interview with Skein

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What´s the name off bands? Skein

What made you to be baptized to just "Skein"? Thefreedictionary defines "Skein" as "a) A length of thread or yarn wound in a loose long coil" or "b) Something suggesting the coil of a skein; a complex tangle." We wanted a short and a simple name and liked how the word fits to our musical imaginery. There's also a reference to Meshuggah song "Corridor of Chameleons".

Who started the band? Skein was originally built on the ruins of an old band by a group of friends, but since then the line-up has changed almost completely.

Tell us a brief introduction of who you are? Skein is an alternative metal group from Tampere, Finland.

How did you meet? Our histories with each other vary quite a lot: Our singer was "found" through a mutual friend; our other guitarist was introduced to the band when he "auditioned" for the open singer position; the other guitarist and bass player went to the same middle school; our drummer and bass player have known each other through other local bands for a long time already and even played together on various occasions before Skein.

What is your name?/Who plays what?/How old are you? Skein is Sami Silvennoinen (vocals), Jouni Hänninen (guitar), Jarno Ojala (guitar), Kari Ruissalo (drums) and Juha Höyssä (bass). Our average age is somewhere around thirty.

What was the plan when you started the band? Our plan was, and still is, to express ourselves and create music. And to have some fun in the process.

Explain to those who have not heard you, how does your music? Skein's music is a mixture of heavy guitar riffs and more atmospheric parts, with vocals varying from screams to clean, melodic singing.

Who writes the songs?/Who does the music? Usually we start with some basic guitar parts made by Juha or Jouni, working on the songs together. Everyone contributes to the arrangements. All the ideas are welcome.

Who has the best humor? Sometimes it feels like we have only bad humor.

What you drive for music style? Our style is a combination of our own musical preferences, individual tastes and ideas mixed together. There's no "rules" of what we can or cannot do, but some elements - like melancholy, experimentation with rhythms and structures, and focus on dynamics - are naturally present in our songs.

What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? On our debut album Of Wings Unfolding, we focused on fear, a basic feeling that we all experience and have to deal with our own ways. Our own fears are used against us on a daily basis in order to run this world.

Do you own songs or covers? We focus on our own songs.

Have you released any album or single? Our discography includes a self-titled EP (2005), demo "The Key I-III" (2011), EP "Children of Light" (2012) and our debut album "Of Wings Unfolding" (2014).

What do you sell for merchendise gadgets? Currently we have a T-shirt on sale, alongisde the CD and the previous EP.

What does it cost? The shirt is 12 euros.

Have you done any music videos? Yes, we released our first music video for the song "Parasitoid" from our debut album in 2014.

How has your music evolved since you began playing music together? I think we've grown heavier, but also learned how to explore the lighter sides of our music better. We're constantly learning.

What are your dreams with the band? To play great shows, reach new people and make better music.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? I'd say it is time. We all have "day jobs" and are busy with our personal lives also. Getting five guys together often enough is sometimes challenging.

Describe your show, visual and musically We try to deliver our songs with emotion and give the audience something to take home with them. We concentrate on the music and leave gimmicks and stunts to those who feel more comfortable with them.

What's places you can play on the "Tampere"? There are many great places here, for example: Klubi, Vastavirta, Jack the Rooster. Tampere has a lively music scene.

How is it this time of year to get out on the gig? Any time of year is great time to play!

What are your two big favorite songs you done? There's a couple of new awesome things that we're still working on...

Have you had any previous bands? We all have played in various groups before and some of us are still working with other bands. Some bands we are and have been associated with are Vala (http://www.valayhtye.net/), Outwailed (http://outwailed.bandcamp.com/), Pofony and Aida.

How important are your fans? We truly appreciate the support of our fans!

How old were you at your first concert you saw? Have no idea... Probably quite small. First "real" rock concert for me was probably somewhere around my teens.

How old were you when you were on a stage for the first time? The first time I performed live with a band playing our own songs, I was probably around 16 years old.

Besides your music style you play what do you like the music still enjoy listening to? I think I have quite wide musical taste, varying from extreme metal acts to hip hop, and from cinematic movie soundtracks to Toto!

What drives a band that is not very well known and live on it to continue to play? Music is a way of self-expression and a fun hobby. We also like to challenge ourselves all the time. I guess we have all been doing this for so long already that it seems kind of natural to do this, "success" or not.

When did you start off band? Skein was "officially" founded somewhere around 2004, so it's 10-year anniversary for the band this year.

Where have you played from 2008 to 2014? Most of our shows have been in Tampere, but we've gotten a chance to visit other places like Helsinki and Hyvinkää, too. Next week, we'll be heading to Lahti.

Do you always the same songs live or vary it? There’s some variation, depending on the show.

What countries have you played in? We haven't been outside Finland, yet. Hopefully someday we'll get to visit other countries too.

What is your pre-show ritual? We don't have any special rituals, usually we just chill and maybe have a few beers before going on stage.

What are your favorite and least favorite venues you up on the wood? For me, Klubi here in Tampere is great!

Best/worst performed gig? We actually tried to think about this on one of our latest trips. The shows this year have all been fun. But for worst, it's hard to say. Our guitarist Jarno had a high fever on one of our shows, he didn't have good memories of that one.

How many people usually come to your gig? It has varied quite a lot. We're currently playing quite small places, so there's usually less than hundred people there. But it's not the quantity that matters, it's the quality!

Where do you plan to play the rest of the year? There are few shows lined up and we are looking for more.

What do you think of that they go to download music from the internet instead of buying records? It's easy. There's also so much stuff available, that people "sample" stuff online.

What is your outlook on the record industry today? Well, from what I've been reading... It's not looking too bright. But it also seems that the industry has not evolved to meet the needs of their customers. I do believe that there will always be "demand" for good music, but making a living on it seems to get harder and harder, even for some of the big boys.

When you do a song where are you going/what inspires your music? Lot of stuff inspires us. It can be a movie, a book, something on the news, but it can also be just a feeling or a thought. Sometimes all it takes is to have an instrument in your hand. And of course other musicians inspire us daily.

What's the best and worst of playing clubs? The best thing is the chance to play your songs to the audience and in that way, communicate with them. And the way that you can lose yourself to the moment. I guess the worst thing is carrying the equipment, but we're used to that already.

What are your web pages? www.skeinband.com

Is it easier to draw inspiration from older bands than the bands that are active today? I think we're inspired by both old and new music. It is great to see how music evolves.

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