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Ari Honkonen (Minotauri)

Interview with Ari Honkonen from Minotauri
by Grigoris Chronis at 15 May 2007, 10:27 AM

Ari from MINOTAURI talks 'bout the Finnish Doom Metal band's second full length album, simply entitled II. And the news spread rather fast…This will as well be the last release from MINOTAURI. A few comments from Ari follow next.

Hi Ari, greetings from Metal Temple magazine. II is finally released via the Firebox label. I remember the bad news regarding your deal with France’s Mourning Records. Was it easy enough to ink deal with Firebox?

After the hassle, it was quite easy. They approached us and after a couple of e-mails they listened the album and that was it, we signed the deal. We`re so different compared to other bands on Firebox label, but that has been the case with all my bands…always.


It was rather weird to see MINOTAURI splitting with Black Widow Records. I read some comments of yours in the band’s official website, too. Did they push you this much?

Yes. I don`t wanna talk about this too much, `cos it`s yesterday news already, but they wanted this and that and we didn`t. That was it.

Anyway, your comments on II? It’s been more than 8 months since you recorded the album. How’s the feedback from your company, the Media and - most important - Doom Metal fans?

Actually the official release day is today, when I`m writing this, so I don`t (know) much yet. I`ve seen couple of reviews, which were very positive and looks like everyone who has heard it, likes it a lot. My comments? I like it a lot. I bled while doing it…

You deal with all the music and lyric parts? How easy is it to be creative in a Metal style that is often described as rather un-flexible?

Yes, I did all the music & lyrics. This is natural to me, no problem. I think I can can compose some different styles: traditional Metal, Doom Metal, NWOBHM-style, Punk etc. Composing is natural to me and I think I`ll compose music untill I die.

MINOTAURI songs have this special characteristic with ’filling’ some sweet melodies to rather primitive riffs. Some lyrics themes, too, deal with love and emotions. What’s your motive/source when writing music and lyrics?

I like strong riffs in Metal music and I`d like them to be as metallic as possible. Sometimes some more punky riffs suits well too. I guess I get inspiration from everything I listen to. Landscapes, history, mythology etc also are a strong inspiration. Being in a band is more than being in a band for me.

MINOTAURI’s music seems rather dedicated to the old-school Doom ideals. Not this much in the CANDLEMASS or SOLITUDE AETURNUS style, if you know what I mean. Are you obsessed with the specific monolithic sound/production?

With MINOTAURI, the idea is more riff-based the hard way, ya know? Also, my vocals are nothing nice or beautiful. I like hard sounds and I think there`s no point to sound radio-friendly or nice when playing Doom Metal. A mix of HELLHAMMER, CELTIC FROST, DEATH ROW (PENTAGRAM), SAINT VITUS, WITCHFINDER GENERAL and SABBATH - that`s the recipe.

Finland’s rather famous for its Extreme Metal acts (Death/Black), many of them often featuring doom-y parts in their songs. You have some experience with MORNINGSTAR, too. Still, is there a ’real’ Doom Metal scene up there in Finland? I mean, apart from REVEREND BIZARRE, of course!

A scene? Couple of bands, of which REVEREND BIZARRE and MINOTAURI are the most old-school sounding acts. There are newer bands playing a bit more modern style Doom Metal. SPRITUS MORTIS have also other influences in their music, not strictly doom. I don`t follow scenes that much.

MINOTAURI and vinyl issues: is the new album released on vinyl? You’ve released LPs, a 10 single, normal or split 7s. Guess you’re a collector yourself.. A N.W.O.B.H.M. maniac?

Perhaps not. At least not by Firebox Records. Yeah, I have some good vinyl in my collection, but I don`t collect that much anymore. Yes, I like some NWOBHM stuff very much, everything from ANGEL WITCH to SARACEN and from CLOVEN HOOF to PAGAN ALTAR, TRESPASS etc.

The pre-last question: MINOTAURI - in regards to your latest statement - will no longer exist. Why did you make such a decision in this specific period, with a new deal an a new album?

I have no time nor desire at the moment. I`m the primus motor of the band and that`s it. Playing music is a bit more than music to me. That separates us a bit. It`s hard to explain. People do not know what Doom Metal is.

The last one: is MINOTAURI dead but not buried yet? Can you name a thing or two that would (maybe) make you thing again of writing music or MINOTAURI?

MINOTAURI is dead, so long folks! I will continue with KALAVELAN VIIKINGIT, a solo project, which plays Epic (sometimes nationalromantic) Rock with some Punk influences. NO nazi stuff if ya wonder. I`ll go to studio tomorrow..watch out! Thanx for the interview.



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