JUKKA PELKONEN On OMNIUM GATHERUM's Sound: 'We Know That We Are Not Inventing Anything New'
Josh Rundquist of That Drummer Guy recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jukka Pelkonen of Finnish melodic death metallers OMNIUM GATHERUM about their forthcoming ”The Burning Cold” studio album. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the writing process for ”The Burning Cold”:
Jukka: ”It was kind of like a similar thing that has happened before with the previous albums. I think it’s always like that when you write a new album, then we go on tour, then we have this feeling to record something new and then we start to think about the new riffs and stuff. Like, it was one and-a-half years ago, we started to have these ideas about ‘The Burning Cold’ and from that, it just went naturally, basically, with these paths, maybe in one-half and two years we have these new songs to record that would define OG in a new way, so we did it.”
On OMNIUM GATHERUM‘s ability to blend death metal with melodies:
Jukka: ”For us, it’s a continuous process. We know that we are not inventing anything new, but we are perfecting something that is already there. So, we want to make people who like death metal, the melodic scene, really happy. We like to offer some people who want to experience something new besides that genre. We like this kind of music and we like to make the combination of all the different kinds of genres that we hold dear. Maybe ‘The Burning Cold’ is maybe something like a new thing for us, but still continuing what we have been doing for years and years now. When I think, it’s really hard to say with these new songs, especially with the fact that the whole thing is we will be playing live, just ahead of us. So it’s really, really hard to say at this point. We love the new songs, but it’s really hard to say what kind of reactions we are going to have with the crowds around the world. It’s going to be fucking awesome in a way. For the first time, for me, especially, I’m kind of like interested and excited about the new record. I haven’t been excited about a new record since 2008 or something, so this is really, really something [to be excited about].”
On what makes him so excited about ”The Burning Cold”:
Jukka: ”Well, it’s the fact that we love to tour and we love to keep the death metal scene alive with us touring and our fellow bands touring and all the people are doing the hard work. It’s the one thing that really interests me because I’m not the youngest of guys anymore, so I have to think about the future, so, this is the way I’m going to think about it. I’m going to make the best death, melodic death metal album that I can with these awesome guys that I have the privilege to work with and then we’re going to see what happens.”
On what makes ”The Burning Cold” a special album for him:
Jukka: ”You know, this is the one thing that we have really tried to come at ease with ourselves. We have been making this kind of music for years and years and years. This time, with me and Markus [Vanhala, guitar], I’m the lyrics man and he’s the main composer, we just decided we’re going to do something that excited us, like 15, 20 years ago. We’re going to respect all the things is OMNIUM GATHERUM and we’re going to make this thing work together. We’re going have a stew with this, with this thing that we love and that this thing that we still love and we’re going to make the best damn songs possible.”
On OMNIUM GATHERUM‘s increased exposure after being a band for over two decades:
Jukka: ”If you sell a lot of records, that’s a good thing, but if you think about the fact we have this one try, in a way, it don’t matter what people believe, but this is the thing if we want to represent the best of us, we’re going to do it now, not later.”
On how he approached the lyrics for ”The Burning Cold”:
Jukka: ”For me, it’s like a continuous program that’s been going on for maybe, for like 20 years. It started with the previous band when I was 18-years-old or something. I started to think of something of this, this thing that is worth growing into, this life. With OG back in 2006, I am very proud to represent the heritage that [original vocalist] Antti Filppu, with his really, really thoughtful lyrics set up for OG with two albums: ‘Spirits And August Light’ and ‘Years In Waste’. I’m really happy to be able to have my own set of words in a sense in this really, really important stuff. I’ve been doing it for years, like, maybe ten years, 12 years from now, but you know, I always think about where do you come from? Where are the people that you care about? When do you ask those things [when] you have to create something new? Then you ask, what are the things that came before me? Not in a sense that people came before, but in a sense, the ideas that came before that became my following structure. So, I would say that ‘The Burning Cold’ is some kind of combination of those kind of ideas and I feel that more when I say ‘The Burning Cold’ has so much stuff, including people inside and people dealing with the outside, like intentions and stuff.”
”The Burning Cold” will be released on August 31 via Century Media. The cover artwork was once again created by Olli-Pekka Lappalainen, who has been responsible for every single artwork for the band since the very first demo.