Interviewed by Kaheli and Narri
We recently had the chance to interview Nightrage’s front man, Antony Hämäläinen. While the band has members from Greece and Sweden, Antony is pure Finnish metal and that’s why this is here…Read & enjoy!
It’s been 5 long years since you guys toured the USA, any plans in the near/not so near future to do a return tour? Would you want to?
Yes it has been a really long time. I’m sure it will happen at one point or another. It almost happened actually last year, but the promoters just didn’t look too good so we chose not to try. But of course we’d love to come there and play!
Besides being a vocalist, are there any other hidden talents or specialties you have that the world may not know about?
Hmm, I play sports. Tennis, football (soccer), and golf. I went to college for tennis actually.
Are there any instruments that you play or wish to? If so, which is your favorite?
I’ve done all the basics really. Drums, bass, keys, guitars. Not so good in most of them anymore because all I do nowadays is sing.
You mentioned in an interview that the album’s main concept is about being crucified for what you believe in. What is something you strongly believe in that would deserve such crucifixion?
Well this is about the song Wearing A Martyr’s Crown. Each song on the album has a different meaning for me. I wrote them about different subjects really. But the concept of WAMC was to be crucified for being a good person. A lot of times in this business (the music business) you have to do things in a shitty way. And I try not to be like that. I want all the things I do in my life to be good for myself and the people I love. But sometimes you are put down for doing what is right in order to make a profit (like for the music business example). This could be about any situation anyone has. So I like to also let the listener take the lyrics and apply it to their own lives.
It seems ratings are high for this album. What were you expecting the response to be like in relation to the release of “Wearing a Martyrs Crown” and your introduction into the band?
I had no idea. I honestly didn’t care either (laughs). I’m very excited that we got the true feeling of the band back here on this record. And I am very proud to have been one of the factors in that. But honestly I just do what I like, if people like it, that’s awesom; if not, I don’t really care. I’m going to do it anyways (laughs)
Do you miss the days of playing in local bands or do you prefer the big time?
I don’t miss it at all. It was the worst thing ever sometimes to be playing these local shows. But I miss playing the music sometimes. I still feel those songs hold up from both American bands I was in.
What do you hope for the future of Nightrage?
We can still do what we do with no compromise.
What do you consider to be your alter ego and what does it do? Any magic or special powers?
If i could jump as high as Pete Sampras when a spiked an over head. That was magical enough.
How does a vocalist keep the genuine passion for a song after singing it over and over?
Good question! And I have no idea! (laughs) Good songs are just good songs. If you are as obsessed with music as I am you’ll never get board of it.
Why did you dye your hair? Would you ever shave it? How about a mullet?
(laughs) My wife made me do it. She met me with black hair, then for years I was at my natural blond. And she just asked to please see it like she met me (laughs). If i shaved it I’d look like Anders, and if I had a mullet I’d look like Olof.
There is a vast mix of heritage and culture in the band, how does it contribute to the music? The band aura? The fanbase?
Musically it’s really the same because the music has always been primarily written by Marios. As far as the Swedes in the band it makes for a really good Gothenburg feel (if there wasn’t enough of that already). I don’t know. We all just do what comes natural.
‘Wearing a Martyrs Crown’ has been compared to ‘At The Gates’, ‘In Flames’ and ‘Dark Tranquility’, both positively and negatively, what is your thoughts and opinions on the subject?
I’d agree with that. Except I’d say In Flames 93-99. Those are all influences and both ATG and DT singers have contributed to Nightrage. So there will always be this connection.
Favorite Finnish bands of all time?
Stone, Stratovarius, Amorphis, Sentenced, Thy Serpent, Impaled Nazarene
And because we’re doing this for Finnish Underground Radio and you’re Finnish means you’re no exception …boxers, briefs or commando? Thoughts, opinions or preferences?
Thanks for the interview, and I hope to see all the fans somewhere on the road!