Mpomusic: Can you first
introduce the band to us?
Tinnitus: Tinnitus have been around for
about five years, playing progressive deathmetal. We've been touring in Finland since
that, and so far three recordings have been made. But the most important thing for us in
Tinnitus is to be a testimony of God's grace in a fallen world.
Theophilus: Can you specify your type of
music? As in what bands your music relates to?
Tinnitus: Dream Theater, Mortification,
Schaliach and early Deuteronomium are among others the bands that people often relate us
to when talking about the music of Tinnitus.
Rogoth: When asked what their influences
are, bands always come up with lots of bands and artists, always the big ones. So, tell me
what you're really listening to! What's in your CD-player at the very moment you're
Stefan: Right now I'm listening to Kansas -
Point Of No Return. Guess the other guys in the band have to answer for themselves...
Janne: Geddy Lee; My favorite headache,
it's the new solo-album released by the singer/bassplayer of Rush. A very fine album.
Fredrik Kass: Emerson, Lake & Palmer;
Brain Salad Surgery .
Kenneth "the Cannonball": Dream
Theater: Metropolis part 2 - Scenes From A Memory (A real masterpiece!).
Warrior: It's quite unusual that Christian
bands listen to non-Christian music as you all mentioned your favorites and what you are
listening to at this moment. What is your opinion, should a Christian person (even if he's
not a musician) listen to Christian music or not?
Tinnitus: Not all of the members in
Tinnitus have been raised in Christian families, some of us have discovered Christ later
in life. Before we became believers we listened to all sorts of non-Christian music just
like everyone else so we are very familiar with many kinds of music-styles. Now as a
Christian it's about time to think it over, music can cause you lots of trouble. We do
encourage everyone to mainly (hopefully only) listen to Christian artists. Some of our
brothers have destroyed all their non-Christian records after receiving Jesus in their
lives. We have not gone that far but we don't think that it's a bad idea at all. Of course
we have our limits, there are for example bands with a satanic image that we don't want to
hear at all even though their music might be good. We believe that as long as you're aware
of how the music affects people you can listen to it in another way, not swallow all the
lies in the lyrics. It's actually quite frightening to see how many people are given a one
way ticket to hell through their musical taste. Without noticing it you can even get
brainwashed by getting caught in a subculture. Subcultures are not always good (punk,
reggae), people start "living music" instead of just listening to it. Before you
know it drugs and all kinds of other crappy things take over. These kinds of people are
the ones we're trying to reach with Tinnitus, 'cause we have some good news for the lost
souls... Back to your question. In the long run it's much healthier to listen only to
Christian music. We in the band Tinnitus listen to all sorts of music and we sometimes
even realize hey, why am I listening to this record? -It makes me depressive and makes me
hate instead of love. Those records are usually smashed into small pieces with a big
hammer. Who knows, maybe in the future there will be only Christian music in our
CD-players after the hammer has been swung for the last time... Long live the hammer!
Victory: You have made some of the best
tunes I've heard. But do you know what I'm missing? With such a guitar-shredder that you
have in Janne why don't you make more solos? Just as I start to headbang to the solo in No
Regret or 2000 Years it ends! They are way too short! A 10 minute epic song would be cool!
Janne: I'm actually an "anti
guitar-solo type of guy". When I listen to records I find it very frustrating when a
boring two minutes long guitar-solo appears in an otherwise perfect song. The solospot
should be that little extra that shivers down your spine. It should absolutely not be just
an opportunity for the guitarist to play as many notes as possible (get a life!). But yes,
I could shred for hours and even worse, I would probably enjoy it too. The problem is
Mr./Mrs./miss(?) Victory is that recording music is expensive and I hate to say it but I'm
broke. Let's see what the future brings... An instrumental tune would be great!
Guitar-Junkie: For the past two years I
have been listening to bands like Arse Slaughter and Tinnitus. I was really surprised when
Janne explained that he is an anti-guitarhero type of guy who doesn't like people playing
fast if the main purpose is to demonstrate technique. Don't you have (musical) idols just
like everyone else, aren't you impressed when hearing an, in your opinion, technical
Janne: Yes, sure I've been a fan of many
guitarists throughout the years. Steve Vai and Frank Zappa, for example have both made a
big impression on me. Yngwie Malmsteen, Frank Gambale and all the other sweepers are also
interesting. Django Reinhardt, Marty Friedman, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and
Alex Skolnick are quite interesting. The list is endless but I don't listen to these in
the same way anymore. Why sit and listen when you can stand and play? Musically I think
it's very important to have as many different influences as possible and to keep on
developing as an individual. This is something that fans don't like though, people usually
want their idols to keep playing the same old songs for 50 years. If a guitarist quits his
mainstream-band and goes for a solo-career instead just to experiment with different
style-combinations, then his former audience won't be interested anymore. This is a tragic
fact, in my opinion a good musician should never settle for playing the old well-selling
songs for a whole career (sorry Angus!). There are millions of bands out there today but
the really interesting musicians are hard to find so to all you young guitarplayers, and
especially for you...Junkie..?? Start practicing and don't forget to send a demo to Master
ToddPope: Being a musician myself, I wonder
how you guys go about structuring and arranging your songs. Is it jamming on a riff
and developing or does one guy generally write a bulk of the music?
