The Return of the Almighty Warmen
The Return of the Almighty Warmen
Here For None, the new album from Finnish metal powerhouse Warmen featuring Janne Wirman (Children Of Bodom) is out now worldwide via Reaper Entertainment! The album heralds a new era. True to the motto, “The king is dead, long live the king,” Warmen is not only headed towards heavier shores musically due to the band’s updated lineup, but it can also be said with justification that Warmen is taking on the musical legacy of Wirman’s former band in a spectacular way. Joining the Warmen brigade once again is his brother Antti as well as newest member Petri Lindroos, best known for his work in the long running Ensiferum.
Highwire Daze recently interviewed Antti Warmen to find out more about the making of the epic Here For None, as well as working with his brother Janne on not only Warmen but briefly within the ranks of Children of Bodom. Antti’s other bands were also discussed, including his participation in King Company, Exlibris, and Dark Embrace. Read on…
Let’s talk about the new album Warmen album. Is there any overall story or concept behind that album title Here For None?
Actually, there is one small idea behind that, because all the previous Warmen albums were different styles of music and instrumental and power metal and stuff like that – and then now this album is much more aggressive and death-metal style. So, we were thinking that what are the fans of old Warmen stuff are going to think about this new style of Warmen music. And then we were like fuck it. We are Here For None, so we can do whatever we want. So that’s maybe the idea.
Let’s talk about Hell On Four Wheels. Just give me a little background on that song and what that song means to you.
Well for me that’s one of the most simple songs on the album and we knew that that would be a good one for a single and for the video because there’s not too many different riffs and like a clear chorus and the melody. It’s simple enough for a three-and-a-half-minute song for people to understand what’s going on. I think that one was written towards the end of the session. So, it was not the first one, but maybe the last one that we recorded for the album.
Select any other song on the new album and what that song means to you.
For me, the second song from the album which is called The Driving Force, is at the moment the most meaningful song for me because that was written first for the album. And there’s all these things that made it like a great Warmen song. It has the melodies, it has the crazy soloing and double keyboard and guitar stuff, and also that new aggressive style on the verse and at the end of the song. So that’s maybe the most meaningful song for me because it was written firsthand. Yeah, there’s all the elements right there.
Dancing With Tears in My Eyes by Ultravox. What made you decide to cover The Dancing With Tears in My Eyes? And has Midge Ure or anybody from Ultravox heard or commented on it?
The idea was that the original song has kind of the same vibe than Somebody’s Watching Me, which we did back in the day. And we knew that we wanted to do something similar, like some 80’s pop song. And then our new drummer Seppo said that “Hey, do you guys remember that one Ultravox song? “And we were no, no we don’t. And then we listened to the song, and we were, “Yeah, yes, we do remember this one.” And like yeah, it was a big hit back in the 80’s. And we thought that it’s going to sound awesome with these harsh vocals and heavy guitars and we love the song, but I don’t think that anyone from Ultravox has commented yet. I hope they will someday.
How did Petri Lindroos of Ensiferum become involved with Warmen?
It was really late during the recordings because we recorded drums and guitars, and we still didn’t know who is going to sing the songs. And then we realized that, hey, we know Petri really well. And yeah, we called him and he said yes. It’s great to have him on board with Warmen.
What is the best, and maybe not so best part, about working with your brother in a band for this long of a time?
The worst thing is that we know each other too well. And you don’t even have to say anything, you know what he’s thinking and vice versa. So, but yeah, of course, the best part is that we have a really good relationship, and we are the best friends, and we live really close to each other, and we hang out every day and everything is really, really good. But yeah, I think lots of things changed when Janne had his first kid, and we are hanging with his family every day and talking about music and now again, happily writing and playing it together too. So everything is really good.
Is there any chance of Warmen doing some shows or playing a tour out here in the States?
Well, you know how it is nowadays, it’s so expensive to go anywhere, but we are open to do shows anywhere in the world, like, depending on the situation. We are now first during the Summer Breeze show, and then we are going to try and do some shows in Finland, and then we will see what will happen. So if there’s a good offer, we are interested.
You yourself briefly played in Children of Bodom, I believe. What was that experience like playing with them for that short period of time?
It was great of course. It was great to play on those big shows and those songs that I listened to my whole life. But also at the same time, it was quite easy for me because I have known the guys for all of my life and the crew and everybody. It was kind of easy thing to do and a fun way to see what Janne has been doing for a living for over 20 years. And only good memories.
Where were you when you found out about Alexi’s passing?
Interviewee: I was in my home, I believe. Yeah, I was in my home. Yeah, it was sad, but yeah, it was something that was going to happen sadly. Like eventually – it was like a thing that after the band broke down it went downhill from there, so it was a very sad thing.
Those were my Children of Bodom questions – now onto something else more pleasant. How did you wind up in King Company?
We actually formed it with Mirka the drummer, actually, it was Mirka’s idea. He called me, “Would you be interested in doing this kind of music?” And I was like, “Hell yeah!” And then, yeah, we did that for 3 albums, and the latest album Trapped came out during the COVID. And I don’t know if nobody even realized what we have done on that album. So it was really difficult to get any tours. It was bad timing, that’s all. And then, after that, we started to do this Warmen thing and Mirka has his own solo band, The Circus of Rock. And yeah, I would say that we are on a break right now. We have not quit King Company, but we’re not doing anything with that band at the moment.
Tell me about Exlibris and the Shadowrise album that you released in 2020, right at the start of the worldwide pandemic.
Well, what happened then? Let me wind back. So, the singer Riku, I have known him many years, a good friend of mine, and he joined Exlibris some years ago. Then he contacted me if I wanted to record these new songs because I don’t know if the guitarist left or something like that, I’m not sure. And, it was like you said, COVID just started. I was like I have nothing to do. Let’s do this. And yeah, I love the songs. It was great that the keyboard player, who I think he writes all the music – he’s really talented. And yeah, I love doing that thing but of course, it was really time-consuming because we are all in different cities and countries and blah, blah, blah, stuff like that. But yeah. That was a thing. Why not?
And it’s interesting that you were working with another band that was basically run by a keyboard player. And now tell me about your appearance on the Dark Embrace album, Dark Heavy Metal.
So Dark Embrace, the singer Oscar, he has been like King Company’s driver/tour manager. He really likes King Company and we really like the guy. And then he asked if I could do a guest solo for one of the songs. I was like, of course, anything for you. He has done so much for us, so, and yeah, we like the guy. And, Dark Embrace, it’s a great band. It was a easy decision just because I have a studio at my home, it’s easy to record these guest things.
Now back to Warmen. Warmen, as you mentioned earlier, has recorded a lot of covers in the past. And one of your interesting covers was Like A Virgin by Madonna on the 2014 album, First to Five Elements. What made you decide to cover Like a Virgin and has Madonna ever heard it?
I don’t know if Madonna has heard it, but I think not. And, yeah, I don’t know. I actually can’t remember. I’m sorry, but I can’t remember what’s the story behind that, but I think it had something to do with Jonna the singer who is a big fan of Madonna – maybe it was her idea. I really do not remember.
Do you have any messages for Warmen fans out here in the States?
I hope that you will love the new Warmen album. It’s something that we are really proud of, it’s totally different than before, and we really can’t wait to see your comments. And we are so excited about this new phase of Warmen that is coming out now…
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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