Frozen Land is on a quest to find the long sought after 90’s sound of Finnish power metal. And with their self titled debut album, the good ol’ times is closer than ever before. But is it an replica (pun intended) of previous classics? We’ll let founder and guitarist Tuomas Hirvonen tell what this band is all about.
In October you signed with Massacre Records, having only released a single beforehand. How did you end up on Massacre, and how was the quest for a record deal?
Tuomas: Our single actually rose a lot of attention among the labels, even the bigger ones. Massacre’s offer was the best and we also appreciate their independent status.
The industry has changed a lot, even in the last ten years, and the business side isn’t a walk in the park even for the labels. I wonder how it was in the 80’s when bands were given a bunch of money and told to find their best artistic vision! I did all the songs to this record while driving to work in my car, haha!
In the press release you are compared to Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. That’s quite a complement, but maybe it increases the pressure a bit also?
Tuomas: A bit! But what’s the point in doing this if you don’t want to be the best or compared to the best? For me, albums like Stratovarius’ Fourth Dimension, Episode, and Vision are still the best records in power metal, along with Sonata Arctica’s first two records. This kind of «older» sound is what we are after. Well, Rhapsody’s first two were damn good records as well, but more symphonic.
Continuous improvement is what we are after and this only happens if you want to be at the top. If you want results, think big.
Totally agree! And I can’t say that the press release are lying either. The album does bring back memories of early Sonata Arctica. Is this the Finnish sound?
Tumoas: Thanks man! What is Finnish sound… To me it’s easy to say what kind of power metal that comes from Finland and what comes from Italy and so on. Maybe the 90’s Finnish sound had a lot to do with a kind of «not too happy melodies», melancholy, and the mixing of Mikko Karmila [Finnish Music producer; Children Of Bodom, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius among others], haha. In the nineties bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Children Of Bodom kind of created this new melodic metal genre.
We appreciate melodies, we don’t like them too happy and we got a great mixing services from Stratovarius’ guitarist Matias Kupiainen who really understood what we were after sound wise. And that was not too dry sound, big drums and a huge fucking snare!
Talking about Sonata Arctica: they have received a lot of negative feedback regarding their latest albums, where they have moved away from the sound that made them popular. Is Frozen Land the saviors regarding that kind of music; can the fans of fast and melodic power metal rest assure that there is a new band in town giving the people what they want?
Tuomas: Rest assure, this kind of music is our core business! Never fu** With your core business, haha! Like AC/DC, no need to change. Obviously, doing certain things gets old after a while, but there might be some reason why you say that Sonata has been given negative feedback lately. All the best to them, but I really think they struck the gold mine with their two first albums, and not after that.
We are trying to bring back something for the fans of that era of music, for sure. Saviors? I don’t think we are at the same level, yet!
With all that being said; how woul you describe your music yourself?
Tuomas: Our vision is, as I’ve said, to bring back what we think is the golden era of power metal. Being Finnish, we think that the best power metal was made in the late 90’s by Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica.
After the 90’s most bands modernized their sound, but we feel that some important success factors were left behind. We feel that the reverb in vocal tracks should be as long as a whores moan in a ragged bordel… Unique vocalist, catchy songs, sing along melodies, professional players, and speed.
So, to summarize: catchy songs, melodies, the vocalist and our 90’s feel are the factors that separate us from our rivals.
About the new record: how long have you been working on that?
Tuomas: As I sad, I did all the songs during my drive to work, haha! I even hummed the guitar riffs and recorded it on my phone. Those are some funny takes, let me tell you!
It took like 4 months to write the album, but the production took longer. Mainly because of monetary stuff. Self financing isn’t so fun.
What are your main inspiration when writing lyrics, and what can you say about the lyrcis on Frozen Land?
Tuomas: The lyrics on this album are mainly universal everyday subjects, nothing about dragons and elves and stuff. «Loser’s Game» is about not taking shit anymore. Another song tells about peoples sense of grandeur against every living thing. There is one song about the journey of life, like do you really need to know what the goal in life is, or can you just enjoy life.
We have only one slow song and I had to make that sappy for the babes. The lyrics is about wether or not we recognize the love of our life in the next life….it’s sooo saaad!
Your debut album will be released in November. What are the plans after that? Are you planning a tour?
Tuomas: Hopefully the first album sells so we can get a few gigs and do another album. The the plan is to conquer the known world and beyond!
Fun fact: Frozen Land’s vocalist, Tony Meloni, was discovered on YouTube where he had his own channel singing Stratovarius’ songs.