Interview: We Spoke to Tomi Koivusaari of Amorphis before they took to the stage in Dublin on the – 22.11.2022

Words: Letty Sharp // Photos: Ian Mc Donnell

Amorphis are a Finnish heavy metal formed in 1990 by Tomi
Koivusaari, Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainenen. The band were
initially death metal but have since branched out to other genres such as
folk metal and progressive metal over the years.

We caught up with Tomi backstage on the night of their Dublin show
with Eluveitie, Dark Tranquillity and Nailed to Obscurity on the 22nd of
November 2022.

LS- Hi Tomi how are you? Welcome back to Dublin.
TK- I am fine thanks. Nice to be back in Dublin, we had a long trip from
France last night but finally we are here.
LS- You made it over.
TK- Yeah, we did.
LS- The last time you guys were in Ireland was in the Button Factory in
2016, feels good to be back yeah?
TK- Yeah very good. It was first time then to us and of course we spent
like 1 or 2 days here and we got the chance to see the city a little bit
more and so yeah finally. Nice to be back.
LS- I am looking forward to seeing you perform tonight. You have 14
albums under your belt, very impressive. How have you kept the
momentum going over the years?
TK- I don’t know. To all of us it is like something like an extra leg. I
cannot think my life without this band because we were like 16 when we
started the band. This band has been most of my life with us and it feels
natural and we still have the same kind of feeling when we write new
stuff. We are always looking forward to that.
LS- Well that’s great. Halo was released back in February. How was the
recording progress for that?

TK- It was a little bit different because of the COVID situation at the
time. We we’re supposed to record it in Sweden with Jens Bogren in
Fascination Street Studios but because of the COVID we couldn’t so,
Jens was kind of like distance producing. We were sending him files and
he was commenting. It was a little bit different but because we have
already worked with Jens a few times it wasn’t that weird after all so we
knew what he wants from us more so. It was a little bit different but we
have done so many albums already so we know what the other guys are
playing, so it was smooth
LS- So different in kind of a good way.
TK-Yeah, it was but it would be nice to go back to like old routines as
well after the COVID things.
LS- Do you have a favorite song to play off of, ‘Halo?’.
TK- That’s a tough one. Well, maybe I would say, ‘Wolf’, right now but
it can change all the time like. If we play some song like 1000 times live
then I get a little bit bored of that so. We haven’t played ‘Wolf’, live so
that’s why [laughs]
LS- Well that’s understandable. 32 years you guys have been together.
We see bands come and go a lot in the music scene nowadays. What do
you think has attributed to you guys being together so long.
TK- We have had same 4 members who have started the band. There has
been like some like changes in the line-up but now we’re like 4 original
members are back and 2 extra guys of course. I think, well we are very
good friends outside the band as well. We don’t fight or anything like
that. We have an easy-going, atmosphere and we all have the same kind
of goals, musical goals. It’s easy, I mean I’ve seen some friend’s bands
they’re fighting in the tour and I can understand they don’t exist that
long. But it’s hard to say.
LS- Just make a band with people you like.

TK- Oh yeah. Of course, we also get a little bit wiser and coming older
and try to speak, not like stay in silence and build own things. So that
might be it.
LS- Did the title, ‘Halo’, come from anything specific or did you just
like the name?
TK- I think it just came from the song title because it’s not always easy
to put out the title of the album. It sounded good and it represented the
whole album quite well and can have several meanings.
LS- Oh nice. Do you have any pointers or advice for anyone starting a
band in 2022 or 2023?
TK- Ah yeah. As you said pick out the guys or girls you like and you
think you can get along, that’s very important. Speak about things. Don’t
sign any paper you don’t know exactly what it says and don’t trust
anyone at the start but yourself [laughs] and do you own thing.
LS-That’s some good advice. Last question. Have you a favourite album
release this year and who is it by?
TK- Oh. There’s so many.
LS- Even if you have a top 3 or top 4
TK- Nothing comes to mind [laughs] Oh my God. My mind is just
blank. I would say Mastodon anyway. That’s the last one I listened to
LS- Hushed and Grim yes.
TK- That’s the last one I listened to.
LS- We’ll count that as this year as in the Grammy world it starts last
TK- Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of books and watching movies.
There’s so much music on tour already so I listen to a lot of books and
LS- Do you have any favourite books or movies you’ve watched?
TK- I’ve been watching 1899 on Netflix and that’s pretty interesting. So
yeah, I have a lot of time to watch different things on tour as on a bunk
you have a lot of free time.
LS- Thank you for your time, Tomi and Halo is out everywhere.
Tomi-Thank you very much.

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