours.

T: Of course in Finland the summer is rather hot but short and winter of course is long and cold. The winter is really shitty because besides cold, there is only very short period of daylight during day. Something like (in mid-winter) 4-5 hours... THAT influences Finnish lifestyle a lot.
Good things, nature is really beautiful during summer.

J: Long, dark and cold winter (greetings from the land of Winter War) makes our music even darker and heavier, we don't play reggae here.

10) (Current Contact Information) Could you please list your current contact information, such as band email address, a URL of where to purchase your CD and its price.


email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vesa Lampi
Järviluomantie 24
63300 Alavus
Suomi - Finland - Perkele

11) (Final thoughts) Is there anything you would like to say to the up and coming Artist in terms of advice. Why should people buy your album versus some one else's 'promote yourself to me'?

T: THE Heaviest band in Finland. And I don't mean only music :)

J. SM is groovy and heavy, rocking and epic, not the easiest things to combinate.

V: Well.... Life would be much easier if you youngsters sell your guitars and have a haircut and have a real job but then you would never know if you are able to make it or not!



1 Koska ja kenen toimesta Spiritus Mortis sai alkunsa? Kokoonpano?
TM: Mortis sai alkunsa lähteesta riippuen v.1988/89, perustajina TM, Jussi ja V-P. Tällä hetkellä kokoonpano: Vesa Lampi - Vox, Jussi Maijala - skeba, V-P Rapo -skeba, TM - basso lyömäsoittimet ja Veli-Matti Yli-Mäyry - rummut.

2. Mita käsite Doom metal teille merkitsee?
T: Hidasta ja raskasta. Eli niinku me.
Vesa: Sinänsä mulle ei juuri oo merkitystä noilla kategorioilla. Musiikki ratkaisee, ei se mihin karsinaan joku on keksinyt ko. musan sijoittaa.

3. Ketkä ovat vastuussa biisien teosta?
T: Kaikki osallistuvat piisien tekoon, ainakin sovituksiin. Jussi ja Vesa tekevät suurimman osan musasta ja Vesa tekee kaikki sanoitukset.
V: Niin nyttemmin kun meikäläinen on vetänyt SM:ssa niin onhan noita munkin biisejä päässyt tiukan SM seulan läpi ja joistakin voi jopa olla johonkin. Vanhoissa biiseissä on kyllä joitakin joiden sanoja en oo tohtinut väännellä.....

4. Miten motivaationne on säilynyt kaikki nämä vuodet, kun vasta nyt solmitte levytysdiilin Oululaisen Mastervoxin kanssa? Montako levyä sopimus käsittää?
T: Moollaan maltettu pistää bändi aina välillä telakalle silloin kun ei ole oikein kiinnostanut. Vähän aikaa kun on tehnyt jotain muunlaista musiikkia niin on taas mielellään palannut Mortiksen pariin. Soppari kestää tällä tietoa 1+2 levyä.
V: Meikäläisen motivaatio on vielä korkeella kun ei oo kilometrejä takana SM:ssa ku jotain puolitoistavuotta....tai jotain....nää viime vuodet on vähä sekavia... Koko SM historian sivusta mutta läheltä seuranneena täytyy nostaa bändille hattua! Moni olis myiny skebansa ja ruvennu muistelee menneitä. Myös musiikki itse on pysynyt just samana ilkeänä, raskaana vääntönä. Onhan se hieno fiilis ku moisen "uran" jälkeen joku tarjoaa sopimusta. Mainittakoon tässä että yhtä pykälää vielä hiotaan joten allekirjoitettu ei vielä olla.

5. Ovatko levylle tulevat biisit jo valmiina? Onko ollut paineita niitä tehtäessä?
T: Piisit on ollu valmiina jo 10 vuotta... Eli löytyy lähes pari levyä suht hyviä piisejä. Jos/kun kolmatta levyä pitää tehdä niin siihen voi olla sitten paineita tehrä piisejä.
V: ..... niin vanhoja anthemejahan on pirusti käytettävissä. Ekalle levylle biisit valitaan n. 24 vedon joukosta, joten siinä mielessä on hyvä tilanne. Ja uusia tulee koko ajan....

