Maple Cross introduce us to Finnish food and drinking habits

Origins of Maple Cross go all the way to 1985. 6 demos and one album later it was time to pack it in or so everyone thought. Late 2000 Marco (vocals) was drinking with few of his mates. They listened to some music and eventually someone asked for some Maple Cross. Great stories about the band was told and finally somebody asked that, wouldn’t it be great to reform the band. After some thinking and few phone calls later it was settled, Maple Cross should be reformed.
Summer 2001 the band saw the light of the day again. It was very clear from the start that this could turn out to be something very special. The chemistry was excelent, everybody was in the same wavelength about the way to do music and the ideas just started to flow. Early 2002 they recorded their first Promo-CD with the new line-up Marco (vocals), Aki (drums), Late (guitar), Sami (guitar) and Ollari (bass).
Summer 2002 Maple Cross hit the stage again. Nobody knew what to expect and people were anxious to see the band once again. The show went great and it was proved that Maple Cross is a great live band like everyone remembered from the old days. Few more shows and it was time to concentrate writing new material for the forthcoming album...
January 24th 2003 was the very first day of the Next Chapter recording session. After few weeks of hard drinking and working the album was ready to be unleashed to the world of metal. The name of the album Next Chapter was Ville Hyry’s (ex-drummer) idea. He came to see Maple Cross play live last summer and he was very excited about the new line-up. After the show he said that he's really happy that Maple Cross is still alive and kicking and this is like the ’next chapter’ in the history of Maple Cross.
Next Chapter was released in march 17. 2003 and after that it was time to hit the road again. Tour in Finland and UK went great and Maple Cross gained lots of new friends. Summer 2003 the band played few festival gigs in Finland and then took a well deserved break. When it was time to get together again it was obvious that Sami, Late and Ollari wouldn’t be part of Maple Cross family anymore. Musical differences (Ollari) and lack of time made it impossible for them to play in the band anymore.
Marco and Aki didn’t panic since they knew there were people out there who would be more than happy to play in Maple Cross. Soon it was settled that Avather (guitar) from Thyrane and J. Henttunen (guitar) from Sethery would join the ranks. Soon Aki’s old pal Sami (bass) was introduced to the Maple Cross camp.
At the moment Maple Cross are rehearsing for the upcoming tours in Finland (2 different tours) and after that they head back to UK. When all that is done the band starts to write new material for the next album and after that? Who knows...

interview with Marco on 04-02-2004

Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
I’m 33 years old metalhead and ex-icehockey player who got a chance to play icehockey in Finland and in Sweden for living. It only lasted for few years since I wasn’t able to do that professionally before 1996 because until then Maple Cross took all my time. I’ve got a degree in business and marketing. I worked as an electrician from 2000 to 2002 and reformed Maple Cross in 2000. Basically I’m into metal and sports, especially football!!! I’m Preston North End supporter and I have a PNE logo tattooed on my right arm. Slayer is my fave band and I’ve seen them live at least 6 times now and they’’ve never let me down so far. I also like to travel and Ive lived in the USA and now this is getting boring. I don’t like to talk about me that much....

You reformed the band when drinking with friends but isn't the booze expensive in Finland?
Not that expensive and then there’s always moonshine, HELL YEAH!!!

How big is the alcohol consumption? Export liquir or home made? Are you drinking a lot because of the cold weather?
To be honest I don’t drink that often. Usually it’s once or twice a week, but I am a heavy drinker and I usually pass out. Cold weather has opposite affect on me and I drink more during the summer.

Isn't it tricky to reform? Not afraid to copy the early days when the public listen to uptodate bands?
I couldn’t care less. I wanted to make music again and that’s the only thing that matters. If I was into this because of money it might be a different story.

Do you follow the reunion of the well known bands like Destruction, Exodus etc? What do you think of them?
I do!! Last 3 Destruction albums are actually very good and I’m really glad they decided to come back. The only Exodus album I’ve ever enjoyed was the legendary Bonded By Blood, but I’ve heard few tracks from the new album and it all sounds good so I deffinately have to buy that one.

Why are so many people grabbing back to the 80s music? Are you into the old days?
Well, everything goes in circles and it’s time for 80s music I guess. I never stopped listening to 80s metal. That’s where my musical roots are and most of my fave albums were recorded during that period of time. Bands like Slayer, Possessed, Infernal Majesty etc. have influnced me as a person and as a musician. To me those bands aren’t the old days but more like every day...

