Entwine – Chaos EntwinedMonday, 23rd November 2015
Personally speaking, when one thinks back to the early 2000s Finnish metal/gothic rock scene, there was Sentenced, Charon, To/Die/For, and of course, Entwine. For a while (read: the eras of Time of Despair and DiEversity), Entwine played more to the melodic and softer angles. Then Fatal Design hit, and saw the band shift towards more “rocking” territory and brought forth a larger bottom-end. Painstained continued this approach with plenty of success until the band decided to take a break in 2012.
This leads us up to 2014, when the band got back together. The recently released Chaotic Nation is Entwine’s first effort since 2009 and its clear the band is making up for lost time. All of the characteristic melodies you would expect from Entwine are there, along with some new improvements. To help assist us in describing Entwine circa 2015, we reached out to drummer Aksu Hannttu, who went into detail about the band’s hiatus/reformation, their shift in sound that began with Fatal Design, as well as plenty of information about Chaotic Nation.
Dead Rhetoric: The band went into hiatus back in 2012. Was there a particular reason for the stop?
Aksu Hanttu: The whole thing was close to collapsing and we just needed to get some distance from each other. Then we focused on wiping all the shit away and starting fresh. We never quit. We just needed some kind of time off.
Dead Rhetoric: Likewise, what drew the band back together in 2014?
Hanttu: We had some new stuff already written in 2012 and soon after that we started to make more new songs. At that point, we decided to give all the necessary time for the writing process and didn’t want to rush with anything. Basically we worked with the new stuff all the time, little by little. We just weren’t all together all the time. In 2014 we finally hit the studio to record the album.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you describe Chaotic Nation in regards to the rest of your discography?
Hanttu: It is definitely our most diverse album. There is a lot of nuances. There is rocking stuff, metal stuff, electric stuff, quite a lot keyboards, tough guitar riffs and of course full of melodies. From the songs you can find a lot of new colours but there is still some old Entwine as well.
Dead Rhetoric: What are some of the lyrical concepts within Chaotic Nation?
Hanttu: There are some lyrics you can find political concepts but at the same time you can find those in an individual level. The title Chaotic Nation is quite a good keyword for the lyrics. As usual our singer Mika, who writes most of the lyrics, doesn’t want to open up the lyrics that much. He always says people should find their own meanings for the lyrics. If he discussed the lyrics too much, then people would start to think the lyrics in that specific way and would stop finding their own meanings.
Dead Rhetoric: You recorded a video for the song “Plastic World.” Why was this particular track chosen?
Hanttu: It’s the first single from the album, so it’s quite obvious choice from that point of view. And why not? It’s a nice rocking song with many different sides to it. Our record label Spinefarm chose that song for the first single and wanted a video for it as well. I liked that decision. It’s one of my favorites from the album. And I think it’s a good song to represent the whole new album as well.
Dead Rhetoric: It seems that the gothic metal front lost a bit of steam over the years, at least stateside. Is the demand still quite strong in Europe?
Hanttu: Oh, hard to say…We have never felt apart of the gothic scene. I mean, we have always made music that felt good for us. We have never thought of our music as metal, rock, gothic or what so ever. Record labels, media and all others just have categorized us to more gothic metal or something. But anyway, I don’t follow gothic metal scene that much, so I can’t describe the situation of it in Europe.
Dead Rhetoric: When Fatal Design was released back in 2006, it was noted that you pushed for a bit of a heavier sound than say, Time of Despair/DiEversity. Do you think it helped distinguish Entwine from some of the other then-likeminded bands like HIM and Charon?
Hanttu: Yeah. Definitely. But there was also a lot happening in our music and attitude as well as on the Fatal Design album. Then we started to rock more. At least more than we used to do.
Dead Rhetoric: What defines “gothic metal” to you at this point?
Hanttu: As I already said, I don’t follow gothic metal scene that much. Maybe I did more back in the day but nowadays not so much. Sure I still like many of those bands and their albums from that time. But are those bands that gothic? I don’t know.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts in regards to the shifts within the music industry since Entwine’s beginnings?
Hanttu: It has changed a lot. And in a bad way. Now we are in a transition. Let’s hope the future is better for it. Still, more and more new bands are coming out all the time. But people want to pay less and less for music. You do the math. That’s quite a difficult equation. I really hope that there will be a good solution where artists could also get some payment from the records.
Dead Rhetoric: What would it take for Entwine to make it over to North American shores for a tour?
Hanttu: I really hope that it would happen some day! That would be more than cool! As usual, it depends on the local promoters. And when we talk about the support tour, then it also needs some extra effort from our record company.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s in the works for Entwine as we come to a close on 2015?
Hanttu: Right now we are touring in Finland and hopefully after that we continue the tour outside of Finland. Let’s see how the things will go. There are no plans for the next 8th album release yet but I feel that the Chaotic Nation is a good “new start” for the band and I don’t see think this would be our last album. Definitely not. Now we enjoy the gigs and after that it would be a time to plan more about the future.