First of all, many thanks for taking time from your busy schedule and doing the interview, and congratulations on your tenth album being released! Did you think you’d make it this far?
Nope. We did not believe in the first place that we could get signed! Pretty well done for a few Metalheads from the middle of nowhere…
‘Manifest’ as an album seems much more diverse and experimental than ‘Pro Patria Finlandia’, your last album. What was the reason behind this?
No special reasons. We never have any master plan for a new album. Everybody writes music at home, and then we meet at rehearsals and decide which songs we keep and which we throw away. It is very democratic and is also one of the reasons why we have so bloody different kinds of material.
Which album out of your discography is your favourite, and why?
Our live album. It was something I personally wanted to get done and while we tried to get it done, we faced so much trouble it was unbelievable. It has old songs updated, with good sound. Sure, it is missing a couple of tracks I would have personally loved to see on it but you can’t have it all.
Can you tell our readers a little about how the band first formed? Was there a specific album that got you into Metal?
Basically, I used to listen to Rock’n’Roll, shit like Matchbox and Stray Cats. Then I heard from the radio Venom´s Witching Hour and that fucking changed my life forever. Got Welcome To Hell and the rest is history. We formed our first bands at the age of 13, mine was Schizor. Never got anything done till we formed Impaled Nazarene with my brother. And it is thanks to his song writing skills that our first three albums are so strong. He wrote all the music; basically he created the Impaled Nazarene style. I think one of the turning points was when he wrote the ‘Sadogoat’ single. It basically gave a sign of how things would turn out. It was melodic but brutal. Anyway, my bro and I had a band called Mutilation in 1989. It was not very serious and as other Mutilations started to pop out all around the world, we changed our name into Impaled Nazarene, got new members and started to take the whole fucking thing more seriously. Did a couple of demos, did 7" EP Goat Perversion, got signed to Osmose and here we still are.
There’s always been controversy about your lyrics. One example is the song Zero Tolerance from Nihil – do you seriously hate homosexuals, or is this part of the ImpNaz sense of humour, along with the ‘Motorpenises’ and ‘Goat Sodomies’?
We have pretty much said everything there is to be said about this subject. It is of course heart-warming to see that communists and homosexuals have found each other.
Do you think things like having albums banned in Germany has harmed your career in a major way?
One album, not albums. This is one thing that irritates the living fuck out of me. You take a look at Wikipedia and what it says about us there. It is a bunch of fucking bullshit - curse of the Internet. Any leftwing gluesniffer with typing skills can write whatever bullshit they like, and then it becomes a universal truth just because it is on Wikipedia. Does somebody SERIOUSLY think that European Union countries would vote about whether to distribute a CD? I mean, where do these cunts get their facts from?! So, only Nihil is banned on Germany. Not any other record in any other fucking country.
The actual banning has not harmed us but what has done us a lot of financial damage is getting us banned from playing in Germany, at State sponsored youth-houses or clubs. We can play in Germany but it has to be at privately owned clubs that do not get anything from the local State.
Although you’re very critical of communism and left-wing politics in general, you’ve said in previous interviews that you’d never call yourselves nationalist or patriotic. It seems that you agree with much of the ideals of the left wing, such as freedom of speech and even free health-care! Is it the attitude of the current left wing that stops you identifying with it, or is there still much anger after the Finnish-Russian war? And will we see any members of ImpNaz in politics ever?
