WEB: Skepticism Web.
MYSPACE: Skepticism Myspace.
LASTFM: Skepticism LastFm.
REVIEW IN GDZ: Skepticism – Alloy Review in Spanish.
READ IN SPANISH: Skepticism Interview in Spanish.
READ IN FINNISH: Skepticism Interview in Finnish.
BUY SKEPTICISM CD: Buy Skepticism CD Alloy.
GDZ: If you can remember hehehe :) Why you chose the name “Skepticism”, seventeen years ago?
Jani: There wasn`t anything that special behind the name, we just thought is suited well our music and ideas we had that time. We also preferred the form where it is written with “k”, somehow it looked heavier.
GDZ: From the begining of Skepticism as a band, never changed the lineup, something strange in metal scene… Always stayed the same musicians, Matti on vocals, Jani on guitars, Lasse on Drums and Eero on Keys. Why you never listed a regular bassist player?.
Jani: Yep, we have had that “happy problem” almost since the very beginning. It makes things much easier when you have played with the same guys over so many years. For example, you will know the answer already before asking a question from other member, and it`s also very easy to play together when you have done it for ages with the same guys. Our musical style obviously changed when our original bass player left the band and Eero started the play organs. I think, it was in 1993. Since then, we haven`t needed bass guitar as all the required bass boost is coming from the organs. Well, in the studio I have played bass to most of the songs, but when playing live, it`s not needed. It would be difficult to list an outsider to our group. It`s hard to even think of such a scenario. If a new member will be introduced, then he/she should be a very good friend of us.
GDZ: Skepticism is a intermitent band, because between releases, always stayed a long period in “silence”, What`s really happenned in this years? Use this time for jamming, for working, or this time is simply used as a temporary leave the band, for others commitments. IMHO if you continue with these long periods of silence, it`s good for me… cause yours always recorded excepcional records.
Jani: Actually our working has never stopped during the band`s lifetime. There have been a few very silent periods in our history, but also during them, we`ve continued trainings and making new material. In our methodologies it just takes time to finish songs. There have been also exceptions, for example it took only a few weeks to complete Antimony (an organ based song on the new album), but other totally different example is The March and the Stream. It took two years to finish the song. Usually if we want to do some real progress, we need to have a clear goal in the future. That happened this year (2008). In the beginning of 2008 we finally decided to do “something”. At first, we updated our Internet presence with a new website and myspace page. Then we started looking for a new studio for album recordings, and finally found one, and started discussions with Red Stream about the releasing work, and with other friends about gig possibilities abroad. 2008 has been very exceptional and active year for Skepticism.
GDZ: All your songs lyrics are written in english, If isn`t your native language… You never try to use suomi in lyrics? suomi is a very lirical language and probably fits very well with your mournful music..
Jani: Finnish is our native language, but already in the very beginning we decided to use English. Somehow it was a clear choice and we didn`t even consider using Finnish. I`m not sure, but probably everyone would be able to say their native language is lyrically rich. However, I find Finnish as a very beautiful language. It should be also mentioned, that we have own national epic called Kalevala, where Mr. Lönnrot compiled a number of old poems, stories and folklores in the nineteenth century. It`s a very important piece or work for all Finns. I agree, that Finnish would be a very useful language to describe our songs and to be used in our lyrics, but on the other hand, when writing lyrics in English, there are more fans and other people who are able understand them.
GDZ: I really like the artwork of your releases. Skepticism`s covers are ethereal, so close to the band music. Who is the painter/artist behind the covers? Is always the same artist?
Jani: All the cover designs have been done by our self our by a friend of us. The purpose has been to illustrate the music on the album. For the Alloy-cover, we manually cut a suitable piece of metal and photographed it. Idea was to show how “Alloy” would look alike. The final finishing work was done by a friend.
GDZ: Talking about your music, The omnipresent sound of organ keys in your tracks, is a trademark of Skepticism. I really like Eero`s work… but What’s your opinion about Eero’s work in Skepticism? And two small questions for Eero, The samplers/keys are taken from a real organ? and Why you use a mirror in live stage?
Jani: He has as important role in the band as other guys and in addition he also writes our lyrics. Somehow he has a very unique approach to his instruments, which is excellent. The organ sound he is using is not a pure organ sound. We have never trying to do that. There has been mixed some strings etc., into the organ sound to make the sound more suitable for Skepticism. There are many functions for the mirror. It looks good and strengthens the mood on the stage. For him, it also provides better possibilities to follow-up the band and allows him to adapt better to the rest of the band, I guess.
GDZ: Matti, You improve and evolve your vocal range, every single record you released. To this improvement, you use some vocal effects?.
