Interview with Rami Jämsä, guitarist/vocalist of Convulse

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Convulse (band)Interview by Jason Guest

Hi Rami. Many thanks for taking time out for this interview. The ‘Inner Evil’ EP is very impressive (Ed: Jason’s review is here) and demonstrates an equally impressive band. For you, how does the Convulse of today compare with the Convulse of the early 90s?

Rami: Thanks for your supportive words. The main difference between the Convulse now and 20 years ago is that we are much more experienced now.  We have got over 100 years of experience of playing in this band and it makes a lot of things smoother. Song writing process is easier, we don’t argue together, our skills are better and so on…

Jason: Why did Convulse choose to reform after such a long absence? Was there something left unsaid by the band?

Rami: At first an idea was to play only one show in our hometown Nokia. We started to practice together and we noticed we still have fun together and the songs sounded better than ever. The question was why to play only one show and split up again? Soon it was inevitable that we should go on. I had also some riffs ready for the new material. I figured out that other members were also motivated enough to write new material.

Jason: With such a legacy behind you, expectations would be very high. Was putting the band back together a difficult decision?

Rami: I know that there are always a group of people who want to see comeback failures, but it is okay. I am the man preferring to do something instead of criticizing others. But as I said, when I noticed the motivation and skills of this “new” Convulse it was very easy to make decision to go on.

Jason: The two tracks that appear on the ‘Inner Evil’ EP, are they the first two tracks that the band put together since the reformation? Are they indicative of what we can expect from a Convulse album?

Rami: Yes they are. We arranged them late summer 2012. We have totally four new tracks ready now and let’s say that the EP is a brilliant example of what we are doing these days.

Jason: Why did you choose to record the EP with all analog equipment?

Rami: I am an analog freak who listens to tapes and vinyl. I love the analog reel-to-reel recording equipment. It requires a little bit more from the band to record in an analog studio, but it pays every penny back. We had enough time to practice the new songs properly and we did everything in the studio pretty much live, only some guitars and growling afterwards. It was very inspiring to record as a band, catch the energy of the songs and do it like we did 20 years ago. No computers, no Pro tools, no monitors, just the band and the songs.

Jason: How does Convulse work to create the songs on the EP? Was it a collaborative effort or did you write individually? Did you discuss ideas about what you wanted of each track or was it an evolutionary process?

Rami: At first I write riffs and then we go to the rehearsals. The whole band arranges the song. Usually we make plenty of versions until the song is ready. Normally I write lyrics after the song is ready. Then we can arrange the song more if necessary. I would like to call it more like an evolutionary process. Of course, I had an idea what to do. I am doing the descendant of World Without God, not doing the same album again, but the spirit of World Without God is with us.

Convulse - Inner Evil EPJason: Can you tell us about the artwork for the EP? Who’s the artist? And what was it about their work that drew you to them?

Rami: The artwork is by Luxi Lahtinen. I asked him if he had some old unused drawings and we picked this one. Luxi also started to draw again after years because of the inspiration of the new Convulse album. I am sure he’s going to draw a haunting cover for the full length album. Luxi has made many death metal covers, for example for bands like Abhorrence, Sentenced and Demilich.

Jason: How does the scene today compare with the scene that Convulse left behind in the early 90s?

Rami: Sorry, but I am quite out of the scene nowadays. I am doing my own stuff and that’s all.

Jason: One significant change is of course the internet. How do you view its impact on the scene?

Rami: Of course it is easier to get your music out by internet, but the problem is there are millions of bands on the internet. I prefer having material music like vinyls and tapes and want to see cover art and keep the vinyl in my hands. I want to listen to the whole record, not just one song from my computer with crappy sounds.

Jason: With illegal file-sharing threatening to become the norm, do you think it’s become more of a challenge for band’s to survive?

Rami: I finish playing my guitar and split the band up when the sales don’t cover the studio costs. Of course the file sharing lowers the quality of the recordings because bands record albums in their own bedrooms. Perhaps I am the one of last dinosaurs who wants to buy material music. Of course the internet has an impact on the operations of the bands: lower sales, lower quality.

Jason: What does the future hold for Convulse? Are you planning any tours? Festival appearances? Will you be coming to the UK?

Rami: We are writing material for the new full length album and we are planning to record it at August. We will also play some shows in Finland, show in Maryland Deathfest and perhaps some shows late autumn in Europe.

Jason: Again, many thanks for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any final words for our readers?

Rami: Thanks for your interest in Convulse. Keep on buying records!

  • And you can visit Convulse on Facebook here