Greece's "TV War" recently conducted an interview with cellist Eicca Toppinen of Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the meaning behind the title for their new studio album, "Cell-0":
Eicca: "For us, 'Cell-0' is kind of the origin of everything in the universe, that's where everything comes from. It doesn't exist in the real science in that name, but that's kind for us to reference for the facts that everything starts from the same thing. Musically, for example, if you take it to the musical world, you can take one note, you change the pitch, you change the length, you combine them, and there's an endless amount of beautiful variations of that. Every song is its own cell, a compilation of cells on the album. I think the thought behind that is pretty much what we feel in our life and our thoughts and where we are at with the world today and how people have lost the understanding that we all come from the 'Cell-0' as well. Therefore, we should appreciate our surroundings and the nature around us because we have become a cancer ourselves, eating all other living cells and killing them. It's not a manifest, but it's what our thoughts are about around the album."
On why APOCALYPTICA decided to go the all-instrumental route for "Cell-0":
Eicca: "Rather than telling people what they should think, we'd rather create a platform where people can think by themselves. That's the beauty of instrumental music — we can give some direction with titles and the visuals in the artwork about the themes, what the music might be telling them about, but still the listener has the freedom to experience from their own perspective. That's why for us it was important to make an instrumental album because we really wanted to go back to our roots like the 'Plays Metallica [By Four Cellos]' tour like we've been doing for two-and-a-half years, we've been going back to our very original roots on how we started. Now, we wanted to go back to the times of the 'Cult' and 'Reflections' albums when we started to make our own music and create an entire instrumental world. Because combining the vocal world an instrumental world into the same album, it's always been a bit challenging and you need to compromise a bit, and you go left and you go right, and you go left and right. This time we wanted to make it a full piece of art that had no compromises of any kind."
On whether 2015's "Shadowmaker" was a successful "experiment" for APOCALYPTICA:
Eicca: "It was an important experiment for us and, of course, some of the fans didn't really get it because it was such a vocal-driven album. For us, it was very important — we wanted to really see how this all works without really underlining the cello and underlining the traditional elements of APOCALYPTICA. Just write great music and great songs. I think we went to a very far side of the APOCALYPTICA world. This time, we just felt we wanted to go back to the roots with all the experiences we have gained over 20 years. That's why we didn't have a producer for this album. We just decided we'd do it by ourselves. We didn't need to explain to anyone what we wanted to do. We didn't have a record label at the time we recorded the album. We were completely free of all expectations and all kinds of feedback and were able to make the album we would like to listen to."
On rediscovering the origins of APOCALYPTICA:
Eicca: "It was very interesting because the whole perspective for songwriting, arranging, sound production has changed so much with all the experiences. We've been able to work with great producers during all these years and learned so much. Now, it was really nice to take all the knowledge we had on doing albums into our own hands fully. Because we knew that, 'Okay, we know how to record the stuff. We know how to maintain the quality on the top level. We don't need anyone to control that.' Then, when we were making this album which is a kind of a weird album in a way — we didn't want to get a producer who is used to working with drums and vocals to tell us how the instrumental world should be because you never know if they understand it or not. It was better for us to just take the space and peace for ourselves to make the album we really like."
"Cell-0" was released January 10 via Silver Lining Music.
In support of the release of "Cell-0", APOCALYPTICA — cellists Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso and Paavo Lötjönen, and drummer Mikko Sirén — are the special guests for SABATON on a 15-country, 23-date European tour that began on January 17 in Zurich, Switzerland.