Interview: Turmion Kätilöt

On the 1st of March, the Finnish disco-metallers of Turmion Kätilöt played their first Dutch show ever as support of Beast in Black in the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam. Before their show DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed both vocalists of Turmion Kätilöt, MC Raaka Pee and Shag-U, about their latest album and Finland, among other things.

Hey, how are you?

Shag-U: Everything okay, I suppose.

MC Raaka Pee: Yes

Shag-U: I’m feeling more rested than I’m feeling at home so I think everything is going pretty well.

Because of touring?

Shag-U: Yeah, there is always somebody telling me when to go, when to play, when to do something. There is always food when I need some food. Everything is so scheduled, easy and simple so I think I am resting more and life is more simple here.

This is your first show in The Netherlands. Looking forward to it?

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, you should.

Are you also looking forward to it?

Shag-U: Yes, we are, totally.

MC Raaka Pee: No, of course we are looking forward. No, backwards. Yeah.

Shag-U: Like our first show this tour in Hamburg and last night in Bochum, those were sold out nights, crazy atmosphere, people were yelling with us and lots of our shirts in the audience as well. I suppose there were quite many people also looking for us. Let’s see what The Netherlands has to offer for us!

I am looking forward to it.

Shag-U: Nice to hear.

This tour you support Beast In Black. How do you look at them?

MC Raaka Pee: They are really pretty guys. If I was a lady I would fuck them.

Shag-U: Haha, all, at the same time.

MC Raaka Pee: All at the same time, yes.

Shag-U: They are nice guys and have a great band. Their latest album really hits the charts. I think they have nothing to complain about right now. They are hitting the way it hurts, they are really doing well.

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, the band goes big. It’s a real honor to get to warm up the place for that kind of band who get a wall of noise from the audience when they come on stage.

Your music is quite unique and a bit different from their music.

MC Raaka Pee: I now have heard these two concerts and they also have disco.

Shag-U: At some points it is different, but there still is the same thing with the beat. The beat is strong. Their music goes towards another direction, but they still have that strong beat in it. Disco also has a strong beat in it, so I think that is a common factor. Personally I think it’s quite stupid to go out a night and see two bands who play similar music.

MC Raaka Pee: It’s good for the audience to have differences.

So, it is a good package?

Shag-U: For us? Yeah. It is good for us, we too have a strong audience in Europe. I think it is a good opportunity for both bands. To get our fans liking them and their fans liking us.

MC Raaka Pee: Differences in music give space, so there is room for us both.

Shag-U: Yeah, because if we would both sound like power metal for example. It would soon feel like competing.

Turmion Kätilöt exists since 2003. So Dutch fans had to wait 16 years to see you here. What was the reason you haven’t played here earlier?

MC Raaka Pee: We have a weird thing going on in our own country. They won’t let us out. It’s like a constant demand going on. In the past years we thought a lot about touring Europe, but Finnish people want to keep us. They won’t let us out, they pay too much.

Shag-U: Even during this tour, we easily could get shows from Finland during the whole tour. It’s getting too easy for us, in a good way. It’s so comfortable and easy for us to take the shows that they offer in Finland. Turmion Kätilöt played Europe when I wasn’t a member yet, with Pain, but back then they didn’t play The Netherlands.

You already mentioned playing in Finland. You also already announced some Summer festivals, including one in your hometown, Kuopiorock. Looking forward to play in your hometown?

Shag-U: Yeah, sure!

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, we play there every year. We played at Kuopiorock for fifteen years now. It’s a really comfortable place to be and to show what you got.

What do you like more: playing in Finland or playing outside Finland?

MC Raaka Pee: It doesn’t matter. Just playing.

Shag-U: Disco is universal. Of course there are differences in the way the audience reacts. We like to keep the party going. It doesn’t matter where you come from, just let’s go with the disco.

MC Raaka Pee: Most of all, songs are sung in Finnish. It doesn’t bother to look at the audience and see that they don’t have a fucking clue about what they’re singing about, but it’s nice. The beat and the articulation is universal. It goes really well.

Shag-U: Last night it was strange for me to look at the audience, because there were so many people singing, or trying to sing the lyrics with us. I don’t know what the words were they sung, I saw their mouths were moving and I was wondering what words they sung. I was wondering how they pronounced the Finnish words.

