|Home Style Surgery|
Let's be nice and honest shall we? In the United States, we don't really think about Finland. Say what you want, but unless you're watching Olympic Hockey, you know what I'm saying is true...and Teemu Selanne isn't playing on that team, you probably don't watch it.
The first time I realized Finland was a thing was from the Monty Python song of the same name. It's nothing personal, but Sweden and Norway get all of the attention if we're being honest.
That's probably because Sweden has their death metal scene, and do we have to say anything about Norway's own scene? The one that sparked an international sensation? For clarity's sake, we'll say it: it's Bobbysocks!, naturally.
So, let's take a trip across the Atlantic Ocean, head a bit north, cross the fjords, and learn more about Finland's finest thrash metal band, Home Style Surgery. Jussi Keränen took some time with us and here's what we shook out of him....
Glacially Musical: Thank you for taking some time for me today.
Home Style Surgery:anytime! We are honored to get included here!
GM: You guys have been doing this for awhile now. When you look back at 2008, what's different about Home Style Surgery in 2018?
HSS: A lot. We have played with the same line up since 2009 and back then we were just bunch of 14 year old kids who wanted to play together but who didn’t even know how to play an instrument properly (except for Joonas who had already played guitar for several years).
So Home Style Surgery is the first band for all of us and that really shows when you take a look at our first demos. During the years our playing and song writing skills have improved and finally we have managed to find ourselves a defining, somewhat unique sound that we are proud of.
Our love for thrash has not decreased, but is today companied by several other influences too.
GM: Can you compare and contrast your music with classic 80's thrash metal?
HSS: We draw most of our influences from the bands of the second wave of thrash such as Forbidden, Vio-Lence, Testament, Toxik, Ron Rinehart era Dark Angel, Coroner, and of course STONE, the best metal band from Finland.
Those are the bands that introduced progressive song structures and filled their albums with tons of fantastic riffs and amazing lead guitar work. Sometimes we also do some death metal oriented stuff and even try to capture some melodies and hooks.
Our roots will always be in the classic 80’s thrash but some day I hope we will manage to get a sound that is distinctive to us.
GM: The world of metal is growing stranger and weirder in terms of the subgenres. How do you stand out without squishing 15 different types of music together?
HSS: Standing out can be hard and one can form a band that mixes random subgenres just for the sake of it. But I think that best way to stand out, to me at least, is simply to write awesome songs. Sometimes it can be something completely different and totally unique, but that is not necessary.
For example you can still do good thrash that stands out, even though there are thousands of thrash metal bands that sound exactly the same. Take some time with the composition, try to think what could make the riff work, more memorable and sound old school but not recycled.
Bands that stand out for me are our label-mates Chronosphere and now split up Mantic Ritual who play classic thrash metal which still sounds new, fresh and exciting.
GM: Tell me about your hometown. What's life like?
HSS: Gladly none of us live there anymore. Most of us moved to Rovaniemi, a city nearby our hometown, to study and work. In the beginning of 2010’s Rovaniemi still used to have a massive metal scene but it has greatly diminished since.
Or at least it feels like it. It’s the city of Santa Claus so expect some Asian tourists, northern lights and reindeer imagery everywhere
GM: What's the delicacy there?
HSS: If you mean food-wise it must be everything reindeer meat related and air-dried salted meat. I’m drooling already.
Those are also ecologic and organic forms of meat since their sources are not from mass production.
GM: Do you have any great concert stories? What's the strangest thing that's been tossed on stage at you?
HSS: I think that best stories spawn from the most horrible experiences. In 2013 we played in a band competition and drove 700 kilometers to attend. We were the last band to play and after our first song electricity was cut because of thunderstorm or something. Then we drove another 700 kilometers back home.
No, we did not win that competition.
Once we were booked to play in a summer camp for teenagers from all over the world. Nothing metal or even music related. Don’t ask me why this happened but it happened, we delivered a 100% thrash metal show and the kids were left horrified.
Oh, and just a week ago one guy tossed himself on the stage, causing some havoc which was amazing. Yeah the band and the crowd were both wild that night
GM: What are the five most important albums of all time?
HSS: I’m going full thrash metal this time. Because there is nothing more important than thrash. Except Iron Maiden. Or King Diamond. Ok here goes, five most important thrash albums for me, not in order:
- Vektor - Outer Isolation: these guys showed that new school can totally match the old school
- Coroner - No More Color: if you ask me what technical thrash sounds like, I show you this one
- STONE - No Anaesthesia: the fact that young lads from our little country made this metal masterpiece should be enough to title it as the single most important album ever.
- Artillery - By Inheritance: those riffs are ridiculous! and mixtured with their sense of melody it is no short of a masterpiece
- Nuclear Assault - Game Over: fucking thrash!
GM: What's the biggest difference between Finland and the United States of America?
HSS: I have heard that we are basically communists in the eyes of people from the states and speaking about our welfare-system makes people go crazy there. But that is just what I’ve heard.
Never been to States myself. Should go and see myself. I think that social structures are different which leads to our culture and people differ from American. For example bragging about yourself is considered extremely rude.
But I think that is because deep down all of us Finns are jealous assholes and it just shows empathy to keep quiet about your own accomplishments. Also you want to play it safe in case there is a chance your luck will turn for worse some day.
I don’t know if this is a thing in USA. Oh and also American metal is like thousand times better than Finnish
GM: Tell me what I didn't ask, but I need to know.
HSS: You and all the readers should know that we have a new album out called Trauma Gallery. It is released by the amazing Punishment18 records and is available for purchase worldwide.
Also follow us on our socials because we have been practicing some new tunes and we promise you it is the best material we have ever written!
Trauma Gallery is out NOW on Punishment 18 and can be ordered HERE