Things are going well for the Finnish protagonists Oddland. After a , pardon the pun, odd twist of fate upon winning their national Suomi Metal Star contest, they landed a contract with Century Media, the first result of which is their new album, the intriguingly monikered ‘The Treachery of Senses .Mien man and singer Sakari takes us to Finland, Spain and back.How did you find your experience in the Suomi Metal Star Contest?
We entered the contest online, with no expectations whatsoever. Entering our band to the contest was part of the push-your-band-to-every-media-you-possibly-can-and-hope-for-the-best –repertoire. And it just so happened, that this fish caught the hook so to say, and we ended up being in the final 4 of the competition. Each band played a show at Finnish Metal Expo in Helsinki and a panel of juries chose the winner. We were very hesitant of winning the whole thing until the very end. We got a good response from the jury panel, but we were very surprised when they announced us as the winner, because this music isn’t probably the easiest to get into at first listen. Getting a record deal was a huge thing for us, and something that we had been working towards for a good while already.
You started out quite grungy to change to a more prog oriented style now. Did you all of a sudden discover Dream Theater or what brought about this change?
The decision to make more heavy music was more or less conscious. We were listening to a lot of heavy albums, like Testament’s ‘Demonic’ and we wanted to have that energy in our music as well. The progressive elements lurked in little by little, so that’s something that just happened kind of naturally. We still listen to a wide catalogue of different music but this style we have just feels right with this band.
This change also coincided with your year long stay in Spain? A pure coincidence or did you find your appetite for prog there?
The change didn’t really happen after my return. I think you can’t really pin point the time when our music got to be “progmetal”. It happened so gradually… After my return from Spain however the band got a little serious, and started working towards a record deal.
Do you write songs as a band really or do you have one main songwriter to which the rest contributes?
The main songwriters in our band are Ville our drummer and myself. All the guys contribute a lot to the songs however. Everybody has an equal say no matter who brought the idea to the table. We try to have sort of a democracy in our band so everyone can stand proudly behind every song we finalize.
How did the cooperation with Dan Swäno go?
Dan must be one of the easiest people to work with. He listened really carefully to our (sometimes very vague and weird) ideas and tried to make it happen. And somehow with his magical studio skills he was always able to deliver whatever weirdness we wanted in the mix! We were very fortunate he was the mixer of the album, the sound on it is very much like we initially planned and hoped it would be!
Your singing reminds me also more of Alice in Chains than most prog or modern metal bands?
Well yeah, I guess some of my vocal “idols” or guys I really appreciate as singers come from that style of music like Scott Weiland, Layne Stayley, Chris Cornell, Jerry Cantrell, and so on. I also really think Daniel Gildenlöw and Jeff Buckley just to name a few amazing singers.
What does’the title ‘ the Treachery of Senses’ mean to you?
The idea behind the title TTOS is that all perceptions have a certain amount of interpretation to them, and so all the ways we perceive can become polluted by distortions in those perceptions. So that’s the loose connecting theme/idea behind the lyrics and the album. But it’s not a concept album! J
I think that also musically, the album flows very nicely although it wasn’t composed with that in mind. I think making a theme album is very challenging. For it to work you really have to have an idea that is very exciting and interesting. I think theme albums can easily fall flat on their face after a few listens, so I think to make something like that work, you really have to think it through.
Our hope is that when you close your eyes and listen to the album from start to end, you will be taken on trip that excites, challenges and intrigues your ears pushing your imagination to flow free.
Century Media is a somewhat unlikely label for progmetal? Do you feel at home there?
Absolutely. We fell they have been taking really good care of us and really given us creative freedom, which is the most important thing. Even though our music has a lot of odd twists and turns, we feel that we also feature more than a few catchy melodies in our songs, parts that open up to the listener quite easily. That’s also something that we try to do on a conscious level to some extent.
What will the future hold?
Well, I think what you can expect from Oddland in the future, is that we won’t stay where we are now, but we will try to evolve our sound even further, and explore what our musical land of oddness still holds in store for the future.
Hopefully we will be able to make European tour next fall/spring so we can come greet you guys and play a show in Belgium as well! Lekker!