For people from outside Finland Finnish is quite a difficult language.

Shag-U: It’s a really hard language.

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, it’s not so easy. I think Finnish is really powerful. In this kind of music you can use it in the same way, like the German language. It’s not so soft.

A bit of your lyrics are in English though.

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, some of them, but there is a different approach in the songs when we do it in English. In my opinion for us the English words don’t get so deep as the Finnish ones. You can’t say the same things.

It isn’t your mother tongue.

Shag-U: In Finnish there is way to make it sound really harsh, violent and weird.

MC Raaka Pee: You can twist the words.

Shag-U: Of course, since it is our native language it’s easy for us, but even people from outside Finland try to learn what we are singing. They say that the metal force is so cool, because you can’t make that kind of metal force in English.

MC Raaka Pee: It’s also really hard to translate those metaphors that we use.

I saw some videos on Youtube with English translations. Do you know them?

Shag-U: Do we have them?

MC Raaka Pee: Yes

Are those official?

MC Raaka Pee: No, we don’t do that kind of thing. We don’t want to translate and say the things,because we want people to think for themselves.

Shag-U: Everyone should make the lyrics as their own. It’s like we are painting the picture but we leave the center part unpainted. The listener will paint their own parts.

MC Raaka Pee: Boobies

Your latest album, Universal Satan, was released in September. How are the reactions you got on it so far?

MC Raaka Pee: Fantastic

Shag-U: It really hits charts, in many ways. By the way, I think I am not the right person to answer that question. *points at MC Raaka Pee* You’re the label manager as well, so tell me about it.

MC Raaka Pee: I think our albums are just getting better. We have been successful to do different things and to tell the truth that there are no rules. You can do anything, there shouldn’t be rules in any kind of music. Sometimes there are rules, but we don’t have it. That’s why every album is like a piece of freedom.

Shag-U: When speaking about shows, we also get more shows than we can do because of the latest album. We got show offers from Finland, Sweden, Central Europe, South America, North America, Japan. It seems that our language is not a problem out there.

That’s a good thing, right?

Shag-U: Yeah, sure!

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah, that’s a really good thing.

Shag-U: It is so easy to do many shows in Finland. We could play every week in Finland, it would be so easy to sell the tour.

MC Raaka Pee: There is a thing that you always have to do it bigger on every gig, so you need to rest at some points.

Shag-U: Of course we also want to listen to our fans. Our fans are demanding all around the globe. Of course we want to go to all those places. It’s not about that we want to be dicks and stay in Finland. When the opportunity meets the demands, let’s say it that way.

Are you already working on some new material or not yet?

MC Raaka Pee: Well, actually, we have like almost two albums of music in our Dropbox. The last album, Universal Satan, was the first album that had two singers. Now we need to think about what we want to do and maybe we think what you want to listen. Disco it will be.

Shag-U: In some way or another.

MC Raaka Pee: We are not in a rush. We have plenty of material, but usually we just get them in there and make new material. We are not planning anything, we are just doing.

Shag-U: Ideas are popping up all the time, without planning, thinking or trying to do new material. We are gathering all the new ideas in our Dropbox and suddenly there are like four albums of material. Then we think about whether or not we will publish something.

And at that moment the planning starts?

Shag-U: Yeah. If there would be a panic to unleash something right now, we could do so. We now have material for like two albums all the time, just waiting to be released.

MC Raaka Pee: In my opinion those songs are epic, but they are waiting for the right moment. When it comes… boom!

Shag-U: There are no rules. We release when we think it’s time to release. The most important thing is what we want to release. That’s the main principle that we want to follow. 

Is it all material that you think is good enough to release?

MC Raaka Pee: No shitty demos, we are doing all albums, no demos. We have our own studios and our own label.

Shag-U: It’s so easy for us, because there is no one telling us when or what to do, stuff like that. Most important is that there is nobody telling us what we should sound like.

MC Raaka Pee: And when.

Shag-U: Of course we have plans like about how the band should grow bigger or stuff like that. It’s not like an exact day. It’s more like we can do that around that time, something like that.

