XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Count L.F: Well we prepare to release our new album in Autumn. Then we see what will happen.
Wicked Ischanius: The album has been blackhole consuming everything. We’ll see what happens, probably back to start and making new music. We have some music ready though and even one recorded but unreleased song! Apart from Mausoleum Gate, I’m back working with my old and chaotic thrash group Death Thrashers Kuopio. Then I have some other projects on mind…
Oscar Razanez: The album was long and difficult project, but it turned out good. Right now we
are just waiting for it to come physical, promote it and enjoy the reviews. I am working on
my solo project “Iron Griffin” right now, you will hear news about that pretty soon!
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Count L.F: The band was formed in 2008 and this line-up has been together from around 2011 if I remember correct. Last year Wicked Ischanius moved to keyboards and Nino Karjalainen came to play bass – so far only live.
Wicked Ischanius: I remember how back in 2008 saw ad in Muusikoiden.net site at wanted musicians forum. C.L.F was looking for guys to start N.W.O.B.H.M band. I was like what?? I didn’t know the guy before (we are from small town) and just what I had been thinking to do.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Count L.F: My motivation is to compose and create music. I don’t get kicks to play covers. Making my own or our own music is what I like in music.
Wicked Ischanius: Express myself musically, and actually do something other than just sitting home and working. I have been playing since I was child.
Oscar Razanez: To make music I would love to listen myself. That is my main motivation.
And there is never enough of new heavy metal music.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Count L.F: I started to play back in the end of 80’s. Mostly just for fun at home. Then I took
some guitar lessons for about half a year. After that I have played in local bands and made half a dozen demos or so. I have always composed.
Wicked Ischanius: I was taking keyboard lessons when I was kid. Then I picked up guitar influenced by AC/DC.. Then I started playing in bands in teens. And still doing the same stuff today hah. I counted that I have played in about 30 bands , different music styles… Most of them came up with nothing interesting. Some we only did gigs and maybe some little recordings.
Oscar Razanez: My origins are in bass guitar, started playing it in a band in the high school.
Many bands came and gone… In 2009 I had enough of shitty drummers, and I bought myself a drumkit and started playing it myself. It is much easier to find guitar/bass players in a band than a drummer. In 2011 I joined Mausoleum Gate, and it was really the first band actually done and achieved something.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Count L.F: Definitely dark images. In Mausoleum Gate universe there is no place for laight,happiness or joy. Also a certain feeling of tragedy –as Black Sabbath also had- is always present. Heavy music also from this point of view.
Wicked Ischanius: Longing from mystical and mythical times and universes.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Count L.F: I don’t know as I don’t think career-wise. I think we try to make more music and play more gigs. I hope the band will become more popular but on the other hand I won’t make any compromises for larger success. When you have that feeling that you have made a good song,good lyrics that is the true heart of this thing.
Wicked Ischanius: From my point of view I’d say we need just keep working with our music and personal touch. I think we have still a lot to do, and lot of areas to cover. The search should be endless in music. And new album in 2020 haha 🙂
Oscar Razanez: Try to keep practicing, and release some new music.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Count L.F: You can basically look my previous answer.
Wicked Ischanius: Try to become a better musician, arranger, producer and composer!
Oscar Razanez: What Thomas said!
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Count L.F: Both are equal to me. Of course they are different kind of occasions in their nature but I can’t put one above the other.
Wicked Ischanius: They are two totally different worlds. When you play live, you concentrate on the moment. In live enviroment you react more with the band members, audience and perform. We try to capture the same feeling when we jam during creating new songs also. In a way making a song is also about capturing piece of time, although it is something more lasting than doing live show. In Studio enviroment you concentrate capturing the essence of song differently. You focus more on the details, not just going with the flow. Especially in live sessions and jams, if I have feeling, I won’t play same song exactly as before , always trying new things with feeling. I try to apply same process to studio work. For example, if you listen to keyboard passages on our songs there are intentional differences between verses and chorusses etc. For example I might change some comping and play differnent chord inversions or fills.
Whether it’s live or studio, you always need to work your way of doing things, and it’s part of getting better at what you do. It allows you to concentrate more on the feeling music gives you and transferring it to tape or live audience. And always after exhausting studiowork like our new album, I really just want to play live hahaha.
