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Official webpage: http://www.amoralweb.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amoralweb
Street team: https://www.facebook.com/amoralstreetteam?fref=ts
Street team Russia: http://vk.com/amoral_band

Valtteri Hirvonen

Special for nightwish.com.ru

Hello! These are nightwish.com.ru and Amoral Street Team Russia. Nice to hear you!
Ari: Hello. This is Ari from Helsinki.
Ben: And this is Ben.
MG: I would like to introduce you. These are Ben Varon, a leader, a composer and a guitar-player from Amoral band and Ari Koivunen, a vocalist from the same band.
Both: That’s right.
MG: First of all I want to thank you for this opportunity to have an interview with you. And if you are ready, let’s go!

The first question is for Ben. In the beginning I would like to congratulate you with firstborn and wish him to live till 120 years without any sickness and disease! Tell please how your life has changed. Do you feel more amenability or you have not realized your new position yet?
Ben: I am starting to realize. Of course, it has changed. I have at least free time and I just go wherever I pleased whatever I pleased we have to think about a kid, take care of him for his in formals. With my wife, of course. So, we can easily arrange for one of us always to be with him at home when it is time to rehearse with the band or write music or play the guitar. And definitely it is a beautiful new experience and I am very happy about it!

Ari, during the last few years you participate in Raskasta Joulua project, where you sing some songs in Finnish. Many fans think that the song called Tolkoon Joulou will sound ideal only with your vocal. Do you plan to record it in a studio anytime?
Ari: I can’t hear the question very well, but we have recorded actually two Raskasta Joulua albums this year. So, there are one is in Finnish and one new is in English.

Ben, let me continue the theme of fathers and children. Do you want your child to follow in your footsteps and become a musician or you prefer to see him in some other profession and leave music as a hobby?
Ben: I really don’t care. Of course, I would like him to enjoy music, but I would not push him to do any specific things. If he likes football more than guitar, that is no problem to me at all. But if it happens he is interested in music and guitar, and of course I will show him the first steps and help him with that. Yeah, that is not one of my priorities to make sure and become him a guitar player or a musician. If he wants to be a lawyer it will be well.

Ari, you sing in Finnish and in English. Which of these languages is more comfortable for singing for you?
Ari (laughing): I think English is a bit more comfortable. I just like English more than Finnish. Maybe it is just because I listen to more music in English, but I don’t know.

Ben, during the last years the crowdfunding project gains momentum more and more. Musicians take up a subscription to record an album, a single, to film a video clip or DVD and even to build a tour! How do you feel about this phenomenon? Support it or think that it is a deeply flawed practice?
Ben: Actually I think it is definitely a good idea. Nowadays the record labels do not invest any money for productions for albums and DVDs, so if the guys want a new album or a tour or a live-DVD, they need for this a lot of money and if they have enough fans it is possible for them to buy an album or a tourbook or whatever a band can provide in advance, for getting some cash. It is a good idea. Why not, if you can help a band and a band can make an album for you? Everybody wins!

Ben, do you plan to start your own champagne?
Ben: Maybe. We talk about. We are not sure that we do it with the next CD, but it is one of the options.

Ari, you are a great singer with a lot of voice opportunities. Which person would you like to sing together with?
Ari: I don’t know, Ben, tell her.
Ben: Well, you wish to concentrate on the stage in Lappeenranta tonight. And we sing some back-vocal lines for you.
Ari: YES!