MC Raaka Pee: I can tell you for sure that it needs lots of motherfucking work to be the artist and the label. We have a great team, everybody has a job and everyone is doing their own parts. It goes really well. I don’t think we could ever be on an outside label. They don’t understand.

Shag-U: It would be lots of discussion, because we want to keep the freedom to ourselves. Labels are not the makers, they are the ones that wants to unleash a product and make profit from it, of course it’s business. At some point it might come to us that we are getting so big that we don’t have time to manage the label and to be the creative person.

MC Raaka Pee: All we need is the creditcard and we can get some staff.

Shag-U: It would be easy if we could hire some staff and they will do as we say.

So when that point comes, you will probably hire someone?

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah. Right now we don’t need it. It’s good to know exactly what you’re doing with your music. The label, the band, the merchandise seller, all know exactly how they are doing. The response, in good or bad, is instant.

Shag-U: In a way we are more business like when we would be on another label. We are thinking all business- and creative-wise, but we can say the rules to ourselves.

To many people Finland kind of looks like the home of metal. How do you see that?

MC Raaka Pee: They are really pretty.

Shag-U: Have you ever been in Finland?

Yeah, once.

Shag-U: When you look at people in the streets, do you think that we are a metal country or something like that?

MC Raaka Pee: To me, it seems pretty much the same as here, but you’ve much more cannabis here.

Yeah, indeed.

Shag-U: Of course there are bigger cities and a lot more nationalities in a city. I still think that people should look how they want to look. If you are metal, hipster or something else, just be that.

However, there are many metal bands from Finland, more than from other countries.

MC Raaka Pee: All the good ones.

Shag-U: Yeah, it’s like national music for us.

MC Raaka Pee: We are really proud of that stamp that have been given to us. What’s the biggest metal band in your opinion in the world?

Shag-U: Not in the way of bands you like.

MC Raaka Pee: In a way like the biggest shows, audiences and stuff like that.

Something like Metallica for example.

Shag-U: Yeah, that’s a big one.

MC Raaka Pee: There is Rammstein of course, they are so sharp and really big. How about Nightwish?

Yeah

MC Raaka Pee: They have really big audiences, they are like world stars.

Shag-U: Then you have Children of Bodom, other world stars. It’s quite crazy, because Children of Bodom are not such a big deal inside Finland. Of course there it also is a big band, but not like a world star band. They are huge motherfucking stars outside Finland.

You already mentioned Nightwish.

MC Raaka Pee: They went to Wembley. I think that’s quite big.

As you might know, their current vocalist is Dutch. What do you think of her?

MC Raaka Pee: She’s tall.

Shag-U: She’s beautiful and tall. She sings really, really well. I saw her at a festival during her earlier years with Nightwish. In my opinion she’s really good, she knows how to handle a crowd and she can do so much with her voice. She is also very high, you can’t say no, because you already fearing her a little bit.

Besides Turmion Kätilöt, what are some Finnish bands you would recommend?

MC Raaka Pee: Fear of Domination, it’s sick industrial metal. *points at Shag-U* He sings in it. And maybe 2 Times Terror.

Shag-U: *points at MC Raaka Pee* He sings in that.

MC Raaka Pee: You don’t need anything else. Turmion Kätilöt, 2 Times Terror and Fear of Domination, that’s it. Of course also Beast in Black.

Who sings in that? 😉

MC Raaka Pee: I don’t know, haha. Yannis sings in that, he’s a great singer. I was just listening his voice warm-up. He has quite a voice. He’s a really talented singer.

Thanks for your answers. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Shag-U: We like to be here and we like to be with Beast in Black, but next time we will be here we hope to be the headliner. So, come check us out and I hope you and everyone else enjoys the show. Let’s make sure that this isn’t the last time that we come to Europe.

MC Raaka Pee: Yeah. And remember to love, because when you feel love, then comes the disco and it leads to orgasms and stuff like that.

Will the next Dutch date also take 16 years or will it be sooner?

Shag-U: Let’s hope it will only take one year to be back. That will be great, maybe our own headlining tour.

That would be nice!

MC Raaka Pee: 2 Times Terror and Fear of Domination could warm us up, haha.

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