In anticipation of Amorphis’ tenth album, The Beginning of Times, we got presented with a golden opportunity to ask a few questions to their bassist Niclas Etelävuori. Here’s what he had to say to us…
MusicReview: Amorphis’ last couple releases have been concept albums. How hard is it to get into the frame of mind to write a concept record? What are some of the challenges you experienced in the making of The Beginning of Times?
Niclas Etelävuori: For us, it comes quite naturally, because actually most of our albums circle around themes from the Kalevala, our national epic. It would probably be harder for us to write a non-concept album. With BOT, as with every new album, we want to try to top the old ones, but also sound like Amorphis, so every time we are kind of re-inventing ourselves, which can be hard because we still don’t want to redo what we already did. But we are getting better and tighter year by year, so some things just come out of us naturally.
MusicReview: Conceptually, The Beginning of Times centres around the iconic Finnish hero Väinämöinen. Are Amorphis looking to cover the Kalevala in its entirety?
Niclas Etelävuori: You never know, maybe if we are lucky enough to go on for another 20 years.
MusicReview: Musically, can we expect The Beginning of Times to be any different from Skyforger?
Niclas Etelävuori: I think the songs are more massive. We had more time to focus on arrangements and so on – before we entered the studio – so once we started recording everything was quite easy. It was also mixed in the same studio where we recorded it – previously, we always did it in another place. We had more time for mixing and mastering and I think BOT is the best sounding record we’ve ever made.
MusicReview: Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years came out only in September last year and featured partially re-arranged and re-recorded songs. Now, you’ve already got a new album coming out so soon. Is it impossible to keep Amorphis out of the studio right now?
Niclas Etelävuori: We like to stay active. Usually, if there’s a break with shows, then we start to rehearse new songs, otherwise we get bored. It’s much harder to get things going again after a long break that we do it little by little all the time.
MusicReview: What are some of the big tour dates you have coming up soon? Can fans expect a lot more songs from the new album?
Niclas Etelävuori: We have many festivals coming up this summer in Europe. For sure, we gonna play some new songs, but probably, when we do the club tour, we’ll play a lot more of the new stuff. On festivals, the set is usually much shorter.
MusicReview: It’s over 20 years now since the band’s inception. Are you looking forward to the next twenty?
Niclas Etelävuori: Yeah, there’s no turning back now. I think we are all in it for life.
MusicReview: Amorphis have a growing fan base in South Africa, and it seems with each album release, the band is becoming more and more popular here. Is there any chance that we could be pencilled in for a couple of concerts in the near future?
Niclas Etelävuori: I really hope so. We met the guys from Ensiferum and they said they had a great time in South Africa. It’s all up to the booking agents; maybe they can work something out.
Thanks for your time, Niclas. All the best with the new record.