Wintersun: On The Forest Seasons and compromising

By Laetitia
The Finnish metallers from Wintersun recently launched a Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund their new record The Forest Seasons and future projects (which includes Time II). Metal-Exposure talked to bass player Jukka Koskinen about this much debated step, the new record and yes, the sauna.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Time II has been a long time coming.
Thank you for being here! Some things take more time.

The band has started a crowdfunding project that should fund the WINTERSUN HEADQUARTERS studio. The responses vary from it being ridiculous (bands do with less all the time) – to supportive.

What where your first thoughts on the studio/crowdfunding project? What are your thoughts on the comments of the fans?
My and the whole bands’ first thoughts were that getting our own studio would be the most beneficial time and money wise. We cannot afford for 3rd party studios and make TIME II like massive and cinematic projects. These kinds of albums ain’t regular just get it over with in a month. We have done unfortunate compromises in the past do not want to go those situations over and over again. This is why we came to a nicely agreement with Nuclear Blast to have a transparent and honest way of funding a studio. The best possible scenario there can be.

Some have had negative feelings about the crowdfunding that is weird. This is the most honest and transparent way of business, offering our new album directly to the fans. It’s normal pre-order of the album, not donating like some have taken it, ridiculous. We all have our smart phones and whatever is in our daily lives and we do not know or care where the money is going after we have purchased something. These people who are unsatisfied should maybe consider more contacting major companies rather than Wintersun who is showing everything transparently what is happening, hehe.

We launched the campaign on the first day of March and it’s been going great! Unbelievable to see that our dearest fans are there with us – like I said we are transparent and the money is going to the best cause. Great to see that people do understand that this benefits everyone, not just the band. This way we can release future Wintersun albums fast and with out true vision.

Will the headquarters studio include the much debated sauna?
Yeah this is funny but when you make a joke of something it spreads to “every corner” of the Internet. This has happened, no we are not focusing on building a sauna.

At what stage are you now with The Forest Seasons? How long did the entire recording process take? Were there any problems, like you encountered with Time I?
The new album with all the other content in our crowdfunding is 100% done. The estimated release is July due to Nuclear Blast release schedule who will release the new album physically. The new album process has taken a few years with a lot preparation of the crowdfunding as well so we have been super busy but also a lot more efficient than it he past so no overwhelming problems like in the past has happened, thankfully.

Did you have any influence on the creative process? (Writing, adapting the songs?)
The new album is purely Jari’s handwriting. Of course we all can influence on certain things during the process. For me it’s very easy to adapt to the music of Wintersun since Jari’s and my musical world are quite similar so to say. Or where we both come from. It’s interesting that I feel at home with Wintersun, let’s see in the future if there might be more songs from other members as well.

What is the official title? The Forest Seasons or Time II? Or both?
The new album is called THE FOREST SEASONS, a solid and majestic fresh Wintersun album. It has nothing to do with TIME II, that is on hold. We will complete it when we have the necessary resources for it.

Your Facebook statement on the crowdfunding project says this: ”Building the studio is absolutely essential in order to finish TIME II.” Can you explain why this is?
We already made too many compromises on TIME I. It sounds alright but it’s 60% of what we wanted it to sound like. Therefore TIME I and II would need way more resources (the crowdfunding) to make them sound like our true vision is. This is what we want to do and not cause disappointments to ourselves since that road doesn’t make any sense right?

Your Facebook statement also says this: ‘We’re gonna cut all the crap and only going to offer one very valuable perk! That’s right! It will be a massive Wintersun Crowdfunding Package called the FOREST PACKAGE ‘ – Can you give us a hint on what this is?
Yes absolutely, it really is a great package for our dearest fans to offer something truly special that has way more value than it’s offered at the moment at Indiegogo. It includes our new album “The Forest Seasons” with the best possible sound quality format, isolated tracks of the new album, instrumental version of the new album, remasters of the self-titled album with never heard intro, remaster of TIME I, live album from Tuska festival 2013 and an acoustic version of the new album song called Loneliness. A big package!

Let’s move on to the music, since it is ultimately about that. How would you personally describe the upcoming album?
It’s deeper and more emotional than before. It’s also more straightforward focusing clearly to the mood of each song and not being that progressive than before, I think. The album has four unique songs for each season of the year.

The spring song, Awaken from the Dark Slumber, is about when everything comes to life after winter’s dark times. It’s also how you yourself wake up from a coma that you have been in your whole life possibly. The song is split in two parts and is very uplifting though it has a dark first half, presenting the dream and the second part, presenting the awakening.

The summer song, The Forest that Weeps, is an majestic male choir driven song that shows the harshness of the summer that can happen in the north, grayness and rain – hard for your mentality when the sun is gone even sometimes in the summer.

The autumn song, Eternal Darkness, is by far the most brutal song by Wintersun. This monster is about all dying, death, dark dark times like in the autumn, almost unbearable hard for mentality – our black metal beast.

The winter song, Loneliness, is a slower tempo song with beautiful clean vocals and melodies. A song about melancholia, loneliness though somehow a peaceful feel in it.

Since we have little to go on at this point – will it stylistically be a continuation of Time I? Or has Wintersun departed more from this style and how?
The Forest Seasons album is different from TIME I material though it has the trademark Wintersun sound – being epic!

Wintersun fans seem to have a thing for creating memes. Assuming you have seen them, which one is your favorite? (Would be great if you can also attach it)?

“One hour on this planet is 7 years on Earth.” Great! We will wait for TIME II release date here.”

What is in store for Wintersun for the rest of 2017? Can we expect live shows?
Yep, live shows are being booked at the moment. We have now a bunch of summer festivals coming and now figuring out the rest of the year.

Any last words for the readers? And thank you for the update!
Check out our crowdfunding at Indiegogo! Hear some new music and join us!

About Laetitia

As founder of Metal-Exposure, I'm a bit of a jack of all trades: first and foremost I'm a writer/freelance journalist. I also run this blog and I do some concert photography. You can find me at a lot of metal festivals/gigs, where I show off my disco moves, sing Monty Python songs and proclaim my faith in the number 42.