For Selena And Sin - 26/12/2007

The story of For Selena and Sin begins in 2004. Two gentlemen, Pasi and Teemu, had the idea to create more calm, more emotional, more pop/rock influenced music than what they'd ever done before. Now it was time to make it happen and For Selena and Sin was born.

The second step was to find other musicians to complete the line-up. It didn't take long for Teme to join on keyboards and Kuha to get behind the drumkit. The guitar was picked up by Mika and Sini gave the needed element of female vocals to the group to complete the line-up...

The third step was to compose and arrange songs and in Autumn 2005 the band entered Arttu Sarvanne's Studio Watercastle to record the demo "Draining". The 3-song demo was a collection of hope and despair and got raving reviews. The potential of the young band was noticed by Mascot Records and signed the band. It couldn't have been a better start for For Selena and Sin.

The band was excited to release their first album and started working on new songs. In the process singer Sini left the band and Annika, with a talented beautiful voice, stepped in with enthusiasm. In the Autumn of 2006 the band entered Studio Watercastle to record the debut album entitled Overdosed On You. It took almost half a year of determination to finish the 10 songs. Despite all the ups and down during the recordings, the band finally achieved what they had in mind: a killer debut album.

The future of For Selena and Sin seems bright, though full of desperation that's an inspiration to make music, music that will find a way to your heart with emotion and honesty. FSAS is ready and willing to offer you Overdosed On You...

 


 

Recently ‘Overdosed On You’ came out in Europe through Mascot Records, so time for Metal-Experience to ask Pasi Kolari (Guitars) some questions!!!

First of all, I’m not familiar with your band so could you tell me something about For Selena And Sin? How did this band get together, where does your bandname come from, what does it mean and could you tell me something about your musical background?  

Pasi: For Selena and Sin was formed late 2004. We had all played different kinds of music for many years, like death metal etc, so it was time to start thinking everything from scratch. You know, when you have done something for a long time, it feels like maybe it’s time to check out something new. By the way, if you have a wife or girlfriend, I hope you don’t never get this feeling, hehe...Anyway, this was the right time for us. A number of years ago, Teemu (bass) and I already discussed playing in a band together someday. Other members joined the band the normal way, I went to a bar a couple of times and every time I ended up adding a new member to the band. 

 

Regarding our band name, there’s no meaning or any secrets behind it. Selene is a goddess of the moon, but we changed it to Selena. It sounds better that way.

 

How did you launch into writing the material for your debut album? Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

Pasi: After the “Draining” demo, the dutch label Mascot Records offered us a deal. This time we didn’t have any new material. We signed a deal and booked a studio. We had about five or six month time to write new songs for ´Overdosed on You´. It´s hard to say how easy or hard it was, but when we enter to studio all songs were 80% ready. I never want everything to be a 100% finished before we enter studio. It would be really boring to just play all the songs in one go and then we´d spend the rest of the studio time drinking alcohol. 

Our eyes and ears were opened when we recorded the album in a studio. We don’t want our record company to release shit material under our name, so time in studio is really important for us, you can make the last changes there.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Overdosed On You’, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?

Pasi: The main thing in our music is the feeling. You can also get the feeling from black metal, disco music or maybe the latest album of the Idols winner. The feeling in our music is not one line with the Idols winner though!

 

Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?

Pasi: Yes, it was. Next lyrics may sound kind of gay if you will, but we wanted to create a sound that would touch people inside. I have read many good reviews where this “feeling” is mentioned and I am happy that people have understood our goal. It’s also up to your mood what kind of view you have on our music.

 

 

In song writing, what is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to For Selena and Sin? And is there any typical way that a For Selena and Sin song comes into being?

Pasi: There is not any normal way for Selena songs to come into being, we dont think anything like “hey, it’s now 3.5 minutes long, we can´t make it any longer because they won´t play it on the radio if it’s too long”.

 

Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on your album and where do you get your inspiration from?

Pasi: I wrote about 70% of the music for this album. Our other guitarist Mika wrote three songs and he is responsible for the lyrics. When it comes to our lyrics, they’re the salt of our music. The inspiration of For Selena and Sin comes from a normal life. If too many things in your life turn to shit, it makes you think fucking nothing makes sense anymore. But hey, don’t get me wrong, this is not any therapy project or anything like that.  

 

Is the music written independently of the lyrics or do you try to reflect lyrical ideas through the music?

Pasi: Yeah, music and lyrics walk hand by hand. I got the lyrics from Mika and then we started to compose songs together. It’s important to caucht the right feeling. You have to get inside a song. It doesn’t make sense if you just have lyrics about wet pussy or maybe fast cars, your songs can’t be boring shit, you need a good groove to the song and you want people who hear this song to think: “yeah, I feel wet pussy and this car really goes fast”. Do you get my point?

