Thorium magazine conducted an interview with Eicca Toppinen and Mikko Sirén of Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA on August 9 at the Heavy Montreal festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You can now watch the chat below.
Having collaborated with artists like Gavin Rossdale (BUSH), Dave Lombardo (SLAYER) and Ville Valo (HIM) on past studio albums, APOCALYPTICA have now taken on a new musical challenge: For the upcoming LP, the band is working with Franky Perez as exclusive singer on the vocal tracks — this time not only during production, but for the whole cycle, including the tour. Perez released his debut in 2003, later teaming up with SYSTEM OF A DOWN's Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan as SCARS ON BROADWAY. In 2009, Perez handled vocals for Slash's solo band, followed by collaborations with Dave Kushner (VELVET REVOLVER) as well as Scott Shriner (WEEZER), Joey Castillo (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) and Dave Warren ("The Simpsons") as PUSHER JONES. After being honored as vocalist for THE DOORS at the L.A. Sunset Strip Music Festival, he released his latest solo album, "Addict", in 2013.
For APOCALYPTICA, working with Perez on the entire project elevates the musical vision to a new level of coherence between studio production and live performance, as well as renewing the focus on the band's homogeneity after the recent feature projects.
"It's sort of changed the concept to the thing that we figured out how we can develop and we can squeeze more out of ourselves and we wanted to make more of a band album," Sirén told Thorium. "We've done work with orchestras and different types of things, and in the past, we worked with many, many different singers all the time and it's been great and it has developed us as musicians. But now we wanted to make a band album, and we thought how to create it in the best possible way, so we decided that we're gonna have one singer throughout the whole album, and to create it together with him and that's a new challenge for us. And we're really to have… His name is Franky Perez, he's an American guy who's been touring a lot. He's been touring with Slash, he's been touring with SCARS ON BROADWAY… He's been around and he's a super-, super-good singer. He has a quite unique voice, which we fell in love with, and we are excited to go out with him."
Asked if this means that APOCALYPTICA will no longer collaborate with other singers in the future, Sirén said: "No. This is [just for this] album. Who knows, even a half year from now, if somebody asks us to come to play on their album, or if we do just an extra track for something, but we wanted this album to be special and something different where we can develop ourselves again."
Following the release of "7th Symphony", APOCALYPTICA took a break from the standard album cycle in 2013 to pursue a range of musical projects. While Eicca Toppinen switched to drums in his side band CHERRY AND THE VIPERS, Mikko Sirén played his instrument on the new EMIGRATE album, Richard Kruspe's (RAMMSTEIN) project. Mikko also performed with Cheek, Finland's biggest hip-hop artist, selling out Helsinki's Olympic Stadium twice. Paavo Lötjönen collaborated with Tipe Johnson (LENINGRAD COWBOYS, APOCALYPTICA) and Perttu Kivilaakso earned the feuilleton's acclaim with celebrated chamber music appearances. Additionally, APOCALYPTICA composed new material and performed live in the multimedia event "Wagner Reloaded" by award-winning choreographer Gregor Seyffert.
Earlier this year, APOCALYPTICA's latest project, "Apocalyptic Symphony", embarked on its first-ever tour with a classical ensemble, the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra.
The release of APOCALYPTICA new album will be followed by an extensive live tour.