Interview with Maniac Abductor
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: March 10, 2018
Maniac Abductor is a name that probably isn't ringing any bells yet but this Finnish Thrash Metal bunch, consisting of five young and hungry musicians, is determined to thrash the ground beneath our feet. The band was formed in the fall of 2013 and the name of their game has been aggressive and violent Thrash Metal with no compromises. The band's first two releases, the 3-song Thrash Assault EP (2015) and the "Fight or Die" single (2017), have gained some notoriety in their home territory of Finland and it's just a matter of time before the flood gates holding back their highly riff-fueled Thrash open.
The Metal Crypt contacted these young lads to chat about their plans regarding the band, their influences and many other things. Keep reading to find out who they are, what to expect from them in the near future and so on...
Luxi: How is it living in the middle of snow in Joensuu, Finland? It's been snowing a lot in Finland this year, especially on the northern and eastern sides of the country, Joensuu included.
Jesse R: You said it. It's snowing cats and dogs and it's really freezing from time to time. -30 C at best! Otherwise we enjoy living in a smaller town because you can have some peace if you want.
Luxi: According to information that's available via the Internet, Maniac Abductor was formed in 2013. Could you tell us how you found each other and decided to form this band in the first place?
Jesse R: That is true! Maniac Abductor was formed in the fall of 2013 at a local bar (called Fever). Jesse Räsänen (drummer) and Lauri Jaatinen (rhythm guitar) were having a cold one (or more) and later that night Räsänen saw a Thrash Metal dude at a nearby table wearing a cap from the Finnish band Stone. The guy happened to be Jesse Elo (lead guitar) and the three immediately hit it off and decided to jam later that week. We jammed some 80s covers (Metallica, Kreator, Anthrax etc.) a couple of times at Lauri's father's place and we decided to form a proper band. We rented a real rehearsal place from Joensuu and started to look for a bass player and a singer.
An old friend, Johannes Laitila, sang and played bass with us for some time but things didn't work out. In the spring of 2014 we found an ad from a singer looking for a Thrash Metal band in our town. The guy was our current vocalist Niklas Pappinen, who had just moved into town to study. Soon after we played our first show ever and our old friend was so impressed that he decided to accept our invitation to join Maniac Abductor. Janne Parviainen took the bass player duties and this line up is true to this day.
Janne: I knew all the guys except Niklas beforehand. Some of us went to the same school when we were kids, so it was easy to join the band.
Luxi: Was it clear for all of you right from the beginning that you'd play Thrash Metal and not Black Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal or any other type of genre?
Jesse R: For me it was crystal clear that we would play Thrash fucking Metal til' we fucking die! Although other genres are close to my heart too (except Black Metal). When I was a little boy my dad used to listen a lot of bands like Deep Purple, AC/DC and Rainbow so maybe someday I'll start to make some kickass Heavy Metal!
Jesse E: Actually, Iron Maiden is my favourite band ever so I grew up as a Heavy Metal guy myself. My dad's old school vinyl collection was the best thing ever for a little boy! A certain album called Master of Puppets caught my eye, so I also listened to Thrash from time to time, but Jesse R and Lauri really showed me the genre and now it's my passion to play it!
Niklas: I really got into Metal in high school because most of my friends were metalheads and I started listening to various bands and enjoyed all kinds of Heavy Metal. But when I heard Reign in Blood for the first time, it was Thrash all the way. Bands like Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Exodus, Sacred Reich, Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I. and Municipal Waste filled my playlist. I had played bass for some time and started jammin' the tunes from these bands and then I thought that it would be freakin' cool to be a vocalist in a thrash band. And here I am; vocalist in a Thrash band.
Lauri: The way I got into Thrash Metal and guitar playing was that we used to play A LOT of Guitar Hero; Metallica with Jesse R and some friends back in the day. I've always been into fast and groovy music styles, you know, the shit that gets people moving. So, Thrash was the obvious choice for me.
Luxi: Are there some Speed or Thrash Metal albums out there that are very special and important for you personally? If so, what have they taught you about the essence of Thrash Metal?
Jesse R: We listen to a lot of new school Thrash, too, for example we rank Havok's Time Is Up, Power Trip's Nightmare Logic and Warbringer's Woe to the Vanquished with the greatest Thrash albums of all time. These bands have taught us that you can be true your roots these days and still sound fresh.
But for me, German Thrash is my favourite like Assassin, Deathrow and Violent Force because they have real violence and aggression in their sound!
Jesse E: And from the 80s bands, Testament and Kreator have taught us with their newer albums that you can make true Thrash for 30+ years and still kick ass!
Niklas: Slayer's Reign in Blood was a major influence for me when I was a teenager. Also, Testament's New World Order and Thrash Zone from D.R.I. have influenced the way I perceive Thrash.
Janne: Metallica's Master of Puppets was the first thrash record I ever bought, so it has special meaning for me.
Luxi: Up 'til now you have recorded the 3-track EP Thrash Assault in 2015 and the "Fight or Die" single in 2017, which you also shot a video for. How have those releases been recognized among fans, media and so on?
Jesse R: Well the EP and the single have received acclaim almost without exceptions (at least from our friends). For example, Inferno magazine from Finland said that we really blew the reviewer's mind, the first time for a new band since Deathchain, the Finnish Death/Thrash band.
