SENTENCED Guitarist Discusses Group's Split, Future Plans

July 19, 2005

On Track Magazine recently conducted an interview with SENTENCED guitarist Sami Lopakka. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On Track Magazine: When last we spoke we discussed the melancholy themes behind the band's music which are directly related to the conditions in which you live in your home country of Finland. We talked about the intensely high suicide rate that takes place during the winter months. In studying the lyrical content of "The Funeral Album", I couldn't help but think that the influence of the band could possibly lead a die-hard fan down a road that might spell disaster. You speak of committing suicide and ending the band once and for all. Have you considered that this type of thinking might influence someone in a negative way?

Sami: "You mean that are we afraid that someone would actually kill himself or something?"

On Track Magazine: Yeah, I mean, if a fan felt that losing their favorite band was a means to follow suit and end their own life, how would you react to that?

Sami: "Of course, it would suck big-time if someone ended his life because of this because it's the end of a band, not the end of the world. All in all, I think, in music, you should be able to express anything; or in art in general. And there are always some crazy people in the world and shit happens, so to speak, but you can't build your art wondering what if someone does this or that. For me, even though it has been dwelling in the deepest naked emotions on some of the songs, it has been a cathartic experience. And it seems to be that way for the majority of listeners as well and it seems to work as some sort of weird therapy to drown yourself in the shit so deep that when you rise you somehow feel purified, even though you still smell like shit. I just don't consider someone's reactions that far. For me it's always stupid when parents point a finger saying, after their kid has killed him or herself, that JUDAS PRIEST made him do it or something like that. It's stupid; the parents made him do it because they were shitty parents. If someone kills himself the answer most probably is in society or the medical state and not some form of art, if you know what I'm talking about."

On Track Magazine: Now you've vowed to never reunite as a band and have stated that this is the absolute end. However, music is in the heart and in the soul. What do you plan to do following your last curtain call, are there other prospects in the works?

Sami: "For Ville, the vocalist, he has this other band called POISONBLACK and I know that he will continue with that band, at least for one more album. He's not sure what will happen after that one but he has some sort of plan already. And the same goes for the bass player, Sami Kukkohovi, who has this band called SOLUTION 13 and they are recording an album this year and I think he will continue with that band. The rest of us are basically like all we are, concentrated totally on SENTENCED these last few months that we have left. The three of us — me, Miika and Vesa — we don't really have anything specific planned, but as you say, music is not something that you can suddenly tear out and throw away when you have been doing it for, basically, all of your life. After some rest and some long sleeps I think we all will return in one way or the other. I don't know what it means specifically, it could be new bands or producing or studio work or just playing with your friends or just playing by yourself in some basement and making really shitty riffs and getting into those. But certainly there will be something for all of us in the future."

Read the entire interview at OnTrackMagazine.com.

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