TORTURE KILLER formed as a weekend party band doing Six Feet Under covers and decided to release an original album in the same vein as their idols in 2003 called "For Maggots To Devour". Then, in an amazing twist of fate, they came together with 'The Evil One' himself to form one of the most hard driving forces in Death Metal today. I had an opportunity to get some words from guitarist Jari Laine about the new force that has become TORTURE KILLER.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN AND WHAT THE MUSIC SCENE WAS LIKE GROWING UP THERE.
- Well actually my hometown is a very small 25.000 people sized, but it´s
right in the outskirts of a bigger one. But when i was a kid and getting
into music it was just those few guys i knew that were trading tapes at
school - getting in touch with them and see if i had something to trade with
those guys. A lot of my friends were into metal, but obviously when i got
into more heavier stuff than Anthrax and Metallica i had to go look for
somewhere else to get my music. There were some bands who did demos and
getting an original copy of a demo tape was always a highlight of the week.
There was no such thing as the fucking internet so if i got a hold of a
flyer i usually ordered that mag or demo tape and looked for more bands and
contacts from there.
AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE A MUSICIAN?
- Well i knew Sepultura was the band that made me want to get my own guitar,
and it slowly started from there - eventually starting to write own riffs
because all those tab books were too difficult for me at the time. I could
learn a couple of basic riffs from my favourite Metallica and Sepultura
songs but i never managed to learn a full song. So i just started writing
the riffs i could play and those eventually turned into songs. Even to date
i really can´t see myself as a musician, to me that term always consisted
knowledge of theory aswell and i have zero knowledge of any musical theory
or scale - i just know when i like the riff.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DEVELOPING YOUR MUSICAL SKILLS?
- At first it was trying to learn those cool riffs from tab books i was able
to get from the library - like i said there was no internet you could go and
get stuff. There was some Metallica, Sepultura, Slayer and Anthrax stuff but
like i said i wasn´t skilled enough to learn a full song, the solos in
particular were so much out of my league i didn´t even start looking at
those. Then it moved on to trying to figure out riffs from tapes, bands that
didn´t have a tab book out but bands i really liked, it was hard but i liked
it more than any normal guitar lesson, a thing i went to once. The dickhead
didn´t teach me to play those heavy chords but shoved some wimpy family song
which i was supposed to learn how to play while reading a notebook. Fuck
that, that wasn´t the thing i wanted to play - a basic heavy metal chord
with distortion would´ve done it.
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BANDS WHEN YOU WERE A TEENAGER?
- My biggest favourite at the time was Sepultura. Arise had just come out
and i literally played my c -cassette until it broke, also Anthrax a bit
earlier on together with Metallica of course. Then one night a friend of
mine who lived in a newly built part of my town which had cable tv, recorded
this show he had seen advertised in MTV...it was headbangers ball with the
oh so juicy Vanessa - in that show i saw two videos that literally shocked
me so totally that i knew i had to get my hands on these bands.
One was Napalm Death with a video for "Suffer the Children" and the other
one was Obituary with a live video recorded in Marquee, London called
"Turned Inside Out". I couldn´t believe what was going on in those videos -
and even if i didn´t fully couldn´t take all that brutality, both of those
songs had these immensely cool riffs which i liked. We watched that tape
propably like a hundred times and that´s what got me into more extreme side
HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BANDMATES AND HOW DID YOU ALL COME TOGETHER TO FORM TORTURE KILLER?
- I used to run a small death metal label some years ago and we released a
CD from a local death metal band called Torn, so that´s where i knew
Karppinen (guitars) and Latvala (drums) from. Me and a third friend of mine
who i´d known for years wanted to start hanging out and play our Obituary
and SFU songs for fun and since Latvala could play the drums and Karppinen
could handle the bass at the time - we asked them to join us one weekend and
jam a bit. That´s the thing that initiated the whole thing. After Karppinen
moved to guitars he knew this guy who would be interested to join the jams
and handle bass - that´s how i met Torniainen.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EARLIER RELEASES, THE WRITING, THE MUSIC ETC.
- After doing that jamming for about six months or so, we pretty much knew
how to play all our favourite tracks. But we didn´t want to stop doing what
were doing, so one day we just thought maybe we should try writing a few
songs of our own - but keeping that same approach. One thing led to another
and eventually we had our first album out on Karmageddon Media from Holland
titiled "For Maggots to Devour". It contained 9 songs with very obvious
influences, something we had written in a few months time and didn´t even
think we would be recording them, not to mention having them out on a real
"SWARM" IS AN AMAZING ALBUM AND HAS ALREADY BECOME MY FAVORITE RELEASE OF 2006. TELL ME HOW THIS ALBUM ALL CAME TOGETHER AND HOW CHRIS CAME TO JOIN FORCES WITH TORTURE KILLER.
