INSOMNIUM Lay the Ghost to Rest

Darkness, Mourning, Loss, Pain, Nature… a few words that truly can describe the very essence of Insomnium. These Finns are on the scene for more than a decade. So far they have released 5 albums, but they have not been ever ”the band for covers”. But yet it seems that with their latest issue ”one For Sorrow” they can break the chains and become big (whatever that means). The latest offering is their best issue so far, there is no doubt about it. And since they are now on Century Media the things could really change for them. So, only time shall tell!
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„One for sorrow“ really reflects the atmosphere and spirit of the nineties, would you agree?
Yeah sure, that’s true. Of course, those bands in the nineties that we listen to a lot… well how would I put it… some of the nineties albums are our all time favourite albums so for sure you can hear that we were listening to those albums when we were kids, like Amorphis „Tales from the thousand lakes“, Sentenced „Amok“, Dark Tranquillity… I would say that those albums are still my favourite albums. Nowadays you very rarely find the album that you would really attach to, you know? Those albums that you found when you were teenager are the ones that you will always love the most. I’m sure that you can hear from our music that this music of the nineties is something that we really love.

Yes, I found so many nineties’ influences in „One for sorrow“, it sounds like it was recorded and released in that time. Would you agree with me that „One for sorrow“ is the best, or should I say the most complete Insomnium album?
Oh, of course every band will say that the new album is the best but it is really hard to evaluate it yourself! You can’t be objective because you are inside of it all, you cannot see from the outside. You can’t really make the judgement is it now better than the previous album but we are really happy with the album and I couldn’t say that any other album would be better for us. Personally for me would be really hard to say is this our best album, or the previous one, or maybe „Above the weeping world“… I would say that one of these is our best album but I really can’t choose one. Of course, I also like our first two albums, that’s not the point, but I think that we really found our own sound with our 3rd album, the thing that we want to do and we are doing it ever since. So definitely we are really satisfied with the new album and I hope that it will open the new doors for us. We are working with Century Media now which is much bigger label than Candlelight so I hope that new things will hapen and we will get to another level.

While we’re at it, do you expect that „One for sorrow“ could be the breaking point for Insomnium? I think that with this album Insomnium could become a band for cover pages, if you get what I mean…
That’s what we hope! The album is very good, now we have Century Media doing all the promotion pushing us so I’m very confident that they will do it much better than Candlelight. They are much bigger, they have more power to push us and that means a lot. Also we are very excited to see what happens now, do we get to this major league, do we get to this front cover stage or not, but I’m pretty sure that anyway we can get to a higher level, it can take one or two albums but it doesn’t matter. We will keep on making the good albums, the kind of music we really want so I’m pretty confident that in the end it will reward you – keep making the good music constantly, keep producing the great albums… in some point it has to be shown somewhere. You will get higher so we are really confident that these things will happen now.

How would you describe the music of Insomnium now? Melodeath elements are obvious, but you also have clean singing, acoustic elements… There is this dramatic, very emotional approach in your music, it has become much more complex.
I totally agree with you. Of course, our roots are in melodic death metal but if you would describe us now as melodic death metal band it wouldn’t do justice to whole complexity of the music and the variety of the sound that we are having. It is useful tool that you can say „OK, melodic death metal“, it gives people some kind of idea what kind of music we are making but right after that you have to add some more comments as we have some progressive elements and really strong contrasts between the easy parts and heavy ones. There’s all kind of stuff going on that it’s really hard to put in words or find a simple label that really do justice to the whole music that we are making. If I would have to pick one song from the album that would represent Insomnium I think that it wouldn’t be possible because there’s so much variety within the songs. If someone wants to find out what Insomnium is about, I think they should listen to the whole album and now just one song.

Well I had the same impression, when I was checking the new album, it really sounded to me like one long song…
That’s nice to hear, it is very good. Of course we think about the whole album when we compose music, we don’t just try to make ten hit songs and that’s it, we think about the whole package – that you have to have fifty minutes of interesting music. It has to be arranged in a way that it stays interesting all the time. So we are not thinking just about the separate songs but instead the whole album and there has to be some drama there that develops: you have the easier parts, then the heavy parts, you have the longer songs, a kind of starting point and ending song… I think that, if we have developed over the years in one thing it is this, we are better in thinking about the whole package, album and the way that it stays interesting all the time. That is something that we really put a lot of effort to, so that people would listen to the whole album and not just the random songs.

You are going to have European tour very soon, could you give us any info about that?
Yeah, we have two weeks tour in November, our first headlining tour. Before the Dawn and MyGRAIN are the support bands so I’m sure that it will be very good tour, it’s a cool package, all the bands are good. We are really excited and a bit nervous because it’s our first headlining tour so now we are responsible for getting the people there, you can’t blame anyone else if people don’t show up. But anyway I’m confident that it will be a great tour and there will be a lot of people to see the shows. For the next year we already have plans for further touring, the plan is also to come to those countries that we can’t visit now. For a long time Serbia has been one of those countries that we have wanted to come to so I hope that next year we’ll have a chance to come there, either on a tour or some festival.

I would like to ask you now about the cover concept, and I guess that there is a strong link between it and lyrical concept of the new album. I also feel that you are very much inspired by nature…
Well, that is true, we have a lot of nature themes and symbolism in our lyrics and also the similar themes in graphics and covers so definitely you’re right. The lyrics and cover are inspired by this old English nursery rhyme called „one for sorrow“ which is about counting crows and it determines what you will get in life: one for sorrow, two for glory, three for luck, four for death… I don’t remember exactly how it went but that was kind of starting point for this. Actually we have that poem printed in the booklet as well so people can see that this album was inspired by it. That is why we also wanted to have the birds in the cover because it is about counting the birds so there is a link between the cover artwork and the lyrics.

The final question is about your fans: would you like to give them any message?
Of course, we are really grateful that we have so great fans all over the world. Many people keep asking why don’t we come to play their city or their country, of course we would like to come to play everywhere but is not that simple – you have to organize the concert and invite us there so it can be difficult sometimes, but I can assure you that we will try to come to play to all the places and countries we haven’t been before. Our Serbian fans, I can tell you that I’m sure that we will come there sooner or later or at least somewhere close to you next year. Thanks for your patience and we hope to meet you all!

  • Interview was done by Marko Miranovic