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16 February 2010

Chapter 2.1

Second chapter:
Frenetic activity
(2000 - 2001)

Chapter 1.3 - Index - Chapter 2.2

Everything was ready, they had gone through all required steps: they had recorded demos, they had a small fanbase, they were a full band, and they had a deal with a label, which provided them with a studio and promotion. They were ready to release their debut, so they got their hands to work without thinking twice. They wrote songs during the second half of 1999, and in February 2000 they went to Tico-Tico studios in Kemi (northern Finland, where the weather must be freaking cold, specially in February) to record them.

Oh wait a second... it's their chinese drummer!!! - Marko dixit
Basicly, Henri made the music of all songs (with Ville’s collaboration in two of them) and Ville wrote the lyrics, except those of “Ukkosenjumalan poika”, written by his girlfriend of that time. The album would be called Suden uni (which translates as A wolf’s dream), and the recording responsibilities were: Henri, guitars, keyboards, clean voices and traditional instruments (accordion, mouth harp and the likes); Ville, voice and bass guitar; and Baron, percussion, acoustic guitar and choirs. They also had some friends collaborating in handclaps and choirs: Avather and Blastmor of Thyrane, and Janne Perttilä, who later would gain importance in Moonsorrow. It was in these sessions where the “Drunken Viking Choir” ™ was born. The album was recorded and mixed by Ahti Kortelainen, who would work with the following albums too. The band didn’t know him before recording this album, but apparently they were happy with his job; some years later, Ville said: “We chose Ahti and Mika [Jussila, who mastered all of their later records) for the first album by chance; we listened to the albums they had made and realised that they could do a good work with our sound as well.

Ahti (left) and Mika (right)
Since then, we haven't felt the need to change the line-up. They are both utmost professionals in what they do, they know what we are doing and all in all we get well along. With them, we get the results we aim at”. Actually he was slightly wrong when he said this, as Mika Jusila worked with them for the first time on the second album; Ville later corrected himself: "The Plasmatica version wasn't actually mastered at all, didn't remember that. Only the Spinefarm version is mastered by Mika Jussila." We'll get back to this in the second chapter dedicated to the year 2003.

They spent some days recording and mixing, seemed like the album would be released soon, but again they had problems, not really technical this time but rather financial and even human, which led to the album not to be released until April 2001, i.e. more than one year later. Ville tells: “It was very irritating to wait for the release of the album. Whether it was a fault of the label or not does not matter anymore, after all one should be able to expect these kind of setbacks when dealing with small labels. They just don’t have the money to push things their way with the desired pace. There were all kinds of troubles concerning the supposed release, all the way from simple communication obstacles to the last-minute fuck-ups with the manufacturing company (they had the masters idle for two months or so, so I guess we should question their working morals a bit too).

Plasmatica Records logo
Surely many people question afterwards why did we choose Plasmatica Records, but why shouldn’t we have signed the best contract we were offered? Working with new and not well-known labels usually isn’t that efficient - as we have learned - but there are always two sides to a coin if you think about it. On a small label every band has priority and there should be no questions about artistic freedom unlike on some bigger labels”.

Ukkosenjumalan poika (original 2000 master)

Chapter 1.3 - Index - Chapter 2.2

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