I had the pleasure to interview one of the guitar players of the Finnish Melodic/Thrash metal band Carnal Demise, also the guitar player of the American-Dutch-Finnish Thrash/Sleaze/Glam band Tornado, Tim Damion, who told some things about him and about the next plans for Carnal Demise.
Hello Tim, how things are going?
Hi, pretty good actually. Just woke up, having my first cup of coffee and checking out some pre-mix changes I did last night for the new Carnal Demise songs. The sun is shining and it seems the spring is coming finally.
Before asking you things about the bands you are in, can you tell me a few words about you, like when did you discover the passion for music, especially for metal music and when did you start playing the guitar?
I’ve been passionated for music all my life. One of the first photos of me as a baby was playing a piano with a smile on my face. I remember I heard my brother listening to Stone and Guns N Roses in his room when I was a kid, but for me the metal music came in on the 3rd class when I heard “Destiny” by Stratovarius for the first time. That was love in a first sight. Well, not only for Stratovarius but for the metal music in general. Very quickly bands like Sentenced, Slayer, Pantera, Ozzy etc. followed. I started to play bass at the age of 13 but I found that boring to practice alone. I think I just didn’t know what to do with that instrument, so within a year my father bought me my first guitar. It was a total crap, but I fell in love with that. I started to spend all my money to pedals and stuff and spend more and more time practicing. Actually I joined my very first band before I could even play.
Now speaking about one of the bands you are playing in, Carnal Demise, can you tell when the band made the appearance?
I formed the band along with Dave and Hyde in 2007. We started to write our own songs immediately and stepped into the studio to record our first demo after couple of months. It was clear that we will need another guitarist and a vocalist, so we thought that having a demo is the easiest way to try to find the right guys to the band. On the first demo I played both of the guitars and we used a session vocalist. Very soon Tommy joined the band as a guitarist. After that we did one more demo with the session vocalist and Jarkko joined the band in 2009. That was the year we played our first live show too.
You have recorded about 3 demos if I’m not wrong and 2012 was the year the album entitled ”Carnal Demise” was out. How the recordings of this album were going and this album has a specific theme?
Hmm… I think we did 4 demos before our debut album. It’s not a theme album but you can hear most of the songs telling about self-destructive behavior. After 3 years I can see the recordings weren’t as stress-free as I thought it was back then. We were so excited to get our first full-length album and anxious to record a good one. But I can still hear the magic of that album. For us it has never been all about playing sharp as a diamond or shit like that but a feeling. And I think we managed to get that on the record. So many bands these days literally kill the heart of the songs by just thinking too much and worrying about the small scratch of the string heard on tape or stuff like that. It’s rock’n’roll. It’s not meant to be polished.
Who mainly wrote the album?
I wrote the songs on the most parts and Jarkko wrote the lyrics, except for the 3 songs which were on our previous demo as well. Then we had Jukka Ruostila as a producer of the album, who wrote some orchestral parts with me and Sami Partanen helping us with the keyboards.
Last year the vocalist Jarkko left the band and Ville joined the band. Some reasons Jarkko decided to left the band?
Jarkko left because of his personal reasons and that had nothing to do with the music or the other band mates. We’re still bros and I’ve been in contact him weekly. Let’s make it public now, Ville is not in a band anymore either. After 11 shows we found that he’s not the right guy for Carnal Demise. We are looking for a new vocalist to get back in bussines as he’s found. Meanwhile we’re working with the lyrics of the upcoming album, cover art and things like that.
Also last summer you had a Cuban tour. How was it?
That was unbelievable! 4 european bands touring across Cuba, 7 cities, 8 shows and 300-700 people every day. The cuban public is crazy! I’ve never seen anything like that. But it was challenging as well since the moisture and the heat is melting in there. It was hard for the instruments too. 6 of the shows were in the open air amphitheater-kind-of-places and 2 shows indoors in Havanna at Maximum Rock -club.
You guys are preparing for a new album, when this should be done?
Like I told we are currenly looking for a new vocalist and when he is found we will be ready to record, anything else is already done.
Beside Carnal Demise, in 2013 you joined the trash/sleeze/glam band Tornado togheter with your band mate Tommy Shred. Tell me something about joining the band and about the upcoming album ”Black President”.
Yes. Tornado’s frontman Superstar-Joey Severance had just moved to Finland and were looking for the other members here. Tommy was the first who took contact with him and me as second.I think it was the next morning and i joined the band. Black President is pure Tornado from the very beginning until the end. The first thing of the album comes to my mind is honest. Thrashing, rolling and catchy songs. Pure old-school energy all the way. I’m so excited of this album.
Can you tell some influences of yours?
There obviously are too many to mention all, but… All the Ozzy’s guitarists, Dimebag Darrell of course, Slash, Chris Broderick… I’m not so much interested of the technical skills of a guitar player than the style he’s playing. You can learn playing fast and complicate stuff, but it’s much more difficult to learn to play from your heart.
Do you have a message to the people who are listening to your bands?
If we’re coming to your town, shut down your computer and come to see us live and share a drink with us! Youtube will wait, we won’t.
Thank you for you time Tim. Cheers!
Thank you and cheers!