Kivimetsan Druidi

Interview date

18 Mars 2010




Interview Leeni-Maria Hovila

Can you introduce your band?

Yep! We are Kivimetsän Druidi, we come from Finland and we play fantasy metal. We play since 2002, and I'm in for only two years, I joined in 2008. We are going to release our second album in April.

The band knew a lot of line-up changes since its creation. Do you think you find the perfect one since 2008?

It seems so, yeah. We really wanted, since the beginning, that it would be the final line-up. And seems that it works. Some people who have been in the business before me, say that it takes about two years to introduce a new member in the band. So these two years have been about this thing and the album Shadowheart. And that's cool. And now, I think this is gonna be the final line-up!

The name of your second album is "Betrayal, Justice, Revenge". Why this title?

Both are elements, which are in the songs. The original idea for this title was from Joni. There is one of the songs, "Of Betrayal" which could be a title, but it wasn't really equal, we didn't want it as a title, that's why we change. And then, we took some others elements than betrayal from other songs. We took them in the "Seawitch and the Sorcerer" and "Aesis Lilim" which is the first track. And justice and revenge are also in "Of Betrayal" and "Desolation". We wanted to put all the things together in a way. That's the explanation.

On the cover, the warrior is a woman. Are you for the "Girl Power"?

Well, maybe I am. But the warrior on the cover is Aesis Lilim from the first song. Aesis Lilim is an idea that I have of warrior woman in my own fantasy world, and also she is, in a way, my alter ego. That's the explanation. But yeah, I'm for the equal cause. I really like this idea of female warrior since I'm twelve and I saw the animation movie, "Heavy Metal". It's about a female warrior call Taarna and who saves the world. But mostly, it's about Aesis Lilim, the person in the first track.

On this album, there are nine songs. Do you think it's the right number for an album, not too short, not too long?

Yep. Nine songs it's efficient. All together, it's about fifty minutes. There were no specials reasons for the actual nine songs. We just said, "Ok, now we have enough songs". (Laughs)

According to me, the compositions of "Betrayal, Justice, Revenge" are richer and more worked than on "Shadowheart", and the production is better. Do you agree?

I definitely do. Yeah, definitely! I do! (Laughs)

You wrote the lyrics of most of the songs of this album. Is it important for you to write what you sing and think?

Yes it is, of course. I write what I think. The lyrics also, my lyrics happen in the fantasy world. But the scenes that happen in them are the big issues and the ideas of love, justice, betrayal and revenge. I definitely write what I think and now I'm thinking of the point of "Seawitch and the Sorcerer" for example. In Seawitch, when I wrote the lyrics, I was trying to think to the audience, and I don't know if anyone will hear it, but it's about soldiers who are thinking they are on a justified quest, purchasing the sorcerer. And what I wanted to bring up was the idea that sometimes, the sense of justice makes people naïve: 'That's we thing, that's we understand, what is right and we are right and have the right to do it". So it's definitely important for me to write what a think for a song.

On this album, you sing in English, but also in Finnish. Have you a preference between these two languages?

Actually, no. I'm a little bit worried to sing so much in English and not very in Finnish. And I would love to keep the Finnish language. And I probably, for my own part, I will introduce more Finnish in the future, because, I don't want to loose it. But speaking of technical of singing, English is actually a pretty difficult language and Finnish is a little bit easier, especially because it is my mother tong. But I don't have a special preference.

Would you appreciate to sing again a whole song alone?

We did one on the "Shadowheart" album. I do like the idea, and we have this thinking of may be doing more songs like that. We will see what comes up. Maybe more songs like "Tiarnách – Verinummi". It was in finnish. If there are more songs like that, it will be different than usual, and I would love to.

Are there some critics, which helped you to evolve for "Betrayal, Justice, Revenge"?

Actually, I don't really read and listen to the critics. We listened to and read of course the critics on magazines and stuff like that. But, the point is, we do know most of the stuff that they said. I think that, we don't need to hear it from the outside; we know what sucks. And we hear if something definitely works. I think, may be, I'm a little bit harsh, in this band I really think we have to find the way we want to do things, ourselves.

