Interview with Aleksi Virta of Imperanon
Hailing from the mighty Espoo, Finland, Imperanon has recently and confidently burst onto the scene with their critically-acclaimed debut release Stained. A quintet of talented musicians of ages ranging from 18 to 26, they're sure to cause a stir in the underground metal world once they begin touring widely. We decided to find out a little more about the group and their new album, and keyboardist Aleksi Virta was kind enough to oblige...
Beside this interview, what is Imperanon doing this second?
Getting wasted like there was no tomorrow.. No, I don't really know what the others are doing. I'm just speaking on my behalf. We should probably be rehearsing new songs or something, but maybe a little break in rehearsing will do good for everyone.
How long did "Stained" take to put together from its conception to its release?
The first songs of Imperanon are on Stained, so the work was really started somewhere during the year 2001.. So it took about three years. However, we had no idea at the time, that Imperanon would be one of Nuclear Blast's bands. The album contains all Imperanon songs ever written. The next album won't contain songs from that long period of time.
How much of this time was spent drinking?
How much can a band of five members drink in three years? If you think that three years, the time spent drinking can probably be measured in months...
Where did the some of the ideas come from for the songs on "Stained"?
I think Aleksi S. gets his most ideas while he's simply rehearsing all by himself... Or sometimes he tells how his head is filled with new songs melodies etc. That's quite scary actually.
What element did Titus Hjelm and Nino Laurenne add to "Stained" while they worked with you?
It's quite hard to say, because they really didn't change our songs that much. Some clean vocal arrangements were made by Titus though. Nino didn't have a large impact on the album, but that can explained with the fact that he worked as an engineer.
Why did Aleksi S. cut his gloriously epic blond hair?
In Finland we have conscription, so every male has to serve in the military for at least six months.. That's why Aleksi had to cut his hair.
What kind of touring do you have planned for the near future?
We can't really plan a tour before Jaakko finishes his service in the army. He can't obviously leave the country during his service. Really the only possible time for the tour is summer or fall 2005... It's hard to make any plans regarding touring yet.
When playing, what's the on-stage chemistry like in Imperanon? How do your audiences react to your performances?
We're all having great time all the time, when we are on stage, and it seems to have an effect on the audience too. It's always nice to see that our stage performances appeal to people in such ways.
What are your goals for the next few years? Just how far is Imperanon going to go?
It's hard to tell what is going to happen later on. We don't really have much goals regarding success or anything. Time will show. I personally am ready to go just as far as Imperanon goes...
Is there any specific message you want to pass to your listeners with your music?
Be nice to your mother! No, i don't see really a solid message in our music. At least nothing specific.
Who would prevail in a musical battle between Janne Warman, Jens Johansson and Aleksi Virta?
I'm a bit incapable to say, but I think that Jens Johansson is so much above me and Janne Warman that he's definately my choice.
Did Aleksi S. do the clean vocals on "Hollow Man"?
No, he can't sing that well.. It was Pasi Rantanen from Thunderstone. The idea to use him came from his fellow bandmates, Nino and Titus. That man sounds quite incredible on the album, at least in my opinion.
Where did you find Leonna Aho to do the vocal work on "Shadowsouls"?
Leonna is a friend of Aleksi Sihvonen's. She sang on our last demo on the same song, so we thought that we'll ask her to sing on the album too.
What's in your CD player right now?
A record of a finnish band called Diablo.
What's the first thing you'll do when you have a ridiculous amount of money from Imperanon?
What do you think..? Drink it, and spend some of it on new gear. If you mean a LOT of money by the word ridiculous, I think the first thing we all would like to get, is a new rehearsal dungeon... If not, I'd probably buy a pack of cigarettes or something and let the good times roll.
Anything else to tell Canada before we finish up?
I'm really looking forward to visit Canada sometimes. If we get the chance to come there sometime in the fututre, I hope to see you all on our gigs!!!
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