Wolfheart recently released a new album. It is called “Wolves of Karelia” and we decided to ask Tuomas a few questions about it.
“Wolves Of Karelia” is your fifth Wolfheart full length. Can you tell us where are there differences compared to “Constellation of the Black Light”?
The theme is one of the differences, since the whole album is about winter war that took place in winter 1939-1940 between Finland and Russia. Also, it is the fastest album from us so far and some of the songs I wrote are really pushing the limits of our drummer Joonas.
Lyrically, you write about the winter war. Why did this topic as an inspiration came up now?
I was born and raised in the Karelian region and my fathers home farm is only 7km from the Russian border so a lot of things in that area and village still reminds about that war. Also that short war is one of the most remarkable parts in Finnish history so for a Finn it is very inspiring theme.
I have seen a play about the winter war in Finland once, it seems to be a big thing in Finland (obviously because it involves Finland) while many internationals have less knowledge about it. Do you feel that bringing this topic into your album could lead to more historic awareness?
I am just an artist who draws inspiration from things I see and read. I am not a teacher. If this album brings some people to read a bit more deeply about Finnish history it would be great but also I wanted to keep the album as neutral as possible and have no war references in album art or title. Just keep the theme in the lyrics. Winter war is something special in war history in general and maybe the perseverance and will of power is something people could learn.
One of the songs that jumped out to us is “The Hammer” what can you tell us about this song?
“The Hammer” is a song about the defiance and bravery that started to rise in the ranks of Finnish Army when they got their first battle victories and realized that even the biggest and strongest army can be stopped. From being an anvil becoming a hammer. I wanted the song to carry similar aggression and adrenaline that the soldier felt when they forced the enemy to retreat the first time.
Which of the songs on “Wolves Of Karelia” do you feel personally most connected with and why?
”Hail Of Steel” was the first song I wrote for the album and that kickstarted the whole writing process for the album but equally important song to me is ”Reaper” since that really underlines how outnumbered Finnish soldiers were with only 32 tanks against 3000 Russian tanks. Our 114 planes against 3800 Russian planes etc etc. Against all the odds never giving up.
You released “Hails of Steel” as a single, accompanied with an amazing, flammable video having burning axes . Can you tell us about the making of this?
I just love making videos and the whole production. Planning hours and hours of the locations, storylines, things to burn haha :). I love the ability to be able to work with the visual side of the music when I write music. I always have a visual image in my head of the song I am writing. Kind of like a movie poster, so creating videos goes well hand in hand with writing music. With this video I wanted to underline the underdog situation of Fins in the war and I just love to use fire as a visual element.
With Corona now putting the touring on hold, the release of “Wolves Of Karelia” is not having the direct promotion of Wolfheart live shows. How are you adapting?
We already did one virtual gig but now we are just waiting to see what will happen with the summer festivals. Hopefully we are able to get back to touring in september/october. Right now there is still a lot of album promo to be done, so we are able to keep ourselves busy for a while.
I saw you were organizing a digital Wolfheart show. Do you see this as a thing that could work also when Corona has left our world?
I hope that virtual gigs would only temporary short term thing. The energy between audience and the band is an essential part of the whole gig experience. We need that energy. I believe that every audience agrees. This is the only thing to do now but everybody already waits things to go back to ”normal”