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Ville Sorvali (Moonsorrow)

Interview with Ville Sorvali from Moonsorrow
by Eddie "Deaddie" McConnaughy at 19 April 2016, 7:33 AM

Since my early teenage years when I first found Black Metal, and really gained that fiendish taste for the genre, few bands make top revered list. Among the early greats we have MOONSORROW. They were really my first taste of the Black Metal with that Folk edge to it. So when the opportunity to do an interview with them arose, I almost had a heart attack. I got all anxious and worked up and then the call came in.

Folks, this has to have been one of the best interviews I have ever done. Unfortunately, this being my first interview in quite some time, I had some recording issues, on top pf a pinched nerve which set me way way back. I was only able to record about half of the almost hour long interview, and with a plethora of puppies being quite rambunctious, was able to hear to transcribe a little less than that. Nevertheless, even after all of those problems, I am still happy with what was salvaged.

Before we get to the good stuff, I would like to apologize to MOONSORROW, their record label, to you the fans, and to my Metal Temple brothers and sisters for the delays and botched interview that I must share with the world.

Hello, How are you doing?

I’m good, I’m Good.

So we’re here with Metal Temple Online Magazine, and we’re doing this beautiful interview with one of my favorite bands, MOONSORROW, I just want you guys to know that you are one of my absolute favorites.

Thank you very much.

Alright bud, to start us off, can you tell us about the new album?

Yes, it took us 5 years to make this album, and it was really frustrating at times. Now we’re completely happy with the results. We threw away all of the material that we usually had done, in 2013, and completely started over, and that is why it took us so long.

What were some things that you specifically that you wanted to do different on this album as opposed to the previous ones?

Well, I guess the main difference in our approach to writing on this album is that we actually wanted to write songs instead of a strict album concept. I still invite everyone to listen from beginning to end, but we wanted to make song that you could still enjoy by themselves, out of context.

Can you, for those of us who don’t speak Finnish, can you give us the overlying theme of the album?

Instead of retelling old stories we were inspired by certain Scandinavian and Finnish mythology and rework them into new stories. And the general concept around “AGE OF GODS” which is the title translated, is the ancient times when people started to form their own belief systems, because they want to explain what is going on around them in nature, so they created “gods” as an explanation these different aspects of nature.

This next question really doesn’t have anything to do with the new album, it is more of a personal curiosity. I’ve noticed that over the ages, rather than calling yourselves “Folk” or “Viking” Metal, that you use the term “Epic Heathen Metal”. How did you guys come up with that term of description?

Well, that happened almost 20 years ago, so I can’t fully remember. We didn’t want to label ourselves with anything that already existed, we wanted to be different I guess. Now we just call ourselves pagan metal. It’s a very nice general term that doesn’t really say anything about the music except that it is Metal.

So how about the name MOONSORROW? I love the name, and it was the first thing that drew me in.

As our drummer once said, every good metal band has to have a bad name. I don’t really know why we ended up with the name Moonsorrow, but I know it was taken from song sorrow of the moon.

This next one is for a bit of comic relief, beer or liquor?

That is a tough question, beer in the long drinks, whiskey in the short. I do not like to drink liquor much, because it gets me too drunk. My favorite has to be an IPA.

Now, I have been keeping up with the progress of the new album, on Facebook I saw a picture of Lavey’s The Satanic Rituals with your bass, what does Satanism mean to you?

Freedom, I put it that simple. I consider myself more of a pagan than a Satanist, but there is a lot of satanic philosophy in my thoughts and view of the world.

What are your thoughts on the more mainstream religion?

Well that’s the stuff that opposes freedom, basically. I have no sympathy for these monotheistic religions to control the flock. It’s the easiest way to keep the masses in check. You can use it as your politics.

Back into the band matters now, how many countries have you toured in so far?

I just did a count, can’t remember, 30 something, I have been in over 40 so far.

Which has been your favorite?

It’s hard to say. Theyre so different. We just came from china, and playing there is just amazing. It’s so new to a lot of those people. They’ve changed a lot. They do like to redo the lyrics lot, I don’t why. But they are really opening up to it.

Visas can be a real pain the ass. Getting them isn’t the problem, but it takes a long time.

Out of all the countries you guys have toured in which one do you think has had the best reaction to you guys?

Well there are several. China would be one of them, we played in Herbing 4 or 5 years ago, and we were the second non-Chinese band to play there, so they were really excited. Russia and Mexico as well, they went beyond crazy. I would love to go to South America.

What are your plans for playing there?

We have been trying to work it out for several years, it’s really hard to find reliable contacts. It’s a bit like the Wild West when it comes to contracts. We don’t want to get ripped off. It’s so expensive to tour.

When do you guys plan on being back in the US?

Also in planning. So far we only know of our European tour and some festivals. We do plan on it, but it is uncertain. It’s a complicated issue, we gotta take off work, get everyone there, find the funds. We can’t wait though, it’s been too long.

Who are your influences? Who influenced you guys in the start?

Musically, the only thing we 5 members have in common is black metal from the 90’s. So that must have been a great influence. Emperor, enslaved. Of course Bathory was a great influence, more so the Viking metal than the black metal.

How about the folk edge, what prompted you guys to add that to the black metal?

Well it was something we all had in mind. In the beginning it was just me and my cousin, we listened to a lot of actual folk music.


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