Wed, 06 May 2015 13:11:26
Finnish cello metal maestros uncover the secrets of new album Shadowmaker…
Apocalyptica give the world a new kind of orchestra on their eighth full-length and first for Eleven Seven, Shadowmaker. The Finnish cello metal innovators bucked their typical trend of enlisting multiple singers—past collaborators included everyone from Corey Taylor of Slipknot & Stone Sour to Gavin Rossdale of Bush—to recording an entire vision with one singer Franky Perez of Scars on Broadway fame. The result is their most cohesive, combustible, and catchy collection to date, expanding the limits of symphony and heavy music into something truly hypnotic.
In between touring with label mates Sixx: A.M., Eicca Toppinen pulls back the curtain on Shadowmaker in this exclusive interview.
What was the general idea going into Shadowmaker?
It was meant to be listened to as a full album. We've always tried different styles in our music, but I think that this time we wanted to focus on one thing and the styles fit well together. It's not so much jumping from another mood to another mood. I think it makes more sense now. It was not intentional. When we started to write, we were not sure about which tracks were going on the album or the direction.
Did you start off with a significant collection of songs and then filter through them to construct the album?
We added some stuff from some songs to other songs. The intro to the album is already introducing the main theme of the last song of the album. The outro to "Riot Lights (Instrumental)" is the same thing. There are little parts here and there that connect the songs. The listener may not pick up on this but it was our intention in crafting the record.
What is the story behind "Dead Man's Eyes?"
That's actually funny. That song was two different songs initially. We decided to take the best parts of the songs and combine them together. It was supposed to be an instrumental track but the fact that we had a singer in the rehearsal room, we thought we should try it with a singer. Since we had Franky in the pre-production, we told him to try to sing the cello melody. We knew right away that the song needed to go in this direction. Even without lyrics and just humming the melody. It then changed from an instrumental to a vocal track. That song had a really long process.
What does it mean to you?
For me, it is an epic ending. It's very touching because it's this, "I'm coming home thing." In our lives, it's about us going home. We are traveling a lot. At this moment, we're sleeping on the bus in Dallas and missing our families. I enjoy being on tour and on the road, but my mental place is at home with my family.
Who came up with the title Shadowmaker?
It came originally from the song and eventually we decided to use it for the album title, as it was very strong. I think that it raises the question, "What is a Shadowmaker?" It can be many, many things. For me, I look at it as something from your personal life. Everyone knows a Shadowmaker—someone who brings negativity to your life and takes down creativity and positivity.
In a more global term, it can be the people who are ruling this world. They're the faceless people who are writing policies and influencing terrorism, wars or running corporations. Their existence has a negative effect on us-I would call them the "Shadowmakers." Even in the record industry, you can have people that influence your creativity or dictate the direction the band must go in. This time we were totally independent from a record label and influences outside of the band because we had Franky on board. In one way this is our fight against "Shadowmakers." We made the record exactly like we wanted to.