Concering on their great debut "Primal Exhale" our editor Nathalie Mohr interviewed Henri Pirkkalainen from Excalion...
Hi! This is Henri Pirkkalainen from Excalion. I will answer to your
Thanks for taking time answering some questions. Would you mind to
introduce the band to rthe readers?
Who had the idea for the bandname? Does it have a special meaning?
We´re a Finnish metal band called Excalion and our debut album “Primal
Exhale” has just been released worldwide. Excalion consists of five guys.
Drums-Me, Henri Pirkkalainen
Our former bass player Timo Sahlberg came up with the band name. It doesn´t
have any special meaning. It just sounded pretty nice as we we´re thinking
of possible name´s for the band. Timo actually split up with the band
earlier this year because the lack of interest in playing bass.
Who did the album artwork?
C.A Interactive made the cover artwork. The rest of the artwork is done by
Louis Rodriquez, the guy from our record company “Sound Riot Records”.
Which meaning does it have?
We actually gave free hands to Chrille from C.A. This is what he came up
with when he listened to our album. We loved it the moment we saw the
outcome and I never even have asked what´s the meaning behind it. Heh. Maybe
I should sometime.
Let´s leave it to the listeners. They can decide for themselves.
How would you discribe the album yourself?
It´s a pretty good package. There´s alot of excellent vocal perfomances by
Jarmo and great melodies, rhytms and riffs. There are some songs that have
alot of influences from Power Metal but there are also some Hard Rock and
progressive elements in there.
I think we did quite a good job with “Primal Exhale”. The sounds and
production was even better than I was expecting.
How do you approach the songwriting process?
Jarmo Myllyvirta, our keyboardist is our main songwriter. Normally he makes
the basics for the song and brings it to the rehearsals where we decide as a
group how to make it even better if necessary and of course add our own
spice in it. Jarmo or Tero normally makes all the lyrics.
Which topics do you handle in your lyrics? Is personal stuff involved?
There´s alot of things that reflects their lives in the lyrics. So I think
in most cases the lyrics are very personal. There are also some storylike
lyrics that are completely fictional. The topics often relate to greed and
dishonesty. Don´t bother looking for swords and castles from our lyrics. heh
You sound very similar to other bands like Stratovarius for example. Do you
want to achive this effect or do you want to create your own stile?
No, we definately don´t want to sound like Stratovarius as much as we love
the older stuff from them. The influ
ences are of course present as you
listen to our album but I´m sure people will find out that our music
actually doesn´t have that much in common with them. I think we´re finding
our own style and with the next album that we´ll make in the future we´ll
sound even more like “Excalion”.
How do you handle this comparisons?
There will always be people who will comparison us with other Heavy bands.
Actually all bands are compared to other bands and there´s no point in
trying to change that. It´s a natural way for people to do and we are
completally OK with that.
We have been compared for example to: Edguy, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica,
Kamelot, Helloween and one song sounded in one´s opinion like “Dimmu Borgir
with clear vocals”. Heh. Alot of different point of views.
What do you think about the phenonemon that most finnish bands do
(Symphotic) Power Metal or similar, many swedisch do (Melodic) Death Metal
and so on? Is it because of the culture and so on in the different countrys,
or just not getting out of clishees?
I think culture is definately one of the main reasons why this happens but I
can´t explain more. But it´s really interesting that someone knows the
origin of a band just by listening to it.
The pronounciation of the english lyrics is very good and clear, also for
example Timo Kotipelto has a very good pronounciation. Are finnish people
some natural talents at languages? Does the fact that your motherlanguage is
so different make the thing easier or harder?
English is a very natural language for us and the fact that they teach
English even before you are ten years old, it just makes it feel pretty easy
to understand and talk.
What can one expect from you on stage?
We´re are a very energetic band onstage. Our music works really well played
Hopefully you´ll have a chance to come and see us somewhere!
Will there be any touring in Germany?
We´re still in search for a gig organizer so at this point it´s not possible
but let´s hope that you don´t have to wait for long.
Are you religious?
No. That´s not our thing.
What’s your attitude towards internetmagazine?
It´s a really great way to reach people worldwide. It´s growing all the time
and I guess in some point it´ll be the most common way of reading magazines.
At least the music magazines.
Finally some brainstorming: Ok, shoot!
middleages: Hmm..Never experienced that.
beer: Not my thing but I´m sure the rest of the guys don´t agree with me! heh
fans: The main reason music exists!
The Lord of the Rings: Yes please. Just reading it. Jackson did great job
with the movie trilogy. Love it.
Thank you! The last words belong to you!
Thanks for the interview. Had a great time doing it. “Primal Exhale” is out
so go and check it out! We´re looking forward to see you all live somewhere.
interview: Nathalie Mohr
photos: Excalion / Sound Riot Records
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