Interview with vocalist Benny Raivio
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: January 9, 2022
Nuclear Omnicide, a 5-piece Finnish death/thrash metal act formed in 2010, have released two full-length albums and a couple of EPs and have established themselves in the Finnish metal scene as one of the newer bands that people expect to take the next step. That may well happen at some point, although some mild winds of change have tested the band's foundation in the past couple of years.
The band has found a new bassist to strengthen their troops and also had a slight change of musical style. This makes us curious if they have found a more accessible musical style to kiss the mainstream's fat, commercial ass or if they are putting more distance from commercialism by adopting a sound that will please the more extreme metal community?
Read the following interview with the band's vocalist Benny Raivio to find out what these lads have been up to lately.
First off, thanks a lot for your killer performance at Bar Loose, Helsinki, with Final Assault and Ratface. You seemed to have a lot of fun on stage, at least that's how it seemed to me.
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Thank you for showing up and supporting live shows! And yeah, having a good time is basically the reason we do what we do, so it's nice to hear it's noticeable on stage.
THE NAME CHANGE
During that gig you mentioned the band's name change. Could you enlighten us on this topic?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Nuclear Omnicide hasn't been very active in the last couple of years, so once we started writing new material and realized it was sounding quite different from the earlier shit and we decided a name change was in order. Mular was a drunken typo while tagging the wall of a venue and we decided it was perfectly dumb enough for the caveman approach of the new songs.
You played a bunch of new songs during the show, which had a more death metal flavor to them. I guess there's been a death metal kick the band members have been on lately, which is why you changed the name, right?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): That was the main catalyst for the name change yes. The inspiration came from death metal and all sorts of punk, and the goal is to make the listener feel like a garbage truck is slowly backing over them while leaking smelly shit everywhere.
What can you tell us about your new material? How many songs are you planning to write for your next opus and how have you shared the songwriting responsibilities compared to your last album?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): We're not really sure what the future holds, but we have a solid 8-10 demos to work with at the moment, so we'll figure something out. As for the songwriting, it's all about Seba's and Kappe's raw demos at first and then we finalize everything collectively with the arrangement. I usually do the lyrics, but I like to bounce ideas back and forth with the other guys before it's done.
NEW 4-STRING MASTER ENTERS
How much new energy has Sebastian Frigren brought since he joined the band in 2017 and how did you find him to strengthen your troops?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Seba was our only option when looking for a new bass player back in the day. We all knew him from different projects and from being friends for a long time. Once he joined, he was an instant contributor, and I'd say he's invaluable for what we want to do in the future. He brings excellent songwriting, exceptional live energy and playing, and all-around good vibes 24/7. The best dude.
NO PROMOTION = NO SUCCESS
The band's self-titled second album, released in 2018, seems like it didn't cause much of a fuss when it was originally released, possibly because it was not promoted as effectively as it deserved.
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Yeah, the promotion for that album was lackluster, which is our fault. I don't think we knew what we were doing, and we weren't that focused. Looking back, we could have done a lot more to bring attention to it. But, of course, it could also be that people just didn't enjoy it that much. No clue.
How satisfied are you still with your second album? The album contains good songs (like "Morphogenesis" and "Altered Personality") that are nice to perform live.
Benny Raivio (MULAR): We fucking love that album for sure, and we had a blast making it and playing those songs live! And even if it doesn't represent our current sound that well, it's still something we're really proud of.
ONE OF A KIND
How do you see the band's position in the Finnish (death-) thrash metal scene? Do you think metalheads are aware of the band's name all around the Finnish underground or would you say that's a department you should work on more in the future, to get the band's name more recognized?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): I think we're by far the best band of our genre in Finland, but I also think we're the only band of our genre in a way. Most other similar bands play either this sort of retro speed/NWOBHM stuff or a more modern and clean style of thrash. Our style is more a mid-tempo stomp with some death metal and punk influences. As for awareness, I personally don't really care. We might have been more of a household name five years ago or so, but we basically focused on other projects and faded away a bit. Again, all our own fault. I'm happy as long as people who are searching for the sound we provide are able to find it.
People naturally define good riffs, rhythms, choruses, etc. in different ways. Can you tell us what makes a good Nuclear Omnicide song, from your point of view?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Our approach is all about the riff. That's the be-all-end-all for everything we do. The smellier the better. After that we make sure to keep it simple with the drums and the bass, focusing on force feeding the beat to the listener instead of pointless fills and noodling. As for vocals, the arrangement of the lines is the most important part. Lyrics are usually boring and dumb for me personally, so I concentrate on rhythm and the actual sound.
If we look toward 2022, have you made a decision on where you might record your next album? At the Suomenlinna Studios, in Helsinki, having Viktor Gullichsen at the production helm again?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): We have nothing planned yet, but hopefully we'll be able to get something done next year.
What kind of plans do you also have regarding promotional videos? Are they important to promote the band?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): This is also unclear at the moment, but we're not against making music videos, etc. as long as it's a concept we like. The importance really depends on the target audience. If you aim to be a huge band you need to do all that regardless. If you're one of these retro denim and leather bands, it's probably better for your street cred to stick to cassette tapes. We fall somewhere in between.
Covid-19 has made things difficult for many, especially artists, and some have totally lost their income due to this prevailing pandemic situation. How has the pandemic treated your band so far?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): As we weren't really active anyway, it didn't affect us as much as many other bands, but it was really boring and annoying to not play that many shows.
Even if the future is still a bit uncertain gigging-wise, do you have faith that in 2022 and the possibility for a more "open society" that gigs will be possible, and shows will be organized?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): I'm not an expert so I can only speculate, but I really hope society opens up enough for regular gigging. I can see it being a reality closer to the end of 2022.
What other goals do you have as far as the band's comings and goings in 2022 are concerned?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): We haven't really pre-planned anything at the moment. We get together and jam when we have free time from other projects, and once we have enough material to record something we'll start to make plans.
What are your personal goals regarding the band? How different and/or similar are they compared to your fellow musicians within the band?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): As far as I know all our goals are collective. We all want to write, record and perform truck parking music for other idiots and losers like us who enjoy riffs that smell like shit.
If the band's music was a burger, would it be a 100% veggie burger or a greasy meat burger?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): It would probably be a gas station cheeseburger.
Well, that was it for my part, I sincerely want to thank you for your time and wish you all the best with any future endeavors with the band. Any closing comments to wrap up this conversation properly?
Benny Raivio (MULAR): Thanks for having me! I hope we get some music out in the near future, and I hope to see everyone at upcoming shows as well!
|Other information about Nuclear Omnicide on this site|
|Review: The Presence of Evil|
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