FLAT EARTH, the new band featuring former HIM members Mikko "Linde" Lindström (guitar) and Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen (drums) alongside ex-AMORPHIS bassist Niclas Etelävuori and POLANSKI singer Anttoni "Anthony" Pikkarainen, has inked a deal with Drakkar Entertainment for Europe excluding Finland. The band's debut album is due before the end of the year. The disc was recorded at Finnvox in Helsinki with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, who has previously worked with HIM, AMORPHIS, THE 69 EYES and APOCALYPTICA, among others.
Says Etelävuori: "We are stoked to sign with Drakkar! We have been working on this album for quite some time now and are super excited that we finally can release the first FLAT EARTH album in Europe through Drakkar. Can't wait to get it out and get on the road and play again."
Adds Jonathan Geschwill of Drakkar: "We are very happy to have FLAT EARTH join the Drakkar roster because this band has a lot of potential and comes with considerable knowledge and skill. Both on a musical as well as on a personal level, it's easy to see that these are musicians who have mostly been working professionally for more than 20 years in the industry. Finland has always been a good place for Drakkar in this regard and of course the goal is to establish the band as quickly as possible across Europe as well."
FLAT EARTH's "Blame" video was mainly shot during the recordings of the disc in February and March by Tommi Mattila, who followed the band to capture some documentary material.
FLAT EARTH was formed after Etelavuori fell out with the manager of AMORPHIS and exited the latter band. Suddenly, Niclas was left stranded. He decided to show the world that he still had a lot to give, so he started looking for possible bandmates.
Niclas explains: "After over two decades playing with bands, I was at a point thinking that maybe I start doing something else. But then I knew I had these songs on my hard drive still, and nothing was done with them. And I just wanted to get rid of them and see what happens. But then it kind of took over and I started to focus more on that."
Linde first sprang to mind, even though he still had his hands full with HIM at that time. Nevertheless, the two of them kept meeting regularly, and started working on ideas for new songs. Getting Anthony on board provided additional inspiration. And when their old bandmate Karppinen finally joined on drums, the group's lineup was completed.
While Linde was busy playing the States and Europe on HIM's farewell tour, the remaining trio spent their time recording drums to seven pilot demos that had previously been taped in Niclas's basement studio. Gas brought along two of his own songs, and Anthony composed a new track for the band. Linde found an old song of his he had first fleshed out when he was only 13. The rest of the tracks were Niclas's ideas mainly, treated to the band's arrangements, with Anthony providing both the vocal melodies, as well as the lyrics. The basic structure for the first album was ready.
Linde remembers: "Our common friend, who's been helping us get this band off the ground, recommended a guy named Anttoni 'Anthony' Pikkarainen, who had been singing in a band named POLANSKI. The band had made a record, and after we'd listened to it, we had to set up a meeting immediately.
"I have a great feeling about our new band. Anthony had recorded with Hiili Hiilesmaa before, and the rest of us have known each other for years. It feels as if all the stars have finally aligned."
FLAT EARTH is:
Mikko "Linde" Lindström (HIM) - Guitar
Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen (HIM) - Drums
Niclas Etelävuori (AMORPHIS) - Bass
Anttoni "Anthony" Pikkarainen (POLANSKI) - Vocals