Death takes its chances when entering the rock n’ roll zone, allowing metallers Jukka Pihlajaniemi (JP) (vocals) and Jani Rapo (JR) (guitar) caught up with me recently via email to discuss the band’s lyrical meanings, how the band came to be, and everything else thrown in between.
1. How did the band come up with the name Ghoul Patrol, what does it symbolize?
JR: First, it sounded good and second, I wanted some old school horror movie/comics elements to the name. That’s about it.
2. Why do you feel Death Metal/Rock/Metal has become complicated?
JP: At least in Finland the situation is that there are simply too many bands – and the overall level/quality of bands is pretty high. Rock ‘n’ roll and metal are still going strong, but maybe due to the global economy problems labels are afraid of signing anything out of ordinary.
JP: The best experiences are definitely from Scotland. The most memorable is probably one guy who wanted us to sign his prosthetic leg.
JR: …Sure, and the human pyramid was quite fancy 🙂
JP: Scottish metalheads really do seem to know every trick in the book to entertain the band playing on stage!
4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
JP: My lyrics are mostly about politics, human rights, religion – from my point of view. From this perspective the EPs don’t differ from each other that much. The main point in the lyrics is not to preach but to give people something to think about.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
JR: I do all the songs by myself and some of the arrangements, Jukka does the lyrics and rests of the arrangements are done with the band. This method seems to work for us.
6. How much of the recording process was laid out before coming into the studio?
JP: We have a pretty good idea of the final result when we enter the studio. Of course we make some new adaptations or tweaks if you will on the fly.
7. What’s behind the title and artwork of your most recent release?
JP: ‘The 3rd Death Manifest’ is our third and final EP. We wanted to state it in the title. It marks the beginning of a new era. We had many different ideas for the cover art but we decided to go with the simple one this time – and it works. I and Jani are responsible for the cover art of Ghoul Patrol.
8. What is your opinion on the Uusimaa Finland music scene?
JP: Competition is insane. Tons of great bands, few labels, limited opportunities to get visibility in the media and way too few venues to play in.
9. Are you happy with the way the new album has turned out, or is there anything that you wish you could go back and change?
JP: There’s nothing I would change. We were very excited to work with Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius) who recorded and produced the latest EP. You always have to analyze afterwards the songs/performances you’ve done and learn from it. We’re constantly developing and looking to the future.
JR: I think there’s no such thing as perfect and there are always some stupid little things you want to change afterwards but in “The 3rd Death Manifest” I’m quite pleased. Matias did a great job!
10. How much longer do you think you’ll have to wait before nailing that record deal?
JP: This seems to be a question in everyone’s mind. Really hard to say – when the economic situation is what it is. Labels are afraid to make even distribution or licensing deals.
11. What can we expect from Ghoul Patrol in 2010?
JP: Ghoul Patrol will start to record the debut full-length album. Also we’ll continue playing as many shows as we can – hopefully also abroad and overseas.
12. Where do you see the band say five (5) years from Now?
JP: The aim is of course to make Ghoul Patrol a household name among the metalheads. We’ll still continue making albums and playing shows for the best people on the planet.
13. What will be the next single released from your latest release? Is there a set amount of time to wait between the releasing of singles or does the band or the label decide on this?
JP: I don’t believe in singles. At least in Finland nobody really buys them and because we haven’t got a record deal we don’t release them. After we get a deal it will be up to the label whether to release them or not.
14. Anything else you’d like to add?
JR: Death ‘n’ Roll, All Night Long!
About the Author
Natalie Perez has been a Music/Entertainment Journalist for 7 years now having first started out with her middle and high school newspapers. She now writes for a handful of various online and print publications.