Wrathrone delivers a heavy dose of old school death metal with their own spices. The band was formed in the end of 2008 in Finland. So far, the band has released 2 EP’s; Burning Hatred (2011), Left Unburied (2013) and the first full length album, Born Beneath, released in January 2016. Mikael (Drums) and Matti (Vocals) stopped by for a good spicy rant.
1. What’s your earliest musical memory?
Mikael: My parents were never that into music, so music was not that big thing at our house when I was growing up. I started to listen to radio and find new bands when I was like 10 or 11 years old. Soon after that I started to write lyrics and around the same time my parents bought us a piano and I took lessons for a couple of years. Around the same time for some unknown reason I wanted to start playing drums. The rest is history.
Matti: In our family music has always been quite a central feature, especially from my father’s side. So I grew up listening to my father playing a plethora of different instruments, and mainly classical and jazz music from the radio. When reaching school age, I started to play the violin and later on the clarinet. In my early teens, I began to lose interest in those instruments and also my musical taste moved to a heavier direction. That lead me to pick up the bass and around that time I also began exploring the extreme vocals department.
2. What was the first record you got/bought?
Mikael: Not counting the children’s albums etc, I was really into Anssi Kela when his first album came out. I think my parents bought me that. I was 10 or 11 at the time. Then it was probably the next summer when I heard a song of Nickelback on the radio and bought their cd “Silver side up”. My music taste hasn’t got much better since then. After that I started to get more into rock and heavy stuff and found bands like Nightwish, Children of Bodom etc.
Matti: As a kid I was quite versatile in my musical appetites, pop, rock, techno (yeah, I know), classical, a lot of different things. My friend’s older brother introduced me to the world of heavy metal by such acts as Manowar, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Slayer. It took some time to grow on me but I think I was something around 13 years old when I bought my first own metal album, Black Sabbath’s Headless Cross that was. And second one was Amorphis’ Tales From The Thousand Lakes so it picked up the pace quite fast. Nowadays, I mainly listen to metal in many forms, sometimes some classical also.
3. What is your favourite listening medium and why?
Mikael: I prefer all of them. I love Spotify and use it a lot to find new bands etc. But I still am a huge fan of physical releases. If I like something I will buy it, either on cd or vinyl. I listen to cd’s while driving and I have hundreds of them. Vinyl is kinda new found treasure for me, but I absolutely love it. The sounds and the whole package.
Matti: All in all, I think CD is the most common format when it comes to physical medium for obvious reasons, it’s compact (well, it is!), it doesn’t wear if you treat it correctly and it produces a good, clean sound. I understand the affection for vinyls but not that much for the cassette. I thought it was a dead format already when it was the most used one. Digital mediums are off course important today, when I’m home I mostly use Spotify if I listen to music, which I don’t do all that much these days.
4. One album you’d like to hear re-recorded/mixed/mastered/done differently?
Mikael: In Flames – Soundtrack to your escape. I liked that album at my late teens, the sounds are really strange. That would be a fun one to hear with better sounds.
Matti: Black Sabbath’s Forbidden would really need a remix and master, the sounds are all-round flat and especially drums sound really odd on that album. A great album but it gets a lot of slagging, partly for the awful mix. Maybe it wasn’t that good call to have Ernie C producing a Black Sabbath album but maybe it felt like a good idea in 1995.
5. How much do you listen to your own records:
Mikael: I do listen to all of them every once and a while. It’s always a good learning experience. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done and I think all my own records show the growth as a player. Of course there are some songs, sounds etc that could have been made better.
Matti: Not that much but every once in awhile I spin through some old material. It’s nice to notice that the older material still contains good songs but I’m glad the experience shows and the final result is clearly better on more recent releases. Let’s hope that plays out on our next effort also!
6. Is there a genre/thing that you wish would see a second coming? Is there a combination of sounds/styles you’d like to hear that hasn’t been done yet?
Mikael: I think everything has been done already. It’s difficult to do anything original anymore.
7. How do you feel about the current state of music production?
Mikael: It depends a lot on the genre. But I feel that Spotify, Youtube and the people’s lack of concentration has changed everything. People are concentrating on single songs instead of albums, especially with pop music I feel that the music and it’s listeners are getting dumber and dumber. Each time when I hear a song on the radio I feel like there’s even no vocal melodies anymore and the backing instruments seem to be often forgotten. With rock and metal it’s harder to say, the modern technology has made it easy to cheat in the studio but on the other hand the metal underground is going strong with the huge amount of cassettes and rehearsals tapes still released. So I don’t know, a difficult question. But it’s interesting to see where the music industry is going, since album sales are reducing everyday.
8. What do you think will be the listening medium/environment in let’s say 10 years from now? Do you think digital will reign supreme or do you think there’ll be a physical medium that will catch up?
Mikael: As I already said in the previous question, will be interesting to see. The people that love to listen to albums and buy the physical copies are not going anywhere, at least not for some decades. I don’t think it’s relevant to try and fight the digital but rather embrace the both. With my own bands I like to have everything available as digital but also offer physical releases that offer the buyer something worth their money. I think that’s the gist.
Matti: I think it is pretty clear that the digital medium will keep growing. In ten years it will probably be the most commonly used platform but at the same time I hope and think, that there’ll always be a certain amount of hardcore music lovers, who want to have the music in physical format, as a whole piece of art.
9. Any hot new bands out there we should check out?
Mikael: I don’t know anything about hot or new but some of my late favorites include Pvris: an alternative electronic pop/rock trio from the US, Martyrdöd: awesome swedish crust/punk band, try their album Elddop!, Now,Now – their album Threads is the best indie album I’ve heard in a while, and Tryer – probably the best hardcore band from Finland. Catch them live, they will blow you away!
Matti: You should probably try those that Mikael mentioned. I tend to listen the same bands that I found and fell in love with some twenty years ago. With all the work and kids and stuff, I have found it pretty hard to find time to explore new bands, so I stick to the old ones 😀