Tinnitus: There are mainly two ways of
composing when writing for Tinnitus. The first is to start with harmony, making a melody
that we're totally in love with and then try different chord-progressions over it, this is
where the song takes its shape and it's the most demanding part of the whole process. We
experiment with different modes, different key-modulations, pedal-tones etc. When we've
found what we're looking for the music is finally listened to and analyzed over and over
again. At this point you get totally brainwashed by the music so it's a good idea to leave
it for a while and pick it up again after a couple of weeks. If we still believe in it
after listening with "fresh ears" then it ends up in a song. Lyrics are usually
written afterwards. The other way of making music is to have a strong rhythm as motive,
the guitarist and the drummer discuss the rhythm and look at the possibilities of making
something nice out of it. For example, after jamming the rhythm for Why Should I Fear? for
hours we had figured out how to place the drumbeats right and of course how to make it as
progressive as possible without making it sounding boring. Again the lyrics were written
afterwards and while listening to a demotape the singer usually fits in the roaring. A new
song has appeared but in our opinion it's never finished, we still try out different
variations on our old tracks. There is always something new to discover so we never stop
searching, gradually the songs start sounding better and at a certain point the material
is finally recorded.
Rogoth: I saw the cover of Veritas and was
wondering what it depicts. Is there something you would like to depict with it? The
handshoed hand trying to pick the key?
Tinnitus: It's quite up to you to decide
what the symbols stand for, but here are a few hints to help you on your way...The Evil is
coming up from the sewers to take your key to heaven (your belief?) but the key is too
big. It will never pass that hole. The hand could also stand for someone trying to get up
from the abyss, the key could be that person's last hope. Veritas is Latin and means
"truth". Looking at the key as "the truth" (Jesus Christ) could give
some more light to the meaning of the symbols. The Veritas cover could also be a terrible
illustration of a poor boy who got locked up in the bathroom. After thinking it over he
realizes the only way out is through the pipes...
Daphne: I was wondering if you do some sort
of Public Relations to promote your band. I suppose you do of course, but in what way? Do
you have a band-logo, or someone special doing your PR? If not, in what different way do
you promote Tinnitus?
Tinnitus: Our management, Master Bengan
Management, does it all. He (Master Bengan) has a separate graphics-department
continuously working with Tinnitus promo material including photos and videoshots. Another
department is the Wormcorporation which is developing the official Tinnitus-website. The
master regularly sends out Newsletters etc. And he is probably seeking new contacts right
now. Master Bengan is a big fan of Tinnitus and he doesn't make any profit on his 24-7
business and he seems to be really happy about that. All he really wants is to help
Christian bands to get on the field with their music and message.
Joanna: If you guys would be forced to quit
the band (I certainly hope not). What would you be up to then? I cannot imagine you being
anything less than Tinnitus.
Janne: I would probably be sitting in my
apartment on that same old sofa, drinking coffee, watching Bill Cosby Show along with that
same old Stefan wondering why we didn't make it.
Stefan: I'm sure I'd still be sitting on
Janne's sofa drinking coffee, watching Bill Cosby Show, thinking it was all Janne's fault
we didn't make it.
Fredrik: I would move to the countryside,
back to my father's farm and feed the cows (I love milk!) until I'd retire.
Kenneth "the Cannonball": I would
like to become a president, primeminister, space-engineer or something like that. But
since I didn't make it to senior high... Guess I'll have to settle with saving the
Tinnitus: Actually, we have no clues of how
our future would be without the band...
Headbanger: Have you been badly welcomed at
concerts and in the metal scene in general because you are Christians? Or have you had
Tinnitus: We have received a lot of
different feedback from our audience, both negative and positive. Normally people
(Christians and non-Christians) think it's OK for Christians to play metal, and they
usually think it's great. Though we have seen long-haired guys with pentagrams cursing us
and telling us that metal is ONLY Satan's music and that we are gonna burn in hell... On
the other hand we've received quite much negative feedback from people in the church,
people who "know" the absolute truth about rockmusic.
Mafa: Hi. I saw your legendary appearance
at Fuckelheim 2000, that was one crazy night. Don't you ever hurt yourselves during gigs?
Mpomusic: What sort of event was Fuckelheim
Tinnitus: Fuckelheim 2000 (the place of no
pop) was an underground festival in a place called Såka here in Finland. Tinnitus and
Lyrical Empees were the only Christian bands that night...That was one of those
nightmare-gigs (we've had a few of those). None of the bandmembers got hurt that night but
our manager was beaten up pretty badly. If you saw what they did to Master Bengan after
his stagedive that night you understand that it was an unpleasant atmosphere. The audience
was too drunk, police-officers had to come and get the worst troublemakers... This is
Finland. Master Bengan has recovered well and has forgiven the people who attacked
Mafa: Yeah I saw the fight but I didn't
know that it was your manager. I must say that I admire him since he didn't try to defend
Tinnitus: That's right. Master Bengan is
really nice and peaceful man, we all have a lot to learn from him.
Metalhead: What does the members of
Tinnitus think about the music scene in the future? There are many good Christian metal
bands (most even better than the satanic ones!), still the big names that kids listen to
are bands that sing about suicide, anarchy and stuff like that. Will Christian music take
over the charts in the future? And how will Tinnitus be doing? Do you believe that you
have any chance to become more famous than say, Marilyn Manson?
Tinnitus: Because there are so many good
Christian bands nowadays, that has to make some kind of impact on the music scene in the
future. And yes, many Christian bands could take over the scene if it wasn't for that ugly
attitude of MTV. Though one has to remember that Christian bands are normally not fighting
for a name on the scene, the important thing is to exalt Jesus Christ through music. But
we think it's great that bands like for example POD make a name, guess there's a lot of
people who hear the message through bands like them. One also needs to remember that most
of the Christian bands could beat many bands on the secular scene what day ever