 

About the song writing – how can we imagine how your work on new songs? What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you wait until you get an idea?

Pasi: Really good question man! First we all just sit at someone’s home and play instruments, maybe someone will play with a penis, who knows...Anyway, it’s of course up to your mood. I like to play alone at home and record things on my computer. If it’s good shit, I will send it to the other guys. Then we compose songs in a rehearsal room and the last spices to the songs are added in the studio.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘Overdosed On You’? 

Pasi: This is the first time that anyone has asked about this...This title has something to do with our lives, but this is also a view on our album and the lyrics as well. 

 

Do you have any favorites on ‘Overdosed On You’, songs that you think are somehow above the others?

Pasi: I like songs like "Satellites" and "Million Miles High". I like Annika’s vocals on "Satellites", there is a lot of feeling there! Yeah, the same feeling that I have mentioned many times earlier in this interview, hehe. "Million Miles High" is faster song than others and it’s really great to play during our gigs!! I am satisfied with all the songs, there are no weak songs in this album, but these songs are my favorites.

 

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the Watercastle Studio and was it a conscious choice to record in this studio?

Pasi: I used this studio when I recorded demos and some other shit with my ex-bands. I knew the studio engineer and this studio is located in our hometown. So, I guess that was one of the main reasons because we knew it would otherwise take even longer to finish the recordings.

 

I understand that the recordings took place between May and November 2006, why did you need so much time to record your album?

Pasi: Just before we entered to studio, we got really big problems with our original singer. We had to start thinking what would happen if we continued with her. Well, we had already recorded the drums and some other stuff before things turned so bad with her. So, it was time to change a singer. Annika was an old friend of mine. When I called her to ask if she would join the band, it took about 10 seconds and she said yes! This was the reason why it took so long to finish the recordings. At first, we had booked the studio for about two weeks, but we had to check all songs again because we had a new singer. Of course there were lots of bands booked in the studio for next few months, hehe...Anyway, in the end we got a couple of extra days there and finally everything was finished. Of course the mixing process took some time, but it was worth it.

 

The production was done by Arttu Sarvanne. What made him the perfect producer for ‘Overdosed On You’?

Pasi: Well, I guess the main reason was simple, I had known him for years. So it was an easy choice for us, because this was the first album for us and we needed a studio engineer who understood our vision.

 

In which things/songs on the album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?

Pasi: First of all, “the producer” in a booklet means more like “thank you”. But of course he had fucking great ideas on many things. Let’s say that the biggest help was to get us to believe in what we do. We had this singer-changing shit and we had to start rethinking everything from the beginning. He made us feel we could make an even better album. Normal, small things. Arttu is of course a good engineer and he had a great vision of the record, he’d done many albums from rock to metal in the last 10 years.  

 

 

How did you get a deal with Mascot records, how is your relationship with them and do you have free reign as a band to do what you want creatively or otherwise, or do they impose any rules on what you do?

Pasi: We were contacted by many record companies. Mascot Records wasn’t the biggest one at all. But it was an easy choice for us because they gave us a free hand. We wouldn’t choose a label that has rules as to what kind of music we should play.

 

So are you guys happy with your label you are currently on, and are they happy with you?

Pasi: There haven’t been any problems between the band and label. So I guess everything is ok, hehe...

 

Have you received any feedback on your album yet?

Pasi: Feedback has been really good so far. Many magazines have given it good points, Inferno Magazine in Finland awarded it the title “album of the month”, and we also got some really good reviews from major German magazines. A couple of Finnish radio stations have started to play our songs. We almost had a big fucking scandal because some newspapers started to write shit about our music video. They don’t think it’s a good idea to show dying in a video. It’s hard to say what will happen, I don’t know if music TV’s never gonna show it. Time will tell. But apart from this, there is almost only positive feedback.

 

Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that matter?

Pasi: Yeah, it’s important. But not from shit-newspapers, like those who wrote shit about our music video and tried to get it censored. Many bands say “we make music only for ourselves”. I think that’s bullshit. I want to hear comments from our fans and press. This music is made for everyone.  It’s great to hear if someone says something positive and it’s even better if someone has deeper feelings when listening to our album.


Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?

Pasi: I am satisfied with all songs. I don’t see that there would be any point to think about songs in this way.

 

Have you already launched into writing song for a new album; if so what will these songs sound like, will there be any new elements on the album which weren't there on the other two? Can you reveal anything about that?

Pasi: We have some new ideas, but we haven’t start writing new material yet. Really hard to say what our next album will be like. There will elements that you can also find on our debut album. I guess we will take a step in some new direction, whether it is metal, pop, industrial, rock...it’s too early to say anything. 

