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Interview: Hevein
 
Carina U. and Sabine van Gameren took their chance in Dordrecht (Netherlands) for an interview with Max Lilja and Alpo Oksaharju from the Finnish Band Hevein.

Date:
 U.C./Sabine van Gameren, 18.05.2007

We asked...
 Hello,How are you guys?

Max: We are alright
Alpo: Better! Yesterday we were pretty tired from the trip, but today is good!


Yesterday you had a concert in Leeuwarden, How did the audience react on your show?

Alpo: They enjoyed it, we did not really know what to expect, it was a really small place, we were tired and we did not know what was going to happen. But then it really started to get off.
Max: It's always good. We were here for the first time and people didn't know our music, so in the beginning of the show everybody concentrates on listening and when they get the point they show their appreciation.


You are a pretty young band as you look at the line up you have now, but you already did quiet some gigs outside Finland. How did Hevein grow so much that they can already tour outside of Finland?

Max: Well, for us it is the same if we play inside or outside Finland. The music is in English. I don't see a big difference in playing abroad or at home.
Alpo: I think we are getting more gigs outside Finland because I think people like out music more outside Finland for some reason. We did not really market it in Finland when our album came out. There might have been done some more advertisement somewhere else when the album came out.


I can imagine a lot of bands would be jealous of getting on tour outside Finland already.

Alpo: I don't know, There are a lot of bands actually that people don't know of the band is from Finland. And they are very popular outside of Finland. When they release their third album, people start realising they are from Finland. Then Finnish people take the band as their own and are proud of them. Even though they did not even know about the band two records ago. So there are a lot of bands that go outside of Finland and they might not even release a record in Finland. They might release it in Europe but not in Finland. That is pretty weird, but that is how it goes.


How was your tour in Czeck Republic last April? What were you expecting?

Max: It was the first longer tour for the band and I think we learned a lot. All of us. The crowd was great! It is a metal country. What else.. The driving is terrible.
Alpo: We had almost one accident. We were mad at the driver. Driving really fast and on complicated roads. But it was good... we did not really know what to expect. we wanted to see how it is going to be like. If the feeling is good, it doesn't even matter where you play or where you stay. If they people like and we like it.. that is why we do it. We don't need a huge crowd or a big place to play. If there are people who liked the music, thats all. So it was good. In that sense, people liked it.


On your homepage is written that hevein doesn't mean anything besides being a protein. So what was the reason for choosing this name? Whose idea was it actually?

Alpo: Actually the name is from Leif, the guitarist. The name didnt really mean anything. Then, after a couple years after we start using the name, we googled it and we found out that it actually means a protein. But that is not where the name comes from. Actually I think Leif has a story for it that is like he was thinking about a song called heaven hill and he liked the name and we thought about that as a band name but it doesn't really suit. Then for some reason he thought up a name.. Hevein... which doesn't mean anything. It is just a word, it does not mean heaven. It is just a word and we start using it. It is a name that people usually think... What is this name about... and that is how you remember it. So, it is pretty good in that sense, you remember it because it is pretty silly and when you start listening to the music and then you understand that the name doesn't represents what the band is playing.


Could you describe you band for potential fans?

Max: It's a tough one... I don't know. If you are not afraid of shouting, then everybody can listen to us...


Leif and Alpo have known each other for a long while, how did the band form until how it is now?

Alpo: We have been friends for long, I can't even remember when we first met. We started playing together around 1994.. we started jamming and then we started playing some old stuff. we met some guys in bars and party's who are trying to play and then we just kind of slowly formed the band. At some stage we were just playing our own stuff and we started to get our own vibe into it. When Max joined the band we called our self a real band. Not because he has played in another band before, but we were kind of complete in a sense of sound and we were ready to play live.


Could you tell us something about the songs on "Sounds over matter"? What would be interesting to know?

Alpo: We are a boring band.. there is no interesting about us.. *laughs*
Max: What would be interesting...Leif never wanted "Only Human" to be on the album... He was really against it. Why?

Alpo: Because he didn't like it!
Max: We liked it... and everyone else liked. And we kind of forced it and put it on the album. Hee kind of protested. A lot of the songs or parts of the songs on SOUND OVER MATTER are pretty old stuff that we just needed to get out of our system, cause we were playing that stuff for a long time.
What the story of the album is about... It is not a political album. We are not a politcal band, but we have some opinions of things and we put them into the music. Not in the sense that we want to push it, but in a way we make it very sarcastic. If you read the lyrics and you know that we are not very serious then you might actually understand the lyrics a little bit better. It is not like Haha-humour it's more like dark-sarcastic humour.


A bit like the humour Sentenced always used?

Max: Yeah.. that sort of stuff. The sound of SOUND OVER MATTER represents that even though everything else might go away, we will be doing music for a long time. And there are more important things then couches and cars and apartments.. things..


Do you want to make people think about this, or is it just your opinion?

