Interview with Vaxinator
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: August 22, 2021
Thrash metal is doing well in Finland again after being overshadowed by the death metal movement in the late eighties. Many thrash metal bands that ruled the underground scene in Finland in the mid-late eighties (Protected Illusion, Oppression, Necromancer, Stone, etc.) are no more, but a new generation of bands has invaded the underground and this young 4-piece band called Vaxinator, from Finland's ex-capital city, Turku, is one of the most promising and talented ones of all.
The band was originally formed in 2014 under a different name and their only goal has been to play thrash metal the way their heroes have been for decades. Despite their short existence, they have played a good number of gigs, sharing stages with Lost Society, Axegressor, Angelscourge and others.
The Metal Crypt had the opportunity to witness the band live at the small and cozy Metallivuori Festival in Eura, Finland, in July 2021, and the band proved so damn tight and energetic on stage that it would have been a crying shame not to find out more about them.
We contacted them after the festival and the guys were kind enough to share some info regarding the band's history so far with gigs, releases, etc.
First off, would you tell our readers how the band got started and if the name of the game was to be thrash metal from the beginning?
Vaxinator: The band was formed in 2014 as Leper Charm when our drummer was looking on the Internet for dudes to play with. We changed it to Vaxinator in 2016. It was very clear from the beginning that we would play thrash or some sort of speed metal.
It's mandatory to ask which bands are Vaxonator's main influences.
Vaxinator: Our influences are Pantera, Metallica, Morbid Saint, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus, Slayer, Kreator, Sodom and various Finnish artists.
Vaxinator is a very fitting name considering we humans are trying to live with this lethal virus. Who came up with this name and is it somehow related to Covid-19?
Vaxinator: Our drummer came up with it in 2016 and he's not a fortune teller or anything, but indeed it fits the current times.
LOTS OF MATERIAL COMING UP
You guys have songs like "Chariots of Fire", "Organ Transplant", "Total Deprivation", "Covid-1984" and so on. I'd like to ask if you have enough material for a full-length album at this time? What are your plans to get your debut album recorded?
Vaxinator: Yeah, we have lots of material and, since you asked, our plans are to release four more songs after "Covid-1984". When it comes to an album, that is maybe coming in the future as it is a bigger piece of art and demands more planning.
Have you already approached some labels with a promotional kit to see if there is any interest on their part?
Vaxinator: Not really. We are releasing these upcoming songs independently. After they are released, we will contact various labels for some kind of deal.
I am curious to know what your new song, "Covid-1984", is all about? Is it talking about polio that took the Finnish by surprise back in 1984?
Vaxinator No, it is about the current times mixed with criticism of politics. The "1984" is a reference to George Orwell's book 1984.
Back in 2019, you put out a pro-shot video for the song "Predicting Prophet", which obviously helped you guys to get some extra attention in underground networks around the world. What was the making of this video like and did you get the push from it you were hoping for?
Vaxinator: The making of that music video was a pretty fun process but we think it hasn't promoted us that much because most of our fans will hear us live before they know about the video.
Turku Rock Academy has been one of your most important supporters since day one. Could you tell us how your cooperation with them started?
Vaxinator: We took part in Turku Bandstand in 2016 and the amazing judges thought we had potential. They took us into the Academy for two years and produced "Predicting Prophet" with us.
MR. DOUG BLAIR
Doug Blair, who's been known for his commitments with W.A.S.P. since 2006, has obviously become an important person for Vaxinator as well as he works for the bands in Turku Rock Academy. What is he like as a person? What have you learned from him regarding the music business and things related to it?
Vaxinator: Doug is all around good dude who has given us countless good advice related to our sound, live appearance and so on.
You guys went through a minor lineup change recently when your bassist left the band and was replaced by a new bassist named Tony. Can I be curious and ask if this was a mutual decision or if there was some drama involved?
Vaxinator: We had to kick our ex-bassist out for personal reasons. Tony joined us about a month later when our drummer Sebastian joined BloodRedNails whose frontman is also Tony.
How is the chemistry within the band? Do you feel like you are all on the same page musically?
Vaxinator: We have a very tight bond between us with this lineup. We hang out and have fun together. Musically we are all on the same page with a desire for fast and heavy stuff. Our current lineup is Aleksi on guitar and vocal, Miska on guitar, Tony on bass and Sebastian on drums.
It's been tough for many bands not being able to perform live due to these rough virus times. However, there's been some light at the end of the tunnel, here in Finland in particular with some gigs and festivals being arranged. Your band performed at the Metallivuori Festival in Eura, Finland, this past July (2021) and I have to say I was pretty darn impressed by your energetic performance. What kind of experience was the festival for you?
Vaxinator: Metallivuori Festival was the beacon of light for this year. It felt so damn good to play live again and there was such a big crowd seeing us. We are very pumped to play live again and extremely grateful for Metallivuori for having us.
You are certainly no rookies live-wise. Despite the band's relatively short existence, you have already shared stages with such names as Lost Society, Axegressor, Inkvisitor, The Hirvi, Re-Armed, etc. I guess getting a chance to play live is the main fuel for you guys that keeps you going and motivated. How does your gig calendar look at the moment?
Vaxinator: Yes, we strive for the feeling that we get when we perform live. Our next gig is going to be on August 7, 2021, at Apollo in Turku. It is called Support your local inquisitor! Organized by Metallihelvetti.
You are no rookies when it comes to playing covers either. In 2016, you were part of an event where you played only Megadeth songs. What was that party like where all three bands (Sodomous playing Ensiferum and Hot Rockin' playing Judas Priest) entertained their audience the best they could?
Vaxinator: Heh, it was a great party and actually our first gig with the new name.
Would you be up for doing the same kind of covers night again if the opportunity was offered to you?
Vaxinator: Yeah sure, why not?
... AND THE FUTURE?
Have you guys sat down around your round table to make plans for 2022? I suppose recording and getting your debut album out might be on the top of your bucket list, right?
Vaxinator: Those two are always up there on the list, but if the situation allows, we will be touring our asses off.
I guess that is all I had in my mind for this chat. Thank you for the interview and in the same breath, I'd like to wish you all the best with your future battles with the band. Any closing comments perhaps?
Vaxinator: Thank you for this interview, it always feels amazing when someone approaches us like you did. Keep metal alive in these troubling times. Peace out!
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