Your two albums have instrumental intro. Is it important for Kivimetsän Druidi to be not in think of things immediately?

Well, the intro of "Betrayal...", is the intro of "Aesis Lilim". We didn't know that it will be separated in two different tracks until the manager called me and asked me the name for it. (Laughs). And I was like "What?!" It was supposed to be a part of "Aesis Lilim" you know, and then it was separated. But it was a long intro, and "Aesis Lilim" begins quite strongly. But we didn't plan it, it's not very important. That's just happened.

In your opinion, what are the reasons people have to listen to your music?

(Hesitant) Because we are pretty damn cool. (Laughs) Honestly, I don't know. If you like the music with contrast... We love the contrasts and we want to keep them up, we want to be as wild as possible. People should check out our music, I think they will love it. I think we do a pretty good job. And it's gonna be even better. I don't really think I can figure out any other reasons.

You were talking about contrast, aren't you afraid to loose the essence of Kivimetsän Druidi with all the elements you use?

(Hesitant and insistent) No, and no. (Laughs). The music is getting harsher and more aggressive. I sometimes, I had have this little worried in my heart, if we loose this melodies of the fantasy parts, of the essence. It doesn't seem, it's still there. It's just evolving to what we want to do. The contrasts are going to be even bigger, with really harsh and aggressive parts, and with melodic and fantasy parts. I don't think the essence is gonna be lost. I think we are going into the good direction.

It must be gratifying and encouraging to release your first, and then your second album with Century Media, isn’t it?

It is really amazing and definitely encouraging. We were lucky with that, but we also did a lot of work to get into Century Media. It has been a really good thing for us.

Every album is special, but it says the second one is even more special than the others. Do you think the same?

Yeah, definitely. The audience was really happy with "Shadowheart", and Century Media was happy with "Shadowheart" too. But we were not that happy, because it wasn't the way we wanted it. However, "Betrayal, Justice, Revenge" is so much better as an experience. We appreciate it much more, than "Shadowheart", it's sad, but it's the story.

Kivimetsän Druidi means in English "Druids of the stone forest". Is it important for you to be in communion with the nature as the druids were?

That would have to ask to Jonni. But the point of the druid is a character of Jonis'. But the druids, are like you say, in communion with nature and they are wise. That is a point in itself, and why Joni choose to pick up a druid than something else.

You are an opera singer. Why did you wanted to sing this way?

Well, I like metal, and I like metal for a long time. And I also listen to a lot of doom metal stuff like Type O Negative, Swallow the Sun. But I always wanted to be crossover, and I never wanted to be an opera singer. I don't like the idea of being limited.

What do you think about the other bands with female singer?

I don't really even know that much these bands. I don't listen too much to these bands. I got to many things to do! (Laughs)

Maybe you heard some of them when you were at the Metal Female Voices Festival last year?

After we play, it was Amberian Dawn, which is also a Finnish band. I listened to the vocalist and I thank... well I like her! And I have to mention After Forever, which is not a band that I listen to that much. I got the album, "Invisible Circles", and Floor Jansens' sing is definitely awesome. She is awesome. So I would really appreciate actually to be like her!

You already did a lot of shows, in the beginning, did you realise how luck you were to present your music in this way?

Well, of course, we know we are lucky. But we really not have the time to think that. We had to go and do the job. But of course, it's awesome. But it is also normal. It's no more or no less than a job you have to do. But we are down to earth, when something big happen, we say: "hey, that's really coolé. But we don't jump to the world for it. We are like "ok, now, we have to go and this."

What is the question you would have enjoy I asked you and why?

Oh my god! (Laughs) (Hesitant) I don't know! If I believe there is gonna be a world peace and people are going to understand that it's going to be really, really easier if everyone is just nice to an other. And the answer is : Yeah. I think when people will stop to be idiot!

It would be great that things turn out this way.

Yeah, we wouldn't have to escape in the fantasy world. And we wouldn't be in trouble.

Have you something else to say to end this interview?

Yeah ! I will probably say this a lot in the future: thanks of course, it's obvious. If we get the chance to come to France, please check out the show and please do check out the album. And, beware of little green dragon. I think I already say it before, but I'm gonna use it again, beware of little green dragon.