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The smashing self-titled debut CD release by

Power Play Records 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 REQUIEM :

[POWER 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 history.

[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!!!

[PPR]: 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 Arto Räisälä. 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 mistake)…  It´s 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 songs/lieds.

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 "The 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.

[PPR]: 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 influences?

[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.  ‘Revival’ 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 Sonata’. ‘Revival’ 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. never know, maybe a USA tour will happen one day. J

[PPR]: Is there anything that you guys would like to add or bring up that hasn’t been commented on yet?

[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…



Jouni Nikula - vocals

Teemu Hanninen - guitars

Arto Raisala - guitars

Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards

Pasi Kauppinen - bass

Jari Huttunen - drums

Power 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.

For more news, tour information, mp3s and complete in depth coverage of REQUIEM visit the band’s web site at: http://www.requiem.kpnet.

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