Rock from Finland? Not some kind of Sympho metal, Doom metal etc? Haha, yeah, here we go with Pearly Gates, just rock just from Finland!
Answers by Antti Silkelä, drummer and songwriter in Pearly Gates.
Hi! Tell me about Pearly Gates. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Imagine an old high cement wall standing on a wasteland during the last rays of sundown. Old man wearing a leather coat is smoking a cigarette and leaning against the grey wall. Next to him there’s a hole in the wall where music and warm light is pouring out from. A small path leads inside through the rubble and weeds on the ground. Pearly Gates are between the ugly world and the beautiful underworld.
“Unchained” – when it was released? How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
Unchained was released in autumn 2015. We did recordings around Finland in studios and basements and shot two music videos in multiple locations during one year. So it was definitely a relief when we released it! We have been touring around Finland promoting the EP and we have got a good responses to it.
Tell me more about “Unchained”? Album ideas etc…
We chose the best song from our live set to make a killer EP. We also wanted to include acoustic ballad Unchained played live to the CD to show people our softer side and have variation to the heavily produced sound on the other tracks.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
We grew up listening to a lot of legendary bands such as Pink Floyd, The Stooges, Hanoi Rocks and The Hellacopters. Later we found bands such as Tool and Porcupine Tree which evolved our music to new more darker direction.
Our lyrics are personal journeys to unlock some hidden doors in our unconsciousness although the themes are relatable to most of the people. We haven’t really written any political texts so far.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define Pearly Gates’s sound?
We mix heavy riffs, grunge growl, pop hooks and progressive arrangements in our songs. We also have some more acoustic blues/soul kind of stuff too that we like to play on our unplugged gigs.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
We are writing new music all the time! It’s not that easy to find time to play gigs and rehearse new material because our band members live in different cities.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
I would say Tool because you can here the influence most clearly. Pink Floyd has also given us the urge to write pompous arrangements and sad soundscapes. The Hellacopters is the reason why we still play our songs too fast and some funk/hip hop beats are big influence to our bass and drum section.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
There are plenty of amazing musicians that I would love to meet: Steven Tyler, Derek Trucks, Gregg Allman, Maynard James Keenan… But on our record I would love to co-operate with the god like creature Fabio from Aurinkojumala!
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
We need to write even better songs.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
I’m working in the media industry as a sound engineer and I would say that the work is more of a hobby than the music.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Our relatives are really supportive towards what we do!
How’s the metal scene in Finland right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days? I hope you know about Obama’s words towards Scandinavia, ala there are too many rock and heavy metal bands☺
There are so many heavy bands in Finland that it’s crazy. Metal scene is a big thing here, but our music is between the heavy, grunge, rock and blues genres so it’s been a struggle to find our own audience. It’s the long and dark winter that makes the scene thrive here. It really inspires you to write songs about suicide and laugh about it with friends while playing some kick ass music.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road! / Lukasz