Shear - Breaking From the Melodic Metal Mold
By: Matt Coe
Blistering.com: Another aspect that separates Shear from the pack is the technically fluid bass play from Eerik Purdon, most prevalent on the track ďSomeone Elseís Eyes.Ē How often does the band get the chance to rehearse together, and does anyone have any special schooling or theory training to help improve their instrumental skills?
Sorvo: Everyone in the band is quite busy with various areas in life but we try to practice together as often as possible. Especially before live shows we rehearse together to get the set as tight as possible. In addition to rehearsing together as a band, everyone in the band individually practices in their spare time. Most of the band members have some kind of background in music theory, and some of our members have also played other instruments prior to picking up their current instrument.
Blistering.com: Metal consistently makes the national Finnish charts against some of the biggest international pop artists. Is the marketplace that strong for all types of domestic metal in your home country? Are consumers that rabid for metal product- both in terms of physical and digital sales?
Sorvo: Yes and No. While it is true that metal bands are a regular site on the Finnish charts, one has to remember that Finland is a pretty small country with approximately 5.5 million inhabitants, so the sales donít need to be huge to enter the charts. Iím not completely sure on the numbers, but my perception is that to enter the lower parts of the Finnish top 40 chart, record sales of a few hundred copies should be sufficient. On certain periods of the year it might be much harder to hit the charts, though. But it is definitely true that the metal market is pretty wide spread and most metal bands are considered pretty mainstream here in Finland.
Blistering.com: What type of touring plans do you think will happen with Shear in 2012? If you had the chance to set up a dream three band tour package, who would you want as tour mates?
Sorvo: We definitely considered us a live band rather than some studio project, so we try to play as many shows as possible. The number of venues for small and middle sized bands in Finland is somewhat limited, so there is only so much gigging you can do here. Ideally we would like to play abroad as much as possible. I really hope that we will get a chance to do this too!
Picking up a three-band dream tour package is really hard. There are a lot of good bands that would be cool to tour with. Personally I think it would be super cool to play with Devin Townsend, canít see this happening in the very near future though, ha-ha.
Blistering.com: Do you believe itís tougher in todayís music scene to gain and maintain a band following- even with the instantaneous technology at most consumerís fingertips with the internet, cell phones, and social media websites?
Sorvo: It kind of is. The technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Nowadays it is possible to record a decent sounding full length album with almost no cost if you have the right equipment and know what you are doing. This naturally leads to the fact that there are a lot of generic bands out there with music with good production, but lacking in originality. The competition is fierce and itís hard to stick out from the masses. The brighter side of the matter is that you still need to make interesting music for people to like it.
The positive side in all the technological advances is that bands can themselves produce a lot of content such as music videos, content for the social media and provide their own music online. You are no longer forced to solely rely on a label or such to function as a band.
Blistering.com: What worries you most about the world we live in? Are there one or two particular areas you think globally that leaders need to put their focus on?
Sorvo: There are a lot of messed up things happening in the world. If you actually start doing some research on various topics it comes to the point where everything just becomes overwhelming and you actually just want to actively forget everything about it and continue living in your own small and safe world.
There is a lot of poverty, famine, environmental issues, a lot of injusticeÖ the list keeps going forever. The truth is that money pretty much rules the world we live in. Big corporations can have more political influence on different matters than a single country. This is to me personally a very scary thing. Since a corporationís primary objective is to make revenue, everything else is secondary. This often has many negative side effects. As an individual, I feel that there isnít much I can do about the problems. One could of course argue that this is the wrong attitude. If everybody would think like this, no change would ever happen. Luckily there are a lot of people in the world that try to make a difference.
Blistering.com: How much do you think environment affects the outlook of a band? Because Finland is well known as having harsh, cold winters and times where the sunlight doesnít appear at all- does this have an effect on personality and sense of humor in your country?
Sorvo: Obviously the environment has an effect on us, we are all very pale! Joking aside, Iím convinced that people are the product of their environment. The social mentality and environmental conditions in your country have a huge impact on shaping your personality. Since the winters are dark, long and cold most of us are pretty introverted compared to other European countries. A bit exaggerated, in the traditional Finnish mentality you arenít allowed to be openly proud about anything unless you want to be labeled as a self-centered douchebag. That being said, I think most Finns of the younger generation have a really good sense of humor and are easy to come along with.
Blistering.com: What are your short term goals and long term goals for Shear through the rest of 2012 and beyond?
Sorvo: Short-term we want to play as many gigs as possible to support the release of Breaking the Stillness. We are also going to continue the writing process of new material and start planning on our second album.