Alpo: Yes, well we appreciate people that thinks for themselves. I think that is a general message in metal music nowadays. Trying to make people think a littl more maybe... but why we play and why we come here to play and play everywhere.. we really enjoy playing live and we get the energy when we see people enjoy the music. That is why we do it. We are not a political band... we just play metal.


Sounds over matter has been released in 2005, is there already a new Cd coming?

Alpo: We are preparing some stuff. Actually, we have a lot of stuff that is not really focussed. We have a very huge amount of riffs and tonight we are going to play two new songs. We try to get the album out... maybe next year, but no dates have been set yet.
Max: It seems to take a while. We ve been working on the new material for some time already and I think every one of us want to do things a little bit differently then. Thinking of the second album we don't know how to do it, but we just know we want to do it differently. Day by day we get closer and get a clearer vision of how it will sound. Maybe next year.


Would you like to add some new instruments in the band.. or maybe guest musicians?

Alpo: No, we haven't talked about anything like that...
Max: I think there is a lot to discover with this line up.
Alpo: So far we don't want to use any backing tapes for some kind of sound. We want all the music to come from the instruments. So that is why the songs might sound a little different from the album, because there are many guitars on. There are many cello's and violins in some songs. But what Max said.. There is a lot of potential in this line up so we haven't thought of any guests.


If you could include a female vocalist for maybe one song... or maybe in the band, who would that be?

Max and Alpo: Aino!
Alpo: Aino sings on the last drop of innocence. And she is a good singer. She has one band in which she sings. We have been talking about getting female vocals in some songs and Aino is going to do them if we are going to do it.
Max: It seems like we want to do everything by ourselves. We produced the album by ourselves and we shoot the video and did the website...


About the video... Last drop of innocence has been released a while ago, would you release another video?

Alpo: Probably we do the next video from the next album. I don't think we do another video of the songs on Sounds over matter unless we do a video with the material which we shooting on the gigs. Maybe we will do a very cheap production, but that is probably not going to happen. The most probable new video will from one of the songs on the new album...


Do you have any idea how it would look like?

Alpo: It completely depends on the song. We want the video to represent the music and it is kind of extension of the music. First we take the song and then we get the idea from the song. Then it could be anything. In the first video we had some things we wanted to show. First of all, we wanted to show the band. So that is why we are in the picture almost all the time. It had a certain purpose. But now, in the next video, it might be that we are not in it at all. That is like an extreme of course. When we get more people to listen to us, then the video will really become an extension of our music. Then we don't need to show the band. It is just the music and we show the visuals that we want you to see.


You are playing on some summer festivals this year, what are your expectations? Is it a totally different feeling from playing small club gigs?

Max: Clubgigs are actually quiet fun to play. You are so close to the people and you can feel the connection. When you play open airs, it's so massive. Although it is really fun to play for many people. Luckily we play music that you can play in small clubgigs and open air.


And you are playing in Germany ont he summerbreeze festival, have you planned anything more in Germany?

Max: Well... There is planned something...There is a clubtour and plans.. but we don't have the dates yet. That might be September...


Did you ever had any doubts about continuing playing music in the way you are doing now?

Alpo: No... from day one when me and Leif started to play music we did it for fun. We play cause it makes us feel good and we can express ourselves through the music like every musician does. And in no point we have discussed what kind of music should we play to become famous or things like that. We have always just played the music that we would like to play. In some way it is very cross over, because we have elements from different kinds of metal and we are not afraid to use different kind of elements just because it is a genre that no one likes. We play what we think that sounds good. If people don't like it... That's fine... it has never been about being successful. Of course, it is nice if we play and people like it. We know that we have touched some people in the same sense as it touches us. But always comes first, that I play the music that I want to play. If other people like it, it is the reward for what we have done.


Are you doing any side projects?

Max: Well, I am a professional musician. So I do a lot. I have one other band which plays some Folk-pop. But that is in Finnish. It is called Teijka Tuntematon. The lyrics are poems. That makes it really interesting. the message is really strong. And I do some studio work, make some arrangements for bands, everything that comes up. I ve been a musician for... well... basically forever. I have never done anything else then playing and working with music. So, It is my life.


When you think about your future, where do you see yourself in five years?

Max: My goal is to create interesting albums. And to discover the real sound of this band. I don't think we are there yet. There is a lot of work to do. Probably after five years we are somewhere close.
Alpo: Our tour through Czech Republic was our first longer period together and we really enjoyed it. Hopefully in five year we get to play live a lot of gigs. Because that is where the band comes together. Not in the studio or the rehearsal space. When we play live, then it is real. I hope in five year we played a lot of gigs and a couple of albums.


Imagine there is a band battle. The winner stays in music forever, and the loser is not allowed to make music again. You can choose the opponent. Who would that be?

Max: We will beat them all anyway.
Alpo: It is irrelevant, If there is a band I don't like, I just don't listen to it. We don't really care about what other bands do, we just do our own stuff.
Max: And there is no band that stays alive forever and makes great music forever...


Thank you Max and Alpo!

 
 
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