Finnish Melodic Metal Titans Sonata Arctica Release New Album Talviyö (Winter Night)..

 Singer Tony Kakko talks about the band 10th studio album which has eleven new songs to be released on September 6, 2019. Was recorded between September 2018 and May 2019 and produced by Mikko Tegelman and the band at Studio 57.

IMM: The eleven songs for this album were written from scratch not from previous songs/demos from previous albums?

TK: No, I keep writing constantly and when I come up with a melody I put it down somewhere. When I have time I have to combine the songs together then I get the ideas. There are some ideas from 1990 or some small fraction ideas that I never had a place for before, and now those ideas are from an instrumental track from the album.  So I was putting the songs together in early 2018 and played the demos for the guys during June / July last year well before we went into the studio in September.  So I was on time, accept for the lyrics I wrote at the last possible moment.  That’s just me.

IMM: Why was “A little Less Understanding” released first than of one of the other songs?

TK: We as a band are clueless as to which songs should be released as singles. We chosen on our top favorite list just about all the tracks on the album which is impossible to do. So our manager came to listen to the demos we had and said “A little Less Understanding” is easy to listen to and is catchy. Simple songs should be the festival season single to put out. We said ok and functions as a ramp to the album release and to take the most complex song at first and will be a good commercial advertisement for the album anyway. And the songs are really, really short of radio friendly in a good sense of the word with catchy melodies and everything. It was the first song they decided to put out. There is nothing complex about it, it’s just a song.

IMM: I’m lookimg at the bands site for upcoming shows and they’re titled “ The Raven Still Flies”. So why not release that song as the first single?

TK: No, it’s one of the most complex, like a Barak Rock artsy thing. I don’t think it will get any radio play unless on some special program. It has a lot of parts

IMM: So like a Baroque sound with a rock twist to it? 

TK: Yeah, it’s song with a lot of parts and has a chorus but not something repeats constantly. It’s not a pop formula kind of song and for a reason it’s the second last song on the album. And the last one is intertwine with it and a song without drums. It’s arch light we are known about our wolves and ravens. It’s just a name basically.

IMM: Which will be the next song and video to be released?

TK: “Cold”.

IMM: When filming the video for were you all cold?

TK: No, it was actually a pretty hot day (Laughter). The Finnish summer days are just normal maybe around 20 to 30 degree Celsius and you can manage it. We actually recorded three videos on the same day, just the playing parts. It was a wild long day we had.

IMM: For “Cold was three different shoots?

TK: No, it took two to three hours to shoot “Cold” Itself. We shot two other songs so that will be three normal videos we shot and with lyrics.

IMM: So these are basic videos without special effects?

TK: These are simple, plain videos with me sitting on a recliner and looks really cool and was the easiest video for me to just sit down (Laughter). That’s the way I want to do the videos for now on.

IMM: Listing to you on You Tube for this album, for I could understand for this album a rare time where you all were in the studio together to record the songs as to emailing tracks to each other to get the songs recorded?

TK: We decided to actually record the drums and bass in the same room live. To give this album an organic rhythmic foundation and easily build on and add layers for other instruments and to sing on. That was the approach and by no means was the band in the studio the whole time. There were times we were in the studio to get the mood in. Personally I was at home in my little studio recording backing vocals and some leads. It is much more cost effective that way where we can use the actual studio for what studio is needed like drums and guitars that you do there. I was actually singing still while they were mixing some of the songs and saves a lot of money. For this album we were able to get a live feeling which we were trying to get done from many previous albums without such luck. And get praised how we sound live and for some reason it didn’t translate to our albums. On our previous album The Ninth Hour we were supposed to have our house sound guy as co-producer of the album. It was a nightmare schedule wise and was impossible to introduce an outsider on the whole thing. For this album I had the songs ready a couple of months before we went into the studio and play for the whole band the producer Mikko Tegelman and was easy and nice as he really contributed greatly to the outcome of the album.

IMM: Are there are songs you recorded for extra tracks? As for the Asian market and parts of the European market?

TK: Well obviously you always need a bonus track for Japan for business still. I am not sure how it will be for the future where everything is getting stolen. And don’t agonize over price on the physical copies of the album so it takes the foundation of the bonus track off.

IMM: I mean besides the 11 songs for the US release any bonus songs to be on the album?

TK: No, we recorded 12 songs so no extra, extra.

IMM: Is the 12th song a cover or a original?

TK: Is an original under contractual terms, it would be nice to cover a song.

IMM:  For shows as a headliner and support how many songs from this album will be performed?

 TK: Depending on the show, three to five. It’s just a wild guess. At this point we will play five songs from the album like prepared and ready to play. And if go for a second round we will refresh the list and bring more songs.

IMM: For the future are there any plans for another live album or video combo?

TK: For a long time we decided not release any live material. Lately we’ve been talking about it like record at Latin America. Because the audience makes a big part and get the technical sides in order it would be great to shoot it there and make a great DVD or live show. We also have been talking about recording live acoustically. We did a acoustic tour earlier this year and it was fantastic.

IMM: Always good talking to you. Have good tour.

TK: Thank you very much!

Talviyö – Track Listing:
01. Message From The Sun
02. Whirlwind
03. Cold
04. Storm The Armada
05. The Last Of The Lambs
06. Who Failed The Most
07. Ismo’s Got Good Reactors
08. Demon’s Cage
09. A Little Less Understanding
10. The Raven Still Flies
11. The Garden

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