I had an interview with Ben Varon, the guitar player of Amoral.
Thank you Ben for the interview, how things are going?
All good, thanks! Writing new songs at the moment, as well as practicing for our upcoming shows. We have some tricky guitar parts in some of these new songs that we need to play live!
Make a little history about Amoral’s foundation.
Well, it goes back to 1997 or so, when I met Juhana Karlsson, our drummer, in school. We were 14. By the early 2000’s we’d learned somewhat to play our instruments, and also write our own songs. In 2004 our debut album “Wound Creations” came out.
Here you are with a 6th release, ‘’In Sequence’’. Where the recordings took place and how they went so far?
It’s our 7th album actually! The recording went pretty smoothly. We did the drums at Sound Supreme, Hämeenlinna, then continued in Helsinki with the guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals. Janne Saksa mixed and mastered the album again at Sound Supreme.
What is the new album about and what can you tell me about the artwork, what does it represents?
The lyrics are based on a real life event, where a young, talented but troubled musician committed suicide while being treated in an institution. I heard about this case, and it stayed in the back of my mind forever. So I started to write about this person, trying to think of reasons that drove him to do what he did. I also wrote some songs from the perspective of people around him.
Also, Niko Kalliojarvi is back in the band, now the band has two vocalists. Why did he left the band in 2008?
Niko wanted to focus more on guitar playing. Which is exactly what he’s been doing all these years. It’s great to have him back, not only as a signaler but as a monster guitar player!
You started as a Death metal band, since Ari replaced Niko, you turned up to be more melodic.
Yes, that was a conscious decision on our part. We felt that after three death metal albums, we really wanted to do something new for us, and get way more melodic. So once we got Ari into the band, we really had a field day with writing more melodic songs.
What can you tell me about the influences?
We all have our own, but I guess the big metal bands from our youth helped shape us all as players. Bands like Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, Opeth… But there are hundreds of different bands we all love, which helps keep our own music interesting.
Together with Juhana and Pekka, you were members in the Thrash/Sleaze metal band Tornado and recorded ‘’Amsterdamn Hellsinki’’ back in 2011. How was this experience?
It was a lot of fun! Joey Severance, the leader of Tornado, is an old friend. I just did the solos for that album, but it was fun going over to Abyss studios in Sweden to record with Peter Tägtgren producing. I think the album turned out killer!
Reading on the social media pages, you are giving guitar lessons.
Yeah, I am. I used to give lessons years ago, and now I have a bit more time again so I’m glad to do it. It’s fun, and I also learn myself in the process.
Tell your opinion about the Finnish metal scene.
It’s still pretty strong. Tons of bands, many of them good. But there’s also a good vibe between the bands, not just competition.
Ending the interview, do you have a message for the Amoral fans and where they can see you live this year?
I hope you enjoy our new album “In Sequence”! Tour dates will be updated on our pages, but right now we’re starting with a 10-date Finnish tour. Stay tuned!
Thank you again for your time Ben, all the best and hope to see you soon aswell!
Thank you too!
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