Interview with Vanha

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Welcome to the world of Vanha. On the one hand it’s a very bleak and desolate world, filled with heartache and misery. On the other hand though, it’s a world full of rich beauty and textured emotive soundscapes. Within the Mist of Sorrow charts and documents themes of suffering and sadness in such a way that the listener is moved by the music and the emotive performance within.

Jan “Janne” Johansson (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards) and Jesse Oinas (Drums) are the ones responsible for Vanha’s delicately crushing doom/death metal, so find out a bit more about the band below, and enjoy Within the Mist of Sorrow in all its painful beauty…

Introduce us to Vanha!

Vanha is Doom Metal Duo from Trollhattan, Sweden, with focus on very heavy melancholic music, and lyrics in the same path.

What are your influences?

(Janne) – As for my influences…much of it comes from Miika Tenkula’s (Sentenced) excellent guitar-work. He is one of the main reasons why I have the style of guitar playing that I have.
As for the rest, as in a whole so to speak, comes from many different places. It can range from nature, to music, such as Type O Negative, Amorphis, Sentenced, Charon, Katatonia, Skeptisicm, Vivaldi etc etc, and also of course what one thinks and feels…

(Jesse) – I agree, different places such as music, art, movies, nature and life in general I think.

Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend

(Janne) – Skepticism (Ordeal), Katatonia (Sanctitude), Amorphis (Circle), Inborn Suffering (Regression to nothingness), Solstafir (Svartir Sandar).

(Jesse) – Horna (Sotahuuto), Paradise Lost (Lost Paradise), Shining (Redefining Darkness), Old Funeral (Our Condolences), Rippikoulu (Musta Seremonia).

Vanha Band

Tell us about Within the Mist of Sorrow

(Janne) – This is probably the most “depressive” and heavy work that I’ve ever done. Which was kind of the point of it all. As mentioned before, it’s very heavy and sad. Heavy guitars/bass, crying violins, big pipe-organs & the beauty of piano. Forging this album didn’t take that much time, a few months perhaps. At the same time it was a challenge, to manage to work with all of these instruments, and the lyrics that were written during the process. As for the drum parts, I asked Jesse if he would join, to get the more “alive” drums that I knew this would require, and for the fact that I know that he is a great drummer!

(Jesse) – It’s definitely one of the most interesting projects I’ve been involved in. I’ve never played doom before so it was a challenge. A good opportunity to try and learn something new. And finally I could play with Janne. Never had the time before or something else turns up and makes it impossible. Well, that’s life I guess.

What topics/subjects/themes/etc. does the album cover?

(Janne) – …sadness, death, agony, I would say are the main subjects.

How were the songs written?

(Janne) – All the songs were either based on guitar and/or piano. One instrument fed the other, so to speak. There´s no recipe for it, it just happens. The same goes for the lyrics, but most of the time the songs tell me what to write you know.

What has feedback been like for the album so far?

(Janne) – It’s been crazy, at least for my part.All these excellent reviews, comments, messages, blew me away. The support has been over the top so far.

(Jesse) – Overall positive and somewhat overwhelming to be honest. Amazing support, thanks to all of you!

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

(Janne) – “Into The Cold Light” is my favourite, just because of the violin-intro to the chorus, which I believe is the best chorus I’ve ever written…so far.

(Jesse) – ”Reaching The End”, just because it was the song that stuck in my brain first time I heard it. It was also the first song I recorded on the album.

How did the recording process go?

(Janne) – Everything went pretty smooth. It all came together in a very good way. We recorded the album in various places around town actually. It took a little more time, but worth the work and wait.

How did you choose the cover artwork?

(Janne) – I know of a photographer (Nadine Segschneider) in Germany. She has taken some “cover-shots” for me before for Frostvang. I know she’s a Great photographer, and she was on a “Scandinavian-Tour” and had posted a picture that I found amazing. So I asked her if she would be willing to let that picture go, for the album, and luckily she said Yes. I could barely believe it, because I thought that image was just amazing. Cred to her!!

(Jesse) – Yeah, all cred to Nadine! A wonderful photo.


What’s the process you use for writing songs?

(Janne) – I always have a guitar in my hands haha…even when watching movies at home. So if I accidentally play something nice, I usually take it from there. Or sometimes I just sit down with the piano and just…let it flow.

What continues to inspire you about this form of doom metal?

(Janne) – The endless usage of every instrument there is & the variation of clean vocals/growls.

(Jesse) – The challenge, it’s still new to me, haha.

Where do you see the band’s sound progressing to in the future?

(Janne) – I don’t think we have a specific “plan” to follow..? We love dark music, and appreciate the beauty of certain things too. So, we will, probably, stay our current course, for now.

(Jesse) – Current course sounds good to me. But who the fuck knows, right? Maybe we’ll play ”dansband” tomorrow. I mean, if it sounds good…

(Janne) – Dansband never sounds good man…haha.

Do you have any plans to play live in the future?

(Janne) – Hopefully yes, some day.

(Jesse) – It would be nice. So, hopefully yes.

What are the next steps for Vanha?

(Janne) – Next step is more music, we are working on material to be released some time during 2017. So until then…Listen to “Within The Mist of Sorrow” & brace yourselves for the next album!

(Jesse) – Yeah, listen to the album and thanks to all of you who already do! There’s more of that coming your way in 2017!


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