- Hey, Rami! How did you get involved into metal music? At that time, what was the local metal underground like? What were your first death metal records?
- Hi, my very first touch to heavy metal music was around 1985 and Iron Maiden´s Powerslave album. I borrowed a tape from my friend and heard first time heavy music in my life. 31 years later it´s still a pretty decent album. Not so long time after that I started to play also guitar and started my first band Steel 1986. MAny young people listener to metal music in Finland around 1985-1990. We had also some local heavy metal bands and later also few death metal bands too. My first death metal record was Pestilence´s Consuming Impulse or Death´s Spiritual healing.
- Convulse was formed in 1990, but before that you were know as S.D.S (Seven Death's Sin). Why did you decide to change the name? And who came up with that suggestion? Did you manage to record anything under that name?
- We played speed/thrash metal before Convulse. I suppose we didn´t like so much the name S.D.S. We recorded under S.D.S name two demo tapes and made about dozen gigs.
- The first Convulse demo, "Resuscitation of Evilness", was released in 1990. Tell us, where did you record it? How many copies did you print and how did you distribute it?
- We recorded it in couple of days in 24-track analog MSL-studio. We were only 17 years old during those recording sessions. ROE-demo (tape) sold over 1000 copies. We distributed it by ourselves. We printed cassettes in tape studio and sent them all over the world.
- You got the contract with Thrash Records and in 1991 you released your classic debut album, "World Without God". The album starts with a gloomy instrumental track, who performed it?
- Yeah that´s true. I composed the intro and played it in studio with real piano and synths. My sister had a piano at home, so I played it sometimes and composed accidentally the intro theme.
- Tell us about the recording process. Where did you record it and who produced it? How long did it take you?
- It took about 9 months to compose tracks to World without god album. We recorded and mixed WWG near Tampere (Lempäälä) at MSL-studio in july 1991 during one week. There was not a producer, but the mixing engineer was very surprised from our sound. Jani (recording engineer) had never heard death metal before.
I had followed Thrash Records releases for a while and we asked also opinion of Sentecenced. They recommended Thrash Records and I sent our "Resuscitation of evilness" demo to Thrash Recs. and we got signed pretty soon.
- The album's cover is the painting done by Caspar David Friedrich. How did you get it and did you have any licence issues? Did you consider any other versions as well?
- The cover issue is quite goofy. We asked a young artist from our hometown to paint something gloomy. Well..she introduced the cover art and we got impressed and chose to use it. We thought it was her own painting. About ten years later we figured out that the painting is quite identical with Caspar David Friedrich. So naturally we don´t have any licenses.
- After the release, what was your life like? Did you play live a lot? When did you get in touch with the other Finnish bands, like Demigod, Putrulence, Adramelech, Demilich...?
- We had been in contact with other finnish death metal bands from 1990. WWG got some good reviews, but the promotion was quite negligible. Thrash record didn´t even release cd version what was settled in an agreement.
The production of WWG was far away from perfect due to very limited studio budget. But after all we were and still are very satisfied with WWG. The atmosphere of WWG is very gloomy and depressing and I think that is the main reason why it´s still considered one of the cult releases. We played about one gig in a month in a local youth centers. Nothing big, but things were already going a little different.
- In 1994 you released your second full-length, "Reflections". The music became more melodic, with some rock'n'roll rhythms. How could you comment on the play-style changes?
- I think it was normal evolution of our band. I have listened music always very open minded. I remember listening back in 1991-92 a lot of Black Sabbath, Doors, Pink Floyd and even Red Hot Chili Peppers. Of course it leaves an influence in song writing also. And the same thing is happening with our new album "Cycle of Revenge" (release date 18.3).
- Did you change the topics in your lyrics as well? How could you compare it to the previous album?
- Well..when WWG is lyrically purely atheist, Reflections came out more versatile. I got interested of the history of American Indians, Culture and nature overall and there was some personal losses also. Those things had an effect on lyrics of the "Reflections".
- By the way, how did you get the contract with Relapse Records? Were you satisfied with their performance and support?
- We just send new promo tape "Lost Equilibrium" to Relapse Recs. and they got interested. Well..we were satisfied with studio budget and so on, but I have never understand why Relapse released "Reflections" at the spring 1994. Reflections was recorded already in the end of 1992. 1994 Convulse was practically split of.
- After that release the band split-up. What was the reason for it? Beforehand, did you manage to do any shows?
- We tried to gather together 1994 and wrote some new songs and recorded even a couple of demos with different line-up and sound. It simple didn ́t work and there was also some sort of motivation problems inside the band. I decided to split Convulse and move on. No gigs after 1992.
- In 2013, almost 20 years later, you brought Convulse back to life. When did you think about the comeback for the first time? Could you also present the updated line-up?
- At first the idea was to play only one show in our hometown Nokia 2012 and have some fun. but soon I noticed how good and motivated we are. I had also couple of new riffs ready. So we decided to play couple of shows more and soon we noticed we have some good old school tracks ready also. We have been a trio from the beginning of 2014.
- In 2013 you released an outstanding album, "Evil Prevails", proving the fact that Finnish Death Metal is alive. How long did you work on the material for this release?
- We composed Evil Prevails material a little bit over year. After that we launched to studio for a month.
- Composing the new tracks, did you challenge yourself anyhow? What where you main targets? As the music on "Evil Prevails" is quite interesting, including some acoustic moments as well.
- I have always try to keep music on a high level. When we decided to do comeback album, it was clear for me, it´s going to be an old school death metal album. I also knew that next time I want to push the band over the limits and challenge ourselves even more. My main target is always keep our music interesting for ourselves. That´s why you will have a different album "Cycle of Revenge" soon available.
- So, tell us about your new album, "Cycle of Revenge". How did the recording sessions go? Did you face any difficulties or any obstacles? Also, tell us a bit about the post-production part, how involved were you into the whole process?
- We recorded the new "Cycle of Revenge" album in two separate sessions in finnish V.R.-studio during 2015. We composed new tracks about 18 months. We recorded almost every rehearsals and re-produced songs gradually. New album will contain 8 tracks. As you can hear from the titular advance track, we have gone further from our old school roots. Groove, dynamic, spacey metal is the name of the game this time.
I am very satisfied with the result and the feedback has been very good so far. Of course I know, there is punch of people who always expect doing "World Without God" again and again. But hey, we are not the AC/DC.
We sell so few records that we haven´t got commercial pressure. We can do what please us and makes us satisfied. Hopefully you come with us!
- How is active the band now? Do you have enough time to tour or to work on the new material? What are your plans for the near future? Maybe, a European Tour planned?
- We are doing some festival shows in Finland and hopefully a tour in Europe in autumn. Perhaps we will start to write new material pretty soon also.
- Thank you, Rami. Do you have anything to add in the end?
- Thanks for this interview. Keep wheels rolling and buy records, if you like the music. It´s the only way to keep things alive. New album "Cycle of Revenge" will be released by Finnish Svart Records 18.03.2016 in vinyl/CD/digitally.