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Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun)

Interview with Teemu Mäntysaari from Wintersun
by Barney Wain at 04 September 2017, 6:56 AM

“Originally, we weren't even planning to do an album…”
- Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun)

WINTERSUN have a whirlwind of a history and an ever-growing fan base, new releases, and crowd funding campaigns have thrust the band into a bigger spotlight than ever before. Tonight WINTERSUN close Bloodstock Open Air, preparing to take the festival out with a spectacular bang on the S.O.P.H.I.E Stage, being a must see band for the weekend. METAL TEMPLE speaks to guitarist Teemu Mantysaari before the closing set.

Welcome back to Bloodstock; how does it feel to be headlining the SOPHIE stage tonight?

It's really great to be back here; it's been a while since we last played in the UK so it will be great to see how it goes here.

You've recently had a new album out – “The Forrest Seasons”. Obviously, the four tracks each represent a season, but where did the inspiration come from to do a four track album with multiple parts to each track, rather than an album with multiple shorter songs?

Originally, we weren't even planning to do an album, we had planned to do the crowd funding to build the studio with some bonus parts. Then we started composing the first song, “The Forest That Weeps”, which came kind of naturally which inspired him to make songs in the same kind of style, he realised a lot of the songs have different moods which suited different seasons which made it into what it is.

As I'm sure you're aware, a new WINTERSUN album was long awaited by the fans, with most thinking your next release would be “Time II”. Was “The Forrest Seasons” part of WINTERSUN's original vision, or was it more to satisfy fans while waiting for “Time II” to come to fruition?

It was a way to keep it going for sure, we wanted to do something in different way in terms of production as “TIME I” was done in such a Hollywood style with an orchestrated way, which is why “TIME II” is taking so long as we are not satisfied with the product hence why we need the studio so we can do it how we want it. “The Forest Seasons” is a simpler approach and has a more organic feel to it; it is something we could do with our current resources. We are getting pressure from the label and fans for “TIME II”, so we wanted to bring something out in our own way and it's come out better than we had hoped.

You've previously said you were going to do multiple crowd funding campaigns, but after significantly beating your target with your first one, are you still looking to do more, and if so is there anything you'd do differently?

Originally the plan was to do 3 crowd-funding campaigns, but we were so fortunate to have many backers for the first one; it went really well apart from the Finnish taxes and server costs that take such a huge cut from what people had raised. We are looking at the 2nd one and if that goes incredibly well then we may not have to do a 3rd. The plan now is to tour for a while and get creating ideas, but we already do have many ideas, we are always listening to fans for ideas too.

The band have repeatedly said that “Time II” is very big and complex, that being why you need your own studio in order to complete it to a standard you are happy with. What makes “Time II” so big and complex, compared to other albums?

For one, it's definitely the way Jari (vocals) works, as he is such a perfectionist, he is never satisfied with 90%. Most things that would take less time in a third party studio is taking longer because Jari wants to really nail it down; he has a very strong clear vision in his head and he wants to learn or do it in his own way. We've tried third party studios before, sometimes things worked and some didn't, so that is one part of why it's taking so long due to Jari studying production and such along with composing and more. He did pretty much everything for “The Forest Seasons”, including graphics; he did his own mixing for this album in his apartment. He wants his own place to do everything so he can do it his way but it also makes it easier for the band to have a rehearsal space too.

You've recently announced a new tour around the UK/Europe with ARCH ENEMY, are you excited?

We are really looking forward to touring with ARCH ENEMY who have a new album coming soon which I'm sure is going to be great due the hype that they have, I think the tour is going to be a great package. 


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Edited 31 January 2023

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