Sinamore - "Life of sins"
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From Napalm Records comes the brand new album "Seven sins a second" by the finish gothic metal act Sinamore previously known under the names Halflife and H/L. Based in Hamina, Sinamore released their first album "A New Day" in January 2006. And good to know, the material on this album was actually planned to be released on a Japanese label but since that one folded the band went on the search for a new home which they quickly found with the legendary Napalm Records. We spoke to guitar player Tommi Muhli about this quest and their brand new release. (By Bernard Van Isacker)
SL. First this, "Better alone" was released as a free download single. What has been your experience with this?
T. So far the reactions have been really good and it seems people like the new darker sound of ours. There´s been more downloads than I ever expected to be and I think that when for example the digital sales amounts are still a bit low this was the right thing to do. The only reason we did this was to make people more open to try our stuff and not to think about the cost or whatever.
SL. I guess that releasing the new album "Seven sins a second" now was welcome in order to show the band's progression to "A New Day" which was in fact a re-recorded album?
T. Well....few of the songs on "A New Day" were re-recorded and in addition we recorded new songs we had ready ´till that time on it. You could kinda think that we just made a really expensive pre-production before hitting the studio (laughs). I think it is about time for us to release some new stuff and in my opinion we made a good job with the new album. We wanted to make everything bigger and better this time and definitely more organic and melancholic. In my opinion the change is quite big but still there's plenty of this our "old sound" on it...so we don't sound like a completely different band but a band that have developed it's sound to a new dimensions of darkness if so to say. There are loads of weird little spices and experiments here and there to colour up the atmosphere and mood. On the debut we were so short of studio time that there wasn't just simply enough time to record any extras...All the vocals for example were recorded in 8 hours or so. This time we sometimes even had the opportunity for a re-take (laughs).
SL. Were there any kind of weaknesses you did see on your label debut?
T. There are always things you could do better. Even though we had recorded part of the songs earlier we still were short at time in the studio so there was not much space for creativity and re-takes. Some of the arrangements were just not that good on it and we could have done better if we had some more time in the studio to even think every step more than once - it kinda feels flat and synthetic because there ain't that much of fat on it. I think that the production part kinda went wrong with that...it's a good album with good songs and stuff but you can always do better.
SL. How quick did you start on the new album?
T. We have never stopped writing and new songs and ideas come out all the time. So. I think we already had new songs ready while we were recording the debut. We for example played one of the songs on the new album at the debut release party (laughs). We demoed some of the new songs in the end of 2006 before going on tour in Europe and the pre-production for "Seven Sins A Second" started sometime in April 2007 - we hit the studio in May. So we kinda took our time in the process of making the new one.
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SL. How was recording with Aleksanteri Kuosa whom we known from his work for Before the Dawn, Dawn of Solace, Profane Omen, and so on?
T. Working with Aleksanteri was really easy. He is very honest and straight with his opinions and helped us a lot with some of the decisions we had to make in the studio. Aleksanteri is very talented engineer and has loads of fresh and crazy ideas. We are in a way old fashioned that we write most of our stuff at our rehearsal room... We don't know a shit about computers or other recording hi-tech. So, we have to think about the final arrangements quite much in the studio and we were again doing the actual recordings in a hurry and to have someone like Aleksanteri to ask opinions really helps to save some time and money.
SL. Btw, your debut was released back in January 2006. That was 8 years after the release of your first demo "My Grace" which was released in 1998 under the name Halflife... That took time!
T. Yep...but you have to remember that we were also quite young at that point. Well...I wasn't in the band at that time but still. So, when compared to for example some Finnish top exports we're still 5-10 years younger than they are...that means we got loads of time to develop ourselves to be the best band in the world (laughs).
SL. A Finnish band signed to a Japanese label... I would start to think that one has to start somewhere? Please explain how that comes about and what went wrong?
T. Yeah, I think it's a bit weird too (laughs). It was quite normal pattern. They showed interest and we made a deal for one album. It was kinda safe for us at that point. The contract with them was actually better than good but it's a shame that they had to go through some financial troubles at the time...so we felt more safe to cut the deal and suffer our losses and continue without them.
SL. How did the deal with Napalm Records come about?
T. We were sending out the record we made for the Japanese label and one day I sent an e-mail to Napalms A&R to ask if they had received the CD...they didn't. So, I sent them the CD asap and they offered us a deal - pretty simple when thinking back to those days. Nowadays it's more complicated :)
SL. Being a Finnish gothic metal band does give you an extra credibility, no? What is your experience with this 'geolocation fame'?
T. I think now when the hype is at its best it creates some pressure to be true. The press is always comparing our stuff to our fellow workers and it's hard to compete with bands like HIM and Nightwish for example 'cos they've already made the name....and of course because of their half million euro production budgets...our 5.000 doesn't quite give us Pip and London session orchestra. Anyway, even though we would play Black Metal we would most likely be compared to these two bands... The only thing that we can do is to put all our heart and thought into the stuff and deliver the ideas we have with the resources on hand. Then it's up to the listeners to judge if we've achieved something or not...
SL. What sets you apart from other Finnish goth metal bands?
T. Sinamore is more organic and guitar driven than most of the goths around. I also think our stuff is more dark and more metal in a way. The stuff is also very versatile so there's loads of different influences heard on the album...thrash, doom, rock, pop... everything (smiles). We deliver our goth the way people always wanted it to be - louder than hell! (laughs)
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