|Interview by Burt Wolf with Harri Pikka, guitarist for TOTAL DEVASTATION.
Interview done April 1st 2006.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME OF THE BANDS HISTORY UP TO THIS POINT? HOW YOU GOT
TOGETHER? ANY PREVIOUS BANDS MEMBERS WERE IN BEFORE?
Lauri & Jaakko (both singers) got an idea to start to make some industrial madness music back in the year '98.
They made few demos, I joined the band to play guitar & after gig proposals we asked more people to play with
us. Those people are my brother Jarmo (drums) & identical Hakuli brothers Saku & Pasi (guitar & bass). We've
released two full length albums so far. Our 3rd album will be out later this year.
WHY WAS TOTAL DEVASTATION THE NAME CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
I think it was taken from IMPALED NAZARENE lyrics, some song from the "RAPTURE" album.
WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD SOME IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE & CREATING MUSIC?
SEPULTURA & METALLICA were big influences for me & my brothers to start playing. IMPALED
NAZARENE & DIABOLOS RISING were first influences for TOTAL DEVASTATION. Today our music is
more like Progressive Metal. Our parents have been the main thing behind this because they bought our first
instruments & let us play AUTOPSY covers & grow long hair. Now all the Pikka brothers are bald because our
genes. But it's cool. We have beards now to be proud of. Thanks to our parents for all this.
TOTAL DEVASTATION HAS A
DIFFERENT SOUND THAN MOST
BANDS PLAYING YOUR STYLE OF
MUSIC. HOW WOULD YOU BEST
DESCRIBE THE STYLE & SOUND OF
I think it's some kind of Death Metal with
Rock attitude now a days. Death Metal in a
sludgy way with some Industrial touch. All
of us listen to lots of Sludge & Stoner stuff
so there's some of those elements mixed
with this harrowing Death Metal action.
ENTOMBED & AUTOPSY can hopefully
be heard beyond the riffs also.
I ONLY HAVE YOUR "ROADMAP TO PAIN" CD WHICH CAME OUT IN 2003. HOW WELL DID THIS
CD DO FOR YOU GUYS? WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE LIKE TO IT?
The reviews were very good & we got a booking agent in Finland after this album. We haven't toured outside
Finland yet, but we hope to get a chance to after our 3rd album.
THIS CD WAS PUT OUT BY FIREBOX RECORDS. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM?
HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
They liked our demo & it's been really good ever since. They are getting stronger & they are letting us do our
thing & then they do their thing.
YOUR CD "RECLUSION" CAME OUT LAST YEAR. HOW HAS THIS NEW CD BEEN DOING SO
It's more of the music were really liking & our new stuff will be in the same spirit. Good reviews again & lots of
gigs in Finland.
WAS THIS ALBUM ALSO RELEASED BY FIREBOX RECORDS?
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE ALBUM COVER CONCEPTS A BIT & WHO DID THEM?
Both album covers are done by Teemu Kumpulainen. I think there's some reclusive thoughts in the brain box
there. Teemu didn't explain us what he was thinking there. It fits the mood of the album. Heavy stuff. Brains n'
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS?
There are themes that we come up with after the music is ready. Different kinds of stuff. There are now six
people who write lyrics in this band, so the style varies a lot. Lyrics include stories & stuff going on around us &
also some fictitious themes.
WHO DOES THE MAJORITY OF THE
WRITING IN THE BAND OR IS IT A
WHOLE COLLABORATION THING?
Everyone does stuff in TOTAL
DEVASTATION. Majority of the guitar
riffs are done by me & Hakuli Bros. On
our upcoming 3rd album most songs are
done by Saku & Pasi Hakuli. Everyone of
us writes lyrics also.
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE BAND HAS
PROGRESSED BETWEEN THESE
There's more of a band feel now. The
first album was more stiff & more like
"Industrial Metal". Now we play more
progressive & challenging stuff.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW MATERIAL IN THE WORKS ALREADY? CAN YOU GIVE US SOME
INFORMATION ON YOUR OTHER RELEASES & THEIR AVAILABILITY?
We're entering the Sound Supreme studio in a month (it's end of March 2006 when writing this). Our new album
will be out in Autumn 2006. It will be released through FIREBOX RECORDS. It should be available world wide
by the end of this year.
YOU GUYS WERE ON TOUR RECENTLY. WHO WERE YOU TOURING WITH & WHERE DID THIS
TOUR TAKE YOU?
We have only toured in Finland so far. In January this year we did a mini tour in Finland with ROTTEN SOUND,
SAYYADINA & CAUSE FOR EFFECT. It was really good. Best gigs were done in Finland.
ARE THERE ANY GOOD OR INTERESTING OR FUNNY BAND STORIES YOU COULD SHARE
We get usually very drunk after gigs so there's always something stupid going on. Usually we forget stuff to
different places which sucks big time.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BEST & WORST PART ABOUT BEING IN A BAND?
Playing & making interesting song, recording & playing gigs is fantastic, meeting new people, after parties & all
of that. It's an awesome hobby!
WHO ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS, LABELS, ZINES IN FINLAND?
Some good bands from Finland: KAIHORO, OMNIUM GATHERUM, RITE, CALLISTO, ROTTEN SOUND.
Some fine labels: FIREBOX, SORBUS PRODUCTIONS, etc.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?
I like lots of different kinds of music: FU MANCHU is always on my play list. David Gilmore's new album, new
KATATONIA album, BIG ELF, QOTSA, KING CRIMSON, MARS VOLTA, etc. Everyone of us likes all
sorts of stuff.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU
REMEMBER BUYING? WHAT WAS
THE FIRST CONCERT YOU
First album was something by ALICE
COOPER. First concert was some local
Metal party happening with local Death
Metal bands playing. First really good
memorable concert was in '95 when
ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER &
AMORPHIS played Helsinki, Finland. I was
14 years old. Great gigs!
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
Cross country skiing has been one of my sport activities this winter.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO OUTSIDE OF WORK FOR THE BAND? OTHER
JOBS, HOBBIES, ETC?
We have another bands besides TOTAL DEVASTATION. Music is very important. Some of us work, some go
to school. We do sports, movies are important leisure time entertainment & stuff like that.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT FROM TOTAL DEVASTATION?
New album at the end of 2006.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW THAT IT'S
I came from the booth, bought some batteries. I'll eat fish & potatos.
THANX FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS. FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE
TO CLOSE OUT!
Thanks for the interview man! And everyone who reads this, please visit our website to check out some songs