SENTENCED Guitarist Says Writing About 'The Darker Side' Comes Naturally

FourteenG webzine recently conducted an interview with SENTENCED guitarist Sami Lopakka. A few excerpts from the interview follow:

FourteenG: How sad was it during the writing process for "The Funeral Album" once you knew this was going to be your swan song?

Sami Lopakka: "We made the final decision when six or seven songs were written but the idea was there already after the tour of 'The Cold White Light'. After the final decision it was totally different from anything we had ever done before. You know, you can only write the last album one time. Obviously, we wanted to make something quite depressing with it and also to write the farewell within the music and the lyrics of course. It turned out to be somewhat a stressful and even exhausting process to write those songs. In the end, it turned out to be also something very unique and rewarding. The kind of situation not many bands even get into, they don't often know that the album they are writing is going to be the last one."

FourteenG: You amongst the lot of your Finnish contemporaries [AMORPHIS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, LULLACRY, KALMAH] write a lot about death, despair, hopelessness… Why are these subjects such popular pickings for lyrical content?

Sami Lopakka: "I'm not really sure even after all these years and after all those songs. It's just something that seems to be… I don't think there's anything that depressive about Finnish society or anything like that. It's just the way we are. It's just the Finnish mentality. I don't know, it's just the first thing that comes out when we start writing. It's not only this band or brand of music it's also movies and books, every form of art. It's kinda like the same; it's the Finnish way of expressing oneself. It's always something melancholy, desperate in dealing with the darker side of everything. It's something natural as we, how do you say it…we don't try to hide it [otherwise] it would be lying to yourself. Try to make up some songs about sunny beaches, [grunts] convertible cars, and babes with big tits when you feel like killing yourself. You should just stay true to yourself."

FourteenG: Considering you have worked with [producer] Hiili Hiilesmaa [H.I.M., MOONSPELL, APOCALYPTICA, THEATRE OF TRAGEDY] previously with "Crimson" and "The Cold White Light", what was the deciding factor to go with him again for this release?

Sami Lopakka: "It was kind of like the obvious choice as it would have been very weird to have a new guy for the last album, as Hiili is a total professional and quite a twisted fellow. Since we worked on 'Crimson' and 'The Cold White Light', he has also become a very, very good friend to us. So it was the obvious choice to have him producing and to carry the coffin out with us for the last time. This way we didn't have to worry about learning some new guy, it [allowed us] to totally concentrate on the songs and on the playing itself. He always brings twisted ideas to every recording session he makes and it's always interesting to work with a guy like him. We never even considered anybody else for the last time around."

Read Sami Lopakka's entire interview with FourteenG at this location.


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