6. Koska studioon ja minne? Kauanko sessiot tulevat kestämään?
T: Ketolaan. Eli Pop-Artikkeli studioon. Ei ole edes harkittu muuta vaihtoehtoa. Sessiot eivät varmasti kestä kauan kun ei studiossa viitsi mädäntyä kovin kauaa. Muuten alamme rikkomaanpaikkoja...
V: Alustavan suunnitelman mukaan tämän vuoden puolella pitäs studioon mennä. Tarjottu on Oulun NEO-studiota mutta ilman muuta me tehdään täälä kotiluolan vieressä jos se vaan onnistuu. Ketolan Marko tietää just mitä meidän kanssa pitää tehdä ja pystyy tekemään.

7. Mitä odotuksia tulevan levyn suhteen?
T: Myis jonkin verran että sais mainetta levitettyä eteenpäin. Ja jos vaikka herättäis jonkinlaista kulttikannatusta kotimaassa/ulkomailla.
V: Kun sais päätään tungettua levyn kanssa joka paikkaan ja sais keikkoja järkättyä perkeleesti niin eiköhän se siitä. Ja myis edes sen verran että sais tehdä toisenkin levyn. Tuleehan noita kummallisia emaileja ympäri maailmaa, että lähettäkää SM demoja.... Hyvähän se jos nekin kaikki sais joskus kunnon levyn käsiinsä.

8. Miltä keikkakalenterinne näyttää?
T: Tilaa vielä on... Tällä hetkellä on sovittuna puolenkymmentä keikkaa tämän vuoden (2001) puolella. Saa kaupata keikkoja...
V: Reverend Bizarre bändin levynjulkaisu mini kiertue tuossa lokakuun puolessavälissä aiheuttaa varmasti maksalle ongelmia. Tällä tietoa Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Jyväskylä ja Helsinki...... toivottavasti.....

9. Missa näet Spiritus Mortisin viiden vuoden päästä?
T: Eletään hetki kerrallaan. Bändi on todella kiva harraste joten ei ole mitään paineita vaikka maailmaa ei heti valloitetakkaan.
V: Jos kaikki menee tosi hyvin niin maksakirroosi..... ei vaan toivottavasti levyä ja keikkaa... mitäpä sitä meikäläinen muuta....

10. Viisi kovinta suomalaista bändiä?
T: Timo Rautiainen ja Niskalaukaus, Stone, Terveet Kädet, Oz, Rattus.
V: Rautiaisen rauhoittava niskalaukaus on hyvä. Loistavaa musaa. Se on niinku HEVIÄ ku vertaa noihin tuplabassariviiksisankarisaksamiekka yritelmiin. Peer Gunt, Paten Popeda luonnollisesti ja tietenkin Normaalimäki.

11. Loppukommentit..?
T: Tulukaa kattoon keikalle. Ette saa punkosta.
V: Ei muuta ku rock. Ostakaa levy jos joskus saadaan semmonen pihalle......


Psychedelic Fanzine #9/10

1. The band was formed in the late 80's. What was the reason for starting with Rigor Mortis, and what kind of music did you play in the early years? Why did the name of the band change to Spiritus Mortis?

- TM: Band was formed mainly for fun and to play good metal. Nobody played the kind of music we wanted to hear. In the early years music was more like mix between Venom and Celtic Frost. V and CF are also idols for us today, because they play(ed) fast, loud and powerful music without being so good players technically. Name SM was taken after trip to local library.
- Jussi: We had to change the name because someone got us mixed up an American band with same name. Spiritus Mortis sounded good, it was somewhat "original" and it describes our music quit well, because name can be freely translated as "spirit of death".

2. Would you give us a quick synopsis about the band's early demos, their feedback/reaction by fans/media. Did the line-up change a lot since the beginning?

- TM: We didn't sent too much demos around because we were so lazy :) but those few we managed to send were usually taken very positively, at least by those who understood the scene.
- Jussi: We didn't have many line-up changes because there were so few people who could have joined and the band would not have been the same without T, J and V-P. From the beginning we were desperately seeking better vocalist 'cos T wanted to concentrate to "bass percussions". They were also couple of local guitarists who were hired to deepen the sound, especially at gigs.
- TM: Nobody has been fired because of their playing abilities... :) In our own opinion, our music has not changed much since 1986, songs are only better.

