Mark "The Fuzz Man" Doss of "The Great Metal Debate" podcast conducted an interview with guitarist Asim Searah and bassist Jukka Koskinen of Finnish epic metallers WINTERSUN prior to the band's October 6 concert at Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Illinois. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the backlash to the band's crowdfunding campaign for its latest "The Forest Seasons" album, where many fans complained about WINTERSUN asking for money even though they are on a large independent record company, Nuclear Blast:
Jukka: "I don't know. When it comes to… I guess it's always been around, whatever you do, somebody is always going to complain about something, especially when it comes to us. We did something totally different than any other band has really done before or we are one of the first ones when it comes to crowdfunding. The whole idea of the crowdfunding was we were pre-selling our new album and it was something new. But, when something 'new' comes around, then, of course, people are used to their old things and something new comes around, so they criticize the new things until some of the guys who will criticize the campaign for a little while might start to understand that it makes sense to do such things. When it comes to haters, I don't know. I hope that whatever they do in life, they find their balance here and are not so angry to the outside world. Usually, their inner core is not okay and they need to bark to the outside world and the unfortunate thing with social media stuff especially, if there's one group of people who bark and bark and bark, it's like any other group — it spreads."
On what WINTERSUN has in mind for their next crowdfunding campaign and whether they will do one or not:
Asim: "It would be a cop-out [if we didn't]. We had the aim of doing three crowdfundings that were supposed to generate a certain amount. Now, by the grace of our fans thanks to them a lot, they have made everything possible for crowdfunding and given us such support that hopefully we will need just one more crowdfunding. By the time we have reached that target which we had in mind from the first whole crowdfunding concept, so if we end up achieving that, we will not need the third crowdfunding. We can't really say for sure, but maybe — saying it openly — there could be a possibility that it might not work out or it might work out, but the support we gained from the fans, we already have more than half of what the whole target was supposed to be. According to that, it might work out. We'll go with the second crowdfunding and that could be it."
Jukka: "There will be a next campaign for sure and, as Asim said, maybe another one after that. We'll see. Of course, it will be different because the content will be different, but it will also be similar in a way of what we will be offering people. It's like with the first campaign, I have to say, the content we had, we could have taken half out and it still would have been worth the money, so to say, that we were offering. But what we wanted to do is silently thank you, everybody, we put an insane amount of content that the people would be very taken and a really positive outcome coming for us, because, for us, it has been a really long time for everything. The next campaign will have similar characteristics, but the content will be different and surprising."
On how WINTERSUN manages to replicate their studio albums live using backing tracks and whether it's difficult to do so:
Jukka: "Yes, it is. We cannot afford a whole classical orchestra. That's the point — everything is a backing track."
Asim: "What you see on the stage, everything is coming by being played live. All the instruments you are seeing, we are playing. Other things you are hearing, they are coming from the backing tracks. We are doing the vocals live, we are doing the instruments we are playing live, but the orchestrations and everything, they are coming from a backing track."
WINTERSUN's North American trek wrapped on October 14 in New York City. The band was touring in support of "The Forest Seasons", which was released in July 2017 via Nuclear Blast.
Searah joined WINTERSUN in 2017. Asim, who was born in Pakistan and moved to Finland at the age of 18 to pursue a career in music, previously played in several bands and projects.