It’s a fact that Tuomas Saukkonen is one of the most prolific musicians in the metal scene nowadays. He has been composing and playing for almost two decades with a decent amount of recordings behind his back, earning respect from metalheads around the globe through all these years.
In 2013 WOLFHEART replaced all of his previous projects like BEFORE THE DAWN, COLD SUN AEON or DAWN OF SOLACE, putting together the passion and inspiration displayed in those bands. Five years later, Constellation of the black light continues to create a legacy that is carving his name in the vastness of metal universe.
Subterráneo Webzine: Hi there! First of all I want to thank you for your time. I am very aware that you must be busy as hell, as you are in the middle of a US tour right now. How is it going so far?
Tuomas Saukkonen: So far it has been going really well. Better than expected.
Subterráneo Webzine: This is WOLFHEART´s first US tour. ¿Why took it so long? It seems like people there have been waiting for this tour for years.
Tuomas Saukkonen: We got the first US tour offers already around our previous album Tyhjyys and Shadow World got already a lot of air time in US radio stations but I wanted to wait until we had a good and strong label in US, signed contract to North American booking agency and also management and finally with our 4th album everything was set and here we are.
Subterráneo Webzine: By the end of the tour, WOLFHEART would have visited a lot of different places, and almost every important country in terms of metal audience. Which city or country you haven´t played yet would be your fist choice to tour in?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Would be really cool to get to play in Australia or go to very extreme places like Siberia. There is still a lot of places to visit after these tours.
Subterráneo Webzine: And is there, for any reason, any city or country where you would refuse to perform?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Hmmm… WOLFHEART is not a political or religious band and we would go anywhere to play for fans of (our) metal music if the venue and facilities makes it possible for us to play a show.
Subterráneo Webzine: Let´s talk about the new album. For those who still haven´t heard it, could you tell us what are they going to find?
Tuomas Saukkonen: I rather let people to click their way to spotify where the full album is already available and check out themselves. I always rather let the music speak on its own when possible.
Subterráneo Webzine: I can see a subtle change in COTBL from last work Tyhjyys. It seem like it’s moving away from some doom metal vibe and approaching to a more blackened style, colder and harsh. Were you looking to create a different atmosphere or is it just an aesthetic choice?
Tuomas Saukkonen: I wanted to steer the music a bit more into melodic black metal direction and skipped really slow songs from this album. There is still many slower and softer passages in many songs so I don’t feel like the step towards faster material has been too steep.
Subterráneo Webzine: I know that the current recording is always the best, but trying to be objective, could you tell us which aspects of this album overcome previous releases?
Tuomas Saukkonen: To be able to top the previous album there is always a lot of work to be done and that was also the case with COTBL. I wanted to do more work with pre-production and give a bit more room for the keyboard arrangements for this album. Also wanted to really push Joonas (drummer) to the edge with tempos in some of the songs and when it comes to guitars and drums it is definitely the most demanding album so far.
Subterráneo Webzine: Few months ago you signed to Napalm Records, and it seems like a big step for the band. How did this change come to happen?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Our contract with Spinefarm came to an end and we negotiated for several months with different labels and in the end Napalm was the number one. It is definitely a big step for us to have big label both in Europe and US. Signing with Napalm and also with Hard Impact management are the biggest factors that made it possible to start touring in North America.
Subterráneo Webzine: Do you think that this had affected the process of creating a new album or the way the band works?
Tuomas Saukkonen: I have 100% artistic freedom so label has no saying to the music but of course having such a strong machinery behind us gives a lot of motivation and energy for the band also.
Subterráneo Webzine: Many of the songs in these four albums speak about winter, war, inner struggles and negative emotions like anger, fear or pain. Is there a place in WOLFHEART for spring landscapes and positive emotions?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Never… (laughs). I dont mean to write dark lyrics with an ending note that all is lost. There is always strength and power in those stories. Using anger as power, overcoming the fear, etc. The long awaited final winter that buries us all can also be a positive thing… depending how you look at it.
Subterráneo Webzine: Apart from your own thoughts and feelings, has the current political, economic and social situation in Finland or the rest of the world any effect when you are composing a new song?
Tuomas Saukkonen: WOLFHEART is not religious or political band and don’t want to take any stand to the current world crisis with my lyrics. I have my own strong opinions when it comes to the times at hand but would never use my music to underline those. Dark times are coming so I think WOLFEHART will provide suitable soundtrack for the future years.
Subterráneo Webzine: This is WOLFHEART’s fourth album, you are about to celebrate twenty years of music career. First of all, congratulations!
Tuomas Saukkonen: Thank you for making me feel old (laughs).
Subterráneo Webzine: Do you still feel the same excitement about a new recording?
Tuomas Saukkonen: I do. The more you do the more you learn and start to focus on the more important things with each album and by that you always find something new either from the music you write or from yourself as a writer. Current excitement is also fueled with super busy times when it comes to touring, a lot of new places where we get to tour in near future.
Subterráneo Webzine: You left all your previous projects to focus on Wolfheart. After five years, does it satisfy all your creative needs or is there any chance to revive some of the old bands?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Well…been writing solo material for few years now but I have no hurry to start actual recordings and WOLFHEART will lead the way for now. Haven’t also put much thought would that solo material come out under a new name or maybe under DAWN OF SOLACE since the material is pretty close to that project but we will see. Anyway it would be a solo project without any “musical career” goals, tours, etc.
Subterráneo Webzine: I know this is a big question but what role does music play in your life? Is it a job, a hobby o something more?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Music itself is a way to channel a lot of things, express myself and in a way communicate with my own way about things I would never speak to anybody. There is of course a lot of work that comes with music so beside the artistic side it is also a job and since I love playing different instruments and learning constantly it is also my favourite hobby
Subterráneo Webzine: Just one more question. Something I’m curious about. If you had to make a song to transmit the same message and emotions contained in this concept called WOLFHEART, what music or art genre would you choose?
Tuomas Saukkonen: Instrumental song with a music video. Like a short movie with the music as a soundtrack.
Subterráneo Webzine: Anything you want to say to our readers?
Tuomas Saukkonen: See you on november!
Subterráneo Webzine: Thank you very much for your time. Have a great tour. See you in november!