Finland based Ill Omen don't play around when it comes to hardcore. Somewhere on this website I've said they're like the attitude of New York and the evil of Cleveland combined in one. Add a little bit of Detroit's coldness and you'll get the whole picture. The band has recently released 7" (read review) and split Ep with Get Stitches!
Finland based Ill Omen don't play around when it comes to hardcore. Somewhere on this website I've said they're like the attitude of New York and the evil of Cleveland combined in one. Add a little bit of Detroit's coldness and you'll get the whole picture. The band has recently released 7" (read review) and split Ep with Get Stitches!Things have been pretty busy for Ill Omen recently – you’ve got split with Get Stitches! just couple of months after your 7” came out. Are you satisfied with the way things been going so far?
Markus: The Split 7" was supposed originally to come out soon after our own 7", late 2009. We went into studio with a rush to get our songs tracked, but it turned out that Get Stitches! faced some problems and they recorded their songs in couple sessions, so it took a bit more time. I'm just happy that the record is finally out and that Get Stitches! are now getting back to active (they were in hiatus after they recorded their songs). Split turned out to be very good and we're happy with it, i hope that people will like the songs from both bands. With the split we kinda are showcasing also our hometown, Turku's hardcore scene.
I have to admit the new songs sound fucking reckless. How long did you spend on them in terms of writing and recording?
Markus: I think that Dear Friends was written around time we got our "S/T" 7" released and we started thinking about writing some new songs. I had been talking about doing the split with Aku, original drummer of Get Stitches! (who plays on the Split and GS! demo) for awhile after our 7" came out. So when all the plans came reality and we decided to really do the split 7", we started working on our another song, TCHC. I think that the process was something like that.
Heikki and Teemu usually write the songs and then i write the lyrics and arrange them, but them we think of it together to make everything fit perfect. I think that TCHC was actually written little time before we had studio reserved and we rehearsed it quite a lot in very little time, but it's good since it turned out to be a real fucking bomb. Huge thanks to our brothers who came down to lay off some guest vocals, so Pirkka, Juuso and Oskari really made the song complete, bringing some true "Turku style" to the song.
We asked Ville from Breamgod to do some guest vocals on Dear Friends, couple weeks before we hit the studio and he was glad to come, so our side of the split shines because of our friends helping us out, haha. Tracking itself was done in one day, Teemu and Heikki laid down drum and guitar tracks, then all the vocals, gangshouts etc and after that Heikki did some guitar leads etc, it took one whole day. Big ups for Ansa Studios for making us sound great again and stretching their time to our use.
Your sound seem to mix up a different styles of hardcore, what are your biggest influences when writing?
Markus: I can say only behalf of lyrics, since Heikki is our main songwriter musicwise, but i think the overall sound comes from shit we all love, bands like Death Threat, Terror, Metallica, Cold As Life, Furious Styles, Merauder, Integrity and of course all the Finnish bands who have probably influenced us the most. I love so many hardcore bands, as you might have guessed, but things i write are mainly about what i see in life and what caughts my eye. I'm trying to say things i think need to be said, my view on things, good and bad. There's a lot "basic" issues about how our world is bound to go to hell. Humanity is the devil, that's the truth, we are our own devils and human's capability to doing evil is another endless inspiration, you see shit every day in news, you wouldn't ever even imagine could happen. I also draw influences from other stuff i'm into, graphic novels, horror literature, movies and things like that, there's a quote from perhaps the greatest graphic novel of all time, The Watchmen (by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons) on our song No One Watching Over Us, that's on our 7". There's also couple other quotes i've used, including something from bands i love like The Smiths, Machine Head, E-Town Concrete and so on. You'll see the contrast there, i mean we all got really broad tastes on music. Influences, quoting and loaning things are cool, but they can't be everything, so i'm just trying to have my say, you know.
Was it important for you to have your music released on vinyl format?
