Hi, my name is Mikko Myllykangas and when comes to my musical side, I’m the main songwriter of the Finnish metal band Antipope. In live situations I sing and play bass, but in studio I do pretty much everything else except play drums.
When your band was created?
Antipope was formed in 2004, it’s been thirteen years already!
What the style do you play?
We started as a progressive black metal outfit but after couple demos we steered away from black metal and began to incorporate melodic death metal, industrial metal, gothic metal… you name it!
I think, based on what I already said above, that our style is best described as “progressive extreme metal”. “Progressive” does not stand for super technical 1990s approach but more like 1970s prog.
How could you describe your music by several words?
Our albums – four so far, the latest comes out on November 15th 2017 – are written as musical journeys, and like a good movie or any story, there are different kinds of scenes. It’s not just car chase scene all the way through. For a story to be entertaining it needs to have scenes of drama, action, and something that is not very often found in metal music, humor. I think usually metal bands are too busy to take themselves seriously, at least publicly, but the fact of the matter is that some of the greatest metal bands – in my humble opinion – have quite a bit of tongue-in-cheek element in their music. For example, Iron Maiden, Tool, and Cradle of Filth are able and willing to laugh at themselves, which makes their music great and emotionally interesting. Our aim is in that kind of emotional variety and that also defines our music. We’re not out there to show you have fast we can play or how heavy our sound is. Technical aspect of music are only there to convoy the message.
What is the main theme of your lyrics?
I guess the grand subject in our lyrics is human nature. Our past 3 albums, Desert, House of Harlot, and 3 Eyes of time, concerned each a certain aspect of being human. Desert was about sort of over-rationalizing that leads to self-doubt and nihilism. The 2nd installment, House of Harlot, studied more corporal and instinctual way of being, lust, anger, beauty, things that raise a subconscious reaction in you. 3 Eyes of Time, on the other hand, focus on spiritual and transcendental aspect of being. Sort self-realization after too much rationalization and too much debauchery of the two previous albums. Our new album, Denial/Survival, is a kind of a reminder that the cycle of discovering yourself is an ever-on-going circle, and whatever “truths” you might have discovered on your path you need to be willing to subject to re-examination.
What would you like to achieve with the band activity?
For me, writing my own music has always been the reason to have a band going, which I have since I was in primary school back in early 1990s. The possibility of emotional and artistic expression that Antipope offers is a lens to examine life differently and outside of the normal daily life. Of course, playing together with friends, forming that invisible bond through carving air with your instrument – playing music that is – is also of great importance. Everything else, like playing gigs comes after that.
How many gigs you have played so far and maybe you visit another countries with concerts?
We have played a couple of dozens of gigs in around Finland so far, mostly in our home town Oulu and in Helsinki.
Is there anything very important about your band what SHOULD know fans and labels?
Because of our bands name, Antipope, we’re often regarded as some satanic black metal outfit. But for us, and this is something I’d like people to think about, the name “Antipope” stands for an entity that represents an opposite of having some authoritarian figure to tell you what to think, say, or listen to. So Antipope is not some satanic ghoul pope but an abstract yet real concept of not having an ideological/spiritual/artistic leader that you could follow.
What the formats you would like to see your releases, CD, Vinyl, Tape…? And how do you see future of physical releases?
So far, we have published our music in CD format in addition to digital releases. Vinyl would be nice addition to that as it has that nostalgic value to it and great space for cover artwork.
When you will get label deal, would you like to help to the label with promotion from your side, or you want label do all without your help?
Obviously, it’s a team effort. Previously, we have worked with labels and shared the promotional tasks. Of course, the more help we would get from the label to promote and market our music, more time and energy we would have to focus on what the label cannot do, which is writing songs and making records.
What’s your reaction towards negative opinions about your music?
Live and let live. I don’t like all kinds of music, metal or otherwise. Therefore, I don’t expect everyone to like what I do, either.
And last question, how do you like our webzine, do you have some remarks towards its look or functionality?
I think your website works fine. It’s easy to navigate and the layout is informative. Good job!
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