3. Spiritus Mortis had a huge line-up problem in the past, so it was just in 2000, when the band found a proper vocalist in Vesa Lampi. Vesa, how did you come into the picture, and were there any other candidates for the free singer position? Have you sang for a band before joining Spiritus Mortis?

- Vesa: Well, first of all, I have known the original SM trio since we were kids. Always shared same rehearsal places. Honestly, I don't know howcome I haven't try to sing SM before late 1999. Bit mystery to me. Always liked the stuff and hanged around in early gigs. But some day the guy who recorded D2 asked me, in bar naturally, howcome you haven't ever sing SM? Well, then I just asked guys if I could have a chance to try. Actually SM had a singer at that time but somehow Bros Maijalas chose me to continue his work. I sang in Worroar, also bassplaying and in Kharon with guitar. Nowadays I also play guitar and bit of singing too in Normaalimäki. Crazy people.....

4. The vocals of Vesa give besides Jussi's guitar playing an absolutely amazing Epic feel to the compositions on the "Demo 2000". Would you tell us a few sentences about the recording session? Who handled production duties on the demo, and are you pleased with the turnout?

- TM: Demo2000 was recorded at local studio where some famous bands in Finland also make recordings. Engineer was Marko Ketola who was even more excited than we about the recording. Everyone (in the band) has been very pleased with result. And also everyone who have heard the Demo2000 did like the sounds.
- Jussi: We just went and played, no problemo because songs were excellent, naturally.
- Vesa: Session itself was very easy because songs were old and, can I say legendary SM stuff. I think that D2 sounds pretty close that SM recordings should sound. Drums especially are amazing! Wizard Ketola!

5. I noticed that all of the three songs from "Demo 2000" appeared on previous demos between 1994 and 1997. In which parts did they change since the early versions, and why did you decide to re-record those old songs with Vesa?

- TM: Songs were same kind of versions, except of course vocals and guitar solos. Usually we compose tracks until we are happy with result. We want our songs to be "fluid", "smooth" and not too lengthy :)
- Jussi: Quality is better than quantity is our principle. So we do only a few songs in a year. Now when V is in band we have 4 songwriters so maybe this time we may have more songs...
- Vesa: Yes, vocal lines are bit different than in old versions for sure. Reason why make new versions with me is simple. We hadn't trained anything with the band yet at that time. I rehearsed songs with 4tracker. Old tapes you know. Old vocal track off and played tape thru' pa and just bit of singing. Actually we had one training session before going studio. So new songs weren't avaivable yet.
- TM: Another funny story (to continue from Vesa): We rehearsed only once with Vesa before the gig in Hukkarock2000... But things went very well, after all we all had heard those songs 1000 times before...

6. How did you promote the "Demo 2000", and did you get any offers from labels to release a 7" or a full-length album?

- TM: We send the demo to some Finnish and European record labels. Finnish label Spinefarm was interested but "they were full of bands". And then we got an offer from Mastervox. The offer is under serious thinking...
- Vesa: D2 has also sent to various net fanzines and it had good reviews everywhere. Kinda surprise to us. We didn't think we are that good, althought we certainly knew we are good....heh heh... Well, let see what happens with Mastervox, looking good right now.....

7. I imagine, that you've spent most part of the last year with songwriting for a new demo, as you put out in early 2001 the "Forward to the battle" recording with 6 brand new compositions. It's a nice demo too, but the "Demo 2000" is ten times better, it's a lot heavier, and more Epic in my opinion. People I talked to, shared the same opinion as well. Did you get the same comments/reviews as stated above?

- TM: Usually people have liked both. Maybe people are confused because Demo2000 was recorded at real studio and FTTB was recorded at rehearsal cave with my computer. So the sounds, especially drums, are a lot weaker in FTTB. But, we dig them both.
- Jussi: And we made a couple of mistakes in FTTB, like all the songs were played a little bit too up tempo...
- Vesa: Purpose of FTTB was to do "something" with new lineup. New drummer Veli-Matti, and former one VP changed to guitar. V-M did great job and we will have great time in future also to make new songs with him because he's simply so good! No offense VP! I have a hunch that you didn't see/hear behind the sounds of FTTB. D2 is from other planet if you compare it to FTTB. Soundwise I mean. Strange thing tho' FTTB have had great reviews in some net fanzines. Well, someone likes mothers, someone daughters and someone likes dogs......

