QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Rauli Alaruikka und Tuomo Marttinen (SUOTANA)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Tuomo, hey Rauli. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days? How are the other guys of Suotana?

Rauli: I’m very well, thanks for asking. There are good things coming out from the Suotana camp in the near future so I guess other guys of Suotana are very well too.

Tuomo: I am feeling very good, thanks. Feels good that our album is finally coming out soon.

Pix666: What inspired you to become a musician and did you already play in other bands before you joined Suotana?

Rauli: I have always liked music very much from an early age so at some point the interest towards music grew big enough in order to undertake the task of learning how to play an instrument in order to express myself through music. Of course in my teenage years it also felt like a good way to impress the opposite sex, haha. I have 3 other bands besides Suotana. A death metal band called Ravage Machinery, and two black metal bands, From The Void and Iku-Turso before I joined Suotana. I have played in some other bands and have filled in some shows in some bands like Wolfheart.

Tuomo: I love to express my feelings through music and metal music is the most convenient channel for me to do it. So that is the main reason why I have become a musician. I have sung before Suotana in a thrash metal band called Intervention.

Pix666: What is the meaning of the name of your band?

Rauli: It is kinda word play as it is a combination or a mixture of two words “suo” which means “swamp” and “saatana” which means “satan”. Also a funny thing is that if someone is cursing in a certain dialect and yelling “Saatana!” (which is a common cursing word in Finnish) it might be heard like Suotana!

Tuomo: HELL YEAH!!

Pix666: You released your new, wonderful single ‘Through the Mammoth Valley‘ including video clip some weeks ago. How were the fans’ reactions to the new song and how many hours did you spend in the cold during the video shoot?

Rauli: The feedback has been really positive and we really are so humbled by the praises we have got from both the music and the video. We never thought we would have over 30.000 views for the music video in just two weeks of time! We are so grateful to everyone who has viewed it and listened to the song and helped us to reach these figures which are really big for us.

Tuomo: We did the music video in two days. On the first day we filmed the band playing in the snow and on the second day we filmed story parts of the music video. On the day when we filmed the band parts where we played in the snow it was actually freezing cold as the temperature was around -20 in Celsius. To keep ourselves warm we had to mosh like hell and in addition we had some bottles of Koskenkorva (Finnish vodka) to warm us from the inside, haha.

Pix666: The third Suotana album entitled ‘Ounas I’ will be released in March. In which versions or variants will the album be available for purchase? Is it already possible to pre-order it somewhere?

Rauli: The album will be released on CD and Vinyl formats and it can be pre-ordered from Reaper Entertainment’s website. It will also be released on most of the streaming services and on digital download.

Tuomo: Well I would love to have it on C-cassette also.

Pix666: Let’s talk a little bit about your songs. How do you create your songs? Is there a certain plan? Who in the band is responsible for what and what themes are the lyrics of your songs about?

Rauli: Ville is the main driving force of the band in composing the songs as Suotana started as his solo project. Ville also does the lyrics for the songs but there is one song yet to be released where I have done the lyrics. So in other words Ville has the most responsibility at the moment of creating the songs but who knows if the situation evolves.

Tuomo: After Ville has done the demo versions of the new songs every one in the band can give their own ideas and perspectives. Sometimes some ideas can be even accepted.

Pix666: Is there a tour planned around the time of the album release or maybe some festival appearances?

Rauli: Yes there is a tour planned and we are really excited about it and it will be announced soon. We have already been announced for one festival in Finland SaariHelvetti and there might be more to come.

Tuomo: I hope to see you everyone there!

Pix666: How do you feel about the fusion of music and social media? Where are you represented on the internet and do you regularly check the statistics?

Rauli: Today social media plays a big part for bands as it is a good channel to spread information and news about the band to fans and even interact with the fans directly. Of course not everyone likes it but I think it is a good thing. Suotana has a page in Facebook, Spotify and in Instagram. We also have our own YouTube channel and who knows maybe we might make profiles on some other social media platforms too in the future. Personally I am involved in the band’s social media quite much so I have to check comments, mentions etc statistics on a regular basis.

Tuomo: Social media is one of the most important channels for bands to spread their music to as many people as possible and also to increase the visibility of the bands and what they are doing.

Pix666: You shot your latest video clip in Lapland – it looks really beautiful there. Tell the readers from Central Europe when is the best time of the year to visit Lapland and which places are not to be missed.

Rauli: Well I can tell you when you should NOT visit Lapland and that is around November because then it is the transition from the fall to winter which is a really bleak time as there are no leaves on the trees, not yet snow in the ground, everything is wet, dark, cold and the scenery is like fifty shades of gray. If you skip that time, then you can enjoy the beautiful nature and scenery of Lapland in different seasons. There are numerous beautiful locations in Lapland so it is hard to name just a few but if I have to, you should check of course the River Ounas and Lake Ounas and a special mention to Pakasaivo which has also been called as the “hell of Lapland”

Tuomo: Suotana is from Rovaniemi which is the capital of Lapland. Rovaniemi is mostly known as a nice and small winter-christmas hybrid city. Even Santa Claus has his own village here. Winter is a nice season to spend time in Lapland but I really love the summer here because of the midnight sun which means that the sun is up in the sky around the clock from the beginning of the summer and it sets for the first time at the end of the summer. The winter is the complete opposite as it is almost total darkness for almost as long. We call that dark period of time “kaamos”.

Pix666: Apart from music, are there other things you like to do?

Rauli: There are a lot of things that I like to do, but if I name a few I would say hunting, fishing and hiking in nature. I am also a craft beer enthusiast and I also brew beers with some of my friends and in addition I organize a craft beer festival. So I guess the holy trinity of my passions are music, nature and beer.

Tuomo: In my free time I listen to audiobooks and play video games. I also enjoy spending time at my cabin in the woods.

Pix666: Do you have any other news, that you would like to share with the fans?   

Rauli: At the moment we have announced one festival show for this year, but there are more gig related news coming and we are very excited about those news!

Tuomo: There will be another single from the upcoming album so stay tuned!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!!!



photos © by Toni Pallari