Ben, you are finishing your Finnish leg of the tour. I know you like to be on tour. On the road… Could you tell a funny true story which happened to you and other Amoral guys during the tour? Except of the story about sleeping Ari and Eiffel Tower.
Ben: Funny story about the tour...let's see...or some of the recent one? The last proper tour we did...well I think that was pretty hilarious even though I wasn't there to witness it, last time in Asia. Me and Pexi and our manager stayed behind a couple of more days while the other guys flew back home after the last show in Japan. And the guys were drinking through the whole night before that, before getting on the train to the airport. Apparently the guys - I'm not sure, we called it...it's already a legend within the band: when we drink too much and act like a totally idiots, when you can almost get arrested and not get on the flight, - which is exactly that Masi did.
Ari: And Juffi!
Ben: we call it "The Nagoya – how can I say it in English? - madness", just ‘cause the guys were out of control and they're like "I don't give a f*ck if I'm on that plane or not - wherever! I even don't wanna go home". And likely it was in Japan and not in other place. There're very polite people in Japan. I think in Turkey or somewhere guys were in the prison in one moment.
Ari: Yea...they did it in the airplane.
Ben: ...and talking about explosives and bombs in the airport and all around it was a bad idea.

Ari, you don’t only sing, but also play the guitar and drums. Tell, please, do you compose your own music or prefer to be a storyteller of another’s music stories?
Ari: I don’t think a lot about composing. I composed some songs for my previous punk-band where I played in 96-97. I think I prefer just singing or playing and let other guys like Ben compose.

Ben, you are a fan of horror movies about the sharks. Would you like to write a soundtrack to a film? And what kind of music it would be (the beginning of Beneath is very suitable for one epic blockbuster)?
Ben: Yes, I would like to write something for a movie. Maybe even a full score… Even just getting an Amoral song into film soundtrack will be awesome. And if there is an opportunity to write something for a short film or a movie that is definitely what I try sometimes. Yep, like you said, intro of Beneath is pretty film scourged and some parts of the new album are well that and maybe a bit in that vein.

The next question is for both of you. Guys, do you like modern music or prefer to listen to old-school? If yes, which 3 modern Finnish bands can you recommend to Amoral fans for mandatory introduction?
Ben: I like some modern music, but also I like the old more. Just thinking about I listen to at home… It is old stuff mostly. Of course I like good new bands and music stuffs coming up every year, but if I need to choose old or new, I prefer old, unfortunately. I hope there will be more inspiring things coming up, left and right every day, but it haven’t happened to me yet.
Ari: The same situation. All modern music is something I don’t like.
Ben: And there is still a lot of old music to figure out and find. A lot of old albums I have never heard before and when you listen to them you ask yourself – How could not I hear them before? Because they are so awesome. But of course there are a lot of good new bands. For example, For the Imperium is my favorite new band at the moment. This is a Finnish band, really good one and very technical. What is another one…
Ari: I don’t know. I don’t listen to modern music!
Ben: Santa Cruz is one of the Finnish hard-rock bands. Young guys like in twenties, called Santa-Cruz and they really good players. I think they're gonna be pretty big, they keep writing better and better songs...so... They gonna be cute in some point.

Ari, in 2007 you razed Finnish Idols competition to the ground. Your victory is something incredible. Tell please have you changed your attitude to similar talent competitions? Do you regret about participation?
Ari: Aaaa…Aaaah…Well… What can I say about Idols? I don’t know… It was fun and if I didn’t go there I wouldn’t be in Amoral now… Maybe. I just worked down.

Ben, do you compose music anytime and everywhere or do you need solitude? How do you lure a Muse?
Ben: Usually I write music at home. Some of the stuff I have written on tour in backstage with 15 people. All I really need to get into rockzone and write some music are the guitar, good headphones and a little travel amplifier. But usually I compose alone at home in my home studio or I take a summer cruise and go there picked up some ideas. So, the answer is everywhere. Pretty much everywhere.

Ari, have you got anything special in your rider? Or is a bottle of water enough?
Ari: Nooo. There is not anything special…
Ben: No Eminem!
Ari (laughing): No. Just beer, water, some drinks and some fruits. That is enough.
You are not a superstar!
Ben: We will try to be quiet there.

