Interview with guitarist Perttu Lauronen
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: October 3, 2014
During the summer of 2007, evil landed on Finnish shores in the form of four lads whose treacherous master plan was to create some of the most infamous and brutal Death Metal ever created. To further strengthen the Inharmonic troops, a fifth member was added to the lineup 2008.
Ass Distortion was Inharmonic's first (unofficial) demo, and it was only released digitally. In 2011 Inharmonic was getting tighter and more professional and the band was ready to enter the studio to record their next outing, Ugly, containing of three songs of face-melting Death Metal.
Ugly spawned a lot of positive feedback making the band even hungrier. In the summer of 2014, Inharmonic invaded the studio again, producing the four-song recording Flesh Inferno.
Guitarist Perttu Launonen marched in to tell us about Inharmonic, how things got started and covers things past and present in the Inharmonic world. I'm sure he'll be revealing a thing or two, via the following conversation, that you didn't know about Inharmonic...
Luxi: First off, would you kindly enlighten the readers of The Metal Crypt as to the first steps in 2007 that led to the formation of Inharmonic? Was it easy to find motivated musicians?
Perttu: It was in 2007 when we started this project from the bits of our previous Metal act called The Exarch. The reason that band started to break up was simply because the members were scattered around Finland. We were left with two guitarists and a drummer, but we were still eager enough to rehearse and build something new. The very first songs were written for the Death Metal project but still we were lacking vocalist and a bass player. Out of the blue, our little search turned up Sami (Pehkonen) and, later, Johannes joined the group. Their main reason joining the band was that they wanted to play one of the coolest music styles in the world ;) So, the lineup was set.
Luxi: Joensuu, the hometown of Inharmonic and a municipality located in North Karelia in the province of Eastern Finland, has brought us quite a few Metal bands over the years, including Phlegethon and Hooded Menace. How does your hometown's "Metal scene" seem to you these days? Is it still bubbling under the surface or have the waters calmed down since the days of Phlegethon's crusade through the underground Metal scene back in late 80's/early 90's?
Perttu: I don't know but lately the bubble has grown so big in Joensuu that, sooner or later, some really tight shit is going to be heard. It's not only the music itself but there are a lot of talented musicians here in Joensuu. I have the balls to say to the world that it is just a matter of time until this city reveals its potential in the Metal scene! Go JOENSUU!
Luxi: How did Inharmonic settle on a very American-style, technical Death Metal, à la Deicide? Are you all big fans of this style?
Perttu: I have always been a big fan of technical and complicated/heavy riffing music. But more than that, sounds from around the world have always had a big impact on me and I'm so interested in how different bands are using these sounds to serve the music and not the other way around. It's true that our music has a very strong bond with the American-style of Death Metal but what the hell? Those bastards sound very, very cool!
Luxi: Inharmonic's first official release was the 3-song affair titled Ugly. How happy are you with this release today? It undoubtedly opened some doors for you guys, so to speak?
Perttu: It's our first release and we just wanted something that sounded good and we liked to play. Surprisingly, everybody thought it sounded fucking great/headbanging/bone-crushing, so, without hesitation, we kept feeding that flame we had lighted. If you readers haven't heard it yet, you should do it fast and loud! That release will always have special meaning for the band and, well, it still sounds fucking great and undoubtedly heavy. ;)
Luxi: How much promotional work did you do for Ugly and did anything good come of it?
Perttu: In terms of promotion and marketing, we did as much as we could back then. We started from zero and I think we did our best but I think our skills lie more on the musical side of being a working band. There is lot to be learned from those days and I think the band has taken a huge step forward in promotion and marketing. I have a lot of appreciation for my bro "Pedro Bastardo," who runs a local Metal Fan Club in Joensuu. ;) SMC (Susiraja Metal Club) has really helped us a lot with both marketing and promotional work! The whole project is more professional and organized and it gives us more time to concentrate on the music.
Luxi: Many Death Metal bands that come from Finland are known for the specific, so-called "Finnish sound" that is murky, eerie, doomy and has a lot of desperation to it. By creating that sound, many of those bands have managed to snap up recording deals. However, Inharmonic is clearly different and you have a whole different approach to your sound. Do you feel you made the right choice, sticking to your guns and not following any trends?
Perttu: The first time we ever recorded anything with this project we had a huge difference in our sound from the artists who have this "Finnish" sound you described. It just suited us so perfectly so there was no reason to change it. We are sticking to it hard! I don't know about the future yet, but the most important thing at the moment is that the sound SMACKS your head like a hammer and gives no mercy!
The wise vocalist says; "candles and murky sounds don't bring you closer to Satan."
Luxi: Do you consider yourself the mastermind of Inharmonic? How is the songwriting process shared in Inharmonic, when it comes to writing music and lyrics for the band?