Oscar Razanez: I personally think that recording music and albums is the number one, because it stays in history forever. New audiences can find the record even years later, and it is important. Ashbury Endless Skies album for example! Doing gigs won’t help you years later to gain your reputation. If you can manage to produce a great full-length album, it “bears fruit” more and longer than live performances.
Of course I do not want to underestimate live gigs! They are like a drug, and gives the best
thrills. And meeting the audiences face to face, that is what you don’t get with studio albums!
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Count L.F: Magic, Sorcery, Demons, Occult things etc. Maybe some Sci-Fi too. I have always been interested in the unknown and people who have studied it. I mean it’s a fascinating area and really feeds my imagination and also an area I want to research more myself – get deeper into that.
Wicked Ischanius: Meaning all things heavy metal and progressive universe!
Oscar Razanez: And Satan of course!
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Count L.F: Hmm.. There has been some from a broken car to a lost cellphone and maybe even more but I think I’ll leave it to Mausoleum Gate version of The Dirt.. Hahahaa!!
Wicked Ischanius: We have had some funny events, but I think our band is more about music than partying on the road. But we have had our share of madness. Like Keep it True, for example: Me and Razanez drove 500km during night to get to festival, ‘cause we were at Berlin seeing Mahler’s 5th symphony played by Berlin Philharmoniker. And there might have been some heavy drinking after we finished our show.. 🙂
Oscar Razanez: I won’t share these stories, not right now when the second album is coming haha… Maybe some other time!
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Count L.F: I really can’t think anything strange really. Not so far at least!
Wicked Ischanius: Not that the request is strange, but we get asked most to play our title track live haha. We did it in Muskelrock, but PA system went out during the song, so we couldn’t complete it.
Oscar Razanez: See back for that logo in the leather jacket!
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Count L.F: Not really. Not against it or not for it. I mean they are not particularly musical in anyway. On the other hand in this age you don’t really need parents approval..heh.
Wicked Ischanius: They didn’t mind, not that I think they quite understood what we were doing. Although I have been always supported to play music!
Oscar Razanez: It was neutral.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Count L.F: Lost Beyond The Sun is a nice one. The guitar solo part has so free arrangement. You don’t have to hurry.
Wicked Ischanius : I have to go with Lost Beyond the Sun too , cause it has everything going on and it has the long improvisational solo part.
Another fave these days is Helldriver which is from our first demo, I love dropping these classic hammond organ licks to that song and, Razanez grooves like hell there. Summoning Circle is also nice. And almost forgot Before the Snake Sneaked In, which has been in our set a few times, but we haven’t released the song yet!
Oscar Razanez: Summoning Circle. Tempo is slow enough, and it has great dynamics. And in live V.P. plays a big gong while singing!
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Count L.F: Probably Deep Purple,Uriah Heep and Motörhead. I mean they were the first ones. Also finnish Sargofagus and their second album Envoy of death. Led Zeppelin must also be mentioned as well as Rainbow. A quite a lot inspiration really.
Wicked Ischanius: For me it started definitely with AC/DC. It was the first band that really hit me hard and I was fan for. After that tons of other bands followed. There have been some life
changing records for me… Slayers Decade of Aggression live album was portal to harder bands like Morbid Angel, Black Metal, Sodom, Bathory.. I was 16 years old when I first heard Yes – Close to the Edge album, which totally changed my perspectives also.. quite widened the horizon as what music can be, and what could be done. Still has the effect on me… And the reason why I collect vintage keyboards , amps and guitars haha! John Coltranes Love Supreme album made me dig jazz deeper. Remember also the moment when I heard Shostakovich Symphony 13 or Wagners Tristan und Isolde , I was like WHY THE HELL ANYBODY HASN*T TOLD ME THERE IS SOMETHING THIS GREAT OUT THERE!!!!!
Oscar Razanez: Five albums made a great impact in pre-teen me: Painkiller, Sad wings of destiny, Black Sabbath debut, Battle Hymns and Louder Than Hell. Those were the shit, pretty much the first real heavy metal albums I owned. They were the start for me, and inspired me to get an instrument and to form a band. Sad wings still blows my mind every time I listen to it… For me the best heavy metal album there is.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Count L.F: Led Zeppelin, Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath. As always you have a plenty of bands to choose from but this time let it be those.
Wicked Ischanius: It would be cool to warm up some legendary band… but even more my dream tour at the moment would be to tour with one or two new and upcoming bands I love. Like for example : Tarot (AUS) , Eternal Champion and Hands of Orlac!
