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Shadow Tribe's Marko Pukklia: "Shadow Tribe is definitely a real band and we are looking forward to play the songs live for our fans! Hopefully we get the chance to play outside of Finland too"

Interview with Marko Pukklia: from Shadow Tribe
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 October 2020, 12:29 PM

The answer to where to implement material that doesn't fit anywhere other than found a new venture to take it under its wing. Shadow Tribe from Finland became a breathing, living musical entity merely because nothing was going on at the time for the people who founded it. It didn't take that long and a debut album emerged. Marko Pukklia, a veteran in the Finnish Metal scene, along with being in the business for nearly two decades, made this effort happen and surrounded himself with the right people to make it more than the average turn out. Steinmetal had a talk with Marko about the newly released “Reality Unveiled”, the foundation of the new band, its members, album material and more…

Hello Marko, it is a sheer pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hallo! Thank You for asking. I am doing great and looking forward to get the new album out!

Out of nowhere, I stumbled upon Shadow Tribe, which slow and easy has been preparing to carve their signature on the skins of those who would listen to their call. You have been around the Metal scene for quite some time and gained quite an experience, therefore, what led you to form Shadow Tribe? Perhaps it provided you an opportunity to express yourself as a songwriter better than in any other acts that you participated in?

I formed Shadow Tribe some years ago already. I had written songs for an album and I didn't have any active bands going on, so I decided to put together a new band. We had some lineup changes in the beginning but early this year we got the lineup complete and we continued to finish the album.

For the helm of the vocals you got yourself a singer that I have always felt that was too much behind the shadows. I have known Kimmo Perämäki’s voice since the first time I listened to Celesty and knew that it was only a matter of time until this guy would explode due to its high flying abilities. How did your paths cross to form the band together?

I have known Kimmo for a long time, must be something like 20 years. I have always loved his voice and Kimmo have liked the music I have written. So we have talked about doing something together several times. But always one of us had some other projects/bands going on that kept us busy. But now finally there was a moment when we both had time and we teamed up in this band.

Other than talent, what did you find in Perämäki, whether professionally or due to his personality, that you felt that he was the right man for the singer’s position?

We have always had a great time and he´s a really fun and great guy! So I am glad we finally got the chance to make this album together. And hopefully there will come a second album also, since we don't see this as a project, it's a band for us and we want to play live too.

Gathering your forces with a stellar guitarist, and a proficient drummer, Shadow Tribe unchained their first piece, of what I hope to be the first of many, of the puzzle in the image of “Reality Unveiled”. In order to properly release this album, you signed with Pride & Joy Music, which also has the ability to find greatness in artists. How do you feel about this signing, in particular for the servicing of this album?

I am really glad Birgitt (Pride & Joy Music) wanted to sign us. I have known Birgitt for almost 20 years already as well. She was ALTARIA´s (my first band) manager in the early 2000´s and she also did the promotion for the Altaria´s albums. So our history together goes way back in time and as I said I am glad Pride & Joy Music wanted to sign us.

Gazing at the artwork, which is quite enchanting, it actually led me to a darker future, as if underneath the shell of the world, our very own existence, there is nothing, emptiness. What is your take on this picture? Where do you see this going?

You are right! The artwork is about the world and the future of it. The future is not looking so bright and I wanted that feeling to the artwork.

Going through the tracklist, there are plenty of crossing through various themes, what would you say is the theme that leads the album? Perhaps a theme that has a connection to what has been going on nowadays in the world?

I wanted the album to be some kind of a theme album. All the lyrics on the album are about the world and how bad and dark all things are at the moment. The future is not looking good etc.

Exploring the fine blend of Hard Rock and melodic Heavy Metal, “Reality Unveiled” is a product of experience, however, with all the knowledge and the how of the past, would you say that this album has something new to bring to table? The passion is certainly there for sure, nonetheless, how does it propose to freshened things up?

I don't think we will bring anything new to the table with this release. I have always written this kind of music and it's the music I am known for. Melodic rock is the music style I usually write. Of course now with the new line-up there are some small changes to the arrangements etc. Our guitarist Simo Pirttimaa worked a lot on the arrangements and he brought in some new elements to the songs, this that he wanted to do his way. And then Kimmo Perämäki worked a lot of the song melodies to get them right and he brought his own thing to the songs that way too.