Perttu: I have written all the musical parts for our band since day one and it will probably stay like that, but everyone has a voice and criticism is more than welcome if it works to make the song better. All the lyrics have been written by Sami Pehkonen and thhe others don't have anything to say about that side of the process.
Luxi: How about your sources of inspiration; how does Inharmonic stay motivated to working your asses off or do you feel like this band is always constantly creative, without any uninspired periods over the course of the band's existence?
Perttu: I don't think we have had any uninspired periods during the whole existence of our band. There is always something going on and new material in almost in every rehearsal so we don't have any problems whatsoever. What creations end up on releases or gigs is a different matter.
Luxi: Inharmonic's second release, Flesh Inferno, featuring five new songs, was released in the summer of 2014. Would you kindly tell the readers of The Metal Crypt about the EP?
Perttu: Well, it's far better structured than Ugly. Each song has its own distinct theme, so to speak. The songwriting was already better on Ugly, compared to the songs we first made. But now, more than ever, there are SONGS and not just Death Metal for the sake of Death Metal.
Luxi: How challenging was it to get these songs recorded for Inharmonic's latest slab of all things vicious and brutal? Did you face any setbacks as you tried to nail everything down during the whole creative process for this particular EP or did everything go smoothly?
Perttu: The whole process went smoothly and without any problems. Everything for the EP was set from the beginning and sounds were already roughly thought out. We didn't have to "compose" in the studio because everything was thought through, including the extras and "spices" that ended up on the EP. We have a very professional recorder/mixer in our studio sessions, who we trust completely, and who understands our ideas and how to get the sounds we are looking for.
Luxi: What is it with pigs? I mean, there's a pig's head pictured on the cover of Flesh Inferno, so do pigs have some sort of symbolic meaning for the band?
Perttu: The wise vocalist says; "God created something in his image but I'm not so sure it was man."
Luxi: Do you believe Flesh Inferno will blow Ugly out of the water, in terms of your performances?
Perttu: We have truly developed from the Ugly times and have become better performers and musicians. When it comes to Inharmonic's musical development, it has become more mature and complex and it feels like nothing is holding us back.
Luxi: What positives did you take from the Ugly recording sessions that really helped when it came time to record Flesh Inferno?
Perttu: This session was on the higher level, overall. The songs were a little tougher this time but the session wasn't. We focused on those things that really count without consuming our energy on worthless things.
Luxi: When Flesh Inferno is out and available on your own website, I assume you have some goals that you'd like to achieve with it. Can you tell us what those might be?
Perttu: Well, the main goal is to catch as many listeners as possible, play some gut-ripping gigs and of course spread the word.
Luxi: Do you have any plans to shoot a video for one of the songs off Flesh inferno, as you did when Ugly was released?
Perttu: The location has already been checked for the upcoming music video and we will shoot it next month. The release-date hasn't been set yet, but it's going to be nasty.
Luxi: How about doing gigs; how eager are you for going out to smash the hammers on the foreheads of the fans, if I can put it this way?
Perttu: I can't wait to do that. We have some plans for the autumn. There will be a few gigs in Finland this year.
Luxi: Your hometown of Joensuu has had this concert venue, called Kerubi, since the dawn of time. I personally remember seeing cool underground Metal concerts there, from Beherit to Amorphis to Demilich and so on. Has Inharmonic played Kerubi and are there ant other clubs or venues in Joensuu these days that can have a tolerance for Metal bands?
Perttu: We have played only one gig in Kerubi so far. Most of the bands playing there tend to lean more towards the mainstream. Well, Napalm Death kicked ass there some years ago. For underground acts, a pub called La Barre has been an important venue for few years now. Punk, Metal, Rock, you name it. A great place.
Luxi: Whenever Inharmonic plays live, what are some of the most important aspects of playing for your audience? I guess you appreciate good interaction between the band and your audience, of course...
Perttu: We always try to give 100% when playing a gig and make it a high-energy event. All it needs is headbanging, blood and, sometimes, giving the audience a push if they don't move by themselves. So far people seem to love us live. Let's see what reactions we will get from the new audiences we will surely reach with this release.
Luxi: How much new material do you have ready for a full-length studio release, excluding the songs on Ugly and Flesh Inferno?
Perttu: We have the base done already, so I think the next release will be our debut album. When it comes to material, we have so much that it's hard to decide what will end up on the album. ;)
Luxi: As the last question of this conversation, let me ask what would you like to see written on the tombstone of Inharmonic when the band has ceased to exist (not for a long time, of course!)?
Perttu: Insane Soulless Scum.
Luxi: Thank you, Perttu, for taking some time to speak with The Metal Crypt. Last, but not least, I want to wish you all the best with your future endeavors with Inharmonic. May your road be blessed with a fistful of good things. Any closing comments, perhaps?
Perttu: Why are you still reading this?? Go and listen to the goddamn EP!
|Other information about Inharmonic on this site|
|Review: Flesh Inferno|
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