Santtu Niemelä is an independent power metal musician from Finland. He has released one single ‘Fear Of The Dawn’ and one full-length album ‘Boat On The River Of Blood’ in 2016. This year he released his second full-length called ‘Forgotten Souls’.
Tell us a few words about yourself. How long have you acted as a professional musician?
I’m a heavy metal guitarist and songwriter from Finland, born in 1991. I’ve made music my whole life, but about 10 years ago I started to play in a band and started to really focus on making music. In the past few years I studied to become a musician and that really helped me a lot, like getting a lot of good contacts and learning a few more things about music theory and playing my instrument.
Your work is mainly instrumental. You had though in your second album a guest appearance in vocals. Are you in search for additional members?
Yes, I have made instrumental music mainly because earlier I didn’t have many contacts to singers and especially to the type of singers I look for. The second reason of doing instrumental music is that I simply love it. I have always thought that music is more important than lyrics. You can hear words anywhere anyway, but mixed with music it’s more powerful. I don’t see it the other way around. Music is always more powerful than lyrics in my opinion.
My new album is in the making and I have asked a few great singers to be part of it. Maybe some additional players too, we shall see.
Your main influences are bands and artists of the early heavy and power metal era, like Running Wild, Judas Priest, King Diamond and others. Which contemporary bands of the genre are your favorites?
Running Wild is and always will be my favorite band. I grew up listening to Helloween, Gamma Ray, Manowar and Judas Priest. The first metal band I started listening to was Iron Maiden.
My heart is amongst the bands that started in the 80’s or around that time. I’m happy to hear about new bands that have taken influences from that time period. True heavy metal will live on that way.
You have been approached by GlobMetal Promotions recently. Is ‘Forgotten Souls’ released under their label?
Yes, the album promotion is done by them, but I currently have no record deal with any label. I sell my music through DistroKid.
Having a promoter is a huge step I guess. Are there plans to present your work live or have you already took this step earlier as an independent musician?
Yes, the promotion from GlobMetal Promotions is a really big step to me. I have intentions to ask from the local clubs and bars to play live there.
I suppose that, being independent and trying to be heard is a very difficult task. Entering the music industry though, has also its obligations. Which are your dreams or vision from now on?
Yes, it’s hard. I’ve tried to get myself heard through YouTube, Facebook and other channels. I have been on YouTube for almost 10 years now. I’m not trying to become a YouTube celebrity or anything like that. Just trying to get my songs and covers heard.
My dreams and visions would be that more people would find my music. I will continue to make music and I promise you that there are a lot of great things to come.
Can you share with us a favorite story either told by a favorite song or from literature?
I have always been interested in pirates so here is a great story of one:
Running Wild – ‘The Ballad Of William Kidd’
“He was born at the shore of Greenock in the year 1645,
Ran away at the age of fourteen, to flee from his soul-killing life
He signed on to sail the wild-winds
But he worked down his hands and his knees
He stood his test on the waters, so they said “He was bred to the sea.”
In 1697, the “Adventure” was setting its sails
With the letters of marque and reprisal, Kidd was prepared for his trail
They sailed the sea with the mission, to hunt down “Tew” and “Long Ben”
A serious riot was rising, so Kidd struck down one of his men
And he died!
Blue-blooded men they fell from grace
Piranhas eating their own
They sacrificed at the altar of lies
So fate took its course in the ballad of William Kidd
The “Adventure” returned to her hometown, Kidd was forced to defense
They charged him with looting and murder his patrons and generous friends
He’d left his crew at St.Thomas, to guard his honor from shame
But the lords they lied like a trooper, not to lose their own heads in the game
The lords testified, their unholy lies, to save their own heads from the gallows
They sacrificed Kidd, they took him for a ride, that conspirational fellows
They judged him and they found him guilty of piracy of the high seas
Betraying men of honor, you know lie and cheat as they please
A case of judicial murder caused the death of a seafaring man
Slanderous bunch of liars, to hell your souls will be damned”
Thank you for your time! Close this interview as you will!
Big thanks to everyone who’s believed in me and my music! My new album is on its way and I will guarantee you will love it \m/.