Amorphis - Better Reborn
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: At this point, any songs in particular sticking out for you? I’ll point to “Song of the Sage” and “My Enemy” as being my favorites.
Koivusaari: It's still very difficult to say, as I'm still too close to it, and cannot listen to it as [an] outsider. When we'll start to play them live it will be clearer what will be my personal favorites. Right now, I'm satisfied with [the] wholeness of album, 'cause that was what we wanted to do, not particular songs.
Blistering.com: In fact, “My Enemy” is one of the most “death metal-sounding” songs you’ve done in recent memory. Did it take you down a trip on memory lane?
Koivusaari: We released this Magic and Mayhem album, and had small tour with every former member of Amorphis included just before we started recordings for The Beginning of Times album, I think that was also affecting how heavy some songs turned. It wasn't purpose, more like that we can do it this way as well.
Blistering.com: It’s been 15 years since Elegy. Is that hard for you to think about?
Koivusaari: It's just so strange how fast time flies, even how cliché that is. Lot of things has happened though, and that album still sounds kinda fresh to me. Never thought we would still exist after 15 years from that. I'm glad we are still around.
Blistering.com: Many will point to Tales as being your definitive work, but Elegy (in my opinion) is the stronger album. What’s your take on it?
Koivusaari: Tales was maybe very first important album for us, cannot deny that. Personally I like Elegy better, as we went more to our “own” direction with that album. Also I like [the] production much better, actually it is very nice and timeless sounding record still! But people have their own favorites [as to] what has been important to them in certain phases of life, and that's how it should be.
Blistering.com: The guitar interplay between you and Esa [Holopainen, lead guitars] is so seamless. Describe the working relationship between you two.
Koivusaari: Nowadays we know exactly what other is going to play to some song, so we don't actually even talk about it. It's just very obvious, and I know what kind of parts I can go more spacey and parts when I need to keep heaviness and other way. When you play 20 years together, it comes very easy to read other's mind.
Blistering.com: Now that you don’t have to do any growls, has your job onstage become much easier?
Koivusaari: I don't know if it became easier, but I like it more when I just have to concentrate [on] playing guitar. In other hand it was easier when I was growling, as there wasn't too much options than stay near microphone and mosh. I didn't like to be a “frontman” to be honest; I'm more satisfied to be little behind.
Blistering.com: You’re one of the longest-running bands in the Finnish metal scene. Do you feel any type of responsibility in terms of keeping the quality of metal high?
Koivusaari: If we someday are making album just to get to tour, it's time to quit. We are still trying to do our best album, and we are very ambitious when it comes to making music. Not that much feeling responsibility, but we don't want to ruin what we have reached. Quality comes maybe because we just love to make music so much, all levels in that.
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2011?
Koivusaari: We will be very busy, which is great. First, we go to Japan and Taiwan for tour with our friends Children of Bodom, then continuing summer festivals all over Europe. On fall we will do four weeks in Europe, two weeks in South-America, 17 gigs in Finland, some Russian shows, then again four weeks in Europe, supporting Nightwish in California, playing in 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise... and more to come, hopefully hit the states with a tour as well at some point!