To celebrate the release of the latest album by Kalmah, Palo, their frontman and founder, Pekka Kokko gave us some answers to our Quick Six interview. And, bonus, I’ll have a quick review of the album beneath the interview. So enjoy a little peek into the mind of Pekka.
Quick Six Interview with Pekka Kokka
What inspires you recently?
Going to Laplan in Finland to hunt willow grouse. 4 days holiday skiing on woodless mountain/fell area covered by one meter of snow finding birds with my dogs.
How do you know when a song is finished? Do you ever go back and dig out old or unfinished songs?
Basically I try to push the song under work to its limit and make it final. In some cases I found in the middle that the song is good enough so I just dump it for good. On the other hand I have been digging the songs we have before the album time but those songs are already finished and it is all about reusing them. When I finish a song it is usually pretty much in its final form but we as a band arrange the songs together so there may come some changes. At the end it is just the feeling that this is now ready and does not need anything else.
What song do you wish you could have written?
There are lot of good songs out there but if I have to pick one I´d say Megadeth Tornado of Souls. Especially the solo which is my alltime favourite.
If you could duet, vocally or instrumentally, with anyone alive or
dead, who would that be?
Marty Friedman for sure. The guitarist I have always admired.
What would be your perfect weekend?
Whole weekend hunting game birds with my dogs in the middle of nowhere. Staying night in front of campfire in a wicket and listen to the sounds of the nature.
What’s next for you?
Next we have two weekends of release shows here in Finland and then some festivals during summer time. Then I believe I´ll start already to write material for the next album.
Palo is the eighth full-length album in Kalmah’s history and, as always, is led by the Kokko brothers Antti (guitars) and Pekka (guitars, vocals), with the strength of a thousand lakes and the help of loyal friends in Timo Lehtinen (bass), Janne Kusmin (drums) and their newest member Veli-Matti Kananen (keyboards). They deliver once again a vicious slab of Children of Bodom-esque riffs and Korpiklaani-like energy.
It opens with “Blood Ran Cold”, which does show a bit of the inspiration the album draws from – some amazingly bombastic slams, some shredded guitar riffs, and some seriously traditional death metal love the whole way through.
It’s visceral, heavy and dark, very much playing at the altar of death and black metal, and reminicent of older Kalmah albums. Palo is highly enjoyable, and worth a couple replays to really let all of the components sink in. An eight star rating to a solid album, and one that I fully recommend.
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Robin is a semi-coherent, almost sentient being. She has some strange ideas, and some even stranger friends. Disabled, queer, agnostic, accident-prone & other adjectives.
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