SHADE EMPIRE: "You can figure it out and use your imagination! ;)" (2008)
Founded in 1999, Kupio (Fi).
Harju - vocal
Niiranen - guitars
Sirkkiä - guitars
Savolainen - synth
Mantere - bass
Rasane - drumm
2008 - Zero Nexus
2006 - Intoxicate O.S.
2004 - Sinthetic
In the summer of this year the Finnish band Shade Empire has dealed a crushing blow (code-named “Zero Nexus”) to admirers of brutal metal. This blow was such power that Finns has joined to a rank “Hummer Battalion” («the Shock battalion»), and «the Shadow empire» is ready to act in the first European campaign, having united with veterans of a scene: Unleashed, Krisiun (Br.), One Man Army and the Undead Quarted.
On the other hand, reaction of critics to the third studio album Shade Empire was opposite: from delight, to full aversion. The majority of critics could not define style in which album has been written down: symphonic black, symphonic death, industrial, progressive?
To place all points over i, we have decided to inquire directly musicians. And the drummer of band Rasane has agreed to highlighting for us some «shadow corners» Empires.
MetalCat.ru: You started as Enrapture Silence. Why have you changed the name to Shade Empire?
Rasane: Shade Empire is just better name than ES. It also describes the music better.
MetalCat.ru: When you hear the name Shade Empire for the first time at once recollect a The Babylon 5 TV-series. But what does your band’s name means really?
Rasane: It doesn’t mean nothing specific. Just name which reflects our musical grimness… And it has been gave birth just couple hours before the first demo was made.
MetalCat.ru: What is your inspirations to create the lyrics and music for Shade Empire?
Rasane: I think we all have different sources to scoop our influences. It could be for example a good melody/song you hear, an interesting newsflash and all kind of things from the everyday life, you know.
MetalCat.ru: There are many definitions of style that Shade Empire plays: black, death, sympho black, even such an exotic as black electro. And how can you define your music style?
Rasane: Well the best definition would be the term “hybrid metal” which we’ve used since Zero Nexus came out. It kinda sucks to put your music in some certain genre especially when your music insn’t the easiest or not so normal music as SE’s music is.
MetalCat.ru: Is Zero Nexus your first conceptual album? What are other differences between Zero Nexus and your past releases except by conceptual integrity?
Rasane: ZN is the first conceptual album yes. Major difference in my opinion is that in ZN Shade Empire has clearly found their own sound. Sinthetic and Intoxicate O.S were some kind of experimentations. Sinthetic was a way more synth-oriented stuff and IOS was more guitar-oriented. In ZN those things are well-balanced and it’s nice combination of the earlier albums’ best parts.
MetalCat.ru: There is an intriguing phrase in booklet: “The original idea Of Zero Nexus created in the twisted mind of Itse Ruoja Suruntuoja”. Could you tell to Russian fans who is Itse Ruoja Suruntuoja (for those who still hasn’t realized)? There are rumors that he not only have inspired you but also produced your new album. Is it true?
Rasane: Itse Ruoja Suruntuoja is the man behind Ajattara (and also the former singer of Amorphis). He was supposed to produce vocals parts, but due to schedules he wasn’t able to do that and thus Studio Perkele’s Jack Tyger co-produced vocals together with Harju.
MetalCat.ru: Now let’s talk about "original idea of Itse Ruoja Suruntuoja" in your interpretation. What is your story about?
Rasane: In a nutshell story goes as follow: Ruoja developed that (Zero Nexus) story in his twisted mind and enlighted it to Harju at their mystical meetings. Harju got immediately excited by the story and began to edit it into the shape it is now.
MetalCat.ru: The suitable artwork is highly important for a conceptual album. Yours is very interesting. Can you tell how it was created?
Rasane: The artist (Tuomo Povelainen) was given certain ideas and Zero’s story so he could made illustrations, which goes hand in hand with the story. Despite that, we gave him pretty much “artistic freedom” and he made a very nice job with the artwork.
MetalCat.ru: During your performance at Tuska we noticed that live vocal work is more interesting than album version. Why do you need any guest-tenor for recording? For be cool only?
Rasane: Hmm, I haven’t noticed that during our gigs. Harju is very versatile guy what comes to singing, so I’m not surprised if he is improvising something parts live. It also could be a mixing-wise thing meaning that in live shows you are able to hear things more closely than in albums.
What comes to tenor vocals… Of course we’ll use real things instead of those midi things if we just can do it. Luckily we knew one guy who can sing tenor parts and was even willing to sing on Zero Nexus and the result is magnificent as you can hear!
MetalCat.ru: The saxophone is very seldom used at metal music, especially in such extreme direction that Shade Empire plays. Why you have decided to use the saxophone?
Rasane: We’re always open for new ideas. When guys were composing Victory they realized saxophone would fit this part and it surely does! That’s my favorite part on the album. Some people have been a quite astonished with that part but soon after the first shock they’ve noticed that this is something great!
MetalCat.ru: Shade Empire often is called one of the most aggressive bands in Finland. What do you think of such definition? Is your music really aggressive?
Rasane: Is it? Well, nice. In all, isn’t metal overall pretty aggressive music? Anyway, that definition fits us fine. Especially in live shows we’ll be offering pure aggression and violence. So it’d be better that you guys start to prepare yourselves to our Russian domination!
MetalCat.ru: Nowadays every musician has a good possibility "to be in contact" with the fans (gigs, forum, MySpace & etc). Is it really important for you? Have it effect for creative process?
Rasane: It’s nice to have a small chat with fans for example after a show and all those ways you mentioned. It’s kinda important to fans to know or notice that we’re reading all mails etc. they’re sending to us. However, I think it doesn’t effect to our acts what comes to composing songs – we do what we like and others’ opinions won’t affect it.
MetalCat.ru: What do you think about criticism? Does it affect of you? What could you to object those critics who have given a low valuation to Zero Nexus?
Rasane: It doesn’t affect as I said above. I’ve read couple of Zero Nexus reviews that shows clearly that the reviewer had listen it just once and thus Zero haven’t opened for him/her. But that’s his proplem, not mine. Average scoring points Zero have got would be something close to 8/10, which satisfies me at least.
MetalCat.ru: Zero Nexus was released in March, and your European tour starts only in December. As Russia doesn’t present in your schedule, please, reveal a secret, what set-list have you prepared to these gigs? Do you have any plans to shoot DVD or to record live album during this tour?
Rasane: Actually, ZN was released in Finland only in March. Rest countries followed somewhere around May or June… Unfortunately “Hammer Battalion” won’t reach Russian borders, but all you Russian fans out there; you’ve a change to see us live in St. Petersburg in November. Exact date was 15th of November and the event is called Colisium or something like that. For more info go http://www.colisium.ru/
Can’t reveal you a secret as we haven’t decided yet what we’re going to play. But something from every album… DVD nor the live album won’t be recorded at this point of career as that would require a lot of money.
MetalCat.ru: And last question. You have finished last song with very philosophical phrase: What is end to others is total victory for some. Does it mean that this story is over and we must expect something new in the future (next time)?
Rasane: It just means “What is end to others is victory for some!” I might be referring to the story or not. You can figure it out and use your imagination! ;)