Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
The debut album of SILVER LAKE by ESA HOLOPAINEN is available on May 28th via Nuclear Blast Tonträger Produktions- und Vertriebs GmbH and comes not only with the legendary guitar riffs of Esa Holopainen from AMORPHIS, one of Finland’s biggest guitarists and metal songwriters, but also seven famous rock and metal vocalists such as Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Einar Solberg (Leprous), Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork), Anneke Van Giersbergen and many more, that dive you into a world of catchy, progressive metal masterpieces that breathe the beauty and melancholy of Finland.
What inspired you? Was is because of the times we are all going through?
ESA: I guess you could say in a way that the lockdown inspired me. As I didn’t have anything else to do. That just meant I could focus on this album and the material. It’s a task to write for different vocalists because every one of these great singers have their own unique voice, which always operates on a different range. With Amorphis, it’s more natural to write because I know how Tommy sings and in which range he’s working. So, it’s the starting keys. the musical keys that are always pretty much the same. But this was a different case. It’s like each song had its own little challenges and each song was like its own little project. You know what I mean? Because I have an older vocalist where we’re working on the different keys so that was a task, but luckily I had alot of time. I think it took like half a year to write this stuff, and to get all the singers together.
What are your thoughts on so many metal bands being labeled?
ESA: You know, it’s funny. I remember I did the first interviews back in the day, 1993 / 1994, and I got this huge list from the record company guys, phone numbers that I called. They were mainly college radios in the states and they asked, you know, how I feel about what your music is like. I was like, “I don’t know. It’s melodic. It’s metal”. And they were like, no, it’s not metal. It’s death metal. It’s just brutal death metal. Metal is Scorpions or Motley Crue, That’s metal. This is death metal. It was that strict at that time, but today, it’s a whole different case. You know? It’s metal.
I know this has been mentioned by certain bands, and they don’t like to be labeled, even though their image is very labeled to Viking metal or Folk Metal, but the musicians themselves, they hate the labeling. Of that, I’m 100% Sure.
After recently announcing their signing to Nuclear Blast, SILVER LAKE BY ESA HOLOPAINEN has finally revealed further info about its self-titled debut album, scheduled for release on May 28th.
Since 1990, Esa Holopainen has been the lead guitarist of the progressively-minded heavy metal innovators AMORPHIS. Thanks to the metallic and melodic beauty of such classic albums as Tales from the Thousand Lakes, Elegy and Skyforger, Holopainen's magnificent abilities to create enchanting atmospheres and innovative riffs have become widely known within the worldwide heavy metal circuit - and when the Covid pandemic forced Esa to cancel all plans for 2020, the renowned Finnish guitarist knew that the time had come to finally record a couple of songs he had kept in his drawer for several years.
"Over the last few years, I have been writing a lot of music, and some of the stuff hasn't exactly sounded like AMORPHIS. When Nino [Laurenne, owner of Sonic Pump Studios] called me late March, I already had three decent-sounding SILVER LAKE songs in stock. These tracks, entitled 'Sentiment', 'Ray of Light' and 'Promising Sun', worked as the backbone for the full solo album." Although the making of the record had already started, some important decisions were still under discussion and Esa soon decided that he would need to invite some friends over to sing on his upcoming record. "At first, I really didn't know if the album would turn out to be purely instrumental or would there be vocalists as well. However, one thing was certain, I wouldn't be the singer of SILVER LAKE", Holopainen laughs. "Many times, when people think about a guitarist's solo album, they get the impression of technical stuff with a huge amounts of notes played extremely fast. Well, I‘m not a big fan of that kind of music. Whenever I write, I always want to pile up interesting songs, and not just shred for the sake of it."
Read MORE in the new issue of TOTAL ORDER!
Coming May 11th