Markus: For me it is, i think all of us love vinyl records, only our bass player Ode doesn't own record player, but i think he digs 'em still. It's the most impressive and most hands-on experience when you pick up an 7" or 12", check out the artwork, lyrics and take the record and drop the needle on the plate. Nothing beats listening music like that. I think it also sounds better, only downside it that it's really damn expensive to put out a 7" or LP. I hope we put out more vinyl releases in future, but it would be cool that our stuff would be available on CD as well and i'd like to have "digital download" -coupons included, if we in future put out another vinyl release.
Do you have any goals set for the band with the split? Like playing more shows or even tour Europe?
Markus: Most important point with this Split was to get some attention to both bands. Fuck YES we'd tour Europe, if there's any interest and we get things rolling right! So any show organizers, we're all ready to come and take a chance to check out how hardcore's doing in Europe, or anywhere else! I've been talking about getting something set up in Denmark and it's pretty solid as we speak, we are going to play probably 2 shows in there in January 2011, one in Copenhagen and one in Fredericia maybe, after those shows we're heading to Sweden to play Deadfest Winter Edition 2011. Please contact us if you are interested on helping us out and setting shows four us. Only downside it that Teemu, the drummer is going to study exchange to Belgium for couple months in February 2011, but after he comes back, we're down for anything! Another goal of course is to write more material and release stuff, there’s couple new songs already and we’re trying to write more all the time.
And when you started Ill Omen, did you have a distinct vision of what you wanted the band to be or you just go with the flow?
Markus: In the very, very start i think we had some kind of vision to play heavy hardcore, but no significant direction. After we started playing together, it all just came down to what Heikki had came up with, he's making all the riffs and as i said, they build up the songs together with Teemu. Ill Omen was my first proper band, so i was just really excited to get into this, trying just roll on with what would come, learning the ropes and all. I think we just wanted to play hardcore, that was only thing we knew when we started playing.
What’s happening in Finland in terms of hardcore?
Markus: It's going strong. I've been going to shows for some 8 years now and things have changed a lot, but nowdays the scene seems to be growing bigger. There's been quite little of trend shifting, but it has happened here as well. Couple years ago everyone was into really heavy, rugged, streetwise hardcore, but nowdays it's not very cool. Some kids seem to shift "what they are into", through the years in cycles andmost do found their own place eventually, some went away and dissappeared. We got punks, metalcore kids, melodic hardcore / emometalcorewhatever kids, beatdown kids, youth crew kids and so on, but most important is that we got true hardcore kids, who like stuff across the plate and stay true to their ways. Hardcore holds so many different styles under it's label nowdays and everywhere there's always different factions, but there's no fights at shows or anything stupid, people get along but some just tend on liking their own stuff and staying with their own crowd. I think our scene is really good, there's shows happening and people travel from city to city to see shows. There’s lot of independent labels putting out records and kids keep on setting shows, so I think we’re doing fine here, I’d hope that kids all around would check out more Finnish bands!
What are some of the bands from over there we should check out?
Markus: Where do i start... let's see. St. Hood put out a new album and we were fortunate enough to play at their record release show, check that shit out it's on Combat Rock Industry and titled "For The Dead", heavy streetwise hardcore that has also cool heavy metal vibe going on. Then probably heaviest record ever came out from Helsinki is the new album Cutdown, "S/T" is out on Fullhouse Records, they are only getting better and better all the time, heavy shit for everyone who are into Dirty Jerzey shit and man do i love that sound! Last of the "bigger" bands, Bolt put out a stellar new full-length, "Behind Obstacles Lies Truth", Helsinki NYHC like they way it should be played, so good album, it's also out on Fullhouse Records. Then i gotta mention new Alley Gods album "Correcting Wrong Opinions", just out on Poolside Records and Psychedelica Records, it's hard as hell and fast as fuck old school hardcore, it's our drummer Teemu's first band, by the way. There's still more, man i could go on forever, then is You Can't Keep Me Down from Lohja, they play heavy, heavy beatdown hardcore with lotsa humor in it, not a joke band of anything, really good shit. YCKMD has a brand new split out just now with Helsinki's own H8 Inc., Third Man Down, who got little more punk-sound on the split, check both those bands out and pick the split, it's self-released. This years probably two hardest releases are Hammertime 12" and Become A Threat - Method In This Madness LP/CD, both out also on Fullhouse, check their whole catalogue! Foreseen from Helsinki (ex-In On Piece playing NYHC crossover) have gotten their 7" out too, as have Last Laugh and Remissions, so keep on checking out Killing The Legacy for latest great Finnish releases! I could go onforever dropping great names, haha. Peep also Poolside Record's catalogue from their MySpace here: http://www.myspace.com/poolsiderecs
I know you’re working on the first paper issue of the Killing The Legacy fanzine. How far are you with it and what should we expect to find in it?
