Nocturnal Euphony International

Barren Earth

Interview w/ Marko Tarvonen

Country of Origin: Finland

Band Members:

Mikko Kotamäki - Vocals
Olli-Pekka Laine - Bass
Sami Yli-Sirniö - Guitars
Janne Perttilä - Guitars
Kasper Mårtenson - Keyboards
Marko Tarvonen - Drums

Our Twilight-EP (2009)

Curse of the Red River (2010)

1. Tonight we are speaking with the wildly talented and powerful band Barren Earth. Formed officially in 2007. Barren Earth are some what of a all star band featuring members from several other well known acts. Tell us how the current line up came together.  


-Barren Earth was formed in late 2007 by the bass player Olli-Pekka Laine who got bored with his stoner band Mannhai and wanted to do something fresh. He asked a few friends along. I’ve known OP since our Chaosbreed years. Also having played with Janne and Kasper before it was a nice choice to have them on board also. Sami was also invited at the very early days of BE. Mikko came after we’d recorded the songs of the 1st demo but we lacked the vocalist. I’ve known him for some years and I gave him a call that we had some killer tunes and we’d like him to try them out. Mikko gave his response and liked the music so there it was, a 6 piece prog / death metal band formed.

2. As for the music itself it is a finely tuned combination of traditional and modern Death Metal as well as having a classic 70's progressive touch. Was this the original intent for the sound or a development of the writing process?


-The basic idea was to honor the older death/doom bands like Autopsy and Paradise Lost altogether with King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Pink Floyd just to name a few common influences within the band members. Also most of us have been playing with some other BE members before in different bands and projects so we knew our way to work around ideas and how to write music easily.

3. In late 2009, we see the release of the EP "Our Twilight", how was this first release taken by listeners?


-I think it was quite safe to open the game with an EP to introduce the new band for people. We didn’t actually know what to expect as a response but it got very good reviews and already then we knew the album will be so much better.

4. Then in March of 2010 we see the first full length release "Curse of the Red River". This is an incredible debut, and a very powerful album. What were the thoughts among the band when the recording process for this record was complete?  


-We’re very satisfied how it turned out. I mean all of us gave so much effort for it, it had to succeed. Also we’re very happy with the sound that Dan did for it, everything is in good balance and it sounds organic and fresh.

5. So here we are February of 2011, and Barren Earth are about to embark on a North American tour including the U.S. and Canada. What are you most looking forward to about this tour?  


-We’ve now played about half of this tour and it’s been fantastic experience. Although being the 1st band on the bill the fans have got in early and we had many good shows with great audiences. After the bad weather conditions in TX (we had to cancel 2 shows because the winter storm) it’s going smoothly but just before Canada our bus broke down and we had to change it. Luckily we made it just in Calgary and did the show. Now we’ve the original bus repaired and everything’s back like it should. Waiting for bigger places to play and visit… Chicago, NYC…. big cities, awesome crowd, you know.

6. This tour will take you through the beginning of March, what is next for Barren Earth after the tour wraps up?  


-We’re preparing a new album and record it in May. We’ve written about 13 new songs and going to record the most of them. I guess there will be 9 or 10 songs for the album + a couple of extra tracks for other purposes later. The new material will continue where Curse (of the Red River) left. The death metal stuff will be more brutal and the prog parts even more proggier, haha!

7. Where would you like to see Barren Earth by this time next year?  


-It’s hard to say as you might guessed our schedules can be quite kinky sometimes so whenever we have a couple of months free time from other groups we’ll concentrate on BE as much as possible. Hopefully we can make it back to North America in 2012.

8. Looking at the music itself, is there anything you would like to incorporate into the music of Barren Earth that you have yet to try on the first album?  


-Musically not so much but there might be some weird instrumentation on the next album. We’d planned to use the sitar as Sami has one at home but it needs a little fix first. The Scottish pipe drone has been discussed also. And the theremin would sound sick on our stuff. We’ll definitely find one!

9. In closing, we wish you all the best on tour, please leave our readers with any final thoughts or comments.


-Thanks for the interview. See you on tour! “The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something, that is not of this earth.” – Mozart.



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Comment by keith josey on March 2, 2011 at 1:26am
i can tell these guys seriously love what they do




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