Jani: I didn`t pass this question to Matti, but I think, I`m able to answer on behalf of him. Naturally his style is evolving all the time and he is always trying to find a suitable approach for each song. One thing that has been most probably affecting to his “touch” is Thromdarr. He joined the band a couple of years ago. Thromdarr represents a faster and anger type of metal, which means, a more aggressive vocals are needed. I believe that Thromdarr has been very good training for him.
GDZ: Alloy is another Funeral Doom kickass release, but sounds much melodic, and more “faster” than your previous albums… Matti expands his vocal range, the guitar work is more important, and keys and drums sounds amazing as ever… With few words try to explain the essence of your last album Alloy.
Jani: I`m not sure is it faster, but somehow it is more “straightforward”, when comparing to our earlier albums. Our typical approach has been to mix all the instruments on the same volume level, including vocals. On the new album there are riffs where some instrument is mixed above the others. In my opinion one remarkable thing on the new album is the clearer sounds and better sound quality than before. Because of that, it is maybe easier to identify melodies and nuances, which makes the album sound more melodic than before. A disadvantage is; there aren`t similar sound walls than maybe before. Well, it`s up to listener. When we created material for the album, my personal goal was to enrich the current Skepticism style with the old ideas we had in the beginning of band`s lifetime. I tried to do some kind of combination of old and current Skepticism. I think, I was able to reach that goal somehow.
GDZ: Last question about music, Tell me about the musical differences between Skepticism first releases and your last album.
Jani: Let`s continue the previous answer… In the beginning and on the debut, we were able to create nice sounding riffs with very simple ideas. Somehow I feel I have lost that touch. You know, if you`re playing so many years with same guys, it is inevitable that the style how you compose music or play instrument is evolving and changing all the time, which means, you`re learning new things but also loosing or unlearning something. In addition, your “studio skills” are also developing during every studio visit. All of these have affected our musical style and sound. After the couple of first albums our style changed towards more minimalistic but still more complicated style. Farmakon is a good example about that. And as said, on the new album, I have been trying to combine all of these old styles and also trying to create something new. It has been very interesting and the process is still ongoing…
GDZ: Now it`s time for a silly game :) Best personal songs from each Skepticism album, for example: I chose Everdarkgreen from Stormcrowfleet; Your classic The March And The Stream from Lead And Aether; Aes from Aes hehehe it`s a joke; Untitled from Farmakon; and Oars In The Dusk from your last record Alloy… you chose…
Jani: Heh, it really depends on the day (or year). Currently I like the ending parts or Pouring and By Silent Wings is a nice song to play at live. The March and the Stream is a very ultimate song and I always feel very strong emotions when playing it. I also like the untitled song on Farmakon, it`s the most insane work we have done, but somehow I feel I have got overdose of that song. It`s difficult to say about Alloy yet. Oars in the Dusk is a nice song to play with guitar, but it`s maybe not as “deep” piece of work as other songs on the album.
GDZ: How is your relationship with your label Red Stream? They published all your releases. Do you have an album/s contract with them? In the past, any other label was interested in release your records?
Jani: I really appreciate Red Stream, the artistic freedom they have provided and the patience they have had with us. For example, for the new album we just pre-booked the studio and asked RS whether it would be possible to do a new album this year. They agreed and were ready to pay the studio without hearing a single song to be recorded on the album, no demos, nothing. Once in a while some other labels have shown their interest, but we have continued with Red Stream. It`s a bit funny you asked this now, as currently we don`t have an effective contract and no idea about our future. Don`t get me wrong, we haven`t even thought about our future yet. It has been so busy half of a year for us (all the recordings, tour, gigs, etc). I guess, we will start planning after the February`s mini-tour that will be done with Esoteric in Finland.
GDZ: When I make an interview, I always repeat the same question about Internet Downloads, because I`m so interested in artist opinion. What`s your opinion about music business? Illegal downloads benefits the artist, cause much people have access to our music or simply rip your work?
Jani: Well, for underground band the pirate copies can even help in marketing, but I really hope, people will also buy the music, because otherwise there won`t be small labels or bands anymore. Red Stream send free promo packets of our new album before it was officially released and some asshole put in into some torrent network immediately, probably before even listening the album. That kind of attitude I find disgusting and can`t appreciated it at all!
GDZ: Finally, Can you reveal me some plans for Skepticism future… Maybe a new album… A new silent period… new tours…
Jani: As said above, I have no idea yet. I really hope we will record a new album in 2010, but I can?t say is it feasible at all, so let`s see… At least for the 2009 we have a few upcoming gigs and also some preliminary plans to visit Russia and UK for example.