With a string of high quality releases over their illustrious career, Kalmah has to be one of Finland’s best kept melodic death metal secret. This year the band releases their eighth full length album, Palo, and celebrate their 20th anniversary. We had the opportunity to talk to Pekka, guitarist and vocalist of the band to learn more.
Greetings Kalmah, thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to you. Before we begin the interview proper, let’s talk about your upcoming album, Palo. The new record will be released on April 6th 2018 via Spinefarm Records. What can fans expect from the new record?
Pekka (guitars, vocals): I believe that they expect a true melodic death metal album and that’s exactly what are they gonna get! The album contains 10 songs with different tempos, melodies and lots of nuances that will please our fans, that´s for sure!
The band will be embarking on the a tour in support of Palo, which will see the band performing in 4 cities. Will the set list be specifically focus on the new album song?
I think we’re going to play 3-4 songs from our new album. We just cannot drop out some songs that we have composed before just because there are fans that want to hear those. I think it’s going to be very interesting to write a new setlist.
The band released the first lyric video to Evil Kin from the upcoming album last month. Were there any particular reasons for releasing this song as the first single off the upcoming album?
I think we just tried to save the better songs for the album… To be honest, there was not any main reason why we released that particular song. Well, maybe because that has to do something with the length but I’m not sure.
Palo is the band’s first album in 5 years. There seems to be a longer gap in between both releases considering the band’s gap is usually around 2 to 3 years. Was there a shift in the song-writing process that caused the longer gap?
I have to say no. We have so many other things going on in our lives so we just decided that we will write a new album when the time is right, So now it was.
The album artwork for Palo was done by Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquillity; the artwork was pretty distinctive compared to the band’s previous album. Are there any concepts behind the artwork, and what was the band’s direction for Niklas upon choosing him to conceive the artwork for the new album?
Well he seemed to be a very talented artist so we send him the idea of the artwork and he send us his vision and that was exactly what we wanted so we hired him.
Finland has a big metal scene with a number of notable metal bands that have established themselves internationally, such as Amorphis, Nightwish, and Lordi. Kalmah having been around since 1998, what’s your thoughts on the current state of the music industry as a whole in Finland?
The metal music here is a part of the mainstream so I think we’re doing well. I have to tell that I’m not following the scene so passionately that I’m not that aware what’s happening underground. But this is a small country so I will find out pretty quickly when something radical happens.
I understand that Timo and Janne took part in the making of the Finnish Comedy Movie Hevi Reissu (A Heavy Trip). The trailer of the movie is currently making a hit within the metal community. How did both of them end up in the making of the movie?
I know nothing about that.
Next year will be Kalmah’s 20th Anniversary. Would there be any plans for special anniversary shows or special releases for the band to celebrate 20 years of Kalmah?
At least now we have not made any plans what’s going to happen. Let’s see.
Recently, Singapore has its fair share of Finland’s finest bands such as Mors Principium Est, who recently played in February. Our local fans here definitely look forward to watch Kalmah live in Singapore. Are there any plans for the band to do an Asia tour for the new album?
Yes, we have some consultations going on right now regarding the Asian tour but I don’t know what will happen. Stay alert!
Alright, we have come to the last question of this interview. Any last words for Kalmah fans from Singapore?