Interview Valkeat – “We tried to create a soundtrack for Finland with our modern folk metal”

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Finland has a rich tradition of excellent folk metal bands, being the fertile grounds where some of the most influential bands that caused the folk metal boom in the early 2000s are from. So when another folk metal act comes on your radar from there, you might want to pay attention. Valkeat is one such band, having come to our attention with the singles of their sophomore full-length ‘Fireborn’. Released in 2023, we met up with some of the guys of the band just before the album came out, to get to know them and their music somewhat better…

We met up with vocalist Mikko and bassist Juho at the Bodom Bar in Finland and asked them to introduce Valkeat to us a little bit where they told us that with Valkeat they are trying to do something new in the realms of folk metal, calling themselves “modern folk metal”. And especially for Mikko, where from the beginning he wanted to make modern kantele music (the national instrument of Finland) and it evolved into what they are making right now.

They’ve been talking about working on their sophomore album ‘Fireborn‘ since 2019, and the main reason why it took so long to finally get to releasing it, was that the pandemic slowed everything down quite a bit. And once they had it finished, they still had to find a label to release it on, which caused releasing it to be somewhat frozen for almost a year. But they feel that something good came out of the extended process, where they actually took more time with the songs, making them better than they otherwise would have been. It really positively influenced the cinematic and epic atmosphere they try to put in their music. They’ve been trying to create a sort of soundtrack for Finland, thinking what a composer would do if they would get instructed to write a soundtrack for their country. When talking about bringing this kind of epic sound to a live setting, they told us they actually created some parts that you can’t hear on the album, just to tie everything together and make it feel more like a whole in a performance. When touching on the fact that on this second album Mikko is mostly singing in English instead of Finnish, he told us that he was kind of burned out on writing in Finnish only, even though it was a good fit with their music. He doesn’t rule it out, as there is still some Finnish lyrics on the album, but he wants to go with the flow rather and not force himself into a way that feels too much like a struggle, what comes out naturally.

For all of that and more go see the full interview on our Youtube channel or right here:
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