GGGG is greeting you from one cold country too, hehe! How are you doing, guys?)
Tomi: Hello! We are fine. Winter has finally arrived in Finland after long spell of sleet and gloom and daylight time is getting longer which is awesome.
This summer you trampled Britain as a true barbarian tribe with crazy guys from Whoresnation. What was the most memorable thing there, how many villages you set on fire and how much beer you drank?)
Tomi: The most memorable single event was definitely the journey home from Chimpyfest after the tour. It started 4 am. when our pre-reserved taxi didn’t arrive. Luckily after almost an hour of waving and waiting we got one and cruised high speed and wrong lanes through the streets of London just in time to run in front of the airport bus to take us to Stansted airport. Many thanks to the driver, because if we were there literally a minute later we would’ve needed to buy new tickets home. On bigger scale the tour was awesome. Whoresnation and Eric (our french driver) were perfect people to spend a week in a van with. We had great time and some memorable shows like in Bristol, Leeds and Chimpyfest. One thing I will never forget is of course english bathrooms with electric showers, fitted carpets and such. Crazy folk. What comes to drinking beer and pillaging, I think we behaved as proper englishmen would have: with good manners and by the etiquette.
I’m sure that no matter the chill you are very active guys and Death Toll is not your only band. Let our readers know in what band/bands you are also performing.
Tomi: That is true indeed. Me and Oula play in a mincecore band Rust which plays music in style of ROT and Agathocles. Oula has also two noisecore bands Meatwash and Beer Terror. Ville plays in Perikato which is fast finnish 90’s hardcore, Kohti tuhoa which plays d-beat hardcore, Speedtrap which plays speed metal and Hard action which is hard rock or action rock. Jori used to play in Speedtrap also, but he has since left the band. He has an yet unnamed hardcore band from which we will undoubtly hear more in the future.
Even though your recent split was released some time ago, I know that you’re preparing something new for us. Tell us about it a little, make those who’re waiting for it happy 🙂
Tomi: Right now we are writing new material for the next LP. The process is taking it’s time because we really scattered across the country. We are going to record it as soon as we think there’s enough of quality songs to fill it. We don’t want any fillers in. I’m very happy with the material we have made so far and I don’t think it will take too much time for us to consider recording them.
Everybody knows that alcohol is very expensive in your country, and this sucks… But wait, maybe you have an expanded production of home-brew. What kind of your DIY drinks makes your brain melt after a couple of pints?)
Tomi: My brain would melt after a pint of anything, because it’s years since I’ve drank anything alcoholic. In Finland home brews are not very common anymore. I think most people just drink the cheapest beer if they can’t afford anything else. In the nineties people drank ‘kilju’ which is awful tasting liquid made of yeast, sugar and water. Decades ago when the alcohol laws in Finland were very strict there was a lively homebrewing culture and people made moonshine deep in the woods hidden from law.
Oula: Home made wine is still quite common, and that varies from really good to near kiljuish.
What do you usually do first and foremost when you come in a country/city that you’ve never been before?
Tomi: On tour? Unload the gear! Heh. I just like to wander around and walk through the city near the venue or sleeping place. I’m usually the first to wake up in the morning so I have a habit of taking a short morning walk and just see the normal life of that current place.
Everyone (I hope) watched Godzilla movies when they were kids. So let’s imagine something: Godzilla against World Bank. Who would win?)
Tomi: I have actually only seen the 1998 movie which was kinda sucky if I remember correctly. So definitely the World bank would take down that years Godzilla. I hope the original one would stand a chance!
What else you like to listen? ‘Cause, you know, listening to grindcore 24/7 is pretty tiring, and sometimes you need a break. So tell us, who likes Elton John in your band?)
Tomi: I like to listen to dad-rock and AOR and of course a wide variety of different punk and heavy genres.
Oula: I mostly listen to black metal and related ambient stuff, but I like a lot of stuff ranging from gorenoise to power metal and 90’s eurodance.
