Nicumo and A Decade of Intriguing Darkness
Nicumo and A Decade of Intriguing Darkness
Nicumo from Finland present melodic metal reveries with a somber intensity that is wondrous to behold. Inertia is the name of the latest thrilling magnum opus, now available worldwide through Inverse Records. The melancholic tales found within are epic in scope, with each and every member performing with a grand amount of skill and passion. Fans of Katatonia and Paradise Lost should check into the mesmerizing tapestries Nicumo has to offer this great big world. Highwire Daze recently reached out to Nicumo to find out more about their vast and glorious decade of intriguing darkness. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Nicumo, and how long the band has been together.
Tapio: I am Tapio Anttiroiko and I play guitar in Nicumo. Band started to use name Nicumo in 2009 and I’m only member who’s taken place after that, I joined Nicumo in late 2011… So same group have been together from our debut album The End Of Silence (2013).
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Tapio: Band was originally based out in Ylivieska, Finland. Most of our guys live in Kokkola, Western coast of Finland so novadays we operate from there. Kokkola (and Ylivieska) are very small towns. Music scene is pretty quiet with only few decent live clubs, although here is lot of local talented musicians and bands.
How did you wind up signing with Inverse Records?
Tapio: For our first album it was easily the best choice. We liked their contract and the way their personnel treated us and our music. We’ve been satisfied for their work through our two previous albums so it was quite easy decision to continue collobrating for Inertia. We know that they highly appreciate our music and they work for it to be heard worldwide.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Inertia album title?
Tapio: Title was not obvious, we really had to push for it. Our drummer Aki finally suggested Inertia and it seemed to fit every way for this album.
Select two songs from Inertia and what inspired the lyrics.
Time Won´t Heal
Out of songs I brought to this album, this was the oldest lyricwise. I had these lyrics for about 6 to 10 months before I even started to compose around those. I’ve heard many absolutely heartbreaking stories about losing a child and those just kept haunting me. I tried to imagine a character into a position of a grieving father. How the sorrow is so powerful it seems to stop everything, even the surrounding forest stops and cries with you.
This on the other hand was the last lyrics I did for the album. Tapio’s beautiful composition had so much feeling in itself, the lyrics almost just appeared out of thin air. I imagined a situation with two brothers, one lying in a hospital bed dying and the other one sitting beside him. That’s helplessness in it’s purest of form. That moment when everyone’s done everything there’s to be made to save him. You can just sit there, hold his hand and listen how his calm breathing turns quieter and quieter.
I tend to write scenarios what I fear the most.
Who did the cover art for Inertia and how much input did you have on it?
Hannu: I did the cover art for the album. I wanted it to be menacing and to represent some of the lyrical themes of the songs like the feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and how we cope with sorrow and loss. Drowning as a metaphor is powerful and I think maybe everyone at some point, due to stress or grief, has felt like drowning.
The saxophone work of Mikko-Ilari Ojala is such a brilliant touch. What is Mikko’s music background and how did Mikko become involved with Nicumo?
Tapio: Well, Mikko-Ilari is my cousin and it was natural thing to ask him to play saxophone on Same Blood. He has known band and our material for a long time and also I know what he is capable of. He is multi-instrumental type of guy (saxophone, guitar, piano, vocals…) and has been playing in various bands & doing solo projects. It’s one of coolest memories from making Inertia when I arranged saxophone parts with Mikko-Ilari at his home. He added some cool stuff there too.
What could one expect from a live Nicumo show?
Tapio: Strong and steady act. Our strength is in powerful and touching melodies & lyrics. Those things will connect the audience to experience full range of motions.
If Nicumo could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Tapio: Right now I have to say Katatonia. They make such great music and I think our music could be perfect match for theirs. From the past I’d personally say Charon and I think they’ve also influenced our music some way.
Has Nicumo ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
Tapio: Sadly we have not. In the future yes, we absolutely have plans for that. First we just wait and see what happens with our third album Inertia. We hope that after it’s release it could be possible to have a decent tour in the States.
Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of Nicumo?
Tapio: We all have some kind of small projects, but only Aki has something what should be mentioned at this point. He also plays drums in Slow Fall.
When you look back to your debut EP Close Your Eyes For Good, what do you think of it now in retrospect and that’s it’s been 10 years since its release.
Tapio: I think it was a great opener for Nicumo. There’s quite strong songs included and the same fundamental theme was found at that point. It’s nice to reflect that EP now a decade later. It gives us also bulletproof evidence that we’ve evolved as a band and as musicians.
What’s up next for Nicumo?
Tapio: Well, Inertia is released worldwide 27.3.2020. So it’s only two days ahead from this point… That is the next main thing to happen and of course it’s been ongoing already; waiting for reviews, interviews, album sale reports, public feedback etc. Interesting times indeed!
As world’s situation is now what it is, our planned album release tour had to be cancelled. We have to look up for the future and hope that things will get better worldwide. After everything settles down it’s our time to hit the road. Some great plans we’ve been working by far… We’ll tell more of those plans when everything is set to go.
Tapio Anttiroiko – Guitar and backing vocals
Atte Jääskelä – Guitar
Hannu Karppinen – Lead vocals
Sami Kotila – Bass
Aki Pusa – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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