interview with Vortech

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, the three of us (Juha, Mikko, Ville) used to play together in a band called Coldway back in 2005-2006. Ville also plays in Mors Subita, Pigmill and Darker Grounds.

How is it that you started playing music? After listening to a lot of music, I wanted to give playing guitar a try and then after a few months of practicing, I already started writing my own songs. So, very early on! After a while I also learned some other instruments like keyboard, bass and drums.

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? I'm Juha Untinen, and I compose all the songs and most of the lyrics. I play guitar, bass and synths, plus also electronic drumpads on the new album "...of What Remains". Ville Miinala has been our drummer since 2010 and Mikko Nikula joined around early 2012 doing vocals. We're all around 30 years now.

Have you had other previous members? When we started, it was just me and Tero Konola, and we did most of the programming together and then I played the guitars and Tero played bass. Later on, Tero started to do the drums too, but he left before we could release any records with him on drums. Then later on in late 2007, Matti Särkimäki joined as a full time vocalist, and he did vocals until 2012.

Did you make music even when you were young? Yes, since around 16, although most of those songs are quite simple. We wrote a lot of songs before any official releases were made - probably closer to 50 songs.

Where are you from? All of us are from Northern Finland, even the past members.

What year did the band form? Basically already in 2000, but we changed the name to Vortech in late 2005 and released our first full length with that name in early 2006.

What's your style of genre? The majority of the songs are death metal with lots of industrial and electronic elements, and played at quite fast tempos. We also have a lot of ambient songs and a couple of more orchestral black metal inspired songs, also some heavy mid-tempo songs here and there.

What inspires you? Science fiction movies and books mostly, at least for the lyrics. The music is of course inspired by listening to hundreds of different bands from different styles. It's quite fun to mix and match different things to create something that works well together.

How often and where do you reherse? Quite rarely nowadays due to long distances, but when we do it's usually 2-3 hours non-stop every day during a couple of days.

How have you developed since you started with the music? The original style was quite basic heavy metal with some synths added, but over time and with new skills, it has evolved into the fast, futuristic and electrified style we have nowadays. Of course there's always time to experiment, like our previous album The Occlusion was. That was a very different one compared to the usual, with a strong emphasis on the industrial and electronic things, and lots of experimentation in the riffs too.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Sure, if there is an interested party, it would be good to see what they can offer. At the moment we are quite self-sufficient though, and can get an album out there quite efficiently. I guess it would be more about a distribution deal.

What made you decide to make this music? I've always had lots of ideas about a futuristic world with many dark aspects, and the 7 albums so far have been mostly about a world like that. All the different sides and locations, and of course the events. In a way, you could construct a short movie around the themes of any of our albums and have the songs as the soundtrack.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I have written all our songs so far - I guess there are around 120 songs, of which 80 have been released so far. The lyrics for them are also mostly by me, with Mikko having written about half the lyrics for our previous album The Occlusion (2014).

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Almost all the songs so far have started with the music, although I have written maybe 10 full lyrics before having any music. So far five of those have been used as the lyrics for released songs - most of them in the new album, actually! Although for the future album after "...of What Remains", I have written lyrics for 7 songs which have no music yet. It will be a unified theme between all them. Hopefully it works, as it's quite an interesting concept!

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Nah, I usually write just in the computer room, where I normally sit. I just grab the guitar and write 10 or so riffs, and continue from there...

Have you done any covers live? We haven't played any covers live, but there have been a couple of unreleased cover songs. For example "Civil War" by Funker Vogt, as a very metallic version. There's also a couple of other covers I've posted on SoundCloud, but in my own account. But the sound is quite similar, naturally.

What language do you sing in? All the songs so far are in English, but there is one verse in Finnish on our EP "Infocalypse". I've also done a couple of joke songs in German. It's a fun and rhyming language, hehe.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Every show we have done so far has had a different setlist, with only a couple of songs played more than twice. It's something I also enjoy in both our shows and when watching other bands. It's fun to hear a rare song here and there.

What was your latest gig? It was during a very hot summer evening way up in Rovaniemi, Finland. It went well and the other bands very also very good! There were around 50 people watching at a very intimate (literally) underground club.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? We haven't had any firm plans, but it would be great to play in Germany, where we have a lot of fans. And of course more in the southern parts of Finland, since for some reason we still haven't played here.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Our very first items were actually our first three full length albums, which we had made all at the same time during the release of the third full length album. The previous two had been released as digital versions in the previous years, but we also got them on CD as they are very nice albums too!

Where can people buy your merchandise? You can buy pretty much directly from us from either our BandCamp page at https://vortech.bandcamp.com/music where you can also buy our T-shirts and Hoodies at https://vortech.bandcamp.com/merch We also have a shop at our website, http://www.vortechmusic.com where you can buy from us via PayPal.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? It's a great way to discover new bands and find more music. We actually released our first 6 albums for free as mp3 downloads and you can get them from our official website. You can also of course buy uncompressed FLAC versions through our BandCamp.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? We are from the digital age, so to speak, so we haven't seen the old days of selling CDs via record labels. For us, it has always been the same way that it is nowadays: record the music, release it online, and people who really enjoy the music will buy the digital or CD version . I guess it is more work for the band, but it's quite rewarding to talk with fans directly.

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, hehe. We do very marginal music, in terms of popularity, so it's always good to have new people discover and enjoy the music.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? It's quite balanced between both, but it is harder and harder to create something completely new, as little by little everything has already been done. And the western music scale is quite limited, at least technically. The most interesting things come from combining two completely unrelated things. For example industrial music is quite often disliked by the fans metal, and vice versa, so it's very rewarding to combine those two styles in a way that makes sense, at least for me...

What advice would you give other bands or artists? There's not much money to be made, so just keep doing the style of music you really want to do. It's far more rewarding personally.

Do you have any new material? The new album has been out just under 2 weeks, but yes, there are four demo songs ready for the next album. And also the 7 quite complete lyrics. If you check our discography, we are quite active in terms of composing new songs - in the past 10 years, we have released 7 full length albums and 1 EP, and we also have one unreleased EP from the previous album's sessions.

What are your web sites? You can check our official website at http://www.vortechmusic.com and you can also find us at the usual places (Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud) with the name "VortechMetal" and our Youtube channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/VortechBand

How can people reach you? Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/vortechmetal or send us a guestbook message on our official website!

What are your plans for the future? Writing more music and checking if there are some good live show opportunities!

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