written by Marko Jakob
Pix666: Hello Jaani. The most important question right at the beginning. Are you well and are you healthy?
Jaani: Hi! Yes I am doing fine and I guess I am now healthier now than before the beginning of the pandemic. Haven’t been able to have social life so been spending more time with all kinda sports and in nature.
Pix666: In 2019 you founded the band Mercury Circle and introduced the individual band members. You have been in well-known bands before. How did you meet and what was the crucial point to start a new band?
Jaani: I was not really planning to start a new band, but things just kinda happened. I started to write new songs after StS and Hallatar tours and these songs just didn’t sound like material I could record with Iconcrash and they sounded too much like band music to record under my own name. All of the band members are people from the circle of my friends and I’ve seen them all on stage many times before.
I wanted to have a line-up with people I really like as human beings and all of these guys have impressed me on stage for different reasons. They are all very talented musicians, but also super nice guys and the vibe in this band is just amazing. Everything feels so easy and zero fucks are given about any rules in music or in the visual side. We want to create something new and fresh so we encourage each other with crazy ideas all the time.
Pix666: In July 2020 your single ‘The Beauty Of Agony’ including video clip has been released. The video has over 57.000 views within a few months. How satisfied are you with the response to the video and how complicated was it to shoot a video clip under ‚Corona-Conditions?
Jaani: The feedback from the first songs we have released have been amazing. I am very surprised about how many people already have found our music even though we are just starting this journey and doing things with DIY attitude.
We have had major labels with our previous/other bands, but now it feels so good to have all the strings in our own hands. We found a fantastic new little label for us (Noble Demon) and they help us with the release and promotion, but when it comes to music we do the whole production on our own and really use hired guns with mastering only.
We have done the first two videos with Toni from Jussi’s other band Hanging Garden and we just finished shooting the first video for the forth coming album with him too. In that one you will finally see the the whole band in action.
Pix666: One month later the EP ‘The Dawn Of Vitriol’ and another video clip were released. How many songs are on the EP and in which versions is it be available?
Jaani: 5 songs and it was released digitally, but Vinyl Division also released it on vinyl and CD.
Pix666: How did you experience this year from the point of view of a band? Did you have to adapt your plans, especially in terms of time, to the respective situation?
Jaani: Well Corona forced Swallow the Sun to cancel all the tours and festival gigs so it gave me an opportunity to start working with our album a bit earlier than I originally planned. We didn’t plan to do any shows with MC in 2020 yet so it did not affect us that way and with the album we tried to work remotely as much as we could.
It was funny that one of the days our album tracks were recorded simultaneously in 6 different cities. I worked in my own home studio, Jussi recorded stuff in his home studio, Juppe recorded his guitars with Juho Räihä in Kouvola and harp tracks were getting recorded in Paris and backing vocals in Thessaloniki and Cologne.
Pix666: Did you have had the opportunity to play the new songs live in front of an audience?
Jaani: No not yet. We’ve got our first gigs booked in february, but it seems like we’re going to postpone them.
Pix666: You are also working on your first full-lenght album. How is the work progressing. When will the album be released? Does the album already have a name?
Jaani: We are almost done with the album. We had a release day, but we are postponing it now, because we can’t support the release with gigs.
It does have a name and the front cover ready, but will reveal it a bit later.
Pix666: You are from Finland – what is the general mood in the country regarding the Corona crisis right now?
Jaani: Our government has been handling the crisis very well and we are taking safety very seriously here. I think the general mood is surprisingly positive here. The music industry took a really big hit financially, but still my heart is more with the nurses and doctors who are really putting their lives in line for fighting this war for all of us.
Pix666: Do you have any other news about Mercury Circle that you would like to share with the fans?
Jaani: Well we are releasing something crazy this friday 18.12. to greet our fans and friends. We took a little break from the album sessions and had some fun… You will see.
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting insights into your present life – Stay healthy!
Jaani: Thank you for the interview and stay safe!
photo © by Laureline Tilkin-Franssens