When one band falls, another rises to take its place. When Finland’s Machine Men split up, some of the members started again with Psychework. To find out more about the band, I spoke to vocalist Antony Parviainen to get the latest from Psychework camp.
Jack: Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?
Antony Parviainen (Vocals): Hey, of course, anytime. I am fine, thanks. Quite busy with rehearsing Psychework for upcoming gigs.
Jack: The band was born out of Machine Men. Did you feel a pressure to live up to the popularity of that band?
Antony: Actually, we don’t think that way. We buried Machine Men long time ago and we got totally fresh start with Psychework. Machine Men was the biggest part of my life but it was my past life. That’s how I feel and see it. We do’t feel any pressure because of MM. There is no reason. Machine Men time was very instructive and I am very glad and proud of us but somehow MM doesn’t affect much to Psychework.
Jack: How did you find guitarist J-V Hintikka?
Antony: We met with J-V long time ago. Like 20 years ago when we asked him to join Machine Men. We built Psychework.
Jack: You played your first show last year, how did it go?
Antony: The first show was good! Actually I was quite surprised. We played in our hometown, in the best club of Finland, called Lutakko. I was very nervous about it. There were few moving parts before the gig. We had to use a substitute drummer and other nervous wrecking things were in the air. But the band was on fire! We released our first single song 24 hours before the gig and there were over 300 hundred people in the venue. Not sold out but almost. That was amazing thing.
Jack: Do you ever play Machine Men songs live or is it only Psychework material?
Antony: It’s only Psychework songs now and always will be. We want to keep those two bands separate.
Jack: You released your first album The Dragons Year in September. Are you happy with the response?
Antony: We are very happy. And I am glad that so many people have deepened into lyrics. I’ve got lot of feedback how some of the lyrics and the songs have given power for their life. It’s been quite emotional to read those comments. That’s the best feedback. We spent so much time to build the band and write the songs. What a ride.
Jack: What artists were the main inspiration for the album?
Antony: If I really have to find some bands so I would say Avenged Sevenfold and maybe Kamelot. I wrote the lyrics and vocal melodies, J-V made the riffs and music. I just explain the story and feeling and the music written based on
Jack: Was it a conscious decision for a lot of the songs to feature about your battle with Leukaemia?
Antony: I just had to write in hospital. I tried to keep [a] diary but somehow I didn’t know what or how to write so I started to write about thoughts and feelings in [a] lyrical way. After [a] few weeks, somehow I got the spark to create a new band. Then I called J-V. Some of the album songs are not about that battle. And the dragon’s year album is not a cancer album, never meant to be. I just had something to say and that’s what I did.
Jack: How important was Psychework for the recovery?
Antony: It was a very important thing. Kept me sane and whole writing process was good therapy, my Psychework. Even it’s hard and sometimes painful to dream about anything in that kind of situation. Psychework was one dream to reach so the first album is huge thing for me. I am so proud of the band.
Jack: Given the subject matter, was it an intense recording process?
Antony: If you play dark heavy metal music, the recording process has to be intense. There must be pain in the music. Then you are on the right path.
Jack: What was it like working with Ranka Kustannus?
Antony: We are still working with Ranka. Hope co-operation and good work continues!
Jack: When people in the UK think of Finnish metal, they think of melodic death metal, symphonic metal and folk metal. Is this what the bulk of the Finnish scene is like?
Antony: I am glad we have different style of metal bands and very good bands. Competition is very hard because there are so many good metal bands. But of course there is also this meaningless crappy radio pop. Disposable music. I can listen to pop music if there is a good singer, good melodies and good lyrics but most of the songs in Finnish radio are stories about drinking and sunshine. I like to drink in sunshine of course, but I don’t want to hear songs about it.
Jack: Has being from Finland influenced you as a band?
Antony: Absolutely. Finnish melancholy. I really love this gloomy feeling in Finnish metal music.
Jack: What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any visits to the UK in the pipeline?
Antony: Plans for this year, make gigs as much as we can and write and arrange new songs for the next album. First we have to conquer Finland but would be great to visit UK someday. Hope soon!
Jack: Why has power metal endured as a genre?
Antony: Hard to say. I just don’t listen to power metal that much. And I think Psychework is more than just power metal. But I know just two genres, bad music genre and good music genre. That is enough for me. I don’t want to put bands in different boxes.
Jack: Finally, what is the best power metal album of all time?
Antony: Sabaton’s Heroes album is a good power metal album. I like it. But the best of all time, quite impossible to say what it is.
Jack: Thanks for your time!
Antony: Thank You. Always a pleasure. All the best!