8. Your vocal style changed also, it's more influenced by Heavy Metal than Epic Doom, right? Also, the playing became more Metal oriented than Doom. Do you agree with me, and can you let me know, why did you change in the songwriting process? Do you prefer more the new direction of the band?

- Vesa: Style changed? Well, they're different songs, you know.... Personally, I hate when singer sings exactly same way from track 1 to track 14 in cds. That's boring. Good example are those growlers in black metal bands. I guess few songs in FTTB is more metal oriented than old SM songs. Maybe that has something to do with my songwriting involved and of course V-M's drum playing. He is, for sure, technically better drummer than VP was and he gave us opportunity to compose and play different and more complex songs. Actually, now with V-M, we have oppurnity to make jazz odyssey....... Only joking.... I don't know about knew direction. SM always gonna sound like a thunder, what ever we play. Just simple SM way to make music.... Wait for full cd someday. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Don't worry man.....

9. With the "Forward to the Battle" demo, the band got an offer from a Finnish label to release a full-length album. It's the same label, where Reverend Bizarre is going to publish it's debut CD. How did you get in touch with the label, who is behind it, and do you already have the contracts in your hands?

- Vesa: Generally it's easy. Just send demos to labels and they'll sign you or not. Actually, I asked Zerocharisma's guy does he know to whom it is reasonable to send demo from band like SM and somehow we had missed Mastervox before. Jukka Kyrö is the man we have been dealing with. We are pretty close to deal right now. Looking good, actually....

10. Void of Reverend Bizarre is surely the man behind the Finnish Doom scene, he does a lot for the scene over there. Do you know him and the rest of Reverend Bizarre in person? What's your mind about their music, do you like it?

- TM: We don't know him in person, but V has been in contact with him by email. They seem to be very serious in their own business. They are a little bit of extreme doom for me but they are HEAVY, that's enough!
- Vesa: Never met Void in person but via email we have been in contact. What can I say 'bout him; man of doom indeed. Also with Albert I have been in contact. By ordinary letters, I guess Albert can't type.... Heh heh sorry.... Rev.Biz. music is simply classical doom. Great stuff! Every now and then when I go to SM's rehearsal cave to drink some beer I put RB's demo Slice of doom in cd player and just wonder where these guys are from? Always strange need to light a candle.......

11. An other fine band called Minotauri comes also from Finland. Have you heard their music yet? Haven't you thought about doing gigs together?

- TM: I haven't heard their music yet but looking forward to hear them and see them live.
- Jussi: Hopefully there will be tour with Rev Biz, Mortis and Minotauri. Tour is under careful planning...
- Vesa: I know Minotauri by it's reputation. Never heard the band. That's shame. Can't wait we three get on bus and hit the road. I guess we're not gonna listen Britney Spears in bus......

12. What genre do you consider yourself part of, and how would you define the sound, you're trying to get with the band?

- TM: At the beginning we preferred "Perverse Metal" because we were mix between Black Sabbath, Venom and Celtic Frost. At the time nobody knew about doom-metal and we played slow and heavy.
- Jussi: Today, probably the closest genre for us, is doom metal. With a little taste of Venom of course...
- Vesa: I don't care much about the "boxes" bands been put in. You know, blackmetal,powermetal,doommetal,heavymetal,metalmetal,speedmetal,thrashmetal,metalmetalmetal and so on. You gotta listen and decide whether you like it or not. Not by reading that the band has been put under some category. Well, SM should sound like herd of rhinos running. Hope we manage to do that next time we go to studio.

13. What are those singers that influenced you the most, and where do you draw inspirations for the lyrics and for your singing from? Do you think, the lyrics are an important part of the music?

- Vesa: Ian Gillan and Ronnie James Dio are the guys which I have listened a lot. I like in general singers who gets kinda theatrical feel into vocals. There are lot of great singers out there. Movies are one big influence to my lyrics and ofcourse life itself. All the shitty things in life are interesting. How people react to them and so on. Everybody has darkside in ones head, that's nice source of lyrics too. For me lyrics and singing are part of the sound of the band. Like other instruments, I mean. SM can't sing about boy meets girl under the moon light. Well, if the moon suddenly explodes......

