Finnish progressive rockers Simulacrum have just announced that they've signed a deal with Power Prog label and putting finishing touches to their second album. A new video has been released to the public today, so we thought we'd ask a few questions. Keyboard player and main songwriter Chrism answered...

1. You are working on your second album. How did the creative process differ from the first album?

-The first album was a collection of songs from a decade and even though the soundscape on the record is quite coherent the songs themselves sound quite disconnected from each other. But the compositions from first album were something we needed to get out of our system and we still are very happy about how the album sounds. At the time it was the best we could achieve. The new album on the other hand has been composed mostly within the last two years so it is a much more tighter package. We have clarified our sound and brought in more melodic elements. The songs are divided more clearly into the epic progressive mammoths and the straightforward catchy songs that audiences will appreciate live even if they haven't heard the band before. Also we have a song on the new album that is composed by our new member Petri Mäkilä and arranged by the band together in contrast to the old album being completely composed by me.

2. You've got a new label, did they make some requests regarding the direction or style of the new album?

-Actually Power Prog signed us solely by seeing the music video of Deep in the Trenches so they seems to have quite good confidence in our ability to create a good album. I'm sure my work with Adamantra and Epicrenel also made it easier for them to sign us onto their roster.

3. The latest video looks professional and interesting. There's some kind of a story in it if I'm correct, can you tell us about that? And who won the battle?

-We all enjoy epic Hollywood sci-fi and post-apocalyptic movies so we decided to tone down the cryptic style of the lyrics from the first album basic storytelling. Me and our singer Niklas came up with a concept of a mobile alien race on a crusade to find water. Their own planet has dried out and to survive they need to find a new planet to inhabit. They come across Earth and a battle is inevitable. So it all comes down to the survival of the fittest. Earth has seen it's glory days and photosynthesis is non-existent. The corporations that rule Earth with an iron fist release oxygen from the oceans into the atmosphere with the help of massive machines. In the music video the alien race has fought it's way past the outposts of the human defence and the battle has moved deep into the trenches dug onto the surface of planet Earth. But the plot has a twist... Who are the aliens and where do they come from? Where lie the origins of the alien race? You need to wait for the album to find out ;)

4. The only song I've heard from the album is the one with the video, do you think you can recreate the grand arrangement live? You'd probably need a choir on stage... is it worth attempting?

-Well our vocalist Niklas is the chairman of a male choir so why not if the stage is big enough =) In smaller venues we will be using backing tracks. We do try to play as much as possible live but in the case of massive choirs and orchestral parts backing tracks are the only possibility to re-create live the feel of the album.

5. Speaking of live stuff, do you have some tourdates lined up?

-No tour dates at the moment. I will be doing some shows with Adamantra in the summer since our new album is coming out in May, but Simulacrum will be concentrating on polishing the diamond in the studio.

6. Tell us about the new album, what kind of a mix of songs it is? Anything with a hummable chorus? :)

-The album is more clearly divided into progressive songs that you need to chew on a while for them to fully open up and into straightforward songs that will pound you like a sledgehammer and leave you with the chorus mangled into your brain. But there is one 11min song in the vain of Tool and Opeth and one 15min opus that nods towards the 70's progressive rock era so we definitely still are and always will be a progressive band even if we do have power metal and epic influences. We will be shooting another video in the spring and this particular song has a very persistent chorus for all of you to get annoyed on!

7. What do you think about the state of the music industry these days? Especially the younger generation seems to think that there's no reason to pay for music because everything's so easily available out there.

-Well I think the streaming services are a good idea just as long as bands get properly compensated for their work. If everybody streams the music then at least this eliminates the need to download the albums illegally from torrent-sites or direct download sites like megaupload or rapidshare. But at the moment the compensations are just ridiculous and need to go up so for the artist's sake I hope people still consider buying digital tracks or physical albums. Simulacrum's album will come out as a physical edition and will feature some pretty cool artwork! 

8. You work (roughly) in the same genre as Arion, who raised their profile last year with an appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest competition. They're doing quite well these days, with their latest single getting a
lot of airplay. Could ever you consider that kind of an option for Simulacrum?

-I don't think we will enter the Eurovisions since playing is such a big part of our band. All of the TV-broadcasts are playback except for the vocals so this doesn't feel like a good option but never say never! As what comes for airplay we hope that when we release the album it will be played on appropriate rock-stations. We will have to see how it is accepted in the media.

9. You've been quite busy lately, with at least two other bands you're involved in - Adamantra and Epicrenel. Is it difficult to organize your schedule?

-Well I am a man that has a high level of energy when it comes to music so I have managed to fit all the bands into my schedule. I still study media production at the Turku Arts Academy and have learned to manage my time better as a proper producer should do and this has helped me to release 1-2 albums a year besides swamp walking through my studies. I have to say though that I was pretty near a nervous breakdown when working on Epicrenel because I did all the sound-engineering, arranged and played keyboards and did some orchestral programming. It was a little too much at the time but managed to pull it through! Anyway the album sounds great so I am happy I did it and Mikko is currently composing material for the follow-up. Adamantra will be releasing their second album in May and the album sounds really good. Presales are on at so head over to get your album before it is released! There is even an option for a candlelight evening with me for one lucky lady with an extra 350€ in her pocket!

I would like to thank for the interest in interviewing our band and Simulacrum wishes all the best for the webzine and it's readers! Check out Simulacrum at

Interview by Kimmo Toivonen
Photos provided by the band
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