We did swap shirts. Do you think Finnish people understand the BRUTALISM sign? How religious are you there?
Finnish people aren’t very religious. We do have some stupid old habits that die hard, but your average Joe don’t give a fuck about religion. Nobody really goes to church and the only thing that really bothers me is the fact that church ain’t separated from the government yet, that’s just stupid. Big corporations pay church taxes!! Why? I have no clue. Well, we do have some fanatics here too and those are the people we fight against on our lyrics. I hate all religions, no matter what shape or form, I just don’t understand the sheep mentality. Talking about the BRUTALISM sign. I think it will go down well since this is a metal country and I live in Oulu which is filled with metal heads. In this country you can say what ever you want to and wear any clothes you want to. This is not USA where you can’t wear metal shirts everywhere, at least that’s what i’ve heard. No one’s ever complained about my Infernal Majesty-Satan Master Lead Us Into Hell shirt and I wear it everywhere, even when I go to lunch to fancy restaurants. That’s perfectly normal over here.

How is the metal scene in Finland? Easy to get gigs? Not difficult to cross the millions of lakes?
Scene is pretty good, but of course it could be stronger. We have lots of great bands and I particularly like the northern bands like Thyrane, Lambs, Sacred Crucifix and many more. Of course there’s great bands all over the country. Bands like deathchain, Deathbound, Rotten Sound, Ajattara and Total Devastation really make me bang my head!!!!

You also played in the UK. Did you had expectations? Did they come true?
We didn’t know what to expect since that was our first tour over there. Couple of those gigs were ok, one disaster and three excelent gigs. It was really good experience and we went there to make the right contacts and that’s just what we did. We’ll be going back soon and this time around it will be more professional thing and everything’s been taken care properly. I recently heard that this time around we’re going to play at least 10 gigs over there.

What about the food in the UK? Is it as bad as people say? What do I have to order in a typical Finnish restaurant?
To be honest it wasn’t that bad and if you’re picky there’s always the international food chains where you can buy those crappy burgers. What to order in typical Finnish restaurant? Hmm, what about fish or mashed potatoes and meatballs? Pretty typical, but that’s what we eat over here. If I were to recommend something exotic it would have to be reindeer, that’s one fucking tasty meat!!!

And what do I get when eating at your place? Do you cook yourself or your mother?
I usually eat out if I eat warm meal, but I’d propably cooke you something like spagethi or rice with chicken or burger. My mum’s a great cook and I really love her coockings and if she was to cook for us it would be something with meat!!!!

Are you easy inviting foreigners into your house? Do you pick up hitchhikers?
Some foreigners are welcome but not all, that’s for sure. I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers.

What kind of car do you drive? Is the fuel expensive? What is your dreamcar and why?
I drive Audi 100 and I don’t really have a dreamcar. Fuel is quite expensive over here, but I can live with it.

Do you have many pornshops in your town? What is the number of your memberscard?
Sex industry is pretty well established over here and there’s everything for everyone if you know where to look. You don’t need a memberscard to get in!!!

Why did you call the album Next Chapter? Will the next disc called Last Chapter?
You could say it was our ex-drummers idea. He came to see our first show with the new line-up and after the gig he was excited and told me this is something like next chapter in Maple Cross history so, that’s where I got the idea for the album name. Next album want be called Last Chapter! I have few ideas about the title, but nothing deffinate yet.

Give some words so people want to buy the album? Even some subliminal words?
I’m not gonna say too much about it but I’m really proud what we’ve created, it’s an honest metal release. I better let other people tell you about it so, here’s few comments that’s been said about Next Chapter:Oh yeah! You can always rely on Finland for some of the finest metal in the world and Maple Cross are no exception.'Next Chapter' mixes a lot of different metal sub-genres to come up with a rather unique 'aggressive metal' sound. Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Hardcore and 80's hard rock are just some of the different elements that make Maple Cross' music. The Production is crisp and the band play extremely well throughout the cd. If you after something aggressive yet a little different give Maple Cross a listen.-Full Strength- Finland is another one of those countries on the other side of the Atlantic which has produced artists such as Amorphis, Children of Bodom and Nightwish. Maple Cross is one of those soon to be mentioned in the same category.-Hard Beyond Driven- Yeah, Thrashing and Rocking Powerish Metal with a twist of experimenting some not-so-orthodox melodies over here!!!-Metalhel- I’d be willing to go so far as to say, fuck In Flames, give me Maple Cross.-Midnight Metal-

Any shouts out about no matter what?
I only wanna say this: Support the underground and metal scene in general!!!!!!

Last rites?
Thanks for the interview and hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to introduce you to Finnish food and drinking habits!!!
Interviewer: twansibon
Feb 4, 2004

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