14. How important do you think are gigs for Spiritus Mortis, and please give us a foretaste about a concert of yours. What's the set list like, how do the fans react to your live performance, and which bands did you play live with in the past?

- TM: Gigs are very important. Mainly because new people can see and feel the band. Gigs are of course very heavy and surprisingly very energetic. Like a sledgehammer to the chest.
- Jussi: To the set list, we try to mix slow songs and "fast songs", at least fast songs to us. To have some variation.
- Vesa: Gigs are the thing for me in music. You see and feel reactions in audience what you are causing. Playing on stage is certainly the thing to me. SM gigs have been always amazing, just from the beginning. I guess live performances ain't worst nowadays, maybe even better, I think.

15. The band has it's residence in the city of Alavus. Would you paint us a picture about the city, and which part of the country is your hometown situated? Do you like to live there and in Finland in general?

- TM: Alavus is a small rural city with 10000 inhabitants. And its situated in Etelä-Pohjanmaa, "the Texas of Finland" about 350km north from Helsinki.
- Jussi: We like to live here. Sometimes its nice to live or visit the "big cities of south" but nicer to come home. Winter is dark but cold and it gives excellent vibes to our kind of music...
- Vesa: Too few bars in Alavus..... Too high taxes in Finland; booze, beer, smokes, gasoline....

16. Did you know that Hungarian and Finnish people have the same origin? What do you know about Hungary?

- TM: Yes we knew that. There is a joke about Finns and Hungarians: At the beginning of time we came to a crossing. There were two road signs, in other stands "Finland" and in other "Hungary". Those who could read went to Hungary...
- Jussi: You are sons of Attila. Perkkeles! Totalis Metal!
- Vesa: Hungaroring, for sure. Häkkinen gonna win!

17. What's the best gig you've ever seen in your life, and what are your favourite bands?

- TM/Jussi: Fave bands: THE GODS: Black Sabbath, Venom, old Celtic Frost and Slayer. We are the biggest fans of our own band.
- TM: Best gig: Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus at Nummirock.
- Jussi: Best gig? Motörhead, always.
- Vesa: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, old Rainbow, Motörhead..... One of the greatest moments for me was Black Sabbath in Provinssirock couple years ago with original lineup. Billy Ward wasn't there but Vinnie Appice was close enought.

18. Are you inspired by books, movies, everyday's happenings? What are those books / movies that you like to watch and read?

- TM: We read a lot about history, especially about warfare. Also we watch a hellofalot movies, mostly horror and action. And porno of coz. Kobe Tai rulz!
- Jussi: Also Conan The Barbarian comics are in good use.
- Vesa: I used to read a lot of books but nowadays I always seem to run out of time. Movies is big hobby of mine. Conan Barbarian, Excorcist, Evil Dead, Mad Max 2, Godfather trilogy, Starwars movies, Babylon 5 TV series, Highlander, Terminator/T2, Alien movies just to mention few......

19. What's the next for Spiritus Mortis? What are your plans for the rest of the year and for 2002?

- TM: In Autumn more gigs and hopefully full length album out in end of year/beginning of 2002.
- Vesa: Yeah, hopefully record deal and cd out, more gigs, song writing, beer'n'booze and having fun!


WCH/Haista! -zine

1. Millä mielin olette valmistautumassa tulevaan yhteiskeikkaan Turussa? Tämän keikan piti alunperin aloittaa jonkinlainen doom-kiertue mutta hommat kusivat ja siirtyivät eteenpäin. Mietteitä tästä "takaiskusta"?

- Vesa Lampi: Aivan helevetin hieno homma! Loistavaa nähdä Reverend Bizarre ja Minotauri livenä. Myös loistavaa vihdoin tavata nämä heput kymmenien emailien jälkeen. Noo takaisku ja takaisku….. Hyväähän kannattaa aina odottaa.
- TM: Sitä sattuu. Kunnei otettu paineita koko hommasta niin ei hirveästi haittaa. Sinänsä kiva että joku yleensä viittii yleensä hommata koko kiertuetta.
- Jussi Maijala: Hyvä näinkin.

2. Miten teillä on keikkakokemusta muuten kertynyt? Kommelluksia, hienoja hetkiä keikoilla jne. saapi listata tähän. Miten yleisö on suhtautunut näin "vanhanaikaisiin" bändeihin?

