Jukka Koskinen (Wintersun): „One song for each season" [Interview]

(C) Nana Simelius

Wintersun band will release new album this year called The Forest Seasons. About upcoming album, crowdfunding campaign I was able to talk with Jukka Koskinen, bass player from Wintersun.

Paulina Łyszko: Your upcoming album The Forest Seasons will be released in this year via Nuclear Blast Records. What can we expect from brand new Wintersun album?
Jukka Koskinen: Yes, the album will be released via Nuclear Blast, but more exclusively through us, via Indiegogo crowdfunding that will be 1st – 31st of March. This way being released by both parties we have the possibility to take Wintersun to the next level - that means future albums in the best production and releases faster! The new album The Forest Seasons is a deep, emotional and epic experience. Solid Wintersun sound though this time focusing more on the song feeling and not being that progressive perhaps than in the past. More straightforward though having a lot to offer (I think more) than the past material.

 : Wintersun mentioned about unique concept of this album - “Your own version of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons”. What’s the connection between Vivaldi and upcoming Wintersun album?

JK: Musically nothing though the concept is the same - one song for each season. The spring song, Awaken from the Dark Slumber, is about when everything comes to life after winter’s dark times. It’s also how you yourself wake up from a dream (a bubble) that you have been in your whole life possibly. The song is split in two parts and is very uplifting though it has a dark first half, presenting the dream/coma and the second part the awakening. The summer song, The Forest that Weeps, is an majestic male choir driven song that shows the harshness of the summer that can happen in the north, greyness and rain – hard for your mentality. The autumn song, Eternal Darkeness, is by far the most brutal song by Wintersun. This monster is about all dying, death, dark times like in the autumn, almost unbearable hard for mentality at least in the north – our black metal beast. The winter song, Loneliness, is a slower tempo song with beautiful clean vocals and melodies. A song about melancholia, loneliness though somehow a peaceful feel in it.

: How long did Wintersun prepared new material? Please tell me more about the writing process.

JK: Jari came up with an idea for a “forest song” while wondering the woods near his place. Finland as a country is one big forest so lots to adventure and get inspired from. This idea grew since we had been thinking of the idea to have a crowdfunding to take the band further and more efficient with better resources if possible. Then the inspiration came from Vivaldi to have a full album with all the seasons in it. The writing process brought life an album that has the utmost contrast as a forest or in life itself can have, from beauty to total destruction so to say.

(C) Nana Simelius

: Your latest album Time I was released in 2012. Was it difficult to recorded new material in the studio after that long time? Or maybe “the chemistry” was even better?

JK: Everything pours from us very naturally so there has never been any problems after a break. Actually we have been working constantly behind the curtains. The chemistry in Wintersun - between the four of us - has always been very professional and respectful towards each other. Thus I love being in Wintersun personally!

: Which way Wintersun evolved musically?

JK: I think the new album shows more grown, more adult and confident Wintesun. Having the ability now to express yourself better and deeper. You can hear this in the music and in the lyrics.

: A lot of fans expected that new Wintersun album will be called Time II. Why You decided to not continue Time I right now?

JK: We made such a big compromise with Time I, since it sounds 60% of what we wanted it to be. This album with Time II are such massive and cinematic albums that with the current resources we are not able to complete them how we would like to. That’s why we decided to put Time II on hold until we are able to make it sound what we want to, hopefully with the help of the crowdfunding to work directly with the fans to go to the next level together!

 : Do Wintersun have any plans after releasing new album? Maybe another tournee? Maybe concert (or concerts) in Poland?

JK: Currently summer festivals are being booked and after the crowdfunding campaing in March we start looking into touring possibilities. Definitely it would be great to come back to Poland. Let’s hope we can come up with a nice routing in the next tour!

This is how the album cover will looks:

: Let’s talk about crowdfunding. Few days ago (interview was taking at the end of February) Wintersun announced the crowdfunding campaign. Why the band decided to do that? What was Your goal?

JK: Our goal is to have the resources to make future Wintersun albums with the best possible production and release them faster how it has been until now. Currently we cannot afford 3rd party studios for these massive production where music meets mathematics. Also regular album sales do not help that much either since record labels need to pay their employee salaries, costs and all the hard work they do as well. Thus crowdfunding is the best option to work directly with our dear fans and tell them transparently what we are up to and why!

: Please tell me about mysterious “Forest Package”… Is this a form of album preorder? Can You tell us what will include?

JK: Yes, it will be the album pre-order. All the content is released on Wintesun Indiegogo site in March! The new album The Forest Seasons that is included in our crowdfunding package is ready and recorded. Everything is ready, all we need is a confirmed release date with Nuclear Blast, so that we can release the new album simultaneously. This will be in the summer!

: Thank You very much for the interview!