QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Sara Strömmer and Saku Solin (Fear Of Domination)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Sara, hey Saku. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of Fear Of Domination?

Sara: Hi Marko! Thank you for having us! Surprisingly things are not all that bad though we have this corona situation going on. I have found new things to enjoy in my life and of course FoD is releasing a new killer album!

And hi from my end as well. Still alive and kicking. Trying to have some perspective to this corona situation and focusing on the good things I am lucky enough to have.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music does Fear Of Domination make?

Sara: Heavy, hard, dancy, groovy and somewhat a guilty pleasure phenomenon concept for some people.

Saku: What she said!

Pix666: What was your inspiration to become a musician and what are your favourite bands?

Sara: Music has been a huge part of my life ever since I was little. That irresistible attraction made me want to become a musician. My favorite bands are The Gathering, Linkin Park and Devin Townsend.

Saku: I have lived and breathed music from my childhood moments to this day. And I have always loved to sing and explore new music. And I love to share those highlight moments with people let it be show or maybe just listening to good stuff at someones living room. And from the early years I have been inspired by charismatic persons which surely has given me will to rise on the stages.

Pix666: You’ve been around with FOD for about 15 years now – what have been the greatest and most unforgettable experiences in your time as a musician?

Saku: Maybe one would be our first MetalOrgy- show where we performed to nearly sold out club when we were still just youngsters and had no idea of what FoD is or what we want it to be. More like pure passion for music and looking for a way to show it. Later on there are lots of good moments for example our first tour in Europe with Hanzel und Gretyl.

Pix666: Sara, you joined the band a few years later. When and where did you meet these guys?

Sara: Funny enough I think Saku came to my vocal lessons around 2015. Something happened there and a few years later I was asked to replace Helena Haaparanta for one of the FoD gigs in Helsinki. So there began my journey towards the position of second lead vocalist of FoD. Guys decided to add me as a permanent member of the band in 2017 Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – while the gig was still on. I knew some of the guys already beforehand and we had a nice chemistry so it was easy to “jump in”.

Pix666: In February you released the video clip ‚Amongst Gods‘ and some weeks ago ‘Dive Into I’. Where did you shoot the clips? Who was part of the team and were there any complications during the shoot due to certain Corona restrictions?

Sara: We made the music videos for “Amongst Gods” and “Dive Into I” in a somewhat small group. Of course the band was present at the shooting location but we tried to keep the party small as possible. Only a few extra hands and technicians were there to help us with everything.  The music videos were filmed in Helsinki in an office and in a bar. Miikka Tikka is the Director and called the shots so to say.

Saku: I would say there weren’t any real complications. Everyone was so professional and Miikka really did awesome job!

Pix666: What reactions and feedback have you received so far regarding the songs/videos?

Sara: It seems that “Amongst Gods” and “Dive Into I” divide people in two. Some like the more heavier style and others prefer the more melodic approach. All in all, the feedback has been very welcoming! What I have understood is that people have high expectations after the “Metanoia”-album we released in 2018.

Saku: Also people have noticed our quite different approach for the music itself and visual side. In any case those sure seemed to bring us back to people’s memories even though we can’t do live right now.

Pix666: You must have used the last crazy months to write more than these two songs – when will there be more from FOD, when will the next album be released and when can fans pre-order it? How will the new album differ from your previous productions?

Sara: Well actually we have had the past two years to write and record this new upcoming album. We also have a release schedule planned out and I think Saku will be more than happy to tell you more about that!

Saku: Well album is going to be released trough Ranka Kustannus and Out of Line- records, but sadly I can’t tell you too much yet… Maybe I can slip a little new to you that third single is coming out soon 😉

Pix666: You have an outfit and styling in your videos and also on stage, which is a ‚little bit‘ conspicuous and clearly distinguishes you visually from other bands. Who had the idea for this and How important are styling and the visual component for you in general? Do you do your own make-up, or each other’s, or is there a team around you that takes on these tasks before shows and shoots?

Sara: At the moment we are renewing our looks with the band. The idea is to take our visual appearance to a level that matches our new musical style. We are a group of artistic people so why not let it show? We do all the masks etc by ourselves, so no make-up team there!

Saku: I simply love how our band evolves both musically and visually. Like a being constantly shaping itself.

Pix666: Fortunately, you were able to play a few shows in 2020. Describe the feeling of being on stage in the middle of the pandemic. Did the audience behave like they always do – or were there big differences?

Sara: Well, I almost exploded from the happiness of being able to perform. At the same time I felt like a dark cloud was shadowing that happiness. I also got a small cold from the first festival gig at Saarihelvetti and another show was coming up just a week after that. So I went to the corona test, and didn’t get the test result until the next morning after the gig. It was negative. I just didn’t want to cancel the gig, although we should have “just because”.

Saku: Audience was fierce as always and we all really enjoyed that moment. You could see that everybody was missing live shows. Only thing that reminded us about the pandemic was face masks.

Pix666: You have already booked a show for this summer. Do you think the event will take place as planned?

Sara: Oh boy, do we! Yes we do have gigs but no certainty that they will happen.

Saku: At this moment it’s really hard to say. Time will tell.

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? 😊

Sara: Because of this corona I started to run again. My main goal for this year is to run 10km. Last time I did that was in 2013. I’m already running 5km so almost there!

Saku: Martial art called buhurt, writing texts, hiking and the latest addition is skydiving.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Fear Of Domination, that you would like to share with the fans?   
Sara: Well we just hope that you hang it there with us! Enjoy the music and life itself!

Saku: Just try to keep it together. This is not the end of the world and you can see the better future at horizon.

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



photos © Elsa Wellamo Arts