Man... Freedom of speech and leftwing ideas?? I think if you would ask any Cuban or North-Korean citizens about freedom of speech in their communist country, you would not mention those two words in the same sentence after that. Just look at Germany, the Left wing now tries to silence metal bands. They just decide, "this and this band is a Nazi band". There is no any rational reasoning. It is just their opinion and they force it down everybody’s throat. Whatever you try to say, once the "Nazi-card" has been played, you are fucked. We are not into politics and we will not run for any party. We are nobodies here anyway so why would anybody vote for any of us? You’ve gotta be either ex-Miss Finland or an ex-athlete, then you can be sure you’ll get into parliament. And I do not identify with any fucking leftwing ideas. What free healthcare?? I go to private doctors if I get sick. Why? Because therefore I support small businesses rather than State-run bullshit and I can be sure that 1. I’ll get good treatment. 2. I do not have to wait for a week to get an appointment. 3. I do not have to be on same waiting hall with miserable single mothers and their crying bastards. Final point: Can somebody explain to how you are a Nazi or ‘rightwing supporter’ if you dislike leftwing and communists?? There is a reason why the Soviet Union et al disbanded - it did not work. How fucking stupid a cunt do you have to be not to get it?
It’s interesting that although you’ve been incorrectly labelled a Nazi band, there’s no obvious hatred of minorities in your lyrics, mostly just of the church and communism. What are your views regarding the war in Iraq, and the constant fighting in the Middle East in general?
There is one thing that these retards just do not get. We have NEVER defined what we are talking about when we sing about scum etc. It is left open for our listeners to decide for themselves. But somehow they manage to get it wrong, these lefties. Anyway, who cares really about our opinions on the Iraq situation? War is there; it has always been and always will. It is mixture of religion and oil, and there you go.
Impaled Nazarene seems one of the few bands to have a truly great relationship with its label, in this case Osmose – you’ve been with them since you (famously) signed with blood in 1992. Why do you think the relationship’s been such a successful one?
We simply have become friends over the years. It is fantastic that our relationship is based on friendship instead of business. There has been times when our sales went down but Osmose always stood by us. Never limited our budgets, never started to ask for pre-production demos and so on. A band like us needs a label that gives us 100% artistic freedom and Osmose has done that since the beginning. We are loyal people to those who treat us well. The same thing goes to our crew, they are our friends. There have been a couple of guys whom have seen that once you fuck us over, you are out faster than speed of light. We don’t forget.
You’ve had quite a few previous members from other well-known bands, such as Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, Taneli Jarva from Sentenced, and Kimmo Luttinen from Beherit amongst others. Are you still in touch with any of them?
Kimmo is my brother and I founded Impaled Nazarene with him. Our goals went in different directions and after SFP album he was out. Of course I am in touch with him, he is my only brother and I am fucking happy that all the bullshit we had between us after his split is now gone and forgotten. He is an amazing musician; he plays drums in The Perforators. It is his rock’n’roll band, nothing to do with metal, just good solid rock music. He was a session member in Beherit, only played a couple of shows, his main band was Impaz. Sometimes I see Alexi, maybe once a year; Bodom has become so huge it is unbelievable. As for Taneli, we have nothing to say to each other, I guess. Last time I saw him was something like 2003 or so.
What, if anything, do you do to keep your voice in condition?
I drink bourbon whiskey, and smoke cigars.
How’s the Finnish Metal scene? Are there any up-and-coming bands worthy of attention?
Our scene is shit, you have the big names and then you have a zillion copycats who try to be like their "idols" are. We do have a great Metal audience in Finland, though.
Why goats? Why not cows or sheep?
Goat equals Satan equals freedom equals hot chicks and alcohol and parties and metal. Cow equals food. Sheep equals god equals molesting priests equals believing in fairytales and Mickey Mouse. I’d rather drink Jack than suck priest dick.
Do you think Metal as a genre, and the extreme end of it especially, will still be here in say, another fifty years’ time?
Sure. Popularity will go down from time to time and then come back again. Just look at Maiden, Priest, Ozzy. Metal stays forever!
What are your current five top albums, new or old, metal or not?
1. Cavalera Conspiracy - Inflikted
2. Testament - The Formation Of Damnation
3. Anthares - No Limite Da Forca
4. Napalm Death - Smear Campaign
and last but not least:
5. This Is My Life, the song from Iceland for the Eurovision song contest 2008. I am too lazy to Google who the actual artist is.
Do you have a favourite joke you could tell us?
Thanks again for your time!
Any final words for fans, or perhaps the few who haven’t checked the band out yet?