- T: Keikkoja ollut tällä kokoonpanolla 5. Aikaisemmilla kokoonpanoilla vuosien varrelta parisenkymmentä. Hyviä keikkoja ollut suurin osa, tosin sitten kun se paska keikka tulee on se sitten todella paska…
- J: Rusty Angelin keikka oli hyvä ja osa yleisöstäkin diggas. Ei keikan jälkeen ole kukaan uskaltanut tulla ei kehumaan eikä haukkumaan. Palautteen sitten kuulee jälkeenpäin joko kavereilta tai netistä…
- T: Kommelluksista, vuonna miekka ja kilpi meinasi silloinen rumpali jäädä keikkapaikalle kun Jussi ryytyi siihen. Rumpali ilmoitti vaan kesken piisin "vittu, mä tätä kännissä pysty soittamaan". Hyvä että otettiin sittenkin mukaan kun seuraavana päivänä vedettiin taas yksi parhaista keikoista. Kiitti VP!
- V: Henk.koht. kymmeniä keikkoja eri bändeillä ja aina on ollut hauskaa. Keikat on mun mielestä muutenkin "se juttu" musiikin parissa. Kyllä nämä keikat mitä mä olen vetänyt Mortiksessa on osoittanut sen että meitä katsotaan huuli pyöreänä, että mitä helevettiä noi äijät oikein vääntää….. Aivan kun kukaan ei olisi kuullut/nähnyt hevibändiä!

3. Perjantaina 12.10. on Aleister Crowleyn syntymäpäivä. Mitä mieltä hänestä, ajatuksistaan ja tuotannostaan? Mitenkä muuten okkultismi sijoittuu elämiinne?

- T: En tunne miestä henkilökohtaisesti, mutta tiedän että useat muusikot ovat kovasti kiinnostuneet häneen tuotannostaan ?
- J: En ole kuullut miehen soittavan, vitsi vitsi … Lähinnä pyritään toteuttamaan omia ajatuksia eikä muitten…
- T: Okkultismi on kiinnostava asia, ei siinä sen kummempaa. Kun taas saatananpalvonta mikä esiintyy joidenkin yhtyeiden sanoituksista alkaa kyllä olla niin puhki kaluttu juttu…
- V: Mun tieto hepusta on lähinnä Ozzyn biisistä…. Se on vissiin okkultismia kun mä kuuntelen Reverend Bizarrea niin tuntuu aina siltä että pitäisi sytyttää kynttilä! Onhan noista pimeyksistä hauska vääntää biisejä…

4. Mielipide keikan muista bändeistä. Entä doom-skene yleensä muualla maailmassa, suositelkaa joitakin alan parhaimpia bändejä sekä toisaalta myös ns. "varoittavia esimerkkejä".

- T: Minotauria ei olla vielä kuultu mutta Rev Biz on ainakin oikealla asenteella liikenteessä. Mulle henk. kohtaisesti RBn musa on turhan true-doomia mutta bändinä kunnioitan suuresti.
- T: Onko muita doom-yhtyeitä kuin Black Sabbath? ;) Ei vaiskaan, Witchfinder General on/oli hyvä ja tietysti Saint Vitus kolahti aikoinaan.
- J: Kommentoin vain Mortista.
- V: Jos joku bändi voi kutsua itseään truedoomiksi niin se on RevBiz! Minotauria en valitettavasti vielä kuullut. Mun doomit jää kyllä Black Sabbathiin….. Se riittää.

5. Kukin bändi marssii kuta kuinkin asenteella "Vain Todellinen Doom Metalli Merkitsee" tai tällaisen käsityksen olen saanut. Mahtuuko tuomion lisäksi muuta teidän levyhyllyihinne? Kuinka tunnistan todellisen doom-levyn ts. mikä tekee musiikista TRUE doomia? Mielipiteenne ns. modernista doom metallista (doom/death, funeral doom etc.)?