Oscar Razanez: In my dreams Mausoleum Gate would tour all alone, so we would have enough time to set up our gear hahaha! For real, Hands of Orlac would be the perfect companion.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Count L.F: This summer in Muskelrock one guy came to me and said he would like to form a band like Mausoleum Gate. Also at Muskelrock when the power went out during our title song Mausoleum Gate the crowd started to sing it a capella. Amazing.
Wicked Ischanius: The fact that we have been able to complete making of two full length albums, they are always painstaking artistic processes. Of course playing in Keep it True was also dream come true.
Oscar Razanez: Playing at Keep it True was the ultimate accomplishment for me. Muskelrock comes right after. And of course our discography: two full lengths, two 7” and a demo. For me it is truly something, that we could have gotten so far with this band.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Count L.F: Well my job outside the band is service technician so maybe that would be one.
Wicked Ischanius: I am working as Sound/Light/Video technician in live productions. Been doing that for 13 years now.
Oscar Razanez: I do band stuff as a hobby. If it wouldn’t be that, I would probably play more videogames haha! I work as a service/stage manager in a local concert hall.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Count L.F: Basically Gibson SG Standard,Laney 50GHL amp and some pedals including booster,echo and Dunlop Wah-wah.
Wicked Ischanius: I use combination of vintage and new keyboards live these days.
Hammond C3 organ (with leslie 251), Moog Mini-Moog , Korg MS-20 synthesizer and Memotron (for Mellotron parts) are mainstay of the setup. I use delay pedals with monosynths. Then I might add Hohner Clavinet D6 and real Mellotron M400 to setup. Depending if we have time to work everything up. There is always surprises with vintage equipement. That is why I always have Korg Triton workstation as backup, to replace something if needed. I usually play them through Hiwatt 200w amplifier and 4×12” cabinet. I think I’m planning to buy second minimoog in near future.. And If needed I might use Rhodes piano also, never know.
Oscar Razanez: 80’s Ludwig set with 70’s supra, Bosphorus cymbals. Would like to have more vintage…
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Count L.F: Well as far as mainstream metal goes it all sounds the same. Bands should have more courage to experiment with guitar sound, bass sound etc. Now it sounds much too same to my ears. We haven’t really look around to any current trends. We have always done things the way we like. We know that for example our sound policy doesn’t appear to all the people but so what? On the other hand there are a loads of good and innovative metal bands in the underground scene which is to my taste much more interesting than the mainstream. I enjoyed a lot Lord Fist’s debut Green Eyleen for example. And also form the current debutants Legionnaire sounds good too.
Wicked Ischanius: I think there is so much of everything these days, that it is really hard to keep up what is happening. But I think underground is strong and sooner or later something good comes out of it! What is worrying is, that people go out to see live gigs less.. That causes venues dying for lack of audience. Another one is that it’s harder and harder to make living by playing music.
Oscar Razanez: People keep saying “there is so much of everything these days” blah blah, but I say fuck no! There is never enough of good new heavy metal bands, and I keep relentlessly searching for them music to dig, and records to buy to support them. I would say that if you are really interested, you can easily keep up with it. Depends on how you use your time. Well I should really practice more playing, but I enjoy more listening haha…. The current scene is in good state, and I cannot wait to hear the upcoming albums of Tyfons Doom, Vultures Vengeance, Pagan Altar, Black Sword Thunder Attack… Lots of interesting stuff coming, but never enough!
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Count L.F: If I tell it it wouldn’t be a surprise wouldn’t it?
Wicked Ischanius: Probably the thing that I’m collecting Kalevala paintings by Aarno Karimo!
Oscar Razanez: Besides heavy metal, I am hard-boiled folk music worshipper!
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Count L.F: During the debut album somebody described it like “Progressive Black Sabbath plays Iron Maiden” or something like that. Well today –and with the new album- you could add some 70’s progressive values to that.
Wicked Ischanius: Obscure Traditional Progressive Heavy Metal
Oscar Razanez: At some time I tried to describe it somehow, but nowadays I say just heavy metal with progressive elements. Go and figure out yourselves!
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Count L.F: Go and get yourself some Dark Divinity and Stay true to Heavy Rock!
Wicked Ischanius: Our journey Into a Dark Divinity is approaching its destination. Be prepared
and remember to listen the album as whole! See you out there sooner or later!