miércoles, 25 de agosto de 2021


1. The beginnings of Mustan Kuun Lapset are around 1993, almost thirty active, what led you to create the band at that time? Why did you choose the name Mustan Kuun Lapset and what does it refer to?

- We originally formed the band called Häiriö back in 1993. We were then still looking for our own musical style, and metal, rock and punk all gave us inspiration. We really didn’t know how to play and because we were inspired by music like Shitter limited, Sore Throat, Napalm Death etc., we just tried to copy them at first. When we started to do gigs and a lot of songs were born aswell, the name change became topical. Häiriö means "disorder", and it was too punk for us since metal started to took over. In 1996, we did the first official studio demo ...Kunnes loppuu yö and changed the name to Mustan Kuun Lapset. At the same time, the style of music began to move in a darker direction. MKL (Children of the black moon) suits better for the music.

2. You, Pete, are the only member who has remained in the band since its inception, what significance and importance does Mustan Kuun Lapset have for you? How has the Finnish black metal scene evolved in these years?

- Of course, MKL means a lot to me. After all, it has been with me for more than 2/3 of my life. But today, it’s more in the background because many other things are more relevant. When I was younger, music was everything, but not so much anymore. I believe that anyone who has lived long enough can relate this.

I really can't say anything about the Finnish black metal scene. We were involved in it for maybe a few early years, but after the millennium, it has meant nothing to me or to the band. I don’t think MKL is a black metal band and it certainly has nothing to do with today’s BM scene.

3. Mustan Kuun Lapset is characterized by a proposal that is quite rich in nuances within his black metal, by incorporating melodic and gothic elements. Is it something necessary for you, as a way to maintain the illusion in what you do, to be able to offer a proposal taken to the extreme, in the sense of not closing to a classic sound, but that in Mustan Kuun Lapset there is room for other styles?

- I have never intentionally searched for a particular sound or mood when writing lyrics or composing music. I don’t make music for a living or money, so I can do exactly what I like, music that I personally would like to listen to. I have written lyrics about longing, love, recent encounters and similar sensitive topics, but also about not so sensitive topics like necrophilia, infanticide etc . I have composed aggressive metal as well as songs for acoustic guitars and violins. It’s all about the mood I’m in when writing, not what fits the band’s style or what sells best.

4. Continuing with what was said in the previous question, your latest album "Kruunu" is an acoustic album. At what point did the idea of composing and recording an album of this style come up?

- The idea was born in 2007 when MKL took a break (which lasted seven years!). The following year I formed Talvenranta ensemble, which performed acoustic music. In addition to myself, it included Jukka Malinen (violin), Antti Lautala (vocals and 12-string guitar), and my friend Heikki Piipari (steel string guitar). Jukka and Antti visited on Viimeinen Laulu Kuolemasta -album (2007) as well, and Heikki became later a member of MLK when the band started playing again.

Talvenranta made two demos, but the record companies were reluctant to cooperate. Training was also a bit of a pain because Heikki and I lived in Lahti (we still do), and Jukka and Antti in Helsinki. The distance was too long. The project died, but the desire to make an acoustic album remained. When MKL returned, it wasn’t a good idea to make an acoustic record right away, so the idea still had to be postponed. When the corona pandemic stopped all gigs and action, I started working on Kruunu with Heikki in a home studio in the basement of my house. Making the album took a year from when we arranged old MKL songs for acoustic guitars and trained new ones, recorded all the instruments (there were a lot of them) and all the visiting vocalists. It was a big project, but definitely worth it.

5. The cast of musicians who have collaborated in one way or another in "Kruunu" is quite broad. How did the idea of inviting other musicians to participate in this album come about? Was it very difficult to square and fit all these collaborations to When recording the album? How was the process of writing and recording the album?

- We wanted the album to be as rich and versatile as possible. We ourselves would not have been able to play so many instruments, and there are no one actual singers in the band, only two shriekers. Of course, the process involving people around the country and, in this case, even around the world, is always challenging. But in fact, the recordings everyone made in their hometown was the easiest part. The hardest part for me was scheduling, waiting for email responses sometimes for weeks and making sure everyone did their part on time that the package was ready by the deadline. Ville, our bassist and studio engineer, did a tremendous job of mixing it all together. And I can honestly say he did a great job!

6. Another aspect that has evolved over the years has been the theme of your music, from a beginning closer to Satanism until today with others closer to the day to day, why this abandonment of the Satanist themes and the arrival of others closer to poetry or nature for example? Who is in charge of writing the lyrics of the songs? Are the lyrics adapted to the music or vice versa?

