Can you tell the readers a bit about the band's history ?
Raivio: I put the band up in year 2000 because I had few songs that didnt fit the style of my other band at the time called Plutonium Orange. I asked our drummer to try few songs out and they worked so good that we started to get more people to join the band. It took couple of years to find the right people to join the band. In year 2003 we did "Out of this gloomy light" demo and got signed by Firebox records right away.
What are your biggest musical influences ?
Raivio: Iron Maiden of course! But I´ve been influenced musically more by the bands like Rush, old Marillion, My dying bride, Duran Duran and Type O negative.
Can you speak to us about your new album called " Hope " ?
Raivio: Well, this album was much easier to do than the last album that took 6 months from me to write. This is our 3 album and I think that we have start to sound like this band should sound like, I think that when you put the new album up you can hear that it is Swallow the sun and no other band. I think that the new album got some new things too in it, but this is pretty much what we sound like and are made of, I couldnt be more happier how the album turned out.
How did you proceed for the composition and who is responsible for song writing ?
Raivio: I´ve done all the songs for the band so far, except 2 songs that have been made by our keyboardist.
What are the lyrics talking about and where do you find inspiration ?
Raivio: Lyrics deal with the nature, ghosts, women, dead women, love, dead love, coming end of the world and all happy stuff like that, hah! I find pretty much my inspiration from our nature and things that has happen to me.
Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) and Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis) both appear as guest vocal on this album, can you tell us more ?
Raivio: Yeah, it was so great to have those two great vocalist to visit the album. We were playing at the same festival as Katatonia last summer and our vocalist just asked from Jonas that would he like to visit the next STS album, Jonas said why not, so it was easy as that. Then we were trying to think that who would suit to sing the cover song that we recorded and Tomi Joutsen came to my mind, so I called him and he did the vocals next day,, so we things worked out almost too easy.
For you, what are the biggest differences between this new album and the previous ?
Raivio: There is no big difference cos this is how we want to sound like. But last album was more "doomy" but less melodic than "Hope".
What are your favourite songs out of this new album ? And what makes them so special for you ?
Raivio: Its hard to choose between your babies, but I really like "These hours of despair", "Dont fall asleep" and "Too cold for the tears". I think they are gonna work really good live too.
Are you involved in any other projects and if so how do they compare to Swallow The Sun ?
Raivio: No, there is no big projects going on at the time.
What are your favourite all times bands and albums ?
Raivio: Well, all Iron Maiden and Rush albums. Then "October Rust" from Type O Negative is a perfect album for me.
What's your opinion about the international metal scene ?
Raivio: There is so fucking many metal bands around today and seems that eveybody is playing their instruments perfectly and so damn fast, hah! Well, there is many great bands around but I really would want to hear more real songs than only hearing how fast people can play their instruments.
Do you have any funny or strange stories about the band you can share with us ?
Raivio: Well, this band is walking chaos on the road, so there is so many stories. Three has been polices arresting people from band and people has taken to hospital from the band.. all this kind of healthy behaviour, hah!
Are there any plans for an upcoming tour ?
Raivio: Yeah, we really hope that with the new label and album we could start to tour Europe at last for good. Hope that we could warm up some bigger bands 2007 and play some summer festivals in Europe too, it would be blast to show people what this band is made of.
What are your projects for the future ?
Raivio: Well, I already have started to think abou the next STS album. But playing the new one for the people is the biggest project for next year anyway.
And finally, can you say some words for my radio show Metal Choc ?
Raivio: Hope to see you all in the summer festivals, if you want to heart true pussy death/doom from finland you should check this shit out. See you all soon.