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TORTURE KILLER INTERVIEW | Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum

TORTURE KILLER formed as a weekend party band doing Six Feet Under covers and decided to release an original album in the same vein as their idols in 2003 called "For Maggots To Devour". Then, in an amazing twist of fate, they came together with 'The Evil One' himself to form one of the most hard driving forces in Death Metal today. I had an opportunity to get some words from guitarist Jari Laine about the new force that has become TORTURE KILLER.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN AND WHAT THE MUSIC SCENE WAS LIKE GROWING UP THERE.

- Well actually my hometown is a very small 25.000 people sized, but it´s right in the outskirts of a bigger one. But when i was a kid and getting into music it was just those few guys i knew that were trading tapes at school - getting in touch with them and see if i had something to trade with those guys. A lot of my friends were into metal, but obviously when i got into more heavier stuff than Anthrax and Metallica i had to go look for somewhere else to get my music. There were some bands who did demos and getting an original copy of a demo tape was always a highlight of the week. There was no such thing as the fucking internet so if i got a hold of a flyer i usually ordered that mag or demo tape and looked for more bands and contacts from there.

AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE A MUSICIAN?

- Well i knew Sepultura was the band that made me want to get my own guitar, and it slowly started from there - eventually starting to write own riffs because all those tab books were too difficult for me at the time. I could learn a couple of basic riffs from my favourite Metallica and Sepultura songs but i never managed to learn a full song. So i just started writing the riffs i could play and those eventually turned into songs. Even to date i really can´t see myself as a musician, to me that term always consisted knowledge of theory aswell and i have zero knowledge of any musical theory or scale - i just know when i like the riff.

HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DEVELOPING YOUR MUSICAL SKILLS?

- At first it was trying to learn those cool riffs from tab books i was able to get from the library - like i said there was no internet you could go and get stuff. There was some Metallica, Sepultura, Slayer and Anthrax stuff but like i said i wasn´t skilled enough to learn a full song, the solos in particular were so much out of my league i didn´t even start looking at those. Then it moved on to trying to figure out riffs from tapes, bands that didn´t have a tab book out but bands i really liked, it was hard but i liked it more than any normal guitar lesson, a thing i went to once. The dickhead didn´t teach me to play those heavy chords but shoved some wimpy family song which i was supposed to learn how to play while reading a notebook. Fuck that, that wasn´t the thing i wanted to play - a basic heavy metal chord with distortion would´ve done it.

WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BANDS WHEN YOU WERE A TEENAGER?

- My biggest favourite at the time was Sepultura. Arise had just come out and i literally played my c -cassette until it broke, also Anthrax a bit earlier on together with Metallica of course. Then one night a friend of mine who lived in a newly built part of my town which had cable tv, recorded this show he had seen advertised in MTV...it was headbangers ball with the oh so juicy Vanessa - in that show i saw two videos that literally shocked me so totally that i knew i had to get my hands on these bands. One was Napalm Death with a video for "Suffer the Children" and the other one was Obituary with a live video recorded in Marquee, London called "Turned Inside Out". I couldn´t believe what was going on in those videos - and even if i didn´t fully couldn´t take all that brutality, both of those songs had these immensely cool riffs which i liked. We watched that tape propably like a hundred times and that´s what got me into more extreme side of metal.

HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BANDMATES AND HOW DID YOU ALL COME TOGETHER TO FORM TORTURE KILLER?

- I used to run a small death metal label some years ago and we released a CD from a local death metal band called Torn, so that´s where i knew Karppinen (guitars) and Latvala (drums) from. Me and a third friend of mine who i´d known for years wanted to start hanging out and play our Obituary and SFU songs for fun and since Latvala could play the drums and Karppinen could handle the bass at the time - we asked them to join us one weekend and jam a bit. That´s the thing that initiated the whole thing. After Karppinen moved to guitars he knew this guy who would be interested to join the jams and handle bass - that´s how i met Torniainen.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EARLIER RELEASES, THE WRITING, THE MUSIC ETC.

- After doing that jamming for about six months or so, we pretty much knew how to play all our favourite tracks. But we didn´t want to stop doing what were doing, so one day we just thought maybe we should try writing a few songs of our own - but keeping that same approach. One thing led to another and eventually we had our first album out on Karmageddon Media from Holland titiled "For Maggots to Devour". It contained 9 songs with very obvious influences, something we had written in a few months time and didn´t even think we would be recording them, not to mention having them out on a real label.

"SWARM" IS AN AMAZING ALBUM AND HAS ALREADY BECOME MY FAVORITE RELEASE OF 2006. TELL ME HOW THIS ALBUM ALL CAME TOGETHER AND HOW CHRIS CAME TO JOIN FORCES WITH TORTURE KILLER.

