Turisas

TURISAS/Garage, Glasgow/03.11.11

You’re playing Glasgow on 3 November. Why should people come and check you out?

(Olli Vanska, violin): We’ve played in Glasgow many times and it’s always been a blast. We’re known for highly energetic, fun-packed live shows with a lot of dancing and singalong-worthy tunes. We are coming to the UK straight from the European Heidenfest tour, so you can be guaranteed that we are properly warmed up. On this tour we wanted to play all over the country, even in some very small clubs. A night to remember.

Is Scotland a place that holds many memories for you?

I think we’ve done Glasgow maybe three or four times? At least Cathouse, Academy, probably Garage as well. Always had a fun time. And you seem to deep fry almost anything? I also remember sitting a whole day in a bar called the Lord of the Isles, drinking some local stuff and eating Abbot Ale pie. Good one.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Ahh, this is always a difficult one… think of a gypsy wedding raided by drunken disco-dancing Scandinavian battalion with big balls.

You like a bit of dressing up and a bit of red and black make up too. What’s the thinking behind it all?

For us, it’s not about live-action role playing or anything ridiculous like that…It’s more like a war paint and gear, stuff that just fits with the music. Originally it was just blood splatters and dirt, but on the first tour the patterns just became more recognizable. It was like an arms race, everybody was trying to top the other guys’ paint job. From another angle: I couldn’t think of us performing in metal band t-shirts and camouflage shorts, playing our music – that wouldn’t be credible.

Metal seems like a genre that is always open to theatrics, which in turn often leaves it open to ridicule. Do you get a lot of people who criticise you and your costumes?

Yeah, of course. In costumes like these it’s inevitable. We’re no Lordi or Gwar, though. Then again, it’s just a costume – others play in a tuxedo, some in jeans, some in a battle gear. In the end it’s about escapism, I guess; people want that feeling of immersion. It’s easy to laugh on internet, but we’re pretty damn good in convincing people in live shows.

You’re from Finland. Just how big is the metal scene back home in Scandinavia?

Pretty big. There’s a lot of live shows and even on the mainstream summer festivals the amount of metal acts is notable. Finland has a lot of internationally known bands such as Nightwish, HIM, Children of Bodom and well, us. It’s pretty normal for CoB to go #1 on the national chart, for example. Sweden of course has its own scene, specialized in melodic death metal; Norway is renowned of its black metal bands. Still, apart from the spearhead bands, there are a lot of middle-rank bands in all Scandinavian countries that are hardly millionaires.

And finally, what’s the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon – flower pressing or some sewing?

From these two, I would definitely go with sewing. I’m no good with plants, I even managed to kill a cactus. Although flower pressing generally involves dead plants, after all.

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