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KORPIKLAANI Violinist On Being An ‘Ambassador’ For Finland: ‘Many People Have Learned Finnish Because Of Us’

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Saturday, 01 December 2018
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Prior to KORPIKLAANI's November 18 performance in Los Angeles, violinist Tuomas Rounakari spoke with Music Interview Corner. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the group's just-completed North American tour with ARKONA: Tuomas: "It's been a good tour. We are doing kind of a challenging thing — we are playing almost our whole new album, so it's quite a demanding thing to do, but we are really liking it, and it's going well." On the making of the group's recently released tenth album, "Kulkija": Tuomas: "There was a certain flow to it. I think you can really feel it in the album. We had a new producer, and I think the folk elements are more vivid in this album than ever before. There were a lot of first takes in it and a lot of creative freedom in doing it. Just a really good atmosphere in general to do the whole album. The whole band is very happy with it." On the band's music video for "Harmaja": Tuomas: "It was the director and his idea. It was pretty demanding for Jonne [Järvelä, vocalist/guitarist]. It was actually [filmed at] a rescue center — a center where they rehearse sea rescue situations, so the water was factually very cold, so it was quite painful for him. I'm glad we didn't need to go — that the rest of the band didn't have to partake in that." On the fact that a folk-metal group that sings in Finnish has managed to build a global following: Tuomas: "That's amazing. People in Finland don't really even understand what an ambassador we are for our culture. So many people have learned to study Finnish because of us, and not many people understand that. It is a special feeling whenever you play live and you see someone who actually knows every word of the song. You know that those people have made a big effort in learning those songs, and it feels really good." On the differences in the band's fan bases around the world: Tuomas: "I think the U.S. crowd is actually very fond of the mythological side of our band, whereas the drinking songs go [over] well in Germany and so on. There are little differences with the crowds, especially in Russia and South America — people are just wild, and a great party. But I like the American crowd. They are appreciative for all the songs that we do, and they are an easy crowd to be together with. You really have this feeling that you are together with them [during] the show. That's what I like a lot." "Kulkija" ("Wanderer") was released on September 7 via Nuclear Blast. With 14 tracks and a total running time of over 71 minutes, the disc is the group's longest album to date. Working with producer Janne Saksa for the first time, the album was recorded at Petrax Studio (Hollola, Finland) and mixed at Sound Supreme Studios (Hämeenlinna, Finland). Mastering duties were handled by renowned engineer Svante Forsbäck (RAMMSTEIN). The cover was designed by Jan Yrlund (BATTLE BEAST, MANOWAR), who previously supplied artworks for several prior albums and singles by the band.

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