- I write the lyrics. Usually I compose music first. Then the lyrics begin to appear sentence by sentence. The whole process can take days or sometimes even months. I never sit down and decide to do a song, they come when they come.

Usually as a teenager, you’re interested in all sorts of extreme and rebellious ideas, or at least I was. Playing with Satanism, cutting oneself, and thinking about suicide was, if not perfectly normal, but at least appropriate for that age. But year after year, as the horizon expands and the life experience grows, such nonsense begins to give way to real life and all sorts of really heavy stuff like a mortgage or your own and loved ones ’health. Death, too, has become a real part of life, and not an object of fantasy like at a young age. And all this is reflected in the lyrics.

7. Who designed the album cover, what do you intend to reflect with it and how does it relate to the content of the album?

- I have been responsible for making the covers since Talvenranta (2005). I choose images and art, write texts and design the overall look and then send everything to the graphic artist who prepares them for printing.

If we are talking about the cover art of the Kruunu album, I chose covid-19 as the theme, of course. Kruunu means crown, i.e. the same as Corona. On the cover of the record is a picture I took of people empty street in Brooklyn and above all there is a threat coming from above. This is illustrated by the gaze of a child who may not fully understand the consequences of his actions. The whole album was made in the first year of the pandemic, and I think it rightly got to be the main theme of the album and its cover.

8. Your last three albums have been released by Inverse Records, how was this four-year collaboration with Inverse Records forged? Are you satisfied with the production and editing work carried out by Inverse Records? 

- We have had a well working cooperation. They have kept their word in everything that has been agreed. I think the wisest and easiest way is to maintain a good relationship with one record company than to find a new partner for each new record. We are happy with Inverse.

9. The album has come out in a difficult period for the bands due to the restrictions derived from Covid-19, beyond the impossibility of being able to offer concerts, how have you been affected by this situation? How have you maintained contact with your followers and how has been the reaction on their part?

- We actually played our last gig the summer before covid-19 and decided to take a break. We had made the album Valo (2019) and toured performing its songs, and we started to get tired of all the fuss. So you could even say that the pandemic came to us at a good time. We got an excuse to stop all visible activities and focus on making Kruunu. We are still on hiatus but we keep in touch with fans via the band’s Facebook.

10. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives made you want to be musicians?

- My first big concert was Iron Maiden/WASP in Helsinki in 1986. I was 11 years old and was there with my friend and mother. Yeah, not very rock n roll to be in a rock concert with mom, but at that age going to another city and to huge concert without adults was not an option. I was a massive WASP fan at the time. I also liked Iron Maiden, but the Blackie´s band was the number one. Well, not anymore...

The first album I remember bought was WASP’s debut and - this is funny - David Hasselhoff’s Night Rocker (1985). Before that, I had already listened to Iron Maiden’s early albums but hadn’t acquired them yet for myself because they were a little scary with their beast numbers and brain plates. And Twisted sister, Dio, Kiss etc made a big impression on the young boy. I think because of these bands I wanted to start playing rock myself.

11. Which album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

- I think Emperor´s In the Nightside Eclipse is the one. It’s an amazing record, and while I don’t think it’s even the band’s best output, it’s still the most appropriate record to describe to an outsider what black metal is.

I don’t remember exactly the latest record purchase, but I think it’s Leonard Cohen’s Thanks for the Dance, released posthumously in 2019, or Flogging Molly’s Life Is Good (2017). Nowadays, I don’t listen to a lot of new music, as you might guess.

12. What future plans do you have for Mustan Kuun Lapset, in terms of concert, upcoming releases or reissues?

- On October 29, we will release vie Inverse Records a combilation album of MKL's 90's production. It will feature all the songs we have released from the band’s first decade as re-mastered versions, as well as a comprehensive history from the same decade. Old material is constantly being asked for because physical recordings are not easy to find, or it´s even impossible, and on Youtube it is featured with really poor sound quality.

Beside that, not much. Now we’re on a break, but who knows, maybe we’ll come up with something as MKL’s 30th anniversary approaches in 2023. But I don’t think we’ll make any new music anymore. Seven albums is enough.

13. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the fans of Mustan Kuun Lapset, this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

- Thank you for your good questions and success to Black Metal Spirit. Visit our facebook  and if you are a fan of MKL's old production, buy the collection Ei sävyjä pimeässä - The complete 90s collection at The End of October. If not, buy it anyway.

Pete Lehtinen


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