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Colosseum Interview; Corridors of Desolation
Friday, February 01 2008 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: Sage

Colosseum Interview

Heathen Harvest:  Thank you for accepting the interview!  Firstly let me ask what brought Colosseum into existence?  What brought you four together?

Juhani Palomäki:  Colosseum started as my project exploring the Funeral Doom influenced by dark ambient and classical works. I found a members for this group pretty quickly. I knew Olli (guitar) and Janne (bass) from previous musical projects and found Sameli (drums) through internet. I've known Olli for a couple of years and he was the engineer for a latest Yearning album "Merging into Landscapes". He's good with computers,gadgets and stuff. Janne is an old friend of mine with whom I've had some low profile projects in the past, he even sang background vocals for Yearning during the gigs at the time of the first album in '96-'97.

For me Colosseum was in the first place a tool to channel my frustrations into something creative and trying to find some new aspects in making music.All the members of Colosseum have got their own tastes in music, but there's quite a lot common too. We're all doomed.

HH:  Your band begun in 2006 and your music was released via Firebox Records in 2007.  Was some of this music already written prior to the band's formation?

JP:  I made a demo of three songs where I played all the instruments myself and that was sent to labels and released also in the web.All the material for a debut album Chapter 1:Delirium was  written in 2006.As I found the members for a band we started to rehearse these songs together until we were done.

HH:  What brought you into the world of Funeral Doom?  Your other project Yearning is based largely on more melodic and moving moments.

JP:  I've been a fan of Doom since I found the first album of Cathedral, My Dying Bride, Anathema and Unholy in my youth. Nowadays I don't want to copy these bands, but try to find something new aspects in this kind of music. Besides I don't think any of these bands could be considered as Funeral Doom anyway. Colosseum is slower and more orchestral if we compare to these bands. Yearning has gone to a more catchy direction, so with Colosseum I wanted to take slowness and blackness into extremes. Yearning is for melancholy,Colosseum's for coma.

HH:  Who did the artwork for Chapter I:  Delirium?  Why did you decide to go with this somewhat minimal art?

JP:  He's graphic designer Kalle Pyyhtinen, a guitarist of Shamrain. He sent us some sketches and asked which direction to go with the cover art.  We chose the style that seemed to be best fitting to the atmosphere of the record.It's not that minimal, there's some details in there, but the overall tone is very dark, so it may not be so easy to perceive.

HH:  Most funeral doom takes on the appearance of extremely minimal, incredibly trudging doom metal.  Your version of funeral doom not turns to more melodics in the music, but also doesn't seem to continue as slow as most funeral doom.  Why did you decide to take this direction?

JP:  The tempos are about 40-50 bpm, so it's slow, trust me. Music is based on orchestrations and melodies besides heaviness and that's what makes it interesting.

HH:  The first track on Chapter I:  Delirium is entitled "The Gate of Adar".  Who is Adar?

JP:  The Gate of Adar (or Ninib) is the seventh gate in "The Book of Entrance and of the Walking" in Necronomicon.  It has to do with the rituals aiming for an entrance to the "seven zones above Earth". The song itself has been influenced by the works of Lovecraft such as "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward".

HH:  Is the title of "delirium" meant to be a definition of the music?  A temporary slowing down of consciousness. 

JP:  Most of all Delirium is the title track of the album that describes that so of state both musically and lyrically.

HH:  You've mentioned the use of Opium in the track "Corridors of Desolation".  Was this merely for lyrical purposes or do you actually experiment with the drug?

JP:  I use drugs only for doctors order, so opium is not on my list. Accidents may have happened in the past.

HH:  In the last track, which is happens to be the title track, the ending is incredibly finite.  Delirium is generally a temporary disorder, but this album seems to have been a descent into melancholy until the very end.  Why was the album ended this way in retrospect to the album's title?

JP:  Delirium while not treated may cause a patients death, for example in Delirium Tremens that's caused by the sudden break after the large consumption of alcohol. Usually this state occurs after the actual hangover has passed, so it's wicked.If you read the lyrics of Delirium between the lines (and not too closely even) you may notice that the main character there ends up to a suicide.That's why there's this finality.

HH:  How did you come to do business with Firebox Records?  Has your relationship with them been well in the months since the album's release?

JP:  I sent them the demo songs of Colosseum and they were into our music. We're very pleased to their work.

HH:  Does the band associate with other doom projects from other countries?  Your sound reminds me largely of Sweden's Draconian, without the ever-present beauty of Lisa Johansson's voice, of course.

JP:  We are in contact with some doom bands from abroad. I haven't heard Draconian, so I can't comment on that.

HH:  The band has only performed 3 times since its birth in 2006, with no upcoming performances scheduled.  Why has there been such a lack in live visions from Colosseum, and can we expect to see more shows in the near future?

JP:  We are planning a tour in Russia with Skepticism in spring and might do some other shows also here in Finland. There has come some requests from other countries also.As it is a sheer fact that you can't make a living out of this music we're not obliged to tour all the time, just when we feel like it.

HH:  With Colosseum's big debut on Firebox Records, Yearning's future is unknown to the fan's of the band (like myself).  Could you please give us an update on Yearning?  I know the latest album was released last year on Holy Records and has seen good reviews.

JP:  Yes, "Merging into Landscapes" has been released in October 2007.It has been well received by the critics and I'm quite satisfied with the album. I'm not quite sure if the album has gotten all attention it deserves, 'cause Yearning hasn't been doing live shows for a long time etc.With Yearning I'd like to try some new ideas to make it interesting, but this may take some time.The latest two album has been good musically and it feels like a hard job to top then, there's some challenge in there.Let's see if I find a new path for Yearning.

HH:  As Yearning is primarily your project, why did you feel the need to start another band to release your slower material?

JP:  I needed a new concept to not get stuck in my old ways.

HH:  You released a demo under the name "Flegeton" in 1995.  Can we ever expect to see a re-release of this, even as bonus tracks on a Yearning album?

JP:  Holy Records have not been talking about this.They have got the master tape of the demo, so they could easily do it if needed.

HH:  You've mentioned Lustmord, Raison D'etre and Dead Can Dance as influences to you.  I know Ambient music plays a part in your writing, especially the more melodic side, but just how much influence does this hold over you?  What style of music do you generally listen to?

JP:  There's some influences here and there. I'm not an expert with ambient music as a genre, but it's a nice field to experiment musically. Nowadays I listen mostly to metal.

HH:  Can you give us some insight on your spirituality and ancestory?

JP:  I'm an atheist and my grandfather committed suicide (cheerful ancestors). I try not to be existentialistic and pessimistic idiot, but fail too often.

HH:  Are the other members permanent or session?

JP:  They are permanent members.

HH:  Is it expected the Firebox/Firedoom Records will release the second chapter from Colosseum as well?  How many chapters do you envision in this quest?

JP:  They'd be interested in releasing the next album.At least the second album should be released as there's already plenty of songs for it ready.

HH:  Thank you for the interview!  Good luck with your future endeavors.  Please feel free to take the following space to say whatever you need to say.

JP:  Thanks to you. Visit our website and hope to see you on gigs when they take their place. Check out Chapter 1:Delirium.


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