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Coronary's Aku Kytölä: "In sin is what we sing about, there is nothing but good in it, life is all about enjoying those tabooish naughty things that make life worth living."

Interview with Aku Kytölä from Coronary
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 28 January 2021, 10:43 PM

As if the heart was aching for the piece of classic, the old sounds of the heydays that wouldn't let go. Call it being old nowadays, but also call it being young in spirit. Some folks can't let go of those eras of Rock and Metal music that made everything possible for them, to live, to drink, to enjoy life and even withstand the hardships. Coronary's emergence was not by mistake, as if it was demanded to become part of the worldwide Metal scene, and gladly it happened. Releasing their debut, pure a result of 80s passion, "Sinbad" hit. Steinmetal had a good talk with founder Aku Kytölä about this new musical export from the cold Finnish land, and it was quite nostalgic.

Hello Aku, it is one hell of a pleasure having you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, what has been going on your end?

Thank you, mate, likewise! Things are cool, really cool, it’s like 21 minus degrees Celsius outside. At the moment I've been busy working on Prestige's 4th album, so Coronary has been on break from my half, though because of this damn pandemonium we haven't been able to play any gigs, or participate in pretty much anything band related stuff anyways. Album has been ready for ages, so there's sadly been nothing to do in camp C.

I guess that as a comfort for a cold Winter, at least in some places in this time of year, here is a quick question out of nowhere, which Metal album would keep you warm and comfy?

AC/DC – Highway To Hell, one of the best albums ever! If it is Metal though, that is a different question

After that little intermission, right at the beginning, let’s talk about the foundation of Coronary, since it is quite a newcomer band. So we should be utterly thankful to the happening of the dangerous meeting in the Flea Market for the band’s formation and probably a good vinyl that you bought back then? How did the idea / vision of the band fire up after you met your drummer, Pate Vuorio?

Now that was really a real coincident, I had met Pate already somewhat like 30 years ago, when he was vocalist of Rytmihäiriö, so we weren't complete strangers to each other, but we probably haven't ever said even “Hi” to each other sober, we've always met only backstage, after show parties etc. You know the drill. Days of youth, definitely not the days of innocence, free booze and lots of temptations. Great times.

Aaaaand, suddenly 30 years later this guy from Helsinki was standing over my shoulder at flea market at my hometown Tampere. Over my shoulder, He is tall. I'm almost 6 feet tall, he's in basketball league measures. And I said “Hi” he said “Hi” and we started talking about music, that lead to an idea to play something together, and we realized that we actually do share lot of ideas, musically, and otherwise, and we got along great immediately. After few musical mis-steps, we came up with this idea of 80's Teutonic heavy metal band, and suddenly that was it, Coronary was found. Now we just needed the rest of the guys.

I noticed that you aren’t really a fan of the countless tagging that has been going on within Metal music in the past 30 years or so, wouldn’t that be a matter of order in things? Also, let’s face it, there is a difference, for example, Death Metal and Traditional Metal, isn’t it?

Well my thought is that people do miss a lot in life, when they start to label things. If you like it, love it, if it feels right inside, it's your thing. And if you want to belong to a certain group to share your enthusiasm about, for example headbanging longhaired beer drinkers, it's great, but you should never forget how other people feel about other stuff, the neighbours' dude may rank those 70's top ten disco hits higher, but hey, live and let live!

There have been a lot of people that have been celebrating the golden age of Metal music, and yes I know it will always be the 80s, however, even with that longing for the past to kick your ass, what do you think that makes modern Metal so successful that it relies up so many fans, which in number became greater than the 80s fans?

Tough one, I haven't heard that many modern metal albums. I guess that is the reason why Coronary had to make one?

In your view, what do you think that makes the 80s spirit of Metal so great? What is the younger generation missing when they don’t nod to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Saxon, Venom etc.?

It probably isn't the same with kids nowadays, that kind of music isn't no more new and tempting. It was fresh then, and for the teenage mind really appealing phenomena, so to speak. Back then it was seriously something, guys looked dangerous in a new way, band members wore leather, studs, bullet belts, and over all their outfits was like stolen from bikers at the movies were guys ride free, fight the authority and they wore denim cuts with patches, had hippie hair but rocker attitude, that was seriously something you wanted to be part of. Appealing, and really cool. Those are more like them old days, nowadays whole thing is old news, and I sure hope that all isn't lost. We need that attitude to stand strong against, well pretty much anything you want to rebel against. You choose.

Coronary is set to release its debut album, “Sinbad”, signed to Cruz Del Sur Music. I have to admit that it is an uncanny release for this label for sure, in particular when the latter has its focus on the Epic side of Metal. So, what is so Bad in Sin? And yes, I was sure that the sailor had nothing to do with it.

In sin is what we sing about, there is nothing but good in it, life is all about enjoying those tabooish naughty things that make life worth living. Of coursethere are certain boundaries worth judging, but what we as a band are all about, is bringing up all them dirty little secrets that makes the certain parts jingle. And jangle. By the way, your right, this has nothing to do with semen… sorry, seamen. Do whatever make you feels good, or bad, as long as nobody gets hurt.

