Endworld Halos is a Finnish progressive rock trio who launched their self-titled album in October last year. Kimmo Utriainen answered our questions.
Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Life is great in the cold Finnish periphery, although slightly on the busy side as we speak. I’m active with around 5 bands or projects, recording music with three of them currently, so time is a bit scarce. Other than that, waiting for spring and the annual semi-hibernation to end. Finnish problems.
Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Endworld Halos”?
People can expect a highly versatile album that can be easiest described as dark prog. However, the music holds many kinds of tones from dark to luminous, natural / organic to metropolitan / futuristic, all the way to (post-)apocalyptic aural landscapes. A multi-faced creature struggling between optimism and pessimism, our music comes with beauty, roughness and surprise, taking the listener through a vast spectrum of emotions. Thematically speaking, the album can be thought of as a rather bleak one, but then again, I’d let the listener to find out if that really is the case. Although its backbone is in overdriven rock, our music has got its soft spots and certain sensitivity. So there’s a lot of elements hidden in our material for the listener to discover.
What was it like working on the album?
Personally, this album was really the first I have co-written with someone else (the musical dictator I’ve grown been). Hence, I could say this album was much about personal growth and learning how to merge my musicality with someone else’s. We didn’t set many limitations to what this band would end up being about, so the childlike feeling of everything being possible was the topmost sensation. It’s hard to describe, but that feeling can be very inspiring and liberating. With this mindset as the basis, me and Toni kept bouncing our ideas to each other during those, what, three or four years of writing, until we had an array of songs we were satisfied with. There was a surprisingly little amount of compromise we had to make between the two of us, the final arrangement part being a different case, heh.
Are there any touring plans in support to “Endworld Halos”?
Unfortunately no, as we have decided to focus on being a studio band. We haven’t played one single show, which of course sets its difficulties to making our name heard, but that’s something we have to live with.
While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
If we toured, I guess there aren’t too many places I wouldn’t play, except maybe some specific backwater locations in our home country, heh. Just to avoid getting stabbed.
Who and what inspires you the most?
The inmost crevasses of my mind, soul and ego that I can access with music only form my primary inspiration. When I grab an instrument and start unfolding a song, it’s not usually a particular emotion or thought I wish to channel, but most often an abstract entity of its own that comes from these inner regions. Musically speaking, I’m fond of older proggy / less generic music and the fact that some people can or have been able to make music like this full time. I just find that thought very inspiring, and it has carried me through projects like “Endworld Halos”, even though I’m not dependent on reaching that status myself. It would be very enjoyable of course. Also, people who do what they please musically and artistically are an inspiration. People like that have always got it right, regardless of the genre.
What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
Metal has been my comfort zone, so influences are bound to come from that direction. On the other hand, I originally learnt to play guitar to the music of the Beatles, the Shadows, the Animals, David Bowie and so forth, so my background is not in metal in the first place. The playing of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Ed Wynne, Petri Walli and Denner / Shermann have definitely opened up most new aspects for me. Right now I’m shuffling weekly recommendations, Neil Young to be more particular. So almost everything goes, except for generic mainstream music. Of late, my ears have gotten a bit tired of noisy music, so I’ve been enjoying more subtle sounding stuff, although I have not turned my back to high gain music either.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
Thank you for the interview! Our self-titled album is available on Spotify, Bandcamp etc. as well as on CD that comes with a beautiful 12-page booklet with colorful photography and lyrics. You can get it from Record Shop X / Levykauppa Äx, so support DIY music and indulge yourself with some quality handcrafted Finnish prog while doing so!
“Endworld Halos” by Endworld Halos is available to order from Bandcamp.