A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to send some questions over to the Finnish band Diablo and the lead singer, Rainer, discussed in detail about their upcoming release (30th of October) ‘Silver Horizon’. For those not familiar with Diablo, they have been a part of the Finnish scene since the late 90’s and have quite a unique style with plenty of influences. I recommend checking them out, they are definitely worth it (link with a song below the interview)!
Alexandra: Hi there and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! Diablo has come a long way since its forming in the late 90’s until now. Did you ever think you’ll be standing here in the year 2015 with a sixth record in hand? How has the journey been so far?
Rainer: Ha, hell no. If someone would have said that I’m still playing heavy metal in my 40’s I would have probably considered that person insane. To be honest I feel kind of blessed that I have had the opportunity to release records and play gigs on someone else’s expense. Not many musicians can say the same nowadays. The last three years have been quite bumpy for me personally but now when everything is more or less straightened out I could say that we have had an interesting journey so far with our band and with our fans.
‘Silver Horizon’ is going to be launched really soon in Central Europe. What are your thoughts about the record from a creative point of view? Is it all you’ve wanted it to be? And how would you describe it to future listeners?
Oh yes, ‘Silver Horizon’ is our most ambitious album to date and I really think that we nailed what we were after both musical and lyrical wise. For example, I had the opportunity to write down and use all the ideas that I had in my mind for the sci-fi album. But I was also able to build in a bit from real life too. For the listeners I would say that you should give the album some space and time to open up for you. The album is a collection of very strong compositions which are supposed to be played in the exact order that they appear on the album. It’s not just one single and some leftovers here and there. It’s definitely not musical fast-food, you know.
I understood that the record is loosely based on an old sci-fi novel called Aniara. How did you end up choosing this particular one? Were there other novels considered before you decided?
No, Aniara was the only one. I found that name ‘Aniara’ from my notes. I don’t recall where I have seen that name the first time. Most likely it has been some newspaper or magazine because I like to read a lot of different kinds of journals. Then I checked out the story behind that mysterious name and I was like “wow, here is the frame for my lyrics!”
If you were to recommend just one track from the whole history of Diablo to someone who wants to give the band a go, which one would you pick and why?
This is a tough one. My taste has changed a bit during the years. That’s why I’m choosing something from ‘Silver’ and it would be ‘Isolation’. For me it was a step aside from my comfort zone with my clean vocals, lyrics have an excellent flow and the song structure is musically as smooth as it can get.
The band has cited over time plenty of influences who helped you in creating your own sound. Was there any band influencing ‘Silver Horizon’?
First of all, ‘influence’ is such a strong word. I prefer to say “spirit” or “inspiration” in this context. We would probably still sound Diablo even if we took a Kenny Rogers song and play it note to note and say that it’s ours. If I really have to say something then my personal answer will be that spirit of Muse, Death, Kamelot (Ghost Opera) and old Swiss band called Coroner has touched me while building ‘Silver’. Ha, I bet that soon someone will say that I am kidding you with these names but in my eyes this is the difference between influence and inspiration.
To me, ‘Prince of the machine’ stands out amongst the other tracks. What is the story behind this particular song?
One of my dearest friends lost his life in an accident. His home burned down. After the funeral I received the demo from Marko (Utriainen, lead guitar). In that original demo there was a delay like a crane (bird) was singing at the end of the lead guitar section. That particular effect reminded me the cranes from the Finnish band Sentenced and their ‘Cold White Light’ album’s intro. Next day I pick up the phone and called Sami Lopakka (Sentenced, guitar) and asked if he would do the lyrics together with me to honour my friends memory. My friend was a Sentenced fan too. Rest is in that song. Afterwards, it’s quite strange that the title of that song already existed while my friend was still alive…
The Finnish metal scene where you come from is filled to the brim with all sorts of different bands. How do you see the current situation? After all these years, do you feel you have an established position and your own little spot in this environment?
I would like to think so, ha ha. ‘Silver Horizon’ took position number one straight away on the national albums chart and we have already sold out local rock clubs in advance. So I guess that we have our little spot.
Thank you so much for your time! Any last words for our readers?
As the legendary Chuck Schuldiner used to say: keep the metal faith alive.