Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Among the Mortals was formed in 1997 because two guys wanted to do something with the music that both of them had been writing over the previous few years. Those same two guys are still at it today. It's really hard to believe this has been going on for almost fifteen years! Our discography certainly doesn't show it, with only three official releases to our name so far. But, in our defence it must be said that recording new material never had top priority during the early years. Most of the time there were other, more important issues to think about.
At certain points we've done our best to recruit more people to enable live performance, but a stable line-up has proved almost impossible to maintain. The band was on hold in 2002-2005 mainly because we got sick of trying, but as years went by we realized we should give this another shot. We've put a lot of time and effort in the band in recent years to make up for the lost time, so to speak. Our roles in the band have changed a bit since the beginning: I used to be a guitarist/vocalist whereas I now handle everything except drums; V. Hanhisuanto's responsibilities have, in turn, grown less extensive. This obviously refers to the way we split things in the studio.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
The easiest description would probably be melodic death metal, but there's more to it than just that - or so we'd like to think. There are elements taken more or less consciously from progressive and symphonic metal, at least, maybe even a hint of black and doomdeath somewhere in there. Not to mention other completely unrelated styles of music, with which we have at times something in common in terms of atmosphere. It's also probably worth noting that fans of straight-up modern "melodeath" tend to be rather critical about our material. Having said all that, it's certainly not particularly complicated musically.
As far as influences go, it's become increasingly hard to say with time. Initially, we were doing our best to imitate bands like Death, Carcass and Paradise Lost, and later on added for example Emperor to the mix. Those, as well as some others, are probably our main influences in the usual sense of the word, but I have no idea if we sound at all like them anymore - or in fact if we ever did. That's something only an outsider can say, and we don't really care one way or the other.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Because our album is great, obviously. Buying the physical product is one of the very few ways you can support a band, and show your support to them directly. Everyone should buy more albums anyway, and what better CD to start with than ours, right? Having said that, we don't mind if someone doesn't buy our stuff as long as they at least download it and listen to the full album instead of one or two songs. That's what we'd do. That's also why all our releases are up for free download, heh.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
We released a five-song demo titled 'A Duet of Tragedy' right after forming the band back in 1997. That one went pretty much unnoticed as far as media coverage goes, but then again we basically only sent it to record companies and sold it to friends. It did get some positive feedback, but at the time no-one cared much for music like this. The next few years went by without new releases, and eventually we decided to put the band on hold.
Us getting back together in 2005 was because there was an entire album's worth of material written, and the plan was to record and release it fast - but things don't always turn out the way you plan them. There were all kinds of difficulties with getting the album finished, so in 2009 we put out an online EP 'oiad' as a rough production preview of the album. We'd been publically talking about a new release for a while, and felt like we had to release something. That move didn't go too well either, and I'm actually glad we didn't promote the EP too much. I'd imagine it may have put some potential fans off, because the sound was just so hideous.
The aforementioned album 'Of Ignorance and Dismissal' was finally released in February this year, and so far it's received some very encouraging reviews and other comments. Can't complain.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
Back in the early years of the band we played live for a total of two times, and I can't say I have any fond memories of that. At the moment there are just the two of us in the band, so we obviously can't do gigs. We've been looking for a live guitarist, the idea being that live performance would happen with the absolute minimum personnel, but so far we haven't found a suitable person. V is also busy with his other band Zenith Reunion right now, and I think he has some stand-in shows coming up in July or thereabouts - we'll have to see how things turn out. The plan is to get Among the Mortals up on the road soon, but with the current situation it may take longer than we had hoped it would.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
It's simple: we write good music and are serious about what we're doing. Our style is relatively unique as far as we know, we're certainly not trend-hoppers - although I'm not so sure if that's good or bad from a record company's point of view, heh... Even so, the new album has been getting decent coverage in online media, the reactions to it have mainly been positive, and as a result quite a lot of people are already aware of us. If and when we also eventually start doing gigs, there isn't really anything more you could ask for. So the question is, why shouldn't they be interested?
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Apart from getting a live line-up together, which I've already talked about, we're going to start recording new material as soon as we can. There's another ten completed tracks that will eventually become our second album. As of right now, we're aiming for recordings this Summer. No idea of a release date though - there's a lot of work to be done, and I'd imagine the recording alone will take several months if not more. We're not exactly in a position where we could simply book a studio for three days and be done with it.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
To get a CD copy of 'Of Ignorance and Dismissal', simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work out the details. Ten euros includes postage worldwide. The CD issue is limited to 200 copies and is selling pretty well, so if you want it I suggest you order soon!
For streaming samples, visit any of these websites:
You'll find free downloads of individual tracks at Last.fm and Mikseri.net, and direct download links for full releases at Myspace. Check it out and don't forget to let us know what you think!