I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know much about Finnish scene. And I would like to hear your recommendations, what cool Finnish grindcore/near-grindcore bands I should definitely give a listen?
Tomi: Not too many pure grindcore bands to be worth mentioning. Houre and Unohdettu tulevaisuus are good active bands. Romutus plays great noisecore. It consists of dbeat band Noituus and noise act Umpio playing together. Synti was good grindcore, but they are not active anymore (but they might release something post mortem). Arroyo was awesome mincecore mayhem, but that band has also quit. Perikato is well worth checking though it is much more noisy hardcore punk than grindcore.
Okay, all jokes aside, this is quite serious question. We all see that the world keeps gaining speed for its descending in hell. All these political conflicts, terrorists, war for territory… just madness. What can you say about it? Why do humanity keeps destroying itself? Why there are fewer and fewer people that want to live in peace and prosper?
Tomi: I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to these questions. Large gaps in income and the downward spiralling world economy is creating all sorts of stirring and those responsible for the crisis want to turn the attention to somewhere else – like to refugees coming to Europe. All this (from Europe’s point of view) resembles quite a lot what happened some 70 years ago. I hope there’s some lessons we’ve learned at least. But I’d also like to point a blaming finger at media who are really making the most of every single case of terror. Fear seems to sell very well and journalistic ethics are not very important for many releases. It’s kind of a self feeding circle where people start believing that we are in great danger, when for example Finland has never been so safe place to live in. And saying this I don’t want to belittle anything that is going on in the current crisis points all around the earth. Also whenever a new conflict rises, it seems there’s at least partial dictatorship involved (Crimea, Burundi, Syria, Turkey etc.) So to conclude my overly simplified and naive answer to this very complicated and hard question I say that the problem lies in concentration of wealth and concentration of (political) power. I don’t think there’s any self destructing gene or trait in humans.
What is the main goal of Death Toll 80K?
Oula: To make just the type of grindcore we all want to hear, because no one else is doing it just in the right way. Then there is also the political aspect, even though with our release pace it’s hard to comment on topics that are happening right now, so the focus is on more general themes. When I discovered grindcore one of the things that really hit was the lyrical content, as extreme bands that actually had something to say was a new thing to me then. For us that is an integral part of playing grind, and we want to do our part of pushing the scene more into that direction. Of course marginal music like this is not the most effective way to change things, but why not use that option also?
Oh, damn, I almost forgot about your anniversary! 10 years, that’s quite an age! Do you remember how you started? Do you still have a shot in the locker?)
Tomi: Me and Oula decided to start the band one night when walking home from a gig. Our former weird death metal band had just broke up and we wanted to play something different. I also appeared that we wanted to play different things from each other. Oula was more for blasts and I was more for thrashy stuff. It took some years before we found it’s our style and sound. The first line up consisted of Oula in vocals, me in guitar, our former death metal bands singer Kekke in bass and our friend Jake, who had before DT80k only played drums in a school play, doing the battery. What could go wrong!
Jori: Death toll 80k was one of my favorite bands from Finland at that time. I wasn’t in the band in the beginning but I recorded their first demo. There was no talent to be found in the room at that moment. The guys couldn’t play if their lives depended on it and I didn’t even have headphones to monitor the recording. Good times.
Sometimes people are interested in underground scene only while they’re young, then they have family and kids and just forget about it all. How do you see yourself when you’re old? I think I’m gonna be crazy beardy drunk old guy wearing that same grindcore jacket…
Oula: I think the key here is why someone leaves something behind. People find new interests and sometimes the new thing takes the place from something else. Life should be about finding what makes you happy and focusing on that. The sad thing is when people quit something they love because of outside pressure, just having no time for it or something similar. For me grindcore has been one source of happiness for a long time, and it will stay in my life in one form or another, but at the same time it’s not the only thing I want to spend my time on. So yeah, I hope that when I’m old I spend most of my time doing what I love, whatever that happens to be.
And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for your time and your answers to my stupid questions, that was really fun!)
Tomi: Thanks for the interview!