Interview with guitarist and vocalist Eetu Hyvönen and bassist Pauli Niemi
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: May 7, 2023
Malformed is a new Finnish death metal outfit, formed in 2022, who have already cultivated a good reputation in the underground death metal scene. The band's 5-track debut demo, Uncontrollable Malformity, reached this pair of curious ears at the headquarters of The Metal Crypt, impressing them so much we decided to learn more about these young fellows.
We contacted the band recently and presented some questions to them and both guitarist and vocalist Eetu Hyvönen and bassist Pauli Niemi used the opportunity to talk about this new deadly torpedo in the vast ocean of Finnish death metal, better known as Malformed...
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
Hey there. First off, would you tell our readers when you started this band, and was it easy to find like-minded musicians to play this brutal, ugly, and cavernous-sounding death metal?
Eetu: I started the idea of a death metal group with Pauli back in early 2022. We went through a few attempts at creating a lineup, however none of them worked out until September 2022 when I reached out to Akseli Lindroos who we knew from Azatoth. He gladly joined as a guitarist and has been great to work with ever since. Felix Pennanen (from Disguised Malignance) played drums on our demo and first show as a part-time session member until we found our drummer, Jani Seppi, in November 2022.
Pauli: It was easy to find like-minded musicians, but it was more difficult to make the band work out.
Did you know which roles you'd play in the band, i.e., who will play guitar, who will be the master of the 4-string and so forth?
Pauli: We knew from the beginning that I would play bass and Eetu would play guitar and sing.
Eetu: Since I started the band with Pauli, we knew that we would oversee most of the songwriting.
What were some of the inspirational or influential bands that you looked up to; the bands that made you grab instruments and start playing, first for fun and then a bit more seriously as time went by?
Eetu: For Malformed, the biggest influences are early Suffocation, Gorguts and Cryptopsy along with a few local legends like Demilich. We've all been playing our instruments for a while now, constantly aiming for improvement.
Pauli: Before the demo was recorded, the bands we looked up to were Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus and Deicide.
THE FIRST BABY: UNCONTROLLABLE MALFORMITY
The band's 5-track demo, Uncontrolled Malformity, was released in November 2022. Would you like to say something about that demo and the recording process for it?
Eetu: The demo was almost entirely written by the time Akseli joined along with Felix, although Felix was never intended to become a full-time member. The recording process was relatively quick as we wanted to release the demo as soon as possible.
Pauli: Apart from the drums, everything was recorded in Felix's bedroom. Felix also produced the demo. Bass tracks were recorded in a hurry because we wanted to see Azatoth's gig in Tiivistämö, so we had approximately two hours to record the tracks. Everything turned out great, even some improvised bass fills in "Satisfactory Evisceration."
How has the response to the demo been so far?
Eetu: Overwhelmingly positive, way better than what we could've ever expected.
At some point, the demo reached some curious ears at the US underground label Rotten Life Records and they wanted to put it out as a cassette release. How did the label find you or did you contact the label first?
Eetu: Rotted Life reached out to us via Instagram, so we really don't have a clue how the label had heard of our demo.
LIVE INVASIONS SO FAR – AND UPCOMING DEATH FEAST
I saw you guys performing at Bar Loose, Helsinki, Finland, for the first time and was honestly totally amazed by your tight live performance. Apparently, you guys practice together a lot or am I mistaken about this?
Pauli: We have a routine of rehearsing at least once a week. Sometimes before shows, we'll rehearse more than that.
How was the show at Bar Loose with Galvanizer, Sadistic Drive, and Scythrow? Did you know any of these lads in any of those bands from earlier meetings or sharing stages with them before? What was it like to play with Galvanizer who have been making a name for themselves with their grinding death metal for the past 10 years or so?
Eetu: The gig was great. We had played with Sadistic Drive two weeks prior to the Loose show, and we had met the Galvanizer dudes at prior gigs. Playing with Galvanizer and Sadistic Drive, along with other Finnish death metal giants like Gorephilia and Cryptic Hatred at our prior gigs has been really awesome. We are all are big fans of the Finnish death metal scene.
What's in store for Malformed in the coming months, live-wise? Helsinki Death Fest will be held again this August, with a killer lineup of bands like Benediction and Cancer on the bill. Are you aiming to get your foot in the (death) door for that festival perhaps?
Eetu: Once our new EP has been finalized, we'll continue to play as many gigs as possible, including Helsinki Death Fest. We only recently found out that we will be playing there.
Pauli: If anyone is interested in booking us for a show, hit us up on Instagram or our email.
You told me that you have been working on songs for an EP release. Where are you with the recording process at the moment? Is the recording for it finished or are you still working on it?
Pauli: All instruments have been recorded. Next up, the vocals.
Do the songs on it follow the same musical formula that made your 2022 demo such a welcome experience among deatheads?
Pauli: The EP songs are more technical and brutal than the demo material. This time there will be no fretless bass included.
Eetu: This time, the songwriting process was more band-oriented than before, with arrangements being made at rehearsal, unlike on the demo.
Once this new EP is read, will you try to shop it to some record labels, hoping that one of them will offer you a deal for a full-length album? I guess that would be the next logical step, right?
Pauli: We have one label in mind for this EP, and after that we'll see what the future holds.
THE FINNISH DEATH METAL FAMILY IS GROWING
This may be a difficult question to answer but let's try it, OK? Where does Malformed fit in among the many other bands that have appeared in the Finnish death metal scene during this second wave of death metal? Bands like Devenial Verdict, Ashen Tomb, Azatoth, Cryptic Hatred, Sadistic Drive and so many others. Do you believe you have landed your own tiny spot among them, and the sky is the limit, if such a cliché could be used at this part of the question?
Eetu: I think the death metal scene is flourishing, with many bands bringing their own sound to the table; some more doomy, others perhaps more grind-oriented. While we appreciate and respect the aforementioned bands, we're aiming at our own original sound without copying anyone.
Pauli: We definitely have a tiny spot among those bands, with perhaps a more technical sound.
What would like to achieve in the next 2-3 years with Malformed?
Eetu: We don't want to jinx anything, so we can only hope for the best and keep working hard at our craft.
What can fans expect from Malformed this year, besides your new EP and seeing the band live somewhere in Finland (and outside Finland, too)?
Eetu: Our Instagram page will be a great source for information and updates in the coming months, as we have some stuff lined up which cannot be revealed yet.
That was it on my part, so thanks a lot for your time, and I wish you all the best with your present and future endeavors with the band. If you have any closing comments, then just go ahead as the rest of the space is reserved for you...
Pauli: Thank you for the interview, stay tuned for updates!
|Other information about Malformed on this site|
|Review: Uncontrollable Malformity|
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