Kivimetsän Druidi have returned after a long layoff with their brand new 3 song EP “The Lost Captains”. Highlighting various styles and numerous element, they are yet another incredible folk metal export from Finland. Vocalist Leeni-Maria took some time to answer some questions for us regarding the EP, the long hibernation and some other things, check it out.
Jeff (folk-metal.nl): Congrats on an amazing new EP with “The Lost Captains”, what has the feedback been so far regarding it?
“Enthusiastic, positive, and verging on, I think, amused disbelief.”
So the main question in everyone’s mind, why the 6 year layoff between releases??
“Not intentionally. Not by any sort of pre-meditation or planning, it just kinda happened. We needed to get “other stuff” done in our lives. Well, some of us at least. Bottom line being, the release is now because now we are ready to make it.”
Why did you decide to release an EP as opposed to waiting for an entire album of material to release? Is there a new album looming on the horizon?
“EP felt like less of a threshold and more likely for us to be able to make it happen. We decided it’s better to release a bit at a time than not at all, or wait for an actual album for another six years. Which, btw, I don’t think will be the case. The album is looming. No guarantees, though.”
I noticed that this was release independently as opposed to on Century Media (label that released your last two albums), care to elaborate on this?
“We like the freedom, we like the independence and the fact – obviously! – that there are no deadlines to meet. I can’t quite remember what happened with the contract with CM- the details of it, I mean – so will not go deeper into that but at the moment we are not looking to sign up on a label. We are not planning to be looking for to sign up to any label in the foreseeable future. When the album happens, we will produce it ourselves into master stage and then we’ll see.”
What has changed in the last 6 years if anything with regards to songwriting, recording and your style in general?
“A lot. Tasks of our members have changed. New songwriter has emerged. The responsibility for lyrics has shifted from one person to another, mostly. Our style has not changed radically, though. We’ve found what works for us and we stick to it by now intuitively, we don’t have too much think about it, I think (hee hee). Even though the songs may originate from different members than before, when they enter the rehearsal space and get introduced to other members, they end up “druidi-fied”, so to say. Our style has evolved, become more refined, but not changed that much.
Recording- and otherwise functioning-wise, we are now more independent. More on our own, and it mostly feels like in the positive sense of the concept. The threads are all in our own hands and, well, if we don’t do anything about them nothing happens, but when we do, it happens exactly the way we want and when we want.”
Druidi by instinct
You show so many different styles in you music and yet still have a pretty recognizable sound, how does all of this work? Do you have a way of making the music fit a style that makes it sound like Kivimetsän Druidi?
“Besides the things I mentioned with the previous question, the oldest members of the team and the ones mostly in charge of composing have, for as long as I’ve been with the band, always been intuitive composers. It seems to happen by instinct rather than thought. We don’t have to work on the Druidi sound. Perhaps it was different in the very beginning, before my time, perhaps not. Also we do not pay that much attention to style. I guess, again, we don’t have to. The style happened, and it keeps happening: we don’t consciously work to get there.
Going thru your discography, you have successfully both released music with Finnish and English lyrics, what makes you decide on one language or the other? Are there pros and cons to this at all? Do you try songs in both languages to see what works?
“When I joined the band, the lyrics were Joni’s responsibility alone. He wrote in both languages. He however ended up favouring English at one point and since we didn’t want to give up on Finnish lyrics, I made a conscious effort of writing some. Sometimes, within a song, the Finnish lyrics stand for something which feels more primal, personal, and closer to heart, as if one was talking to oneself, and the English ones are more like telling the story to someone else. It has happened recently with my own work that some phrases have been first written in one language, then ended up translated into the other.”
What do you believe you have in common with other Finnish folk metal bands and what makes you unique?
“Well. I haven’t quite heard any other band as all over the place as we are, as you said above: there are so damn many different things happening with our music. Generally speaking, I try not to comment this much. What I can say is that Moonsorrow was one of the major factors style-wise when Bros Koskinen and Rinksa first formed the band, up to the point that I believe they’ve said that Moonsorrow is the reason Druidi exists.”
No Shareware Subsitute
There are numerous live dates lined up this summer, how important are live show for you?
“Live shows are very important indeed. And in a world where music turns more and more digital and physical copies become more and more irrelevant, I think that the success of a band will soon be measured mostly by the success of its live shows. There’s no shareware substitute for the experience of being there. So it’s our duty to make it the best possible party each time.”
What do you think of the state of the music “business” is these days?
“It’s changing and some people and institutes are fighting the change to the point of stupidity. A friend said, if you can’t beat it, walk with it. Digitalization can’t be beaten and you shouldn’t try. You should make it work for you and trying to sabotage the users, your fans, is not the way to do it, in my personal opinion. Trying to stop your music being shared by people is fighting the wind mills and making individual people suffering examples of it and that’s not what the Good Guys should do, I think. So artists must instead come up with other kind of values to offer. Like the aforementioned live performances.”
Any favorite releases from 2015 or 2016 so far??
“Sure. The extra “Christmas” episode Mark Gatiss’ Sherlock-series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I wish they’d make another season already. But I guess Cumberbatch is too busy being a Khan at Star Trek. And Freeman hopping along in a pair of fake hobbit feet.”
Any closing comments??
“Keep your spirits high! And never do an axe throwing competition in public places while drinking beer.”