Since “Reality Unveiled” is so much song oriented, do you feel that this kind of musical direction, to be loyal to the peak points of songs, strong choruses, not necessarily marketable, has been slowly taking a tone down due to the rise in demand of technical abilities as explored throughout the vast majority of contemporary artists of the present?

I don't think so. When I write songs I always want to have easy sing-along choruses and catchy riffs and songs that are easy to remember. And so are the songs on this album too. There are a lot of new bands that really have great sing-along choruses too.

 “Reality Unveiled” appeared to be an out of limits pusher of sorts, whether Perämäki’s ultimate performance as never been heard, along with your guitarist, Simo Pirttimaa, which I haven’t heard of until now, that provided some a serious number of immaculate soloing sections. I can assume the recording sessions left some of the members breathless? How do you view the skills of the band members throughout the recording sessions?

Earlier on we had some line-up changes in the beginning of Shadow Tribe´s career. Even though it took as a while to get the lineup complete and a lineup that I was ready to finish the album with. I am glad we gave the band a bit more time so all the pieces got in the right place. As you mentioned Kimmo did an excellent job on vocals. And Simo Pirttimaa did also an excellent job on his guitar parts. There are some awesome solos as well as some killer licks throughout the album. Simo really did a killer job! And our drummer Petri also did a killer job behind the drumkit.

Even though “Reality Unveiled” has its friendly moments, and needless to say that writing songs that would stick to one’s mind isn’t an easy task, what would you say were the band’s main challenges throughout the songwriting process?

The main challenge was maybe to find the right musicians to the album, a singer who could make the songs sound good and a guitarist who could bring some of his own to the songs etc.

For one thing, the sound production on this album is beyond stellar; it fits the band like a velvet glove. How do you find Perämäki as a sound engineer and his work on this album?

We are all satisfied with the production of this album. We didn't want it to be an “over produced” album, we wanted to give the songs “air to breathe”. And I think we managed well there. Kimmo mixed and mastered the Stargazery´s latest album and I knew he would be the right person to mix this album too.

 “Connection” was the first song that simply had me down to my knees, starting with the catchy main riff, the development of the fine chorus, Perämäki’s strong voice that shares that fine pattern of Kotipelto, Dickinson and Kiske, a work of art. How do you find this song personally?

“Connection” is a song with a really main riff and a good groove in it. Makes you want to bang your head to the rhythm. The lyrics are about one person who takes over the earth and makes people believe in his promises and people start to follow him and they “join the new God”.

 “A World Taken Hostage”, as if like a pair with the previous, continues the effort of the former, yet takes a dramatic turn of events with a larger than life chorus. That fine integration of AORish elements with stronger Metal aspects is beyond this one. What was the musical vision for this number back when it was first written? Was the end result what you expected?

“A World Taken Hostage” is a quite straight-forward kind of a song. I can't really remember where I got the idea for it or what my visions about the song were, yet it is a straight-forward song with some AOR elements in it. This is a song that I wanted really good, catchy and melodic vocals melodies to. And Kimmo did a really great work in the studio on this one too.

Going somewhere closer to Hard Rock than itching on Metal, “We Weren’t There” is the next in line cruncher, that radio friendly enticer with a powerful backing vocals line that can’t deny its excellence. What is your appreciation of the songs’ dramatic magnitude?

“We Weren´t There” was the last song I wrote for the album. I think I wrote all the songs in a week or so. This song is actually a quite sad story. It's about the hurt of leaving when world is about to be destroyed. You have to leave and say goodbye. And then when the world is gone it's like it never existed.

What are your plans for Shadow Tribe? Will it remain a studio act or rather, once available of course, will it become an actual live band?

Shadow Tribe is definitely a real band and we are looking forward to play the songs live for our fans! Hopefully we get the chance to play outside of Finland too. Really looking forward to see how the audience takes the songs when we play them live.

Is there a next album in the works, in particular due to the plenty of time on one’s hands with the pandemic still there?

I have ideas already to new songs. I will start working on them soon and hopefully we can enter the studio early 2021 to start the recordings of our second album.

Marko, I wish to thank you for this interview, you created a musical entity that has the potential of becoming a giant among the many. Cheers sir.

Thank You! And stay safe!


 



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