QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Aleister Kainulainen (KING SATAN)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hey Aleister. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of KING SATAN?

Aleister: Greetings! And pleasure! We are alive and well, hope you are too there. We are of course facing the same reality with Covid-19 related issues as everyone else, and after all tour plans to promote our 2nd album in 2020 backfired, we just decided to start to take some time off to ourselves and then to start to work on new music.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you meet and what was your inspiration to become a musician? What kind of music does KING SATAN make?

Aleister: We are occult industrial metal band originally from Tampere, Finland, where I founded KING SATAN first to be my solo project in late 2015, but it has then evolved into a full line-up band with strong emphasis on live shows. Despite the band is being founded in Tampere, none of us are originally from here but around the Finland. Tampere is kind of Central town where alternative and metal folks end up somehow. I have known all KING SATAN members before they joined the band one way or another from my social or band circles, except our new drummer PETE HELLRAISER who we did find with open and public recruit campaign including auditions with the help of Finnish metal medias.

As long as I remember I have wanted to make music one way or another, so personally I have no memory ever deciding to become a musician. I just started making electronic music already when I was something like 9-10 years old, inspired by THE PRODIGY at the time. I asked from my parents about it, they don’t remember either if I had any deciding moment, I just asked one day if they could they buy me equipment to make electronic music and they did after inquiring if I was serious about it. It was not very disciplined work at the time though hahah. So, the crucial point was probably when I was 13 years old and I got my first electric guitar, as two weeks after that I founded my first band and I have been on that road with fullest of focus ever since!

Pix666: You have also recently released new music with your band Saturnian Mist and have been on the road as a musician for a few years.  What have been the best experiences and milestones as a musician so far?

Aleister: This is hard one, so many great experiences. But as couple of my greatest passions are traveling and live shows, the European tours with both of my bands might’ve been couple of the best experiences not only as a musician, but also as individual. I just can’t wait to get back on the road again after this Covid-19 will be conquered. As a musician I am kind of mad scientist, and I just love the creative flow and the manic madness related to it. It feels like I am opening the gates between two worlds, this one and the other one where the ideas dwell, and I just want to go deeper to those worlds and see what I find from there. It’s best thing you can do with trousers on I guess.

Pix666: Some months ago your new single ‘This is Where the Magick Happens. How were the fans’ reactions?

Aleister: The feedback has been incredible! Many old fans have commented this being our best song we have released so far (wait till you hear the rest of 3rd album!) which is of course splendid to witness. Especially since our style is going through bit of a change, as it shows more metalized side of our works. The way we have been performed in our live shows with full band line-up you know? We wanted to do this in studio now as well. It didn’t come as a surprise to those who have seen us live, it felt like they were expecting it already! But of course we did not know what to expect from those who hasn’t and were expecting our older aggrotech based sound. But now month later at least, majority of them were also extremely pleased about it as well, which proofs that our fans seems to understand that our musical style is not in the genre definitions, but between the lines!

Pix666: You have also released a new video clip. There have already been more than 40,000 views on YouTube. I’m a fan of statistics of all kinds. What about you? Do you look at the numbers of streams, the views on YouTube, or do you know, for example, in which countries the people who listen to your music live?

Aleister: It has indeed been going stronger than ever before, and for a band like us who has no major label support but work very DIY attitude, it is of course fantastic to realize that there really is an audience for our works. I did see some statistics about the music video and digital streams, and when comparing to past, there has been significant rise with the listeners and viewers coming from countries of Germany, Poland and Italy. Apparently Scandinavia, Belgium, Russia and Switzerland has been strong for us already in the past, and USA as well, but USA is also the main source of hatemail as well hahah, seemingly lots of fundamental Christians there who can’t handle our existence!

Pix666: The video is quite different from the videos you usually see from metal bands – that will stick in the minds of the fans! Who had the idea for this clip, where did you shoot it and where did you find the actors?

Aleister: “This is Where the Magick Happens” music video, like all KING SATAN music videos, is written and directed by me. And I also mostly do the edits too. When it comes to the music videos, I am very auteur oriented. It is no secret that I am a fan of exploitation films and 90’s music videos, but also surrealism and absurdism, so I wanted to pursue these elements with full focus this time, combined it of course together with our style of carnivalesque occultism and blasphemous dark humour! We filmed the storyline around the city central of Tampere, Finland in very much guerrilla style, and the live show footage is from our show in On The Rocks, Helsinki, Finland.

The lead actor Niko Kontiainen is a long time friend of mine, and he was already in “Fuck Yoga” music video for our 2nd album, only with gas mask on him. But it was when we all realized he looks a little bit like the stereotypical Western version of Jesus of Nazareth! Of course we had to make KING SATAN music video where he would be included without any gas mask on! When it comes to the other actors… I have worked closely together with local legend and DIY artist Mika Pettissalo ever since 2017’s “Psygnosis” music video and he helped casting this time together with burlesque performer Stella Polaire and the actor/performer Marika Jalava (playing the female lead, casted by Mika Pettissalo).

Pix666: When you release a new single, usually an album isn’t far away. Is there anything in the works that you can already reveal?

Aleister: Usually this is the case, but Covid-19 fucked up lots of plans, so we cannot give any guarantee of the album release date at this point, but I can share this much that the album is almost complete and we are working with other music videos as we speak. Just stay tuned!

Pix666: Where do you get the ideas for your songs, which topics do you mainly deal with?

Aleister: I write a lot in order to deal with my thoughts, I have several diary kind of journals where I just write lyrics, poems, aphorisms, prose and thought patterns. They becomes lyrics in the end one way or another. I am kind of restless soul who is drawn to melancholy and who tries to make sense of the existence, so my inspiration usually comes from aspects surrounding philosophy, literature, human psychology, existential issues, mysticism, occultism, history etc, which all is tied together by my everyday life and experiences.