Would you consider “Sinbad” as a sort of a primal escapism mechanism from what has been troubling a lot of people worldwide nowadays, which is the Covid-19 pandemic? A sort of a measure to ease your mind from the outside?

Music is made to set minds free, we sure hope our album gives strength to people to go on with their daily life, no matter how hard it must sometimes feel.

All the music is one form of escapism in my opinion, or at least it exists to ease your daily life, Combination of strong powerful chords played loud and creamed with loud harsh lyrics screamed into your ears are a very powerful creation to give people support in tasks that without music could bring you down. Well maybe not the horrible background stuff you hear at elevators, but serious music anyways. And as a musician it gives same support when you compose them songs, the feeling transmits, when you do it right, it doesn't really matter if you are at the receiving end or the creative one.

After I took a few listens to “Sinbad”, eventually I devoured it no worries, I thought it was a sort of a tribute album like, well not an album with regular covers, but nearly every song trails a different 80s band by influence, yet AC/DC did emerge as well, but it's 70s incarnation rather the Johnson’s era. You guys pretty much walked through most of the decade, probably by accident I assume. It would be interesting to know, how the shared ideas, and encirclement within the 80s spirit, developed you guys as songwriters, and of course as a band?

We all love that hard rock from 70's and 80's, can't help it, that's the stuff we grew adults with, and it leaves a certain mark on you, it in your genetic code forever, and with Coronary it is really easy to come up with songs that may easily be linked to any cool stuff from those two eras. So yes, you can see, or actually hear, our album as a tribute to all those bands from posters on our walls that mom threatened to tear down, because even she was a bit afraid of what it was all about.

What can you tell that Coronary did on “Sinbad” that not too many 80s Metal bands did back in the day in terms of its songwriting and song arrangements? What makes “Sinbad” special with Coronary as keepers of the flame?

As I mentioned, you gotta do it right. I’d say we did.

Let’s talk about the sound, clearly a pattern that isn’t that common nowadays, unless you are a Stoner Rock band or merely a newcomer band trying to sound NWOBHM, as most bands that have been going strong, went modern in their perception of how to sound. How did you reach this piece of vintage artistry? In your opinion, what makes this sound tick?

I think the album sounds still a bit modern, but it actually has to, because otherwise it would really sound like a silent scream from the past, very few albums can stand against time, compared to results of modern sound engineering. Panu did great job finishing that album, and I know that wasn't the easiest job, because we did recording session in 18 months, so basically our sound had to be built from bits and pieces that differed a lot between different songs, sometimes even within the song.

My ultimate baby on this album is no other than the punch and grab, kick and slam, “Bullet Train’, the chops, the simplicity, that gorgeous lead guitar riff on the chorus, am I missing something here? I don’t think so. What are your thoughts about this fumey Hard Rockin’ Metal tune?

Well that was the first one I wrote for the band, and it kind of floated out of my acoustic guitar in my bedroom while watching a few episodes of "The Walking Dead". I doubt that the particular TV show really had any effect on how that one built up, but for some weird reason I love to write riffs while watching zombie stuff at the same time. Anyways, when BT was finally ready, mixed and was an opening track on our demo tape, I knew we had something serious going on. And I really have to point out that we finalized the song as a whole band, and after everybody had brought something more to those riffs I originally wrote, I really can't take credit for writing it. It was co-operative work. And a killer.

The self-titled, “Sinbad”, has that mystery in it, perhaps due to the atmospheric nature of the verses, but some fragments of the secret unveil with the lead guitar section as it obliterates. What can you tell about how this track was created?

Jukka came up with that song one day, and once again, as almost every single time, we tore the structure apart, and arranged song again as a band, and the result was great, wasn't it?

With “Reflector” it did a kickback for me to Grim Reaper’s “Rock You To Hell”, boy it made the experience sweeter, even your vocalist shared his Steve Grimmett’s vocal pattern. Furthermore, it has somewhat diversity over the others, what is your take on that? Talking about your vocalist, where did you find this beast of voice?

By accident, finding a decent voice is really hard, everyone we personally knew, had their hands full with different bands and projects. So I got his number from our mutual friend, and I just blurted out what are our plans, and asked him if he wanted to come over and give it a try. And he did, and man he did ace that test. Just about month later he also revealed that he actually hadn't done any lyrics before, he though just to come over and belt out all he got. We we're sold right at the first round. Olli knows what he does.

I don’t really know if you are old school in your marketing like your music, yet how did you think to promote the new album, other than the great PR service you have been receiving? Since there are no shows at the moment, what is the next move?

I don't take part in that part of the business, my role is only in rehearsals and on stage.

Where do you see Coronary headed in the next couple of years? Any expectations from 2021 from your end?

Because of the global situation I think all we're about to do, or all we can do 2021 is give a final touch to all them next ten songs, we already have some kind of demo version of ready to give us a good start. Sure hope we're going to hit the stages all around the globe, u never know, thumbs up, people!

Aku, simply amazing, thank you for your time and attention, and also thank you for a well done, well-made debut album, many thanks sir. Cheers.

Thanks a million, it was a pleasure!



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