- T: Emmää meirän kohralla oikeen tierä tosta true-doomista... Hyvä musa on hyvää musaa vaikka on olisi kenen esittämää.
- T: Musamaultani mää en ole puritaani. Mä pystyn kuuntelemaan mitä tahansa Black Sabbathin levyä ? Ei vaiskaan, levyhyllyyn mahtuu valikoimaa klassisesta musasta metallin kautta HC-punkkiin.
- J: kts edellinen vastaus.
- V: Täytyy sanoa että mulle henk.koht. ei noi "karsinat" hirveästi merkitse. Muutenkin ottaa päähän kun niitä keksitään koko ajan lisää…. Vuonna kuokka ja Jussi tilanne oli paljon parempi kun ei ollut kuin heviä,punkkia,rokkia ja poppia. Hyvä biisi on hyvä biisi, ei siitä pääse mihinkään vaikka se olis Veikko Lavin veto. Mun hyllystä löytyy vaikka mitä. No heviä ja bluessia nyt ainakin. Sabbath, Deep Purple, Motörhead näiltä taitaa olla kaikki tuotanto noin niinku suurinpiirtein….. Tietysti Stevie Ray Vaughania… niin joo ja Jimbo on kunkku!

6. Miten (ja minkä bändien vaikutuksesta) RB, SM ja M saivat alkunsa? Mistä vaikutteet nykyään vedetään?

- T&J: Mortis sai aikoinaan alkunsa 1988/89 kun Bros Mayalan edellisen bändin laulaja ja toinen kitaristi potkittiin pois ja rumpali päätti lähteä heirän kyytiinsä. V-Ptä pyydettiin mukaan väliaikaiseksi rumpaliksi mutta jäikin sitten vaki-rumpaliksin. 10 vuoden ajaksi. Kyseltiin me muitakin soittajia mukaan mutta ei ne tajunnu mikä oli homman nimi. Pari ekaa vuotta meirät tunnettiin Rigor Mortiksena mutta kun jenkkilästä sitten tuli samanniminen orkesteri niin piti sitten vaihtaa nimi. Vaikutteet revittiin aikoinaan akselilta Venom/Celtic Frost. Mutta pian sen jälkeen havaittiin kuinka kova on Black Sabbath. Tätä nykyä ainakin basson soiton perusteet tulevat vieläkin Venomin suunnalta eli basso on lyömäsoitin. Kaikki jäsenet tuovat kivasti omia vaikutteitaan bändiin, esim Vesa Deep Purple-suunnalta, TM Venomista, V-P LedZeppelin & muu progeilu ja Vellu näistä nykyhevi-bändeistä. Kaikilla tietysti yhteisenä vaikuttajana Black Sabbath.
- V: Taidan toistaa itseäni mutta Black Sabbath, Deep Purple…. No laitetaan välillä Uriah Heep on vaikuttanut mun touhuihin aina niin ja tietysti Jimbo! Mutta sanotaan näin, että SM on ja pysyy samana kuin se ollut vuosikaudet ollutkin. Vellun rumpalisointi kylläkin antaa uusia mahdollisuuksia…. Jos me muut vaan pysytään perässä…heko heko…

7. RB ja SM ovat nyt oululaiselle Sinister Figure -levymerkille kiinnitettynä. RB:n levy julkaistaan tuon em. keikan yhteydessä, koska on SM:n julkaisun vuoro? Minotaurilla on kytkyt muualle ja julkaisua myös tulossa, tästä jotain lisäinfoa lukijoillemme?

- T: Sopparia hierotaan koko ajan enemmän tai vähemmän kiivaasti. Tästä varmaan Vesa informoi enemmän?
- J: Toivottavasti levy tulee mahrollisimman pian.
- V: Jaa meinaakko? Alustavasti oli puhetta, että meiltä tulisi levy pihalle tämän vuoden puolella mutta jos asiat etenee tällä vauhdilla niin se tulee pihalle about 2006 alkukesästä. Sorry Kyrö oli pakko laittaa….

8. Oliko 11.9.2001 tunnetun maailmamme tuomiopäivä?

- T: Häviskö Tappara silloin? Ikävää että tuollasta tapahtuu…
- J: Ei.
- V: Täh?! Ai niin se CNN yhtiön uusi katastrofielokuva….. Enpä tiedä mutta Turun tuomiopäivä on 12.10.

9. Loppuun vielä jotain kliseistä vittuilua, terveisiä, mainostusta tms.

- T: Tulukaa kattoon ja diggaan, ette saa puukosta!
- J: Banzai!
- V: SM on varmasti konkreettisesti illan raskain bändi! Ja vittuilua….. Ei kai… No mä voin wittuilla sitten paikan päällä!