Interview with Apocalyptica by Yermola

Special thanks to Asya Kalyasina and Universal Music Russia

First of all I'm glad to hear from you. Honestly, Apocalyptica - is a very popular project here (I mean in Russia and CIS countries!). And after "CULT" relize - you started to be as a cult by yourself. So, I would like to ask you some questions.

Apocalyptica: Hey Andrew! Sorry that this took some time! So, let's start.

Well... guyzzz... What was the reason for you to start play this kind of music by cellos? (What was the idea?)

Apocalyptica: The idea to play metal music by cellos came out in summer '93. We were going to same music camp and in music camps is always some evening partys where students perform something crazWe were huge fans of metal music and specially Metallica was our favourite band so we decided to play couple of Metallica songs. For us it wasn’t so strange cause in Finland there is quite a long tradisson of cello ensambles. We all had played in the same cello sextet(six cellos) which played music from Bach to Jimi Hendrix, tangos and evergreens and all kinds of music. So we played some Metallica songs for our friends and they really loved it.

We continued playing couple of times a year in our school partys but it was only for fun. Just to get rid of our aggressions! IT was never suppoused to be anything big. We didn't even have any plans to make any albums or anything. But then something happened. We were asked to play to one rock club in Helsinki and we were really scared how metal fans will react but they really loved our show. Some days later one guy from one indy record company called and wanted to make an album. We thought that the guy is totally crazy but it sounded like a nice experience so decided to do it. And suddenly the hole world was interested about us. We have all started to play cello in ages of 6-9 and have studied in Sibelius-Academy which is a music university in Helsinki.

As I know all of you have academic music education... Isn't it? Your teachers in Academy were happy after "Plays Metallica By Four..." (Ha-ha)

Apocalyptica: About our teachers... I think it wasn't so big suprise for them cause we've allways been a bit crazy! Nowadays I think they feel a bit dissapointed cause we don't have anymore time to go to their lessons. And they don't understand why we play this kind of music cause they've never listened to this music.

Your biggest and greatest show (your own or in double with Metallica or any)?

Apocalyptica: It's very hard to choose only one show. Of course all the shows with Metallica have been great! Our biggest audience in our own show was last week in Riga in Latvia (4400 people) Pretty amazing!

Your first album was about Metallica, why? (Actually, Metallica before 1991 is my favourite band.....)

Apocalyptica: Metallica was our favourite band when we begun. And Metallicas music is very suitable for instrumental versions cause it's so melodical.

How did you made the record of "CULT" (I mean some stuffs - distortions, double-strings e.t.c.)? Any special secrets? What kind of microphones did you use? Amplifiers and so on...

Apocalyptica: The "so called" secret in the sound of CULT is that there is in fact quite many cellos playing. In some songs over SIXTY!!! And we have learned a lot about working in studio with cellos during these years.

Which from your own albums is your favourite one?

Apocalyptica: CULT! Sound is so much better in it and musicially it is much more interesting.

Is it hard to play metal music or classic one is harder?

Apocalyptica: There is different difficulties in different music. Playing metal is physicially much more harder and you have to create new playing styles to get it sound really heavAnd it's more about the feeling. Playing classical is much more clean and quality of sound has to be brilliant hole the time.

What about Russia fans (some fun stories, reaction for your play e.t.c.)?

Apocalyptica: We have played there only three shows but we really have to come back! Fans seem to be really into our stuff!

Who is the main composer in your band and who makes arrangements?

Apocalyptica: Eicca is the composer and does most of the arrangements. I do the rest. But we all are aloud to have opinions about everything!

What about your plans for future? Will you prepare another star-cover or it will be your own compositions? (In my own opinion - you are good composers enough. I was amased by your "CULT" things! Right now your CD is in my computer on the work... Yeah... Great work!)

Apocalyptica: It is a bit too early to talk about musical future but it seems to be that there is a huge interest towards our own music so of course it gives courage to go on with that.

Your favourite metal bands (Except Metallica and Sepultura)....

Apocalyptica: I try to be very openminded for all music styles cause for me music is more about feelings than which style it is. In metal side Metallica and Sepultura of course Slayer and a lot of good songs from many bands.

Do you like russians classical composers (Tchaykovskiy, Musorgskiy, Glinka e.t.c.)? Did you play them?

Apocalyptica: Shostakovits is my absolutely favourite. Sinfonies and string quartets and consertos. His music is really close to my heart.

Well... I'm finishing... You guyz are great! Stay the very same!!! Best of luck for you from all russians metal-heads!!! We'll wait for your albums and sessions!

Apocalyptica: Merry Christmas! Hope to see you one day!

Yermola, 2000

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