DYSTOCRACY METAL FROM FINLAND Band Question answer by Vellu
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Dystocracy is four guys from Finland. Our HQ is in Lempäälä, which is a small town next to Tampere, where I’m from. Valtteri does vocals, Manu is on the guitar, Vellu (that’s me) handles the bass and hate (also known as backing vocals), and Honkku bangs the drums. What does the band name mean and how do you get it? Dystocracy is an amalgamation of dystopia and democracy. Together they form the dystopian reality of the current political system in most western nations. Europe does not have leaders and heroes anymore, but bureaucrats and satraps of whatever centralised government your country happens to be under. A pathetic conformist managerial class with a shared globalist ideology, where the collectivists are only interested in their own career advancement, and are happy to sacrifice their nations and their people for their paymasters and whatever favours they are able to pay for with your money and blood. The name is born out of a blackened hate and utter disgust of the state of late modern western civilisation, which is being sold and eroded on the altars of socialism, multiculturalism and a slave morality. We live in a dystopia where the church lady big sister of a totalitarian state, disguised as a benefactor, wants to dictate all areas of our lives. What we are allowed to say, how much we are allowed to earn, who we are allowed to socialise with, who we invite to our ancestral homelands, how we are allowed to defend ourselves against attackers. Everything. We actually had the second highest court of law state in a ruling recently, that “something does not have to be illegal to be forbidden”. Let that shit sink in for a while. How is this not totalitarianism? How is this not a dystopia come real? Dystocracy is the rejection of all this. Where and how was the band founded? Myself and Valtteri knew each other from another band from some time ago, and felt the creative urge to put a band together. We kept talking about a vision of wanting to create something new, of combining elements of different genres and our somewhat differing musical tastes. That of course is not an easy task. Creating something truly unique within metal, a genre that is based on freedom and creativity and filled with incredible people both technically and artistically, is easier said than done. Ultimately people listening to our music will decide whether we managed to do that. Valtteri is pretty much an 80’s era guy and digs the faster melodic classics, whereas I’m more into the modern, slower, crushingly melancholic sounds. We recognised from the start that we’re not going to agree on a style, but we found that to be a good thing. So instead of starting a band to play “death” or “80’s metal” or whatever, we had a few talks and a few beers about what kinds of sounds and worlds we would want to bring together. We contacted people we knew to see who might be interested and met some guys and had a few jam sessions with some of them, but initially that something just wasn’t there. Ultimately we ended up in an air raid shelter-come-rehearse space with Manu and Honkku, and pretty much hit it off from the start. We played some covers at first to feel things out, but Manu introduced some of his riffs, I think the very first time we played together, and we just started jamming and arranging them into songs. That’s how Dachau, the opening song on our first EP was born. I don’t think we ever formally decided that “we are now a band”, but rather morphed into one organically. You know, just guys jamming and turning the jams into a song and then to a few more songs, and suddenly you’re a band. We were pretty prolific in the beginning, and pretty much put at least the bare bones of a new song together every session. Have you played in other bands before? All of us have played in several bands. Me and Honkku have played in bands since the 80’s, and Valtteri and Manu have also been in several bands before Dystocracy. Valtteri has recorded with Celesti Alliance, I’ve recorded with Marchland, and Honkku has recorded with Dead Samaritan. Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band? Not really. I mean as I said, we did meet with a few people before Manu and Honkku, but I wouldn’t say that we had to really look that hard. Somehow the chemistry just was there with these guys, especially when it came to writing songs. Manu had some awesome riffs in the bank that he’d written alone, and those riffs formed the basis of Dystocracy. Everybody took part in arranging the riffs into songs right from the beginning, and Manu was happy to see them ripped apart and turned into live music instead of guarding his creations jealously. I’ve seen that jealousy happen with guitarists who just can’t take it when other people have ideas concerning their precious riffs, but Manu is not like that at all, and for the rest of the guys that’s a really big part of the chemistry of being a band. What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them ? Our lyrics are mainly about things that we see as being wrong with the world, with the dystocracy we live in. You can check out our manifest for the Dystocracy EP on our website www.dystocracy.com  to get an idea of the thinking behind each song, but the lyrical themes revolve around the hypocrisy of socialism, worthless politicians and the managerial class, war, people driven into suicide by the desperation they feel because of the modern world and so on. You know, happy stuff. Writing is done by myself and Valtteri. Usually Valtteri writes the initial lyrics for the songs as the rest of us are jamming around one of Manu’s riffs when the maelstrom starts to form into a song. He then sends the lyrics to me, and I often times completely obliterate parts of them, based on whatever happens to piss me off at the time. Then we hash out the parts in my writing that doesn’t fit the vocals Valtteri had in mind or doesn’t work for some other reason and we’re done. To give