I guess our two first albums have dealt mostly with occult philosophy and existentialism in the context of truth seeking, which I started calling as “Spiritual Anarchy” already in the debut album. You know, inspired by the the proverb, “trust the one who seek the truth, but run away from those who claim to have found it”. And of course the archetype of Devil (both in Jungian and Ancient Greek sense) in its many forms is a centrepiece in this puzzle and is related to everything we do directly or indirectly. It is just so strong symbol and the essence, which is related to all aspects of human thinking.

And among the other ways to look at it, I think the concepts of “Devil” and “God” are categories of human understanding which could be added to the Immanuel Kant’s system of “Categories of Understanding” in order to make sense of the humankind’s relationship with the divine. So this way, everybody deals with these aspects, no matter if they are Atheists or Theists or Agnostics, or even if they don’t call these archetypes as such. But yeah, this is one way to put it, and I am obsessed about it, which probably shows in our lyrics, even not all deal directly with this issue, but more of profane existential stuff. Like “This is Where the Magick Happens” don’t touch this topic actually at all. Anyway, I am like the guy of that internet meme who promises won’t talk about religion (or philosophy) at the bar, and three drinks later, hah!

Pix666: How do you generally create your songs? Is there a certain plan? Who in the band is responsible for what?

Aleister: I am main composer and kind of art director in this band, but my bandmates bombard me with their ideas as well, sometimes they are compositions or just song ideas. If I get a grasp or inspiration from it, or if I think it could be a good fit with some of my texts, I start work it further in my home studio into full demos and songs. And once there are enough demos to make an album, we go work it together again in the studio where I do not touch instruments anymore, but only do the vocals and let the musicians way better than me work their magick. The way I built the band is that all musicians that I work with must be better with their instruments than me, so they can always bring their own unique touch to the songs.

I think it has made us stronger and better a lot. But as for me, sometimes when I am writing something, I start hear music in my head which leads into composition, or sometimes when I just play some instrument, I start hear my writings as vocal patterns in my head. It’s very intuitive in the end I guess, and I have no one method really. Less I think about it, more efficient I am, hah!

Pix666: Were you allowed to play concerts during the pandemic, or did everything have to be postponed? Do you already have plans for concerts in 2021?

Aleister: We released our 2nd album “I Want You To Worship Satan” exactly at the same time when Covid-19 pandemic erupted. We managed to play Finnish leg of our album release tour at least which ended at the end of January 2020. After that all cancelled or post-poned, and all those post-poned ones ended up eventually being cancelled after too many changes. Our second European tour didn’t even get to announced before it was cancelled. Things got little better for brief amount time and we played one festival show and one club show in August and September 2020 here in Finland, but then again all was cancelled and restrictions kicked in.

We are really live show oriented band, so it kind of got to us… But we channeled the frustration into making new music with the all cancelled plans. We have some plans for shows in 2021, one of them already announced, hometown show with our fellow industrial metallists FEAR OF DOMINATION in October. But mostly all concert plans are for 2022 to support our 3rd album where we will most likely execute the plans we had for 2nd album touring, heh. But more of that later, and fingers crossed that the world can be opened refreshed and renewed soon enough.

Pix666: You were part of the Virtual Dark Malta Festival in June. How was it for you compared to a normal concert or festival? Will you also be a guest at the Dark Malta Festival on the beautiful island in 2022?

Aleister: Virtual and online festivals feels like music video filmings mostly from the artist point of view. It will never of course match the actual live show atmosphere, but with good production it can come very close or offer something different that normal live shows can’t offer, like Dark Malta and Renaissance Alternative Festivals did. Great experiences both! 2022 festival is relaunch of 2020 edition, so it was already booked then and therefore we are not part of the bill, but keep your eyes open for the future!

Pix666: Social media and music streaming are both a blessing and a curse for bands. From your point of view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this development for your band. How much do KING SATAN use social media and where are you represented?

Aleister: There are official Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts for KING SATAN band and for some of us individually (like yours truly), the activity there in those are pretty random I must admit, mostly for spreading news about shows and releases, but we have few times interacted with our followers there the way it won’t be possible elsewhere, and it has been quite interesting! We did this “Ask us Anything” Q & A -thing from our followers and it was really a success, can be found from our YouTube channel still. It’s an area we are quite new with still, and could be pursued future more, who knows, as long as music will be priority.

Also thanks to social media we had quite powerful start in 2015-2016 which was noted outside of Finland too surprisingly well, when traditional music media did not yet had any idea about us. But it is a blessing and a curse like you said. The times have changed a lot already in such short timeline I think. I am not expert of course with the matter, but for me it seems that social media has changed people’s mental focus to prioritize quick fixes, short sightness, fast changing trends and led into masses of people lacking any bigger picture of reality surrounding us. Of course majority of the human world has always been favoring superficiality over substance, but I think the development of social media culture is helping its growth almost exponentially. However social media is here to stay, but still I have found out that more it develops, more the Luddite side of me starts to awaken hahaha.

Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue?

Aleister: To get mind of things, I love to travel or get lost into the nature. I guess art, music, movies, reading, traveling and exercise are my regular getaways. I have been also developing own system of occult philosophy over the years as a hobby, which thoughts can be seen partially from my interviews through the years, like some of our devoted fans already have spotted. But it’s hobby for life and man’s gotta have hobbies!

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

Aleister: I cannot unfortunately reveal anything more at the moment, but things are happening behind the curtains very actively as we speak. Drop a follow in our channels and stay tuned for future news!

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

Aleister: Thank you very much for the interview!



photos © King Satan & Cerulean Midnight / Alexändra Sleäze Photography