Lord Vicar - Kimi Kärki

Lord Vicar - Kimi Kärki

Last year Finnish doomsters LORD VICAR gave to the lovers of the Heavy Doom Metal sound a brilliant album entitled “Signs Of Osiris”, rising even more our hopes for the band’s future. METAL KAOZ contacted Kimi Kärki (aka Peter Vicar), the band’s guitarist and mastermind, who was kind enough to share some of his thoughts about the LORD VICAR’s future plans, including the EU tour in April and a brand new record. So, read below what he had to say.

Hi Kimi, thanks for taking the time to answer METAL KAOZ questions. So, LORD VICAR released their second studio album, “Signs Of Osiris”; how is the audience’s response to the new album so far? Are you satisfied with the sales and the press’ feedback?
I certainly am! I actually have no clue about the sales, but as basically all the reviews have been ultra-positive, I trust we are doing very well. Of course illegal downloading bites everyone these days, but I trust to Μetal audience a bit more, especially when we have always given a lot of emphasis on creating something worth owning as a physical thing.

What did LORD VICAR differently in the new album? Comparing to your debut, is it possible to mark some changes in the band’s music point of view?
We wanted to go into more organic direction. With the debut, Gareth, our drummer, recorded his parts in Wales and the rest of us here in Turku, Finland. This time we played the basic tracks live and then corrected the mistakes and overdubbed a second rhythm guitar, solos, harmonies, vocals and effects. The groove you get from three people actually playing together in the basic tracks made a big difference, I think the new album is musically much more mature than the debut. All of us improved, really! We also wanted to expand ourselves and have a few adventures, which made the new one much more progressive and groovy than the debut.

Listening to tracks like “Between The Blue Temple And The North Tower” or “Sinking City”, I noticed some 80s Heavy Metal references in guitar’s sound. Did this happen on purpose or it just happen?
I think our sound has always been quite old fashioned; we use old tube amps in the process to achieve warm and natural sound. I think the references to ‘70s and ‘80s come really naturally to us, as we all love the music created in those days.

Where did you record “Signs Of Osiris” and how long did it take you to complete the recordings? Did you face any difficulties along the way?
We recorded it in Red House Studio, Turku, and I did a lot of solo work and all acoustic guitars in my home studio, my good old Hyperborean Lighthouse... We were relatively fast, all recording and mixing took place within three weeks, back in the Autumn of 2011. We had some difficulties with some bass parts which we really wanted to do more than just follow the root notes. We didn’t have the possibility to rehearse that much beforehand, so a lot of the actual arrangement work was still going on in the studio, also regarding new ideas on some small keyboard arrangements. It was both exciting and sometimes a wee bit frustrating, as the clock was obviously ticking. In the end we managed with quite small difficulties, and the result is something which I am really proud of. I dare to sound this album stands the test of time, should people find it in the first place.

How come you chose a theme from the Egyptians’ tradition as the new album’s lyrical direction? Who had the idea for Osiris?
Actually the theme comes from Western esoteric tradition, the occult rituals of The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. Osiris risen and slain are both referencing that, but also then looking back to the original myth, to add some cultural historical layers into the mix. Gareth wrote “Child Witness” and Jussi wrote “The Answer”, co-writing the lyrics and adjusting the vocal arrangement heavily with Chritus. I wrote the rest of the material.

What do you think of the current Doom Metal scene? Do you think that there are too many bands playing pretty much the same music?
I think it is good that there is nowadays a vast number of bands playing traditional Doom Metal again. The problem is not that they play the same music, but rather they just have to find their own voice. As some of those bands will surely grow to be great, the situation is healthy, and certainly more so than in the years when slow Death Metal and Stoner Rock was called ‘Doom’. Well, I am not very uptight about these things any more, as long as the music is good. Saying all that, I have to admit there are not that many bands that really excite me these days; I tend to go back to the root bands a lot...

Do you feel a burden carrying REVEREND BIZARRE’s name on your shoulders? Are you tired being asked about REVEREND BIZARRE’s reunion? Or is it a true honor for you to continue this band’s legacy?
I think it is great that we left our mark, and I am not tired to talk about it. But the answer to reunion requests is certainly ‘no’. I don’t think I carry any legacy or even any more see LORD VICAR as a direct continuum from REVEREND BIZARRE, I just continue writing music that moves me. I see that as part of a longer tradition than just my old band.

You are going to participate in this year’s ‘Roadburn’ festival; so, what can the fans expect from LORD VICAR from the stage?
You can expect a band that gives 110% energy in their performance. We are Heavy Metal first and foremost, and come alive from the roar that comes out of the amplification!

Are there any plans to shoot a live DVD?
One day, why not?

How easy is for a Doom Metal band to hit big numbers in sales, especially nowadays where the illegal downloading has somehow become a part of the music industry?
Very difficult. Even REVEREND BIZARRE only sold a few thousand copies of each album, and with LORD VICAR it’s slightly less. Plenty of downloading around and it hurts all bands who have proper album releases, simple as that. All we can do is to make as good music as possible, and also pay great attention to cover art, booklet and all that. Oh, just to make it clear how I feel about this, illegal downloading is not part of music industry, that’s like saying car thieves work for Ford Motor Company.

You have already planned some European dates for April with ORCHID and SIGIRIYA; how did this tour come up? Did you choose the bands of this tour?
All three bands are released by The Church Within Records, so it’s obviously Oli Richling, the Doom Dealer who suggested this package... I have to say it’s a hell of a lineup! People who come to these shows will get a proper triple headliner!

Have you ever thought to bring LORD VICAR in the US or is this a dream too good to be true due to the tough economical situation nowadays?
We have twice had relatively advanced plans about it. Right now it looks like we are looking into 2013 with that. Having played there with REVEREND BIZARRE back in 2005, I have always looked forward to an opportunity to do it again.

What’s next for LORD VICAR? Is it too soon to talk about the next album?
Not too soon at all, I am writing songs for the third album already, it will be called “Gates Of Flesh”. One acoustic song I have already premiered live in my acoustic gigs, it’s called “A Woman Out Of Snow”.

Also, I would like to grab the chance and ask you about ORNE; by the way, congrats on the new ORNE album, released in 2011, too. So, what different ORNE offer to you as a musician? Isn’t weird to play music for such differently music-oriented bands?
Well, it’s definitely quite a different feeling, as the band is much bigger and there is more need for careful arranging of the songs. Very different production values, much more gentle. I also play in E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR, which is kosmik ambient band in the vein of TANGERINE DREAM, early KRAFTWERK, Klaus Schulze and the like. We have already recorded our first full length and are looking for a label now. Furthermore, I have written enough folk songs for an album, and plan to record those songs at some point. With that material I have already played some shows, first in Turku, then in Dublin, and just a week ago four shows in Italy. I think all these different bands offer me very different musical challenges, and keep me on my toes. I’d say it’s not weird but necessary, in order for me to grow as a musician, to find new means of expression.

Have you ever felt that ORNE have to wait because of the time you spend in LORD VICAR?
I think LORD VICAR is so clearly my main band, that there can never be such a feeling. I have sometimes considered playing live with ORNE again, but that would need some special circumstances.

Well, Kimi, those were my questions. Thanks again for your time to answer them and I wish you the best and to catch you pretty soon on the road!
Thank you, Maria, it was a great pleasure answering your questions! If there are readers who are not familiar with our music, check us out, there’s plenty of stuff in Youtube, we are also in FaceBook and MySpace. See you out there, you will feel it when it’s our turn to hit the stage and strike the secret chord!!!