When and how was your band created?
Battlelore was founded in 1999 when I, Jyri Vahvanen, decided to quit his other band projects where he was involved and started to create his own kind of metal music which is based to Mr. J.R.R.Tolkien’s writings about fantasy world called Middle-earth. It was and still is a true passion to metal music and Tolkien’s poetry. We just put those two things together.
Were is the name of the band coming from?
When you look at Middle-earth’s history, you will find it very violent and full of battle’s, fighting and tragedy. That combined “Folklore” results a very descriptive name for us, Battlelore.
What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?
I can’t speak behalf of all of us, but personally my (Jyri) major influences are the bands like Rammstein, Runemagick, Rhapsody, Kotiteollisuus etc. I could continue the list forever but the one man who inspire me most is Mr.Tolkien.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician / singer (in Finland)?
Positive aspects are that this is a really small country, so if you make the so called break-through as a musician, then everybody knows you and then of course it’s easier to get gigs, publicity etc. but the negative thing is that you really can’t do this for living. You have to have some other job ’cause the circles are so small in Finland that you can’t do your living by just being a musician.
How could you qualify your style of music?
Our style comes from the genre of metal music. People call our music “Gothic/doom/deathmetal” etc. but we prefer the Fantasy Metal. I don’t actually care that what people calls us ’cause it’s a very thin line between the different genres. Anyway our music is very bombastic, epic and melodic metal.
Have you ever considered the possibilty to change totally your style of music? If so, what style of music would you choose?
I play and listen a lot of different kind of music and I love to play songs from here and there. But as long as Battlelore exists, we play metal.
What are stories/topics you tell/treat in your songs?
All of our songs are highly influenced by Tolkien’s writings and medieval fantasy. So all of them
are based on our view of Tolkien’s world and writings.
What is your favorite song in your repertoire and why?
There are many songs which I love and we just released our second album so it’s much more nicer to play songs from that new album ’cause you have played the old ones so much already. I believe that my favourite song at the moment is “Sons of Riddermark” but it changes almost every day. It’s all about the mood I have.
Do you tour regularly? Do you actually prefer performing your music live or in a studio?
We don’t tour very regularly. We do occasional gigs time after time and sometimes we do a bigger tours but it’s not very regular. Those both have their own good and bad sides.
When you are in the studio, the stress is much bigger and you have to be very focused all the time, but when you get something finished, the feeling is just amazing!
Touring and live playing is always great fun and definetily what we want to do, but the waiting when the show starts is really pressing.
During the process of making an album, what is the moment that you prefer?
The greatest moment in studio is when you here the final result and you are satisfied to it. Then you know that you have created something what really affect in your mind and hopefully it affect in somebody else too.
What kind of music / What artists do you currently listen?
I listen a lot of different kind of music as I already mention. A lot of old school black/death metal, industrial, meditation music, stoner rock, progressive rock, power metal etc.
My music taste is very versatile.
A stupid question but… what is among all the songs you’ve been listening in your life the BEST song?
This question is impossible to answer but just to mention one song from my endless list I prefer a song “Valtakunta” from the Finnish metal band called “Kotiteollisuus” because the feeling when you hear it is incredible!
You heart starts bouncing and you just want to bang your head. It’s very simple song but it really has its feeling.
Internet is something interesting for musicians because it gives them the opportunity to touch a larger audience but it is also a threat for them (regarding the copyrights). What is your opinion regarding this medium?
Internet is a great invention but because it is so ‘open’ and popular, you can’t avoid the negative things what comes with every good thing. Internet is a great place to make people know your art, but I just hate mp3 rip-offs!
Do you use computers or home studios during the process of making an album or a song?
Yes, a lot. Without computer technology our music would be very different. It’s much more easier if you have home studio equipments ’cause making the demo tapes from you new material is always very important for the final result.
What are your actual and future projects?
Regarding Battlelore, our second album “Sword’s Song” comes out in May 2003 so we just wait a feedback from the record and try to do touring as much as possible. Also a DVD compilation is released at the very same time, which was shooted throughout last year.