recently got the opportunity
to sit down and interview one of the hottest up and coming
bands on the metal scene, REQUIEM. Their brand of progressive
power metal is taking the music world by storm and their latest
release, ‘THE ARRIVAL’ is getting rave reviews on-line
and in industry trade magazines. Here’s a look at some of
the comments the band had to make and a deeper look at
PLAY RECORDS (PPR)]: REQUIEM is a relatively new European metal band. For those
who are unfamiliar with the band could you take a moment to
tell us where you hail from and give us a little bit of your
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: "Well, I think if you want to know more about REQUIEM the first
thing to do would be to visit our web site:
go and check it out!!!
Maybe you guys would like to
ADD to this and give a brief history lesson on REQUIEM.
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: Let’s go! ...we come from Haapajärvi, Finland. Requiem started first
as a melodic death/power metal band with growling vocals but
nowadays we play melodic power metal with some progressive
and neoclassical elements. Requiem was founded by our guitar hero
We recorded two demos; "Gods of War" and "Into the Night"
before we signed the record deal. The musical progression
has been pretty huge since "the early" days!
[PPR]: ‘Requiem’ is a very unusual band name…I
looked up the literal definition in a dictionary and it read
"…a Mass for the repose of the soul
or souls of a dead person or persons"…wow, pretty
intense! Who takes credit for making up the name of the band?
And is the literal definition the type of vibe you wanted
the name to convey?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: ...where did you find such a meaning to Requiem? [laughs]
J Our founder member Arto Räisälä came up with that name sometime
in the end of ‘99. He loves classical music, so he wanted
to have a name that has some strong connections to classical
music. Requiem is an often used term in classical
music and of course it’s a pretty catchy and simple name at
the same time.
[PPR]: Your album, "The Arrival", has some fantastic cover artwork (by Jason Juta) and a unique symbol
on the back of the insert booklet. Did the band come up with
the concept for this artwork or did you leave the design entirely
up to the artist? Does the symbol bear any significant meaning?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: We gave Jason some ideas, colors and feelings that we wanted the
cover to represent. After a short time he sent us some ideas
and we picked the best one. I think that the cover artwork
on our album is terrific. Thank you Jason!
...about the symbol, I can say that we had nothing to do with it. But
after all, it looks great. Actually the symbol was designed
by Luis (at our Label) who made the design/layout
for our album. You can find many different meanings from it,
so let your imagination fly!
[PPR]: Where was your new video for
"Broken Alliance" filmed? That’s quite a massive lake that you shot much
of the footage next to…a very remote looking area. How much
did you enjoy doing this video…would you say it was mostly
a good or bad experience for the band?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: It was a seaside (not a lake) where we filmed the video… ([PPR]: Whoops…my
a beautiful place near Kokkola, Finland, called Laajalahti
(large-bay). It is a popular beach where we shot the video,
but it was so cold that day (last May) that luckily there
weren’t any people hanging around. J
The video was directed by myself so you can imagine that it wasn’t too
easy to "act" in the video and
at the same time also to arrange all the things. Everything
went fine and it was mostly very nice sessions (Except carrying
the heavy camera equipment around...).
It took three days to film, and almost two weeks to
edit the video... but after all it was worth it. We are
planning to use that video on our album as a "bonus track"
when new versions (licensing
deals) are made.
[PPR]: Even though all bands are different,
every band from time to time gets compared to other bands
in order to get a better feel for their musical style. If
I had to make a comparison I would say that REQUIEM is somewhat
similar to EDGUY in sound and appearance. Do you think this
is a fair comparison? Who would you say that you are most
often compared to?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: We can surely say that we are most often compared to Sonata Arctica. I think that´s because they
also come from Finland.
( We played with them once in Finland and it was a great gig.
A big crowd!)
Also Helloween, Symphony X and Yngwie Malmsteen are pretty familiar when talking
of Requiem. ...about Edguy ...hhmmm ... I think that our arrangments are
more colorful than theirs. Edguy is more power metal orientated. But I must say that
Edguy’s singer is very good, sounds
a bit like (Michael) Kiske
from old Helloween.
[PPR]: Many fans haven’t had a chance
to see REQUIEM play live. For those of us that haven’t been lucky enough to land a copy
of your live video, ‘INTO THE STAGE’, what kind of show can we expect
to see? What kind of response have you guys been getting at
your recent live shows? Is the REQUIEM following starting to build?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: First, about the video "Into the
Stage". It was filmed a few years
age by three cameras in Tuiskula, Finland. It’s my second
gig in Requiem and we have still those growling
vocal parts sang by our ex-bass player Matti Auvinen. Not
a single song from our "new era". It’s a pretty rare version.
