Rami Jämsä (Convulse) interviewed

What prompted you to return to Convulse? It’s been a very long time.Rami Jämsä: My old pal from Nokia asked [us] to play in his Heavy Metal festival 2012. At first I refused. Then original bass player Juha took contact and showed his interest. Pretty soon it was clear that there was no chance to get more original members. So, I asked my old band friend Rolle (played together from 1998) and my friend Kristian to join Convulse. We thought that we play one show only, but soon we noticed how tight we play together and everything was easy. We were also enough motivated to compose new material. So the question is why not?

Wait, so how did Juha return to the lineup?
Rami Jämsä: Juha heard that I said no for the first proposal to reunite Convulse. He called me and showed his interest. It was enough for me. We rehearsed couple of times with original second guitarist Toni, but he wasn’t involved enough. So I asked younger guitarist Kristian to join Convulse. He was playing in another band in the same rehearsal place. I have played together with the drummer Rolle since 1998 in various bands, so I surely knew how capable drummer he is and we play well together. Quite natural choice.

What did you guys do in the years between Convulse’s demise and the reformation?
Rami Jämsä: Studies, work, family, bands and so on…

Convulse is obviously recognized in the underground for World Without God, but I think the Lost Equilibrium and Reflections were ahead of their time. What do you recall about the transition into Lost Equilibrium and Reflections?
Rami Jämsä: I still prefer WWG. It’s simply a better album than Reflections. Of course, it is hard to compare them, so different they are. WWG is dark, brutal, violent and Reflections is hmmmm…groovy without groove. Reflections was ambitious effort to set Convulse musically to the next level. The effort was good, but the result was not so brilliant. We were so young and [our] heads full of different influences, so it was pretty obvious to try something different. New songs (after WWG) sounded pretty good in rehearsal, but the Sunlight studio production was far too sterile. We didn’t have the chance to take part in the mixing sessions, so we just got the finished album after couple of months. I remember being a little bit disappointed.

Relapse re-released World Without God in 2010. What’d you think of the response? I know a lot of people really wanted a CD copy of the album before the re-issue came out.
Rami Jämsä: Relapse did good job in reissuing WWG, but the new version is too compressed for my taste, but it is obvious it was time to make CD copy also. Thrash Records promised to do it 1992! I suppose we got a lot of new fans with this reissue. It is sad we don’t have the original real reel-to-reel master tape from 1991, so Relapse did the remaster from the original un-played vinyl.

Did the two songs on Inner Evil come together easily?
Rami Jämsä: They came out very naturally. I just took my guitar and started to make new Convulse riffs. I played them in rehearsals and we arranged them with the band. I am very satisfied with the skills of this band. It makes the songwriting faster and simpler. By the way we record new versions of the songs in every rehearsals and make new arrangements until it is ready. Sometimes it takes only one rehearsal and the body of the song is ready. Sometimes it takes two months to finish the song.

Were you more inspired by the past or did you check out what was happening in the current underground scene?
Rami Jämsä: I am quite unaware about the scene nowadays. I am listening to mostly old-school death metal from the ’80-’90s and the releases of the old bands. Of course, there are some exceptions. So, I get my influences from the past.

What do you make of classic death metal bands reforming? They’re not doing for the cash, ‘cause there ain’t much to go around.
Rami Jämsä: I have played guitar in bands for 27 years and I am enough stupid to go on. I love to play with the band. I love the play on the stage. I love to get my music released. It is enough for me.

I read you recorded the songs as a live band. Old-school style. What was that like?
Rami Jämsä: New tracks sounded so good and we had enough time to rehearse them. So, I decided to go into an analog studio and record everything like back in old days. We recorded it pretty much live. Some guitars and growls afterwards. I am very pleased with the natural sound and working in a reel-to-reel recording studio. No computers, no monitors, no pro tools, no copy-paste… Just the band, pure energy and the songs.

Were you at all tempted to use a more modern approach to recording?
Rami Jämsä: I have done couple of albums with ‘modern’ style and not so keen about it. Drummer records drums in couple of days and then sound engineer edit drum tracks couple of days. Does it make any sense in that kind of quantization? Then, you record guitars and oops…I made a mistake. Never mind, I can copy-paste it. Very handy, but I prefer playing my guitar and I just love the old technology.

What can fans expect of the upcoming Convulse full-length?
Rami Jämsä: Fresh old-school death metal. The new material is in an old-school vein like Resuscitation of Evilness demo and the WWG album. A little bit more technical, but far away from Reflections‘ rock/funk death.

You’re scheduled to perform for the first time in the US at MDF 2013. Any expectations?
Rami Jämsä: We are very anxious to play in MDF. I have got very good response from US fans. They have waited Convulse for decades. So, I have the privilege to play for them.

What will the setlist look like? Any chance for “Lost Equilibrium” or “Memories”?
Rami Jämsä: Pretty much songs from the WWG and couple of new tracks. We have played “Lost equilibrium” in rehearsals. It sounded cool, but I am not sure. It differs from the rest of the setlist. But never say never! You will see it at MDF in May.

** Convulse’s new EP, Inner Evil, is out January 25th on Svart Records. It’s available on CD and vinyl. Order direct from Svart Records HERE. If you don’t we really can’t do anything but wish you a crappy day and hope your Internet fails while streaming that new Nessa Devil clip.