Saturday, July 9, 2016

Apocalyptica's Eicca Toppinen talks tour, album and possible Finnish dream tour with HIM

7-14-10 Originally published on Examiner.com by Tracy Heck

Apocalyptica ready to release 7th Symphony
Apocalyptica ready to release 7th Symphony
Promotional Photo Sony
On August 24, Finnish symphonic metal band Apocalyptica will be releasing their seventh studio album 7th Symphony.

The album was produced by Joe Barresi (Coheed and Cambria, Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion), and is scheduled for release August 24.

The album will feature eight instrumentals plus four tracks with guest vocals including the first single “End Of Me” featuring lead vocals by Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.

In addition, producer Howard Benson (Three Days Grace, My Chemical Romance) returns for production duties on two tracks on the forthcoming album.

This week the band was in Los Angeles filming the two videos that will round out the trilogy started with the video for "End Of Me" and preparing for a four-date tour that will wrap up Saturday in New York before the band returns to Europe for some dates there.

Over the next year, the band will be traveling back and forth on short tours here and overseas that will still allow them some time to visit with their families.

I got a chance to catch up with cellist and Apocalyptica founder Eicca Toppinen while he was at the Sony Records offices.

Toppinen shared how the videos turned into a trilogy, "We got the idea to make a trilogy of these three videos because we knew up front that we were going to make three videos. So we have this artwork on the album cover that we wanted to bring into the video with the same kind of feel. There's this girl which reminds us of the artwork. We shot the trilogy in the same location but we used different parts of the house, it's a mortuary. It was kind of spooky to film it in the middle of the dead bodies but it was a beautiful location. It's kind of a little bit like a church but not. The images are really beautiful."

Toppinen also shared why he thinks the new album is different from their other releases, "I think the sound development is much more dynamic and has more variety. It's more bracing and has more of an organist kind of sound."

Apocalyptica started out in 1993 as a band of friends who were just having fun taking their classical cellist skills and using them to play covers of Metallica's heavy metal music.  Eventually, what started out as just fun turned into a serious band and they began to make their own original music and create a sound all their own.

When asked to describe their music Toppinen shared, "It's always a hard question because the new single is out but it doesn't tell you anything about the album, you know? It's just one example.  The music is just so diverse and there are so many different styles on the record. I think the music is very dramative, full of different emotions, very different styles, lot of energy, lot of danger. What makes me so happy is that our fan base is so wide and full of people of different ages, different social classes and countries and the music is very global in that sense."

When asked about other inspirations besides Metallica he talked about the bands Sepultura and Pantera, "I always liked Sepultura. We played Sepultura in '93. I like Pantera. When I was a kid I listened to all of that 80's metal. For me as a kid that was kind of punk of it's time. I listen to all types of music...even rap! Not so much but you know. I think there is exciting music in all genres." 

Toppinen went on to say, "I really like System of A Down and that kind of stuff. I always search for bands who are intellectual who have something to say, something new. That they are not just followers of something that they just create. I could give a sh*t about bands who are lame copies of somebody greater. To me it's all about the edge. It can be any genre it can be Lady Gaga or whatever and it can be revolutionary."

He also talked about wanting to tour with Tool at some point in the future, "We have gotten requests in the past but the timing just didn't work. The first leg we are doing in the States is with the Japanese band Dir En Grey and I think that's gonna be exciting touring with them. Let's see what happens."

After sharing that in a previous interview 69 Eyes vocalist Jyrki69 had talked about wanting to put together a Finnish dream tour with bands like Apocalyptica, HIM and Nightwish on the bill, Toppinen agreed that it would be something he would love to see.

"That would be cool. I think that would be exciting for people. We like all of those bands. We have great fun."  Toppinen paused and then added, "We actually always planned to go on tour with HIM and it never happened so it is about time."