From The Void - Interview

Every year, metalheads' summer or even year culminates in the Wacken Open Air Metal Festival. Not only is the festival audience extremely international, but so is the line-up, partly also because of the Wacken Metal Battle Final that brings young bands from all over the world to the glorious stages of Wacken. This year, From the Void from Northern Finland will bring their cold black metal to the hot German summer so I had a chat with guitarist and vocalist SJ to find out more about the band.


But first things first, if you are going to Wacken, you can and should check out From the Void on Wednesday, August 2 on the W:E:T STAGE at 2.20 p.m!

The Metal Phenomenon: Could you tell a bit about the history and background of From the Void?

SJ: The band is originally from Rovaniemi, formed in 2009 with a different name, but after a couple gigs we changed our name to From the Void. 2012 we performed at the Jalometalli Festival in Oulu, but then went on a hiatus that ended up lasting almost two years, as the members of the band spread out through Finland because of jobs, school etc. 2014 saw us arise from our slumber, with a new line up, renewed visual aspects and new material. From the Void consists of four people; two founding members: SJ (guitar & vocals) and PH (guitar), and two newer members: AR (bass) and HJ (drums).

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

TMP: Where do you draw inspiration from?

SJ: Inspiration can come from anywhere. Of course literature, music and movies are great sources, but also from nature, history, religions, stories etc. The visual side is an homage to our Northern home and nature in general, mixed in with more "common" elements of black metal.

TMP: How does the music writing process work?

SJ: The songs are formed in different ways. Sometimes one comes up with a good riff, or a melody and that is worked into a song. Other times a whole, almost ready song is brought to the table and then arranged and polished to a finished piece. When writing songs myself, I tend not to try and do a specific type of material, but just let the ideas and music flow freely. More often than not it tends to be at least black-metal-ish, so that's naturally the way our music sounds.

TMP: The visual presence and live show seem to incorporate shamanic elements and strive to create a mystical atmosphere – is that just a vehicle to transport your music or do you actually feel a connection to shamanic traditions?

SJ: The visual aspects of a band are something I myself have always thought to be a huge part of the experience. When done right, it works as a support to the music and vice versa. Creating an atmosphere that transports you out of the moment is something I enjoy, and strive to do in our live shows and everything else. As to the shamanic traditions I can't say that there'd be a straight connection - but in a way one could say it's our own way of "shamanism"? I tend to go into almost some sort of a trance when on stage, sometimes almost feeling like I´m watching myself perform and play the music without actually taking part in it. When everything is right it can feel like you are connected to something else, something out of our mundane lives.

TMP: In your opinion, how much of an influence is the geographical location for bands – is there a distinct sound of the north, the south? How does this aspect factor in for From the Void?

SJ: I do think there's a connection and influence. The place you live does have an effect on many aspects of your life, your way of thinking and your view of the world. Sometimes this can of course be deliberately hidden, when striving to do a certain sound or a musical genre. When judging these kinds of things on your own music it can be really difficult, so I'd say I'll leave it to the listeners to make their own mind on that matter.

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

TMP: How difficult/easy is it for a new band in Finland to get their name out there? How does From the Void convince people to come to their show when there is so much else they could spend time on.

SJ: It seems to be rather difficult on most parts. The whole scene is so over saturated with (many times great) bands that just can't make a big splash as there is so much material constantly coming out. We have been lucky and won a couple battle-of-the-bands type competitions and thus made a little name, and of course our whole thing with the highly visual and atmospheric shows and even our music being somewhat unique probably helps. Now with winning Wacken Metal Battle Finland's finals we got a lot of good publicity, and are now really pushing things forward, hoping to gain as much momentum from this as we can.

TMP: How did you feel winning the Finnish Wacken Metal Battle at Nummirock? Finland after all is a country with tough competition, the promised land of (heavy) metal.

SJ: It felt really surreal. Of course we were aiming for the win, and worked really hard on that, but when they called out our name on stage it blew our minds. The competition was really tough and to be selected from almost 200 bands taking part in the competition as the one to go on and represent Finland at Wacken felt incredible.

TMP: How did you prepare for that gig and how are you preparing for Wacken now?

SJ: We prepared with a bit of update on our live show, adding a backdrop and such, but also with new music. For Wacken we are now honing our set to be optimal for the really short 20 minute set that all the Wacken Metal Battle bands have.

TMP: Why should people come to see you at Wacken, what can they expect from the gig?

SJ: People should come see us if you are in to good, dark northern music and interesting visuals. We promise to bring our all and give you a show to remember!

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

From The Void (Photo by Mikko-Pekka Karlin)

TMP: What do you guys expect from Wacken?

SJ: Good music, good people, new friends and hopefully something to drive us even further in the future!

TMP: And what are your future plans?

At the moment to get us and our gear to Germany and play the show. After that - who knows? If the stars align properly anything is possible. We will keep doing our stuff and work hard on making more music, doing more gigs and getting our music out to more people!

Check us out at our Facebook and come see us on our shows! You won't regret it!

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