The music of Sentenced is dark and depressive, heavy yet filled with atmospheric layers and tension. Prior to the release of their latest album Crimson, I had the opportunity to interview lead vocalist Ville Laihiala. Read on for the latest newsÖ

Highwire Daze: Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sentenced.

Ville Laihiala: My name is Ville Laihiala and Iím the singer in Sentenced. Weíve been together for a little over ten years. We actually celebrated our ten year anniversary this Christmas. Our musical style has changed album by album Ė we started out playing death metal and it evolved from there to this gothic style metal melodic stuff.

HD: Where is the band from and what is the music scene like there?

Ville: The band is from Northern Finland. And the music scene in Finland is really good. There come a lot of bands from Finland who do well in Europe. Itís basically good, but personally I donít follow any kind of scenes Ė I only follow the bands that I like. Iím not sure if Iím the right person to ask about the Finnish metal scene.

HD: How do you think the new album Crimson compares to the other recordings?

Ville: Itís the first album that we took part in the production and really worked in the studio. It was a new step for us. Musically, itís more aggressive than our previous one Frozen, and the production is much heavier, and the music is more full. The first idea was that we were going to produce it by ourselves, but we kind of realized that we were going to need some help. But itís something that we really worked hard for and are really proud of. This guy, Hiili, who produced the first Him album Ė I called him up and I asked him if he wanted to do our album and he said, ďYeah, letís do it.Ē Heís really good with sounds and I think people are going to hear about him more in the future.

HD: Where do you get the ideas for the lyrics?

Ville: Usually we have written stuff about suicide, death, self hate or whatever. But this time, itís more about love and the dark side of it. We had written about love earlier but I think if there was a theme on this album, the theme would be love.

HD: With Sentenced music being so gloomy, what is it that you guys like to do for fun when youíre not performing depressive works of art?

Ville: Uh Ė get drunk. (laughs) Weíre trying to live a normal life as everyone else. Itís kind of a personal therapy for us Ė to get out stuff musically than doing it actually. Weíre not going to kill ourselves Ė not yet. Basically we get drunk so we donít have to worry about anything Ė when youíre drunk you donít care about stuff.

HD: You added some songs on the previous album Frozen after itís release. Any plans to do it again with Crimson?

Ville: I donít think so. Weíre planning to do something, but I really donít know what. I donít think weíre going to record anything. If weíre going to record, itís going to be live because weíve been planning to do something live Ė maybe an EP like three songs and two cover songs Ė but itís just an idea. But I hope we will do it because it would be a lot of fun.

HD: How do you feel performing songs that you didnít originally sing?

Ville: When I joined the band, it felt really weird because I didnít know how I was suppose to sing them. Now I donít think about it Ė I just do it my way. Itís not a problem to me anymore like it was in the beginning. I donít think about it now. I just go onstage and have fun.

HD: Describe a live Sentenced show to those of us who have yet to see you.

Ville: Itís a lot of energy and a lot of head banging! Cool lights, great sounds. I really like to interact with the audience Ė to get them crazy and have fun and kill themselves or whatever. But itís a lot of energy. We donít use any synthesizers or DAT tapes or anything like that. Itís just two guitars, bass, drums, vocals and just a fucking aggressive approach. And thatís what you could expect when you come to see us.

HD: How has the reaction towards Sentenced been in the States so far and are there any plans for a tour?

Ville: Yeah, we get a lot of e-mail in our homepage. Itís really surprising how many people write to us from the States. Thereís a festival on March 9th where weíre going to play in New York. And thereís been some discussion about us, Moonspell and Amorphous doing a three week tour of the States also in March. Weíre definitely going to come there.

HD: If the was one thing youíd like to leave a listener with after hearing your music, what would it be?

Ville: We just want people to hear that thereís a lot of passion and layers in the music. Itís not just heavy sounds. You really have to listen to it. Itís basically almost the only thing we love so we put everything into it Ė and we hope that people really listen to it.

HD: Any messages for your fans here in the States?

Ville: When we come over there, you definitely have to come and see us. And buy the damn record and get hooked. Stay depressed.


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