We here at The Black Planet had the opportunity to interview a very talkative and friendly Oliver Berlin, vocalist of Finsterforst, about their new EP #YØLØ
TBP: The band decided to release something completely different from the usual concept. What is the concept this time?
Olli: The idea was to show our fun loving and drinking self. Our last three albums had very serious lyrics and the music always seems to come down to long songs, wide soundscapes and a mix of aggression and deep desires. While that is who we are as a band, it isn’t everything we are as persons. In fact, if you ever meet us somewhere, you’ll realize we are a bunch of idiots making awful jokes and looking for more booze. So let’s call the concept the funny side of Finsterforst.
TBP: Any reactions so far to this new release?
Olli: Oh yeah! Just as we talk we are getting the first reviews from the press and reactions are mixed, just as we expected. Some love it, one guy even seemed to get the idea better than we do, while others aren’t too keen on this EP. Which is OK, we knew we’d get a lot of flak for it. But one thing is bothering us so far. We thought we’d get some 1/10 reviews because people hate it, but while some express their hate for the EP with words, we still get solid 6 points or so. Maybe that comes with being on one of the big labels, maybe they still respect the musicianship. We are pretty excited for the first reactions from fans since they are the ones that really matter. And yes, some hate is expected.
TBP: The cover songs are hilarious. From where came the idea of doing them? Is there any funny stories or reasons to record them?
Olli: Well, thank you! First thing you need to know is that we had far more ideas regarding cover songs. But in the end you can only record so much until your bank account tells you to stop, so we cut down to the ones that are on the EP now. Miley Cyrus made it because we wanted to have one big hit of the last years on it and we love Miley! Michael Jackson is just the king of pop, the only question was if we could really pull it off. But since our longtime friend and kind of unofficial band member Sevan has that unbelievable voice the answer was clearly yes. The K.I.Z. cover had to be done since this is a hip hop band we all like and their lyrics make us laugh all the time. Die Kassierer is a band we all grew up with and they had to be honored with a cover song. “The Wild Rover” is a song that most people in Germany know with different lyrics, because “Klaus & Klaus” made it a hit in the 80’s singing “An der Nordseeküste”. We just found the original lyrics to be much more fun and fitting with the concept of #YØLØ.
TBP: Due to the number of songs can we consider #YØLØ a new album, or you released this has an EP just for the sake of the joke?
Olli: Well, 9 Songs and a bit over 40 minutes would make an album for most bands, right? For us it clearly isn’t an album and that was the first decision regarding this release, long before we talked about actual songs. In the beginning we planned on doing this like a classic EP, maybe 30 minutes at best. But finally we had 4 songs of our own and couldn’t decide to cut more cover songs, so it became that long. But it’s still an EP because we don’t feel it will ever really fit with the rest of our albums.
TBP: The artwork is really funny. Who did it?
Olli: The cover artwork was done by Costin Chioreanu. We got in contact with him while planning for our little tour with Dread Sovereign last year. He’s done artwork for them and a lot of other bands in the past and although the #YØLØ cover was something totally different than what he’s normally doing, he got the idea and nailed it with this great picture. The rest of the layout was done by our longtime friend Sanya Bozhilova. She’s just the best, saving our asses whenever we can’t keep up with deadlines and crying for help at the last moment.
TBP: How was to have Robse from Equilibrium on the video “Auf die Zwölf”?
Olli: Man, Robse is just one of a kind. We actually got in contact through TrollfesT when we visited some of their shows on their tour with Equilibrium. We also shared the same sound engineer in Frank and we all became friends in a very short amount of time. Robse actually asked us to participate on #YØLØ in some shape or form, but we didn’t get it done for the recordings. So when we talked about the video he was like “I’ll be there” and there he was drinking and talking smack through the whole video shooting. He’s just fun to be around. We’ll admit it: we love Robse!
TBP: You’re going into a tour with Heidevolk, Nothgard, and Equilibrium. What are your expectations?
Olli: We expect to have a lot of fun and meet as many crazy people as possible. Like I said, we’re good friends with Robse and it will be fun getting to know the rest of Equilibrium better. The Heidevolk guys are very nice and you can always share a good laugh with them. It should be like spring break in a bus. And of course we’re excited to see people’s reactions to the new material.
TBP: Is there any plans to play in Portugal?
Olli: We’ve tried before, but somehow stuff never worked out. Money seems to be a real problem in Portugal and we can’t afford to pay for everything on our own, so unfortunately it doesn’t look like this is going to happen anytime soon. But we’d go some lengths to make it work if there is any promoter wanting to take a chance on Finsterforst.
TBP: Thank you for having some time to answer our questions. Any message you want to send or say to the The Black Planet readers and Portuguese fans?
Olli: If you’ve made it through the whole interview to this point: Thank you for being interested in Finsterforst! Like mentioned before, we’d love to come to Portugal and meet all of our crazy fans there! Thanks for your support, take care and enjoy life, you never know when it’s over. #YØLØ! 😉
Interview by: Daniel Lemminkainen
Special thanks to: Finsterforst and Napalm Records