- Glad you like it. In late 2004 when we were going for our first European tour we had a complete crash with our previous vocalist just a few days before. We were lucky enough to find a replacement but all the plans we had for our second album were gone. We left a new post on our website explaining the situation that we are going to make the tour but without a line-up we couldn´t record an album and the future looked very uncertain for us - we knew it would be almost impossible to find anybody interested to play death metal in Finland. Chris picked up the news somewhere and was interested about the band name and looked us up, checked the stuff we have in our website and saw the situation we were at. I guess he felt honoured and appreciated the tribute sound and way we were going for, openly admitting our influnces. Then he just thought it would be a cool idea to help these guys out, kinda returning the respect.

TELL ME ABOUT THE WRITING AND THE MUSIC ON THE ALBUM.

- The basic idea was just to improve from the first one, still keeping the influences but taking more time analyzing each song more. Having the right arrangements on vocals and rhythms. We didn´t have any idea that these songs would be out on Metal Blade and Chris doing vocals on them - it was just trying to improve really. Chris ended up writing more than half of the album lyrics - something we have to struggle with the most and that´s the coolest thing about it. Not only having him sing on the album but actually writing the songs with us. He did an amazing job and he really lifted those songs to a new level with his vocal delivery and writing.

I'VE BEEN A FAN OF 'THE EVIL ONE' SINCE HIS EARLY DAYS WITH CORPSE. OBVIOUSLY, YOU GUYS TOO. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE KICKIN' ASS WITH CHRIS BARNES?

- It feels...unreal. It´s still very hard to come up with the right words to describe it. We feel very honoured and it´s still a total surprise and gets me thinking "How did it end up like this???" It was something we were totally unprepared for. It´s an honour beyond anything.

YOU'RE NOW PART OF THE METAL BLADE FAMILY. TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH METAL BLADE RECORDS.

- it´s working like clockwork, it enabled us to have Wes doing the album artwork, Erik to work on the sound...it´s like an all-star gallery of death metal really. I´m happy of course that they liked the demo we played to those guys out of the new songs and wanted to sign us after Karmageddon felt things were getting too big for them to handle. Obviously Chris´s involment had an effect.

IS CHRIS JUST DOING VOCALS AND PRODUCTION ON THIS ALBUM OR IS HE NOW A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE BAND?

- As for now, all our recording and touring plans include Chris, he is the official singer of the band.

ARE YOU OR ANY OTHER MEMBERS INVOLVED WITH ANY OTHER BANDS?

- Yes i played in a death metal band called Adramelech, Latvala is playing drums also in Demigod and Deepred, Karppinen plays guitars in Deepred and Funeral Feast - and also plays drums in Archgoat.

WHAT OTHER BANDS CAN WE FIND YOU GUYS LISTENING TO THESE DAYS?

- I really like Monstrosity and Dying Fetus. Also Cannibal Corpse is still one of my favourite bands just like Deicide, Godhate, early Gorefest, Pestilence, early Sepultura, Vore, Misery Index, Covenance, Jungle Rot, Morpheus Descends, Bolt Thrower, Brutality, Resurrection, Death...US style death metal in general - that scene has the best bands without a doubt.

HOW IS THE METAL SCENE IN FINLAND AND THE REST OF EUROPE?

- I guess Metal is going strong in here. A lot of bands getting attention worldwide, but most of them represent what the Finnish metal fans like - more melodic kind of metal. It´s ok i guess, but i prefer the US style death metal and nothing beats that. Death metal scene is very small, but it makes me even prouder to be a part of that small group - something that´s too much for an average metal fan. That´s for Finland - for Europe...it´s too big and varied for even myself to be fully aware whats going on with it.

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT PLANS FOR TOURING, IF ANY?

- Hopefully something towards the end of the year. We have to be patient with it, our time will come but it will take a bit more effort and scheduling with different parties than usual.

WHEN IS TGOD GONNA BE SWEATIN' AND STOMPIN' IN A TORTURE KILLER PIT IN THE USA?

- Man that would be one of my dreams to go and tour in US, hopefully in 2007.

HOW WILL YOU SHARE CHRIS WITH SIX FEET UNDER?

- Haha...I didn´t know it would be like that. SFU is still Chris´s main band and as a fan of their music the last thing we want to do is to interfere any of their plans. Like i said, our time will come and we're patient.

I SEE ALOT OF SUCCESS COMING YOUR WAY. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM TORTURE KILLER OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

- Thanks, let´s see what happens. Right now were slowly starting to write new songs aiming for the next Torture Killer CD, that´s pretty much all we can do and all our goals are with that right now. Other than that we´ll just wait for our turn and hopefully get on tour with this awesome line-up.

Thanks for taking a little time with Tgod. If there is anything else you would like to add, please feel free. Keep up the good F**king Death!!!

- Thanks a lot for the cool interview Tgod, this was a nice one to do.

band photos taken from www.torturekiller.com

photo of Chris Barnes by Tgod

March 15, 2006

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