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Interviews Worthless

Interview with vocalist and guitarist Toni

Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen

Date online: October 1, 2014

Worthless was born in 2009 as a Celtic Frost/Hellhammer tribute band. Back then they were called Nordic Frost. Relatively quickly they changed their name to Worthless and started writing their own brand of dark and macabre Death Metal.

In August 2013 they went to a studio in their hometown of Tampere, Finland, to record a 7-song affair, which was titled Beaten by Life, and which was officially released in March 2014. Since then, things have been rolling along and fans are becoming curious about the band and their utterly twisted and moldering Death Metal due to its evil magnetism.

The Metal Crypt was also curious about this trio named Worthless and Toni (vocals/guitar) was keen to reveal some facts about Worthless...

Luxi: What should people know about Worthless that isn't already known about the history of the band, how it got started and so on?

Toni: The history pretty much sums it up. Worthless began from the Celtic Frost/Hellhammer tribute band Nordic Frost, with the line-up having an urge to create and play their own songs.

Luxi: How easy or difficult was it to find the right musical direction for Worthless? Were there any compromises on the way to the specific sound and style the band now has?

Toni: The musical direction was quite clear from the beginning. The band's overall sound developed naturally and the only compromise has been in the arrangements of the songs. We use only one guitar and want to keep the band sounding as authentic as possible in live situations.

Luxi: Did you have a certain philosophy in mind for Worthless, musically and visually?

Toni: The key philosophy is to keep our musical, lyrical and visual themes nihilistic, grim and macabre.

Luxi: What makes Worthless an act worth following (no ass-kissing intended) for my organs of hearing is the way you touch on the essences that make Death Metal sound great, like dark and pummeling atmospheres, that most of us love in Death Metal. Besides, as we all know, the wheel has been invented so there's no need to re-invent it all over again, right? ;o)

Toni: Thanks, it's nice to hear we've reached someone with similar visions. We don't consider ourselves inventors, only refiners of our own sound.

Luxi: Was it an easy task to find suitable musicians for this band that shared a similar vision about what the band should be all about?

Toni: There were no difficulties. The band was formed with a mutual vision by guys who had already known each other, and had played in the same bands.

Luxi: Your first demo was released in 2012 but obviously you weren't completely happy with it, as trying to find the songs on the Internet has turned out to be kind of difficult. Was there something wrong with it or do you feel like it does not really represent Worthless the way it should?

Toni: The two debut demo songs have been on Soundcloud since their release, are also found on YouTube and are soon to be added to Bandcamp. The band is satisfied with them and one of the songs has been permanently in our live set.

Luxi: Let's move on and talk about your latest demo, the 7-track Beaten by Life. First off, congratz on getting this demo recorded. It truly reeks of quality Death Metal, even from a distance. What helped you succeed in getting the kind of sound on the demo that should make you very proud of each song? Is there anything, anything at all that you wish you had done differently as far as the songs, the production, etc. are concerned?

Toni: Thanks. From the rehearsal room all the way to the studio we had a mutual understanding how we wanted the songs to be, and we are pleased with how Beaten by Life turned out. Some song arrangements could have been thought through more completely but there's always room for improvement. A dedicated friend offered to co-produce and record Beaten by Life and helped us capture the sound and essence for the songs. He is now our current bass player, taking the place of the former bassist who decided to call it quits to concentrate on his own projects.

Luxi: I understand the response for Beaten by Life has been kind of overwhelming thus far. Could you share some of this feedback with the readers of The Metal Crypt?

Toni: The response has been mostly good. It's great that some people have found our music, but we don't want to boast with any specific feedback.

Luxi: What kinds of promotional things are you doing for the demo? You have a presence on some of the most popular social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp and SoundCloud, but do you think it's going to be enough? Have you discussed making a promotional video at some point, which could be a pretty effective promotional tool for introducing the band to the whole world?

Toni: Since there are only three of us, we usually figure out the promotional stuff together. We have sent material to record labels and cooperative parties. There have been talks of a music video, which would definitely be good for promotion. Generally, we do our thing and hope that it reaches its audience, without having to force-feed it to anyone or spam any newsfeeds.

Luxi: Are there other ways you've considered, like a couple of commercial video clips about the new material or stuff in the works, which is something many bands tend to do?

Toni: We have considered making promo-clips, but we are currently focused on writing new songs. We are still open to deals for a possible proper physical release of Beaten by Life.

Luxi: As far as your own vocals go, how much do you cite a guy like Tom Gabriel Warrior as an influence, vocally? I mean, the tone of your voice is eerily similar to Tom's, which is why I ask...

Toni: Correct. He's been one of the biggest influences, vocally and musically.

Luxi: While we are at it, talking about artists and bands and their influences on you, it seems obvious acts such as Celtic Frost, Nihilist/Entombed, Master, Repulsion, Bones and perhaps a few others, seem to have had an impact on Worthless. Does it bother you to be compared to other artists or bands? Or do you not really care about these (annoying) comparisons, as long as you can have some fun and enjoy the music that you create?

Toni: It's an honor to be compared to classic bands. And it's exactly as you put it; we don't worry about these things, we do what we enjoy.

Luxi: Many musicians make unexpected and drastic turns with their music from time to time, to the point that people might think there's a whole different band performing from one album to the next. They call it "growing up" or "maturing" or something else, euphemistically. So, the question of "can you be a whore at the altar of commercialism" be asked, but maybe not safely answered? Want to this tricky question a shot?

Toni: As previously stated, first and foremost, we create and play music we enjoy. Without doing any Cold Lake moves :)

Luxi: I have to assume Worthless isn't the kind of a band that wants to rest on its laurels too long. In other words, have you already started working on new material, even as the Beaten by Life demo is still relatively new?

Toni: Six new songs are pretty much ready, and more are in progress. Creativity is flowing nicely.

Luxi: Whenever your creative juices start flowing, are you always able to take the best advantage of them? What I mean is, do you get inspired by something and this special momentum only lasts a short time and then fades away, leaving you nothing but frustration and mental agony?

Toni: We archive all potential new riffs and ideas we come up with and get back on them when it feels right. The surrounding world and human race generally is what gives us mental agony.

Luxi: How do you see the state of the Finnish Death Metal scene? Is the world crumbling under Finnish Death Metal boots or are they getting there, little by little?

Toni: The scene is doing fine. There have always been good bands; they're just not getting a lot of hype in the media. Trends come and go, but good music remains, and only death is certain.

Luxi: Just one more question and we are done for now; when Worthless is no more (hopefully not for a long time), what would you like to see written on the band's tombstone?

Toni: "Regarding life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is worthless." -Nietzsche

Luxi: Thank you, Toni, for taking some time to do this chat with The Metal Crypt and good luck with your band in the future. I wish you fame and success. Any last words, kind and sweet or ugly and provocative...?

Toni: Thank you for the interview and sincere support! Embrace delirium and hear now the hymns of death!

Other information about Worthless on this site
Review: Beaten by Life
Review: Grim Catharsis
Review: Melancholic Rites
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Toni Pekkala on November 15, 2020 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)

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