SONATA ARCTICA INTERVIEW
TM - Hey this is Amelia and Elizabeth; we are here with Henrik from Sonata Arctica. Thank you for having this interview with us today we really appreciate it.
SA - No worries, nice to meet you.
TM - Nice to meet you.
SA - Well it has been quiet, given the circumstances. We are doing quite well. We have had a lot of stuff going on and we have not been able to tour much or at all for a couple of years. Everyone is doing well in the band; we have lots of stuff going on.
TM - Your new album Acoustic Adventures is coming out in January what can fans expect from that?
SA - Well we have been doing acoustic shows or acoustic tours occasionally, just to get some change from what we normally do. This time we decided to record an album, two albums, one coming out in January and one coming out next fall. We finally got around to recording and mixing it and now people can listen to it at home. It is acoustic versions of our songs with new arrangements, in a nutshell, that is what it is.
TM - What's your favourite thing about playing acoustic compared to the full stage show?
SA - Well it is more relaxed, more laid-back, and more intimate. You must be on top of your game. There is not this wall of sound with the distorted guitars, when you play acoustic, it is stripped down. It is a challenge; you must approach music differently so that is what I like. It is refreshing to play acoustic for a while and then go back to heavy metal.
TM - You said you are releasing two albums so what can fans expect from the other album?
SA – We did one session and we recorded twenty-five songs and we split them between the two albums. We are trying to make sure that we have songs from every album on both releases. You could say in one way that these albums together are a ‘Best Of’ collection but made to fit the acoustic sound.
TM - What was your writing and recording process?
SA - Well there was not that much writing since the songs were already done and recorded earlier from previous albums. We started checking the setlists from previous tours and we picked songs from there. After that we started writing a list of different songs that could work acoustically, we have about ten studio albums, so we have over one hundred and twenty-something songs to choose from so it was a bit tricky to find the right ones. We did a good job and found a solid collection of songs.
TM - Do you think you will do a ‘Best of Tour’ from this album?
SA – Yeah, we are planning to play in Finland in the spring. It is going to be a short tour of just fifteen shows and then when the second album comes out, we are going to tour other countries in Europe for six weeks. We were meant to do it already this year, however, with COVID and other stuff we are trying to tour in the fall.
TM - That's exciting.
SA – Absolutely, we are excited to get out there and start playing. We cannot wait to see people and have a fun time.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs which band would it be and what song would it be? Would it be in your style or their style?
SA - I would say it would be interesting to hear Nightwish do a cover of one of our songs, I would prefer they do it in their style.
TM - Do you have any songs?
SA - Not really. I think they could choose themselves; it would be cool to have them cover any song.
TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live, can you tell us a story?
SA - In 2006 I went to Estonia to see Metallica. I had not seen them before and that was the summer they were playing Master of Puppets front to end. That was one of the greatest concert memories that I have. I went to the concert with a bunch of friends and had a fucking awesome time. I also got to hear the Master of Puppets album which is my favourite album and still is to this day. That must be one of my favourite memories.
TM - What was the first-ever band or artist that you saw live?
SA - I do not remember, that was such a long time ago. I did go to a festival where I saw Motorhead twenty years ago, that was cool. They played loud, I was standing there astonished and shocked at the same time.
TM - What is your favourite memory with your fans?
SA - Some guy asked us to sign his car once, that was interesting.
TM - Do you have a favourite memory of touring?
SA – We toured with Nightwish in the United States, we also came to Australia eleven years ago.
TM - What's your favourite memory from touring Australia?
SA - I remember playing in Sydney on New Year’s Eve. I thought after the show was over, which finished before midnight, I would go outside and have a beer and watch the fireworks, but it turned out we were too far away to see the whole thing, so I went outside and saw a little bit of the fireworks. We were behind a hill that was blocking most of them, that is the first memory that comes to mind from Australia.
TM - Have you been to Japan to tour? What is your favourite thing to do in Japan?
SA - Yeah maybe ten or fifteen times. It has been fun going over to Japan, everything works like clockwork there. Everyone is nice and polite, one of my favourite things is the shows are early and you can go to about six or seven in the evening but in Finland, the concerts start at ten or eleven so you can go to dinner after a show in Japan.
TM - Did you go to the robot restaurant?
SA – No, I do not think I have been there.
TM - Well add it to your list of things to do in Japan. These girls dress up and they are fighting on big cars that look like robots. It is the strangest thing, but it is the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. Every part of the show has a different storyline.
SA - I will have to go and check that out.
TM - Are you playing any cool festivals next year?
SA - We are playing some festivals in Finland and Europe next year. Some of them are going ahead and some of them are not. They will be up on our website soon; we are also playing some shows in Finland.
TM - What can fans expect when you get back up on stage?
SA - Right now we are celebrating twenty-five years as a band, so we are going to try and incorporate songs from every album. That is what we are going to be doing next summer.
TM - Anything else you want to say to your fans?
SA - I hope that we can come back to Australia one day. It has been eleven almost twelve years. We had a great trip last time and we hope to make it back. Our priority is to get back on the road and play shows. Unfortunately, it is not in our hands. I hope to see you at some point.