Interview with Master Bates of Turmion Kätilöt

We had a nice chat with Master Bates from Turmion Kätilöt to find out how things have been going since the small break, what to expect from their upcoming album Universal Satan, and his thoughts on how Turmion Kätilöt and Finnish Metal in general are being embraced around the world.

So, how is the year going for you so far? You guys took a break but are now quite active doing festivals, touring, releasing a new album “Universal Satan”…
We are really happy to be back in business again, lots of new energy and so on. It was really good to have a break, even if we didn’t even know if it was a break or the end..

What can we expect from the new album? Any songs in English?
Something old, something new. It’s almost ready, in two weeks we will tell you if there is any songs in english. I mean, we have done a song or two in english but we are not sure if we are publishing those or not. One thing is new for sure, you can hear lots of mr Shaq-U in the album.

That kind of goes into my next question, can you tell a bit about Spellgoth’s departure and how Shag-U found his way to the TK family?
That departure was in our minds and negotiations like for 2 years already. Spektaakkeli was so busy with Horna and Baptism and others. It was right time for him to start as a main graphic designer for TK and go full power with Horna. Right now he is finishing Universal Satan’s cover & booklet, and it looks damn good. He’s a great son of a bitch, I love him.

Shaq-U has took his place 10/10 with lots of ideas & energy. And he has spread that energy all over us and we are like born again.

Did you guys and Shag-U know each other before?
Yes, we knew S already, because of Fear of Domination and of course via Metalorgy which was and still is organised by MC Raaka Pee and Shaq-U

We had couple of guys in our minds, but…he was the obvious choice, and best. He was first to ask and last!

I agree, it has been great to see him so active with Turmion Kätilöt and Fear of Domination and Stereo Terror DJs all at the same events!
He is a young boy, he can carry on, haha!

Can you give a brief explanation about either the lyrical theme of the new album or just the first single “Sikiö” for those who don’t understand Finnish?
Tough one…themes are gonna be evil, serious gloom, Satan and his friends and everything in that landscape. I believe that Universal Satan will be not so much fun and joy as our earlier albums, maybe….but it’s not ready yet, things can change!

Does that “not so much fun and joy” also reflect in the music?
There will always be fun & joy in our music, but you know, my fun can be your pain and misery…or the opposite…

Ah yes very true! I think that statement says a lot about TK’s music.
Hahaha, might be true!

TK has some upcoming tour dates in Russia and Estonia, have you toured abroad before?
We did a European tour with Pain in 2011. And I think it was 2012 when we played two shows in St Petersburg and Moscow. We haven’t played in Estonia yet, once in Lithuania, isn’t it almost the same?

Well at least Finnish and Estonian are kind of similar so its not as much of a question how the fan base is despite the language difference!
It was some folk metal festival in Lithuania, and I don’t know why they wanted Finnish disco idiots there? They ordered, we delivered.

Ah interesting, but you guys were received well there?
Yes, party was sure. During the first couple of songs they were wondering what the fuck, but then they started to dance disco with their swords and arrows.

Haha what a mental picture!
It was mental case that whole trip!

Do you think you will ever tour elsewhere, like Asia or Latin America?
I’d like to believe that we will. It’s not that easy. We have solid fan base in South America and every day I receive at least one fan mail asking us to go, for example, to Mexico. Maybe we have had some negotiations already? Maybe we’ll go to Mexico some day? And Japan also. But right now it’s not our priority number one.

Are there any other plans made for after the release of Universal Satan?
Yes, basically all our plans and the whole calendar are crystal clear until 2020, but of course I cant tell you much about those things yet!

Alright, alright! Lets move on to more “personal” questions. What kind of music do you like to play or listen to in your free time?
I want to listen every kind of music, even if I don’t like that genre. I have forced myself to listen to Finnish rap and now I do that voluntarily. Today I have mostly listened to old Finnish tango singers, most of them suck but there are a few good ones. Disco is still best, old school heavy metal comes next, of course. I listen to everything, but still not comfy with black metal, sorry Spellgoth…

What influences the music you play most?
In TK I play what MC Raaka Pee, Bobby and RunQ composes, those guys are my favourite Finnish composers. I trust in their influences and influenzas.

Those three have a good team. Raaka Pee is a disco dude, Bobby is the new wave metal madman and RunQ is all about old school heavy metal. What a combination!

Indeed, real important to have various influences in music to keep things interesting! What has been your favorite gig so far this summer?
I would like to say Rockfest, it was the first one after the break. But then again main stage at Nummirock was amazing. And last weekend John Smith hit the jackpot also. Its hard to put those, and the others, in any order and I don’t want to do that. Let’s say, there has been no hazards yet in this summer.

Alright one more question – What do you think of this kind of branding of “Finnish Metal” within the international fan base?
How it has become some sort an all inclusive genre of bands from Finland, more so by fans from outside of Finland, not specifically of any sub-genre, just from Finland, with Finnish language or influences…
You mean Finnish Metal as a term? I think nowadays it really tells about quality, and quantity also. Genre is so wide that we have have bands for every need. Metal bands singing in Finnish are touring abroad also and it’s not any problem. Last time we were in Russia they all sang along to all the songs, no questions asked.

I don’t think there is any common sound or anything in Finnish bands, like bands from Göteborg that sound all the same. But aren’t there the same guys playing in every [Finnish] band, haha. I’ll get another beer now.

Well I think thats it for now, thanks for your time and good luck with the album release!

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