Nillo Sevanen


INSOMNIUM, is yet another fantastic Melodic Death Metal band hailing from Finland. They show talent, devotion and hard work proving their love for what they do. They are soon to release their 6th album, "Shadows of the Dying Sun". I was lucky enough to receive the opportunity to speak with Nillo Sevanen about their new album.
By Dave Campbell
September 4, 2014
Interview - Nillo Sevanen (Insomnium) interview
Thank you kindly for the opportunity to interview you.  'Shadows of the Dying Sun' is your sixth studio album.  Tell us about the songs and how you approached the writing for the new album.  How would you say the band has grown since the first album?

Thank you, and sorry for this taking this long (this was lost somewhere)! When we started the writing process of the new album we were in a new situation since we had a new guitarist and composer, Markus Vanhala in the band. We had done five albums with the same line-up so of course it was a bit different this time. Markus took an active role right from the start and made a big impact already on his first INSOMNIUM album. This was also the biggest change since the last album. Markus has brought a lot of new energy, vision and musicianship to the band. I believe we are now stronger than ever.

I think this new album is your best ever.  Where do you draw inspiration for your writing?  Which members of the band are involved in the songwriting?  Do you write together as a group, or does each member bring their own material and then blend it together?

Ville, Markus V. and I are the ones doing the music and lyrics. With this album my role was smallest since I've been so busy with my personal life. So biggest credit goes to Ville and Markus for this entity. Each member is doing their own stuff at home and then we work together to make these songs ready. Everyone is involved in the arranging process and this pretty much happens at rehearsals.

Was the 2012 tour your only tour of North America?  Tell us your impressions of the American audiences?

We were already in America 2007 with KATATONIA so we've been there twice. And third tour with DARK TRANQUILITY is coming in January 2015! Audiences are always great in US and Canada so I have very good memories of these trips. And for us it's a bit more exotic than touring Europe so it feels a bit different. Some of the smallest venues are really, really shitty but that's just the way it goes. But that doesn't change the fact that crowds are always good and that's what matters the most.

The incomparable Markus Vanhala from OMNIUM GATHERUM joined the band in 2011.  What has his presence brought to the band?

Like I said, he's made a big impact already. Great guy, awesome guitarist and composer!

INSOMNIUM has such a unique sound…No band sounds like you, and you sound like no other.  What has been your mission and vision of the band since its inception?

We have always tried to do the kind of music we love ourselves. That must be the secret. We don't try to please anyone else but ourselves and for some reason it seems to yield pretty nice results. We have no mission or grand strategy that would guide us.

Anyone who knows anything about heavy metal music knows that Finland, Norway and Sweden in particular have been hot beds for some of the best and most original Metal bands in the past couple decades, and you are one of them for sure.  Tell us your impressions of Metal in your home country.

Metal is doing well in Finland and we have lot of great bands here and a thriving community. Circles are small and all the bands pretty much know each other and are supportive towards others. It's a positive circle that is feeding itself and growing stronger. Though I am a bit worried about the younger generation as Metal audience might be getting a bit older. Kids want to listen to rap or something similar.

We are interested in getting to know the band a bit.  What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of music?  What do you all do when you are not writing or touring?

Well, we all have our own day jobs, hobbies and interests of course. I'm director of culture (working for the city where I live, in charge of festivals, museums, libraries etc), Ville is a scientist and biologist (living near London, UK), Markus H. is an environmental engineer and teacher and Markus V. is a logistics engineer and guitar teacher. My hobbies include for example writing and reading prose, and many kind of sports like football (or soccer as you say) and gym.

What bands did you all listen to growing up?  Which bands influenced you?  Any bands you all listen to today?

The list is long but most influential names in chronological order would be QUEEN, AEROSMITH, METALLICA, SEPULTURA, SLAYER, PARADISE LOST, SENTENCED, AMORPHIS, TYPE O NEGATIVE, IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILITY… And all these I still listen.

What are your plans for after the release of the new album?  Any word on the tour that will ensue?

We are coming to US in January so come to see us live! Before that we have our own headliner tour in Europe so we have a busy winter period coming. And let's see if we can make it back to America in the autumn 2015. Would be cool!

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