Wolfheart are one of Finland’s fantastic metal bands which produces a genre known as “Winter Metal”. Their icy melodic riffs, crispy drums and fierce vocals come together to create the wintery sound they are known for. Their latest album release, “Constellation of the Black Light”, has taken the band on many tour dates across North America and Europe. Kat caught up with bassist Lauri Silvonen to talk about their 6 week tour supporting Carach Angren, what the band’s plans for the future are and why living in Finland is the best thing an aspiring musician can do.
Wolfheart band pic
You are halfway through a 6 week tour supporting Carach Angren, how is this going, how have the fan reactions been so far?
L: The tour is so far so good! We have a very easy-going company altogether, we all get along very well, and the fans have been great to. All the other bands on this tour are probably a bit more black metal than we are, if you want to put this into a category, I’d say we are a bit more like death metal. However, the reactions have still been very good and for me, personally, I think people have been very happy with the shows.
How have people been reacting to your most recent album, “Constellation of the Black Light”?
L: So far, the reactions have been really good and very positive and of course we are very glad about that!
Are there any differences between the new album and your last album “Tyhjyys”?
L: Yeah, I’d say there is a lot of variation and the songs in “Constellation” are longer, especially the opening track “Everlasting Fall”. I think the “Constellation” is a bit of a harsher album too, and maybe a bit darker in some ways. Both albums have aggressive moments but also easier, or calmer parts. There is a right amount of variation, so we’re not making the exact same thing again and again, but we are putting our own sound into it how we have with other albums.
Your opening track “Everlasting Fall” is 10 minutes long, which is pretty brave to do and not many bands do this. What made you choose to do this?
L: Tuomas would be the best person to answer this question as he does 99% of the songwriting. He was talking about it when he had the song in mind and he wanted an acoustic intro to it and to keep it as a one big track because the song is like a one big piece. I really like how it builds up from the acoustic intro to the first hits of the distorted guitar. It is also a really nice way to start the live show.
Do you have any funny moments that happened on tour which you’d like to share?
L: In the tour bus, and our tour “party” we have a lot of fun together. One of the funny things, I think, is that we found out our guitar player Vagelis doesn’t like pineapples on pizza. We have asked everyone in the band how they feel about pineapple pizza and we all like it. It must be a Finnish thing!
Your guitarist Mika, who was one of the very original members of Wolfheart, has quit in early May, getting replaced with Vagelis (ex-Rotting Christ). Was Mika’s announcement expected and how are you finding the line-up change?
L: Vagelis is the session guy and we are more like a three piece right now, but he is doing an astonishing job, he is a really nice guy, obviously a super talented player and looks good on stage too. He played bass in Rotting Christ but as you can see, he is also a very skilled guitarist too and we are very glad to have him on board with us on this tour. With Mika, it was kind of going on for a year and he had to focus on other things like family and work and everything. He released a statement at the same time as we announced that he is officially not part of the band. There is absolutely no drama or anything like that, we are on good terms and have been in contact with him, it’s just that life goes like that sometimes. He is a super cool guy and an insanely talented guitar player too. He was the first and only guy assisting Tuomas as a session musician doing the guitar solos, when Tuomas did the first album by himself.
Are you looking for a new guitarist as a replacement or is Vagelis here to stay?
L: At the moment we are not looking for any permanent members of the band. We are very fortunate to know a lot of people and have many friends who are talented with guitars. If we think album wise, who is going to do all the solos and stuff, I think we’ve got that covered as we have options for that. But we are in no rush making any decisions or getting any permanent members. I have to say, all credit goes to Vagelis, he is an awesome guy doing an awesome job and it is a real pleasure to share the stage with him every night.
In 2018 you got signed with Napalm Records, how did this occur and how many albums are you signed for?
L: Tuomas handled the negotiations with the labels, we had a couple of options of different labels on the table but in the end, Napalm seemed like the best place for us at this moment. We really got the feeling that they want to work with us, and they were putting in the effort with doing the right things for us. I’m not quite sure how many albums we are signed for, but Napalm has a lot of options for the next one and I am confident with how it is all going. We are working on a new album which will be coming out next year and Tuomas has some songs ready. I’ve heard some demos and it sounds good!
What are your plans for the near future? Should we expect more tours or are you sticking to recording the new album?
L: We are definitely going to do more touring, and we will also do more recording, but I don’t think we will be doing it as intensively as we have done now. In 10 months, I think we have done something like 140 shows already which is quite a lot for a band. This is the 5th tour supporting the album and it is the longest run so far, so it is going very well! But I think everyone is starting to feel it in their bones a bit, that we have been on the road quite a lot. But yeah, we are gonna do an album, do more shows and tours. We are certainly going to be back in England.
How did you come up with the name Wolfheart?
L: `This is also a question for Tuomas but I know some things behind the name. The first thing is that it is not related to Moonspell, or the Moonspell album, which is the first thing that people ask. I think this was like a working title but then it felt like the name suits the music we write. It’s kind of like a lone wolf thing, it’s the mentality and there is a connection with nature. In a way, it describes what the band and our music is. Maybe also the state of mind behind making music and making things, specific for Tuomas, that’s what I would say.
Some of the best rock/metal bands are constantly coming out of Finland, would you say there is something in the air which causes this? Considering the beauty of Finland and the amount of nature you are surrounded by, is living there an advantage for musicians?
L: Yeah, I would say living there is an advantage and it could be because there have seen some good bands from there who have opened the way for other bands. The expectations there are quite high too, so everyone needs to push further and work harder to get anywhere, which keeps the quality of the bands quite high. Everyone knows a guy who plays in a band, or they play in a band themselves. In school also we have music lessons, everyone has to do some music classes. Usually schools are well equipped, there are rooms for students where they can jam together after school or something like that. The environment is suitable for pursuing things related to music. If you don’t have culture and art in schools, then what are you defending for?
Is there any kind of message you try to spread through your music?
L: I would say let the people find themselves if they want to relate with the lyrics. Tuomas writes all the lyrics and has never really shared the thoughts behind them, so let people find the meaning. Overall, I think the main message in general is support the local bands and support music, go to shows and why not grab a guitar yourself and make the best out of it.
Are there any Finnish bands you would recommend checking out right now?
L: Yeah there are lots of Finnish bands you should keep an eye on, but first of all I would say Mors Subita, which is Mika’s band. I think they’ve released their third album and are doing their fourth now and is definitely one you should be keeping an eye on.
Any final words you’d like to add?
L: We have been treated well on this tour, we are really happy to be here and hope to be back as soon as possible!