Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Band, I am disappoint"

When everything sounds like shit, it probably is shit.

And when you work with a paying client, you work it through, no matter what. You lose sleep, overdose on coffee, get cranky and explode on minor mishaps at home. A situation that is highly not recommended, yet sometimes almost inevitable. We are all human after all, and we all know how sometimes too much work or unrealistic deadlines can cause some nasty situations to your psyche. No- one likes to be the "SIR YES SIR"- person, but sometimes -especially when working as a mercenary for different clients- it is sometimes necessary. After all, they pay your salary in the end. And if you leave a shitty aftertaste, your next project will be consisting of driving a taxi instead.
"But of course this traffic jam is my fault, sir, and I understand completely if you wish to not pay for this subpar ride".

However, when you work with your own band, the situation is completely different. Most importantly because the responsibility is - contrary to a common mistake- not to the fans, not to the record label or to the management. The responsibility is to you and your bandmates. It might sound harsh, but that´s the way things are, unless you´re Justin Bieber or an other record label´s little creation in which case you actually are responsible for that employer. Career choices, I guess.
So, unless you´re not a dick- puppet of some pissy A&R guy, record labels do not decide how to sound or when you will enter the studio. They do not decide your album covers nor do they say what to wear at the promo shoot. The only thing record labels actually (should) decide is the budget and the date of release when the product is finished.

Which brings us to the case, "when the product is not finished".

To cut it short- this is about the new Moonsorrow material and the fact that we are not entering the studio later this year as planned. The album is coming at some point, and to soothe you a bit, it is more likely to happen in 2014 than in 2015. Another record label could had demanded another band to "go to the studio as planned, no matter the quality". Century Media, however, doesn´t, because they believe that in Moonsorrow´s case quality overrides quantity. And I certainly hope you folks reading this think the same. We think that we deserve the best music possible and you do as well.
The product is not going to be finished on time, because basically I -as the main composer and producer- simply don´t have the energy to do it right now in the way it demands. Most of the material I´ve been composing for Moonsorrow lately has been sounding just plain boring, lacking ideas and the amount of riffs could be counted with probably ten fingers.
But does that mean that there will never come new Moonsorrow material? Silly you, of course not. This is only temporary and the reason for this is extremely clear.

Originally, our plan was to start composing in May and enter the studio in the turn of 2014. Then, right before May, the shittiest possible thing happened to me and I was laid down from work after almost nine years completely out of blue. That could happen to anyone, true, but here´s a fun fact for you- what isn´t so ordinary is the fact that I actually composed, produced and arranged every single album I´ve done between 2006 and 2012 at my work. Since 2006 I´ve had no music equipment at home at all except for one guitar (for possible rehearsals) so suddenly I was left not only jobless but also without a place and time to compose music for my bands. The cloud having a silver lining, we had just moved into a new home where we still had a spare room- which I now could build as the audio room for me to continue working.
But suddenly I wasn´t just "working" the way I had used to, but somehow forced to evolve into a overstressed CEO, accountant, chairman, producer, H&R and the sole worker of Trollhorn Music LTD instead of "being that audio guy and getting paid for it". Careful calculations, counteroffers, emails and Excel sheets laughed at my attempts to actully do what I´m at my best and mocked me while I wanted to just fucking compose that music. And naturally, I´ve been pushing extremely hard to show my best to Rovio as well in order to actually make them want to hire me full- time, so I´m quite exhausted on working since late April on my toes, pleasing everyone and showing them how capable I am while doing all the email work, plannings, contracts and whatever paperwork for my own company besides actually doing the sounds for them (and Rovio) they need. In other words, I´m burnt out to a fuck at the moment.

So, one might wonder how much I have creativity for Moonsorrow at the moment? Pretty much zero, thanks for asking. After a long discussion with Marko- who is also playing a huge part in Moonsorrow´s composing process- we agreed that we´re not going to do shit because someone might expect us to do something. If my whole time is going to somehow manage normal living, it is quite natural that the moment when I don´t work my ass off isn´t going to magically push the "be creative for Moonsorrow, NOW!"- button for me. The Gods know I want to music for this band but right now I am so tied to managing my "normal" work that it is impossible to find any inspiration for something as profound as Moonsorrow. And while the management, record label and fans might be disappointed to this decision, we stand behind this as a band and have agreed all together that we will start composing the music properly when all the people who are needed in that are actually capable of doing that.

All the members of Moonsorrow also agree that during the latest five years, the constant rise of success hasn´t come with only positive sides. Even though we absolutely do this with 100% dedication, things have got into a point most of us think that they are a bit over our reach with constant pulling from different directions. Many members just don´t have the capability of doing this in the volume it seems to demand according to The Music Industry (tm). In fact, to quote one member... 
"During 2008-2013 Moonsorrow has been growing a lot. Going to the right direction, getting many new fans, doing things more professionally. However, at the same time the whole thing has gone more and more calculative with release dates and, most importantly, touring."
"Moonsorrow was never meant to be a household name".
And another, por favor:
"My perspective on everything has changed, too. Not too much, but I thought it'd be polite to update so no one freaks out when I eventually turn down an offer for a show."
And lastly, myself: 
"...extremely correct (referring to "Moonsorrow was never meant to be a household name"- H) and I´ve been thinking this a lot as well during the past years where everything has gone a bit into a different direction I would had personally thought. Don´t get me wrong- I´m not against actually selling records or getting popularity, but I personally think that there is too much business involved in this work of (he)art and the more we can crawl a bit back into our "personal forest", the better."
As you can probably read between the lines, we are in a point where we do not want to sacrifice this band upon the altar of monetization, schedules, demands, popularity or anything else. We hold this collective cult more important than anything that would end up exhausting our burning flame and we need to watch for that not to happen before it consumes us. Sacrifing the mutual passion and killing the inspiration due to countless touring or forced composing isn´t doing any band any good, and that is especially important with a band that consists of good old friends who share the same passion for music and beliefs. No earthly gain is possibly worth loosing that.

To quote another member at the end, who we all agree 100%... 
"I love all you guys from the bottom of my heart and I could easily see this band still around in 2030 and never splitting up."

We are Moonsorrow and we do things our way because we believe in them.