Kaunis Kuolematon – Life, Love, Loneliness and Death
Guitarist/vocalist Mikko Heikkilä of Kaunis Kuolematon was interviewed by Tero Tolkki and below you can find out what is going on in the Kaunis Kuolematon camp in the fall of 2019
NM: Your latest release was EP called “Elämä ei tarvitse minua (Life doesn’t need me)” and it was released on Valentine’s Day february 14th 2019. There has been posts on your Facebook page from studio so logical assumption would be that you guys are recording something. Anything you could “leak” to the public regarding your forthcoming album yet? What kind of material your fans can expect? (Shortly after this interview Kaunis Kuolematon did release a new song called Paha Ihminen)
MH: Yes indeed we have released posts from the studio and I can reveal that it will take some time still before the new album comes out. About the forthcoming album and especially regarding the material I can say that once again we’ll be swimming to the deep, towards darker waters. But like I said, we need to wait and see what happens and when.
NM: Your music is a combination of so many genres that putting Kaunis Kuolematon into a single category would be borderline impossible. Is this the result of more people collaborating on the music and how does the process of composing music actually go with KK?
MH: Of course a huge factor is that we have many participants influencing to the songs and I must admit that it’s a big benefit and richness that this is how our music is done. Our other guitarist Ville (Mussalo) is the prime motor that runs the songs back and forth and a person who perhaps works the most on the new material. I have personally focused more on lyrical aspects and arranging melodies. Also Olli (Suvanto) has a pretty sharp pencil when it comes to songwriting and he often also makes the lyrics to his own songs. Modern day obviously gives plenty of opportunities to arrange songs to a point that they are almost done, at least by structure, before the song sees the daylight. Of course we throw the songs back and forth with the entire band, sometimes even too much but yes, all this influences how the song eventually turns out.
NM: Obviously the band members have lots of bands they admire and like but are there any bands that could be used collectively as something that has contributed for KK becoming the band the way it is?
MH: I wouldn’t start naming any specific bands. I strongly believe it’s mostly the years of experience from life and music that has defined us. Each member has played in many different bands and we have rather wide experience and through that a way to express that know-how and when this is put collectively together we have a band Kaunis Kuolematon. But obviously all those metal greats from 80’s and 90’s have contributed on some level. We have just decided inside the band that we will do our thing the way it feels best for us and we trust it will bring the best outcome for our music.
NM: If you would have to describe your music to a deaf person, what kind of words or images would you use?
MH: The words would be life and love but also death and loneliness. From those words come the beginning and end of all and also all the riches life brings you but also the fear of losing it all. As images I would use pictures from every season, from that small tiny stream of water on spring to the sea on the heart of winter. If you would build a collage from all those I am fairly certain every person could draw their own interpretation.
NM: What has been your best gig so far and why that in particular? And vice versa, what has been the worst and why?
MH: Impossible to say what has been the best or the worst. Every single time we hit the stage we have the mentality that today we will play our best gig ever. Of course the shows where we play as a headliner, as the only band in the venue and during the evening you see more and more people showing up and when you hit the stage and you see a lot of people it gives a very special feeling cause you know all those people came to see just us. Those are incredible moments.
NM: Kaunis Kuolematon has lot of doom elements on your songs and the tone of your songs are rather grim and dark. How does the music work on a sunny festival stage? Or are the club venues the best place to experience your music? Or does it matter?
MH: We have experienced all those scenarios but we feel that having the band present on stage creates the atmosphere for the listener and at that moment it doesn’t matter if it’s on a sunny festival stage or some club venue. Of course visually those club venues where you can create the darker atmosphere with the lights probably works better but for us as a band it really doesn’t matter where, when or how we play.
NM: I tried to find on almighty internet if there has been any member changes in KK but couldn’t find any. Is this simply a result of each and every member knowing their place in the band and accepting it?
MH: Yes we have went with the same line-up since the beginning. Our first EP and album were still on the timeframe that we really didnd’t know what to expect or how we would want things to go. I think “Vapaus” was our first album where we had the feeling for the first time that we know the direction we want to take this band. And that direction has given us the tools to create our music so that we can proudly stand behind our music. However I have to say that we don’t force the composing process in our music to any certain direction. By now composing songs that are definite KK material comes from the spine already.
NM: How do you see the future in the music industry? Physical album sales keeps going down and basically the only revenue these days for a band is to tour heavily and selling merchandise. Do you find that discouraging?
MH: I would say it depends on how you approach the subject. I don’t find it discouraging. World keeps changing and therefore people change too and those are the facts we have to live with. Of course since we don’t have any label behind us and we do everything ourselves it has quite a lot of work. It is not easy and yes, sometimes it gets you down a bit. However if and when you notice you have sold records, you notice people arriving to our gigs and hear their positive feedback it’s pretty much a payback from all the hard work and especially since you have done everything on your own.
NM: All your songs are in finnish, has there been any contacts or connections outside Finland? I could imagine your music working very well as a support act for some bigger band.
MH: We have played outside Finland once but that doesn’t really say anything. Finnish as a language has never been an obstacle to us during our career. In fact some of our foreign fans have said it gives them great opportunity to study the language and that they find our lyrics interesting. Majority however feels that in our music it’s the melodies and the overall atmosphere that plays the biggest role in our songs. As a band we of course wouldn’t have anything against playing outside Finland and we are certain our music would work well outside Finland too.
NM: If you could choose any band you could play as a support act for, what band would it be and why?
MH: To this I can only answer on my own behalf. Amorphis. To me they have played a huge role in the finnish music industry.
Like written earlier, Kaunis Kuolematon released a new song “Paha Ihminen” and you can listen to the song below
Olli Suvanto – deathgrowl / Mikko Heikkilä – vocals, guitar / Ville Mussalo – guitar / Jarno Uski – bass / Miika Hostikka – drums