We also play some Malmsteen and Iron Maiden
(on that video). J
About our gigs. I think that
we really are a good live band. We enjoy playing live and
you can also hear and feel it! Once you see our gig, you won’t forget it!
[PPR]: ‘The Arrival’ certainly has a high tempo
complex feel and comprises some very technical performances,
which brings to mind the musical background of the band. Do
you all have formal music training or are you all mostly self-taught?
How long have you each been playing your instruments?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: Mostly self taught. Our keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg and bassist Pasi Kauppinen have studied music pretty much.
I´ve been taking lessons in classical singing something like
two years now and I love it! It has given me very much. I´m
learning to use my voice more naturally all the time. I love
also the classical songs that I am singing, especially Schubert´s
The rest of REQUIEM is self taught. By the way, did you know that our
drummer Jari Huttunen was only 16 years( ! ) old when we recorded
Arrival". He is a true human-drum-machine! Of course it takes a lot of time to practice all those "technical" solos and
parts, but those parts are important in our type of music.
There are a lot of great metal
bands out there, who are some of your favorites to listen
to and if you had an opportunity who would you like to get
a chance to tour with? Also, who were some of your earliest
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: Our favorites are Symphony X,
Yngwie (Malmsteen), Helloween, Dream Theater, Rush etc....+
some jazz and classical music of course. Our earliest influences
come from the 80’s great heavy metal! Bands like Accept, Wasp,
Ozzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc... Arto and Teemu (guitars) have also listened
to classical music since they were kids.
A band we’d like to tour with.... I think that we should pick something
that is pretty close to us musically. I think that Symphony X, Ring of Fire (Mark
Boals), Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius would be the best ones! Hopefully we’ll be able
to do some touring in
the near future!
[PPR]: My favorite song on "The Arrival" is ‘Revival’
which is to me an incredible epic masterpiece. How long did
it take you to write all the intricate parts for this song
and get it to this final polished version?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: You should ask Arto Räisälä... (the composer) this question.
was composed pretty fast, I think. But some parts were
changed after a while... Yeah, there is a lot happening
in that song all the time! Very melodic, but at the same time a very heavy song. It’s also the most neoclassical
orientated song on our album. Did you know that the bridge
melody ("...hiding from the daylight etc...") is from Beethoven´s ‘Moonlight
also has the most recognized Requiem elements; high
tempo/energy and lots of catchy melodies and great solos!
[PPR]: Have you begun writing any
new material yet for the next album?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: Yes! Over a three hours of a new killer material! Now we must choose
the best ones and start to practice those songs with the band.
We are looking forward to record our second album
next year. I think that it will be a little bit heavier
than "The Arrival". Hopefully
we’ll have the top production for it!
[PPR]: What are your plans for the
near future? Do you have any plans on touring in the USA?
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: In the USA...? ...hhmmmm, it’s not the best place on earth for melodic
metal these days even though you have Kamelot, Symphony X,
and Dream Theater over there!!! But of course we’d love to
tour in the USA, no problem with that. The only problem is the money,
it´s very expensive to be touring over there. First we’d need
more promotion and wider distribution channels for our album
in the USA. ...you never know, maybe a USA tour will happen
one day. J
Is there anything that you guys
would like to add or bring up that hasn’t been commented on
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: Not anything special... Check out our album "The Arrival".
If you love great melodic metal, you won’t be disappointed!
[PPR]: Well, it’s been great having
REQUIEM as our featured interview for this week. Thanks for all of the terrific
comments! I hope you’ll get a chance to visit POWER PLAY RECORDS
again in the near future…
[REQUIEM (Jouni Nikula)]: THANK YOU FOR SETTING UP THIS INTERVIEW JIM & POWER PLAY RECORDS!
See ya’ someday!
Nikula - vocals
Teemu Hanninen - guitars
Arto Raisala - guitars
Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards
Pasi Kauppinen - bass
Jari Huttunen - drums
Play Records would like to thank all of
the members of REQUIEM for taking time out of their busy schedule
to answer all of our interview questions. Keep up the great
work guys and drop us a line from time to time to let us know
what REQUIEM is up to! FANS: Show your support for
the band by picking up a copy of their latest CD release REQUIEM
‘The Arrival’ at a music store near you…or order on-line
at their website.
more news, tour information, mp3s and complete in depth coverage
of REQUIEM visit the band’s web site at: http://www.requiem.kpnet