Markus: First issue is pretty much done, but it's still in progress, graphics and shit need to be done, i think it's out this year, hahaha, at least i hope so. First issue will feature some really random shit by me and Toni (who's doing the graphics etc.), interviews with Trapped Under Ice, Hammertime and Become A Threat + new band Fit My Crime. Trying to make it so that next issue won't take too long after the first one is out. Killing The Legacy -blog is also back on track with reviews and downloads of Finnish bands and old classics, keep on checking it. We have also Killing The Legacy Fest 2011 coming up in Turku city, it's 7-8.1.2011 at S-Osis, Turku, two day fest with some of Finland's greatest bands: Become A Threat, Hammertime, End Begins, Last Laugh, Enemyblood, The Jacklads, The Random Sickos, Ill Omen, Get Stitches! & Ronskibiitti.
Best horror movie ever made? And what do you think about Halloween 2 from Rob Zombie and the guy in general?
Markus: This is a hard one, since i'm a huge horror fan. I'd say as a best horror movie, probably Evil Dead 1, that's it classic shit. I went to see Halloween By Rob Zombie on theater and when it came out and i gotta say it was brutal. The sense of violence was there and this is coming from a dude who loves to see gore fly and guts being spilled, i think Rob made the movie disturbing by purpose. It was a good movie thought, not too shocking but somehow too dull, don't know. I liked the Friday The 13th re-make more, even lots of people say it was crap. I think Rob doesn't make very good music, but House Of The 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects were really good movies and probably i'm gonna see Halloween 2 as well, but i'm not waiting very much of it. I love also zombie movies (there's zombie samples from George Romero's Day Of The Dead on our demo), check out Lucio Fulci's movies like City Of The Living Dead and Zombie Flesh Eaters, those are the shit, George A Romero is the man as well.
Tattoos, you’ve got a lot of them! What is your favorite one?
Markus: Yeah of course gotta be inked, haha. Hard to say what is my favourite, most important ones i got are my first straight edge tattoo, x'd hand grabbing my arm, gangsta-ass penguins on my leg and my still in progress backpiece.
Working gloves or tight pants?
Markus: Working gloves, mother fuckers.
How realistic is Ill Omen putting out full length album in the near future?
Markus: We got three or four songs now ready and we've been playing two of them live for some time. We've been planning on putting out an mini cd or something as a next release, don't know yet what's going to happen, but a new release will come out eventually. Were writing new songs currently and hope to record something before Teemu leaves to exchange, but we'll see. Making a full-length is really hard, but we'll do our best, what may come and I hope it’ll come out good.
Anything you would like to add before we wrap it up?
Markus: Thank you a lot for showing interest on us and making this interview!
Ill Omen / Get Stitches! Split 7" is out and available and can be ordered from Poolside Records (http://www.myspace.com/poolsiderecs). Check out "Dear Friends" on our MySpace. Check out Get Stitches! and Poolside Records, thanks to everyone who's helped us out. Anyone interested on booking us to play at your area hit us up: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a free 3-song sampler available for download, it features “Dear Friends” from the Split and two songs off our “S/T” 7”, so feel free to download it and spread the link: http://www.mediafire.com/?mx16t15rt24plc1