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Mors Principium Est's Ville Viljanen: "We chose to be a two-man band, officially. Off course we need live players, but other than that, the reason why we are a two-man band, is because we do not need other official members."

Interview with Ville Viljanen from Mors Principium Est
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 October 2020, 10:41 PM

Being strong minded is important in this business, which can be tough, sometimes there would be arguments saying that there is a quite a lot of backstabbing going around. To have the people you trust the most is the key, and with them to strive for the best possible results, perfecting skills and unleashing hell for the enjoyment of the fans. Mors Principium Est, which has been making a striking return, delivers "Seven", their next in line Melodic Death Metal appetizer in the spirit of the old days. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to Ville Viljanen, the band's vocalist, regarding the new release, state of the official two-man band, live stream and more…

Hello Ville, it is great to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hello. I have been doing just fine, thank you for asking.

Well, it appears that this pandemic’s status is vastly an enigma rather with a positive solution, or not, in hand. How have you been coping with the situation? Do you see any ending to this cycle of madness, which became part of mankind’s legacy?

Personally, it has not affected in my life that much. Yes, some gigs have been cancelled or postponed, but my normal personal life is pretty much as it was before this pandemic. Yeah, I believe this will end as soon as the vaccines are ready. I HOPE it will end. Even though I just said it does not affect in my life, I would still like to travel, in the future, like before this pandemic.

Mors Principium Est is reaching its 7th album, which was titled in kind as “Seven”, no more and no less. Before we dwell into the release, when you look back through the last 2 decades that you have been in the band, are there any key moments that you would have done things differently? Any regrets upon decisions that weren’t made at the time that perhaps would have changed the course of the band’s career?

Yeah, it has been a long road. There are some things I would do differently, if I could, so yeah, I do regret few stuff. Nothing big or serious, but still might have changed the bands future. Never know. But if I could, I would do some things a bit differently.

When it comes to the band’s stability, I noticed that things haven’t really been well concerning the lineup. At the end of it all, only yourself and Andy Gillion remain as the actual band. What led to the final decision to remain a twosome?

I would not say things have been bad, concerning the lineup. If you look at pretty much any band that have been around over 10 years, I am sure you find that they all have had lineup changes. I think it is just normal. We chose to be a two-man band, officially. Off course we need live players, but other than that, the reason why we are a two-man band, is because we do not need other official members.

Everything we do, we can do it without other members, except live shows. And Teemu was still in the band at the beginning of this year, so we have not been a two-man band that long.

As the band is merely two people, will it return to the stages again, of course once possible due to the pandemic?

We do have live players. So yes, as soon as possible, we will return to stages.

Is it possible that “Seven” is beyond the album number that the band released but rather symbolizes something bigger?

It is possible, but in our case that is not the situation hehe. We just needed to choose the title for the album and after many other options, "Seven" was the only one that we both, Andy and I, agreed on. So, that is why the album is titled "Seven".

What would you say are the issues being confronted with on “Seven”? How do those themes find your state of mind in light of what has been going on nowadays?

The songs and lyrics have nothing to do with the situation in the world today. The lyrics are just some fictional stories.

“Embers of a Dying World” may have perfected the band’s effort musically, yet I believe that “Seven” is a sort of an enhancement, an expansion of the abilities displayed on the previous record. How do you find the complexities of the band’s witnessed on the album along with the Swedish melodic direction of Death Metal as a fusion?

I think "Seven" is a mixture of "Dawn of the 5th Era" album and "Embers of a Dying World" album. That is my personal opinion.

What is your opinion regarding the progress made on “Seven”? Would you state that there was a different approach regarding Andy Gillion’s songwriting on the album, which eventually became a key factor for the album’s strong attributes?

I think this album was done just at the same way we did the last 3 albums. Nothing has been changed.

When it comes to the complexities and varied arrangements and orchestrations, it goes without saying that there have to be a few bumps on the road. What were the challenges behind the songwriting and creation of “Seven”?

I did not find any challenges in the songwriting. The only challenge was the mixing and mastering as we were not able to go to the studio, because of this Covid situation.

In your view, what do you think that Mors Principium Est brings to the table with “Seven”, as part of a vast horizon of albums released on a daily basis? What makes you uncanny?
We have been playing melodic death metal in the way Mors Principium Est plays it. There are no other band that creates the same music as we do. Yes, there are other melodic death metal bands, but none of them are MPE. If you like what MPE have done, you will like this new album. If you did not like our previous albums, I am sure you do not like this new album either.

As an example of the toughened end of the album, going sonically brutal, yet cunning and intricate, there is “Master Of The Dead”. What is behind the straightforward channeling of aggression that makes this track so strong in your opinion?

I really cannot say. It was born just the same way all the other songs were.

“Lost in a Starless Aeon”, upon its cosmic title that takes a gaze at the stars, may as well be the album’s prominent melodic enticer. It shares qualities of the modern day Metal technicians, yet showers a vast melodic sense that is so rich and profound. How do you find this tune?

I find it just the same way as you just explained hehe

When it comes to dramatic, along with a sorrowful favor, “At the Shores of Silver Sand”, is bound to catch listeners off guard. It is somewhat of a deceiver, appearing fierce and in your face and right before you know it, stops the clock and takes a different mellow and slow in tempo form. How can you explain the shift of moods within the tune?

I really do not explain why something was written. All the songs were written because we like them. If it sounds good, it will end up in the album. I do not think about why does it sound good.

Ever since the pandemic struck, it became apparent that bands need to maintain a certain contact with the public. Therefore, various means shaped up in the image for example of live stream shows, some even did virtual tours. What do you think of this phenomenon?

I personally think live stream shows are a joke. I would never do that. Well, if I would get paid a million dollars, for example, I am sure I would do it. Hehe. No, but seriously. I do not think it is a live gig. Yes, you see it live on your monitor or whatever, but you are not there. You are not at the show. Also the bands do not see anybody. They are just playing for the cams. I have no interest for that stuff. It is not the same for the fans and it is not the same for the bands. If you want to see your favorite band playing live, just go to YouTube and watch some live videos for free.

Are there plans to work on the next album due to the time factor on your side with this pandemic?

Well, as the new album has not even been released yet, no, no plans for a new album at the moment.

Ville, it has been a pleasure, I would like to thank you for your time for this interview. You surely made an amazing release that shares qualities in Metal that are bound to make Metalheads happy. Cheers.

Cool and thank you too


 



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