As my first band to interview, I decided to go with Atretic Instestine for a few reasons – most importantly because they’re a really kick ass band that combines brutal grooves with more traditional death metal – and with their amazing riffs, great vocals and sick lyrics, what’s not to like? If you add to all this their wild live shows, the package is ready! Here we chat with vocalist Iiro Kosonen, who’s been extremely active in the scene (booking gigs, etc.) for many years, and also happens to be a great and friendly dude, so I thought why not ask some questions from him and ruin his day?
1. Hail Iiro! Please, do introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the history of the band. How did things get started and how have you gotten to where you are now?
Hail! Well shortly: I am Iiro Kosonen, 25-year-old death metal maniac from Turku, west coast of Finland. I also am a songwriter/vocalist of a Finnish death metal band Atretic Intestine.
Since my teenage-years death metal was the biggest thing musically for me, and after having some minor experience in music we got the idea of creating a death metal band with 2 of my friends from school… late 2006 we had first rehearsals with the band which was later to be known as “Atretic Intestine.”
First months it was just a fun side-project but pretty fast it became the most important of my bands to me.
2. If I understand correctly, there hasn’t been that many lineup changes, or am I mistaken? Has the “core” of the band always been the same?
Well, since the very start I am the only original member, but during the past few years there has not been much changes in the line-up. The previous big changes (which put us on a break on gigs and so on) have been back in 2007 I think…
On the first demo we had only 1 guitarist and I played drums along with doing vocals, and after that we quickly decided to get a second guitarist to get some harmonies and heavier sound and a real drummer so I could focus only on vocals.
In 2010 we had 2 line-up changes when we got a new drummer Tomi, and new guitarist Markus who filled their tasks immediately and learned the songs very fast, so these changes were only good for the band.
3. There seems to be a bit of evolution between the demos and EPs compared to Encased. Just natural evolution? Correct me if I am wrong, but I tend to hear more “brutal death metal” sounds in the full-length compared to the older stuff.
Natural evolution, mostly. Most of us have always wanted Atretic Intestine to have both sides of death metal: Groovy riffs & sinister melodies from old school death metal, and some heavy slams along with technical aspects from modern US-styled death metal.
Reason for being “only” old school previously was mostly our previous drummer, as brutal death metal requires (in my opinion) a very skilled drummer and so before our current drummer Tomi joined the band in 2010 our previous drummer wanted to stick with the basic stuff so the songs adapted to his style of playing and so brutal death metal couldn’t be on earlier records.
4. You have a few old songs on Encased. They just fit the album’s sound, or you felt that they were such good songs that you wanted to record them again? Did you make any new arrangements to them?
To be honest we didn’t have enough material for our debut-album out and wanted to get the album fast out instead of putting more months into writing and rehearsing new songs so we made some minor improvements on the older songs to make them fit more into our current style.
5. Now a controversial question. You put out the CD through Inverse Records? There has been a bit of bad word about them going on in the scene. Any comment on the matter? Will they release the next album too?
To be polite let’s just say that we will not release our next album through Inverse Records. We are currently searching for a new label to work with in the future.
6. About the lyrics next. You have some pretty sick stuff written down. “Melting Vagina” and “Rectal Destruction” come to mind. Also there seems to be a bit of a dark, humorous side in the band. Just a matter you feel like fits the music or what is behind these lyrics? Any clear storied behind the lyrics?
For us it has always been like that, and most likely will always be like that: Some of the lyrics we have are echoes from the dismal sides of life, society & the world overall, but we also have lots of references to B-class horror/splatter-movie themes which we find sick, perverse, twisted… and yes, humorous.
7. You made the music video for the song “As My Body Rots.” Blood, shit and gore! How was that like and how has been the aftermath and benefits?
It was great! It came out exactly as we wanted! Or actually, even better! It gives you a great impression of the band and what our death metal is about. We still owe a huge thanks to everyone who participated and helped us with it, mostly Petri Vilén who directed, shot & chopped it!
The aftermath and benefits have been good, naturally lots of people had the first visual impression of our band via that music video. Hopefully we got some new fans (and haters!) through that.
8. You have other bands beside Atretic Intestine; at least Cumbeast. Any other projects going on?
Along with Atretic Intestine I have 2 other bands/projects: Cumbeast (groovy deathgrind) and a brand new soloproject Cockrot (goregrind).
Also when I have time I play some 80′s hard rock covers in my sister’s band.
