Enthrope Drummer Mikko Mustonen Discusses Their Demo "Silenced Earth"
Band Photo: Enthrope (?)
Finnish dark metal band Enthrope has been making their own way in the music industry, releasing two high quality demos "Universe Mute" and "Silenced Earth" to show the world what they can do. Although they haven't nailed down a record deal yet, drummer Mikko Mustonen revealed that Enthrope is planning on hitting the recording studio again to lay down a full-length album. Mikko also discussed the band's history and their interesting use of synths to reproduce female vocal sounds.
xFiruath: How did the members of Enthrope initially meet up and decide to form a band?
Mikko: It started out with Ville and Jani (guitarists) who were already thinking to start a band. I contacted Ville about the matter and joined the E-team in early 2006. Miika (vocalist) and bass player Juha were both long time friends of Ville and came along as well during late winter that same year.
xFiruath: How long have you been involved in music and what made you want to become a musician?
Mikko: I actually had no plans of starting to play any instrument. One friend of mine asked once if I’d like to come and try out the drums for their hard rock band. Before that I had only played the drums once or twice, and as you could imagine my playing was terrible. Bit by bit, I started to like playing more and more, and so after 15 years I’m still here.
xFiruath: How would you describe the sound of Enthrope to someone who hadn’t heard it before?
Mikko: That’s a tough one. I’ve never been good at putting music in genres, etc. Especially for those bands which have multiple influences in their music. You could say we fit in a rather large scale of dark/death. Maybe small bits of black metal too. We have the angry and fast stuff and also very melodic and beautiful aspects in our music. You could easily say we would be a melodic death metal band, but I’m not sure it would explain our music to someone who hasn’t heard us.
xFiruath: “Silenced Earth” is your second demo and I understand that it was primarily to garner interest from labels. How is your label hunt going? Even if you guys don’t ever get signed, I whole heartedly hope you at least put out a full length on your own, as I think there was a ton of promise in “Silenced Earth.”
Mikko: Yes it was more or less pointed out for different labels for possible cooperation. We got some offers but nothing worth going further with. A label supporting you would be cool, but I don’t think we will get fed up with the band and the music, just because of the fact that we have not received the right label interest so far.
xFiruath: What are the major differences between “Silenced Earth” and your first demo "Universe Mute?" How has your sound changed since the earlier release?
Mikko: I would say that the sound has evolved to much more layered and partly more complex arrangements, but with maybe, dare I say, more catchy elements as well. The sound itself has also grown to bigger and wider soundscapes, partly thanks to the production made in D-Studio. This will evolve even further in the future, as we start to record our first album in the same place. The new material is really strong and diverse.
xFiruath: I’m interested in knowing about the backing female vocals. Did you actually have someone come in to do them or were they done with synths?
Mikko: We have been thinking many times of bringing someone along to do the actual vocals, but so far the vocals heard on the records are unfortunately still synths. But I would still say that they sound surprisingly authentic, nevertheless.
xFiruath: Who writes the music and what do the lyrics generally deal with?
Mikko: The music is mostly done by Jani and Ville, with contribution from our singer Miika. The lyrics are more or less my department, with some help from Matti Reinola of Sham Rain and Hanging Garden. What can I say, nothing you can’t find in the newspapers. The lyrics have a rather dark theme. End of the World stuff, etc. You know, nothing new there. I’ve always liked those concept albums, but I’m too lazy to ever doing that. So, I use small binding parts that you can find from other lyrics. You could say I try to bind small “stories” from a larger concept without any real story.
xFiruath: Are you guys currently playing any live shows or have any plans for touring soon?
Mikko: This year it’s been rather quiet with gigs. We were supposed to play at the Frostbite Metal fest in February but that was a total fuck up. Maybe you’ve heard about it? At the moment we’re not actively searching for any gigs, as we are rehearsing the new material. As soon as we get new stuff done we’ll have to check the scene again.
xFiruath: Being in a band generally means that the alcohol flows pretty freely. Are you guys big on partying and what is your drink of choice?
Mikko: We have our moments with the booze. As Ville lives in Tampere, about 170 km from Helsinki and isn’t always able to come every weekend, the rehersals are rather well known how they end up. Most of us live in a relationship, though, and one guy has a child. So it’s not so rock n’ roll as it could be. Maybe it’s better that way.
xFiruath: What bands or albums are you currently listening to most often these days?
Mikko: I’ve been listening to black metal lately, like old Burzum and Immortal. Just found out about a Swedish band called Arckanum. Their latest album “ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ” is absolutely great. Though my taste in music varies a rather lot. One day doom, the other black and on the third I can put on “Assembly” from Theatre of Tragedy.
xFiruath: How do you feel about the state of the metal scene today in Finland?
Mikko: Well, the scene has been crowded now for pretty many years here in Finland. I can’t say it’s a bad thing. It’s great that there are eager musicans who want to make good music for others to share. Though it’s rather hard to get to be heard by the masses if you don’t have something special to offer. Death/thrash metal is pretty much what the Finnish bands are all about. Or it seems so, of what I’ve seen and heard. I was really thrilled when a friend of mine got Mournful Congregation and Mourning Beloveth here to Finland to play a few gigs. More stuff like that would be nice to see more often. The only thing is the fact that Finland is located a bit too far from Europe, so it’s rather expensive to get all the gear here. Of course we have had some great bands here visiting us but there is always room for more.
xFiruath: That’s all my questions, is there anything else you’d like to discuss or bring up to our readers?
Mikko: Thanks man, it was nice to have this chat. For the readers I’ll just say go and listen to our stuff and spread the word of Enthrope. Rokrok!!
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