- Glad you like it. In late 2004 when we were going for our first European
tour we had a complete crash with our previous vocalist just a few days
before. We were lucky enough to find a replacement but all the plans we had
for our second album were gone. We left a new post on our website explaining
the situation that we are going to make the tour but without a line-up we
couldn´t record an album and the future looked very uncertain for us - we
knew it would be almost impossible to find anybody interested to play death
metal in Finland. Chris picked up the news somewhere and was interested
about the band name and looked us up, checked the stuff we have in our
website and saw the situation we were at. I guess he felt honoured and
appreciated the tribute sound and way we were going for, openly admitting
our influnces. Then he just thought it would be a cool idea to help these guys out,
kinda returning the respect.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WRITING AND THE MUSIC ON THE ALBUM.
- The basic idea was just to improve from the first one, still keeping the
influences but taking more time analyzing each song more. Having the right
arrangements on vocals and rhythms. We didn´t have any idea that these songs
would be out on Metal Blade and Chris doing vocals on them - it was just
trying to improve really. Chris ended up writing more than half of the album
lyrics - something we have to struggle with the most and that´s the coolest
thing about it. Not only having him sing on the album but actually writing
the songs with us. He did an amazing job and he really lifted those songs to
a new level with his vocal delivery and writing.
I'VE BEEN A FAN OF 'THE EVIL ONE' SINCE HIS EARLY DAYS WITH CORPSE. OBVIOUSLY, YOU GUYS TOO. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE KICKIN' ASS WITH CHRIS BARNES?
- It feels...unreal. It´s still very hard to come up with the right words to
describe it. We feel very honoured and it´s still a total surprise and gets
me thinking "How did it end up like this???" It was something we were
totally unprepared for. It´s an honour beyond anything.
YOU'RE NOW PART OF THE METAL BLADE FAMILY. TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH METAL BLADE RECORDS.
- it´s working like clockwork, it enabled us to have Wes doing the album
artwork, Erik to work on the sound...it´s like an all-star gallery of death
metal really. I´m happy of course that they liked the demo we played to
those guys out of the new songs and wanted to sign us after Karmageddon felt
things were getting too big for them to handle. Obviously Chris´s involment
had an effect.
IS CHRIS JUST DOING VOCALS AND PRODUCTION ON THIS ALBUM OR IS HE NOW A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE BAND?
- As for now, all our recording and touring plans include Chris, he is the
official singer of the band.
ARE YOU OR ANY OTHER MEMBERS INVOLVED WITH ANY OTHER BANDS?
- Yes i played in a death metal band called Adramelech, Latvala is playing
drums also in Demigod and Deepred, Karppinen plays guitars in Deepred and
Funeral Feast - and also plays drums in Archgoat.
WHAT OTHER BANDS CAN WE FIND YOU GUYS LISTENING TO THESE DAYS?
- I really like Monstrosity and Dying Fetus. Also Cannibal Corpse is still
one of my favourite bands just like Deicide, Godhate, early Gorefest,
Pestilence, early Sepultura, Vore, Misery Index, Covenance, Jungle Rot,
Morpheus Descends, Bolt Thrower, Brutality, Resurrection, Death...US style
death metal in general - that scene has the best bands without a doubt.
HOW IS THE METAL SCENE IN FINLAND AND THE REST OF EUROPE?
- I guess Metal is going strong in here. A lot of bands getting attention
worldwide, but most of them represent what the Finnish metal fans like -
more melodic kind of metal. It´s ok i guess, but i prefer the US style death
metal and nothing beats that. Death metal scene is very small, but it makes
me even prouder to be a part of that small group - something that´s too much
for an average metal fan. That´s for Finland - for Europe...it´s too big and
varied for even myself to be fully aware whats going on with it.
WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT PLANS FOR TOURING, IF ANY?
- Hopefully something towards the end of the year. We have to be patient
with it, our time will come but it will take a bit more effort and
scheduling with different parties than usual.
WHEN IS TGOD GONNA BE SWEATIN' AND STOMPIN' IN A TORTURE KILLER PIT IN THE USA?
- Man that would be one of my dreams to go and tour in US, hopefully in
HOW WILL YOU SHARE CHRIS WITH SIX FEET UNDER?
- Haha...I didn´t know it would be like that. SFU is still Chris´s main band
and as a fan of their music the last thing we want to do is to interfere any
of their plans. Like i said, our time will come and we're patient.
I SEE ALOT OF SUCCESS COMING YOUR WAY. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM TORTURE KILLER OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
- Thanks, let´s see what happens. Right now were slowly starting to write
new songs aiming for the next Torture Killer CD, that´s pretty much all we
can do and all our goals are with that right now. Other than that we´ll just
wait for our turn and hopefully get on tour with this awesome line-up.
Thanks for taking a little time with Tgod. If there is anything else you
would like to add, please feel free.
Keep up the good F**king Death!!!
- Thanks a lot for the cool interview Tgod, this was a nice one to do.
band photos taken from www.torturekiller.com
photo of Chris Barnes by Tgod