Interview: Marianas Rest

Photo by Miikka Järvinen

Last month Marianas Rest released their new album, titled Fata Morgana. DutchMetalManiac’s Henric van Essen already reviewed it here and now he also interviewed Marianas Rest’s bass player Niko Lindman.

Hei, miten menee? I hope you are all safe from COVID?

Moi! Hyvin, hyvin.

All of us have dodged the bullet, so to say. Things in MR headquarters are relatively good, but still missing normal life. Hope all this will be blown away soon.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity for an interrogation. Can you introduce yourself and your fellow band members to us?

Well, I’m the bass player of the group and then we have Nico M. on guitar and Nico H. on drums (yes, two Nicos and one Niko here 🙂 ). Harri does the other guitar, we have Jaakko on vocals and Aapo behind the keys. Marianas Rest is turning 8 this year, but we have known each other for a long time and some of us have also played together in various groups before.

It is safe to say you have an unusual and definitely interesting band name. What is the story behind it?

Sure. The name is a result of a normal storming session, where guys tried to come up with something that expresses crushing pressure and a bleak atmosphere the most. And what expresses that better than the Marianas Trench, the deepest place on earth? A little twist and Marianas Rest was born. It’s also nice that we found a name that has many layers in it. I mean, even though it’s a dark hole with unbearable pressure, we still found a deep peace and even beauty in it. Same thing with the music we want to do.

Congratulations with your new album. It’s a great album, which I value even more than your previous album. I can easily find a meaning behind the title in light of your lyrics, that things as they seem in the world in general aren’t always, perhaps even hardly ever, that. Am I close here?

Nice thoughts, the core message is something around that. The message is purposely told metaphorically and it’s covered in a story about our protagonists long journey to the end of the world. Some people have already come by with their own interpretations and thoughts of how they see the lyrics. We truly encourage all to do that long journey on their own and search their own meaning along the way.

You seem to propagate a rather grim, almost depressed vision on the world which manifests itself in both your music and the lyrics, why is that, where do you draw your inspiration from?

The answer is much more boring than the imaginary about depressed, but visionary artists with great ideas of how things really should be and how we draw our mourning sadness into the form of music etc.. The truth is that we all are somewhat easygoing and happy people. We really enjoy listening and playing music together and it’s just our way to relax and forget the everyday gray for a moment. Our rehearsals are cheerful events with laughs and a few beers.  

You have integrated an interesting quote in the first song, why did you choose to do so, what is the meaning behind it?

The line is from the TV-show called True Detective. We admire the role of Rust Cohle played by Matthew McConaughey. His nihilistic sarcasm is just on point and we thought his mental landscape fits in our thing.

Considering the intricate song structures writing new material could be a challenge. Can you enlighten us a little about the writing process?

Our songs are the fruits from our alls seeds (dry laugh here..). Typically me, Harri (guitars) or Nico M. (guitars) have already recorded something or we have some certain structure or a piece of melody in mind. We jam with those in our headquarters and all together cook the songs into some kind of form. Few months before the studio we have booked a cabin in the woods for a long weekend where we have invited our producer wizard Teemu Aalto. We have had this ritual three times now and there every song got its final shape and the entire album and concept gets its final form. That’s how it is in a nutshell. Adding to that, Jaakko is our lyrical mastermind.

Considering the growth I personally see between Ruins and Fata Morgana I assume, and hope, this is not the end of it. What are your plans with Marianas Rest?

I think our music has matured step by step and the reason behind that would be that we have developed our methods of doing things. Production to production we are trying to recognize which things worked before and what should be gotten rid of. At the same time we´ve been working with somewhat the same team that long so we are more relaxed and not squeezing the racket that much. What we are doing next is trying not to get too sloppy, but instead channeling our self-confidence to just do things better than before. 

Now with COVID wreaking havoc and not really an end in sight, there won’t be any physical concerts any time soon. Do you have ideas on how to stay in touch with your fans?

When writing this, we have already published a cabin session video (pt. 1) through Napalm Records Youtube channel, where we played the first half of Fata Morgana. We have also been doing live chat sessions and stuff like that. There is more to come and ideas are already brewing. However, it never can be the same as meeting fans personally and all those things so let’s just hope we can hit the road soon.

COVID also has consequences for the income you can generate as a band, how do you manage to keep your head above water?

Luckily we all still have our day jobs and nothing too dramatic (like lay-offs) have happened. It’s already been unbearable for many people working in that field and our thoughts are with them and their families.

To end things I’d like to ask you something that is not music-related: If you could change one single thing in the entire world, what would it be?

Tough one. There are many things and if you ask tomorrow I may give a different answer. I absolutely hope that this pandemic will disappear. If all the wars will end, that would be great too.

Thanks for the interview and stay safe. Is there anything left you’d like to share with our readers?

Stay strong. This shit will end as we have vaccinated people. Real gigs will start happening and then beer will flow. See you then!

All the best for the future

You can also check our reviews of Marianas Rest’s earlier albums Horror Vacui, here, and Ruins here.

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