Apocalyptica – Intense And Intimate

For the first time in their career, which spans almost two decades, Finland’s Apocalyptica will be touring our stages. It’s strange to think, considering just how many fans jumped for joy after the tour announcement, had we all been waiting this long in silence? But hey, better late than never and this time they will be bringing with them their latest studio effort 7th Symphony, and according to drummer Mikko Sirén, we have no idea what’s about to his us.

Speaking from his home in Finland, during some much-needed downtime for the constantly gigging band, we dove right in: how does it feel to finally be coming Down Under? “It feels really great, we’ve tried many times to get there before, but because of a number of reasons, we’ve never been able to come.” Rest assured, as Mikko would explain, the band hadn’t forgotten about little ol’ Strailya, but for one reason or another, the tour just never took off: “We’ve been trying to come down for Soundwave, or whatever other festivals we can get there, but there’s always been an issue, either it couldn’t work out, or the promoter hated us, that sort of stuff”.

For many years now, along with other fans of the classical ensemble fused with metal sensibilities, I had only ever imagined what one of their concerts would be like, bringing together what appears on the surface as two very different worlds. However, as Mikko explained, it’s not such a strange connection: “The crowd is one of the coolest things about this band. It’s such a strong mixture. Young kids from 16 to 17, then you can see these metal heads, then you can see the people more influenced by the classical, and it all just blends so well. It’s a really great energy, and we love being able to play for so many different types of people. It really is a lucky situation. It works surprisingly well. When we’re performing live, it’s a 100% metal show. So these people who have never been to a metal gig before, to see them smiling at the end of the show, running around in the pit – it’s great.”

For a band somewhat bound by the restraints of the classical ethic, they are constantly developing new ways to explore their sound, the most…exposed example being with 7th Symphony, where they recorded the album totally naked. The notion of vulnerability is clear, though we got talking about the other motivations behind this: “I think it’s just because I’m a fucking jackass,” Mikko couldn’t stop laughing at this point, “Nudity for the Finish people is the most unsexual thing ever. Whether or not people like it, we are all naked all the time. So the producer wanted to really capture the moment. He asked me to play the Bass for recording and I’ve always seen that bass players are monkeys who are always drunk and naked, so that’s really how it started, and I convinced the others to follow along with the silly idea.” Mikko was quick to write it off as silly, though the result worked, with 7th Symphony coming off as one of the group’s most open and accessible releases yet.

Throughout their career, Apocalyptica has always been seen as the band’s band. Just looking through their back catalogue, you will see some impressive guest artists appear, including Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. The conversation turned down this road as Mikko described what he took away from these collaborations: “We’ve been around for such a long time, and we’ve been touring like hell in Europe. We’ve met all these guys along the road and for some weird reason they really appreciated the music we make, so it was just really waiting for the right moment, so when we came up with music that would suit, say, Corey, we’d hit them up and they’d be really willing to do that. It’s really, really flattering and such a great opportunity.” The effect of this is just another world molded perfectly with that of Apocalyptica.

So the dates are locked in, and we finally have the fortune of witnessing one of the most unique and time-tested bands of the last twenty years. From the excitement in Mikko’s voice, it’s obvious that the band is just as excited as we are: “we have been rehearsing like crazy. We are bringing a more theatrical approach than we’ve done before. We’ll be playing slightly more classical stuff than on most tours.” He finished off the chat with a succinct description of what we can expect: “It will be intense and intimate. That’s what we try to do.”

Thu 30th August – Brisbane Hi-Fi 18+

Tickets from thehifi.com.au or 1300 The HIFI & Moshtix outlets

including Kill The Music, Butterbeats CBD & Valley and Atlantis Music Southport

Fri 31st August- Sydney Hi-Fi 18+

Tickets from thehifi.com.au or 1300 The HIFI & Moshtix outlets

including Resist Records, Utopia Records & Red Eye Records

Sat 1st September- Melbourne Hi-Fi 18+

Tickets from thehifi.com.au1300 THE HIFI & Moshtix outlets

including Fist2Face, Polyester Records & Greville St Records

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