 

How do you see the future for For Selena and Sin, do you think, for instance that the band will still exist ten years from now?

Pasi: Well, this is not a project, so who knows how many years we will play. We will play the next 50 years if we still have a fire burning inside. I believe after ten years we will still be answering the same questions etc...so, yes, the band will still exist.

 

What songs and bands do you listen to?

Pasi: I listen to bands and artists from different genres. If you would have asked this question about ten years ago, I am sure I would have named a list of black metal bands. Nowadays I listen to all kinds of shit from pop to metal. Today I bought a couple of cd’s; Amorphis, Forgotten Sunrise, End of You and Leevi and the Leavings, which is Finnish “acoustic pop” music. 

 

How would you describe your own music and what are your musical influences?

Pasi: For Selena and Sin plays melodic, melancholic metal with rock influences. Of course we have a great singer and Annika’s role is really important in our band.

 

I can’t place you exactly in the ‘female fronted’ gothic/rock scene, so what is the difference between For Selena and Sin and other ‘female fronted’ gothic/rock bands?

Pasi: We are not looking for a place in this scene. I am happy if all people like to listen to our music, not only gothic/metal people. This doesn’t mean that we want to be all-round, but our music is not made only for one group. We don’t want to be styled or look like those thousand gothic metal bands. We are too ugly to look pretty.

 

 

What is your opinion on the heavy metal/gothic rock scene these days, what do you think about the hype around the ‘female fronted’ gothic/rock bands going on at the moment and is there anything missing in the scene?

Pasi: I don’t really have any opinion on this. It seems that there is some kind of trend going on, because every week a new band with a female singer appears. I don’t really listen to gothic metal or female fronted bands that much. But if music is good, new bands are always welcome. Still it’s really sad to hear new bands on Myspace who want to be like Nightwish or something like that. They have boring songs, shit singesr or they don’t have a sound of their own.  I am not a fan of Nightwish, this was just example...

 

Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?

Pasi: Huh...you have bad questions, haha!!! Hmm..., I think we have to go to the black metal era, so let’s say early Emperor etc...I haven’t been a fan of heavy or thrash metal ever, so when everyone listened to Metallica, Iron Maiden or Slayer, I listened to some really weird shit. You know, this time was somewhere in really early 90’s, the time before Emperor. But, I guess that some black metal bands changed my mind and I started thinking that it would be cool to play in a band someday. 

 

I assume you are not yet capable of making a living out of  For Selena and Sin; what is a common day like for you?

Pasi: Finland is a fucking expensive country; you need to be a real rock star to make a living just by playing music. So we all have a job. We have a lot of gigs coming; it’s great that we don’t have any problems to get free time from work. That’s really good.

 

With such a big fusion of styles in your music, are there any particular bands that’ve been a big influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise?

Pasi: To be honest, I don’t have really great skills when it comes to playing an instrument. Another thing is that I am too lazy to start practicing any cover songs. If anyone would ask me to play some Metallica, I wouldn’t be able to do it because I don’t know the songs and I am too lazy to think about learning them. So I am not too big a fan of any band. This is maybe one of the reasons why our music doesn’t sound really typical. I am not too lazy to play the music of For Selena and Sin, all my time goes into the band, I am really busy all the time. But we have another guitar player and he plays anything we need, hehe...

 

Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?

Pasi: Hmm...well, this is “What tha fuck???-Festival”.

-          For Selena and Sin

-          U2 feat. Glenn Benton

-          Tiamat

-          Accept

 

What can we expect from For Selena and Sin the coming months, any live shows or festivals next summer?

Pasi: We will play a lot of gigs in Finland and we are looking forward to get a European tour booked. I am 90% sure that we will get this tour. When it comes to the festivals, I am sure there will be a couple festivals we’ll play this summer, it’s just hard to say which countries we’ll go to.

 

Is there anything left unmentioned? Any last statement or anything you'd like to add or like to share with us?

Pasi: Thanks a lot, great to do this interview. I am sure that we will come to Holland next year. So see you at one of our gigs and remember, you are always welcome to our shows, even you are really drunk!.

 

Thanks for your time!

Eugene Straver

 

Current Members

Kuha Sillanmiski - Drums (2004 - Present)
Teemu Oksanen - Keyboards (2004 - Present)
Pasi Kolari - Guitars (2004 - Present)
Mika Minkkinen - Guitars (2004 - Present)
Teemu Turkia - Bass (2004 - Present)
Annika Jalkanen - Vocals (2006 - Present)
 

Former members

Sini Pajunen - Vocals (2004 - 2006)

 

Albums

Overdosed On You (2007)
 

Demos
Drainin (2005)