Ben, you are an excellent guitar player. Your technique is great. Tell, if you are suggested to join a very popular band like Nightwish or Metallica, but have no opportunity to play your own music or stay in Amoral, what would you select?
Ben: Well… If I had to choose… If I could not be in both of bands. How can I be just in a band if I couldn't right anything? Even if I am suggested to have a lot of gigs or a lot of cash, it is okay only as the first experiment. Yep, it is cool, but what will I do with all songs that I am writing? I would have to choose my own band. Being in a smaller band which is my own instead of being in a big band where I don't get any input? Of course, my own. This is my choice.

Both of you.
Guys, describe your typical day, when you are not rock-stars.
Ben: Typical day… It depends on… At the moment I am at home just enjoying the company of my kid, trying to play guitar, also we have a lot of rehearsals, we are working on some new songs of the next album at the moment. We spend a lot of time at the rehearsal room with the band and usually it ends up in the evening… Typical day is waking up some time in the morning, drinking a cup of coffee, checking the Muse, trying to play the guitar, talking to the family and going for practice with the band. This is a normal day for me.
Ari: Yeaaap… I wake up, drink a lot of coffee and go to the pool-home to play pool. And play the Nintendo later. That is funny.
Ben: Just see. He works very hard!

Ben, which of the last read books made the biggest impression on you? Do you like to read on tour?
Ben: Let’s see… What have I read recently? This is an English writer… His name is John River. He has written «The Second Coming». That is his best book. Amazing book. I have not read a lot recently, but I enjoy reading in general. Especially, about the old rock-stars, memorials or biographies. I don’t like new books very much, but if I need to recommend one it will be John River and his books.

And another common question. And not humble. Are you proud of yourself? Is there anything the matter with you that you say to yourself – Yes, I have done something really important?
Ben: Yes, I think everybody in the band is proud of himself. And when we finished recording an album we are super proud of it. After all types of work which could last a year and includes in demo process, writing the lyrics, recording, mixing, mastering, working on it for hours and hours… Yes, we are very-very proud. It is always a great feeling definitely. And I feel it again after a great show here in Finland or in Tokyo. And you are proud of yourself and the band afterwards.
Ari: Yes. I think… If you are not proud of what you do, you just need to stop. Of course, I am proud of myself…Well, mostly.

Both of you. Guys, if you were not musicians, which profession would you prefer?
Ben: I would like to be a professional scuba-diver. Working under the sea, swimming with huge … and touching the great white sharks. It will be awesome.
In Finland?
Ben: No, not in Finland. In country with a clear water.
Ari: I don’t know. Maybe a professional pool-player or somebody like this.

Ben, Amoral artwork is one of the best I have ever seen. The cover of Fallen Leaves is a masterpiece. Tell, how can it correlate to the songs?
Ben: They go right hand in hand. The guy Aki Siltala who painted the picture is an old friend of mine. We sat down and discussed the album, and he heard the music and we went through the lyrics together and we just started bonding ideas backing forward what the cover can be about and what we could actually put on the cover and that's we came up with. I agree with you, I think it's a beautiful piece of art and he's so talented. I'm hoping he will do our next album cover as well. But yea, it's... there's a lot of the stuff, that in the lyrics, you can see in the album cover. Not everything is in your face and simple to understand but I think there're a lot of nuances to be found in the cover, what you listened in the album... with some thoughts and with the lyrics.

Ben, what do you see Amoral band in 10 years.
Ben: Hopefully during recording the best album ever, or on tour somewhere on the globe, wherever people really like the band. I would not like to be a big band, it is okay for me to be a small, but cool band.
But hopefully in ten years we will be still active and playing music where we haven’t been before. Let’s see it.

Ari, do you sing in a shower? What songs?
Ari: No, I don’t. I sing them only in rehearsal rooms or on the stage.

Guys, could you tell a few words for your Russian fans?
Ben: We'd love to get back to Russia! We played in St.-Petersburg in 2005, so I think its time to come back!

Thank you for this interview and we are waiting for Amoral band in Russia.
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