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30/09/2008 – Interview with MY SHAMEFUL

The Finnish/German Death/Doom Metal band MY SHAMEFUL (website) released its fourth studio album in April of this year. "Descend" is the title and judging by the cover, things get even darker. As I said in my review: ""Descend" is filthy, bleak, crushing, destructive, devastating and extremely dangerous for the human mind and emotions." Even though it's not the band's best release, it still is quite a Doom album.

Next year the band will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Well, Doom and celebrating is a bit contradictory, but still... After so many albums, time to ask mastermind Sami Rautio some questions about the band, the album, Doom, and more. This time it's a short interview, or at least there's not as much text, since Sami either prefers to-the-point answers (nothing wrong with that) or he didn't feel like elaborating too much on certain issues for whatever reason. In any case, enjoy. ;-)

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First of all, congratulations with your fourth album. "Descend" has been out since a few months. Did everything go as planned concerning the writing and recording? I had the impression things didn't always go as smooth as wanted, or it could be that I misinterpreted the news updates at that time.

The writing process in itself didn't really differ much from previous albums, just the recording took longer than expected. This was mainly due to myself moving back to Finland from Germany.

Why exactly did you title the album "Descend"? And what are the songs about?

The title represents the overall feel of the album, a descend into something darker than before. The lyrics deal mostly with self- disgust, hate, regret, so not much new there.

Descend coverThe artwork of "Descend", what does it represent and who created it?

I did create that myself. I would like to say that it represents something or has some hidden meanings... alas, it does not. I still think music should sell albums, not covers or packaging.

There seems to be a special edition, A5. What's the difference with the normal version?

The normal version does not include lyrics.

In an interview with Blistering Light you said: "Personally, I try not to give too much importance to reviews." But do you keep certain criticism from reviews in mind when composing new material?

Not really, no.

Each album has been released via Firebox: how's it going after all these years? How important were/are they in spreading the word about MY SHAMEFUL?

Of course the record label serves a big role in a bands "life". And I myself have no intention or desire to do that stuff myself, to be honest, I have better things to use my time for.

You moved back to Finland. Is there a better atmosphere there to be inspired for new albums? And how will this affect the writing/composing process?

My moving to Finland has nothing to do with MY SHAMEFUL, nor does it affect my writing process in any way.

How are songs created in the band? Is there a standard procedure?

Since I write all the songs, it's more or less that I give the guys the demo version and sheetmusic and off we go practicing.

So far, the songs have been a reflection of what you experienced, how you thought about certain things in life. How big was the input of the other members? Just a few things or could you/they really push your/their ideas through?

I'm sorry, I don't really understand what the question is? (note by Tim: Sami sort of answered this in the previous question, but I was wondering if the other members also may contribute with ideas and if these ideas then are used or not, lyrically or musically.)

My Shameful band picture 2008You've always had a good sound for each album, but especially for "The Return To Nothing" and "Descend" it seems you opted for something more organic, mainly the drums made me think that. Correct? Plus, how important is the realness of the sound for you?

Each album is a "picture" of what MY SHAMEFUL sounded at the time. And for sure, by the time "Descend" was recorded, we sounded a lot more like a real band than ever before, and of course that affects the way the album came out.

Looking back at what you have achieved so far, what are you most proud of (certain happenings, albums, personal development, ...)?

Playing at the Doom Shall Rise V. That was one hell of an experience.

How are the gigs going? You're not exactly doing big tours or anything, are you?

I don't think there are any Doom bands doing big tours these days. But yeah, the live front for us is quite quiet at the moment, for the obvious reasons.

When I look at the past dates on the website, lots of them are in Germany. Isn't there a reasonable demand for Doom up north, Scandinavia, or perhaps elsewhere in Europe?

I'm sure there is. Unfortunately plane tickets and gas are ever more expensive!

MY SHAMEFUL is quite known in the world of Doom, and mainly in Europe. But what about your 'popularity' in the States or Asia?

To be honest, I have no idea.

Since you have been the mastermind all these years, who owns the rights to the name, the music, ...?

I do.

What is Doom for you? What does it mean for you? Is it more than just music?

Doom metal is music with a certain feeling. And I do have to say that Doom Metal to me is not about romance, it's about hitting rock bottom, it's about Doom. Not love, but Doom.

Are there other bands you're involved in? Do you then sufficient have time left for yourselves, your family, your hobbies, ...?

I don't have hobbies, just several jobs.. I do still get some sleep so more work could be squeezed out I think...

When you're not writing/composing, how do you kill time, how do you clear your mind?

I don't.

That's it for me, for now. Many thanks for taking the time and all the best with MY SHAMEFUL and other endeavours you have planned.

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