you an example, one of the songs on the EP (Thousand Fiery Lashes) was originally written by Valtteri to be about dragons and other fantasy stuff. You know, very 80’s power metal. I kinda liked some parts of the text, but did not think that the whole thing with flying mythical creatures was really a Dystocracy song. So I just turned scales into steel, dragons into bombers and changed a few paragraphs, and suddenly the song was about the Dresden bombing in World War II. You can still see Valtteri’s initial idea in the lyrics, but the small changes turned it into something else entirely. Dystocracy (the song) on the other hand is an example of a song where the lyrics are based on my vision of what Dystocracy means as a concept, so the roles were reversed when writing that song. I wrote the initial lyrics and they were then rewritten together to fit Valtteri’s vision of the vocals. So that too is a collaboration, as everything is in this band. Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you? I personally don’t really draw inspiration from other bands, at least consciously, meaning that I don’t sit down and think “I’m going to write a song that sounds like band X”. Then again I don’t write the songs as Manu writes the riffs and then we all start jamming and arranging the songs from there. I do come up with parts of songs on the bass, but most of the writing is done by Manu. Anyway, I’m inspired by legendary individuals, such as Cliff Burton and Lemmy. Those guys were on a level that I can never even dream of attaining, but nevertheless they do inspire me in my playing. There’s even a small tribute to Cliff Burton in the lyrics of Dystocracy, see if you can spot it? Lemmy’s style of playing the bass like a guitar works in a band with just one guitar. Quite often I mirror Manu’s riffing and play the bass like a second guitar. I also heavily utilise an octaver in my bass sound to kind of create that second guitar in the space between my bass and Manu’s guitar. On the other hand, I also try to follow Cliffs lead in using melodic parts in some of our songs and introducing harmonies into otherwise pretty straight-forward style of playing. Once again, I’m not suggesting that my playing either sounds like those two legends, or that I would be anywhere close to their level, but they certainly were inspiring people in life and continue to be so in death. When it comes to the other guys, I think it’s more apparent where Valtteri draws his inspiration from for his vocal style. For him the classics such as Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson have been huge. He’s also tutored by Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear, and I think that shows in his style. When it comes to the other question, we get asked “what’s it like” about our music by people who haven’t heard it, but I honestly can never answer that question. It’s really difficult to shove your own music into a box, or compare it to others. We used to say that it combines classic British and German heavy metal into more modern metal sounds, because that was the initial idea when Dystocracy was still just an idea, but then everybody just picked the “classic German 80’s” part and ran with that. We did get some fun out of that, as one reviewer wrote that Valtteri’s vocals fit the music like “bratwurst on the Alps”, but that’s not what we are ultimately about. So I would just let everybody decide for themselves. Just listen and make up your own mind. Why should people listen to our music? Well, for whatever reason people listen to music in the first place! I personally listen to music to emphasise my mood. Summers are for thrash metal and beer, the fall is for melancholic, melodic Finnish death metal and red wine, winters are for black metal and whisky, and spring…well, spring is for all kinds of embarrassing happy shit and champagne. So you know, music and the reasons people listen to it are highly subjective. However, when it comes to the message, what we are trying to do is to make people think. To wake the fuck up. You could say that Dystocracy is art with a purpose. We are trying, in a not so subtle way, to point the finger at the dystopian world you are living in and show you what it’s really like. How just behind the polished veneer of pointless modern luxuries and the distractions of political theatre lies the hideous face of totalitarian socialism, lies, death, traitors and disgusting hypocrisy. So I would say that people should listen to our music to enjoy it for the music, but also to get really fucking angry, start thinking for themselves and resist. Your ep Dystocracy has four songs. are there any more songs from you and when can we expect a whole album? We have written new songs since the EP was released, and also played some of them live. We have a gig coming up and another new song will be introduced on that gig, so the creative spirit is far from extinguished. When it comes to recording an album, we talked about that, but decided to do another EP instead for a few reasons. Some of the new songs are pretty long, somewhere in the 7 minute mark, so even an EP is going to be fairly long. Also, we’re still a new band, and although our general sound seems to be pretty constant, there is an evolution going on, and it makes more sense to release the next batch of new songs as an EP and then see where the creative wave takes us after that. There is no planning when it comes to our songs, meaning that we don’t spend time thinking what sort of songs we should write next, so everything is extremely organic. We go to the air raid shelter to jam around a riff or two and see what comes out. That style of “writing” has worked for us, but it also means that there is no “Dystocracy sound” that we would have to emulate and follow. Also, people do not seem to listen to whole albums anymore, as everybody is just streaming singles into their Spotify playlists, so why bother? So EP’s it is, at least for now. What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play? I’d say that every gig is