Interview With Eternal Tears Of Sorrow

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. So, let's get started:

Eternal Tears Of Sorrow is back after 3 years of keeping us waiting with "Children of the Dark Waters". What, in your opinion, are the
main difference between "Before the Bleeding Sun" and this release?

"CotDW" is a darker and more extreme album compared to "BTBS" but on
the other hand, it also continues many themes of "BTBS". The previous
album came out in spring 2006 and it took some months for us to have a
fresh, objective perspective on the album. When we got that, we soon
found out that Before the Bleeding Sun wasn't really as heavy and dark
album as we originally wanted it to be. In general, I think with this
album, we came closer to our roots that are strongly in soil of
melodic death metal or just death metal. I mean the general atmosphere
is much darker even though this isn't really a death metal album as
such, but a combination of dozens of genres and bands that have
influenced us during these fifteen years.

Please tell us more about the writing/recording process of "Children
of the Dark Waters" album? How satisfied are you with the end result?

The writing process for this album started in early 2007. The
song-writing process wasn't really so much different compared to the
BTBS process. However, there was much more co-operation when writing
music and the lyrics and arranging the songs. We did learn a lot of
things during the process, including making the extreme parts even
heavier and more extreme and arranging the slower and "lighter" parts
to be more dynamic. That way, we had more contrasts on this album. And
in the end, the album is really the best album we've made in our

What is the concept behind "Children Of The Dark Waters" (or tell us
some more about the lyrics if there is no concept behind the album).

Well, this isn't a theme or concept album as such. But you might think
lyric-wise, the lyrics may be a bit more coherent and consistent
compared to the previous album. For example, the first song on this
album is the second part of the "Angelheart, Ravenheart" theme. Also,
the two last songs on this album have something to do with the pair of
songs "Sakura No Rei" and "Sinister Rain" that appeared on the
previous album.

The lyrics for the "Children of the Dark Waters" song is based on a
dream Altti had about a year ago. It's about a dream-like scene where
dead children quietly walk out of a dark lake or sea. When Altti told
me about the dream, it sounded like a Japanese horror film to me, at
least if had the same kind of vibes. So, we, the members of the band,
discussed the dream and its atmosphere and the result can be heard and
seen on the album. In addition, it was quite obvious for us that this
song would be the second act of the "Angelheart, Ravenheart" theme we
started on the previous album.

Any extensive European (and why not American) touring in the horizon
in support for the latest album?

We certainly hope so. It's really too early to talk about them as we
don't have any confirmed live show dates yet, not even for Finland.
But we would certainly like to go back to Central Europe, or even to
go to Northern America. North America could be a bit hard as none of
our albums have officially been released there. Don't know why but we
keep our fingers crossed for this album!

While the band's unique blend of sounds is very present in all
releases they show a greater degree of musicianship through out the
years. Why do you changed from a more traditional Melodic Death Metal
approach to a Symphonic Death Metal style? What has changed in your
musical influences?

I don't think our style has changed so much.. Because in the end, if
you stripped out most of the keyboards, clean vocals and guitar
melodies, the core of our music would still be very much of melodic
death metal. It's just a matter of how to arrange or decorate the

On the other hand, our music has always subconsciously changed on
every album as we always like doing some experiments with arrangements
and everything else related to our music. We usually don't want to
write many similar songs or to create two similar albums. We want to
expand our musical horizons every time we start writing a new album
and go to the directions that interest us at that time.

The band split-up in 2001 and then re-formed back in 2005. Why did
this happened? What was the need behind re-forming and creating
"Before the Bleeding Sun"?

We had been working hard for years, spending most of our free-time
with this band. We recorded three albums between 1998 and 2001.and we
had had a lot of gigs, including the European tour with Nightwish and
Sinergy that lasted for almost two months. After our fourth album came
out, we were so tired of everything related to this band that we just
couldn't go on anymore. In the end, it was a good decision because
during that time, we started to appreciate this band even more than we
did before. It was really easy to take this band for granted and to
think this band lasts for ever..

But, well, it didn't take so much time for us to start thinking about
making music again. Altti and I had the first discussion on this
matter in the summer 2004. We felt like it was a good idea to come
back as we had got a lot of new energy. Our idea was "if we can still
make music that sounds like us, we should go on". The first song we
wrote was "Red Dawn Rising" that sounded like us but also sounded
fresh and new to us. We wrote more songs and here we are, five years
later, still going strong and full of enthusiasm.

There have been two recent lineup changes in the band between the end
of the recordings and the official release of the album. Any details
you can provide about why this happened?

Yeah, these things are always unfortunate and as a matter of fact,
this is the first time our members have to leave the band in the
middle of the song-writing and recording process.

First, it was Petri Sankala (drums) who had had problems with his back
for a couple of years. He only could play one gig with us in 2007 and
three songs on this album. So, in the autumn of 2008, we made a mutual
decision that he left the band. Fortunately, we found a replacement
soon, Juho Raappana who had played in many local bands and is just the
perfect guy for us. Next, it was Risto Ruuth (lead guitar) who left
the band a couple of days before the mixing sessions started. We never
really got a perfect explanation for him leaving the band but I
suppose he didn't had the energy level needed for this band anymore.
But we found a replacement soon, Mika Lammassaari and have started
rehearsing with him for the live shows..

Why do you think has the band been inconsistent in terms of band
members and staying together?

There isn't really one or two answers to that question as every member
has had a different reason for leaving the band. Some people have had
problems with their health or their energy levels with the band and
some of the ex-members have been too busy to go on with the band
anymore. Being a member of a band like us is a really hard work and
sometimes it can take all of your free-time. On the other hand, the
two founders of the band (Altti and I) are still with the band and we
think this line-up will be a permanent one. We're sure we're going to
make several albums with this line-up.

ETOS has been around 15 years (overall), what do you think have been
the band's greatest achievements and what are your future goals for
the band?

I think each of our albums have been great achievements. When an album
comes out, there's always been months of hard work and dozens of
moments of effort and creativity behind them.

Any funny or horror stories that have happened during ETOS 15 years of
existence that you want to share with our readers?

Every band bumps into the Spinal Tap moments, that's for sure.. I got
almost lost in the backstage of an Austrian backstage as it was full
of corridors. Once our stage lights went out in the middle of a song
in Finland. And I remember a couple of strict, Middle European
policemen who came to check out our tour bus.. But in the end, as
we're really nice guys, the policemen ended up playing a Playstation
game with us.

If you could take back any decision you have made in the music
business which one would you take back, and why?

We don't regret anything we've done. Well, as with all bands, we've made some mistakes every now and then. But the point of making mistakes is not going back in time to fix them but to learn from them. So, if we hadn't done any mistakes at all, we wouldn't be here, or at least we would be a very different band, I think. Even our split-up some years ago wasn't a mistake as such but the only thing to do, and it was also a nice kick in the face to remind us that this band really isn't going to last forever. It made us appreciate this band even more than we used to and now, we don't take the existence of this band for granted anymore.

Thanks for the interview, are there any other things you guys want to
add for our readers?

Thanks for the interesting questions! The new album is out now and we
hope to see you on the tour!


Recent Image Galleries