The melodic-metal band Snakegod was founded in 1998 in Tampere/Finland. Starting as a hobby-cover-band of WHITESNAKE and DIO songs, they developed more and more of their own material, and were soon considered to be a secret highlight of the Finnish musical scene. In 2002 their album "Invitation" was released worldwide by MTM-Music and very soon reached Russia so we decided to make in inteview with these talanted young Finns. The interview was given by: Jari Tiura - vocals, Jani Holli - keyboards, Petri "Pete" Repo - bass


MetalKings.com: If I'm not mistaken the band name Snakegod comes from the Egyptian mythology. Why do you have such an interest to the old Egypt culture and why Snakegod in particular attracts your attention?

Jari: You're right, although our songs are not really about Egyptian mythology. But that area is definitely a great source for stories, and I find the atmosphere of Egyptian culture very exciting. There are so many wonders and secrets in their world.

Jani: The real reason for our name is that we love so much Whitesnake's music, and thatswhy we wanted to have the word "snake" in our name. First our name was Snakebite, until we found out that there exists already a band with that name. Then we called ourselves "Snakegarden", which didn't really feel right, and so it became "Snakegod". After we had chosen this name, we discovered that there is a Snakegod in Egyptian mythology. But I think this name also fits very well, because we have a little bit of such influences on our debut album, like in the song "Behind the storm".


left to right: Pete, Make, Jari, Jani (photo by Sauli Kinnunen)

MetalKings.com: "Invitation" is the title of your debut album, where do you invite your listener?

Jani: We'd like to invite our listeners to Snakegod's music world, because this is our debut and it is an introduction to our music style.

Jari: Absolutely, and without pretending any feelings or trends. We cherish songs which withstand the test of time, and thatswhy our Invitation is for everyone who loves music itself. Not just categorised styles like Power- or Black Metal, only because they are in fashion right now. Also the pure nature of songs is much stronger than songs with too many artificial effects. There have to be feelings in the music.

MetalKings.com: Your previous drummer Kari "Lacu" Lahtinen joins Hanoi Rocks. Who is your new drummer and how did you find him?

Jani: Now we have Mikael Hakamies on drums. He played in a band of Pete's friend and they recommended Mikael to us as a real talented player.

Jari: Mikael is our guest-drummer now and maybe, if he serves us good enough we keep him :) He is very young, only 18, but very talented and with great skills.

MetalKings.com: Nowadays a lot of Finnish bands play melodic-power, and you ain't the first, so in your opinion, what makes your band distinguish from the others?

Jari: Well... noone can make songs like we do :) Seriously, I believe our strength is the quality of the songs. Of course, others also make great music but still there is some special sound in Snakegod. We also can play in many different ways, and most of all, we can perform our music live on stage sounding the same way like on the album, and that rocks! :)

Jani: In my opinion, our strength is the melodical song writing and the powerful vocals. Jari has a very impressive voice, people say he sings like the old/traditional heavy singers used to. He gets mostly compared to Dio and Coverdale.

Pete : I think also the drum work on the album is quite special. And Jari is right, we can really play our songs in different ways. Sometimes, when we make a new song, we are surprised ourselves, because the song first might be meant to be a ballad and after some rehearsing it becomes very speedy or even turns out to sound like Pop. There are so many possibilities how to play a song. I also think that we have found a good way of being traditional but without sounding old-fashioned, especially for our new material.

MetalKings.com: One of the songs from "Invitation" called "Evil Woman". Very sad story... It looks like one of its authors had a major problem with a girlfriend, did he?

Jari: Don't we all always have? Is using your time to make music, really a good enough reason that someone else reacts hard? But a major problem... hmm.. there are always solutions to all problems.

Pete: This Evil Woman doesn't really exist though, she was more a phantasy creation, but of course based on some experiences. Our lyrics usually have two meanings, there are hidden messages. We like to leave some space to the listeners' own phantasy.


left to right: Jari, Jani, Pete, Make (guitar) (photo by Sauli Kinnunen)

MetalKings.com: According to the news, you already start preparing material for the second album. Can you tell us a few words about it?

Jani: Yes, of course. We already have the new songs ready for the second album. The new material is a little bit softer and more hit-like than on "Invitation". Of course we still have fast and hard songs in it, maybe even more than on Invitation, but everything sounds more fresh and developed. Now we are looking forward to a new record deal (we just left our former label Mastervox), and to record the material as soon as possible.

Jari: Actually we already recorded a few songs as demos, and now the material simply sounds like our best of! :) It is definitely very breathtaking for me. The songwriting has also improved compared to Invitation.

Pete: It was good to record those demos in a real studio, because that is usually the moment of truth, when the real soul of the song shows. I think we finally achieved for what Invitation was only the starter, to combine Metal with Rock, by choosing the best of both. Of "Invitation", most people's and also our favourite song was "Divine High Priestess", so we went a bit more in that sound-direction now. But there are also some more progressive elements in the new material. The people who have already listened to these demos and also we, are very pleased with the result.

MetalKings.com: If you had a possibility to invite any musician for the guest appearance on the second album who would be invited?

Jani: I personally would invite Lacu on drums, and it would be great if Jari and David Coverdale would sing one song together.

Jari: ….let me think.. Ritchie Blackmore.

Pete: Yes, Blackmore and also Halford. Would you arrange that, please?

MetalKings.com: Will you record some covers for the second album as you started as a cover band?

Jani: No absolutely not, because now is the time to compose own songs. Maybe some day we will record one cover song. First we planned to play same covers in our live performances, but then we only have played our own material.

Jari: Nope, we don't like that kind of thing. If you are not good enough to create your own music why you do it at all? Of course there are commercial reasons to rerecord one already known hit but that is not our idea. Many bands do it and then afterwards, their own songs sound like shit (sorry) compared to their cover versions. That's not good.

MetalKings.com: What country would you like to visit with gigs most of all?

Jari: My favourites would be Japan ,USA, Germany or CIS.

Pete: Germany, Japan and South America.

Jani: I think there are so many interesting countries to play in. So far we have only played in Sweden (Sweden Rock Festival) and in Finland of course, although we also had offers from Germany already. Unfortunately the dates didn't fit. In my opinion, all countries where we have fans are worth to visit.

MetalKings.com: What hobbies do you have besides music?

Jani: I eternally renovate my old house and I also do 3D-computer graphics.

Jari: My time is unfortunately too limited now for hobbies, but whenever I can, I enjoy resting on the countryside, and if possible with three beauties.

Pete: I build guitars and basses. Actually I just made a new bass for Hanoi Rocks' bass player. I also like to relax at my playstation and I have two dogs.

MetalKings.com: Thanx for the interview and your final words to Russian metalheads:

Jani: I hope we can play in your country some day. But I'm afraid the only Russian sentence I know is: Mui zabirajem metallalom! :)

Jari: Keep real metal alive and stay hungry in whatever you do, Hannibal. Oh yes, and don't forget to visit our website www.snakegod.com It gets regularly updated.

Pete. "When your imagination starts running wild...there is no weakness, desperation...fate opens up the door just for you and I..." -DEFENDER-

 

RAG DOLL
MetalKings.com

(August, 2002)

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