a highlight in the sense that every time we play live, we’re better than we were the time before. We are getting more relaxed, we’re having fun playing live, there’s more contact with the audience and so on. So just seeing Dystocracy evolve is awesome! We’ve played with some great people, so I’m not going to single any one band out. I’m pretty sure this is the case with metal bands all over the world, as metalheads are a positively unique bunch of people, but there is absolutely no bullshit when you play with basically any other band. So they are all great. Which band would you like to play live with and why? I would personally like to play with local bands in local clubs all over the world, have a few drinks, get to know new people and their history and see new cities. Sure, going on tour with some huge band would be a dream come true in its own way, but the local scene is way more interesting from the perspective of what Dystocracy is about. We went to Riga in Latvia this summer, and found great inspiration to lyrical themes from the country’s difficult history of oppression and struggle and some of the heroic individuals who gave their lives for the freedom of the Latvian people. Local microbreweries also helped in finding inspiration. So those kinds of trips and ultimately tours would be ideal for me. Have already resulted in friendship ? Finland is a pretty small scene, the Finnish metal scene is an even smaller scene, and the Tampere metal scene is an even smaller scene yet, so yes, friendships have been formed. Gigs are usually arranged by the bands themselves, and naturally you invite other bands you know to play with you, so that forms relationships and the scene itself. With what do you earn your money except with the music? We all work full-time jobs. There is no money in the metal scene in Finland except for a very small handful of bands at the very top, so everybody pretty much does this out of love for the music and the creative fire that kind of forces one to do this. How important are social media for you as a band? Me personally, I hate social media. I hate what it has done to people and their interactions, how everybody just fucking thumbs away at that ever-important timeline or whatever the fuck it’s called and stares at those stupid screens all day. How people virtue signal for their look-at-me posts and get morally outraged by pointless bullshit and how everything they don’t agree with is fucking hate speech. And a special place in hell is reserved for the growing number of twats who go to gigs, and then spend their time watching the band through their smart phone screens shooting video and then sharing the recordings on social media, which of course means more staring at the screen while the band is playing. Fuck ‘em, stay the fuck home. Social media needs to die, if you ask me. However, some of the other guys are more open-minded when it comes to social media, and I have to begrudgingly admit that it is a pretty handy way to reach people, so we do have a Facebook page. I pretend that I don’t know about its existence and don’t touch the abomination, so the other guys handle that. What would you want to achieve with the band? I think this is two-fold: For one, we want to open people’s eyes and be a thorn in the sides of those who are responsible for the dystocracy we live in. If we manage to get just one person to think for themselves and renounce the current system of hypocrisy, then we have accomplished something. On the other hand, I do believe that pretty much everyone who is in a band the world over, wants to succeed on some level. I don’t expect us to be the next Metallica, but it would be awesome to tour the world and not have to pay for the touring ourselves. To meet new people, play with new bands, reach new minds and have a fun time doing it. Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? We have a gig coming up with Kuoleman Galleria and Deathkin, so check those guys out! PERSONAL QUESTIONS ! Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? I grew up here in Tampere and had a happy childhood – so all this hate came later. How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown ? That depended on what I thought of the subject being taught. If I was interested in it, I was a good student, but if not, I didn’t bother and was absolutely the class clown. How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do you feel about your music today? They did support my band activities pretty much whole-heartedly. I guess they saw music as a positive thing, and as I was also playing classical violin at the time, they probably thought that metal was a balancing thing. They weren’t too happy when I eventually quit playing the violin, but understood that forcing one to play an instrument at age 17 wasn’t going to work either. They are still supportive, but not huge fans of metal. Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? or rather looking for peace and relaxation in nature? Both. We don’t really have “big cities” in Finland on a global scale, but I do live in one of the larger ones. Tampere has a population of about 230  000, so it’s not huge, but we do have a pretty lively club scene and Tampere is among the number one places to be when it comes to metal in Finland. Plus there’s bars and record stores and all that, so that’s the good part of living in a city. However, sometimes the misanthropic and melancholic parts get a hold of me, and we get a cabin somewhere with a friend and go hunting. Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator? I’m a competing powerlifter, so I’m very active in that. I don’t really watch sports all that much, although I do go to some of the local football games every now and then, as I live next to the stadium. When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you ? I’ve always liked to cook, and especially since I take my powerlifting training pretty seriously, I almost always cook my own food. What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues) ? That’s an interesting question, which I haven’t ever really thought about. I guess you wouldn’t really be able to tell if you looked at my environment outside the band that I’m into metal. Most of my friends and family are musically into something else entirely, and I’m not a “black leather all the way” – type of guy. How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere? I don’t really care. I guess part of it comes from not using social media. Social media seems to bring out the worst in people so I don’t come across too much of the human garbage as I don’t hang around in Facebook or whatever. Social media gives a loud voice to a bunch of people who shouldn’t have a voice at all, and the dumbest always seem to be the loudest, which distorts people’s perception of the world and what’s actually important. All this stupid shit about hate speech, pearl clutching faux outrage and different isms spouting propaganda are in actual reality on the fringes of humanity, but get amplified because these idiots don’t have anything better to do than screech on the internet. So I don’t bother with them, except to laugh at their stupidity every now and then. As the Sex Pistols so finely put it, never mind the bollocks. What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse? It’s a double-edged sword. As I said, the internet brings to the forefront people who should stay in the back and social media enables the weak to appear strong, but then again, the internet also enables things that were unthinkable when I started playing in bands. Finding new music, arranging gigs, getting your music out there, making contacts and pretty much everything else has gotten infinitely faster and easier, and that is of course a hugely positive thing. So I guess the same applies to the internet that applies to everything humans do – some use it for good, some use it for bad, but the thing in itself is neutral. What would you personally like to do in your life? Bob Dylan is credited to have said, that “a man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do”. That is what I’m striving for, and am pretty close. Which question would you like to have answered and why? Why are so many people willing to buy into ideologies wholesale without critical thinking and base their lives on lies? Finland A small northern tribe that should be proud of its rich history and heritage, but has for some reason fallen for the globalist lies and pathological altruism – my people, the people in whom we try to reawaken Prometheus. Austria Also a small, but extremely successful people that used to be an empire. Land of the Alps, excellent white wines, funny leather pants, and glimpses of hope for Europe. Harakiri for the Sky should be your #1 export – awesome art that speaks to the Finnish mentality! I’ve actually been to Linz a long time ago, and have nothing but fond memories of the place and the people. Ski Alpin or Ski jump I’d break a bunch of bones in either one, so I’ll stick to powerlifting. Gamma Ray or Primal Fear As Valtteri is a student of Ralph Scheepers’ of Primal Fear, I think it’s wise for me to say the latter. Metallica or Megadeth I used to tape trade with my cousin at a time when I was listening to stuff like Whitesnake, Scorpions and Iron Maiden. I asked him to record Ozzy’s Bark at the Moon for me and put something of his choosing on the B-side. I got the cassette in the mail with a note that said “I recorded a new band on the B-side, don’t get a culture shock”. The new band was Metallica, and the record was Ride the Lightning, and it absolutely fucking blew my mind! I had no idea anything like that even existed (well, it basically didn’t exist before that), and was hooked. I called a bunch of guys to “get fucking here right fucking now ‘cause you gotta hear this”, and that record pretty much changed everybody’s lives. It’s still one of my all-time favourites and all of the songs on that album are absolute classics. So Metallica. Children of Bodom Those guys have obviously earned their respect in terms of international success, but are not a huge band for me personally. However, Roope Latvala, who played guitar in CoD until a couple of years ago, was a founding member of Stone, one of the first speed & thrash metal groups ever, and an absolute legend in Finland. I found Stone right after I found Metallica, and they remain one of the greats. So if you haven’t heard of them, check them out and Get Stoned!! Karjalanpiirakka Three karjalanpiirakka, three strips of bacon and five eggs, scrambled with cream – breakfast of champions!! Coffee Three mugs in the morning, dark roasted, strong and black – and don’t fucking talk to me before. Vodka or Coca Cola Whiskey and protein shakes. Not mixed. Family The reason why I try to change the world. Drugs None of my business as long as people keep it under control. People seldom do. Your top 10 all Time Fave and your top Five Albums in moment ! I can’t put them in order, but here are 10 greats in no particular order: Stone by Stone Ride the Lightning by Metallica Monotheist by Celtic Frost Isolation Songs by Ghost Brigade Kylmä Kaunis Maailma by Kaunis Kuolematon Svartir Sandar by Solstafir Melana Chasmata by Triptykon Joshua Tree by U2 Lawless Darkness by Watain Ready An’ Willing by Whitesnake …and these five I’ve been listening to lately: Kohti kotiani kaaosta by Deathkin Wasteland by Riverside Exile Amongst the Ruins by Primordial A Eulogy for the Damned by Orange Goblin I Loved You at Your Darkest by Behemoth The closing word is yours? This was fun, you had some interesting questions, and I hope I managed to give in-depth answers that show respect to the quality of the questions. Also, if there are any local bands and / or clubs in Austria that are looking to play with bands from the frozen north, let us know! We’d be more than happy to come play in Austria, and would naturally return the favour and arrange a gig for you guys here in Finland. Keep up the good work, support your local scene, and see you on the road!  
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