APOCALYPTICA's EICCA TOPPINEN On Upcoming Album: 'We Have Challenged Ourselves In New Ways Once Again'
September 7, 2023
In a new interview with Tuonela Magazine, Perttu Kivilaakso and Eicca Toppinen of Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA confirmed that they have been working on material for the next studio album. "We've had already two sessions," Eicca said. "We are working in L.A on the new album and doing it in different periods, like in a few parts. And we've been working on that."
Perttu added: "Actually, this is the first time ever that we do the album recording in [several different] periods. I actually really like that [we] have a three-week [session], going back to the gigs in meanwhile, and then continuing. It's different kind of [approach] and gives you fresh [perspective on the music]."
Regarding a possible release date for the new APOCALYPTICA LP, Perttu said: "The main aim is to have it out about halfway next year. And then we are gonna tour big time after that. And it's gonna be great — amazing."
As for what APOCALYPTICA fans can expect from the new record, Eicca said: "Let's put it that way — we have challenged ourselves in new ways once again."
Earlier this year, Eicca told Czech Republic's Backstage TV that he and his APOCALYPTICA bandmates are "always" working on new music.
"Years ago, when we preparing for the 'Cell-0' album, we kind of realized that, 'Okay, this modern streaming world gives us the possibility to do different things at the same time,'" he explained. "That's why we made 'Cell-0' a fully instrumental album because we knew, okay, we like to do vocal collaborations as well, but we don't need to squeeze everything in the same package. That's why we've been releasing constantly just individual songs. Since 'Cell-0', we released 'White Room' with Jacoby Shaddix [of PAPA ROACH], we released 'Talk To Me' [with Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM], we did a classical EP of [Maurice] Ravel's 'Bolero' stuff. And now the latest release is 'Rise Again' with Simone Simons [EPICA]. And we are working on another vocal song now with a European female singer. Hopefully it will come out in the summer. And then we also start to record a new album in May. It will be out sometime late next year. Because we are constantly on tour, so we are doing the album in between the tours in a couple of different periods. I can't reveal the concept yet, but it's gonna be a concept album. And it's gonna be interesting. It's been exciting to kind of prepare the material for it. But we are constantly [putting out new music]; let's say there's four releases every year."
Regarding the songwriting process in APOCALYPTICA, Eicca said: "I've written most of the original music, and Perttu has done a lot, and Mikko [Sirén, drums] has done a few great songs as well. So it differs a little bit. I've done a lot of co-writing, especially when we're working on songs with vocals. I've been teaming up with some really good songwriters, like the top writers and stuff, to get the best result out of the music written.
"Usually when we do original music, pretty much whoever writes the music is doing it pretty far," he explained. "Of course we do the final arrangement together, but it's a pretty independent process. But now, for example, we've been working on some arrangements and that kind of stuff, and that's something that we operate usually more as a band together. So it varies. There's no general rule, how to do things. And that's actually a thing that we want to break the rules all the time, because the essence of APOCALYPTICA and the main reason why we still exist is that we are searching all the time something new — new ways to do music; not to stay in our comfort zone; not to do only what we know already… And that's why there's no formula for, basically, anything. So that kind of keeps the creativity alive and keeps making new music exciting for us."
This past March, Eicca told Matías Arteaga of Chile's Rock Legacy webzine that APOCALYPTICA's recent singles, including "Rise Again", "are all totally separate" from the band's upcoming album. "Because we realized that this modern release culture, with digital platforms, allows us, actually, to do different types of APOCALYPTICA at the same time in different formats," he explained. "So we have an album that's instrumental; then we do those singles that are vocal collaborations; and then we also release this classical EP. So we actually can do a lot of things at the same time.
"At the moment, there's no plans… Those singles are not part of the album," he reiterated. "We are just starting to work on material for the next album, which is gonna be something totally different again. And still we are going to release singles on the way before we get the album ready. So we kind of want to have continuously coming out some songs."
Accompanied by an artistic and unique music video directed by Lisa Mann, "Rise Again" was a new version of APOCALYPTICA's instrumental track "Rise", taken from the band's most recent album "Cell-0".
"Metal Classic, Classic Metal" was released in September 2022. The effort included the focus track "Flight Of The Bumblebees", originally by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow. "Metal Classic, Classic Metal" also contained a new version of Beethoven's "5th Symphony" as well as a remake of Maurice Ravel's "Bolero".
In March 2022, APOCALYPTICA released the "I'll Get Through It" single, which was written for the band by American award-winning songwriter Diane Warren. It featured Franky Perez — guest vocalist in APOCALYPTICA's 2015 record "Shadowmaker" — as well as Geezer Butler of BLACK SABBATH on bass guitar. The song was born out of a visit Geezer and Franky paid to their friend Diane, who had already written the track "Not Strong Enough" for APOCALYPTICA, included in their 2010 record "7th Symphony".
2015's "Shadowmaker" was APOCALYPTICA's first album to feature just one singer — Perez — instead of guest collaborators. The disc was recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES, MASTODON).
Prior to enlisting Perez, who accompanied APOCALYPTICA on the band's 2022 North American tour, the group released eight albums that melded the classically trained cello mastery of the three core bandmembers with the harder elements of the rock world, including drums and guest vocalists, such as Gavin Rossdale from BUSH, and Corey Taylor of SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR fame.
In April 2021, APOCALYPTICA released the official music video for its collaboration with PAPA ROACH singer Jacoby Shaddix on a cover version of the CREAM classic "White Room". The track was produced by Howard Benson at West Valley Recording Studios in Woodland Hills, California and mixed by Chris Lorde-Alge.
"White Room" was the first release from APOCALYPTICA since "Talk To Me", which arrived in August 2020. That song was a collaboration with HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale.
"Cell-0" came out in January 2020. The effort was the band's first fully instrumental record in 17 years.
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