Jouni..the guitarist, vocalist and band founder of Whispered nicely answered our questions
Kiitos for letting us interview you. Let's begin with discovering a bit more about the band. How did everything start? What's the story of the band ?
Everything started somewhere in 2004, when I formed the band with my classmates. Of course a lot has happened after that. Our musical direction was first like very basic melodic death / power metal, but quite early on I figured what we wanted do with our music and concept. Oriental folk influences seemed a really interesting idea, so I gave it a go
From where does your name come from ? How did you get the idea for it ?
We wanted a name that doesn’t label us to any specific genre or anything, something that’s simple and works. Whispered also reflects nicely the contrast in our music. We have stuff that’s really atmospheric and serene, and we have stuff that rips your guts out.
Where does this fascination for the Japanese folklore comes from? Why the samurai era especially as your main inspiration?
I’ve been interested in Japanese aesthetics for a very long time, and the young and ambitious me wanted to create something unique so I just one day tried to mix in metal riffs with some Japanese folk instruments. I think it’s still quite a fresh concept and we still have much to learn about everything. I can’t say that the "samurai era" is the main inspiration, since I get inspired about almost everything, but Japanese culture has shitload of things that work really well in the world of metal music.
Whispered's music genre is often called "samurai metal". What do you think of this name?
First I didn’t really want us to be labeled in such genre, but nowadays I don’t mind since we draw influences from so many metal genres, it’s maybe difficult to come up with something exact. Samurai metal works nicely and it sounds pretty cool
Beside the Japanese themes, are there any particular things or people that influence your music?
Well our influences vary from all kind of great metal bands to progressive rock, jazz and whatnot.. We really listen to all kinds of music (We’re often blasting Abba from the stereos when we drive to our shows !), but main influences for me come from mostly northern metal bands, soundtracks from games and movies and Japanese folk.
Your first two albums "Thousand Swords" and "Shogunate Macabre" were great successes and have given you a strong and loyal fanbase. Did you think at the beginning that the band would have such a success?
I really didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, but luckily many people seem to dig us ! Like many bands often say, I think we have the best fans in the world. They seem to be really passionate about everything we’re trying to do here and that’s truly amazing. I hope to meet them all in the shows and stuff !
Your new album “Metsutan – Songs of the Void” will soon be released. Tell us more about the making of this album. What were your main ideas for it?
This is the first album we made slowly a bit by bit and it’s a very diverse release maybe reflecting the best parts of the first and the second album. I don’t know about main ideas, but the progress of the upcoming release was the most hard and rewarding yet. I had tons of ideas for the songs both musically and lyrically and once again there are some melodies or riffs that have been hanging with me for a while, yet most of the stuff is very recent.
Did you notice a certain evolution compared to your previous albums?
Yea of course, and if I didn’t notice anything like that we would not release the album. Since the beginning I’ve always had a strong vision where we should go with our music, and I’m really happy that this time I think we took a huge leap forward with everything. Everything is quite nicely balanced and we all think the songs are better than ever before. Hopefully we’ll feel like this from every album now on.
If you have to choose one song among all the songs you made, which one would it be and why ?
Tricky question, but maybe ‘Tsukiakari’ from the new album. It turned out about exactly how I heard it my head and the song’s atmosphere is just right I think. I have to mention other song too and that is ‘Bloodred Shores Of Enoshima’ also from the new CD. It’s the most ambitious song we’ve ever made and it was painful yet fun to put together.
Some of the people who will read this interview don't know your music. What can you say for giving them desire to discover you ?
If you enjoy catchy melodies, symphonic elements and kickass metal with some samurai spirit, check us out !
If someone will come to see you live, what kind of show will he/she see ?
They’ll witness energetic and powerful experience. We label our fans as warriors so come and enter the battle with us !
How do you imagine the perfect Whispered gig? What kind of props or decors would you use to make the atmosphere and looks of the show Whispered-like?
Shit. First of all we’d need few Japanese folk instrument experts, symphonic orchestra and all kinds of props. The stage could be like a huge abandoned kabuki theatre with some story-driven acts of fighting, drama and taiko-drum sections in the intermissions. Insanely huge bloody banners on both sides of the stage and some fires burning in the front. I feel bankrupt just thinking about it.
What are your plans for the future?
Get more connections outside of Finland, play as much shows as possible and already write some new stuff.
If you could recommend some Finnish artists to discover, who would they be ?
We have so many talented and great bands in Finland, but maybe I’ll mention some not so big groups (yet !). Brymir is a great a metal band with some symphonic elements and good sense of melody, Vesperith is a really mystical and atmospheric project with amazing female vocals and Poutatorvi makes really cool jazzy brassy game music influenced slightly progressive ska/disco stuff ! Check these out !
Thank you for giving us some of your time. Is there something you want to say to FI Musica's followers ?
Thanks for the interview ! Come to our shows, buy everything we have to offer and Hail Gojira !
(Interviewer : Elodie & Isa )