Deimhal - ''I've always hated normality and the way most people think about things''
What is The Grand Gathering?
Mika Tönning – Vocals ‘’The name Grand Gathering reflects the fact that old musician friends have gathered again after a couple of decades to play in the same band and music style that everyone likes. The themes of the songs on the album unexpectedly spring from the darkness of the mind, the coldness of the north and the long winters of Finland.
‘’The songs on the album have taken shape during the previous couple of years, when I really started to learn how to write songs and perhaps the most important thing, learning to play the guitar. I played every now and then at home and songs started to emerge from the riffs, so I started recording them on my computer. I then listened to the half-finished songs to my friends and when they said that these should be published, I thought, hell, why not! and this gave rise to Deimhal. In other words, the songs were basically already ready, but only when I found the right musicians for the band did, they take shape as they are on the album.
The creation of Deimhal? Is it inspired by the angel Dumat?
‘’In fact, Deimhal is inspired by Irish folklore where it is called the angel of death and the prince of darkness. Presumably, the name appearing in these fables was inspired by the angel Dumah ("thousand-eyed angel of death, armed with a fiery rod or flaming sword".)
Deimhal began as a solo project?
‘’Yes, at the beginning I had thought that I would do everything alone, but then at some point I realized how time-consuming it would be to learn to play everything myself. I already had good connections with my old bandmates (Janne Kusmin and Timo Lehtinen), and I asked in passing if they would be interested in playing for this project. Both were interested, so the rhythm side was clear. The guitar part then became a bit more difficult, but I found a guitarist in my friend who also had a guitarist friend and they both eventually joined the band. Not all solutions were perhaps sensible choices, but the end result is satisfactory and the future shows how the new songs will sound with the new members.
The importance of melody and true metal?
‘’It's been clear to me personally since the beginning that this project doesn't bow in any direction musically, we do exactly what we want and if you don't like something, you don't have to listen. I'm a child of the 90s and I got to live the "golden age" of black metal in my youth, however, in my bands I didn't get to play the style of music I really wanted, so now that I've gotten older, my blood is drawn back to what I really want to play. Musically, I've always liked black metal, which breaks the boundaries of the scene, for example, when I heard Arcturus' debut album, I was like this is something completely new, not so straight and the same old, but the guys bring completely new perspectives to the scene. The same feelings came when other different publications started to appear, e.g. From Limbonic Art. I've always been interested in new things and sounds that break boundaries, so I don't see any obstacles in the case of Deimhal why our songs couldn't be melodic and symphonic in the future. Time will tell where our music will develop.
‘’What is ‘’The Dark Force of Nothingness’ off Vengeance of the Night Crows?
‘’The poetry of Dark Fortress of nothingness was well suited to the lyrics, so I decided to leave it at that.
How do you define the nature of darkness?
‘’Let's just say that when I was younger, I thought about these things a lot. For every person, the darkness, and the things it brings are quite personal at their roots, for me it has been something where I have found safety and peace for my mind in difficult times. Certainly, for many people the starting points are different, but in my case, I have faced so many difficulties already in my childhood that black metal and related phenomena have brought security in difficult times. I've always hated normality and the way most people think about things, so it's probably not unclear that it's also reflected in our music in some way.
Is extreme music something that you feel and does not require explanation?
‘’Extreme music has always been and will be the genre I will make and listen to. I have tried to listen to other music trends, but they don't bring the same feeling as metal music.
’’Current events do not affect our music in any way. We should all realize how the mass media works and whose and what agenda they are pushing at any given time. "You sing the songs of whose bread you eat".
What drew you to black metal?
‘’As I answered before, I grew up following the scene and listening almost exclusively to black metal. I was probably 12 years old when I bought my first death metal album (Massacra - Final Holocaust) and with enthusiasm I moved towards harder music styles. When I finally got hold of Immortal's Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism album, I knew there was no going back from this road. Black Metal started to influence my life so much that when I was 13, we founded our first band, and it wasn't long before I was already crowling in our first demo. In my opinion, the real Black Metal scene died already after the middle of the 90s, when the main stream bands started to fill the ice rinks and every teenager was wearing the shirts of these bands. I myself was outside music circles for more than 20 years, but having followed this from the sidelines, I can be proud that extreme metal and the bm scene seem to be making a new rise and have been doing so for several years.
The evolution of Deimhal, a full length release?
A: We have already started writing new songs and will probably release the next single in the fall this year, after which the plans are to release the next EP next year. We probably won't record a full-length album until we find a suitable partner to share the recording costs. However, we are still a band that has to pay for everything out of our own pocket, and yet the album's production costs are several thousand if you want to do it well. So the future will tell if there will be an full-album or not.
Top 6 albums of all time?
A: Well this is hard since there`s too many good ones!, but if I have to choose favourites that keep running on my player yer by year I choose:
Arcturus – Aspera Hiems Symfonia
Dismember – Like an Ever Flowing Stream
Immortal – Battles In the North
Sentenced – Amok
At The Gates – Slaughter of the Soul
Covenant – Nexus Polaris