9. If there is believing Metal-Archives, you have played in quite a few bands too. One major band that I remember is Dethera. Now said band is already dead and buried. How come? You seemed to have had things going pretty good back then!
Haha yeah, and that’s not even the half of it! I’ve often had some projects/guest & session things going on and it’s good for me, I enjoy music but can’t commit 100% to everything I’d like to.
About Dethera the reason is very simple: Everyone wanted to do different stuff, and the musical differences became too big, so no big drama. Everyone had other band projects where they began doing their “own stuff” and eventually Dethera faded away. No big drama behind that. The guitarist of Dethera (Markus Vainio) has been actually playing in Atretic Intestine with me since he left Dethera.
10. I know you are a really busy man. Few active bands, family, work and at least you used to do a lot of gig booking. How did you find time for all this?
Sometimes I think about it myself as well haha…
Mostly because when there are lots of stuff going on for 1 band (gigs/tours/studio etc.) the other band(s) naturally can’t have the same amount of attention at the same time. Often after some stressing gigs, tours, studio-sessions etc., we take a small break when the same faces get too annoying!
Sometimes it seems to be pretty hard to get everyone at the rehearsals at the same time, but it’s not a major problem as people can practice the songs at home.
I’ve given up the gig-booking though, it became too stressing for me. Maybe I’ll arrange something small later in the future, who knows?
11. How does the future look for Atretic Intestine? Second album? Gigs and tours?
Currently the future looks very good. We just got into a new rehearsal place 3 weeks ago and it gave us all shitloads of motivation because everything is so much better now than in the older shithole.
We have 6 new songs written, 4 of them practiced and lyrics ready. We will begin recording the new album hopefully during this year, but can’t say that for sure yet. We had some rushing with the previous album, so we will take all the time we need to make this as good as possible. Only thing I can say about the new album is that it will consist of 8 brand new songs, which are brilliant death metal madness! Really looking forward to recording new stuff, it will seriously blow your brains out.
Considering gigs/tours we have a pretty empty calendar for autumn and winter. There are plans for a couple of gigs but can’t talk about them until something is 100% confirmed.
12. What is your opinion of the scene in Turku nowadays?
The scene in metal overall is great. Personally I would like to see more brutal death metal in Turku (as well as in whole Finland). During this year many great metal bands from Turku have released/will release awesome CD’s and I have to be real proud of my hometown because of that (Hateform, Torture Killer, Concrete Icon, Sortokausi, Devastracktor to name a few).
The problem in Turku currently is that there are really no possibilities in arranging a metal-evening or weekend anywhere in Turku so we just have to hope for a new venue to open its doors at some point. There is 1 active organizer who does metal shows monthly on weekends in Turku (and does a great job with that, all respect to Mikko Mäkinen & Metallihelvetti!) but it would be good for the scene if there were room for more organizers, because there would definitely be loads of interesting bands and audience here.
Also, on July 19 & 20th in Lieto (a small town very near to Turku) is 1 of the biggest Finnish metal festivals Hammer Open Air so that also brings some more metal-heads and life here in Turku as well. They have bands such as Venom, Candlemass, Repulsion and Morrigan this year, just to name a few, so check it out if interested.
13. The album covers of Encased and Human Ravagery are really something else. Apparently, one can make a great album cover with a “photo.” Can you tell us a bit about these covers? What are the stories behind them?
We just tried to think of a different approach to the cover art as most brutal death metal acts have just the usual drawn pictures of mutilated women along with rotting corpses and/or zombies eating human flesh and we didn’t want to go the traditional way so we decided to try a bit more of a personal approach to the matter. We talked with Petri Vilén about using real photos as album covers and he found it to be a great idea as well, then we just made it happen with his skills! We think the sinister & twisted, but still realistic photos serve our music more than well, and we will also have a photo as a cover on the next album as well.
14. Then a more personal question. What do the members of Atretic Intestine do outside of the band? Do they study or go to work etc?
Currently all of us work the usual 40-hour-a-week, and 2 of us have family.
When we are free from work/family/band duties we do the usual: Watch some movies, play video-games, go to the gym/some other sports, listen to music of course, drink some beer or something like that. Steady usual lives, nothing special, haha.
15. Let’s end the interview with a more obscure question. Name your top 5 list of anything at the moment.
1. My Family
2. Summer holidays
4. Resident Evil 6
5. Russian death metal
16. Thanks for the interview! Feel free to say whatever you want!
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