There are always the friendly elitist folks too! Best quote was "How can a band expect to make a good impression with an EP called Thrash Assault in 2015?" Other than that, the reception has been very positive, and the EP really grew our fan base and the "Fight or Die" single made them hungry for more. Can't wait for your review of Thrash Assault!
Luxi: Have any record labels approached you?
Jesse R: Small chats here and there, but we'll wait till our first album is done!
Luxi: Obviously, you have a bunch of new material ready. What can you tell the readers of The Metal Crypt about it? Does it maintain the same aggressiveness, chunky and meaty riffs, and melodiousness of your past material, or do you have some new tricks up your sleeves?
Jesse R: At the moment we have 6-8 new songs almost done. We'll compose more songs for the debut album, so we can pick the best! We can already tell that the aggression, riffs, vocals and the solos are at the next level so far. We maintained the high standards from note to note so that every song will rule on this album. But of course, we have some new tricks too, so stay tuned!
Luxi: Who are the main songwriters in the band or do you all deliver new material?
Jesse E: Well, I have been the main composer pretty much since day one but nowadays we all bring some stuff to the table and we build the songs at the rehearsal place from the riffs or full songs made by me.
Niklas: I usually write the lyrics to our songs and sometimes get some tips from other members about how some vocal parts should sound. But the texts are mainly from me.
Luxi: Do you ever run into the situations when no one knows which direction you should all carry a single song towards?
Jesse R: Every band has those days! We have put aside so many unfinished songs that one or more band member doesn't find appealing we can't even count them. But the feeling is awesome when everyone says, "THAT'S IT!" and we like to think that our next release represents that feeling!
Luxi: Do you all have very similar musical tastes which help decide if something fits the band musically?
Jesse E: I like the aggressive stuff mixed with melodic stuff myself. The tempo and time changes are something that really intrigues me, too!
Jesse R: Like I said it needs to be violent and aggressive, so I like fast double bass drumming, 200+bpm tempos and fast alternate picking riffs (0000000000000).
Niklas: I like when Thrash Metal sounds groovy and fucking aggressive at the same time. Tempo changes are also a key factor for a masterpiece song. I tend to steer our band away from melodic stuff.
With all these elements combined we can put together some killer Thrash Metal songs, because they complement each other.
Luxi: You mention many different gear names on the band's official Facebook page. This makes me also think that you have also invested quite a good amount of money in your instruments. Is this correct?
Jesse R: That is correct! We had to save money for our gear through the years! But it really has been worth it. Now we have our own roadworthy gear that will last through an intense number of gigs and touring. Now we're just waiting for the endorsement deals (we're looking at you, Jackson, Schecter, Fender, and Tama).
Luxi: How is it Joensuu as a town for playing gigs? I know Kerubi and La Barre are probably the most famous places in your hometown where some cool Metal gigs can be arranged from time to time. Are there any other venues that often have nights dedicated to Metal bands?
Jesse R: Well Kerubi is the place for the bigger bands and La Barre is the home of underground Joensuu Metal. Also, there's a nightclub dedicated to Rock/Metal music called Marks which has some gig nights, too. The last place is pretty much a large coffee house called Laituri dedicated mostly for Punk music. So, Joensuu has some good to great venues but there could always be more!
Luxi: I couldn't help noticing that you have a good number of gigs coming up, especially in Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus and the Russian Federation. How did you get this "Eastern European Thrashmageddon" tour arranged?
Jesse R: The guys from the band Ceaseless Torment pretty much asked us to join them opening for Evil Invaders. The tour covers the Eastern European leg of the Evil Invaders' Feed Me Violence tour. The intense number of gigs in Finland and last October in Eastern Europe as the headliner really helped us!
Luxi: As this may be your longest tour so far, are you afraid of traveling to those countries, keeping in mind nothing may go as originally planned? You all know "Murphy's law", right? Anyways, I assume you still are up for any obstacles and challenges, right?
Jesse R: Well like we said we had our own headlining tour in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland last October for two weeks (with Grokes Clan from Joensuu). That tour really taught us that anything can go wrong. For example, an exploding tire on a Polish highway in the middle of the night. Our first time touring outside of Finland really made us hungrier for more and to quote Evil Invaders; "Feed Me Violence!". We are ready for any obstacles because we love this and it is our life man! The last tour also really taught us some new venue rules and playing outside of Finland is very different. We're ready!
Luxi: Do you have any other touring planned for this year yet?
Jesse R: No new plans as of now. After this tour we'll probably book the studio for our debut album and we shall see after that.
Luxi: How do you see 2018 shaping up for the band? Will you try to make as many gigs as possible to get the band's name on the lips of as many people as possible and become more recognized?
Jesse R: We see 2018 as our best year so far. Of course, our main focus is the next tour this April and recording our debut album. We want to take Maniac Abductor to next level and really have people talk about our music. More shows will, of course, follow from our booking agency after the release and we'll seize the opportunities given to us. We really look to become the next young household name on the Thrash field!
Luxi: Alright, I think that's all I had in my mind for this chat. Thanks for taking your time with my question and all the best to you guys in the future. May your road be full of nice rewards for your hard work with the band. Any last words, curses, whatever...?
Jesse R: It was a pleasure sir! Stay tuned, because we're here to stay! The best is yet to come.
|Other information about Maniac Abductor on this site|
|Review: Thrash Assault|
Copyright © 1999-2018, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt. All Rights Reserved.